The interview, which falls on the first day of Hanukkah, features the 82-year-old Holocaust survivor talking about his open heart surgery, being a witness to history as well as the impact of being among the victims of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme. Wiesel received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.
The interview precedes a 2006 “The Oprah Winfrey Show” episode during which Wiesel and Oprah Winfrey travel to Poland where they visit the grounds of the Auschwitz death camp.
In the “Super Soul Sunday” interview, Wiesel says fellow Holocaust survivors are becoming an “endangered species,” but he doesn’t believe the memory the Holocaust will be lost, according to an excerpt.
“I’ll tell you why. Because, you know, all of us who went through that experience considered ourselves as witnesses,” he told the media mogul. “When the last witness will be gone, I don’t want to be that one. It’s too tragic. What will happen? So on one hand, you could become pessimistic that the last witness -- all the knowledge, all the experience, all the memories will be buried. Then what? So I came up with a theory which I think is valid. To listen to a witness is to become one.”
“To listen to a witness,” Winfrey said.
“Is to become a witness,” Wiesel said.
The weekly show features interviews with authors, spiritual leaders and top thinkers; last week, neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander appeared to discuss his near-death experience and how it affected his life.