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Wiesel in the UK

by: Ben Simons - Last updated: 2006-12-01

Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel

Noted Holocaust survivor and writer Elie Wiesel has arrived in the UK on a short trip to collect his honorary knighthood as well as meet school pupils.

His recognition for Holocaust education in the UK was presented on to Wiesel by Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett on Thursday while in the evening a dinner was held in his honour at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in central London by Yad Vashem UK.

"As a world figure, his influence and his interest extends far beyond the Jewish Diaspora," said Beckett. "He has, in short, done more than any other person to ensure that British children learn about and learn the lessons of the Holocaust," she added.

At the dinner, Wiesel recalled his values.

"I was among the first to write my memories of the Holocaust but that is not enough. It depends on what you do with those memories," he said to guests. "I try to believe that it is because I am a Jew that I must be involved in the cause of others as well because when I needed them, nobody came but when they need me, I will be there.”

On Friday morning, Wiesel visited Jewish secondary school JFS where he had an opportunity to take part in a question and answer session with both JFS pupils as well as schoolchildren from other schools.