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Jewish human rights activist Elie Wiesel dies age 87

by Aaron James

The Holocaust survivor, who lost his parents and one sister in the Holocaust, became a passionate advocate of human rights.

Elie Wiesel famously stood up for the plight of persecuted Jewish people, as well as victims of the Armenian Genocide, apartheid South Africa, Nicaragua, Cambodia and the Sudanese genocide among others.

He was also who wrote 57 books and taught at Boston University for thirty years, while also helping to found the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC.

Elie Wiesel said on accepting his Nobel Peace Prize in 1986: "Whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation, take sides.

"Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."

And speaking in his most famous book on the Holocaust, Night, he said: "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.

"Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky.

"Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never."

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