Elie Wiesel, a Romanian-born Jewish writer, academic, public intellectual, and Holocaust survivor, passed away on Saturday, July 2nd, aged 87.
Wiesel, who was imprisoned at Buchenwald and lost his sister and mother to the Holocaust, went on to a storied career as a writer and thinker after he was freed. He is perhaps best known for his book Night, published in 1958, a brief and sparse account of his time at Buchenwald. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for his work and activism to end racial discrimination, violence, and oppression.
Wiesel was a friend of the Iranian Resistance and worked to prevent the emergence of a nuclear Iran. He often attended meetings and offered statements supporting the Resistance’s cause. He also used his personal friendship with Barack Obama to try to prevent a nuclear deal with Iran in 2013, calling it “a terrible deal”.
In a statement released this weekend, Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the NCRI, reflected on Wiesel’s profound influence.
The whole world, and not only the people of his country and family, is mourning the painful loss of Elie Wiesel.
He was the rebellious conscience against genocide and crime against humanity. From his time as a child in the Nazi concentration camps until his last moments, Elie Wiesel was the embodiment of rebellion against “indifference.” In his own words, “Indifference is always the friend of the enemy, for it benefits the aggressor–never his victim, whose pain is magnified when he or she feels forgotten.” And he admonished those who knew “what was going on behind those black gates and barbed wire” and did nothing because “in denying their humanity, we betray our own.”
In diametric opposition to such people, Elie Wiesel rose to the defense of the residents Ashraf amidst attacks on Camp Ashraf by proxies of the religious dictatorship ruling Iran and admonished those who remain silent.
Humanity needed Elie Wiesel, but we must not allow our world to become devoid of rebellion against indifference.