MEMRI mourns the passing of Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, renowned author, Romanian-born educator, and MEMRI Board Member, whose singular
voice sounded a clarion call to the world’s conscience to never forget the victims of the Holocaust and man’s inhumanity to man. Prof. Wiesel, who published 57 books including Night, his personal account of his harrowing experiences in Auschwitz, was a relentless champion of human rights and tolerance. Recipient of hundreds of awards and honors, including the Congressional Gold Medal and the United States Medal of Freedom, Wiesel was a passionate and acclaimed educator who raised awareness of hate and intolerance and its perils, through both the lens of the Holocaust and more recent genocides and ethnic cleansings. Cautioning the world against indifference in his Nobel acceptance speech in Oslo in 1986, he said: „Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometim
es we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant.“
In his January 28, 2014 video address on Capitol Hill at the Fifth Annual MEMRI Tom Lantos Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial Archives Commemoration, Prof. Wiesel, an ardent supporter of MEMRI research and one of the distinguished speakers at the event, stated: „MEMRI is an important organization. It is because it gives information that can be found in very few other places. It’s always well-documented. It always gives us an insight into an area – which is disturbing – the other side, those who are not our allies, those who are not our friends, those who are not with us. And so, thanks to MEMRI, we know what they think, what they plan, and this is actually what MEMRI is all about… So, in the years, of course what MEMRI has tried to do is to give us the historical background… Whatever we see now simply cannot be judged in the present, we must go beyond it, and above it, not without it, ever. MEMRI, I believe, is essential… in the world. We need to know more. And this is MEMRI, it always gives us more. So, what we think of MEMRI, we all can say with gratitude that we are glad, we are happy, we are grateful, that MEMRI exists.“
In his steadfast role as defender of the remembrance of the Holocaust, Prof. Wiesel expressed, in December 2006, his deep appreciation to MEMRI for its ongoing research on antisemitism and Holocaust denial, stating: „Thanks only to the tireless efforts of the invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), we know the true extent to which Holocaust denial has grown in the media of the Middle East and among Islamists as well as in other Muslim circles. MEMRI is the only organization in the world that translates and documents this horrific phenomenon. Legislators, teachers and media will be able to greatly enrich their knowledge with its documentary.“
Prof. Wiesel’s legacy of Holocaust remembrance through education will remain a guiding force for humanity against indifference and intolerance.