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March 7, 2017 3:58 pm

Traveling Photo Exhibit Honoring the Late Elie Wiesel Opens in Paris, Where Holocaust Survivor Nobel Laureate Began His Journalism Career

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

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Among those who attended the opening ceremony of the Elie Wiesel exhibit was rench ambassador to Denmark François Zimeray (third from right). Photo: Albert Ouazana.

Among those who attended the opening ceremony of the Elie Wiesel exhibit was French Ambassador to Denmark François Zimeray (third from right). Photo: Albert Ouazana.

A traveling photo exhibit launched this weekend in Paris honors the life and legacy of world-renowned Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, its initiators announced.

The display features dozens of photographs of Wiesel’s family and upbringing in Sighet, Romania, and significant subsequent events, including: imprisonment at Auschwitz and liberation from Buchenwald; living in France after World War II; receiving the Nobel Prize in 1986; and Holocaust-commemoration activities.

Called “Elie Wiesel: from Sighet to Ukraine via France and Israel,” the exhibit was initiated by the international Jewish education organization for Russian-speakers, Limmud FSU, and was first displayed in Moscow in August, a month after Wiesel’s death at the age of 87. Curated by Dr. Joel Rappel, founder of the Elie Wiesel Archive at Boston University, it has since been showcased in London, New York and Jerusalem.

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Limmud FSU Executive Director Roman Kogan said in a statement that his organization is proud to present the exhibit for the first time in France, where Wiesel studied and began his writing career as a journalist and, later, an acclaimed author. Kogan said, “His legacy is important for us, especially because of his contribution to the struggle of Soviet Jewry for the right to emigrate. We of Limmud FSU are also waging a struggle for the Jews from former Soviet Union, not in a physical sense but in the spiritual and educational sphere. The work of strengthening our Jewish identity is the struggle of our generation.”

More than 600 officials and other guests attended the exhibit’s opening ceremony over the weekend, including French Ambassador to Denmark François Zimeray, who said that he and Wiesel “met each other frequently and discussed many subjects, especially those related to the subject of universal human rights.”

“I miss him so much,” said Zimeray, a survivor of the Copenhagen shooting attacks in February 2015, the first at the “Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression” cultural event and the second outside the city’s Great Synagogue. “Today we are aware of a serious and dangerous situation of human rights violations, such as terrorism, for example, and therefore the Jewish community tends to close itself and keep its distance from the wider world, from humanity. And this should not happen. We must stay together; it will make us stronger.”

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