The late Holocaust survivor’s underappreciated journalistic work for ‘The Forverts,’ unearthed—including a dispatch from The Happiest Place on Earth
Twelve years after his liberation from Buchenwald, Elie Wiesel found himself in “the happiest place on earth.” At the time, he was a struggling journalist in New York and worked as the foreign correspondent at the United Nations for the Tel-Aviv-based newspaper Yediot Aharonot. To earn some extra money, Wiesel wrote Yiddish articles in Der Morgen Journal, submitted a 26-chapter serialized novel to Der Amerikaner, and contributed a regular Yiddish column to The Forverts.
After several hours of research, I found all of Wiesel’s articles from his 1957 road-trip. More than a year later and after many dozens of hours spent going through every page of Forverts from the mid-1950s until 1970, I have identified nearly one thousand articles that Wiesel wrote that ranged from works of Jewish literature and new books on the Holocaust, to a look at the religious and cultural events around New York, and meetings with Jewish dignitaries and visiting Israeli politicians. I also found “A Visit to the Wonderful Disneyland.”