Suspect arrested in vandalism of Wiesel's childhood home

Romanian police arrest 37-year-old man whom they suspect wrote anti-Semitic slogans on childhood home of Elie Wiesel.

Arutz Sheva North America Staff ,

Elie Wiesel
Elie Wiesel

Romanian police have arrested a 37-year-old man whom they suspect wrote anti-Semitic slogans on the childhood home of Elie Wiesel, JTA reported on Friday.

The man, whose name police did not release to the public, is believed to have written in florescent pink graffiti on the Memorial House Elie Wiesel in Sighet in eastern Romania the words “public toilet” and “Nazi Jew lying in hell with Hitler” as well as “Anti-Semite pedophile.”

The suspect was arrested last week for the vandalism, which was discovered on August 4, according to the news site digi24.

“A person suspected of committing the crime was identified,” police spokesperson Florina Meteş told reporters.

The arrest “comes as a relief,” said Chaim Chesler, co-founder of Limmud FSU. Chesler’s group, which sets up cultural events for Jews across the former Soviet Union and other places where many Russian-speaking Jews live, was responsible for the 2016 memorial march for Wiesel in Sighet.

The graffiti incident “caused pain and outrage all over the world but it is reassuring to see that justice is being served,” Chesler added.

Wiesel, born in northern Romania in 1928, survived Auschwitz and devoted his life to keeping memories of the Nazi genocide of World War II from fading away.

He settled in the United States after the war and helped challenge the widely held assumption in Romania, following decades of communist rule, that the Germans alone were responsible for the Holocaust.

Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, and later he and his wife founded The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity with a mission to "combat indifference, intolerance and injustice through international dialogue and youth-focused programs.". He passed away in 2016 at the age of 87.

In September of 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved a resolution honoring the life and work of Wiesel.

The resolution “reaffirms Elie Wiesel’s efforts to preserve the memory of those who perished and prevent the recurrence of another Holocaust, to combat hate and intolerance in any manifestation, and to never forget and also learn from the lessons of history.”

Last year, New York renamed the southwest corner of 84th Street and Central Park West "Elie Wiesel Way".

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)