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Hear My Story: Elisha Wiesel, son of Elie Wiesel

Hear My Story - Elisha Wiesel

Elie Wiesel was perhaps the most well-known and influential survivor of the Holocaust. His  gift for communicating the scope and impact of his experiences in a way that could touch people worldwide is evident by the enduring popularity of his memoir, Night. His only son, Elisha, spoke with us about what it means to carry on that legacy in modern times, as well as his thoughts on combating surging antisemitism.

“I will never meet someone else like my father. But there are many of us who if we come together can keep his voice alive”

– Elisha Wiesel

When you host Elisha Wiesel for a conversation, it immediately feels like you are in two places at once. You are, of course, in the current moment, because you don’t want to miss the conversation, but you are also somehow transported back in time. His close relationship with his father, whose writing, speaking, and advocacy are known the world over, hovers in the room. Throughout the hour we spent talking with him, his words took us to Sighet, Romania, where Elisha accompanied his father on a trip back to Elie’s birthplace, and into a bunker in Israel during the Yom Kippur War in 1973, where Elie dashed off a letter to Elisha, to be read by his son if he didn’t make it out. Our time wasn’t only spent looking back. We also focused on the present – what Elisha has to say to students who will read his father’s account of Holocaust survival, Night, for the first time this year, his thoughts on speaking up in the face of antisemitism, and how he models his faith for his children. It’s a conversation we hope you don’t miss.

Questions about character strengths? Email us your thoughts [email protected]

Episode Resources:

Learn more about The Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center  https://www.holocaustandhumanity.org/

Take the character strengths survey for free https://www.holocaustandhumanity.org/upstander/assess-your-character-strengths/

Visit the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity https://eliewieselfoundation.org/

Learn more about the Holocaust from the institution that Elie Wiesel helped shape in Washington, D.C. https://www.ushmm.org/

Read the book Night by Elie Wiesel https://www.amazon.com/Night-Elie-Wiesel/dp/0374500010

This episode made possible with generous support from the Cynthia & Harold Guttman Family Center for Storytelling https://www.holocaustandhumanity.org/storytelling/

Our gratitude to Margaret & Michael Valentine for their ongoing support of this series.

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