Holocaust survivor, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, prolific author and outspoken activist, Elie Wiesel, died Saturday at the age of 87, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports.. Wiesel was forced into the concentration camps at age 15, spending 8 months in the Auschwitz, which was the basis for his memoir "Night." Two other books about the Holocaust were in the series (Dawn and Day) and served to provide a rare glimpse into what it was like to actually survive the horror of the camps.
Wiesel wrote over 40 books, received numerous humanitarian awards, was knighted, and was the recipient of over 100 honorary doctorates (yes, one hundred). He also was a professor for almost three decades in a variety of fields, including Judaic Studies, humanities, philosophy and religion.
Wiesel's influence and passion was critical to the creation of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. , a national monument that bears his words at the entrance:
“For the dead and the living, we must bear witness”
Wiesel and his wife also established the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity to fight injustice in the world through programs for youth.
Some of the most famous quotes from Wiesel are especially poignant today:
We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.
No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them.
Peace is our gift to each other.
When a person doesn't have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude.
Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe.
Rest in Peace, Mr. Wiesel. You will be missed.