Professor Elie Wiesel was supposed to be the keynote speaker at the inauguration ceremony of the new display at the Jewish pavilion in Auschwitz, the place where he was enslaved and lost his loved ones.
For personal reasons he was unable to attend the important event, but in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the author and Nobel Peace Prize laureate told Ynet about the never-ending struggle against anti-Semitism and the recognition that it would likely never be defeated.
Prof. Wiesel, who coined the eternal expression “Not all victims were Jews, but all Jews were victims,” examines every significant occurrence with an overall view of world peace. To the same extent, he meticulously examines whether the memory of the Holocaust has been engraved in people’s minds, and whether there is a danger that the events of 1939-1945 will repeat themselves, and the world – as it was during those years – will be indifferent and silent.
“The Holocaust is a unique event, but it has a universal significance which must be memorized incessantly,” he says, voicing concerns over the temptation of Iran’s nuclear ability and the civil war in Syria, which has already claimed a price of 150,000 deaths. And the world is silent.
The unstoppable conversation between us has been going on for several years now, but the murky wave of anti-Semitism sweeping over the Western world, as well as Eastern Europe (with the recent incidents in Hungary and Ukraine), are fresh and extract statements with despair running through them.
“Unfortunately, anti-Semitism still exists,” Wiesel says. “It has been alive for more than 2,000 years, and will likely continue living. I thought that the memory of the Holocaust would shame those boasting anti-Semitic opinions. I was wrong. It still exists in different countries, and it seems people are no longer ashamed to be anti-Semitic.” Read more here.