Holo Frauds & Quacks

The Fifth Diamond: A Special Jewel in the Genre of Holocaust Horror Stories

By Carolyn Yeager

Copyright Carolyn Yeager, 2010


Irene Weisberg Zisblatt writes of swallowing the same diamonds over and over for a year in order to save all she has left of her family. What else does she say--and why is it not believable?

 

Zisblatt’s autobiography The Fifth Diamond (left) is endorsed on the back cover by motion picture icon  Steven Spielberg with these words: "Irene Zisblatt eloquently speaks and inspires today’s generation with her personal story of remembrance and survival.” Remembrance —does that mean it doesn’t have to be true?

Irene Weisberg Zisblatt (Zeigelstein-Lewin-Stein) is a late-blooming “holocaust survivor-memoir writer” whose life story takes many mysterious twists and turns. She claims that in 1944, at the age of 13, she was deported to Auschwitz with her entire family, where only she escaped death in “gas chamber #2.”

For 50 years, she kept quiet about being a holocaust survivor; then she saw Steven Spielberg’s movie Schindler’s List and made the decision she must add her voice to the great cause of educating the world about The Holocaust.1  In that same year, 1994, she went as a survivor-mentor with a group of US Jewish teenagers to Auschwitz for the annual March of the Living. While there, she says, she remembered and relived her whole Auschwitz experience.2

In 1995 she was asked by Steven Spielberg’s Survivors of the Shoah Foundation if they could videotape her holocaust testimony for their archival library. Her 3 ½ hours of answering questions and prompts by interviewer Jennifer Resnick is the basis for her being chosen as one of only five Hungarian survivors featured in Spielberg’s The Last Days, which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Film in the year after its release, 1999.

At that time, she already wanted to publish a book and had been working on it, she says, since her son was thirteen. She asked Spielberg at the private premiere of The Last Days if the documentary would interfere with her book. He said no, but advised her to “not make it morbid, and don’t make it a 500 page book.”3 She said she followed his advice.

Zisblatt went to work for H&K Law Charitable Foundation as their “survivor-in-chief” who would have the final say on the winning essays in their national Holocaust Remembrance Project. During one of their teacher-training seminars, where teachers get free trips to learn how to teach the Holocaust from "experts" like Zisblatt, she met Gail Ann Webb, a Baptist (as Webb describes herself) high-school writing teacher from West Virginia. They talked about writing Zisblatt’s holocaust memoir.

Still, it took two more years before Webb wrote a first draft of the book as fiction. (Obviously that is what Webb understood it to be.)  Zisblatt explained to her that holocaust survivor stories have to be first-person—non-fiction.4 It took a couple more years of changes and edits, but the final version of the book was published by Artists and Authors Publishers as “autobiography – non-fiction. It came out in 2008 and was quickly accepted in some school districts, including Webb’s own.

“The Fifth Diamond” is so named because the central theme of the book is four diamonds Zisblatt was given by her mother before they reached Auschwitz, and how she managed to hold on to them by repeatedly swallowing and retrieving them again after defecating. Yes, it’s quite improbable, but nevertheless this is what schoolchildren are given to believe—and they do believe it! The fifth diamond is Zisblatt herself, a brilliant light inspiring today’s youth.

The book is 160 pages of fiction, admittedly5 custom written for 13 and 14-year old “middle-school” students in our nation’s educational system. Middle school, the two to three years between grade school and high school, is when Holocaust studies are most heavily force-fed to American school children because of laws passed in many state legislatures by craven politicians hungry for Jewish votes and money, or fearful of Jewish media power. These legislators are also indoctrinated by the holocaust industry themselves, and accept on faith, i.e. without examination, that by turning a segment of their state’s school curriculum over to Jewish organizations pushing their religion-like holocaust narrative they are promoting racial and religious tolerance.6

The situation amounts to forced religious beliefs in that much of The Holocaust is necessarily explained as “miraculous happenings” that don’t follow reasonable expectations for how the world really works. These happenings are outside of time and space in the sense of special Acts of God. Zisblatt’s The Fifth Diamond is full of special Acts of God.

Perhaps this silly book could be ignored but for the fact it’s being read by thousands of young people in several states (Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia are three named by Zisblatt) during their typically 6-week-long “Holocaust Studies” unit, with the goal to extend its use into as many districts as possible. Zisblatt, who leaves a copy of her book in the library of every school at which she speaks, says she is on a mission to reach as many children as possible with her message of the holocaust7, so that “it will never happen again.” She is in a race against time, she says; at age 80, she speaks four or five times a week to whoever asks her, mostly in school auditoriums and classrooms, in community centers and universities.

Considering the reach of just this one small woman (Zisblatt is only 5’1” in height), who she is and how she evolved to be someone who could tell such an outrageous personal story, and be believed, cries out to be examined.

Irene Zisblatt talks with seventh-and eighth-graders at the Emma C. Attales School in Atlantic City after her presentation in April 2009.

I will be using as sources her book The Fifth Diamond [FD], published in 2008 by Artists and Authors Publishing of New York; her 3 ½ hour testimony videotaped on Oct. 25, 1995 for the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation [ST]; Steven Spielberg’s 1998 academy award-winning documentary film The Last Days [LD], and a radio interview given by Zisblatt on 6-15-09 on the Internet-only Ithaca Press and Artists and Authors Publishers of New York Radio Hour, Artists First World Radio Network, Interviewer: Tony Kay [RI].

I am indebted to Eric Hunt for making these sources and many documents available on his (former) website. Without Eric’s brilliant original research and his courageous lawsuit brought against Zisblatt, Spielberg, Webb, and Artists and Authors Publishers, none of this would have gotten the attention it now has.

* * *

Who is she? She says in her Shoah Testimony (ST) she was born Irene Zeigelstein (she spelled it) in Poleno, a small town in the Carpathian Mountains, on December 28, 1930, eldest of six children in an Orthodox Jewish family. Is there any reason to question even these simple facts? YES.

On page 1 of her autobiography (FD) she writes, “My name was Chana Seigelstein,” and never refers to herself as Irene until she says she was given that previously unknown, new first name by the Immigration service before leaving Germany for the USA in 1947 at the age of 16 – two months short of 17. She also doesn’t give a birth date, only the imprecise statement in the Preface, “I was only 6 years old when The Third Reich started the invasion across Europe.”

Yet on the ship passenger manifest8 for her voyage to America in Oct. 1947, she is listed as Irene Lewin, 18 years old, traveling with her Polish husband Alter Lewin and his younger brother Elias.

Records for Irene Segelstein from the Red Cross tracing service and the Flossenbuerg Prisoner List show her born on Dec. 28, 1929, and the former says she was born in Sosnowitz, Poland. The Sharit haPlatah list has Irene Segelstein from Polene, born 1928. The World Jewish Congress Collection on Liberation lists Irene Siegelstein, Polena, Hungary as being 16 years old when she was liberated from Civilian Hospital, Volary, Czech Rep. in 1945. On the 2009 radio interview, she answered a direct question by interviewer Tony Kay that she was 14 when liberated, only she was alone in a forest.

In FD, Zisblatt writes that in Oct. 1947 she received an assignment from Immigration to board the ship “Marine Fletcher” in Bremen, Germany, and “by the end of October, the liner began it’s voyage.” The Marine Flasher did indeed sail from Bremen on Oct. 29, 1947, arriving in New York on Nov. 10, 1947 with Irene Lewin aboard, but no Irene Seigelstein.

Irene Lewin’s destination is listed as 42 Madden Terrace, Newark, New Jersey; the same for Alter and Elias Lewin. Yet Irene’s Uncle Nathan Siegelstein, who she says was her sponsor and whose home she immediately stayed in, lived in the Bronx, New York. In fact, on a 1941 draft registration card, he gave his address as 2141 Honeywell Ave, NY, Bronx NY.

Supporting evidence that Irene Lewin on the ship passenger manifest is the same person as Irene Seigelstein is a DP Refugee Card for Irene Lewin issued in Munich, dated August 1947, which shows her born in Poleno in 1928 (this time on July 28 rather than Dec. 28). If the July date was correct, she would have been 19 years old in late October 1947, not 18; this indicates that July was probably a mistake and should have been December. (I now have confirmation from those who have access to this card that the birthdate was corrected on the back of the card, in pencil, to Dec. 28.) Her former nationality is shown as Czechoslovak (CSR) and she is in transit from Salzberg. How many Jewish girls born in tiny Poleno on the 28th of the month, in 1928, could be on that ship heading for New York? If there was another girl named Irene from Poleno, I’m sure our Irene would have found out and would talk about it … wouldn’t she?

Above: Displaced Persons refugee card for Irene Lewin, traveling with Alter and Elias; notice the original first name is crossed out. On the Ship’s Manifest for the Marine Flasher, the three are marked as traveling together, with Irene being Alter’s wife and Elias his brother. (credit: Eric Hunt)

Zisblatt writes in FD, pg 107: “When I arrived in New York, I first moved in with my Uncle Nathan and his wife, Helen.” On the following page, she writes, “I really enjoyed visiting my Aunt Fanny9 in New Jersey, so after a few months, I ended up moving in permanently with Aunt Fanny and Uncle Morris.”(These persons are all shown on the 1930 U.S. Federal Census.)

So just who was Irene Zisblatt during these years of her youth? Irene Zeigelstein? Chana Seiglestein? Then, Irene Lewin? Should we not want to know about this woman who is speaking to our schoolchildren 4 or 5 times a week and whose sado-masochistic, anti-German book they are reading? She even called herself Irene Stein. When her husband Herman Weisberg died in 1969, his obituary named her as the former Irene Stein.10

One more item of identity: In The Fifth Diamond, her "autobiography," Zisblatt devotes one line to a remarriage (of 10 years) that “didn’t work out” and says after Weisberg, "the love of her life," died, she "devoted her life to her children." I had to really dig to discover that in 1971, less than two years after Weisberg's death, she married Jack Zisblatt of Arlington, Texas—a salesman who regularly came to New Jersey on business. In November 1981, Jack filed for divorce in Tarrant County, Texas. Irene cross-filed, and also filed a third party action against a corporation owned by Jack at the time they were married. Irene failed in her attempt to convince the court that Jack Zisblatt's corporation was community property.11

Clearly, Zisblatt is selective in what she tells and what she doesn’t. Her life story is something she has carefully crafted to fit her new status as a film star and speaker on the lucrative holocaust survivor circuit.

Poleno cannot be found on any map, but it was firmly in Czechoslovakia from 1920 until 1939, when it was annexed back by Hungary. It had a large Jewish population; according to Zisblatt, 60 to 70 Jewish families, all Orthodox, attended the one temple, and there was only one Christian church (ST).

* * *

Her story really starts in 1939, when the Jews in Hungary begin to lose rights and entitlements, like her right to attend the public school (this appears not to fit the historical facts –cy). According to Zisblatt, this continued and worsened until 1942, at which time Jews fleeing Poland and Ukraine for Palestine began coming through their little town, some with terrible stories to tell. The one Zisblatt repeats in her Shoah testimony and public talks—and was used in The Last Days, not only by her but another survivor as well—is this: she overheard a man who spent the night at their house telling her father that “he saw Nazis tearing Jewish infants in half and throwing them in the Kneister river,” which she remembered from school was a river in Ukraine. The next day she asked her father about it and he told her that it wasn’t true, to forget it. In her book, Zisblatt changed that story to Germans killing Polish Jews, including women and children, and burying them in mass graves. (p 15)

She hasn’t listened to her father. Though it’s definitely not true, just another tale passed among Eastern European Jews at the time, she continues to repeat it to the children and teenagers to whom she speaks.

(Another atrocity story that she passes along is the one about SS men picking up Jewish children by the legs and banging them against the side of trucks. She both tells in The Last Days, and writes in Fifth Diamond that she saw through a crack in her barracks wall on her first night in Birkenau: “I saw trucks coming, and screams in the trucks, and I saw two children fall out of the truck, and the truck stopped and one SS man came out from the front and he picked up the children [by their legs] and he banged him against the truck, and the blood came running down, and threw him into the truck. So, that’s when I stopped talking to God.”)

From then on, she relates personal suffering that builds to the climax of her participation in a fictional Death March, followed by a fictional “liberation” by American General George Patton’s soldiers in a Czechoslovakian forest. The most notable contradictions that fill her story are the following:

Brother David dies at home and at Auschwitz

(Shoah Testimony) Zisblatt recounts that in 1943 she lost a brother, about 5 years old, who died of Scarlet Fever. In the same year, her two paternal grandparents also died of natural causes. Toward the end of her ST (@3hr6min), she says she would like to go back to her hometown to visit, because “my grandparents and my brother are buried there.”

