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257 Inspiring Quotes by Elie Wiesel

  • Last updated Jul 27 2021

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Elie Wiesel.

Wikipedia Summary for Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel (, born Eliezer Wiesel Hebrew: אֱלִיעֶזֶר וִיזֶל‎ ʾÉlīʿezer Vīzel; September 30, 1928 – July 2, 2016) was a Romanian-born American writer, professor, political activist, Nobel laureate, and Holocaust survivor. He authored 57 books, written mostly in French and English, including Night, a work based on his experiences as a Jewish prisoner in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps.

He was a professor of the humanities at Boston University, which created the Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies in his honor. He was involved with Jewish causes and human rights causes and helped establish the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D. C. In his political activities, he also campaigned for victims of oppression in places like South Africa, Nicaragua, Kosovo, and Sudan. He publicly condemned the 1915 Armenian Genocide and remained a strong defender of human rights during his lifetime. He was described as "the most important Jew in America" by the Los Angeles Times in 2003.

Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. The Norwegian Nobel Committee called him a "messenger to mankind", stating that through his struggle to come to terms with "his own personal experience of total humiliation and of the utter contempt for humanity shown in Hitler's death camps", as well as his "practical work in the cause of peace", Wiesel has delivered a message "of peace, atonement, and human dignity" to humanity. The Nobel Committee also stressed that Wiesel's commitment originated in the sufferings of the Jewish people but that he expanded it to embrace all repressed peoples and races. He was a founding board member of the New York Human Rights Foundation and remained active in it throughout his life.


yellow sunflower in bloom during daytime

What is Scripture? The Hebrew word is torah. Torah means teaching, learning.

--Elie Wiesel

brown grass on brown sand under blue sky during daytime

Occasionally, I come to moments of anguish in the text.

--Elie Wiesel

Light blue to purple gradient

I thought that culture and education are the shield. An educated person cannot do certain things and, and be educated, you cannot, and there they were, killing children day after day.

--Elie Wiesel

purple flowers

Humanity would never tolerate it.

--Elie Wiesel


yellow flower field near mountain during daytime

I personally have no doubt that the Exodus occurred. How it occurred, I don't know.

--Elie Wiesel

blue and white water surface

Every single human being is a unique human being. And, therefore, it's so criminal to do something to that human being, because he or she represents humanity.

--Elie Wiesel

green leafed plant

I have tried to keep memory alive... I have tried to fight those who would forget. Because if we forget, we are guilty, we are accomplices.

--Elie Wiesel

silhouette of man in water

I don't see the junk youth. I only meet students, and even those who are not formally at the university, if they come to listen to me, they come to read me, it means they are not junk students.

--Elie Wiesel

3 women playing soccer on green grass field during daytime

The opposite of love is not hate; it's indifference.

--Elie Wiesel

Longer Version:

The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. Indifference creates evil. Hatred is evil itself. Indifference is what allows evil to be strong, what gives it power.



man riding on white horse on the hill

When did I learn the Bible? When I was four or five years old. It's still the pull of my childhood, a fascination with the vanished world, and I can find everything except that world.

--Elie Wiesel

aerial photography of mountain range covered with snow under white and blue sky at daytime

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.

--Elie Wiesel

sunset highway

Some events do take place but are not true; others are, although they never occurred.

--Elie Wiesel

black textile on white background

Usually I get up early every morning and from 6:00 to 10:00 I write. The rest of the time I study and prepare my work or I do other things. But four hours a day are exclusively devoted to writing.

--Elie Wiesel

body of water surrounded with plants under cloudy sky

In those dark times, one rose to the very heights of humanity by simply remaining human.

--Elie Wiesel

silhouette of trees during nighttime

I have not lost faith in God. I have moments of anger and protest. Sometimes I've been closer to him for that reason.

--Elie Wiesel

group of people waving their hands

When I see a child who is hungry, I see a person who is humiliated.

--Elie Wiesel

white brick wall planning

I imagine, like all his predecessors, Barak Obama would like to achieve greatness in bringing peace in the Middle East. I hope it will not be at the expense of Israel.

--Elie Wiesel

bonfire near mountain

One person of integrity can make a difference.

