Elie Wiesel was born on September 30, 1928.
Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel was the author of over 40 books, the most famous of which, Night, is an autobiographical work based on his experiences during the Holocaust. Sequels to Night include Dawn and Day. Also recognized for his humanitarian and political activism, Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. He lived in the United States, where he taught at Boston University and served as the chairman of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. Elie Wiesel died on July 2, 2016 in Manhattan.
Have students compare and contrast two views of the Holocaust from different authors. Have students first read both Night and Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Then, have them look at the similarities and differences between these two accounts of Holocaust events. Ask students the following questions, using a Venn diagram to record responses during your discussion. If you prefer, students can work in small groups to create their own Venn diagrams using the ReadWriteThink Interactive.
- How are the two authors similar and different?
- How did their experiences during the Second World War differ? How were their situations similar?
- Did Anne Frank and Wiesel's main character share similar feelings?
- How did the formats of these two texts differ?
- What were the differences between the endings? Were there any similarities?
Extend students' study of the Holocaust by having them research stories of other survivors who may or may not have published books. Have students create a presentation highlighting the person they select.
Random House provides this interview with Wiesel. He discusses Night, his work as a writer, war criminals, religion, and more.
This biography is featured on the official website of the Nobel Foundation. The page also offers additional resources related to Wiesel, winner of the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize.
This resource from PBS provides a biography of Wiesel, a bibliography of his work, and a teacher's guide.
This United States Holocaust Memorial Museum page features personal accounts of people who experienced the Holocaust firsthand.