(Fifth Diamond) Her brother David, who would have been “about 5” in 1943, is listed with her family members as perishing at Auschwitz in1944 at age 7 (page xvii). In her talks at schools and elsewhere, she thus makes the claim we hear from so many survivors: I lost my entire family at Auschwitz; I am the only survivor.

(Last Days) None of this is brought up in Spielberg’s film.

Friendly policeman sealed up their house

(ST) Around Passover time, the authorities are taking Poleno Jews from their houses and transporting them by rail to the nearby large town of Munkacs12, where a ghetto had been created. Their houses were then sealed up. Zisblatt says her family home was sealed up by a policeman friend of her father’s, with the family inside, in an attempt to fool the authorities and not be sent to the ghetto. She then blames the policeman for “squealing on them,” though it’s clear they could never get away with such a scheme.

(FD) The story of the policeman friend changes. He becomes a “Righteous Christian” with a Jewish wife (p. 21). He offered to seal up their house if they would take his wife in with them. Zisblatt says the wife was an assimilated Jew who had not known, before Hitler, that she was Jewish, and was deported with them. However, she is quickly forgotten in the narrative.

Confused about Passover and their deportation

(ST) The day after Passover, the police came in the early morning and broke down the door of their house. When asked about the date, Zisblatt says “I know it was on the 3rd, it was right after Passover, we didn’t have time to put away the Passover dishes; either April 3rd or May 3rd. Then she said, “Everybody (Jews) was home when we had Passover; the day after Passover everybody was gone, and the day after that, they got us.” Passover in 1944 was April 8th. Other’s accounts contradict the deportation date.12

(FD) They celebrate Passover in their sealed up home; the following night men broke their sealed door with an ax. This time she includes Nazi soldiers along with local policemen who “rushed up the ladder” to their attic, but she gives no dates.

(LD) She says “Two motorcycles was the whole Nazi regime that occupied our town.”

Different relatives in the Munkacs’ ghetto

(ST) When she, with her parents, uncle and siblings arrived at the Sajovits brickyard in the city of Munkacs, her mother’s mother was already there, with her mother’s two sisters and their families, and had made a space which they joined. She says they expected her father’s two cousins but they never arrived. Time spent in the brickyard was one week or less.

(FD) This time, they meet only her mother’s mother there, alone (p. 27). Her mother’s 5 sisters and brothers are listed on page xvii as perishing in Auschwitz but she writes nothing about them except for Bencie, who lived with the grandmother.

(LD) Only says it was raining a lot, and guards with big German Shepherd dogs on tight leashes walked around all the time.

Nowhere does she mention that the ghetto was administered by a Jewish Council, whose president was Sandor Steiner.

Diamonds rolled or sewn, many or just four?

(ST) She says as a kind of afterthought that before getting in the train cars leaving Munkacs, her mother “rolled” diamonds into the bottom of one of her skirts, and into her sister’s skirt. She says, “Of course, my sister was only 4 ½ years old, but I guess that was a way of preserving things. And she said to me, ‘Take care of this skirt. In case you have to work at a different place than I do, and you don’t have anything to eat, take out the diamonds to buy bread. But be very careful not to lose it.’” Now how do you ‘roll’ diamonds into the bottom of a skirt so that they won’t come ‘unrolled’ and be lost?

(LD) Her mother rolled diamonds into her skirt, but not into her sister’s.

(FD) It becomes quite a different story. Before Passover, while they are still at home, her mother calls her over and shows her four diamonds which she is going to sew into the hem of one of Chana’s skirts. These are “her mother’s diamonds,” the implication being this is all there is. She is told to guard them closely, never to sell them unless she is hungry – then she can use them to buy bread. All four diamonds go to her because she is the oldest daughter; none go to her sister.

Trip to Auschwitz

(ST) She says the train doors never opened, they never saw light, never got water; there was one pail for bodily elimination. Other survivors contradict this14 and describe stops for fresh water when the men actually got out and cleaned the pails. Said it seemed like forever, but does not give a specific time of travel. Nor does she mention her extended family being in the train.

(LD) She heard the “cattle car” doors bolt on the outside and they were locked inside for five days. Says, as above, they never opened the doors, never gave them any water.

(FD) The SS forced 100 people into each box car15 and gave them one small pail to use as a bathroom. Again repeats that it was a five day trip with no water, but others who made the trip said it was at most 3 days and they got two pails, one with water.

If it was really as Zisblatt describes it, no one would have survived the trip. But her whole family got off the train and were all able to move and behave quite normally. She herself goes through disinfection and doesn’t say that when under the shower she took the opportunity to parch her thirst. If she were telling the truth, dehydration would have been a major concern at the time.

Sees some or all of her family members going into gas chamber?

(ST) After they arrive at Birkenau she is separated from her mother and two youngest siblings, then sees them get into a black truck. She is led into a shower/delousing building, and after undergoing that process she emerges into a courtyard from where she again sees her mother and 2 siblings, now getting off the truck and walking behind a building that she learned later was the ‘gas chamber.’ (@1hr20min) Quite a coincidence that she happened to see them twice! She says she never saw her father and brothers again after they left the train.

(FD) Story changes. Her grandmother is now with them. In this version, before she enters the shower/delousing building, she watches the four of them walk past the trucks and enter a low bunker behind barbed wire fences. Then she sees her father and 3 brothers entering the same building! Now she has all 8 of her close relatives accounted for as being immediately gassed.

(LD) Speaks of being separated from her mother and two youngest siblings; no grandmother mentioned; no talk from her about the gas chambers in the film.

Swallowing her mother’s diamonds only once versus over and over again

(ST) When undergoing the initial disinfection process, she remembered the (unknown number of) diamonds rolled into her skirt and eventually put them in her mouth and swallowed them when she saw they were examining inside people’s mouths, and pulling gold teeth (@1hr18min). After this, there is no further mention of the diamonds in her ST; they are a thing of the past. In her mind at this time in 1995, she may have visualized them as tiny diamonds, which is why she could use them to “buy bread.”

(FD) She swallows the (four) diamonds for the first time and retrieves them the next day in the latrine, continuing to do this throughout her time of incarceration. Her insistence on keeping her mother’s diamonds is a major theme of the book. She also writes that the workers examining inside mouths during the initial disinfection “were removing fillings and crowns, and pulling gold teeth” (p. 36).

The pulling of the gold teeth is not believable, as it would have caused excruciating pain, a bloody mess and infection. Gold teeth were only removed from corpses.

(LD) She talks of her first time swallowing the diamonds, and says “The whole time I was in the camp, I swallowed the diamonds … so everytime I swallowed them, I had to find them again.” She adds: “(In the latrine) I never sat on the hole, because I had to find my diamonds.” Said she would rinse them off “in the mud, or […] in the soup that we were gonna get.” (Unbelievable! That would be a serious crime for which she could truly be shot.) One day she was caught defecating in the corner and had to swallow the diamonds without “rinsing them off.” This filthy stuff is not repeated in the book.

When did she decide the diamonds were important to her story?

(Radio Interview) In 1997, according to Zisblatt, she got a call from the Shoah Foundation about being in a film. The woman said, “You’re talking in your testimony about diamonds, but not telling us where they are … where are they?” Zisblatt answered, They’re here. “Can we come see them?” they ask. Zisblatt says, Absolutely. So they came with a crew of 18 people to film her for The Last Days.

Remarks: In her ’95 taped Shoah testimony, she tells of getting diamonds from her mother, but after swallowing them the first time, never mentions them again. I don’t know why the film producers picked up on the diamond angle from her testimony; she doesn’t show a pendant with diamonds during her filmed testimony. But in the filming for The Last Days in 1997, she speaks at some length about the diamonds and shows a pendant with four gems, saying these were her mother’s diamonds she had saved by swallowing and defecating them out again and again.

Suicide-at-the-fence punishment changes from 5 to 100

(ST) Claims the SS threatened to torture to death 5 prisoners for every one who committed suicide by touching the electric fence. “Many people did go to the barbed wire … every time a transport came through, the barbed wires were electrified. When it was on, people would walk up to it just to die. […] so they (SS) said: For every person that’s going to take their lives, they’re gonna torture to death 5 of us. Of course, everybody ignored the barbed wire after that.”

(LD) Now she says the SS killed 100 inmates “in front of everybody” for each prisoner who electrocuted themselves at the fence. “When the electricity came on they ran up to it to electrocute themselves.”

(FD) She left this patently false story out of her book.

Tattooed right away or later?

(ST) She does not say she was tattooed on arrival, nor does she ever give her number. Later, when telling of the tattoo removal “experiment” she gives this bizarre explanation (@1hr31min): “I wasn’t tattooed right away. I was tattooed after they selected me for something. The reason we wasn’t tattooed right away is they didn’t want us to live. We were in that camp as reserves for the gas chamber, for the crematorium, because they were burning two men and one woman, because that was the best, efficient thing to have the crematorium work efficiently—because the woman has a little more flesh on her body because of her breasts, and the men don’t, so they were using two men and one woman for the crematorium. So we were reserve, is what we were told—every time we asked for some food or some ration [we were told], ‘You think you’re here to live? You’re here to be a reserve for that chimney!’ That’s when we found out what that chimney was.”

(FD) She receives a tattoo on her arm - number 6139716 - along with everyone else upon arrival, while she’s still holding the diamonds in her hand. (p. 35)

(LD) Another woman survivor testifies they were given a tattoo upon arrival.

When did she learn her family had been gassed?

(ST) “We didn’t find out for a couple of days.” (@1hr22min)

(FD) On the first night, she tries to sneak out of the barracks to find her mother. The woman in charge of the barracks stopped her at the door and pointed to smoke coming out of a chimney and yelled at her, “Your mother is just about now coming out of one of those chimneys.” Later that night: “I realized [it] was true. My mother was dead.”

Above: Reply to a letter written by Irene Zisblatt Lewin to the Red Cross Tracing Service in 1995 inquiring about the records for Irene Seigelstein. More proof that she was listed with some agencies as Irene Lewin. (credit: Eric Hunt)

With her cousins or all alone?

(ST) She shared the bunk in her first barracks with two of her father’s cousins – one of whom was around her mother’s age, 33. These cousins were not mentioned previous to this, but suddenly they are with her. This is strange because back in Munkacs she said they were expecting her father’s cousins, but they never showed up; they learned one had been murdered with his whole family, including two daughters.

(FD) She’s in her first barracks alone, no relatives ever. But of the other 9 women who shared her bunk(!), one worked in the kitchen and whispered that the SS were putting chemicals into the soup to destroy their reproductive organs. This rumor is the SOURCE of her claim that the “evil Nazis” tried to destroy her reproductive ability. Later in America, she had two children, yet she still tells school kids that she was given chemicals for this purpose.

Mengele no – Mengele yes

(ST) After a month in camp, she was selected for experiments by a “German doctor.” The whole barracks of 1000 had to undress outside and 15 women were chosen for their “smooth, unblemished skin.” When asked by the interviewer if she knew the name of the doctor, she said No. “It could have been Eichmann (not a doctor), it could have been Mengeler (sic), you know after a while they all looked the same. It wasn’t important to us what their names were. […] I for one was not interested what their names were.” (@1hr33min)

(FD) At her first morning roll call, she was selected for experiments. Two men approached them; she heard the Kapo speak their names: Mengele and Toub. (p.43) She swallowed her diamonds again. Mengele, the doctor, selected her and 99 other women to line up between two barracks and remove their clothing. She was in the final group of 15 that was selected, sent to the showers, given clean clothes, and put on a train to Majdanek.

(LD) Dr. Mengele is never mentioned in the entire film.

Remarks: It’s noteworthy that Zisblatt only mentions Dr. Mengele twice in her Shoah testimony, and both times with uncertainty, and with some prompting. But in her later book (and also in her talks), Mengele, along with the diamonds, becomes a major theme.