--Elie Wiesel

calm ocean

It is obvious that the war which Hitler and his accomplices waged was a war not only against Jewish men, women, and children, but also against Jewish religion, Jewish culture, Jewish tradition, therefore Jewish memory.

--Elie Wiesel

green trees on forest during daytime

Every moment is a new beginning.

--Elie Wiesel

mountains covered with fog

Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes.

--Elie Wiesel


forest trees photograph

What is man?
Hope turned to dust.
No.
What is man?
Dust turned to hope.

--Elie Wiesel



purple and green light digital wallpaper

A voice behind me asked, "Where is God? Where is He? Where can He be now?" and a voice within me answered: "Where? Here He is -- He has been hanged here, on these gallows.

--Elie Wiesel

yellow green leaf

I remember when I heard the words "Biblical criticism" in my town, it was with disdain: "Biblical criticism? How dare you?"

--Elie Wiesel


green leafed tree on body of water under starry sky

Ultimately, the only power to which man should aspire is that which he exercises over himself.

--Elie Wiesel

coconut tree near body of water

One always goes back to one's childhood in the beginning, and I come from a very religious family and surrounding. Very religious.

--Elie Wiesel

flat lay photography of several hanging ornaments

Had the situation not been so tragic, we might have laughed.

--Elie Wiesel



brown mountains under blue sky

One doesn't go to Jerusalem, one returns to it. That's one of its mysteries.

--Elie Wiesel

None

Terrorism must be outlawed by all civilized nations, not explained or rationalized, but fought and eradicated. Nothing can, nothing will justify the murder of innocent people and helpless children.

--Elie Wiesel

close up photography of moon

In Jewish history there are no coincidences.

--Elie Wiesel

water droplets on green leaf

Because of indifference, one dies before one actually dies.

--Elie Wiesel

red and white led lighted heart decor

I don't think governments use religious repression as a weapon, they use it as a as a means of -- of oppression. To stifle opposition. To mute resistance.

--Elie Wiesel

blue rose in close up photography

Religion is a very personal thing for me. Religion has its good moments and its poor moments.

--Elie Wiesel

calm body of water near alp mountains during nighttime

Once upon a time refugee meant somebody who has a refuge, found a place, a haven where he could find refuge.

--Elie Wiesel

silhouette of people riding bicycle

I was there when God was put on trial... At the end of the trial, they used the word 'chayav,' rather than 'guilty.' It means 'He owes us something.' Then we went to pray.

--Elie Wiesel

coconut tree near body of water

For the good of all, I say: Be careful, the brutality of the world must not be more powerful or attractive than love and friendship.

--Elie Wiesel

green and blue chevron textile

The primary task of a Jew in turbulent times is to be Jewish.

--Elie Wiesel

person standing on top of mountain

Human beings should be held accountable. Leave God alone. He has enough problems.

--Elie Wiesel

brown leaf on asphalt road

Peace is our gift to each other.

--Elie Wiesel

None

In Talmudic literature, certainly in the beginning, he was like a human being -- except he was a serpent. But he was talking and walking and probably dreaming.

--Elie Wiesel


pink cherry blossom tree under blue sky during daytime

In my tradition, one must wait until one has learned a lot of Bible and Talmud and the Prophets to handle mysticism. This isn't instant coffee. There is no instant mysticism.

--Elie Wiesel


silhouette of person's hands forming heart

When language fails, violence becomes a language; I never had that feeling.

--Elie Wiesel

grayscale photography of mountain surrounded by trees

Whenever an angel says "Be not afraid!" you'd better start worrying. A big assignment is on the way.

--Elie Wiesel

person holding white book

Fanaticism in many lands has surfaced as the greatest threat to the world. Indifference to its consequences would be a serious mistake.

--Elie Wiesel


time lapse photography body of water

For me, every hour is grace. And I feel gratitude in my heart each time I can meet someone and look at his or her smile.

--Elie Wiesel

time lapse photography of fire

Religion is not man's relationship to God, it is man's relationship to man.

--Elie Wiesel

white wall paint with white wall paint

His cold eyes stared at me. At last, he said wearily: "I have more faith in Hitler than in anyone else. He alone has kept his promises, all his promises, to the Jewish people."

