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Obama to collaborate with Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel on book

By Alison Flood, The Guardian
Thursday, November 8, 2012 11:03 EDT
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Newly re-elected President Obama writing ‘book of two friends’ with Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel

Holocaust survivor and Nobel peace prize laureate Elie Wiesel has said he is writing a book with President Obama, fresh from election victory.

Speaking to Israeli news site Haaretz, the author, 84, said he was working on a project which would pick up again after Tuesday’s presidential elections were over.

“Obama and I decided to write a book together, a book of two friends,” said Wiesel, author of the bestselling memoir Night, in which he recounts the story of his time at Auschwitz, where his mother and sister were murdered, and of the death march which ended at Buchenwald.

Obama first saw Wiesel when the author lectured at the college where Obama was a student, but the pair became friends in 2009 when Wiesel was invited to join the president on a visit to Buchenwald. Obama said to Wiesel at the end of his speech: “The last word has to be yours here,” the author told Haaretz. Wiesel went on to make a speech in which he said to Obama: “Mr President, we have such high hopes for you, because you, with your moral vision of history, will be able and compelled to change this world into a better place … You are our last hope.”

They are now good friends, and will have dinner together on occasion, Wiesel told Haaretz. “We talk about philosophy, contemplation, thought, but never about politics. He is a thinking person, a person with depth and intellectual curiosity,” he said.

Wiesel, the author of more than 50 books of fiction and non-fiction, would not reveal any more about the new book he is working on. “I am always working on something, even now. But I can’t tell you about it. I believe in superstitions. You don’t talk about a child who hasn’t been born,” he said.

© Guardian News and Media 2012

 
 
 
 
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