Introduction: the Use and Misuse of Memory (03:46)
Richard D. Heffner welcomes writer and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel. Wiesel explains the importance of memory for him personally. Memory can be redemptive or can fuel ancient conflicts like in the Balkans.
Memory as a Human Experience (04:15)
Religion is meant to link humans, but has become a weapon. Wiesel believes that history can be redemptive; remembering the Holocaust will prevent a similar tragedy from occurring. Killing 1.5 million Jewish children prevented humanity from progressing.
Valuing Human Beings (02:36)
Wiesel does not believe evil will be eradicated, but has faith in humanity. Everyone is unique and irreplaceable.
Selective Historical Memory (05:02)
Wiesel discusses how Germany's tradition of philosophy, culture and art was unable to deter the Nazis from committing genocide. He believes black South Africans will eventually move forward and heal in post-apartheid society, as did Jews in Palestine.
Memory as a Homeland (03:08)
Wiesel reminded himself of his humanity after the Holocaust, to preserve his sanity and life. He took solace in remembering his deceased loved ones. He believes people will eventually tire of living in the present.
Weight of Words (03:14)
Wiesel hopes his writing will inspire someone to change their life or community. He talks about his struggle with pessimism and discusses how memory has functioned as a survival mechanism for the Jewish people.
Losing Historical Memory (03:29)
Heffner says Americans are less aware of their heritage. Wiesel quotes a Hasidic story in which a teacher encourages a student to improve the world. He proposes a project for elementary students to interview elderly people about their childhood.
Credits: Episode 2: The Use and Misuse of Memory (00:47)
Credits: Episode 2: The Use and Misuse of Memory
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