--Elie Wiesel

lights pattern swirls

The story of the Sacrifice of Isaac is much more a part of theology than of history.

--Elie Wiesel

time lapse photography body of water

No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them.

--Elie Wiesel

None

Every Jew, somewhere in his being, should set apart a zone of hate -- healthy virile hate -- for what the German personifies and for what persists in the German.

--Elie Wiesel

silhouette photography of mountains

Not to transmit an experience is to betray it.

--Elie Wiesel

blue and white abstract painting

I come from a very religious background.And actually I remained in it. All my anger I describe in my quarrels with God in Auschwitz, but you know I used to pray every day.

--Elie Wiesel

white clouds and blue sky during daytime

I would hesitate to give advice to the Dalai Lama and his people because they are suffering. The Dalai Lama suffered from exile and the people in Tibet suffer from oppression.

--Elie Wiesel

elephant play with brown sand

Tibet's a tragedy. It's an insult to human decency.

--Elie Wiesel

Arizona landscape

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation.

--Elie Wiesel

Longer Version:

I swore never to be silent whenever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lies are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Whenever men and women are prosecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must -- at that moment -- become the center of the universe.


red textile in close up photography

Writing should not be routine; writing should actually be the opposite of procedural because otherwise the written word would become a routine word.

--Elie Wiesel

silhouette photo of mountain during night time

All I hope is that the American coalition is doing its best to prevent civilian casualties and the killing of innocent people.

--Elie Wiesel

calm body of water near alp mountains during nighttime

I didn't know that this was the moment in time and the place where I was leaving my mother and Tzipora forever.

--Elie Wiesel






blue sky with stars during night time

Man asks and God replies but we don't understand his replies because they dwell in the depths of our souls and remain there until we die.

--Elie Wiesel

shallow focus photography of white flowers

The Bible is been my passion almost from my youth.

--Elie Wiesel

gray concrete surface

Moses was the greatest legislator and the commander in chief of perhaps the first liberation army.

--Elie Wiesel

Arizona landscape

The sincere Christian knows that what died in Auschwitz was not the Jewish people but Christianity.

--Elie Wiesel

body of water

The Holocaust is not a cheap soap opera. The Holocaust is not a romantic novel. It is something else.

--Elie Wiesel

white and blue sky during daytime

I've worked with five Presidents in America, all of them I ask the same question always: Why didn't the American allies bomb the railways going to Auschwitz?

--Elie Wiesel


None

Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed.

--Elie Wiesel

silver round analog wall clock

I never compared Nazis into communism, but communism was the same thing, the end justifies the means. Whatever the means.

--Elie Wiesel

white clouds and blue sky during daytime

Perhaps some day someone will explain how, on the level of man, Auschwitz was possible; but on the level of God, it will forever remain the most disturbing of mysteries.

--Elie Wiesel


silhouette photography of trees and sky

If God exists, how can we lay claim to freedom, since He is its beginning and its end?

--Elie Wiesel


silhouette of mountain during sunset

The opposite of faith is not heresy but indifference.

--Elie Wiesel




white clouds and blue sky during daytime

Sometimes I am asked if I know 'the response to Auschwitz; I answer that not only do I not know it, but that I don't even know if a tragedy of this magnitude has a response.

--Elie Wiesel


scenery of aurora

An indifference to suffering makes humans inhuman.

--Elie Wiesel

fawn pug lying on gray blanket

How can a human being be illegal?

--Elie Wiesel


boy and cat in front of moon

What is man? Ally of God or simply his toy? His triumph or his fall?

--Elie Wiesel

bird in the sky

We have to go into the despair and go beyond it, by working and doing for somebody else, by using it for something else.

--Elie Wiesel

sunset

A destruction, an annihilation that only man can provoke, only man can prevent.

--Elie Wiesel

men running toward beach

I've organised for the last years, since I got the Nobel Prize actually, Anatomy of Hate Conferences all over the world, what is hate. Didn't help but at least they explored it.

