Home / University of Florida / Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel speaks to more than 1,500 at UF

Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel speaks to more than 1,500 at UF


Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize-winning author, spoke at the University of Florida on Tuesday night. Over 1,500 people filled the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts to hear the 84-year-old Wiesel speak.

The event was sponsored by the ACCENT Speaker’s Bureau and Jewish Awareness Month.

Wiesel touched on his time at Auschwitz but focused more on the importance of current humanitarian issues that continue to plague the globe.

Wiesel said it took decades after the Holocaust to begin to put his experience into words. He spoke of the difficulty of writing “Night,” one of the most famous firsthand accounts of the Holocaust ever written.

Caroline Reist, a senior at UF, said her favorite part of Wiesel’s speech was when we discussed human interaction.

“In his past, he has had so many negative and violent encounters with human nature,” she said. “He still has so much faith in humanity and the power of overcoming violence.”

Wiesel has dedicated his life to philosophy, teaching and learning. He is president of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, an organization he and his wife created to fight worldwide injustice. According to the foundation’s website, he has also received more than 100 honorary degrees from institutions of higher learning and has been the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University since 1976.

Check Also

Volunteers work at the second of three stations by weighing the bags and sealing them for shipment. If underweight, volunteers would either fill the bag with extra rice or take out some of the mixed ingredients from the first station.  (Jenny Clements/WUFT News)

UF Volunteers Pack 15,000 Meals For Stop Hunger Now

The UF Department of Agricultural and Life Sciences paired up with Gator Wesley and the Collegiate Farm Bureau to bag meals for Stop Hunger Now. A November 19 event packaged 15,120 meals with the help of 176 volunteers.