msnbc | January 27, 2013
>>> that was pope benedict earlier today releasing two white doves as the world takes note of international holocaust remembrance day . during the holocaust, nazis killed roughly 6 million jews. today, january 27th , marks the liberation of the auschwitz concentration camp by soviet troops back in 19:45 . i want to bring in author and nobel peace prize winner elie wiesel . he is a survivor of auschwitz and a national treasure as well. good to sigh, sir. how are you?
>> thank you very much. thank you.
>> your 1958 memoir told of the horrors and the near hopelessness of your experiences. it's some 68 years after the liberation of the camps. how difficult has it been to make sure that people in this country and around the world, for that matter, remember the horror of that time?
>> well, it wasn't easy. people didn't want to hear about it, and they didn't want to hear about it because after all we deal with something that was just so unprecedented, the cruelty, the horror, the pain, the suffering, the agony, and here we were a few witnesses who managed somehow to remain alive and bear witness. it wasn't easy.
>> president obama , mr. wiesel, issued a statement, i'm sure you're aware saying in part, quote, the united states , along with the international community resolves to stand in the way of any tyrant or dictator who commits crimes against humanity and stay true to the principle of never again. syria right now in crisis, thousands of civilians killed at the hands of government forces in that country. let's start in syria. is the united states doing enough right now there?
>> president obama is sensitive to that tragedy, to the memory of that tragedy. he asked me to accompany him the first time to the washington in washington and each time he was flow foundly moved and shaken, and i am convinced, deeply convinced, when he makes such a pledge, he means to keep it. something must be done to stop the bloodshed, the mass murders which are still going on in this world. if anyone had told me, when i was liberated in 1945 by the american army , that i would still have to fight racism, hatred and if a naftcism and violence, i wouldn't have believed it, and here we are, we still have to fight to bring some kind of peace, some kind of reason, some kind of honor to human history .
>> when you spoke at the holocaust museum in washington last april you voiced concerns about israel . you said in part, quote, in this place we may ask, have we learned anything from it, speaking of the holocaust. if so, how is it that assad is still in power? how is it that the number one holocaust denier , ahmadinejad, mahmoud ahmadinejad , still is president of iran ? he who threatens to use nuclear weapons to destroy the jewish state . how concerned are you about the future of israel today ?
>> i'm, of course, terribly concerned because israel is the only place where jews have after all come to build their own state, 2,000 years after they have lost it to the romans, and if god forbid something happens to that state, the jewish people would not be able to take it, to deal with it, two catastrophes in our memory, it is impossible to bear and, therefore, really, we're committed to the security of israel and we try whatever we can do to help it in honor and in peace. but will still i'm worried. of course, i'm worried. statement i'm worried when other tragedies occur in this world and there are so many.
>> do you feel like this country's commitment to israel is the same as it was a decade ago?
>> i believe so. every american president since 1948 was committed to israel 's security and survival and that goes for democrats and republicans. it is clear. no american president really has ever -- has ever even conceived of the possibility not to be for israel 's survival?
>> when you in israel recently you were writing a new book with president obama . first of all, is that true?
>> we had a plan together. i had lunch with him a few times last year, and we speak and we spoke to each other at two friends do, and at one point either he or i decided why not do a book on it, and it was much more, much about the elections, but we did not want to deal with it or to do it before the elections. it would have become a campaign book so we decided to wait so the idea was there and i think we agreed and one day we should do it. i don't know when. after all, he is busy.
>> before i let you go. really quickly, the legacy, if you will, of the tragedy, of the holocaust. how has that evolved over the decade since you started your work?
>> well, i have began, and i wrote in 1958 , i wrote the cable, and i have published 60 volumes of other things, but if i hadn't written that, i wouldn't have written any other book. i think i do know that the memory of those years must have an impact on our lives and on our decisions and on our relationships.
>> author and nobel peace prize winner , elie wiesel , thank you so much, sir. always a pleasure. take care of yourself.
>> thank you very much.
>> thank you.