College Mourns Loss of Elie Wiesel

College Mourns Loss of Elie Wiesel

College Mourns Loss of Elie Wiesel

The John Jay College community mourns the passing of one of the world’s great humanitarians, Elie Wiesel, who focused his life’s work on the cause of peace. He was just fifteen years old when he and his family were deported by the Nazis from his hometown in Romania to Auschwitz. Wiesel often said that there are so many lessons to be learned from the experience of the Holocaust, and just as many questions that go unanswered. “How does one teach the real truth of what happened in my lifetime?” he asked.

When Wiesel studied in Paris and became a journalist after the war, he was persuaded to write about his experiences in the death camps. The result was his internationally acclaimed memoir, Night (La Nuit), which has since been translated into more than thirty languages. For his literary and human rights activities, he has received numerous awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal, the National Humanities Medal, the Medal of Liberty, and the rank of Grand-Croix in the French Legion of Honor. In 1986, Elie Wiesel won the Nobel Prize for Peace.

President Jeremy Travis stated: “The extended John Jay College community joins humanitarians around the world in mourning the loss of Elie Wiesel. His was an eloquent voice for tolerance, drawing for inspiration on his own experience with the horrors of the Holocaust. We remember with gratitude his moving remarks on receiving the John Jay Justice Award in 2014. We recommit ourselves to his admonition that the world never again allow intolerance and genocide to mar our world.” 

John Jay College presented the John Jay Medal for Justice to Elie Wiesel in a luminary-filled ceremony at the College’s Gerald W. Lynch Theater on May 6, 2014. The special ceremony included dramatic readings by award-winning stage, film and television actors Sir Patrick Stewart and James Earl Jones. The Honorable Stephen G. Breyer, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, presented the Medal for Justice to Elie Wiesel.

Click here to view the story about the John Jay Justice Award for Elie Wiesel on May 6, 2014

Click here to view the video of the ceremony on May 6, 2014