World Leaders Pay Tribute to Holocaust Survivor, Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel

President Barack Obama issued a statement Saturday, calling Wiesel “one of the great moral voices of our time”

Condolences and tributes began pouring in after Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winning writer Elie Wiesel died at the age of 87. 

President Barack Obama issued a statement Saturday, calling Wiesel "one of the great moral voices of our time."

“Elie was not just the world's most prominent Holocaust survivor, he was a living memorial,” he said. “I was also honored and deeply humbled to call him a dear friend. I'm especially grateful for all the moments we shared and our talks together, which ranged from the meaning of friendship to our shared commitment to the State of Israel.” 

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Former President George W. Bush said he was grateful for Wiesel’s insight on the “value of human life.” 

Wiesel, who was appointed founding chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council in 1980, led the effort to conceive the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

“The world feels incomplete with the loss of Elie Wiesel,” Museum Chairman Tom A. Bernstein said in a statement issued by the museum. “He was a transformative figure who exemplified the very ideals that the Museum encourages all to aspire to—that memory calls us to action. We all bear the tremendous responsibility to carry on his legacy.” 

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Boston University, where Wiesel was a professor of humanities since 1976, posted a tweet about the news. 

“We are heartbroken at the passing of Elie Wiesel. BU is losing an iconic teacher who we were privileged to know. He will be deeply missed.”

"#ElieWiesel taught at @BU_Tweets Boston University for nearly 40 yrs. on Literature of Memory. His students loved him. We will miss him," read a tweet from the Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies at Boston University.

Messages also came in from prominent world leaders.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wiesel "personified the triumph of the human spirit over the most unimaginable evil." 

"His life and work were a great blessing to the Jewish people, the Jewish state and to all humanity," he said in a statement. 

"The Jewish people and the world lost a larger than life individual - Holocaust Survivor, Author and Noble Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel," Israeli President Shimon Perez tweeted. 

Wiesel’s son, Elisha Wiesel, confirmed his father’s death Saturday, saying the family was observing Shabbat and was requesting privacy. The family said a press release from Wiesel's foundation will be released at the end of Shabbat. 

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