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Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel speaks April 12 at Vanderbilt University

by Apr. 6, 2010, 11:23 AM

Elie Wiesel, author and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, will speak at Vanderbilt University Monday, April 12, at 7 p.m. at Langford Auditorium.

Tickets for the event are free and are required for entry. Tickets are available now at the Sarratt Student Center box office only. Tickets must be picked up in person. Those interested may only pick up two tickets per person.

The event is part of the university’s Project Dialogue series, a yearlong, university-wide program that seeks to involve the community in public debate and discussion. The program also attempts to connect classroom learning with larger societal issues. The theme for this year’s Project Dialogue is “Civility and Justice for Whom?”

A Holocaust survivor, Wiesel has spent much of his life working on behalf of oppressed people – defending human rights and peace throughout the world. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992.

His work has also earned him the United States Congressional Gold Medal, the Medal of Liberty Award, the rank of Grand-Croix in the French Legion of Honor, an honorary Knighthood of the British Empire awarded by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II and the National Humanities Medal.

He is also the recipient of more than 120 honorary degrees from institutions of higher learning in the United States, Europe and Israel. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter appointed Wiesel chairman of the President’s Commission on the Holocaust. In 1980, he became founding chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, which created the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

An award-winning author, Wiesel has published more than 50 books including A Beggar in Jerusalem, The Testament and The Fifth Son. His latest book, The Sonderberg Case, will be released this summer.

Born in Sighet, Romania, Wiesel was 15 when he and his family were deported to Auschwitz. His mother and sister did not survive the camp. He and his father were later taken to Buchenwald, where his father died shortly before the camp was liberated in 1945.

Following the war, Wiesel studied in Paris and eventually became a journalist there. He initially remained silent about his time in the death camps, but would later write his memoir titled Night. Since its publication in 1956 in Yiddish and in 1958 in French, Night has been translated into more than 30 language and millions of copies have been sold.

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