Elie Wiesel is a well-known Holocaust survivor
Elie Wiesel is a well-known Holocaust survivor. He gave a speech called “The Perils of Indifference,” where he makes the case against an indifferent response to human massacres and suffering. His speech was not full of hate or bitterness, it hardly ever blames other people, and it is not like his award-winning book, Night, that portrays the Holocaust as the nightmare it was. Instead, Wiesel remained refrained and level headed during his talk. Watching only the recordings of “The Perils of Indifference” will never reveal how much indifference affected Wiesel and others deeply while they spent their time in concentration camps, but by closely examining the transcript Wiesel’s strong feelings are brought to light. From his words, it is clear he does not want his audience to settle for this apathetic response when dealing with difficult situations. Elie Wiesel formulates a logical argument to explain his stance on indifference, recounts personal experiences to boost his credibility on the effects of inaction in the face of other’s pain, and he also appeals emotionally through imagery and rhetorical questions to ensure that his audience will not stand for indifference ever again. In April of 1999, Elie Wiesel delivered a speech for the Millennium Lecture Series in the White House. The Millennium Lecture Series was an event hosted by President Clinton and his wife, Hillary, at the White House. During the series, the First Family brought in various presenters to speak about important issues before the turn of the century. Wiesel’s speech was highly anticipated because it was delivered at a very tense and highly influential time. At the time of the lecture, there was a well-known war that was taking place in Kosovo, which Hillary Clinton described as “crimes against humanity”. It was considered a very similar genocide to the one that took place in Germany when Wiesel was a boy. The importance of the speech was not lost on Wiesel. The speech was delivered for not only the most powerful people in America, including the President, First Lady, and members of Congress, but to Americans all over. Wiesel knew all these circumstances when he wrote his speech, and he made sure to utilize the influential platform that he was given to its full potential.