Elie Wiesel - Bestselling Author of Night

Elie Wiesel
Elie Wiesel (c) Sergey Bermeniev.

When Elie Wiesel was Born:

Sighet, Transylvania (now in Romania)

Elie Wiesel's Background:

Wiesel's parents, Shlomo and Sarah Wiesel, were Orthodox Jews. His father ran his own grocery store and was active in the community. Wiesel had three sisters, Hilda, Beatrice and Tzipora.

Elie Wiesel's Holocaust Experience:

When Wiesel was 15, he and his family were forced by Nazis into a Jewish ghetto and then deported to Auschwitz–Birkenau.

His mother and younger sister, Tzipora, were killed at Auschwitz. He and his father survived together for one year, but his father died shortly before American troops liberated the camp.

'Night' by Elie Wiesel:

Wiesel describes his experience during the Holocaust in Night, which was first published in French in 1958 as La Nuit. Night has been translated into more than 30 languages. Wiesel released a new English translation of Night in 2006, which was translated by his wife, Marion Wiesel. The new translation was chosen for Oprah's Book Club, propelling it on to the bestsellers lists.

Elie Wiesel's Other Writings:

Wiesel has published more than 40 fiction and nonfiction books.

After the Holocaust:

After the war, Wiesel lived in a French orphanage where he learned French and found his two older sisters, Hilda and Beatrice. Wiesel began studying philosophy at the Sorbonne in 1948. He became a professional journalist, but refused to write about or discuss his Holocaust experience for 10 years after the war.

Wiesel moved to the U.S. in 1955 and became a U.S. citizen in 1963.


Wiesel is the Andrew Mellon Professor of Humanities at Boston University.

Humanitarian Work:

Wiesel won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for speaking out against violence and oppression. Shortly afterward, he and his wife started the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity to combat indifference, injustice and intolerance.