WEST PALM BEACH – Elie Wiesel is a man of letters: Nobel laureate, Boston University professor, best-selling author. But his message Thursday night amounted to four words: “Where is the anger?”

“Everyone talks about racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism,” Wiesel told about 400 leaders of the Anti-Defamation League at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. “But one word is missing: Anger.”

Wiesel, 79, a Holocaust survivor and human rights activist, was the keynote speaker for the National Executive Committee dinner of the bigotry-fighting ADL. Abraham Foxman, the group’s longtime executive director, praised Wiesel for his ability to sting consciences.


Palm Beach Post

WEST PALM BEACH — The talk at the Kravis Center was of hate and anti-Semitism, of racism and terror, as the Anti-Defamation League honored a philanthropist and a sheriff’s major tonight.

But one word was missing, the keynote speaker, Nobel Prize laureate Elie Wiesel noted, and that word was anger.

“How come we were spared?” He asked. “Logically, our people should have developed a powerful anger.”

Wiesel, who lost his family to the Nazi death machine in 1940s Europe, and who told that story in the classic holocaust memoir Night, addressed 400 guests at the organization’s annual dinner, which recognized the efforts of Palm Beach philanthropist Dr. Edward L. Steinberg and Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Major Dan McBride, who heads the agency’s Homeland Security division, for their work against intolerance and hate crimes.

“There was no anger,” Wiesel said. “On the contrary, not only those born after me, but those who lived through it became philanthropists in the literal sense of the word – lovers of humanity.”

Instead of anger, Wiesel said, learning has been the effective response to bigotry and destruction.