Elie Wiesel Quotes

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

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.

Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing.

No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them.

When a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude.

Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.

Peace is our gift to each other.

Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil.

Once you bring life into the world, you must protect it. We must protect it by changing the world.

On speaking out.

Eliezer “Elie” Wiesel was a Romanian-born American Jewish 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 prisoner in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps.

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides.

On indifference.

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, but indifference between life and death.

On racism.

No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them.

On friendship.

Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing.

On forgetting.

To forget the victims means to kill them a second time. So I couldn’t prevent the first death. I surely must be capable of saving them from a second death.

On borders.

When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant.

On activism.

There is much to be done, there is much that can be done.

On time.

We know that every moment is a moment of grace, every hour an offering; not to share them would mean to betray them. Our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately.

On human rights.

Human rights are being violated on every continent. More people are oppressed than free. How can one not be sensitive to their plight? Human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere.

On freedom.

As long as one dissident is in prison, our freedom will not be true. As long as one child is hungry, our life will be filled with anguish and shame. What all these victims need above all is to know that they are not alone; that we are not forgetting them, that when their voices are stifled we shall lend them ours, that while their freedom depends on ours, the quality of our freedom depends on theirs.


Mankind must remember that peace is not God’s gift to his creatures, it is our gift to each other.

Elie Wiesel is a Jewish Romanian-American writer, professor and the author of the bestselling book “Night” as well as many other books dealing with Judaism, the Holocaust, and the moral responsibility of the people to fight hatred, racism and genocide. A Holocaust survivor, Wiesel lost his parents in his early childhood and escaped to France where he studied literature, philosophy, and psychology at the Sorbonne. Wiesel emerged as a noted journalist and eventually settled in America. Catholic writer Francois Mauriac successfully persuaded Wiesel to write his experiences of the “Holocaust” which he did in his memoir “Night”. While his most of the works indirectly address the appalling Holocaust, his literary excellence is often overshadowed by his role of a Holocaust testimony. In his later life, Wiesel emerged as a political activist and humanitarian and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for voicing his concern about the “global crisis of humanity”.

More Info Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity

Leave a Reply

Scroll Up
%d bloggers like this: