“Peace is not a gift of God to his creatures, peace is our gift to each other” Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize
Elie Wiesel has passed away July 2, 2016. He was 87 years old. Since the announcement of his death, the emotion has been intense and tributes from around the world have followed, one after another, recalling the memory of the man of peace, the writer, the witness of history, engaged in the politics of his time.
We wish to recall the memory of this child of OSE that was Elie Wiesel, which he remained throughout his life. “Without OSE, I would not be here talking to you …”, he confided in an interview given on the occasion of the naming of Elie Wiesel Children’s Home in Taverny in November 2008.
Monday, July 11, 2016, at the town hall of Paris, under the auspices of the City of Paris and the Elie Wiesel Institute, a solemn tribute was paid to his memory, to which OSE was associated.
Among the many dignitaries present: the Prime Minister of France, Manuel Valls, the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, the chief Rabbi of France Korsia Haim, Elie Elalouf, President of the Elie Wiesel Institute, David de Rothschild, President of the Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah, and Jean-François Guthmann, President of OSE.
Upon his release from Buchenwald, he was one of 426 children and teenagers hosted by France and cared for by OSE. First hosted in the sanatorium Ecouis, in Eure region, in the summer of 1945, where he relearned to live, Elie Wiesel then lived in various children’s homes of OSE in Ambloy and Taverny, strict religious homes, and also in the house of Versailles.
He has devoted very moving pages to this period of his life in his autobiography All the rivers run into the sea … and the sea is not met (Seuil, 1994), in which we read about the shy young man, “in love” with the beautiful Niny, an young educator, becoming an accomplished Talmud student, and later a student with a passion for the French language. The faithful friend too, as during his life at OSE, he has forged strong bonds with other “children of Buchenwald,” OSE children like him, who became his family.
Elie Wiesel is a bulwark against the silence, forgetfulness and indifference: his teaching, his lyrics, his whole life, attest to it. It is now our responsibility to resume and continue the work of transmission that he has done throughout his life.
“Those who do not know their history are exposed to it again.”