Wiesel, 79, a Holocaust survivor, in his second day on the witness stand, said he only learned of Eric Hunt's motive weeks after the alleged assault last year, KTVU-TV reported. Wiesel said he learned what the young New Jersey man was after from a document Hunt posted on line.
Hunt who faces charges that include attempted kidnapping, allegedly approached Wiesel in an elevator at the Argent Hotel, asked for an interview and then tried to force him into his hotel room. Wiesel, who was not injured, said Monday that he had "never felt such fear" since he was freed from a World War II concentration camp.
Hunt, 24, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. His lawyer argued that the online document should not be admitted because prosecutors had not proved Hunt wrote it, but a judge allowed Wiesel to read it.
"He joined the anti-Semites in saying that the Jews invented their own suffering, their own tragedy, their own death, in order to gain all kinds of things," said Wiesel. "When I read it, I was flabbergasted."
Hunt, of Vernon, N.J., was arrested at a psychiatric treatment facility in the state soon after the alleged attack.