Eye-color experiment differs

(ST) The 15 who were selected walked to Auschwitz where drops were put into their eyes and they were led into a dungeon underneath a barracks, where each was put in a small cubicle. They stood in water up to their ankles in pitch darkness for an unknown period of time. “THEY TATTOOED US THEN! When they selected us, they took us to this little section and gave us our number; they tattooed us. And then we went into the dungeon. So we had the arm, we didn’t know why we were tattooed, we didn’t eat, we just drank that water.” Some were blinded by this experiment, but all 15 returned to their barracks; later they found out the experiment was supposed to change the color of their eyes … but it failed. (@1hr37min)

(FD) After they returned from Majdanek, Dr. Mengele selected 5 from the 15 to go to the Birkenau Infirmary where “he put painful chemical injections into our eyes.” This time they stood all together in one prison cell in water up to their ankles. Their eyes burned. One of the girls finally spoke to her – it was “Sabka,” who was to become her faithful friend. “For the next four days we remained (there).” After being let out, Dr. Mengele examined their eyes and “seemed disappointed.” The other three girls were blind, and were immediately taken to the gas chamber, crying “Shima Israel.” Chana and “Sabka’s” eye-color was unchanged. (P. 46-48)

(LD) Only describes the eye-color experiment, but combines the 5 girls (FD) with the eye drops (ST). This time they were “tightly packed” in the dungeon. Afterward, “some of the people” (of five?) couldn’t see “for several days after that.” No Dr. Mengele – no “Sabka” – no permanent blinding – no one sent to the gas chamber. (@ 32 min)

Virus testing with and without Mengele

(ST) Next experiment was injecting a virus-containing serum under their fingernail. Only 5 of the original 15 were selected for this. That evening, she had a red-line going up her arm so she tore off a string from her clothing, tied it as a tourniquet on her arm and in the middle of the night went to the back door of the barracks, put her arm through the door crack and laid with her arm in the cool mud all night. In the morning, the line was down and they were examined again. She says that if the red line had still been there she would have been sent to the gas chamber.

(FD) Only she and “Sabka” are sent to the Infirmary for the under-the-fingernail injection. Dr. Mengele is there to do the torture. They are returned to their barracks for 3 days, then come back to the Infirmary for a blood test. Mengele comes in with sadistic hatred in his eyes and sticks the needle under her fingernail again. She writes: “Yes, that kind of hatred existed in the Twentieth Century in Nazi Germany.” That night she has the red-line reaction, but she sneaks all the way outside the barracks and lays outdoors all night with her hand buried in the mud. In the morning she is alright.

She dreams up an unbelievable punishment for the next day, given to her for trying to help “Sabka,” who was sick from the injection. She is made to stand very close to the electric fence, holding a brick in each hand with both arms straight out in front of her. If she moves even an inch, she will be electrocuted. She manages to do this for 12 hours after having a blood infection the night before!! Naturally, while she’s standing there all that time, she sees many evils taking place in the camp. This craziness is only in the book.

The injections continued every three days for the next two weeks, but with no more ill effects.

How she met Sabka

(ST) She first mentions “Sabka” during the 2nd experiment—the under-fingernail injection: “This one girl, her name was Sabka and she was Polish.” (@1hr42min30sec) She then describes how Sabka came to Auschwitz in 1943, saying “she was 19 years old when we met.”

Remark: “Chana” was still 13, awfully young to be the confidant of a 19 year old. This gives credence to the idea that Zisblatt was two years older than she says she was. Even though “Sabka” is a fictional person, Zisblatt is comfortable talking of her friendship with a 19 year old.

(FD) On the trip back from Majdanek, a beautiful girl sat next to her, the strong suggestion being this was “Sabka”(p. 46). Upon their return, she and the girl spoke to each other and exchanged names while standing in the watery dungeon during the eye-color “experiment.”

Sabka’s nationality changes

(ST) “Sabka” was Polish.

(FD) “Sabka” was Lithuanian (p.7). Zisblatt invents an elaborate story about 16 year old Sabka’s parents death in a mass grave, S’s escape from the grave and finding a cave to live in for two years.

How they escaped being made into lampshades

(ST) Five women, including Zisblatt, were taken to Majdanek, where the rumor was that Ilse Koch17 was coming to select prisoners with “smooth skin” for her lampshades (@1hr46min). Koch didn’t show up at Majdanek, so the five women were sent back to Auschwitz the next day.

Remark: The charge that Koch made lampshades and gloves from the skin of prisoners has long been debunked, but Zisblatt does her best to keep it alive in schoolkid’s gullible minds. She also thought Koch was coming from Innsbruck; didn’t know she was from Buchenwald. To make matters even worse for Zisblatt’s credibility, Ilse Koch was put on trial in a German Court in December 1943 on embezzlement charges for which she was found not guilty and never returned to any concentration camp after that.

(FD) The trip of fifteen to Majdanek is the first “experiment” she mentions in her book. She describes the bunk she spent the night in with 9 other women as filled with blood and feces. This, after being specially showered and given clean clothes before they left Birkenau! After 48 hours of supposedly waiting around for Ilse Koch, who never arrived, they were returned to Birkenau. (p.44-45)

Tattoo removal with and without Dr. Mengele

(ST) She and friend “Sabka” are now the only two left of the five; are taken to the “revere” to have their tattoo removed, but can’t remember if it was in Birkenau or Auschwitz. She describes it thus: Doctors strapped them onto a rusty table, injected things into their arms; then they were pulling, then cutting, without anesthesia, and within a week to 10 days (!) they found a way to get rid of the number. The nurse told them the reason for the tattoo removal: The SS were tattooed under their arm with the same kind of ink and now wanted to hide their identity, so the doctors are experimenting to find a way to remove their tattoos.

(FD) She, “Sabka” and twenty other women are marched to Auschwitz to the hospital there. She describes what she saw along the way. Dr. Mengele has 6 young SS in training, showing them glass jars containing deformed body parts of Jews. Then, coming over to the two girls strapped on the tables, he looks at her number 6139716 and says to his interns: “I must find a way to remove the tattoos from the SS … we will use the prisoners to test different methods for the deletion of their numbers.” She proceeds to write a lot about Dr. Mengele’s evilness, then describes the same removal process as above.

Remarks: This supposedly explains why Zisblatt doesn’t have an Auschwitz tattoo even though she was allegedly there. When asked by audiences where her tattoo had been, she points under her left upper arm18. But numbers were tattooed on the top left forearm, where they could be easily seen and checked.

Went to gas chamber with gypsy families, or 1500 women?

(ST) “They selected me with the gypsies.” (@2hr11min) “I think it was in December, because it was cold, snow … and the gypsy camp was not too far from the C lager; it was a family camp. I was just taken out of my (roll call) all by myself.” Then, as if she suddenly remembered19, she says, “I think that it was Mengele that took me outta there.” (This is first mention of Mengele since saying she didn’t know if he was the doctor who selected her for her first experiment.) She was put on a truck transport of Gypsy families on their way to the “gas chamber.”

Remarks: The last “gassing” at Birkenau, according to the official narrative, took place on October 30, 1944. But Zisblatt has no idea of this when she recalls it being in December. This may be the strongest “evidence” of fraud in her narrative. Surely one wouldn’t forget the exact time one was sent to die in a “gas chamber.” If she decided on December, so that she could claim the longest time possible at Birkenau—May to December (7 months max, although she claims 8 months)—she has fallen into a trap. May to October would be only 5 months.

(FD) “Suddenly,” at mid-morning, she was selected with 1500 other women to leave the camp (p. 74). Mengele is not present. The women were ordered to remove their clothes and marched naked until they were forced into a narrow passageway. At this point she realizes she’s in the #3 gas chamber.

(LD) Nothing about her gas chamber experience is brought up in the film.

How she escaped the gas chamber

ST) “As everybody (Gypsy families) was being pushed into the gas chamber” -after removing their clothing- “I was goin’ backwards and I got stuck in the door.” She hung on to the edge of the metal door and the big strong SS man couldn’t manage to push this starving child in, so he threw her out! She ran away and hid under the “eave” of the crematorium.

(FD) Basically the same unbelievable story with the 1500 women, only this time she “dug her fingernails” into the doorframe and wouldn’t let go. (With her inadequate diet and deprivation, could she have such strong fingernails?) When the big SS guard “threw her out onto the ramp” (there is no ramp) and walked away (!) she ran up the non-existent ramp and climbed under the roof.

Remarks: Being unfamiliar with the crematoriums apart from the rubble she first visited in 1994, Zisblatt doesn’t know that there was no place “under the roof” to hide and there were no eaves.

The Sonderkommando—friend or stranger?

(ST) Very shortly, a boy wearing a Jewish star came along to clear out the dead bodies from the chamber, saw her under the eave, gave her his jacket and said, “When I’m finished, I will be back. I know who you are.” She then tells a long story about how they met before in the camp and she had done him a favor which he was now going to repay. (@2hr18min)

(FD) The sonderkommando boy sees her, gives her his jacket and speaks to her in Hungarian. They have never seen each other before.

Sonderkommando has 3 months or 3 days to live?

ST) “Within five minutes he was back. It doesn’t take long for a crew to exterminate God knows how many hundreds of gypsies and bodies, you know?” He told her, “As soon as they turn off the electricity in the wires, there is a train going to a labor camp. If I find an open cart, I will throw you over the wires into the cart.” Zisblatt says he risked his life because, “He had 3 months more to live, if that.” Immediately, he rolled her in a blanket he had brought, threw her over the high wire fence, and she landed in an open wagon with other women in it.

Remark: The fences were almost 10 ft. high and the side track around Crematorium #3 was at least 100 ft. away—not close enough for this to be at all possible.

(FD) He said, “I’m going to throw you on a train that is waiting on the tracks. There are open cars on the train […] women going to a work camp.” Immediately, he tossed her (no blanket) and she landed in an open cattle car with other women (none ever spoke to her!). She had asked his name; he said it didn’t matter, he had only 3 more days to live.

Remark: The Germans did not transport women in open train cars in freezing cold weather, if ever, and even more so if they were valuable labor.

Train took her to Gross Rosen in former Czechoslovakia or Neuengamme, Germany?

(ST) The train car carried female “machine mechanics” to a small labor camp with one factory. She couldn’t remember the name of the town or camp (how could she forget?), but said it was in Sudeten Deutschland (former Czechoslovakia).

Remarks: This could be a sub-camp of Gross Rosen, which was located directly on a rail line not that far from Auschwitz. About 10 of the subcamps were for women and were reportedly at peak activity in 1944. It’s not believable that she couldn’t “remember” the name of the place—it’s more likely she doesn’t want to bring attention to it because she is telling a different story than the one she actually lived.20

(FD) The train took her to Neuengamme concentration camp in the city of Hamburg in Northeastern Germany (p. 77)—many days travel from Auschwitz. (In an open cattle car, wearing only a jacket?) On page 79, she writes she “wasn’t sure of the exact dates” though by 2008 she had plenty of time to figure it out.

Remarks: It’s reported that some women prisoners from Auschwitz were transferred to the sub-camps of Neuengamme in the summer of 1944, not in October or December.

(LD) Nothing about leaving Auschwitz is brought up.

(Above) Map showing Neuengamme far up in northwest Germany. Gross Rosen is closer to Auschwitz, with Flossenbuerg west of G.R., and Pilsen directly east of Flbg. It makes no sense for Zisblatt to say she was in Neuengamme, so why does she? (credit: Eric Hunt)

Her job was to repair machines or pack ammunition?

(ST) Unbelievably, she re-discovered “Sabka,” who had been sent away after their tattoo-removal, in the bunk below hers in the morning. Her job in this camp was to repair machines that Czech men operated. Of course, she didn’t know how, but she tells an elaborate story about the Czech machine operator who helped her out.

(FD) Again, she finds “Sabka” in the bunk below hers, but here they both have the job of packing ammunition for the front lines. No Czechs in this camp.

Different routes for the “Death March”

(ST) The first week in January, the “couple of hundred” camp inmates were ordered on a march. (@2hr36min) Prisoners from outside came into their camp and 5000 were assembled. They wore their normal shoes and clothing, and were given a blanket. Zisblatt claims they walked from January until April with only snow to eat. When asked if she remembered the route: “I remember passing Breslau and Dresden […] I remember the signs as we were going.” Then, “The factory was deep, deep Germany … Dresden was below where we were, so … we didn’t pay attention where we were going cause we didn’t have no choice anyway. But by April we were somewhere in the Pilsen area and we knew we were close to Czechoslovakia.”

Remarks: They were in Czechoslovakia when they left! If Dresden was below the factory/camp, it was not in Sudetenland as she said it was. She has poor understanding of geography or she is just making it up as she goes along.

(FD) In January, the 5000 prisoners of Neuengamme (in Northern Germany) were assembled, each given a thin blanket, a pair of wooden shoes, an “article of clothing” and told to march. (p 79) They marched in the snow, which was their only food, tearing strips from their blanket to wrap their feet. Many died along the way; by April only a few hundred marchers were left. We are not told of any landmarks or towns to indicate where they were.

Remarks: The only march from Neuengamme was northwards to the Baltic Sea in the last weeks of the war, according to USHMM website21.

(LD) All she said was, “The Nazis didn’t want anyone to get liberated, so they were herding the people away from the camp.”

Remarks: She fancies herself an expert on Nazis, as well as on Dr. Mengele.

