The Enough Project deeply mourns the loss earlier this week of Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and staunch human rights advocate who was an instrumental force in combating genocide and crimes against humanity in our world today.
A dedicated leader who worked tirelessly to ensure that the catastrophe he and his family endured during the Holocaust would not be repeated, Wiesel served as a moral guidepost for many who had the power to act in the face of grave human rights abuses. He was at the forefront of the Save Darfur movement, working behind the scenes to orchestrate public mobilization and political action, and speaking at the 2006 Rally to Stop Genocide on the National Mall.
"Dr. Wiesel had a profound influence on all of us at Enough. He was a great friend and ally over the years in the anti-genocide movement, inspiring new generations to take up the mantle of witnessing and acting. We will miss him dearly."
– John Prendergast, Enough Project Founding Director
Alongside actor and activist George Clooney, Wiesel spoke to the U.N. Security Council reminding them of their moral duty under the U.N. charter to act concerning the situation in Darfur, Sudan. When President Barack Obama announced the launch of the Atrocities Prevention Board in 2012, Elie Wiesel was there to give opening remarks, introducing the president with testimony about how political will could have changed the outcome to what he described as “the greatest tragedy in history.”
"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe."
– Elie Wiesel, October 1986
Wiesel’s powerful example will leave a legacy of inspiration and action in the face of injustice for all future generations.
Watch Elie Wiesel's speeech at the 2006 Rally to Stop Genocide on the National Mall below.
Video courtesy: Save Darfur Coalition/C-SPAN
Photo: Creative Commons