Created on: Feb-22-2010   Last updated: Feb-22-2010


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He first traveled to the USSR in 1965 and reported on his travels in The Jews of Silence. His 1968 account of the Six Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbors appeared in English as A Beggar In Jerusalem . In time, Wiesel was able to use his fame to plead for justice for oppressed peoples in the Soviet Union, South Africa, Vietnam, Biafra and Bangladesh. He has written plays including Zalmen, or the Madness of God and The Trial of God (Le Proces de Shamgorod ). His other novels include The Gates of the Forest, The Oath, The Testament, and The Fifth Son. His essays and short stories have been collected in the volumes Legends of Our Time, One Generation After, and A Jew Today. Wiesel still writes his books in French, his wife Marion often collaborates with him on their English translation. Since 1976, he has been Andrew Mellon Professor of Humanities at Boston University. He makes his home in New York City with his wife and their son, Elisha.

In 1978, President Jimmy Carter appointed Elie Wiesel Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. In 1985 he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Freedom and, in 1986, the Nobel Prize for Peace. The English translation of his memoirs was published in 1995 as All Rivers Run to the Sea. A second volume of memoirs, And the Sea is Never Full, appeared in 2000. Over the years, Wiesel has spoken out on behalf of the victims of genocide and oppression all over the world, from Bosnia to Darfur. Although he is now known to millions for his human rights activism, he has by no means abandoned the art of fiction. His latest novel is A Mad Desire to Dance (2009).

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In September 30, 1928, Elie Wiesel was born in the small town of Sighet in Transylvania, where people of different languages and religions have lived side by side for centuries, sometimes peacefully, sometimes in bitter conflict. The region was long claimed by both Hungary and Romania, in the 20th century, it changed hands repeatedly, a hostage to the fortunes of war.