Liberation: with or without General Patton?

(ST) In April, Allied planes shot at their convoy; in the confusion the two girls managed to drop out of the march. They walked about “all night long,” and fell asleep next to a stream. In the morning, they were awakened by an American soldier wearing a Jewish mezuzah around his neck. She heard “loud rumblings, noise, cars and footsteps—the whole Army was here! They came and found the two of us and they had an interpreter, so we communicated. This was General Patton’s Third Army that came through there […] This one guy was always screamin’ and that was General Patton, he was screamin’ and yelling, and then the Red Cross truck came down and they put us in the truck.”

Remarks: Part of Patton’s army was in that area then, but not Patton himself.

(FD) They dropped out of the marching column after a bombing raid and wandered “for several more days,” sleeping at night under their now half-blanket. “One morning,” two soldiers, one wearing the mezuzah, wake them. Other soldiers came and spent all day talking with them, cooking for them, holding her in their arms, and one was able to speak with her in German. They were taken to the soldier’s camp and put into a Red Cross truck, with beds, for the night. But no mention of General Patton screamin’ and yelling this time.

(LD) “Planes came out from behind the mountains and bombed our convoy; none of us were hurt. That’s when I found out the first time the US was at war.”

Bread or crackers?

(ST) When asked what they wanted to eat, she only wanted a whole loaf of bread all to herself, so they gave her a loaf of bread.

(FD) They had no bread to give her, only crackers in little cardboard boxes.

Remarks: Zisblatt obviously learned that soldiers have rations; they don’t carry around loaves of bread. In addition to this, she claims they cooked scrambled eggs for “Sabka.”

April or May?

(ST) In the morning, “they (soldiers) wanted to know where we lived.” The girls said, “We would like to go to a hospital, maybe … somewheres where it’s safe. They decided the hospital was the best place to take us.” It was April 1945, white flags were out but still a lot of fighting going on.

(FD) She learned from her soldier-liberators the day before that it was May 7, 1945.

Sabka’s” death and burial

(ST) Even though Zisblatt just said what she did above, she then said, “When we got up in the morning, my friend “Sabka” was dead. She died in her sleep.” They bury her in the woods wrapped in her old blanket because “Chana” didn’t want “Sabka’s” body to be autopsied at the hospital.

Remarks: The interviewer didn’t question Zisblatt on how Sabka could be talking in the morning and then have died in her sleep. Zisblatt had remembered that an imaginary person cannot be registered in a hospital.

(FD) In the morning, the soldiers bring them breakfast, but she can’t wake “Sabka”; a medic finally tells her she is dead. The medic, the Jewish soldier Bob and another soldier spend the entire morning consoling her, then spend the rest of the day digging the grave. They tell her they would come back with her after the war to give “Sabka” a “proper burial.”

Hospitalized in Pilsen or Volary?

(ST) She made the statement @2hr54m40s, “They took us into the hospital at Pilsen.” At 3hr1m40s, she said she was in an American Army hospital in the Pilsen area that was formerly a German hospital. “From the hospital, at the end of that summer […] they took us to Salzburg, Austria to a Displaced Persons camp. And this was close to 1946.”

Remarks: According to the World Jewish Congress, Irene Siegelstein, age 16, born in Poleno, Hungary, father’s name Moshe, was on the list of Jewish girls now at the civilian hospital in Volary, Cz, on April 25, 1946.22 This would mean Zisblatt was in the hospital for an entire year, which is not credible, and contradicts what she herself says. Yet the list exists, so when did she actually enter the hospital?

(FD) She was taken to an American Army hospital in the “Pilsen area” where “all the other residents were young military men.” (p. 98) She is treated for typhus and malnutrition. “One day” a general, who she later learned was George Patton himself, came to the hospital and made “a special visit to my bedside.” He asked her questions through an interpreter, then pulled four buttons from his sleeve and took the purple scarf from around his neck and gave them to her. Yet she has never produced these gifts as she does the diamonds, which can’t be traced to any particular person or time. She “spent two months in the hospital in Pilsen.”

Remarks: In her ST, she sees Patton in the field; now in FD she just sees him in the hospital—she is determined to have him in her story. Zisblatt refuses to say the word Volary, yet everything indicates that’s where she was. Pilsen is approximately 40 miles from Volary. Many of the evacuated female camp inmates from Poland who were set out on foot marches in January ended up in Volary, very possibly because there was a German hospital there.23

Displaced Persons camp

(ST) She only says “They took us to Salzburg, Austria … I was with people from Poland, from different countries, waiting for borders to open up, waiting for papers to come through to go to different countries. Most of the people were hoping to go to Palestine, but that was closed too.” (@3hr3min) She says (Jews) had to be smuggled in and “we tried that also, we did get to Italy and laid on the beaches for 5 days and nights waiting for a ship to come get us … but there was no ship.”24 When asked by the interviewer—“Who did you go with?”—she remained vague by answering, “Just, uh, kids that, uh, well, there were a couple of leaders that were very devoted, uh, Haganah25 people and Zionists … they came one night” and recruited the residents to try to get to Palestine illegally. She says, “Most of the people, we didn’t even know each other.” She stayed in the DP camp until 1947. She had information placed in newspapers in the States and an uncle in the Bronx answered her “article” in The Forward.26

Remarks: When she says ‘us’ followed by ‘people from Poland’, it indicates she was with mostly Polish people. I suspect Zisblatt changed “Sabka’s” identity from Polish to Lithuanian because, as time went on, she wanted to distance herself from every Polish association, not least because she is hiding her early marriage to the Pole Alter Lewin, along with other Polish ties she may also be hiding. I note her failure to put names to any of the “we’s” and “us’s” she is so fond of using. She spent two years in the DP camp, was never alone, and not one friend or helper is mentioned by name. Two years versus one year in Nazi camps—the one year is filled with events and experiences worthy of an entire book, but the two (in spite of her marriage) are devoid of anything worth talking about.

(FD) When she was “strong enough to leave” the hospital she was assigned a guardian to help her get situated in the DP camp. Although she says he became a friend to her, he is not named. According to her statements in FD, she would have arrived in the DP camp in early July 1945—not, as she tells in her ST, “at the end of summer … close to 1946. Otherwise, she tells essentially the same story but adds a period of time living with other Jewish refugees in the home of an elderly Salzburg widow, who she takes great pains to describe as a hateful German Nazi whose husband had been in the Gestapo.27 We’re only given the poor woman’s first name—Herta (p. 101-2)

She writes: “Staying in this camp I made new friends,” but she doesn’t give a single name or describe a single friend, including any mention of Alter Lewin.

(LD) None of these experiences are in the Spielberg film.

Voyage to America

(ST) On November 8th, “I arrived on the Marine Flecher (sounds like) in New York and met my family that I never knew before.” (@3hr5min) She says nothing more about the trip or about her new family and gives only a sketchy outline of her early time in the US: she went to school at night, taking high school equivalency in English, and worked during the day in a bakery. When she finished school, she went to work for RCA as what sounds like an assembly line worker. She was active in B’nai Brith and president of BBYO (its youth organization), and an enthusiastic seller of Israeli war bonds.

(FD) In October 1947, she received her official papers to travel to the US on the ship “Marine Fletcher.” Now she tells us how “Chana” became “Irene” when an immigration official handed her a passport with the name Irene Seigelstein. (p. 103) “‘I panicked … this is not my name … I have never heard of that name,’ I cried. ‘From this day forward, you are Irene,’ he replied. ‘That is a nice name. That is an American name.’ I was ecstatic. I was so honored to have an American name.’”

Remarks: From this we can fairly conclude that “Chana” is a fictional representation of “Irene,” and that when she left Europe for America, the fiction ended and reality began. Or did it?

She writes little of the voyage, saying only the ocean was rough and she was seasick. Though she was 10 days on the ship, a brand new type of experience, she doesn’t mention a single person she met or a single event that took place. Her uncle Nathan met her at the dock and drove her to New Jersey to meet the rest of the family (p. 104). On page 111, she says, “I became a member of B’nai Brith Women. As chairman of the Israeli Bond Drive, I organized all the events to try to sell bonds. I really think that was my way of starting to give of myself.” Give of herself—very particularly to Jews only, and so it continued throughout the rest of Irene’s story, even until today.

Remarks: Here again, did Zisblatt ditch her first husband, Alter Lewin, as soon as she landed, or was she not really met by “Uncle Nathan” at the dock and taken to meet the rest of her family?

Concluding Remarks

There is much more in her book and on the videotape that is unbelievable and insults the reader’s/viewer’s intelligence which I have not even touched on for the reason that she is reasonably consistent in her telling. But what can we conclude about all the major and minor differences between Irene Zisblatt’s archived Shoah Testimony and her later autobiography?

The first thing that comes to mind is that between 1995 and 2008, she thought of a way of telling her story that she liked better. She realized that some things she had said in 1995 didn’t make sense or they didn’t align with what other survivors said, so she corrected or changed these things. She also took the opportunity to add even more drama and “Nazi sadism” to her incarceration (for example, Dr. Mengele as the doctor who used her for experiments; her punishment holding the bricks for 12 hours as she observed new Hungarian and Ukrainian arrivals being abused; and, of course, swallowing and retrieving the diamonds from her feces over and over) to increase the suffering she experienced firsthand, while she also toned down some others. She put herself in the center of just about everything she had ever read of the Holocaust! All in all, this makes The Fifth Diamond a calculated exercise in pushing an anti-German agenda rather than a truthful record of her experience.

Was Zisblatt ever really at Birkenau? I believe it’s possible she wasn’t because her account of it is so filled with inaccuracies, yet I’m willing to accept that she was. Another question is: if she was, for how long? A Red Cross Tracing Service document made available by her shows an Irene Segelstern was incarcerated on 28 Sept 1944, which could possibly be a contradiction of her story that she arrived during the mass deportation of Hungarian Jews in the spring of that year. Zisblatt’s own dating in her narrative(s) would actually have her at Birkenau around April 20; yet according to several sources, the very first two trainloads left on April 29th and 30th, both arriving at Birkenau on May 2nd, carrying a total of 3800 Hungarian Jews.28 The Jews from Munkacs were not on these trains, meaning they arrived after May 2nd.

The fact that the birth date and nationality matches Zisblatt’s indicates the misspelling of the name is probably a mistake, UNLESS Irene Zisblatt is not and never was Irene Seiglestein and is a total fraud. It is possible.29 Her birth year is given as 1928 or 1929 on all holocaust-related listings—never 1930.

Above: A Red Cross document is held up to the camera by Irene Zisblatt. She received it in response to her inquiry, sent as Irene Zisblatt Lewin, about Irene Seigelstein (notice it reads “Segelstern). Ironically, it lists her at places after A-B different from where she says she was. Schutzhaft means protective custody. This document creates more questions than it answers. (credit: Eric Hunt)

Identity confusion

I have doubts about her identity, since she traveled to the US as a married 18-year-old named Lewin, and used the name again to inquire into Irene Seigelstein’s holocaust records. I have doubts about her family and their supposed perishing in “gas chamber #2.” The only confirmation that her mother and father, Rakhel and Moshe Zeigelshtein of Polena, died at Auschwitz is a registration form made out by Tzipora Erbs, a niece of Moshe, in 1957 to Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum database—where anyone can submit a name. The Yad Vashem database is not proof of anything. Additionally, Zisblatt’s four brothers and sister do not come up on that database and you would think the relative who registered the parents would have also registered them. There are no official records of the Zeigelshtein/Seigelstein family deaths at Auschwitz that I have been able to find. But how does one go about proving that someone was murdered at Auschwitz? One doesn’t; there is no proof.30

There are several records for Irene Seigelstein (with slightly different spellings), but they don’t match the story she tells in The Fifth Diamond or in her talks on the lecture circuit. She says flat out, “I survived Auschwitz, Birkenau, Majdanek and Neuengamme, and a death march.”31 Yet her records say she was an inmate at A-B, Gross Rosen and Flossenbuerg/Helmbrechts (which she entered on March 6), and was liberated from a civilian hospital in Volary, Cz., not alone in a forest and then taken to a hospital. Why does she refuse to mention Gross Rosen and Flossenbuerg 32 in her ST, her book and her talks? Is it because she could not then say she was on a 3-month death march? From Birkenau she went to another camp (she says in December, but probably in October), and by the first week of January she embarked on a death march. While it is possible that she was on a couple of shorter marches between the above mentioned camps, it’s just as possible she was not. Since her account is untruthful from start to finish, there is no reason to believe her about a “death march.” I think she read about them and decided to put it in her own story, as she did with so many things. Her death-march account sounds amazingly similar to this one by Szewa Szeps.33 As to “surviving Majdanek,” the only time she spent there was either 24 or 48 hours waiting for Ilse Koch to show up—another piece of fiction.

