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Elie Wiesel Speech Summary

Elie Wiesel was born in 1928 in the town of Sighet, Transylvania. He was a teenager when he and his family were taken from their home in 1944 to Auschwitz concentration camp, and then to Buchenwald. Elie Wiesel is the author of more than fifty books, including Night, a memoir about his experiences in the Holocaust.

In this speech analysis, we will take a look at one of Elie Wiesel’s most famous speeches, which he delivered at the White House on April 12, 1985. The speech was given at a ceremony honoring President Ronald Reagan for his decision to designate April as Holocaust Remembrance Month.

Elie Wiesel begins his speech by talking about how the Holocaust has affected him personally. He talks about how he and his family were taken from their home in 1944 and how they were forced to live in concentration camps. Elie Wiesel says that the Holocaust was a time when “human beings were dissevered from humanity.” He goes on to say that the Holocaust was not only a Jewish tragedy, but a human tragedy.

Elie Wiesel then talks about how the world has changed since the Holocaust. He talks about how the world is now more divided than ever before. Elie Wiesel says that the world needs to come together and learn from the mistakes of the past.

Elie Wiesel ends his speech by talking about hope. He talks about how we must never give up hope, even in the darkest of times. Elie Wiesel says that we must always remember the words of Anne Frank: “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

Elie Wiesel’s speech is a powerful reminder of the horrors of the Holocaust and a call for unity in the face of intolerance and hatred.

In his speech to Ronald Reagan, Elie Wiesel tries to persuade the president not to pay a visit to the Bitburg cemetery. Weisel is well aware of President Reagan’s circumstances, so he uses such rhetorical devices as Concession Refutation, Repetition, and Appeals in his address.

By examining Wiesel’s use of these three techniques, we can see how he attempts to change Reagan’s mind about the upcoming trip.

First and foremost, Wiesel uses concession refutation in order to get his point across to Reagan. He concedes that Reagan is the President of the United States and that he has “a country to run.” However, Wiesel quickly follows this up by saying that “sometimes a head of state must listen to his conscience.” In other words, even though Reagan might be busy, Wiesel believes that this particular instance is more important than anything else.

Wiesel also employs repetition throughout his speech. He starts off by saying, “Mr. President, I respectfully urge you,” and then later he says, “I implore you.” By using the same language, Wiesel is hoping that Reagan will begin to understand how important this issue is to him.

Finally, Wiesel uses the appeals in order to get his point across. He appeals to Reagan’s sense of logic by saying that it would be illogical for him to visit the cemetery since many of the people buried there were Nazis. He also appeals to Reagan’s sense of emotion by recounting his own personal experiences during the Holocaust. Overall, Wiesel’s use of rhetoric is quite effective in persuading Reagan not to visit the Bitburg cemetery.

Elie Wiesel makes it a point to express his gratitude for Israel, America, and President Reagan throughout the speech. For example, he says: “We are grateful to this country, the greatest democracy in the world, the freest nation in the world, the moral Nation [of America],” which was likely said in order to make Americans feel good. By using an apposition here (“the moral Nation”), Wiesel attempts to further emphasize just how great America is.

Wiesel also employs logos by providing concrete evidence of America’s greatness- that it is a democracy and free nation. Wiesel’s diction choices throughout the speech also contribute to his ethos. For example, he uses words such as “authority” which creates a sense of trustworthiness. Furthermore, Elie Wiesel’s use of pathos is evident when he relays his personal experiences in the concentration camps and how America saved him and his father.

He says: “I remember my first steps on American soil. I remember very well my liberation from Buchenwald…I was 15 years old then. My father did not survive Auschwitz but we were both alive and free thanks to the United States of America.” Wiesel’s moving story creates an emotional response from the audience and further cements his ethos.

Elie Wiesel’s speech is full of persuasive elements that work to create a positive image of America in the eyes of both Israelis and Americans. Wiesel’s choice to focus on America’s moral character sets a tone of respect and appreciation. His use of pathos allows him to connect with the audience on a personal level, while his employment of logos provides concrete examples of America’s greatness. Overall, Elie Wiesel’s speech is an effective way to create positive feelings towards America.

He effectively uses pathos to connect with his audience and convey the severity of the situation: “There was… suffering and loneliness in the concentration camps that defies imagination. Cut off from the world with no refuge anywhere, sons watched helplessly their fathers being beaten to death. Mothers watched their children die of hunger… Terror, fear, isolation, torture, gas chambers, flames, flames rising to the heavens.”

This is a vivid description of the atrocities that took place in the concentration camps, and it is sure to evoke an emotional response from the audience.

Reagan responds to this speech by saying that he has been deeply moved by Elie Wiesel’s words, and he promises to do everything in his power to make sure that such things never happen again. He talks about how the United States will always stand up for human rights, and he says that we must never forget what happened in the Holocaust. Reagan’s speech is also very moving, and it is clear that he is sincere in his promise to fight for human rights.

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