Elie Wiesel: Soul on Fire

TBD | American Masters

Elie Wiesel, humanitarian figurehead and author of the autobiography Night, has a life story defined by a single-minded devotion to the memory of the Holocaust, fueled by hope for the future and dread that this chapter in our history—arguably the defining moment of the 20th century—would be lost to time. “Sometimes I’m afraid the tale might be forgotten. Sometimes I’m afraid it is forgotten already. So I’m telling it to relive it again.” Wiesel’s early life was a terrifying journey beginning in a Romanian shtetl, to Auschwitz and Buchenwald, to liberation and recovery in France, and finally to America in 1958. As a writer, he rose to prominence and attained dizzying heights of access to political leaders who sought out both his wisdom and political capital. In the last decades of his life especially, he moved on the world stage on behalf of the oppressed everywhere, all while embodying the Jewish values he believed in. Wiesel’s message was focused on “the sin of indifference,” speaking truth to power, and the importance of not remaining silent when faced with the human capacity for evil.

Night is his masterpiece and most famous work, but his legacy extends beyond his books to his work as a voice of morality and winner of the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize. His gift was his use of words as a writer, public speaker and teacher, and his legacy extends to his students and generations after him who have taken his lessons to heart and helped continue to keep his memories alive. It is essential to champion his story, especially now, while those who knew him are still alive.


Elie Wiesel: Soul on Fire is co-written, co-produced and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Oren Rudavsky, recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and whose film Pulitzer for American Masters was nominated for an Emmy and a Critics Choice Award.