H. Res. 810, Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the life and work of Elie Wiesel in promoting human rights, peace, and Holocaust remembrance

H.Res. 810

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the life and work of Elie Wiesel in promoting human rights, peace, and Holocaust remembrance

Sponsor
Rep. Steve Israel

Date
September 12, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Monday, September 12, 2016, the House will consider H. Res. 810, Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the life and work of Elie Wiesel in promoting human rights, peace, and Holocaust remembrance, under suspension of the rules. The resolution was introduced on July 7, 2016 by Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) and was referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, which ordered the resolution reported with an amendment on July 14, 2016, by voice vote.

 

Bill Summary

H.Res. 810 is resolved that the House of Representatives:

  • extends its deepest sympathies to Eli Wiesel’s family during their bereavement process; and
  • asks for the continuation of Elie Wiesel’s iconic work and legacy as a means to preserve the memory of all Holocaust victims who passed and prevent the recurrence of another Holocaust, to combat hatred and intolerance in any manifestation, and to never forget and to learn from the lessons of history.

Background

Born on September 30, 1928, Elie Wiesel was raised by mother Sarah Feig and father Shlomo Wiesel in Sighet, Romania. During World War II, the Wiesel family was forcibly moved to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Nazi German-occupied Poland in 1944. Elie Wiesel was later moved to the Buchenwald concentration in Germany in 1945, where he was eventually freed. Despite Elie and his two older sisters surviving internment during the Holocaust, his mother and younger sister unfortunately perished at Auschwitz and his father eventually passed at Buchenwald.[1]

Following the end of World War II, Elie Wiesel moved to France to study, worked as a journalist, and eventually earned his U.S. citizenship in 1963. In addition to authoring more than 60 books, plays, and essays sharing lessons from history, Wiesel’s first book “Night” depicted the history of his family’s deportation and internment within Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust; this novel was published in 1958 and has since been translated into more than 30 different languages, reaching millions of readers worldwide.[2]

Later, in 1978, Wiesel was selected to be chairman of the President’s Commission on the Holocaust, which was tasked with submitting a report meant to identify a suitable means of remembering those who perished during the Holocaust. The Commission submitted this report one year later, including a recommendation for the establishment of a Holocaust Memorial/Museum, education foundation, and Committee on Conscience. When Wiesel became the Founding Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council in 1980, he spearheaded the effort that eventually opened the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to the public in 1993. Similarly, Wiesel and his wife, Marion, started the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity to combat indifference, intolerance, and injustice.[3]

Continuing his educative legacy, Elie Wiesel served as a Visiting Scholar at Yale University from 1972 to 1976, professor at the City University of New York from 1972 to 1976, and professor at Boston University from 1976 to 2016. Wiesel has received several commendations for his diligent efforts to promote human rights awareness, peace, and Holocaust remembrance, including the Nobel Peace Prize, Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States Congressional Gold Medal, the National Humanities Medal, the Medal of Liberty, the rank of Grand-Croix in the French Legion of Honor, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Award. On July 2, 2016, Elie Wiesel passed away at the age of 87, cementing a lifelong legacy that promoted peace, tolerance, and a voice for the voiceless. [4]

According to the bill’s sponsor, “Elie Wiesel was one of the greatest examples of good the world has ever seen,” and this resolution would, “…honor Mr. Wiesel’s life and acknowledge the indelible mark he has made on the Jewish community and the entire world.”[5]

————-
[1] See H. Res. 810, at 2.
[2] Id, at 2-3.
[3] Id, at 3.
[4] Id, at 3-4.
[5] See Rep. Israel’s Press Release, July 7, 2016.

Cost

A Congressional Budget Office cost estimate is not available at this time.

Additional Information

For questions or further information on the bill, contact John Wilson with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 6-1811.