The literary world today lost a prolific author to the cold hands of death, Elie Wiesel, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, whose poignant memoir about surviving Nazi concentration camps became standard reading for children around the globe, died at 87 according to Isreali newspaper Haaretz.
Wiesel, who was born in 1928 in Romania, was forced in May 1944 into Auschwitz, where he eventually watched his sick, malnourished father, Shlomo Wiesel, die after getting beaten by a German soldier. He wrote about that, plus the deaths of his mother and younger sister during the Holocaust, in his acclaimed 1955 autobiography, "Night."
Following the war, he was sent to a French orphanage, where he was reunited with his older sisters, Beatrice and Hilda.
Wiesel first took up writing in his 20s, when he became a journalist for French and Israeli publications. Despite later becoming a ubiquitous, first-hand account of surviving the Holocaust, "Night" sold under 2,000 copies in the United States in the first 18 months after it was published.
It has now sold more than 6 million copies, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, which first reported Wiesel's death.