Holocaust Survivor and ‘Night’ Author to Deliver Lecture
Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel will deliver a testimony of his time spent in a Nazi concentration camp during the Holocaust at 7 p.m. on March 7 at the Walton Arts Center.
The event is part of the student-funded Distinguished Lecture Series.
Wiesel has accumulated numerous honorary awards including the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal, the Medal of Liberty and the Nobel Peace Prize for human rights advocacy, according to Wiesel’s Humanities Foundation website.
He was also named a “Messenger of Mankind” by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said Kayln Williams, co-chair of the UA Distinguished Lectures Committee.
“Professor Wiesel is a voice of reason and peace surrounding instances of oppression. His charge in past lectures has been the following: ‘Whatever you do in life, think higher and feel deeper,’” Williams said.
“Everyone who attends the March 7 lecture is sure to be moved and inspired by this fascinating man,” she said.
The presentation will detail Wiesel’s adolescent struggle for survival in the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp.
Audiences should be prepared for a harrowing account of harsh labor and violence, as the lives of Wiesel’s father, mother and younger sister were claimed by the Nazi regime.
Although the events of the Holocaust are graphic in nature, audience members need not worry.
“We anticipate Professor Wiesel to mention his experiences during the Holocaust, but we are not anticipating any disturbing images or material,” Williams said.
When World War II concluded, Wiesel pursued a career in journalism. A colleague encouraged him to write about his personal experiences, which resulted in Wiesel’s first memoir, Night. The novel has since been translated into 30 different languages and deemed a required reading element in many secondary education courses, according to Wiesel’s Humanities Foundation website.
The modern pertinence of Wiesel’s testimony is the portrayal of a major historical event through a first-hand perspective—an angle that is rarely presented within the black and white pages of any textbook.
Audience members will have the opportunity to ask Wiesel questions in a book signing following the event. Wiesel’s books will be sold in the University Bookstore.
Tickets may be obtained at the door on a “first-come, first-serve basis” and are free for students and the public, said Steve Voorhies, manager of Media Relations.
Tickets cannot be reserved ahead of time, but may be obtained beginning at 6 p.m. on the day of the event.
The committee’s goal is “to reach as many students, faculty and staff as possible to create interest in this enriching and distinguished speaker,” Williams said.