by Carolyn Yeager
Discovered! The newspaper photograph in which Hilda Wiesel recognized her brother Elie at the OSE home near Paris.
At the end of her video-taped Shoah Foundation testimony in 1995 (the same year Wiesel’s memoir All Rivers Run to the Sea came out), Hilda shows some family pictures: her mother, her father, her sister and brother, and lastly the one above.
Hilda says (translated from French): With the cap, that’s him. My brother with the cap. That is this picture that I saw in Paris and thanks to this picture we met. I was for several months in Paris, as he was too; and we didn’t know we were both alive—and thanks to this picture we met.
Hilda may have been on the look-out for her brother when she saw this photo and thought or hoped it might be him. By contacting that OSE home that was mentioned in the story, and asking about Eliezer Wiesel, they located him there and the brother and sister were reunited. A heartwarming story, but it’s clear to me that the boy in this picture is not Elie Wiesel. Compare the known Elie in the picture below taken at the same time.