He became a leading figure in the Holocaust remembrance movement and was a human rights advocate — speaking out about ethnic cleansing during the Bosnian war, Cambodian refugees and South African apartheid.
“From the depths of cruelty inflicted on him, his family, and so many millions of Jews and others during the Holocaust, Elie Wiesel went on to dedicate his life to the pursuit of human rights, and to heed the lessons of history, said the Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, dean of Washington National Cathedral, in the news release.
“The presence of Wiesel’s likeness alongside other prominent human rights defenders from multiple faith traditions underscores the Cathedral’s commitment to standing up against hatred, bigotry and antisemitism,” the statement said.
Cathedral stone carver Sean Callahan created the bust and Wiesel’s family was consulted on its design, the statement said.
Wiesel’s widow, Marion, is the vice president of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. She said he worked to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and to help keep other communities from suffering the same fate.
“Not only does his presence in the National Cathedral memorialize his life and honor his commitment to human rights; it also ensures that new generations will learn from his teachings and carry the lessons of his life forward into the future,” she said in the statement.
A dedication ceremony for the bust will be held in the fall, the cathedral said.