Tuesday, January 25, 2005

ELIE WIESEL ON THE 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE LIBERATION OF AUSCHWITZ. The 76-year old Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate spoke at the United Nations observance. I first read Wiesel's penetrating stories of the genocide of Jews at the hands of the Germans while I was a student at Olivet Nazarene University in a literature course titled "Jewish Writers."

A few quotes of Wiesel at the UN event (reported by AP):

"I am not afraid it will be forgotten. I was fearing that at first, but now I don't, because I know that this is the most documented tragedy in history ... I have always believed that whoever listens to a witness becomes a witness himself: children of the survivors, their friends, readers, students."

"On the other hand, I am afraid of the trivialization of this memory, especially when one does films. I do not like the word 'docudrama' that is so much in fashion."

"If someone told me in 1945 that I would (be) waging battle against anti-Semitism in 2005, I would not have believed it. The danger therefore is still there."

"Indifference for me is the evil. The opposite of love is not hate but indifference, the opposite of education is not ignorance but indifference, the opposite of beauty is not ugliness but indifference, the opposite of life is not death but indifference to life and to death."

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