Feature

Author of the week: Elie Wiesel

Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel is among the investors who lost their life savings in Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme.

Don’t expect Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel to forgive Bernie Madoff anytime soon, said Portfolio.com. Last week, the 80-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner could barely find language to describe the confessed scam artist who apparently swindled him and thousands of other investors out of their life savings. “‘Psychopath’ is too nice a word for him,” the writer said at a Portfolio panel discussion. “The man was not only a liar, a swindler. He was somehow always more than that. More.” Wiesel, whose charity lost $15 million and who personally lost nearly $22 million, has even dreamed up a punishment for Madoff. “I would like him to be in a solitary cell with a screen,” he said. “On that screen, there should be pictures of his victims, one after another after another.”

Wiesel admits that he originally bought into the “Madoff mystique,” said Reuven Fenton in the New York Post. The two men had met only twice, and when they did, Madoff talked about education and ethics—“Yes, ethics,” Wiesel said—instead of about money. A mutual friend encouraged Wiesel to think that he was lucky to be allowed into Madoff’s club. Now that almost all those assets have vanished in what might be a $50 billion Ponzi scheme, Wiesel says he won’t forgive, but neither will he take revenge with his pen. “It would be too cheap, too ugly,” he says. “I don’t write about ugly people.”

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