written by Larry Watson
His life until he was Liberated at the end of World War II
Eliezer Wiesel was born on September 30, 1928. He grew up with his parents and his three sisters, Hilda, Bea, and Tzipora, in Sighet, a small town in Romania. While he was growing up everything around him was to do with family, religious studies, Community and God.
When he was only three years old, Elie went to a Jewish school where he learned Hebrew, Bible, and the Talmud. He spent a lot of time talking with Moche the Beadle, who told him about the Messiah and mysteries of Judaism.
In 1940, the Nazis took over Sighet, and in 1942, the Hungarian government said that all Jews who could not prove that they were Hungarian would be taken to Poland (which was also held by the Nazis). Moche the Beadle was sent to Poland but he escaped and came back to Sighet to warn everyone of the danger, but everyone thought he was crazy.
In 1942, Elie had his Barmitzvah. He still studied the Bible and other Jewish books, and became more interested to the Kabbalah, which is Jewish mysticism.
In March 1944, German soldiers took over Sighet. They forced the Jews to wear yellow stars. The Nazis closed all Jewish businesses, raided their houses and made up two ghettos. By May, the deportations began. The Wiesel's servant, offered them to hide with her in her hut in the mountains, but they turned her down.
In early June, Elie's family were in the last group of Jews to be loaded into a cattle train.
After four days, the train stopped at Auschwitz. Elie told the waiting SS officer that he was eighteen, a farmer and in good health.