Elie Wiesel was a patriotic American, deeply grateful for the freedoms and values of his adopted country. Wiesel was born in what was then and is today Romania. During World War II, Romania was forced to cede part of its territory, including Wiesel’s hometown, Sighet, to Hungary. In 1940, Wiesel and his family became residents of Hungary.
After being liberated from the Buchenwald concentration camp by US troops in April 1945, Wiesel traveled to France with other young survivors. He lived there for a decade but never obtained French citizenship. In 1956, Wiesel moved to New York as a foreign correspondent. He became a US citizen in 1963.