Resources for Teachers and Students on Elie Wiesel
Prepare: Elie Wiesel won the Nobel Peace Prize in
1986. His biography
and the text of his Nobel
laureate lecture can be found on the Nobel site.
Elie Wiesel's Architects
of Peace essay is excerpted from his collection of memoirs,
And the Sea is Never Full. In this short essay, he discusses
the anatomy of hate, and asks why there is so much of it
in the world.
Explore: Elie Wiesel has dedicated his life to keeping
the memory of the Holocaust alive. He feels that "remembering
is a noble and necessary act," an important part of
trying to assure that such atrocities can never happen again.
One of the many agencies devoted to preserving Holocaust
memories is the United
States Holocaust Museum, which maintains an excellent
website. The museum maintains an electronic Holocaust encyclopedia,
with numerous articles about the anti-Semitism that made
the Holocaust possible.
Write: In his Architects of Peace essay, Elie Wiesel
states that hate represents "the inexorable defeat
of mankind, its absolute defeat." Is hatred such a
relentless force that we should consider it "inexorable?"
Are there practical ways to moderate the destructiveness
of hatred in human relationships? Is warfare inevitable
as long as hatred continues to exist? Write a three-to-five
page persuasive essay reflecting on these questions. If
possible, relate your feelings to the dynamics that made
the Holocaust possible in Nazi Germany.
Extend: The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity
sponsors an annual essay competition, the Elie
Wiesel Prize for Ethics, for college juniors and
seniors. First prize is $5,000. Contest guidelines and entry
forms can be found online.
Additional Resource: Elie Wiesel participated in
the Nobel Centennial Symposium in Oslo, Norway in 2001.
video of his presentation can be viewed over the
internet, free of charge. An 35-minute
interview with Professor Wiesel is also available
Biography of Elie