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Elie Wiesel Returns to Auschwitz

January 19, 1988
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Elie Wiesel, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust chronicler, paid a memorial visit to Auschwitz on Sunday, before returning here Monday to open an international conference of Nobel laureates, who will discuss the future of humanity at the turn of the 21st century.

Before leaving for Poland, Wiesel, himself a former inmate at the Nazi death camp, where his father and most of his family perished, said the visit was necessary “to meditate, to say a silent prayer, to close our eyes and pledge to do better.”

Several of the 75 Nobel laureates expected to attend the Paris meeting were scheduled to accompany him on his visit to Poland.

The Paris Nobel conference was convened at Wiesel’s initiative by French President Francois Mitterrand to study “The 21st Century: It’s Threats and Promises.” It will be attended by close to 80 Nobel laureates, including 30 from the United States.

In spite of the heavy Jewish participation in the meeting, amounting to more than half of the participants, it is nonetheless feared that a communique critical to Israel might be issued after the final session on Thursday.

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