Another, perhaps more persuasive reason for Zisblatt to misrepresent the camps she was in is because they were not “death camps.” She may be hiding the true reason she never got a tattoo: that she was “in transit” at Birkenau and was soon sent to another camp to work. Especially if she were really 14 or 15 years old, rather than 13, she would have been useful labor—not wasted carrying rocks back and forth in Birkenau for no purpose other than sadistic, or for “experiments.” A-B was the only camp where inmates were tattooed; her lack of a tattoo is therefore a problem for which she invents her cover-up story of tattoo removal. Recall that the tattoo number she gives herself does not fit the numbers that were used at A-B in 1944; that number was her prisoner number at Gross Rosen.

Spielberg’s documentary and Shoa Library undermined

Does she think no one will notice all these glaring discrepancies in her narrative? Up until Eric Hunt took a look at it, no one did! That’s how it can be that holocaust fictions are passed off as fact—people won’t use their critical faculties when they listen to “holocaust survivors.” One reason for Zisblatt’s complacency is probably her close association with Steven Spielberg, an “untouchable” figure among contemporary global elites. As one of the “stars” of his award winning documentary, she can understandably feel protected under his broad wings. But if her holocaust narrative is widely exposed as a work of fiction, this can also expose Spielberg as a perpetrator of fictions, and seriously undermine the entire credibility of The Last Days—the cover and advertising of which states: “Everything you are about to see is true.” If put in legal terms, it may be that what you “see” filmed is true-to-life, even though the relationships, context, and the words that are put with what is shown visually, are not. This is the way clever lawyers help the rich and famous to lie without really lying.

Not only is The Last Days undermined, but the entire Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation Library, under Spielberg’s executive directorship and now housed at the University of Southern California (USC), becomes suspect. The original interview of Zisblatt conducted by Jennifer Resnick in 1995 is one of those “soft-ball” sessions in which contradictory and otherwise incredible statements are not questioned. There are many red-flags thrown up by what Zisblatt says, and at times Resnick has a hint of surprise in her voice, but all is accepted at face-value. It may even be proper for the interviewer not to interject or interfere, but the producers/directors of The Last Days had a responsibility to be sure that their witness’s testimony panned out. Instead, it seems they were more interested in a memorable angle—such as swallowing and retrieving the diamonds—and a personality that was willing to indulge in untruths with a convincing, sympathetic manner. Considering what I have revealed in this article, the producers/directors of The Last Days are guilty of failing to do even the minimum due diligence, and of manipulating the public’s beliefs and feelings to fit an agenda—just as I said that Zisblatt had done in her autobiography—rather than giving a truthful rendering of what really took place during “those days.” The musical sound track and film clips that are interspersed with the speaker’s words are clearly there to create emotional reactions that will overpower critical thinking.

Inspiration for the diamond story

In light of the above, some further reflections on Zisblatt’s diamonds are in order. On the last page of her book (p. 167), there is a photograph of the teardrop pendant with the four diamonds. Someone pointed out to me that they appear to be two matched sets, with two larger and two smaller diamonds—suggesting they may have come from two pairs of diamond earrings that Zisblatt may have owned. In The Last Days she shows the pendant, but keeps turning it in her hand so that the diamonds cannot be seen clearly while she says, “See, they are all different sizes and shapes.” From what I see, this is not so; they are surprisingly regular.

Considering the timing, it’s fair to ask: Did someone from The Last Days come up with the idea of featuring the diamond-saving, diamond-swallowing story? This is where the full-blown diamond story, and the pendant, first appeared. In the Radio Interview, Zisblatt said they asked about the diamonds that she spoke of in her testimony, but in her testimony she only said she swallowed them when she arrived at Auschwitz. So where did they get the idea, from what she said in her testimony, that she still had them? I go over this again because I think it is a key to some important discoveries that I may develop in a future article.

I’d like to close with a few comments on Zisblatt’s personality as I have come to see it. One character trait that stands out to me is her strong desire to be the center of attention. This crops up in several places. One is in making herself a favorite patient of Dr. Mengele, and even in being selected for “experiments” to begin with. As Dr. Mengele’s patient, she’s in a privileged position to know all about this famous, but shadowy character, and speaks about him as an expert (but she never describes what he actually looks like). Another is her insistence that she and her imaginary friend “Sabka” were liberated all by themselves in a forest by American soldiers who made a big fuss over them. Then “Sabka” disappeared and she was alone with the soldiers in the military hospital where she was the only female—she is not just another Jewish girl with all the other Jewish girls in the civilian hospital that was created for them. And while in the military hospital, none other than General George C. Patton himself came to her bedside and was so touched by her story that he pulled buttons off his uniform and took the scarf from around his neck to give to her!

As I asked at the beginning: What kind of a person can come up with such outrageous lies, and should such a person be given free access to influence America’s schoolchildren? This is an important question that every responsible individual reading this should ask, after which they should come up with an agenda of their own.

Endnotes:

1) In the same year Schindler’s List came out in 1994, the teaching of the Holocaust had become mandatory in Florida schools, so there was now a ready market for holocaust survivors. Zisblatt moved to Florida in 1990.

2) “I had no problem remembering just about everything on the 1st day.” Irene Zisblatt radio interview, Ithaca Press and Artists and Authors Publishers of New York Radio Hour, Artists First World Radio Network, www.artistfirst.com, Interviewer: Tony Kay

3) (RI) ibid

4) (RI) ibid

5) (RI) ibid. Zisblatt speaks of editing out of her manuscript things that were not appropriate for children and schools. She wanted her book to be used in schools for “educational” purposes.

6) The Jewish ADL (Anti-Defamation League) provides schools with extensive teaching material, including lesson plans for grades K-12 and for pre-school children age 3 to 5. They conduct teacher training seminars and give advice to teachers. Another major resource is Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation, a Jewish law firm that provides an online comprehensive teacher resource guide, as well as sponsoring a national essay contest on The Holocaust for high school students and free trips for teachers. The State Boards of Education defer to these and other Jewish “charities” to provide the Holocaust Studies curriculum.

7) Zisblatt speaks four or five times a week all over the U.S. and Europe. She figures she has spoken to about 400,000 people each year since 1994. (http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/press/atlantic/article_3d3d2f34-a5ca-5437-b43c-964990ff018d.html)

8) ALIEN PASSENGER MANIFEST For Passengers Traveling to the United States under President’s Directive of Dec. 22, 1945 is the heading on the document. It carries the signature of the Immigrant Inspector. http://erichunt.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Irene-Lewin-9.jpg

9) Fanny Horowitz, her father Moshe Zeiglestein’s sister, married to Morris Horowitz.

10) Family members and funeral directors are very particular about names in obits. This is not likely to be an error. She obviously began at some point to call herself Stein, doubtless before she met and married Weisberg in 1956.

11) http://www.zoominfo.com/people/Zisblatt_Jack_1322909813.aspx

12) Interwar Munkacs was about 50% Jewish (like Poleno), filled with Hasidic Jews wearing their traditional garb. The first movie house was established by a Hasidic Jew; it and most stores closed on the Jewish Sabbath and Jewish holidays. The Jews of Munkacs were the first to be restricted to a ghetto.

13) Peter Kleinmann, a Munkacs Jewish resident of the time, wrote in “The Fallacy of Race and the Shoah,” University of Ottawa Press: “Just after Passover, on 18 April 1944, the kehilla announced with posters and proclamations by drummers that all Jews must move into the ghetto. Within a week, 13,000 Jews from Munkács and some 14,000 from surrounding areas were rounded up […] and held in the ghetto and those from the rural areas were held in the Sajovits brickyard.” That would put the Zeigelstein’s arrival considerably later than two days after Passover on April 10th.

14) Other survivors have recorded that it was a three day trip and the train stopped several times for water. Each train car had two buckets; one for water, one for bodily elimination. The men got out at each stop to clean the pails and get fresh water. See John Mandel at http://holocaust.umd.umich.edu/interview.php?D=mandel&section=10 and Peter Kleinmann at http://www.cjvma.org/e/albums/kleinmann/039-042.html

15) Peter Kleinmann reported 50 to 60 people in each box car.

16) According to the Auschwitz Prisoners Data Base, the Auschwitz prisoner number "61397" belonged to Agnieszka Pastuszek, a non-Jewish Polish political prisoner who had arrived from Katowice prison in Sept. 1943. After February 2, 1942, Auschwitz prisoner numbers were never issued twice.

Also, according to the USHMM website, the sequences of numbers introduced in mid-May 1944 were prefaced by the letter A for women and B for men, and began with “1” and ended at “20,000” for men and “30,000” for women. Thus, Irene’s number doesn’t match the numbers given to Hungarian Jews. For a look at an authentic tattoo, go here: http://hopelutheranchurch.net/social.php

17) Ilse Koch, dubbed by the press as “the bitch of Buchenwald” was married to the commandant of Buchenwald, Karl Otto Koch. She had the misfortune of being the target of evil rumors, such as using the skin of Jewish prisoners to make lampshades. However, the story went that it was tattooed skin that Koch wanted, but Zisblatt doesn’t seem to know that; she says Koch was looking for “smooth, unblemished skin,” like her own. Ilse Koch was put through two show trials after the war, and eventually died in prison. You can read about her trials (4 pages with photos) here: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauTrials/IlseKoch.html

18) Here is a picture of Irene Zisblatt pointing to the spot where her tattoo was removed: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/History/Articles/IreneZisblatt.html

19) I think it’s very likely that her interviewer, Jennifer Resnick, encouraged her during one of the breaks to remember if she ever saw or had any interaction with Dr. Mengele. It was Resnick who asked her earlier if she knew who the doctor was during her first selection for experiments, and Zisblatt said no.

20) A Red Cross Tracing Service document that Zisblatt holds up during her videotaped Shoah testimony shows Irene Segelstern, born 12-28-1929, was transferred from concentration camp Gross Rosen, prisoner #61397, to concentration camp Flossenbeurg/Commando Helmbrechts, prisoner #63941, on 6 March 1945. This was when she was, according to her testimony, in the middle of a death march! The first number was, according to her, removed from her arm at Auschwitz, deleted from the records, and she got a new number and a new name. Yet this is the number she has at Gross Rosen, which does not necessarily correspond to a tattoo.

Helmbrechts was a women's subcamp of Flossenbuerg in Bavaria, founded in the summer of 1944. The document also says that Irene Segelstern was incarcerated at Auschwitz-Birkenau on Sept. 28, 1944—not April or May.

21) “…and from Sachsenhausen and Neuengamme northwards to the Baltic Sea in the last weeks of the war.” http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?lang=en&ModuleId=10005162

22) http://resources.ushmm.org/vlpnamelistimages/WJCpics/randy/993.pdf

23) http://www.gjt.cz/includes/military/DMUS/dmus.htm

24) This sounds a lot like the equally vague trip to Majdanek to meet with Ilse Koch who never arrived.

25) Haganah was the underground Jewish militia in Palestine during British rule from 1929 to 1948 that became the national army of Israel after the partition of Palestine in 1948.

26) A well-known Jewish newspaper in the US.

27) Zisblatt, another girl, two married couples and two boys (8 in all) were “moved into the upstairs of a home owned by an old woman. (She) was forced to share her home with victims of the concentration camps […] for the first few days we didn’t even realize she was there.” They used the kitchen downstairs—I truly can just imagine what shape they left it in! “In the first week we were there, I played her piano, which was in the living room. She instructed me to never touch her piano again. […] Herta was not a gracious host.” After a couple months, the group decided to go back to the DP camp. Taking over the homes of Germans to house Jewish refugees was a common practice of the Allies for several years after the war.

28) "The Holocaust Chronicle," Louis Weber, Publications International Ltd, Lincolnwood, Illinois. Also, "Auschwitz, a New History," Laurence Rees, 2005.

29) The correct spelling for this common Jewish name is Siegelstein, the way Nathan Siegelstein of New York, who she claims is the uncle with whom she lived upon entry into the US, spelled it. Yet she has always spelled her name Seigelstein, which is a misspelling and would be pronounced Sigh-gel instead of Say-gel. Some records for the holocaust survivor Irene spell the name Segelstein, which is actually a more phonetic way of spelling Siegelstein. This gives some credence to the speculation that Zisblatt got the spelling wrong when she “took” the name/identity of this holocaust survivor. This would not be the first time it was done. Elie Wiesel, for example, has been accused by another Buchenwald survivor of stealing the identity of a real Buchenwald survivor who was this man’s friend. He has written a book about it.