--Elie Wiesel


red wine digital wallpaper

I think those governments who resent religion, they're afraid of religion because religion may be in their eyes, in their views be seen as a counter government or a parallel government.

--Elie Wiesel

white and blue sky during daytime

As you know, I describe Shirat ha-Yam as part of an epic story that has qualities of history and which also has qualities of the mythological, of an epic.

--Elie Wiesel

litter of dogs fall in line beside wall

What is being lost is the magic of the word. I am not an image person. Imagery belongs to another civilization: the caveman. Caveman couldn't express himself so he put images on walls.

--Elie Wiesel

man on running field

It's easier to be conformist naturally; it's easier except for those who don't like conformism.

--Elie Wiesel

sunset

It is true that not all the victims were Jews, but all the Jews were victims.

--Elie Wiesel


aerial's photo of metropolitan during night time\

No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night.

--Elie Wiesel


high-angle photography of beach side

Nobody is stronger, nobody is weaker than someone who came back. There is nothing you can do to such a person because whatever you could do is less than what has already been done to him. We have already paid the price.

--Elie Wiesel

water on seashore

The Biblical text does not have punctuation marks like periods and question marks. Where we end sentences is a matter of interpretation.

--Elie Wiesel

full moon in the sky

I cannot cure everybody. I cannot help everybody. But to tell the lonely person that I am not far or different from that lonely person, that I am with him or her, that's all I think we can do and we should do.

--Elie Wiesel

white rose enclosed photograph

Though we talk peace, we wage war. Sometimes we even wage war in the name of peace. Does that seem paradoxical? Well, war is not afraid of paradoxes.

--Elie Wiesel

green moss on brown tree trunk

I spent most of my time talking to God more than to people.

--Elie Wiesel


silhouette of trees during sunset

Whatever we thought was certain is no longer certain, and therefore in science probably certain things must be correct, but in human behaviour I am not so sure.

--Elie Wiesel

black mountain under blue sky during night time

It was like a page torn from a history book, from some historical novel about the captivity of babylon or Spanish Inquisition.

--Elie Wiesel

lightning strike at night

I'll tell you what: I believe mysticism is a very serious endeavor. One must be equipped for it.

--Elie Wiesel



person cooking on seashore

I never teach the same course twice.

--Elie Wiesel




yellow lights between trees

No human being is illegal.

--Elie Wiesel

Longer Version:

No human being is illegal. That is a contradiction in terms. Human beings can be beautiful or more beautiful, they can be fat or skinny, they can be right or wrong, but illegal? How can a human being be illegal?



woman standing on forest

Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds.

--Elie Wiesel


woman in black tank top

I remember, May 1944: I was 15-and-a-half, and I was thrown into a haunted universe where the story of the human adventure seemed to swing irrevocably between horror and malediction.

--Elie Wiesel

photo of gray elephant on grass

You cannot write in more than one language. Words don't come out as well.

--Elie Wiesel

yellow background

I decided to devote my life to telling the story because I felt that having survived I owe something to the dead. and anyone who does not remember betrays them again.

--Elie Wiesel

selective focus photography of pink petaled flower

We must not see any person as an abstraction. Instead, we must see in every person a universe with its own secrets, with its own treasures, with its own sources of anguish, and with some measure of triumph.

--Elie Wiesel


closeup photography of brown and gray concrete bricks

We are all teachers, or should be. Anyone who relays experience to another person is a teacher. Not to transmit your experience is to betray it.

--Elie Wiesel

orange moon during nighttime

There are victories of the soul and spirit. Sometimes, even if you lose, you win.

--Elie Wiesel

blue boat on sand near body of water during daytime

There is a coalition of anti-Semitism today, the extreme left, the extreme right and in the middle the huge corpus of Islam. I'm worried, I go around with a very heavy heart.

--Elie Wiesel

person wearing black leather shoe

I think that human beings are capable of the worst things possible.

--Elie Wiesel

Longer Version:

I think that human beings are capable of the worst things possible and they show that there were times, and there probably are times, that it is human to be inhuman.



woman in black shirt standing on yellow flower field during daytime

Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil.

--Elie Wiesel




seashore during golden hour

What does mysticism really mean? It means the way to attain knowledge. It's close to philosophy, except in philosophy you go horizontally while in mysticism you go vertically.

