Title Image - Quotes by Author Elie WieselPhoto Credit: WikiMedia Commons

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Elie Wiesel. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

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.

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

--Elie Wiesel

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

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

--Elie Wiesel

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

--Elie Wiesel

An indifference to suffering makes humans inhuman.

--Elie Wiesel

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

--Elie Wiesel

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

--Elie Wiesel

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

--Elie Wiesel

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

--Elie Wiesel

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

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

I remember those faces of people who were good I saw that. I saw a father who gave his bread to his son and his son gave back the bread to his father. That, to me, was such a defeat of the enemies, will of the enemies, theories of the enemies, aspirations, here in Auschwitz.

--Elie Wiesel

Man prefers to blame himself for all possible sins and crimes rather than come to the conclusion that God is capable of the most flagrant injustice. I still blush every time I think of the way God makes fun of human beings, his favorite toys.

--Elie Wiesel

We must choose between the violence of adults and the smiles of children, between the ugliness of hate and the will to oppose it. Between inflicting suffering and humiliation on our fellow man and offering him the solidarity and hope he deserves. Or not.

--Elie Wiesel

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

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

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

--Elie Wiesel

Even in darkness it is possible to create light and encourage compassion. That it is possible to feel free inside a prison. That even in exile, friendship exists and can become an anchor. That one instant before dying, man is still immortal.

--Elie Wiesel

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

--Elie Wiesel

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

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

--Elie Wiesel

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

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

--Elie Wiesel

How can a human being be illegal?

--Elie Wiesel

What is the difference between Jew and Christians? We all await the Messiah. You believe He has already come and gone, while we do not. I therefore propose that we await Him together. And when He appears, we can ask Him: were You here before?

--Elie Wiesel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I did not weep, and it pained me that i could not weep. But I had no more tears. And, in the depths of my being, in the recesses of my weakened conscience, could I have searched it, I might perhaps have found something like -- free at last!

--Elie Wiesel

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

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

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

Even if I wrote on nothing else, it would never be enough, even if all the survivors did nothing but write about their experiences, it would still not be enough.
*Response when asked how much longer is he going to write about the Holocaust.

--Elie Wiesel

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

--Elie Wiesel

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

--Elie Wiesel

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

Humanity would never tolerate it.

--Elie Wiesel

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

--Elie Wiesel

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

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

--Elie Wiesel

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

--Elie Wiesel

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

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

--Elie Wiesel

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

--Elie Wiesel

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

--Elie Wiesel

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

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

--Elie Wiesel

Love makes everything complicated.

--Elie Wiesel

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

--Elie Wiesel

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

--Elie Wiesel

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

--Elie Wiesel

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

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

Fanaticism is the greatest threat today. Literally, the 21st century threatened by fanatics, and we have fanatics in every religion, unfortunately, and what can we do against them? Words nothing else, I'm against violence but only words.

--Elie Wiesel

From time immemorial, people have talked about peace without achieving it. Do we simply lack enough experience? Though we talk peace, we wage war. Sometimes we even wage war in the name of peace... War may be too much a part of history to be eliminated—ever.

--Elie Wiesel

No one has written the way Isaiah does. The royal style, the majesty of the language. He is called the prince of the prophets. No one has written like that. I've studied ancient literature, Homer, for example, but it's not the same thing.

--Elie Wiesel

Today again the teacher is the important thing, but on the other hand anti-Semitism is growing today. No doubt about it. All over the world, especially in Europe, and it's true they begin with anti-Israeli attitudes and then it's so strong that it runs over and becomes anti-Semitic.

--Elie Wiesel

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

We're alone, but we are capable of communicating to one another both our loneliness and our desire to break through it. You say, 'I'm alone.' Someone answers, 'I'm alone too.' There's a shift in the scale of power. A bridge is thrown between the two abysses.

--Elie Wiesel

You can do something. You can, even for one person Don't turn away; help. Because those who suffer, often suffer not because of the person or the group that inflicts the suffering; they seem to suffer because nobody cares.

--Elie Wiesel

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

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

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

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

--Elie Wiesel

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

In the word question, there is a beautiful word -- quest. I love that word. We are all partners in a quest. The essential questions have no answers. You are my question, and I am yours -- and then there is dialogue. The moment we have answers, there is no dialogue. Questions unite people.

--Elie Wiesel

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

--Elie Wiesel

At Auschwitz, not only man died, but also the idea of man. To live in a world where there is nothing anymore, where the executioner acts as god, as judge-many wanted no part of it. It was its own heart the world incinerated at Auschwitz.

--Elie Wiesel

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

--Elie Wiesel

How could I say to Him: Blessed be Thou, Almighty, Master of the Universe, who chose us among all nations to be tortured day and night, to watch as our fathers, our mothers, our brothers end up in furnaces? Praised be Thy Holy Name, for having chosen us to be slaughtered on Thine altar?

--Elie Wiesel

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

--Elie Wiesel

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

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

Remembering is a noble and necessary act. The call of memory, the call to memory, reaches us from the very dawn of history. No commandment figures so frequently, so insistently, in the Bible. It is incumbent upon us to remember the good we have received, and the evil we have suffered.

--Elie Wiesel

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

One day when I was able to get up, I decided to look at myself in the mirror on the opposite wall. I had not seen myself since the ghetto. From the depths of the mirror, a corpse was contemplating me. The look in his eyes as he gazed at me has never left me.

--Elie Wiesel

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

--Elie Wiesel

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

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

--Elie Wiesel

All those who love thrillers will find in Michael Alexiades's first novel a source of great pleasure and satisfaction. It combines suspense and knowledge, experience and imagination. His grateful readers will now wait for the next.

--Elie Wiesel

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

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

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

--Elie Wiesel

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

--Elie Wiesel

The Bible is been my passion almost from my youth.

--Elie Wiesel

I don't speak about my pain. My pain is something that doesn't need to be purged. I want to prevent people from suffering. I don't speak about my suffering. Suffering is something personal and discreet. Also, I know it will never leave me. I don't want it to leave me. It would be a betrayal.

--Elie Wiesel

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

--Elie Wiesel

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

--Elie Wiesel

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