Trustees, Staff and volunteers at The National Holocaust Centre and Museum are saddened to hear of the death of Elie Wiesel, the great humanitarian and Auschwitz survivor, Elie bore witness to the murder of six million Jews in the Holocaust and unceasingly worked to keep their memory alive, he died at his home in Manhattan at the age of 87.

Elie Wiesel was born in 1928 in Sighet, Transylvania to a Jewish family. He was 15 years old when his family was deported to Auschwitz. Only he and his two older sisters survived. After the liberation in 1945 they were sent as orphans to France, where Wiesel studied at the Sorbonne, Paris.

Working as a journalist for the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth in 1954, an interview with Francois Mauriac became instrumental in breaking his silence and giving testimony to the unspeakable horrors he had experienced in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. It was written in Yiddish and published 1958 as “Und di velt hot geshvign” (And the World Remained Silent). Under its English title “The Night” it has been translated into 30 languages and sold millions of copies.

Speaking about the importance of keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive to the New York Times in 1997 Wiesel emphasised: ''I believe in testimony more than anything else.”  As a charismatic spokesperson for Holocaust survivors Wiesel became the Founding Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council in 1980. Six years later the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize as a "messenger to mankind," spreading a message "of peace, atonement and human dignity”. His continued mission to advance the cause of human rights and peace throughout the world, condemning the massacres in Armenia, Bosnia, the Darfur region of Sudan and others, will live on in the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, founded by him and his wife shortly after receiving the Noble Peace Prize. In President Obamas words: “Elie Wiesel remains one of the great moral voices of our time, and in many ways, the conscience of the world.”

Dr James Smith CBE, The Centre’s co-founder and Life President commented ‘He was a teacher & philosopher. He went to hell then had the strength to leave us all a rich and profound legacy. The world is much the poorer: we need wisdom of Holocaust survivors now more than ever’