--Elie Wiesel

aerial photography of mountain range covered with snow under white and blue sky at daytime

Just as man cannot live without dreams, he cannot live without hope. If dreams reflect the past, hope summons the future.

--Elie Wiesel

landscape photography of waves and clouds

The Jewish tradition of learning-is learning. Adam chose knowledge instead of immortality.

--Elie Wiesel



rock formation in body of water

For us it's not easy to be conformist, I cannot stand to be conformist, I don't accept what it is, I like to say no. If I see an injustice I scream.

--Elie Wiesel

man and woman kissing

Christians call it the "Sacrifice of Isaac," and Jews call it the "Binding of Isaac.

--Elie Wiesel

high-angle photography of beach side

A Jew must be sensitive to the pain of all human beings. A Jew cannot remain indifferent to human suffering... The mission of the Jewish people has never been to make the world more Jewish, but to make it more human.

--Elie Wiesel

None

It's clear to me that one can't be Jewish without Israel. Religious or non-religious, Zionist or non-Zionist, Ashkenazi or Sephardic -- all these will not exist without Israel.

--Elie Wiesel

3 women playing soccer on green grass field during daytime

The Bible is not only laws, it's also stories.

--Elie Wiesel

empty concrete road covered surrounded by tall tress with sun rays

You would be amazed at the number of doors a Nobel Prize opens.

--Elie Wiesel

pink cherry blossom tree under blue sky during daytime

There is divine beauty in learning... To learn means to accept the postulate that life did not begin at my birth. Others have been here before me, and I walk in their footsteps.

--Elie Wiesel

pink and orange paints

Now, when I hear that Christians are getting together in order to defend the people of Israel, of course it brings joy to my heart. And it simply says, look, people have learned from history.

--Elie Wiesel

green ceramic mug on wooden desk

Oh, it is not death that frightens me, but the impossibility of imparting some meaning to my past.

--Elie Wiesel

mountains with trees under white star at night

I write to understand as much as to be understood.

--Elie Wiesel


Arizona landscape

Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

--Elie Wiesel

blue and white water waves

It is up to us to determine whether the years ahead will be for humankind a curse or a blessing. We always must remember that it is given to men and women to choose life and living, not death and destruction.

--Elie Wiesel


brown and white humming bird

When a person doesn't have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude.

--Elie Wiesel


silhouette of trees near body of water during sunset

In any society, fanatics who hate don't hate only me -- they hate you, too. They hate everybody.

--Elie Wiesel

yellow flower field near bare trees during daytime

The deeper the nostalgia and the more complete the fear, the purer, the richer the word and the secret.

--Elie Wiesel


man in black tank top standing near tree under starry night

In spite of despair, hope must exist. In spite of suffering, humanity must prevail. And in spite of all the differences in the world, the worst enemy, the worst peril, is indifference.

--Elie Wiesel

long exposure photography of lights

I marvel at the resilience of the Jewish people. Their best characteristic is their desire to remember. No other people has such an obsession with memory.

--Elie Wiesel


elephants on green grass field during daytime

We've sort of agreed that the account of Adam and Eve is a story.

--Elie Wiesel


red strawberry fruit on red surface

From the depths of the mirror, a corpse gazed back at me. The look in his eyes, as they stared into mine, has never left me.

--Elie Wiesel


woman standing on beachfront

I was the accuser, God the accused. My eyes were open and I was alone -- terribly alone in a world without God and without (hu)man(ity).

--Elie Wiesel

silhouette photography of trees and sky

Hope is like peace. It is not a gift from God. It is a gift only we can give one another.

--Elie Wiesel


gray concrete surface

What hurts the victim most is not the cruelty of the oppressor, but the silence of the bystander.

--Elie Wiesel

man and woman kissing

The only power to which man should aspire is that which he exercises over himself.

--Elie Wiesel

close up shot of white flower

Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no society, no future.

--Elie Wiesel

sealion surrounded by rocks during daytime

Education in the key to preventing the cycle of violence and hatred that marred the 20th century from repeating itself in the 21st century.

