Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department / School


First Advisor

J. W. Yarbrough


Who is Elie Wiesel? Elie Wiesel, a Jewish writer, is the 1986 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. He was born on September 30, 1928 in Sighet, Rumania, a small village in the Carpathian Mountains. When he was a young boy, he was a sensitive student who especially enjoyed studying the Talmud and other Jewish religious texts. In 1944 when he was fifteen, his father, a shopkeeper; his mother, an educated woman; his two older sisters, a baby sister and he were deported by cattle car to Auschwitz. The men and women were separated; he never saw his mother and baby sister again. He watched his father die from mistreatment, beatings, and starvation. After the war he and his older sisters were reunited. One sister is now deceased. When the war was over Wiesel was seventeen and quite sick. He was taken with other survivors of Buchenwald to France. Working and studying in Paris, he was eventually hired as a journalist. Wiesel vowed not to write about his Holocaust experience for ten years. After those years he was encouraged to write Night, his autobiography, followed by twenty other books in twenty years. Most of his books deal with the Holocaust. Wiesel continues to study the Bible and the Talmud today. After he completes many pages for a book he cuts and condenses into fewer pages. He has written Bible stories, stories of Russian Jews, retold old Jewish Hasidic tales and legends and written on other themes as well as his major theme of the Holocaust. Always bearing witness, Wiesel works with an end in view, that is, to prevent killers from killing again. He believes that the story of the Holocaust must be told so that such a catastrophe will never be repeated. French is the language in which Elie Wiesel writes. New York is their home. Wiesel, a lecturer, traveler, storyteller, and witness, is the Andrew Mellon Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Boston University. Elie Wiesel's literary witness is supported historically and photographically by The Auschwitz Album, a book based upon an album discovered by a concentration camp survivor, Lili Meier.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Wiesel, Elie, 1928-2016 -- Criticism and interpretation



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University