Jonathan Brun

Ellie Weisel, Man of the 20th Century

I just saw Ellie Weisel give a speech in Montreal. I had read his book Night, which is an account of his experience in and around Aushwitz.

He was 15.

You can find my review Here.

I expected to be impressed by Mr. Weisel, but his discourse, logic and poetics simply blew me away. He was the most well spoken individual I have ever heard. He pleaded for hope, patience and caring. All war is bad, all hate is bad, all death is bad. Only through dialogue and genuine efforts of understanding, will we be able to overcome our differences.

Ellie Weisel mentioned that life is not made up of years, but rather moments. There is not much I can say that would add to what he said, so here are a few of my favorite moments during the speech (which was in French):

Ne laisse pas son espoir devenir le désespoir d’un autre

Don’t let your hope become the despair of another

Les politiques c’est comme la guerre, on sait très bien comment commencer, mais on ne sait pas comment arrêter.

Politics is like war, we all know how to start, buit no one knows how to stop

L’indifférence est un problème central au monde

Indifference is a fundamental problem in the world

Ne tolérer pas les gens, ça suppose une grande arrogance; plutôt, il faut respecter les gens, les idées, les religions, tout.

Don’t tolerate people, it presupposes an arrogance of superiority; instead, respect them, their ideas, their religion, everything.

In response to how an educated nation like Germany went down the path of fascisim :

Peut-etre la science de la propagande a depaser l’education

Maybe the science of propaganda passed the level of education

Les fonctions d’un individu sont remplaçables, mais pas l’individu. Un individu n’est jamais remplaçable.

A person’s functions are replaceable, but not the person. No individual is replaceable.

Ellie Weisel’s Foundation is found Here

Published on November 15, 2006