30) There are official German records, released from Soviet custody, that show all deaths at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the nationality of the deceased and cause of death. The numbers are very low. The million that are claimed to have been killed/gassed at A-B are said to have not been registered, so there is no way to prove their deaths.

31) http://www.herald-dispatch.com/videos/x140292583/Video-Holocaust-survivor-Irene-Zisblatt and FD, p, 120.

32) The Helmbrechts camp population was mainly non-Jews, but in March 1945, a group of over 500 Jewish women arrived on foot from the Gruenberg subcamp (of Gross Rosen) in Poland. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helmbrechts_concentration_camp There is NO source for this information at wikipedia, not surprisingly, but the page goes on to state that in April the women of Helmbrechts were set out on a march to Dachau, but were turned toward Czechoslovakia instead. The march ended in a small farming village with an Allied air raid on the group on May 8, 1945. The US Army found them the next day.

33) http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/Dabrowa/dab346.html

Holocaust Scholar Finds “Diamond Girl” to Be a Work of Fiction

by Carolyn Yeager, January 2010

copyright Carolyn Yeager 2010

Joachim Neander, PhD, independent scholar from Cracow, Poland, examines Irene Weisberg Zisblatt’s holocaust survivor narrative and concludes it is “not in accordance with the historically established facts,” is “exaggerated,” “implausible” and not true overall. Neander has contributed to publications in Poland, Germany, Israel and the USA. In 2001-02 he had a Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellowship for Archival Research at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

His January 9th article Irene Zisblatt, the "Diamond Girl”- Fact or Fiction? can be read here: http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.com/2010/01/irene-zisblatt-diamond-girl-fact-or.html#more.

Dr. Neander asks in the title of his critical review of Irene Zisblatt’s autobiography The Fifth Diamond, which purports to be a Holocaust survivor ‘true story,’ or memoir, whether it is fact or fiction. He comes to the only conclusion possible for a man who wishes to maintain his reputation as a scholar—that it is mostly fiction.

However, probably for the reason that he seems to have been assigned this project by some well-known Holocaust defenders (Kenneth Waltzer, Chairman of the Jewish Studies Dept. at the University of Michigan, who provided him with the Seigelstein documents, for one), he has tried to soften the blow wherever he thinks he can, going out of his way to find some positive things to say about “Mrs. Zisblatt” and her narrative. These positives are mainly in the realm of having a forgiving spirit and a sympathetic attitude toward an “elderly lady” who has suffered in her life. But Neander rightly decides that truth must be upheld, it being more important that not hurting someone’s feelings.

On the whole, Neander does an excellent job of dissecting Zisblatt’s claims in The Fifth Diamond, but his forgiving spirit causes him to overlook some of her more atrocious lies and her attacks on the German character by attributing them to her simply repeating “Holocaust stereotypes and myths.” I say she exhibits a special intent to blacken the German nation even today and magnify the alleged hatred of the “Nazi” for the Jew, when she includes long dismissed war atrocity propaganda, such as nazi soldiers tearing Jewish babies in half and throwing them in the river; SS men picking up Jewish children by the legs and banging their heads against a truck; using the skin of Jewish women like herself to make lampshades and gloves; undergoing meaningless but very painful “experiments” by Dr. Mengele, of whom she made the statement, “Yes, that kind of hatred existed in the Twentieth Century in Nazi Germany.” The hateful attitude of Germans vs. the innocence of all Jewish victims is her theme. All SS are hateful monsters and so are all non-German Gentiles; she doesn’t distinguish between them—they have all become Nazis.

So in the spirit of not needing to refute what Neander wrote, I will go over some of the things he has smoothed over, in some cases by “setting it aside,” in order to “soften the blow” to the holocaust industry and all who are involved or have an interest in the Zisblatt saga.

In the first paragraph, he writes that she “had her first name changed to Irene” when she obtained a visa in 1947 to emigrate to New York. That can be understood as ‘her first name was changed then’ or ‘she herself had it changed,’ leaving the interpretation up to the reader. In fact, she claims in her book that her real name Chana (which she had used for herself up to this point) was changed by an immigration official because he (or someone) thought the “American” name of Irene would be better for her! This is and was simply not done, and adds to the farcical quality of the book.

Neander asks in the 7th paragraph, pointing out why some will believe he should not criticize Zisblatt: “Are there not the Holocaust deniers, who already have attacked Mrs. Zisblatt on the Web and even at court? […] a handful of cranks.” But Dr. Neander, isn’t it just these “cranks” that have brought the fictions of Zisblatt to your attention; that have stood up for the truth, in spite of being called names for it? Would you have written this article were it not for we “cranks?”

The reason Neander gives for telling the truth about dishonest holocaust survivors is not a regard for truth itself, but is because students who today are gullible enough to believe it, might, when they grow up, “reach for a scholarly book” and, discovering they were lied to, reject the entire Holocaust story. Ironically, that is exactly what happened with Eric Hunt. He was forced to read Elie Wiesel’s Night in high school; he believed it was true and was distressed by it, but learning later that it was a fiction, he is now a well-known “holocaust denier.” So people like Neander are cognizant that extreme liars like Zisblatt must be rejected. (He will need to take on Wiesel next.)

Neander only give a couple of instances of her Shoah testimony that differs from her book, whereas in reality there are many, as I have documented in “A Special Jewel in the Genre of Holocaust Horror Stories,” posted here at Inconvenient History Blog. This alone proves that one or the other is fiction—as it turns out, both are.

Neander says that Zisblatt is very lax in putting dates to the events she describes, but “this is common in survivor memoirs, and it alone does not speak against her.” Yes, it does, Dr. Neander. Just because it is common among dishonest survivors, doesn’t excuse it. If survivors’ memories are so hazy, how can we depend on the rest of what they say?

Neander goes on to say that, in spite of her failure to provide dates, “We can fix her arrival at Birkenau between May 16 and 26, 1945, when the deportation transports from Munkács arrived there.” Now he is ignoring that Zisblatt says in both her Shoah testimony and book that her family was transported to Munkacs (a two hour train ride) two days after Passover, which was April 8 in 1944. She says they spent no more than a week in the Munkacs Sajovits ghetto (which corresponds with other witnesses) before being transported to Auschwitz (a 3 day trip, though she says 5 days). This puts her stated arrival at Auschwitz-Birkenau on April 20 or 22, a full month ahead of the officially stated arrival of Jews from Munkacs. This is one of Neander’s “smooth-overs” or an oversight on his part.

Neander adds some important factual information that highlights the seriousness of Zisblatt’s lies. One is the fact that the number 61397, which she claims was the Auschwitz prisoner number tattooed on her arm (or under it), could not have been her number. According to records, it already belonged, in 1943, to a non-Jewish Polish female political prisoner, and numbers were never given twice after 1942. This puts an incredible blot on Zisblatt’s AND the Shoah Foundation’s credibility. Another is the two file cards from the International Tracing Service at Bad Arolson, supplied by Kenneth. Waltzer, that refer to a single page from an Auschwitz list of prisoners, the original of which can be found in the Archives of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum under file nr. D-HygInst/7/No.inw.106156 Segr.50 str.285, according to Neander. There her name is spelled as "Zegelstein, Irén." The Auschwitz list contains over 770 names of Jewish, Hungarian women from Block 8 of camp sector BIIc (Lager C in Zisblatt’s terminology). This is the Transit section of the camp. The list is dated September 28, 1944. It has no prisoner numbers because the women from BIIc, the "transit Jews," were not registered and, therefore, did not have Auschwitz prisoner numbers. The List is a part of documents from the SS Hygiene Institute Auschwitz showing that the women were screened by stool samples, found to be free of typhus and other diseases, and could be transferred into the Reich’s interior for labor. This is an important addition to what we know about Irene Zegelstein of Poleno, and confirms that Zisblatt has concocted a story different from what appears to be the real story of this person.

Neander twice uses the phrase, “There can be no doubt …” about something that can clearly be doubted. The first is: “There can be no doubt that a multitude of unethical, cruel, and even outright criminal medical experiments were performed by SS doctors (and paramedics) in the concentration camps.” A multitude? There is little clear evidence for this, and certainly not for a “multitude.” And even as he says this, he dismisses the experiments that Zisblatt describes as “urban legends” or “pure fantasy.” Neander restricts his own speculation about Dr. Mengele to saying he was the “camp physician at Birkenau” and saw himself as a “scientist.”

A similar self-serving statement: “There can be no doubt that most of the crimes and atrocities reported in The Fifth Diamond did happen sometime, at Auschwitz or another site of the Final Solution.” Here Prof. Neander is contradicting himself. In his own words, he characterized “most of the crimes and atrocities” reported by Zisblatt as simply legends and rumors; as never happening—anywhere. His scholarly credentials are being strongly tested when he uses the phrase “there can be no doubt.”

Neander writes “it is inconceivable that Chana for months has been able to relieve herself undisturbed in some corner of the latrine and to retrieve her diamonds unnoticed As the diamond episode is central in the marketing of Mrs. Zisblatt's book—and also in her contribution to the documentary The Last Days with the sub-title Everything you are about to see is true—Holocaust deniers hook up particularly on this part of her story.” How right he is. Congenital liars like Zisblatt and the producers and other survivors of The Last Days do indeed make it easy for holocaust revisionists and doubters.

But Neander then makes the foolish argument or comment that “On the other hand, according to her story, Chana obviously did not have health problems with ingesting feces, as the Stehzelle episode shows. During the five days in this dungeon, the girls relieve themselves into the ankle-deep water in which they stand and drink the same water repeatedly (47), without becoming sick.” Is this supposed to make an impression on a few of the more gullible that the diamond swallowing story could be true?

Neander himself wrote about the “eye-experiment” earlier, saying “It is also hardly believable that after the experiment the girls were confined to Stehzelle (standing cell) arrest, and that they survived there five days without food and drink. Committal to Stehzelle was a severe punishment meted out by the Political Department or the Camp Commandant, never by an ordinary camp physician. We do not read about an "infraction" that would have made the commandant or the camp Gestapo send the girls to close arrest. What is more, in the known history of Auschwitz we never hear about standing cells filled "with water up to [the prisoners'] ankles" (46).

But also, I don’t think she meant that the individual cubicles were what are known as “standing cells” (for which there is no evidence besides witness testimony that they ever existed), because she says that they could walk into the cubicle on either side of them, so they could “touch” two other people while confined there. That is not possible in what are called “standing cells.”

Dr. Neander is having a hard time keeping his reputation as a scholar intact while he tries to find as much in Zisblatt’s narrative as possible to defend. We can sympathize with him for performing a thankless task. Let’s hope he is being well-paid for it.

As unbelievable as being able to relieve herself in the corner of the latrine is to Neander, he calls Zisblatt’s account of her trip to the gas chamber and subsequent escape “the most implausible episode in Mrs. Zisblatt's story.” In saying this, he is admitting that she never went to the gas chamber at all. This is a very serious charge, coming from someone who wants to keep her viable by “reconstructing” her story. To tell thousands of young, impressionable teenagers—in their school setting where they are conditioned to believe what they are told—that you experienced being sent naked to a gas chamber to be murdered by the cruelest people on earth, the Germans, when you experienced nothing of the sort—well, what do you call a person like that? What do you call those who support her and facilitate her story, even when they know or suspect she is not telling the truth, such as Steven Spielberg and the Survivors of the Shoah Foundation?

The fantastic account of American General George C. Patton meeting with “Chana” is one of the incidents that Neander decides to “set aside” on the grounds that “it is difficult to prove or disprove.” Difficult, perhaps, but not impossible to discover that Patton was never in the Volary or Pilsen area when Zisblatt claims she was there.

Neander notes that “Since the only fellow prisoner whose name she remembers, Sabka, died at the very end of the war, it is also nearly impossible to cross-check her memoir.” He should add that by the time she revealed her holocaust experience, 50 years after the fact, everyone involved was dead! Including the relatives she came to live with in America, the man she married in 1956 when she was going by the name of Stein, who died in 1969—who was there to refute what she said?

The only other characters she gave a name to were Dr. Mengele and “Bob,” the Jewish soldier who “liberated” her. If he were really the friend to her that she claims, he would have given her a last name and probably an address to “keep in touch” after the war. This alone shows Zisblatt’s entire story to be as phony as a two-dollar bill, as they say.

In another effort at rehabilitation, Neander writes: “It is well possible that she personally believes what she tells, that her story is her "subjective truth." But in all honesty, it is NOT possible that she believes it. She has given two completely different versions of her holocaust experience; she would have to be insane, mentally retarded or a congenital liar to believe both of them, even “subjectively.” Therefore she has to be seen as an egotist and a business woman (not a very good one) who is marketing herself and has come to believe that she can get away with anything, since so far she has. It could also be that her loyalty to Israel and “the Tribe” is another motivation, one which gives her a sense of safety and belonging.

In keeping with his attempt at salvation, Neander offers a “reconstructed narrative” that fits the documents that are available, without inquiring into the matter with “Mrs. Zisblatt.” He then concludes that Irene Weisberg Zisblatt is not only a survivor of Auschwitz and the Holocaust, but that she has an interesting and instructive story to tell, however one that differs from her Shoah Testimony and her autobiography. His reconstruction is the story she should now tell.

But what about her book that is in all those school and town libraries? What about those thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of innocent school kids she has lectured to and brought to tears with her “incredible” life story? Above all, what about her Survivors of the Shoah testimony archived at the University of Southern California, and the academy award-winning documentary The Last Days? How does she take that all back?

Dr. Neander, it is not that easy. It’s one thing to dissect and show the falseness of a narrative that, in your words, is made up of implausibilities and ubiquitous legends. It’s quite another to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. What we have now are a lot of broken pieces shattered on the ground that will not come together again in any form that is convincing. I’m afraid Mrs Zisblatt’s goose is cooked.

Second Response to J. Neander

by Carolyn Yeager, February 2010
Copyright Carolyn Yeager 2010

Dear Dr. Neander,

Thank you for your letter of February 3rd. First let me assure you that you are welcome to any assistance I can give you in keeping the facts about Irene Zisblatt and the entire “Auschwitz experience” in order. (See 2nd paragraph at:

http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.com/2010/02/response-to-c-yeager.html#_ftnref2)

As a self-described independent scholar who has moved to Poland from Germany (I gather) and lives in Cracow, close to the Auschwitz-Birkenau (A-B) Memorial Museum, you obviously have a desire to be, or believe that you are, an “expert” on A-B. Very good, since we certainly need real experts to help us deal with the many, many falsehoods and perversions promulgated about this place since at least 1941, but especially after 1945.

You and I have agreed that Mrs. Zisblatt (by the way, she is no more “Mrs.” Zisblatt than I am Mrs. Yeager, so I will just call her Zisblatt and you may call me Ms. Yeager) has written a fantasy with her book, The Fifth Diamond. Of course, that means you also agree that the account she gives of her Auschwitz experience in Steven Spielberg’s documentary film, The Last Days, is also fantasy (a very important and potent point). As you have previously stated, the main theme of her book and of her testimony in the film is her ingesting, defecating, retrieving and ingesting again, over and over during her year spent in camps and on what she terms a “death march,” four diamonds given her by her mother before they entered Birkenau. Thus you agree that Zisblatt is lying in a very bold way about her experience, although you prefer to call her a “confused old lady” with a “dysfunctional memory” who “deserves our pity.” Hmmm, I dare say Zisblatt probably prefers my description of her as liar to yours as object of pity.

But more on that later. I want to follow your comments in a chronological order, so I’ll speak first about Stehzelle. You “prove” the existence of such torture by referring to the Auschwitz archives, saying that out of 275 reports you counted 28 reports that speak of Stehzelle given as punishment. This you expect to be accepted at face value. Yet, the entire holocaust legend is based on false reports, forgeries and lying and/or coerced witnesses. Therefore, a holocaust skeptic such as I am does want to see some physical evidence or unquestionably genuine documentation, which you have not produced.

My reference to the Auschwitz Wikipedia page, where Stehzelle is discussed, was not meant as “gospel” but had a purpose. If the most popular, most-relied upon quick source of information on the Internet cannot give a single real source of documentation for such cells, but instead dissimulates, it just shows how confused the entire subject is. It may have skipped your notice, but Maximilian Kolbe was not in a standing cell at the end, but in a regular cell, yet his detention in this cell was used at Wikipedia as evidence of the existence of “standing cells.” Going to the A-B website, one finds no archival information such as you say you have, but only a panoramic photo of the same reconstruction that I showed a photo of in my critique of your original article. And the Auschwitz archives are not The Gospel either.

It is also possible that “standing cell” was not what was described by some witnesses, who do like to go overboard in their descriptions. Why, for instance, do we only have reconstructions today, as seen in the photo mentioned above taken in Block 11 at Auschwitz, with those ridiculous tiny doors that adults would find it extremely hard to get through (and how did they get sick or unconscious people out, not to speak of dead ones?), and that are NOT shown to regular tour-goers who are not taken into the basement? It is typical that there are a lot of words written and spoken about things like Stehzelle, but no desire to show anything real to the public. Why? Because when the more intelligent of the public can look things over for themselves, they begin to see the improbabilities and impossibilities of the story that’s been given out.

It’s also of note that “standing punishment” has been around for a long time—it was called Field Punishment No. 1 by the British Army in WWI (soldiers referred to it as “the crucifixion”); the French Legionnaires called it “the Silo.” By the 1920’s it was routine police torture in America. In the 1930’s, Stalin’s NKVD used forced standing to coerce confessions for show trials. South African and Brazilian police made prisoners stand on cans or bricks, which caused excruciating pain to the feet. In 1956 the CIA commissioned two experts to study the effects of enforced standing. They found that the ankles and feet swell to twice their normal size within 24 hours; large blisters develop, and it gets worse from there.(1) It follows that it’s unlikely those so punished could work after spending over one day in such a cell.

With such wide usage, it’s no wonder it became a favorite story at the German concentration camps. No, I do not automatically accept the story that Commandant Liebenhenschel had the standing cells allegedly erected by Commandant Hoess torn down. I do not consider myself a scholar, Dr. Neander, as you do. I am an intelligent person who likes to use a common sense approach (anathema to holocaust scholars!). I think it is very telling that all alleged standing cells were torn down prior to the camp liberation or immediately afterward, leaving us with no physical record. In the case of Dachau, it was the U.S. Army itself that tore them down without taking any photographs. This makes no sense, since they were eager to find all evidence of Nazi crimes and publicize them. An intelligent person has to conclude that the standing cells at Dachau, today represented by a diagrammatic exhibit, are just another false publicity story. Would you not conclude that yourself, Dr. Neander?

This is all there is as evidence of Stehzelle at Dachau. The sign says prisoners were kept in these cells for as much as 72 hours at a time (3 days!). A Dachau exhibit reports that a Soviet prisoner, Yuri Piskunov, was confined to one of these cells for 10 days (!) in October 1944, but with no mention of his crime. According to the CIA study I cited, he would not have survived, but Piskunov was still alive when this exhibit opened in 2000. (photo by litlnemo at flickr)

More evidence? Drawing from a “survivor” of the so-called

Standing Cells” shows how belief is generated from fantasy.

From http://www.dachautour.com/

Moving on, you also make the comment that your original statement in your “Diamond Girl” article—“On the other hand, according to her story, Chana obviously did not have health problems with ingesting feces, as the Stehzelle episode shows. During the five days in this dungeon, the girls relieve themselves into the ankle-deep water in which they stand and drink the same water repeatedly (47), without becoming sick.”—was meant ironically, and I was unable to detect this. I doubt very much that I was the only reader who was unable to detect any irony in your wording and presentation of this idea. One would have to be a mind-reader to do so, and scholarly articles do not demand such mind-reading (well, Raul Hilberg does expect us to believe in mind-reading among the Nazi “final-solutionists,” which just shows that he is not a true scholar). Yet, even though you fault me for not picking up your ironies, you have misread or “mystified” several things that I wrote.

For instance, I was not “criticizing” you for not confronting the three main versions of Zisblatt’s story—her book, her Surviviors of the Shoah testimony, and the Spielberg film—and all the unacceptable discrepancies between them, in my first response to you: “Holocaust Scholar Finds ‘Fifth Diamond’ to Be a Work of Fiction.”(2) I only pointed that out so the reader would know there was an even bigger problem with Zisblatt’s integrity as a holocaust survivor than what you presented in your article. I accept your position that you wanted to keep your critique to a manageable length—that is certainly understandable—although the other reasons you give are less convincing. You say that the book cannot be altered anymore and is the product of thorough reflection as opposed to “the contingencies of an interview or a film scene shot live.” I have to object that the (Shoah) interview was taped, with opportunity to change and correct if desired; the film also must have given opportunity for several takes and was carefully prepared for. I don’t think there is any wiggle-room for claiming she was not able to say what she really meant to say. Therefore, we cannot divorce Zisblatt’s book from her Shoah testimony and especially from the film, The Last Days, and from all her public talks; they must be taken as a whole in the long run. I am not saying you are avoiding this; I don’t think, at this point, that you are.

Another instance: You are misrepresenting my words when you say that by “smoothing over” I meant you did not mention everything that was erroneous in Zisblatt’s narrative. That is not at all what I wrote. My words of “smoothed over” were clearly in regard to several of Zisblatt’s errors that you made light of or excused; thus they were in reference to what you DID say—not to what you did not say. An example is her incorrect timing for her arrival at Birkenau, putting herself there a full month before Jews from her area arrived there. She was very clear in Shoah testimony and book (written 10 years later) that all Jews in her town were deported by two days after Passover. This is not something that she would be confused about. Yet you call my criticism of survivors unable to assign correct dates to their memories an unreasonable expectation on my part. You then launch into a lecture of moral outrage at my “ignorance” of how impossible it was for concentration camp inmates to have any sense of time, and suggest I read “some good (non-revisionist) literature” about concentration camp life. This is typical holocaustian tactics of going on the offence rather than defend one’s position.

Do you suggest I read the most famous concentration camp literature of all—Night and other books by Elie Wiesel? How about Deborah Lipstadt’s works, or Danuta Czech? There are so many books to choose from, I wouldn’t know where to start. Perhaps you could direct me to the ones you most recommend.

Dr. Neander, do you deny that prisoners at A-B were able to subscribe to newspapers that were delivered to them in the camp? Do you deny that they received mail from family and friends, which certainly had dates on it? Do you deny there was a network of rumor and talk of all sorts, including an underground that managed to send radio messages to London? Let’s get real here. Even poor Zisblatt with her dysfunctional memory says they “somehow” knew when Jewish holidays came up and fasted for Yom Kippur for 24 hours, dumping their soup into the dirt, even though they were “starving.” How heroic! They were punished for that by the SS, she says, who deprived them of soup for the next five days. Contradictory to that, she also says she lost her faith in God and disassociated herself from her religious beliefs as soon as she found herself in the camp—survival became her only goal. How does that fit with choosing to fast when you’re starving?

So when you say that “for the average prisoner even the possession of paper and pencil — to take notes, to write a diary — was a ‘crime’ punishable by severe flogging, Stehzelle, or, if the SS man had a bad day, by killing on the spot” it is you that is showing ignorance, not I, by exaggerating beyond belief.

You continue in this vein when you still insist that “All the atrocities reported by Zisblatt did happen, somewhere, sometime” (tearing Jewish babies in half and throwing them in a river or into burning pits or banging their heads against trucks, or skinning prisoners with “smooth skin” to make lampshades, or putting anti-fertility chemicals into the soup?) and that “There can be no doubt that a multitude of criminal medical experiments” were performed on prisoners. (You also use the phrase “doubtless” many times, which any debater knows is a mark against you because it is used in place of proof or solid argument.) Now, I did not say that the medical experiments you refer to are absolutely untrue; I just know that it is necessary to doubt the simplistic, broad-brush claims you make about them.

Taking the camp doctors you mention one by one, let’s fact check your claims to be a scholar against what you’re now calling my “deep ignorance.”

