Regarding the July 3 obituary “Auschwitz survivor, Nobel Prize winner dies at 87”: Elie Wiesel spoke in the amphitheater at Meredith College on a gray evening in 2003.
I remember sitting near a particularly restless group of students, more intent on what they’d be doing later than the words of our distinguished guest. Wiesel looked small at the podium, and he spoke softly. We had to strain to hear him over the noise of the wind and a shudder-inducing train in the distance. Soon, though, even the distracted party girls were leaning in.
One anecdote in particular comes to mind. He said he was often asked if Jews and Christians can live together in peace and harmony and if forgiveness was possible. He mentioned the disagreement between Jews and Christians over the holy status of Jesus, although people of both faiths anticipate his arrival on earth. “Let’s wait together,” he said in his soft yet clearly forgiving voice. “And when he gets here, we’ll ask him. Have you been here before?”
Professor of English, Meredith College