Elie Wiesel and Holocaust Poetry - Elie Wiesel Elie Wiesel...

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Elie Wiesel Elie Wiesel, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, was born in the provincial town of Sighet, Romania on September 30, 1928. A Jewish community had existed there since 1640, when it sought refuge from an outbreak of pogroms and persecution in Ukraine. His maternal grandfather, Reb Dodye Feig, was a devout Hasidic Jew, whose influence on Wiesel was deep, and inspired him to pursue Talmudic studies in the town's Yeshiva. However his father Shlomo, who ran a grocery store, although also religious, was regarded as an emancipated Jew, open to events of the world. He insisted that his son study modern Hebrew as well, so that he could read the works of contemporary writers. And at home in Sighet, which was close to the Hungarian border, Wiesel's family spoke mostly Yiddish, but also German, Hungarian and Romanian. Today, Wiesel thinks in Yiddish, writes in French, and, with his wife Marion and his son Elisha, lives his life in English. Life for Wiesel and his extended family changed tragically in 1943 and 1944, when Nazi Germany decided that the Jews living in the Axis nations of Eastern Europe — Romania, Hungary, and Bulgaria — should share the fate of the rest of European Jewry and be transported to the death camps of Poland. Grandfather Dodye went first, when he and his three sons and their children were taken away in 1943. The following year, Wiesel's entire family, his mother, father and his three sisters, were transported with him to Poland. Only Wiesel and his two older sisters survived.
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