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University mourns death of Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel addressing Brandeis graduates at Commencement on May 25, 1980.

Brandeis University is mourning the death of Elie Wiesel, H'80, a Holocaust survivor and 1986 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Wiesel, who died on July 2 at the age of 87, was honored by Brandeis with an honorary doctor of humane letters at Commencement in 1980. 

"His singular voice urging all of humanity to never forget the 20th century’s most unspeakable and unimaginable evil made him one of the greatest humanitarians of our time," the University statement read. "In a long life dedicated to fighting genocide, hatred and bigotry in all their forms, Wiesel showed that Jewish values are indeed universal values.

"Among these values is tikkun olam, the Jewish concept of repairing the world. As we reflect on the contributions to human understanding and history Wiesel made through his writings, scholarship and advocacy, we should also remember that each one of us holds within us the power to repair the world, each in our own way."

At his speech at Brandeis' 29th Commencement on May 25, 1980, Wiesel urged the students to make a difference: "Let one person find comfort because of you, let one family find hope because of us, and it would justify what you have learned here from your teachers and from one another."

More recently, Wiesel took part in a conference hosted by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies on April 27-28, 2014. The conference, "The Shoah in Israeli Culture, Memory and Politics," took place over Holocaust Remembrance Day. The conference opened with a videotaped message from Wiesel.

Read Wiesel's Commencement address.

Categories: Campus News
Date: July 5, 2016