--Elie Wiesel


low angle photography of purple sky

Do you know what laughter is? I'll tell you. It's God's mistake. When God made man in order to bend him to his wishes he carelessly gave him the gift of laughter.

--Elie Wiesel



sunset

I've given my life to the principle and the ideal of memory, and remembrance.

--Elie Wiesel

high-angle photography of mountain at sunset

A religious person answers to God, not to the elected or non-elected official.

--Elie Wiesel


Once you bring life into the world, you must protect it. We must protect it by changing the world.

--Elie Wiesel

brown and gray floral textile

Just as despair can come to one only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings.

--Elie Wiesel

tree frog

Language failed me very often, but then, the substitute for me was silence, but not violence.

--Elie Wiesel



tree frog

Indifference is the sign of sickness, a sickness of the soul more contagious than any other.

--Elie Wiesel

black fawn pug playing with plush toy

In order to fly, you have to give up the ground you are standing on.

--Elie Wiesel

full moon in the sky

Whatever you think in life... think higher and feel deeper.

--Elie Wiesel

feet in stream

Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love.

--Elie Wiesel

Longer Version:

Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing.


white rock formation on sea during daytime

If you make a determination that story of Abraham and the sacrifice of Isaac is not historical, do you throw it away? I don't think we can say whether it's precisely, scientifically historical.

--Elie Wiesel

tree under blue sky

It all happened so fast. The ghetto. The deportation. The sealed cattle car. The fiery altar upon which the history of our people and the future of mankind were meant to be sacrificed.

--Elie Wiesel


green trees beside body of water during daytime

It was neither German nor Jew who ruled the ghetto -- it was illusion.

--Elie Wiesel

body of water during sunset

For the purpose of my life, I don't ask the question. First of all, I believe. I think the Five Books of Moses are inspired. Call it divine. I don't know. But I would certainly call it inspired.

--Elie Wiesel

lighted candle in dark room

And action is the only remedy to indifference, the most insidious danger of all.

--Elie Wiesel





rock formation surrounding by body of water

I think so. 9 11 has been a turning point in American history, there's no doubt about that.

--Elie Wiesel

white textile in close up photography

The sky is so close to the sea that it is difficult to tell which is reflected in the other, which one needs the other, which one is dominating the other.

--Elie Wiesel

gray building

I believe in God -- in spite of God! I believe in Mankind -- in spite of Mankind! I believe in the Future -- in spite of the Past!

--Elie Wiesel

landscape photography of trees

God made human beings because he loves stories.

--Elie Wiesel

white wooden dock on white sand

That is my major preoccupation, memory, the kingdom of memory. I want to protect and enrich that kingdom, glorify that kingdom and serve it.

--Elie Wiesel

flat lay photography of several hanging ornaments

I do not recall a Jewish home without a book on the table.

--Elie Wiesel



pink flower

Humanity? Humanity is not concerned with us. Today anything is allowed. Anything is possible.

--Elie Wiesel

A white stripe pattern made up of concrete facade ribs

Look, if I were alone in the world, I would have the right to choose despair, solitude and self-fulfillment. But I am not alone.

--Elie Wiesel

black fishes

Certain things, certain events, seem inexplicable only for a time: up to the moment when the veil is torn aside.

--Elie Wiesel

bird's eye view photography of trees and body of water

Our obligation is to give meaning to life and in doing so to overcome the passive, indifferent life.

--Elie Wiesel

purple flowers under sunny sky

We believed in God, trusted in man, and lived with the illusion that every one of us has been entrusted with a sacred spark.

--Elie Wiesel

group of camels walking on desert lake at daytime

Bite your lips, little brother...Don't cry. Keep your anger, your hate, for another day, for later. The day will come but not now...Wait. Clench your teeth and wait.

--Elie Wiesel

yellow flower field near mountain during daytime

For me democracy is the only way of life. The opposite is dictatorship or anarchy.

--Elie Wiesel


white wooden dock on white sand

This day I ceased to plead. I was no longer capable of lamentation. On the contrary, I felt very strong. I was the accuser, God the accused.

