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Lot 144: Rare Autograph Letter Signed by Nobel Peace Prize Winner Elie Wiesel
Presidential Letters, Free Franks & Speeches: Washington to Bush + Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts
26 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: Rare Autograph Letter Signed by Nobel Peace Prize Winner Elie Wiesel********** WIESEL, ELIE. (1928-2016). Romanian-American holocaust survivor, writer, political activist, and Nobel Peace Prize winner; best known for his novel Night, which recount his experiences in Nazi concentration camps. ALS. (“Eliezer Wiesel”). 1p. 8vo. (New York), February 18, (1961). To Hebrew and Yiddish poet and journalist SHEA TENEBAUM (?-?). On Jewish Daily Forward letterhead. In Yiddish with translation. ********** “Thank you for your invitation, for your book, and your friendship. Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend your event. The reason is entirely professional: As a correspondent for an Israeli newspaper, I have to be in my office every evening to send news cables. I read your book. I also read Chaim Lieberman’s enthusiastic article: You see? Someone already appreciates your work. With very warm wishes and best greetings. Yours…”********** Born in a small city of mostly Orthodox Jews in the Carpathian Mountains, the community became subject to the Nazis’ mass deportation of Jews. In 1944, Wiesel and his family were sent to Auschwitz, where his mother and a sister were murdered upon their arrival. He and his father were later taken on a brutal forced march to Buchenwald where his father died from a beating just weeks before the camp was liberated in April 1945. ********** After the war, Wiesel went to Paris where he was reunited with his two surviving sisters, and where he pursued his education while working as a journalist. Wiesel was reluctant to write about his concentration camp experiences, but a decade later he finished a 900-page memoir in Yiddish entitled And the World Remained Silent. While translating the work into French he pared it down to a sparse, chilling narrative. Retitled Nuit (Night), it was published in France in 1955 and, five years later, published in English, becoming one of the seminal works of Holocaust literature. He continued to write, authoring more than 50 books while working in the United States as a journalist, and regularly speaking about the Holocaust. ********** “What Wiesel uniquely offered was entry into an experience, into the darkness of the Holocaust and the shadows that remain in its aftermath. For him, the Holocaust was the sacred mystery of our time, a mystery to which survivors alone can be the guide… He was responsible for changing the status of Holocaust survivors from victims and refugees to witnesses with a moral mission, not only to remember the past but transform the future,” (“Elie Wiesel, the Moral Force Who Made Sure We Will Never Forget the Evil of the Holocaust,” Jewish Journal, Berenbaum). The Jewish Daily Forward, is a journal founded in 1897 by Yiddish-speaking labor leaders in New York City. Other prominent contributors included Leon Trotsky and Isaac Bashevis Singer. Despite the decline of popular socialism in the mid and late 20th century, the Forward is still publishing – now in English. ********** Tenenbaum was the author of numerous books including In the Royal Tavern, Feast of the Word: The Greatness of Little Things, A Lock of Hair from Maidanek, Treasures in the Darkness, In the Images of God, Return from Auschwitz, and The Truth Should Be Your Star, published in 1960. ********** Herman (Chaim) Lieberman (1890-1963) was a Ukrainian-American Yiddish writer and critic who wrote for the Yiddishes Tageblatt. He was instrumental in founding the Jewish National Worker’s Alliance, a secular Yiddish school. Later he became an Orthodox Jew and wrote essays critical of left-wing Yiddish authors, including The Christianity of Shalom Asch and A House on Fire: Is American Jewry Destroying Itself? ********** Neatly penned. Folded into thirds and in very good condition. Accompanied by the original envelope. Rare.