When Elie Wiesel Confronted Ronald Reagan
tags: Elie Wiesel
Elie Wiesel, who died Saturday at the age of 87, lived a life of heroism and eloquence that word by word, honor by honor, distanced him from the human hell he experienced in the Holocaust without ever quite freeing him.
Even as he became famous, symbolizing the world’s desire to heal from World War II, bearing witness – and confronting the powerful wherever he saw injustice – anguished him. I witnessed the toll his efforts took on him in April 1985, after he confronted President Ronald Reagan, about a planned visit to a German military cemetery in Bitburg, despite 49 of Hitler’s SS Stormtroopers being buried there.
White House strategists had anticipated a great moment, a meeting of two eloquent defenders of democracy: the strapping, perpetually-jaunty president and the wispy, tortured writer, a Holocaust refugee, thanking his President and his adopted nation for championing freedom. Reagan was scheduled to award the Romanian-born novelist Elie Wiesel the Congressional Gold Medal of Achievement at the White House, on April 19, 1985, the 42nd anniversary of the Polish Jews’ anti-Nazi uprising, the Warsaw Ghetto Revolt.
Read the whole article on The Daily Beast
comments powered by Disqus
- Hank Aaron's Lasting Impact is Measured in More than Home Runs
- Hank Aaron's 715th, Called by Vin Scully
- Washington Must Treat White Supremacist Terrorism as a Transnational Threat
- Charlottesville Inspired Biden to Run. Now It Has a Message for Him
- Biden Revokes Trump Report Promoting "Patriotic Education"
- How Tuskegee Airmen Fought Military Segregation With Nonviolent Action
- What the History of the Ku Klux Klan Can Teach Us about the Capitol Riot
- Reconstruction Era Expert On Why Politicians Use Terms Unity And Healing
- The COVID-19 Vaccination Drive May be Slow—But it’s Already Faster than Any in History
- Operation Desert Shirt