Why Famous: Elie Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 as the world's leading spokesperson on the Holocaust. As a teenager Wiesel was a survivor of the Auschwitz and Buchenwald Nazi concentration camps during WWII.
Wiesel became a journalist after the war but it wasn't until 10 years later that he was able to write about his experiences, publishing his memoir "Un di velt hot geshvign" (And the World Remained Silent) in Yiddish, then a shortened version "La Nuit" in 1955, published in English as "Night" in 1960. He went on to write over 40 books on the Holocaust.
As an activist Wiesel was the leading figure behind the establishment of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. He spoke out frequently for other minorities including to the UN on the crisis in Darfur and for the Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Wiesel was the recipient of many awards, including the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal and the Legion of Honour.
- 1986-10-14 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Auschwitz survivor Elie Wiesel, for his efforts to ensure the Holocaust was remembered
- 1986-12-10 Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel accepts 1986 Nobel Peace Prize