Elie Wiesel Timeline
Timeline Description: Elie Wiesel (born September 20, 1928) is a teacher, speaker, writer and voice for peace in today's world. As a boy, Wiesel survived Auschwitz, later telling his story in a number of books on the Holocaust and speaking out against violence and genocide in Rwanda and Yugoslavia.

Date Event
September 20, 1928 Elie Wiesel Born

Elie Wiesel was born in Sighet, Transylvania in Romania. His family was Jewish and spoke Yiddish in the home. The family was well-educated and active in their communities. His father encouraged him to study Hebrew, while his mother encouraged him to read the Torah.
1933 Hitler Appointed Chancellor of Germany

In 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. This was the first in a series of steps eventually leading to World War II and the Holocaust. World War II began on September 1, 1939.
1940 Transylvania Annexed by Hungary

In 1940, Transylvania came under Hungarian control. The Jews in the region, including Wiesel and family, were moved into a ghetto in Sighet.
1941 Wiesel Began to Study Kabbalah

While in the ghetto in Sighet, Wiesel began to study the Jewish mystical tradition of Kabbalah. In the ghettos of Europe during World War II, the preservation of Jewish culture was essential.
January 20, 1942 The Wannsee Conference

The Wannsee Conference, attended by high-ranking Nazi officials, laid out the final plan or "Final Solution" for the Jews of Europe; extermination.
1944 German Occupation of Hungary

In 1944, German forces occupied Hungary. Hungarian officials were largely fully compliant with German wishes.
May 1944 Elie Wiesel and Family Deported

In May 1944, the ghettos of Sighet were liquidated and all of the Jews in the ghettos were transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Elie Wiesel, his father, and his two older sisters survived the initial selection process and became part of the working population of the camp. His mother and younger sister were killed upon arrival.
January 1945 Evacuation of Auschwitz

In the face of clear defeat, Nazi forces evacuated Auschwitz, beginning a death march across Eastern Europe and into Germany. Wiesel and his father, separated from his two sisters, were taken to Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany.
January 1945 Death of Elie Wiesel's Father

Following illness, starvation, and a severe beating, Shlomo Wiesel died not long before the liberation of Buchenwald.
April 1945 Elie Wiesel Liberated

American forces reached Buchenwald in April 1945, liberating the camp and beginning to provide aid to the prisoners remaining alive in the camp.
1948 Wiesel Studied at the Sorbonne

In 1948, Wiesel began studying at the Sorbonne and started a career in journalism, writing in both French and Yiddish. He favored French as a written language throughout much of his work.
1949 Visited Jerusalem

Working as a journalist, Wiesel visited Jerusalem for the first time. The Israeli state was still quite young.
1952 Reported for Tel Aviv Newspaper

After working for French papers, Wiesel took a job as an international reporter for a Tel Aviv paper. At this time, he refused to write about his experiences during the Holocaust.
1955 Wrote And the World Stayed Silent

Wiesel first wrote about his experiences in the long form of his memoirs, And the World Stayed Silent. A shortened form of this book would become Night.
1957 Moved to United States

Following a car accident, Wiesel remained in the United States. The following year, his most famous work, Night, was published. He became a U.S. citizen in 1963.
1976 Professor at Boston University

In 1976, Wiesel took a position teaching in the Humanities at Boston University, while serving in a variety of other teaching positions at other institutions. He considered his work teaching to be a key part of his career and his purpose in life for many years.
1986 Nobel Prize for Peace

In 1986, Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace for his ongoing work speaking out against racism, violence and genocide. He has remained politically active, speaking at the opening of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and visiting Auschwitz with Oprah Winfrey in 2006
2016 Wiesel Remains a Voice for Peace

At 87 years old, Elie Wiesel remains a voice for peace, cooperation and community.