What is Elie Wiesel's ethnicity?
Elie Wiesel came from Sighet, a town in Transylvania which at the time of his birth was part of Romania but fell under Hungarian jurisdiction in 1940 so was part of Hungary when Elie and his family were deported to Auschwitz in 1944. Elie was born to Jewish parents in 1928. In her essay, "Jew: Ethnicity, Religion or Race" (Corridors, University of Massachusetts, 2009), Stephanie Merieku argues that it is correct to say that the term "Jewish" refers not only to an ethnic group but also to a religion and a race. Thus, Elie could be considered an ethnic Jew. Merieku traces the dispersement of the Jews throughout the world (many into eastern and central Europe) back to the "diaspora" when the Jews were scattered out of Judea, then a province of the Roman Empire. Certainly Adolf Hitler believed the Jews to be an ethnic group and a race, in comparison to what he believed to be the pure Aryan race of northern Europe. He argues in Mein Kampf that the Jews were an inferior race involved in a conspiracy against the superior Aryan race.