WASHINGTON – Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel said Thursday that while he abhors war, he believes the world community must confront Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Wiesel, who survived the Nazi death camps and won the Nobel in 1986, urged Europe to put pressure on Saddam.
"I believe it is the moral duty to intervene when evil has power and uses it," Wiesel said. "If Europe were to apply as much pressure on Saddam Hussein as (it) does on the United States and Britain, I think we could prevent war."
He said the Holocaust could have been avoided if the world had intervened in 1939, a time he compared to the current crisis with Iraq.
"He cannot have weapons, I think he has these weapons, because he would use them," Wiesel said, stopping short of comparing Saddam to Hitler.
President Bush dropped in briefly on Wiesel's meeting Thursday afternoon with national security adviser Condoleezza Rice.
Saying, "I am not a man of war," Wiesel said military conflict still must be considered as a last resort.
Wiesel and his family were forced to leave Romania in 1944.
The family was sent to Auschwitz, where Wiesel's mother and youngest sister were killed. In 1945, Wiesel and his father were sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany, where his father died.