Nobel laureate and holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel and his wife Marion received the World Jewish Congress’s Theodor Herzl Award on Tuesday at a dinner at New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel.
The award, which was slated to be given to the Wiesels by former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, was in honor of the couple's work in carrying "forward Herzl’s ideals for a safer, more tolerant world through international support for Israel and enhanced understanding of Jewish history, culture and peoplehood.”
"I can think of no more fitting couple for this honor than Elie and Marion Wiesel, who have dedicated their lives to promoting peace and understanding and the security of the Jewish people and the State of Israel,” said Ronald S. Lauder, the WJC’s President. “The Wiesels are a Jewish and world treasure who live and breathe Herzl’s ideals. Their contribution to the understanding of the Holocaust and to combating intolerance and injustice worldwide is incalculable.”
After Eli Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, the couple established the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity "to combat indifference, intolerance and injustice through international dialogue and youth-focused programs.”
A survivor of Auschwitz, Wiesel's fiction and non-fiction books have enabled subsequent generations to understand the horrors of the holocaust.