Elie Wiesel, a witness to the horrors of the Holocaust during World War II, died last Saturday.
Mr. Wiesel visited Fresno during the 1980s to participate in Fresno State’s Distinguished Lecture Series. Those who attended the sold-out event had an exceptional and profound experience by the renowned author and Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Having suffered during his imprisonment at Auschwitz, Mr. Wiesel’s message to the Fresno audience, as well as in other venues during his lifetime, underscored the necessity for peace, human dignity and tolerance by the world’s populace.
His entire lifetime was dedicated to tireless endeavors in ensuring the record of Nazi atrocities and the death of six million Jews were not forgotten. While Mr. Wiesel condemned anti-Semitism, he was also passionate in speaking powerfully against hate and intolerance.
Mr. Wiesel’s Fresno visit still resonates vividly during these intervening years. After the lecture, I had the occasion of spending a memorable late-evening dinner with him.
I shall always remember his warmth, engaging personality and kindness. He was open to all questions. As Mr. Wiesel responded to many events of historical significance, the dialogue proceeded with much candor and openness.
Harry G. Harris, Fresno