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Nobel Lecture: Hope, Despair and Memory

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The title of the speech is Nobel Lecture: Hope, Despair and Memory. This is an acceptance speech delivered by Elie Wiesel on the 10th of December 1986 when he accepted his Nobel Peace Prize in the Oslo City Hall, Norway. In his speech, Wiesel explores the atrocities of the Holocaust and other grounds upon which the people in the Hitler German were oppressed.

With this in mind, the speech points out that no one has the right to represent the people that died during the Holocaust. It happened indeed and extinguished the lives and dreams of many people. In spite of this, their presence will always be felt. Wiesel states that “I sense their presence. I always do—and at this moment more than ever” (paragraph 2). This means that these people were relatives and friends to other persons. He further asserts that “I remember: it happened yesterday, or eternities ago.” (paragraph 4). The torture and deaths that took place under Hitler’s reign are still in the memories of people. They, in fact, were so evil that they left people doubting they happened.

In a similar light, the world should take action in case of any acts of oppression and inhumanity. This is because, if they forget, they only create room and promote more evil to be done in the world. Wiesel expresses that he was asked “what have you done with my future, what have you done with your life?” (paragraph 6). This implies that if the world ignores such events, there is no future for humankind. He goes on to state that “neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim” (paragraph 7) encouraging people to take a stand against discriminative oppression. It is the only way discrimination can end.

Summing up the above two issues, the people who suffered and died during the Holocaust will always be in the memory of others and in history and to avoid this, the world must take a stand. It is due to the suffering of the Jewish people that the world felt violated. To avoid a repeat of this, the world should stand up against such discriminatory acts.

In conclusion, the Nobel Lecture: Hope, Despair and Memory was an acceptance speech made by Elie Wiesel. Wiesel made it clear that the world had not forgotten the suffering of the Jews under Hitler. The world should take a position on such issues as discrimination to avoid a repeat of the Holocaust. Maintaining a neutral stand would not help but support perpetrators.

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