--Elie Wiesel

black and gray Canon AE-1 camera on gray sand under brown dock near body of water at daytime

Go over to Greece with the Iliad and Odyssey. These have elements of history, and they have non-historical elements. It's very difficult to pull them apart. And I think there's not much reason to.

--Elie Wiesel

brown and gray brick wall

For nearly 3,500 years Exodus has left such an imprint on people's memories that I cannot imagine it had been invented just as a legend or a tale.

--Elie Wiesel

aerial photography of forest

I would like to see real peace and a state of Israel living peacefully alongside a state of Palestine.

--Elie Wiesel

sunset

When has religion ever been unifying? Religion has introduced many wars in this world, enough bloodshed and violence.

--Elie Wiesel


woman on seashore near island under blue sky

We must see in every person a universe with its own secrets, with its own treasures, with its own sources of anguish, and with some measure of triumph.

--Elie Wiesel

white pendant lamp

We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silent encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

--Elie Wiesel


Bryce Canyon National Park Sunrise Point at Utah

We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

--Elie Wiesel

None

Most people think that shadows follow, precede or surround beings or objects. The truth is that they also surround words, ideas, desires, deeds, impulses and memories.

--Elie Wiesel

pink and white flower in close up photography

Mankind needs peace more than ever, for our entire planet, threatened by nuclear war, is in danger of total destruction. A destruction only man can provoke, only man can prevent.

--Elie Wiesel

sealion surrounded by rocks during daytime

You're shaking … so am I. It's because of Jerusalem, isn't it? One doesn't go to Jerusalem, one returns to it. That's one of its mysteries.

--Elie Wiesel


None

No one may speak for the dead, no one may interpret their mutilated dreams and visions.

--Elie Wiesel

brown and white butterfly on purple petaled flower

I will say, with memoir, you must be honest. You must be truthful.

--Elie Wiesel

black and gray floral textile

I developed an anger at Moses Mendelssohn. Later, I read the book. I realized there was nothing subversive in it.

--Elie Wiesel

people raises hands

I have one request: may I never use my reason against truth.

--Elie Wiesel

American Eagles during daytime

Think higher, feel deeper.

--Elie Wiesel

brown trees under blue sky during daytime

Love makes everything complicated.

--Elie Wiesel

red and black floral textile

If I were in the government, I would persuade the prime minister to see the beauty in the fact that people see Israel as a haven -- from their sadness to their hope.

--Elie Wiesel

women's black and pink monokini

I think Sacrifice of Isaac is the most important event in the Bible except for Sinai.

--Elie Wiesel


photography of white sky at golden hour

The only place where I felt at home, on familiar ground, was the Jewish cemetery. And yet I had never set foot in it before. Children had been forbidden to enter.

--Elie Wiesel

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Only fanatics -- in religion as well as in politics -- can find a meaning in someone else's death.

--Elie Wiesel

golden retriever inside car

The story of Abraham and the sacrifice of Isaac are nowhere in any other tradition.

--Elie Wiesel


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The impact of the holocaust on believers as well as unbelievers, on Jews as well as Christians, has not yet been evaluated. Not deeply, not enough.

--Elie Wiesel

sunset

I belong to a tradition that believes that the death of a single child is a blemish on creation.

--Elie Wiesel

sunset

Life is not a fist. Life is an open hand waiting for some other hand to enter it.

--Elie Wiesel

green water in close up photography

I don't like docudramas. Documentaries should not go together with fiction, or half-fiction or quarter-fiction. The two should not go together. They cannot mix.

--Elie Wiesel

brown mountain

Whoever survives a test, whatever it may be, must tell the story. That is his duty.

--Elie Wiesel

black Corona typewriter on brown wood planks

A holy war is a contradiction in terms. War dehumanizes, war diminishes, war debases all those who wage it.

--Elie Wiesel

A white stripe pattern made up of concrete facade ribs

Historically, I come from Jewish history. I had the classic upbringing in the Yeshiva, learning, learning, and more learning.

--Elie Wiesel

sealion surrounded by rocks during daytime

What I don't like today is, to put it coarsely, the phony Hasidism, the phony mysticism. Many students say, "Teach me mysticism." It's a joke.

--Elie Wiesel

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