Excerpt from Elie Wiesel's Nobel Acceptance Speech

When Elie Wiesel won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, he gave both an acceptance speech and a lecture. Each included different stories, but both touched on the themes of hope, despair, memory, and most importantly, our responsibility as humans to each other.

Here are all the word lists to support the reading of Grade 8 Unit 3's texts from SpringBoard's Common Core ELA series: Night, First They Came for the Communists, Terrible Things, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, The Diary of a Young Girl, Elie Wiesel Speech, Do Something!, Wangari Maathai, Freerice.com, Public Service Announcements, Famine as a Weapon
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definitions & notes only words
  1. accomplice
    a person who joins with another in carrying out some plan
    Because if we forget, we are guilty, we are accomplices.
  2. endure
    undergo or be subjected to
    And that is why I swore never to be silent whenever wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation.
  3. neutrality
    nonparticipation in a dispute or war
    Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
  4. torment
    intense feelings of suffering; acute mental or physical pain
    Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
  5. interfere
    get involved, so as to alter or hinder an action
    Sometimes we must interfere.
  6. irrelevant
    having no bearing on or connection with the subject at issue
    When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant.
  7. persecute
    cause to suffer
    Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must--at that moment--become the center of the universe.
  8. violate
    act in disregard of laws, rules, contracts, or promises
    Human rights are being violated on every continent.
  9. plight
    a situation from which extrication is difficult
    How can one not be sensitive to their plight?
  10. integrity
    moral soundness
    One person--a Raoul Wallenberg, an Albert Schweitzer, Martin Luther King, Jr.--one person of integrity, can make a difference, a difference of life and death.
  11. anguish
    extreme distress of body or mind
    As long as one child is hungry, our life will be filled with anguish and shame.
  12. stifle
    smother or suppress
    What all these victims need above all is to know that they are not alone; that we are not forgetting them, that when their voices are stifled we shall lend them ours, that while their freedom depends on ours, the quality of our freedom depends on theirs.
  13. emerge
    come out of
    It is in his name that I speak to you and that I express to you my deepest gratitude as one who has emerged from the Kingdom of Night.
  14. betray
    deliver to an enemy by treachery
    We know that every moment is a moment of grace, every hour an offering; not to share them would mean to betray them.
  15. desperately
    with great urgency
    Our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately.
Created on September 15, 2015 (updated September 15, 2015)

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