Nobel Winner Elie Wiesel to Speak at UVM | Arts News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Nobel Winner Elie Wiesel to Speak at UVM 

State of the Arts

Published January 24, 2007 at 4:36 p.m.

Bill Clinton will deliver the 2007 commencement address at Middlebury College, but the former prez isn't the only high-profile speaker visiting Vermont this spring. On April 25, writer and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel will address University of Vermont students and community members. UVM Hillel, the Jewish student group, is sponsoring Wiesel's appearance as part of its Holocaust Remembrance Week.

Wiesel has written more than 40 books of fiction and nonfiction, but the 78-year-old author is most famous for his first book, Night. The slim, harrowing volume chronicles his experiences in Nazi concentration camps during World War II.

Wiesel grew up in Sighet, Transylvania. He was 15 years old in 1944, when German soldiers forced him and his family from their home and deported them to Birkenau. Wiesel and his father were later transferred to Auschwitz, and then to Buchenwald. The future writer and his two older sisters survived their ordeal; their parents and a younger sister did not.

After the war, Wiesel moved to Paris and eventually to New York City. He currently teaches at Boston University and lives with his wife in Connecticut.

Since its publication in 1958, Night has been translated into more than 30 languages. Its popularity has not diminished over the years; in 2006, Oprah Winfrey chose Night for her book club. She later televised her interview with Wiesel at Auschwitz.

In addition to his literary endeavors, Wiesel has played a prominent role in keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive. In 1978, President Carter appointed him chairman of the President's Commission on the Holocaust; he later became the founding chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. Wiesel won the Congressional Medal of Freedom in 1985 and the Nobel Peace Prize the following year.

An outspoken human-rights activist, Wiesel has advocated on behalf of a variety of groups, including Cambodian refugees and South African victims of apartheid; he recently spoke out against the genocide in Sudan. Even so, his critics have complained that the devoted supporter of Israel has not done enough to draw attention to the humanitarian crisis in Palestine.

UVM Hillel's executive director, Susan Leff, says Wiesel's continuing activism enhances his appeal as a speaker. "He has an old message," she says, "but also a new message."

According to Leff, a student orchestrated Wiesel's appearance. Senior Meredith Burak is minoring in Holocaust Studies and is involved with Students Take Action Now: Darfur(STAND).

Leff stresses that UVM is still finalizing the details of Wiesel's appearance. More details will be available in a few weeks.

One thing certain at this point: Hillel will have to raise more funds to pay for Wiesel's appearance. Though the Jewish group is partnering with STAND, Students for Peace and Global Justice and UVM Student Life, Leff says about $50,000 is needed Ñ all of which, she notes, will be donated to charity.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

More By This Author

  • Ballot Basics: 10 Things You Should Know About Voting in Vermont
  • Ballot Basics: 10 Things You Should Know About Voting in Vermont

    First time voting in Vermont? Good news: You're in a state that makes it easy. Here's a top 10 list that will help you participate in the primary elections on August 9.
    • Jun 29, 2022
  • Redrawing the Map: How Redistricting Will Affect Your Vote in 2022
  • Redrawing the Map: How Redistricting Will Affect Your Vote in 2022

    Every 10 years, Vermont redraws its state House and Senate districts based on population data from the U.S. Census and 2022 is one of those once-in-a-decade years. Starting with this summer's primary election, some voters will see changes to their ballots.
    • Jun 29, 2022
  • Not All Heroes Wear Capes: The 2022 Primary Election Voters' Guide
  • Not All Heroes Wear Capes: The 2022 Primary Election Voters' Guide

    Superheroes are everywhere these days. Maybe Americans, beset by political divisions, are looking for someone to save them? Rather than waiting for heroes, we Vermonters can take action to preserve democracy ourselves by voting in the action-packed August 9 primary elections. Numerous Vermont officeholders are stepping down, including well-known Batman fan, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).
    • Jun 29, 2022
  • More »

About The Author

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer

Bio:
Deputy publisher Cathy Resmer is an organizer of the Vermont Tech Jam. She also oversees Seven Days' parenting publication, Kids VT, and created the Good Citizen Challenge, a youth civics initiative. Resmer began her career at Seven Days as a freelance writer in 2001. Hired as a staff writer in 2005, she became the publication's first online editor in 2007.

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2022 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation