By COLlive reporter
Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, the most famous Holocaust survivor, has given the Boston University his archive which contains a million documents, stored in 330 boxes.
The archive has many of his manuscripts, among them early versions of his articles, drafts and incomplete chapters from books that were never published, says historian Dr. Joel Rappel who manages the archive for the past 7 years.
“Not all of Weisel’s documents are available to the public,” Haaretz wrote in an article about the archive and its new discovery of a third version of Weisel’s internationally acclaimed memoir, Night.
“Weisel safeguards in his home additional material which he didn’t want to share with the world. Among them are his correspondence with Intellectuals and many leaders, such as the Rebbe of Lubavitch,” the newspaper reported.
The Romanian-born Wiesel has indeed enjoyed a fascinating and nuanced relationship with the Rebbe over the years which he has openly discussed yet not fully divulged.
“I know of no one who has left the Rebbe, even after a moment of yehidut (one-on-one meeting), without being deeply affected, if not changed, by their encounter,” Wiesel said at a congressional dinner held in Washington on the occasion of the Rebbe’s 90th birthday.
In that speech on April 7, 1992, Wiesel added: “Now some of us were lucky and we heard his lessons; we joined him in study, in song. We have seen him with his disciples, we have witnessed his accomplishments.”
He concluded his remarks by saying, “I feel, with a deep sense of devotion, affection and admiration, that we should lift our glasses to say ‘L’Chaim’ to this generation’s Admor (master, teacher and rabbi), whose life and work have been a blessing to so many of us, indeed to all of Israel and the world.”
Despite Wiesel keeping the letters from the Rebbe in his personal possession, one letter the Rebbe has written him was printed in the Igros Kodesh series, published by Kehot Publication Society (volume 23, pages 369-375).
In that lengthy letter written in Yiddish on the 24th of Nissan 5725 (1965), the Rebbe warmly encourages Wiesel to rebuilt his life despite the horrors he experienced in the Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War.