Elie Wiesel Biography

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Austin Anderson
May 5,2013
Mrs. Griffin
English 3 Honors
This is going to be my biography on Elie Wiesel. He’s a very famous man for multiple reasons. He survived the Holocaust which is a very amazing thing, especially since he was at one of the worst concentration camps you could possibly be at, Auschwitz. I’m going to do an in depth biography on Elie’s life from when he was a young boy up until now. Elie has lived a very amazing life and a very fortunate at that, not many people can say they have survived the Holocaust and lived so long after it as well. Childhood

Elie was born on September 30,1928 in Sighet, Transylvania (which would later become present day Romania). Wiesel says “I wanted to come back to Sighet to tell you the story of my death” (page: 5). This was Wiesel not believing he was going to be able to survive the torture of the concentration camps he was experiencing. His name given to him at birth was Eliezer Wiesel. His parents, Sarah and Shlomo had four children. Elie was the 3rd child and the only boy out of all four children. Elie had an interest in learning about Hebrew Literature, he acquired his liking for this from his father. Shlomo was the owner of a grocery store and Sarah was the son of a farmer. The Wiesel Family grew up in a very small village. They used Yiddish as there language they use around the house. Elie learned how to speak Hungarian, Romanian and Germany. Elie as a young boy enjoyed folk tales and mystical storys about Hassidic sect of Judaism. Elie had to experience people on the train that were starving, including him and would literally kill for food. The Wiesel family was on the train to Auschwitz-Birkenau for about three days at the beginning of June in the year 1944. The prisoners traveling to the death camps including the Wiesel’s would eat the snow because it was just about all they could eat because they were not provided anything to eat, besides bread. The amount of bread the German guards would throw into each train car was ridiculously small for the amount of people in the cars. Elie witnessed a young boy in his train car kill his own father over a piece of bread. Imagine going through this being at the age of 15. Elie arrived at Birkenau and spent the night there and then the next day was sent over to Auschwitz. Elie was given the number A-7713, which was tattooed on his arm upon arrival to the death camps. Elie and his family along with other people going into the concentration camps were told that they were a “labor camp”, and that the working conditions were good and families would not be divided. The people told them that the young would work in the factories and the old and sick would work out in the fields. Right before Elie arrived at Birkenau they started to understand that it wasn’t a “labor camp” they were all going to. He and others started seeing barbed wire and he started to smell a strange stench, this was the smell of burning flesh. Elie along with everyone else were greeted by the German Nazi’s and told to leave everything behind in the train and get out now. This is when Elie and everyone else new that they had arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

While Elie was in the concentration camp of Auschwitz he encountered many unimaginable things. It was cruel that Elie was split up from 2 of his sisters and especially his mother. I can’t imagine how it would be to deal without your mom when he was that young. Elie says "When they withdrew, next to me were two corpses, side by side, the father and the son. I was fifteen years old."(Wiesel Pg.96) This is showing how brutal this kind of experience the Holocaust was at the age of only 15 years old. Elie and his father, Shlomo ended up going to the same concentration camp though. They were both sent to a attached work camp called Buna. It was a subcamp of the concentration camp Auschwitz-Monowitz. Elie and his father stuck together through eight long months of terrible living conditions and almost starving to...
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