Passing of Elie Wiesel

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
July 2, 2016


Teresa and I were saddened to learn of the passing of Elie Wiesel -- one of our most poignant and passionate voices for justice, for remembrance, and for applying the lessons of a dark past to shape and inform a brighter future.

Anyone who ever met Elie could only stand in awe of what he endured and overcame -- and of his ability to respond to the ultimate act of hate with a commitment to love and a universal message of compassion. Indeed, when he spoke, the world was compelled to listen, because his words carried the weight of experience that could not and must not be forgotten -- an experience we each are called upon to prevent in our own time.

Elie's message resonated across faiths and families. He warned us of the perils of indifference and of intolerance. He emerged from one of the darkest chapters of human history consumed not by vengeance, but rather a desire to quell the fires of prejudice and bigotry by serving the cause of hope and leading the pursuit of justice and peace.

It was Elie Wiesel who said that "One person of integrity can make a difference." He was more than qualified to know, for he embodied integrity; he made a difference; and he offered the most powerful response possible to the perpetrators of evil who tore apart the world of his youth -- he led a long, full, and rich life of meaning and purpose.

May his memory be a blessing for all of us.