A new sculpture commemorating the life of writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel was dedicated on Thursday at a moving ceremony on the Mt. Scopus Campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The extraordinary sculpture, situated in a campus garden area, was created by French artist and sculptor Denis Chetboune.
Among his numerous accomplishments, Wiesel authored 57 books, written mostly in French and English, including Night, a work based on his experiences as a Jewish prisoner in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps. He was a professor of the humanities at Boston University, which created the Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies in his honor. He was involved with Jewish and human rights causes and helped establish the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
The guests of honor included Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, and Prof. Hanan Melcer, former Israel Supreme Court Justice. Ambassador Yossi Gal, Hebrew University Vice President for University Advancement and External Relations and Chaim Chesler, Founder of Limmud FSU, moderated the event.
“We are grateful to Yossi Gal and the Hebrew University leadership for recognizing my father’s eternal connection to our ancient capital,” said Wiesel’s son Elisha Wiesel about the dedication. “We are also grateful to the Klarsfeld family, Aharon Frenkel, Chaim Chesler and Joel Rappel for all they have done to make this moment possible.”
“My father dreamed of Jerusalem as a child,” he continued. “But I don’t think he ever imagined that he would walk those streets one day in a reborn State of Israel. And I don’t think he ever imagined that his story would prove to be such a lasting part of our people’s memory that his likeness would be become part of the city.”