Eliezer Wiesel was born in a small village in Romania on September 30, 1928. His family was Jewish. Because of his Jewish faith, he was brought up to believe strongly in family, religion, community, and God. Life was fairly good for Elie and his family as he grew up. All of that changed when a dictator named Adolf Hitler led his German troops on a quest to rid Europe of all Jewish people.
In 1944, the Nazis came for the Jews where Elie and his family lived. At the tender age of 15, Elie and other members of his family were rounded up and sent to a concentration camp called Auschwitz. Concentration camps were created by the Nazis to house all people they considered to be political enemies of Hitler's government. In truth, they were turned into death camps where Hitler's captives, mostly Jews, were destroyed. Those who were not executed in gas chambers were starved and worked until they reached the point of exhaustion. To survive one of these camps was almost a miracle in itself.
During the next year, Elie spent time in different concentration camps. His father died while being held in Buchenwald. In his later writings, he told of the unbelievable sights and situations he had endured. In his first book, Night, he said, "Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed."