Elie Wiesel Rhetorical Speech

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Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate, gave a motivational speech on April 12th, 1999, in Washington D.C., as part of the Millennium Lecture series hosted by President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton. Wiesel was invited because of how his experience was similar to the very recent events of Serbian genocide of ethnic Muslims in the region. Attending his speech were both government officials, and the American public. With the traditional use of rhetoric devices, such as ethos, pathos and logos, Wiesel attempted to persuade the audience not to be indifferent to events around them.
Wiesel, himself a Holocaust survivor, is validated in his interpretation of indifference “no difference.” He shares personal experiences from his past, “A young Jewish boy from…Carpathian Mountains woke up…eternal infamy called Buchenwald.” Who better to relay a message of caring and getting involved, than someone who maintained his character and used his experiences to educate others through his writings and speeches. One could have been transformed to preach hate and the ability to prevent such experiences for others.
Wiesel tugs at the audience’s
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He describes “they, representing the office” as selfish and insensitive to tragedy. For example, during the Holocaust railroad tracks were not bombed, and 1,000 Jewish refugees were turned away. Other modern events he lists also appeal to the logical mind, including assassinations, World Wars, and civil wars, where the listener understands that the impact could have been, if not prevented, at least reduced, if humanity would have become more involved.“Surely they would’ve moved heaven and earth” if they understood the consequence of indifference. Wiesel acknowledges the fact that it is so easy to ignore issues and even rely on others to solve them, but if one is not living to do good, then what is the
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