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Elie Wiesel was a survivor who came face to face with the depths of human cruelty, but who refused to loosen his grip on hope.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner was a voice for the millions who lost their lives in the Holocaust. His advocacy didn’t stop there. Throughout his life, Wiesel spoke out on behalf of people and groups who were targets of violence and bigotry -- in Bosnia, Cambodia, Rwanda, Darfur, South Africa, and other regions of the world.

Wiesel died on Saturday at the age of 87, but his legacy as a “messenger to mankind” lives on in the words he used to bear witness to the world's troubles -- and to the importance of being a light for people who are suffering.

In honor of his incredible life and light, HuffPost Religion has assembled this list of Wiesel’s quotes on why it’s important to "reject despair" -- a lesson that we can all treasure during these divisive times.   

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 - Elie Wiesel, Nobel Acceptance Speech, December 10, 1986

 

"I am pessimistic because I don't trust history. But at the same time, I am optimistic. Out of despair, one creates. What else can one do? There is no good reason to go on living, but you must go on living. There is no good reason to bring a child into this world but you must have children to give the world a new innocence, a new reason to aspire towards innocence. As Camus said, in a world of unhappiness, you must create happiness."

- Elie Wiesel, New York Times interview, April 7, 1981

 

"Just as man cannot live without dreams, he cannot live without hope. If dreams reflect the past, hope summons the future."

- Elie Wiesel, Nobel Lecture, December 11, 1986

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- Elie Wiesel,Nobel Lecture, December 11, 1986

"We know that every moment is a moment of grace, every hour an offering; not to share them would mean to betray them. Our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately."

- Elie Wiesel, Nobel Acceptance Speech, December 10, 1986

"People say occasionally that there must be light at the end of the tunnel, but I believe in those times there was light in the tunnel. The strange way there was courage in the ghetto, and there was hope, human hope, in the death camps. Simply an anonymous prisoner giving a piece of his bread to someone who was hungrier than he or she; a father shielding his child; a mother trying to hold back her tears so her children would not see her pain—that was courage."

- Elie Wiesel, Days of Remembrance remarks, April 9, 2002

"I cannot cure everybody. I cannot help everybody. But to tell the lonely person that I am not far or different from that lonely person, that I am with him or her, that’s all I think we can do and we should do."

- Elie Wiesel, "Super Soul Sunday," December 9, 2012

BJOERN SIGURDSOEN/AFP/Getty Images/HuffingtonPost

 - Elie Wiesel, "Super Soul Sunday," December 9, 2012 

"I belong to a traumatized generation that often felt abandoned by God and betrayed by mankind. And yet, I believe that one must not estrange oneself from either God or man."

- Elie Wiesel,Days of Remembrance remarks, April 23, 2009

"I know and I speak from experience, that even in the midst of darkness, it is possible to create light and share warmth with one another; that even on the edge of the abyss, it is possible to dream exalted dreams of compassion; that it is possible to be free and strengthen the ideals of freedom, even within prison walls; that even in exile, friendship becomes an anchor."

- Elie Wiesel,Days of Remembrance remarks, April 23, 2009

Louis MONIER/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images / Huffington Post

- Elie Wiesel,Days of Remembrance remarks, April 23, 2009

 

 

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