35 Elie Wiesel Quotes About Hope, Injustice and Gratitude

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Elie Wiesel

The words of Nobel Prize-winning author, Holocaust survivor, teacher and human rights activist, Elie Wiesel, have inspired countless individuals for decades—to hope for a better future, to combat injustice and so much more. It should be no surprise, then, to read so much wisdom and strength in these 35 powerful, impactful Elie Wiesel quotes.

Wiesel was among the Jews deported to Auschwitz in May 1944, when he was 15 years old. He and his family were later sent to a labor camp and other Nazi camps. Finally, in 1945, he and his two older sisters were freed—the only remaining members of their family. It would be another decade before he shared his story with the world in a memoir originally written in Yiddish, And the World Would Remain Silent. A condensed version of the book was published in French, La Nuit and in English, Night.

For the remainder of his life, Wiesel wrote and taught about peace, injustice, and the value of human dignity. In 1986, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He died at the age of 87 in his Manhattan home in 2016. The world is a better place for the life he lived, and the words he shared with us. 

Related: Be a Beacon of Hope and Joy by Internalizing These 50 Prayers for Peace

35 Elie Wiesel Quotes



1. The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.

2. The only way to deal with suffering is to face it, embrace it, and learn from it.

3. Hope is the anchor that keeps us grounded in turbulent times.

4. There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.

5. For the dead and the living, we must bear witness. Not only are we responsible for the memories of the dead, we are responsible for what we do with those memories.

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6. One person of integrity can make a difference.

7. I pray to the God within me that He will give me the strength to ask Him the right questions.

8. Because if we forget, we are guilty, we are accomplices.

9. Just as man cannot live without dreams, he cannot live without hope. If dreams reflect the past, hope summons the future.

10. People become the stories they hear and the stories they tell.

11. When a person doesn't have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude.

12. If the only prayer you say throughout your life is 'Thank You,' then that will be enough.

13. Men to the left! Women to the right! Eight words spoken quietly, indifferently, without emotion. Eight simple, short words. Yet that was the moment when I left my mother.

14. We know that every moment is a moment of grace, every hour an offering; not to share them would mean to betray them. Our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately.

15. I marvel at the resilience of the Jewish people. Their best characteristic is their desire to remember. No other people has such an obsession with memory.

16. Man walks the moon but his soul remains riveted to earth. Once upon a time it was the opposite.

17. For years, he [Job] would not leave me; he kept on haunting me. His file remained open, the questions unanswered.

18. All my writing was born out of anger. In order to contain it, I had to write. If I had not written, I would have exploded.

19. That night, the soup tasted of corpses.



20. Think higher, feel deeper.

21. In the beginning there was faith - which is childish; trust - which is vain; and illusion - which is dangerous.

22. I belong to a traumatized generation that often felt abandoned by God and betrayed by mankind. And yet, I believe that one must not estrange oneself from either God or man.

23. Those who kept silent yesterday will remain silent tomorrow.

24. A man can laugh while he suffers.

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25. For me, every hour is grace.

26. To forget a Holocaust is to kill twice.

27. Violence is not the answer. Terrorism is the most dangerous of answers.

28. What is abnormal is that I am normal. That I survived the Holocaust and went on to love beautiful girls, to talk, to write, to have toast and tea and live my life - that is what is abnormal.

29. And I feel gratitude in my heart each time I can meet someone and look at his or her smile.

30. Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes.

31. I have not lost faith in God. I have moments of anger and protest. Sometimes I've been closer to him for that reason.

32. We must not see any person as an abstraction. Instead, we must see in every person a universe with its own secrets, with its own treasures, with its own sources of anguish, and with some measure of triumph.

33. In the final analysis, I believe in man in spite of men.

34. Human suffering everywhere concerns men and women everywhere.

35. I did not deny God's existence, but I doubted his absolute justice.

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