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Indiana University Press

It Is Impossible to Remain Silent: Reflections on Fate and Memory in Buchenwald

It Is Impossible to Remain Silent: Reflections on Fate and Memory in Buchenwald

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On March 1, 1995, at the time of the fiftieth anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, ARTE (a French-German state-funded television network) proposed an encounter between two highly-regarded figures of our time: Elie Wiesel and Jorge Semprún. These two men, whose destinies were unparalleled, had probably crossed paths--without ever meeting--in the Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald in 1945. This short book is the entire transcription of their recorded conversation. During World War II, Buchenwald was the center of a major network of sub-camps and an important source of forced labor. Most of the internees were German political prisoners, but the camp also held a total of 10,000 Jews, Roma, Sinti, Jehovah's Witnesses, and German military deserters.

In these pages, Wiesel and Semprún poignantly discuss the human condition under catastrophic circumstances. They review the categories of inmate at Buchenwald and agree on the tragic reason for the fate of the victims of Nazism--as well as why this fate was largely ignored for so long after the end of the war. Both men offer riveting testimony and pay vibrant homage to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Today, seventy-five years after the liberation of the Nazi camps, this book could not be more timely for its confrontation with ultra-nationalism and antisemitism.

Author: Jorge Semprun, Elie Wiesel
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Published: 11/04/2019
Pages: 62
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 0.51lbs
Size: 8.50h x 5.50w x 0.31d
ISBN: 9780253045287

About the Author

Jorge Semprún was a member of the Spanish and French communist resistance. He was captured by the Nazis in 1943 and held as a political prisoner. After the war, he was a writer and screenwriter before becoming Minister of Culture in Spain's post-Franco socialist government.

Elie Wiesel was born in Romania and deported to Auschwitz in 1944. He is the author of the autobiographical novel Night, which has been translated into more than thirty languages. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.

Radu Ioanid is Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's International Archival Programs Division. He is the author of several books on Romanian history and the Holocaust, including The Holocaust in Romania, which has been translated into several languages

Peggy Frankston represents the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in France.

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