Hilda and Beatrice Wiesel, Elie’s older sisters, survived their imprisonment at Auschwitz, met Wiesel after the camps were freed, and eventually moved to North America. Tzipora Wiesel, Wiesel’s younger sister, perished in Auschwitz.
The Nazis deported the entire Jewish village of Sighet, Hungary, to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp on May 6, 1944, when Wiesel was 15 years old. Wiesel was jailed along with his parents and three sisters. Wiesel joined his father to the Buna labour camp, apart from his mother and sisters. They worked under horrible conditions for months, being transported from camp to camp.
Wiesel’s father died in Buchenwald in early 1945, just before the camp was freed by the Americans. Wiesel glanced through a list of Buchenwald survivors but couldn’t discover his sisters’ names. He learned that his sister Hilda was alive and searching for him when he went to an orphanage in Paris.
She informed him she had been engaged and relocated to France because she feared he was dead when they were reunited. He was reunited with Beatrice in Antwerp, Belgium, over a year later.
At Auschwitz, Wiesel’s mother and younger sister both died. Wiesel remarked in an interview that he always carried a photo of Tzipora with him and that speaking of her was the only time he ever sobbed. She was only 7 years old when she was abducted and killed.
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