What Happened to Elie Wiesel’s Sisters?

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Elie Wiesel’s older sisters, Hilda and Beatrice, survived their internment at the Auschwitz concentration camp, met Wiesel after the camps were liberated and eventually immigrated to North America. Wiesel’s younger sister, Tzipora, died in Auschwitz.

On May 6, 1944, when Wiesel was 15, the Nazis deported the entire Jewish community of Sighet, Hungary, to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Wiesel, his parents and three sisters were all arrested. Separated from his mother and sisters, Wiesel accompanied his father to the labor camp of Buna. For many months, they worked under inhumane conditions, being moved about from camp to camp. In early 1945, just before the Americans liberated the camp, Wiesel’s father died in Buchenwald. Wiesel looked for his sisters’ names in a list of the survivors of Buchenwald but could not find them. After he moved to an orphanage in Paris, he heard that his sister Hilda was alive and searching for him. When he was reunited with her, she told him that she had gotten engaged and moved to France because she thought he was dead. Almost a year later, he was reunited with Beatrice in Antwerp, Belgium.

Wiesel’s mother died with his younger sister at Auschwitz. In an interview, Wiesel said that he carried a photo of Tzipora and that the only time he ever cried was when he spoke of her. She was only 7 years old when she was taken away to her death.