The death of Elie Wiesel, the Nobel Laureate, author and Holocaust survivor, at age 87 has brought forth a worldwide reaction on Twitter and other social media. World leaders, public figures, and celebrities are paying tribute. Here’s what’s being said.
As the world learned of his death at age 87 on Saturday, July 2, the reaction was instantaneous on social media, a collective gasp of sadness and grief over what we know is an inestimable loss. We often speak of icons and legends and heros to the point that they’ve become almost meaningless as distinguishers. But he was all of these and much more.
The Romanian-born Elie Wiesel survived the Auschwitz concentration camp under Hitler’s Nazi Germany and many first learned of him through his memoir ‘Night’ recounting that unfathomable experience. He went on to build a legacy as one of the most powerful symbols of humanity at his finest; his compassion, his shining example of what we all can become.
He was the 1986 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and in the thirty years since he continued to live his legacy as an unswerving advocate for human rights and freedom. He was also one of the co-founders of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. With his life and his work he intoned the world to never forget. As he himself said, “to forget the dead is akin to killing them a second time.”
Now that he himself as passed away, many took to social media not just to offer the usual condolences and tributes of but to implore that we all remember the legacy, and to remember that his mission is our collective mission. Here’s a roundup of what’s being said.
Elie Wiesel spent his life in service to humanity, keeping the memory of the Holocaust's horror alive. It is for us all to carry this torch.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) July 2, 2016
Elie Wiesel was a great moral voice of our time and a conscience for our world. He was also a dear friend. We will miss him deeply.
— President Obama (@POTUS) July 2, 2016
The Jewish people and the world lost a larger than life individual – Holocaust Survivor, Author and Noble Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel.
— Shimon Peres (@PresidentPeres) July 2, 2016
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 2, 2016
Deeply saddened by the passing of Elie Wiesel, who remained optimistic in the darkest days and pushed us to see beauty in humanity.
— Melinda Gates (@melindagates) July 2, 2016
Rest in peace Elie Wiesel. Thank you for your stories of triumph of the human spirit in the face of evil. The world will never be the same.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 2, 2016
"There are victories of the soul and spirit. Sometimes, even if you lose, you win."-Elie Wiesel https://t.co/xKsHjJEdqg
— Ann Curry (@AnnCurry) July 2, 2016
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) July 2, 2016
Elie Wiesel's life is a testament to peace and human dignity, and his legacy lives on. https://t.co/aY9mYTde8t
— Rep. Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) July 2, 2016
Saddened to hear of the death of Elie Wiesel. A brave soul who saw humanity at its worst & made it his mission to make the world better.
— Gabrielle Giffords (@GabbyGiffords) July 2, 2016
Elie Wiesel, one of the greats of this world, has died. Baruch dayan haEmes. pic.twitter.com/4FR9nGYViB
— Mayim Bialik (@missmayim) July 3, 2016
Elie Wiesel is proof that you don't need formal authority to change the world, all you need is the moral authority. pic.twitter.com/bzFRjzxYDW
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) July 2, 2016
RIP MrWiesel. The soul of our universe. Talking with you was like being with a deity. pic.twitter.com/pnetzgI8BH
— Richard Lewis (@TheRichardLewis) July 2, 2016
Elie Wiesel is gone. Please don't forget him. Please don't forget what he taught us.
— Mara Wilson (@MaraWritesStuff) July 2, 2016
Elie Wiesel: "No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them."
— Michiko Kakutani (@michikokakutani) July 2, 2016
— Lennox Lewis (@LennoxLewis) July 3, 2016
I remember reading Elie Wiesel's NIGHT in high school and feeling my world explode.
— Mark Duplass (@MarkDuplass) July 2, 2016
Reactions to the death of the Elie Wiesel are ongoing, and they will be for some time. While social media trends may come and go, the world has paused to remember the man and his courageous example.
Pictures: PR Photos