Elie Wiesel

Photo: Brooke Slezak

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Elie Wiesel
November 2000

Elie Wiesel: When a person doesn't have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude.

OW: Does having seen the worst of humanity make you more grateful for ordinary occurrences?

EW: For me, every hour is grace. And I feel gratitude in my heart each time I can meet someone and look at his or her smile.

OW: Did you ever hate your oppressors?

EW: I had anger but never hate.

OW: So you don't hate the Germans?

EW: I do not hate them. I don't believe in collective guilt. The children of killers are not killers, but children. And they deserve my affection, my efforts to make them human, to give them a world that is worthy of them.

Read the full interview from the November 2000 issue.