April 4, 2008
Contact:
Anna Christopher, NPR

   

NOBEL LAUREATE ELIE WIESEL WRITES OF BEARING WITNESS
FOR “THIS I BELIEVE” NPR ESSAY
ON ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, APRIL 7

Nobel Prize Winner Remembers His Liberation from Buchenwald,
63 Years Ago Next Week



April 4, 2008; Washington, D.C. – Sixty-three years ago next week, Elie Wiesel was liberated from the Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald. His experience surviving the Holocaust when so many others did not, instilled in the writer, teacher and Nobel Prize winner a belief to bear witness to his memories – a belief he shares in the NPR personal essay series This I Believe. Wiesel’s first-person essay will air on the newsmagazine All Things Considered on Monday, April 7, and will also be available to read and hear at www.NPR.org For stations and broadcast times, visit www.NPR.org/stations

Inspired by Edward R. Murrow’s 1950s radio program of the same name, This I Believe made its premiere in April 2005 and features people from all walks of life expressing their core beliefs and values in short, personal essays. Segments air on NPR on All Things Considered and Weekend Edition Sunday, and are also available at www.NPR.org/thisibelieve

In his essay, Wiesel describes his belief after the war, shared by many survivors, that their experiences must be shared. “As a Jew, I believe that whatever we receive we must share. When we endure an experience, the experience cannot stay with me alone. It must be opened. It must become an offering. It must be deepened and given and shared.” He continues: “Yes, our stories are essential. Essential to memory. I believe that the witnesses, especially the survivors, have the most important role. They can simply say, in the words of the prophet, 'I was there.' ”

More than 40,000 NPR listeners have also submitted essays to This I Believe. Essays chosen for broadcast have ranged from revelations about parents, personal struggles, race and identity to the importance of feeding monkeys. This I Believe essay-writing has been incorporated into the activities of schools, community groups, places of worship as well as birthday celebrations. Essays have also been read or played at weddings and funerals. The series is a collaboration between NPR and This I Believe, Inc., produced by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman, with John Gregory and Viki Merrick.

To date, This I Believe essays have consistently ranked among the top emailed stories on NPR.org. To listen or to read past essays, visit www.NPR.org/thisibelieve