  1. Dr. Sigmund Rascher, contrary to what you say, was never sentenced to death by an SS court; he was not even put on trial in an SS court or any other court. Rascher and his wife were arrested by the Munich police in April 1944 and put into a Munich jail for a crime that had nothing to do with his “experiments” at Dachau, but for Kindesunterschiebung, the kidnapping of two infants that they claimed Mrs. Rascher had given birth to. This was a very serious crime in Germany. They were also charged with financial irregularities and scientific fraud. Rascher was later moved to the Dachau prison bunker in preparation for being sent to the South Tyrol as part of a prisoner-exchange (3); his wife to Ravensbruck. They were “executed” right before liberation under unclear circumstances that are too complicated to go into, but were not according to SS procedure. As a doctor, Rascher used Dachau for his investigations into the effects of high altitude on German pilots, commissioned by Himmler for the Luftwaffe. According to the post-war testimony of his assistant Walter Neff (who was also a prisoner), 180 to 200 prisoners, only one a Jew, were providedthe great majority of whom had already been condemned to death by German courts. Forty of them were Russian POWs who were also subject to death because they were Communist Commissars (the “Commissar Order”) and 10 were ‘volunteers.’ Again according to Neff, about 70 to 80 of these prisoners died.(4) Himmler is said to have told Dr. Rascher that the subjects who survived should be pardoned to life imprisonment.(5) If so, this is another indication that the prisoners turned over for this experiment were condemned to death already. It’s also noteworthy that three of the doctors who worked with Rascher on the Luftwaffe high altitude experiments were acquitted at the Nuremberg “Doctor’s Trial” in 1947.(6)

To put this in perspective, let me remark that the Nazi justification for these experiments was that this was done in an effort to save the lives of German pilots. Please remember that the “good” Americans claim their “experimental” atomic bombing of Japanese cities was justified because it saved American servicemen’s lives. These hundred thousand plus of Japanese citizens had not been condemned to death by a court for criminal activities, but they were condemned by the American President and Military Command in absentia! The moral seems to be: killing to save American lives can be justified, but not German lives—victor’s justice. Also, America confiscated the results of the experiments they found by Dr. Rascher and used them for the U.S. Air Force.(7) They also used the results of experiments at Buchenwald.  Many of the doctors who did experiments in the camps were brought to America to continue their experiments.

2. Dr. Waldemar Hoven was accused of being the commandant’s wife’s lover. According to the Buchenwald camp guidebook “Ilse (Koch) selected prisoners with tattooed skin to be killed by her lover, Dr. Waldemar Hoven, in order to make leather lamp shades to decorate her home.”(8) We know that is not true—it is one of the famous atrocity legends (lies)—so why believe anything in the Buchenwald guidebook, or Buchenwald archives either if they have them? (I was at Buchenwald and I could see how hard they try to make it seem like a much worse place than it was. They have something of an inferiority complex because they don’t have a gas chamber, poor things, so they’ve turned the crematorium into a shrine and invented the “killing room” in the basement below.) The prisoners didn’t like Ilse Koch and because there were so many complaints about them, both Hoven and Ilse Koch were tried by Dr. Konrad Morgen in his tough SS court. Ilse Koch was acquitted, but Hoven was convicted and sentenced to death for murder. He spent 18 months in prison at Buchenwald, but was then reprieved because of the critical wartime shortage of doctors. He remained practicing at Buchenwald. He was not sent to the Eastern front by Himmler, as you said.

Strangely, an official U.S. Army Report dated April 24, 1945 accused Dr. Hoven of being a communist ally who was charged with killing anti-communist prisoners in Buchenwald with lethal injections. He was prosecuted by the IMT at “The Doctor’s Trial” and executed in 1948. Who is to say of what he was really guilty?

  1. Dr. Carl Clauberg and Dr. Horst Schumann are accused by holocaust crazies without any evidence. In the few articles about them on the “world wide web,” there are no sources or exhibits to confirm the nonsense about Clauberg’s sterilization of women “experiments,” and the same goes for Schumann. Nothing on the USHMM or A-BMM sites except the same accusatory words. You speak of a thick paper trail, yet all that is found is one unverified letter to HH, that could very well be made up, and probably is because it sounds ridiculous. Dr. Clauberg was known to be a respected medical doctor in Germany.

So, Dr. Neander, do you repeat any holocaust rumors and character assassinations that come down the pike, with little concern for true scholastic rigor? And still you accuse me of ignorance of the “facts.” What actual facts have you presented? What is going on here is that holocaust “Exterminationists” can’t stand it that there were capable doctors, nurses, hospitals and infirmaries in all the main camps taking good care if the prisoners who were ill or injured, so they have to turn these doctors into “Frankensteins” who were only concerned with evil and crazy experiments. You are the one who should better inform yourself before making rash statements.

As for Zisblatt’s hateful attitude toward Germans, it speaks for itself throughout her book and testimonies. She also makes it clear that her hateful attitude is directed toward all Gentiles—there is not a decent one in any of her versions of her story. (Of course, to holocaust-obsessed people like Zisblatt, a “good Gentile” is only one who helps Jews; there is no other standard.) It is astounding that you defend this on the basis that a German woman would feel and write the same against the Soviet and Jewish-Allied “retribution” they experienced at the end and after the war. As you must know, German women who suffered horrendous experiences (some far worse than anything Zisblatt could have experienced) do not write books or make speeches about it in anywhere near the numbers that Jews do.(9) Even this statement is overly generous—the ratio must be something like 1000 to 1. So yes, there is a great deal of resentment against “the Tribe”, not just from me, and it is well-deserved.

Thus, your efforts to continue to “smooth over” and “soften the blow” to Zisblatt are noticeable. You attempt to pass over to me the blame of wrongdoing by calling me “harsh and disparaging” in my attitude toward this woman who is involved in a “noble cause.” I do not agree with that, but still you are confusing things badly when you say I called her insane, mentally retarded, or a congenital liar. What I said, as you well know, was that she could not subjectively believe what she wrote was true (as you suggested) UNLESS she was insane, mentally retarded or a congenital liar, which I did not think she was. Therefore she must be seen as an egotist and a business woman marketing herself. Are those words too harsh, in your opinion, for what she had done and continues to do, Dr. Neander? Do you deny she is marketing herself and her fantasy story? Do you deny she is paid for many of her public appearances? Do you deny she loves the limelight and the attention? She began doing this in 1994 when she was 16 years younger than she is today, so you really can’t blame it on her old age. It would be distasteful to “market herself” as she is doing even if her story were true—that it is completely false makes it over-the-top disgusting.

And speaking of disgust … I wonder why you lower yourself to post your articles on a site with such low standards as “Holocaust Controversies.” Is that the only place that will accept them? Or are you one of the team? You appear to want to personally uphold good manners and proper forms, but the people you associate with there are anything but “proper.” They are name-callers and haters extraordinaire! Regular contributor Sergey Romanov seems overly reliant on four-letter words. Here are some he used to describe me after my article in response to yours was posted on Inconvenient History Blog: “neo-nazi scum,” idiotic paranoid,” “not very bright,” “dumb neo-nazi liar,”(10) and just yesterday a friend of theirs named Nathaniel called me an “ignorant fuck.” I would think you would not want to be associated with such language that reveals such immature behavior. I certainly don’t! Therefore, while I am willing to converse with you in the further exposure of Irene Zisblatt as the fraud that she is and in putting other myths about Auschwitz-Birkenau in their proper perspective, be informed that I will not reply to anything more that is posted at “Holocaust Controversies.” Good day to you, Sir.

Notes:

1. http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20040514&slug=torture14

2. http://www.revblog.codoh.com/2010/01/holocaust-scholar-finds-%e2%80%9cfifth-diamond%e2%80%9d-to-be-a-work-of-fiction

3. In the last days of the war, the "prominent" prisoners from all the camps and prisons were sent to Dachau, from which they were then sent to the South Tyrol, allegedly as part of Himmler’s negotiations with Allies for a conditional surrender. Both Nerin E. Gun, a journalist and prisoner at Dachau, in his book The Day of the Americans,1966, and veteran holocaust writer Gerald Reitlinger in his book The SS, Alibi of a Nation, 1922-1945, say that Dr. Rascher was on that trip. Reitlinger wroteCaptain Payne-Best met Sigmund Rascher during the southward evacuation of the Dachau political bunker at the beginning of May 1945.” However, Payne-Best was a British intelligence agent who was arrested in 1939, given special treatment in camp, and whose book The Venlo Incident must be taken with that in mind. Gun wrote that Dr. Rascher was shot in Innsbruck, after the VIP prisoners had been turned over to Captain Payne-Best.

4. Paul Berben, Dachau 1933-1945: The Official History, London: The Norfolk Press, 1975. pp. 125-135

5. George J. Annas, Michael A. Grodin, The Nazi doctors and the Nuremberg Code: human rights in human experimentation. Oxford University Press US. 1995. pp. 71–73.

6. “Dr. Hans Wolfgang Romberg, [mentioned above], was put on trial at Nuremberg in the Doctors Trial which started on December 9, 1946 and ended on August 20, 1947. Dr. Romberg was acquitted, as were Dr. Siegfried Ruff and Dr. August Weltz who were also involved in the Luftwaffe experiments at Dachau.” http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/experiments.html

7. A. Scott Berg, Lindbergh, G.P.Putman, 1998

8. http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/Atrocities.html.

9. Jewish survivors are encouraged to speak out, write books and even to embellish and fabricate (The Last Days “documentary” film is an example), and are rewarded (and given awards) for it, while the far more numerous German survivors have been discouraged to the point of ostracism if they should “complain” or “whine” about their sufferings. Once again, victor’s justice.

10. http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.com/2010/01/yeager-vs-neander.html

Denis Avey: The Man Who Would Be Righteous

by Carolyn Yeager

(copyright 2010 Carolyn Yeager)

 

In 1995, Ernst Lobethal gave his testimony as a survivor of The Holocaust to the Survivors of the Shoah Foundation for their video library, as thousands of others have done. In it, he had some words to say about a British soldier he met while interned at Auschwitz III (Monowitz) who had done him a favor.

Lobethal records that the soldier he called Ginger gave me a letter and 10 packs of cigarettes, and a bar of chocolate from my sister. Ten packs of English cigarettes - it's like being given Rockefeller Center. He also said, I had heavy soles put on my boots for two packs of Players cigarettes (pause) and that, later on, came again to save my life on the death marches that took place in 1945. This clip from the video was shown on the BBC Online News Magazine on November 29, 2009.(1) The article says that

Mr Lobethall traded two packs of Players cigarettes in return for getting his shoes resoled. It helped save his life when thousands perished or were murdered on the notorious death marches out of the camps in winter in 1945.

Lobethal's testimony was at some point taken under consideration by the Yad Vashem Memorial Museum's Commission for the Designation of the Righteous, a rather pompously-named committee, headed since 2005 by Israel Supreme Court Justice Jacob Tuerkel, that examines candidates before bestowing upon them the equally grandiose title of Righteous Among the Nations.

Yad Vashem, Israel's official institution for Holocaust research and propaganda, set up this commission in 1963 with the intent, according to their website, to single out within the nations of perpetrators, collaborators and bystanders, persons who bucked the general trend and helped the persecuted Jews. (my emphasis)

As I understand this, to Yad Vashem—the highest Holocaust authority for not only Israel's Jews but all Jews—every country that had perpetrators and bystanders are included in the nations. Thus, only Israel, which did not exist at the time, is separate, or above, the nations (something I will get back to later).

According to the website, this Commission for the Designation of the Righteous is made up of volunteers, most of them holocaust survivors, each of whom are expert in the history of the Holocaust in a certain region of Europe. They receive cases for evaluation and present their recommendations to the Commission to discuss.(2) Then the final decision is made by the Chairman, always a Supreme Court Justice. The righteous are defined as non-Jews who risked their lives to save a Jew(s) during the Holocaust. Yad Vashem has now given over 22,000 people this title. They come mainly from the greater European area, but with several from beyond, such as from Chile, Japan, Vietnam and the USA.

Currently there are six who did their righteous duty at Auschwitz; Denis Avey will apparently be the seventh. Thus, we want to look into Mr. Avey's conduct at the Auschwitz camp and how he saved the life of a Jew to find what the standards for this award really are.

* * * * *

Denis Avey came into the picture because Ernst Lobethal, a German Jew originally from Breslau, in his testimony referred to above remembered a British soldier who had befriended him—whom he called Ginger (apparently because of his red hair). He said this soldier had managed to send a letter to Lobethal's sister in England asking her to send him cigarettes and other items that he, Avey, would be able to get to her brother Ernst. He said she sent 10 packs of Player's cigarettes, a bar of chocolate and a letter, which Mr. Avey smuggled to Lobethal.

Lobethal claimed in his Survivors of the Shoah interview that trading the cigarettes enabled him to have his boots resoled, which saved his life on the death march later on when Auschwitz was abandoned. A Times article says Lobethall purchased boots and also scraps of food, which helped him to survive the death march.

Apparently, Yad Vashem searched among the British POW's, with the help of the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) (3), and came upon Denis Avey. At this point, the details are unclear. Did the BBC approach Avey? Did Avey just spontaneously begin telling his story at this time? Nothing is said of this in any of the three UK news articles. It's only said that Avey opened up and told his incredible story after 65 years of silence only last October, when he was also reunited with Lobethal's sister Susanna Timms, 86, after she was traced to Solihull, West Midlands. The result is that Yad Vashem had another candidate for their Righteous Among the Nations award.

Here is what Yad Vashem says: For obvious reasons this honour cannot be based on Avey's word alone, says Susan Weisberg, spokeswoman for Yad Vashem. Each case must be substantiated by eyewitness testimonies and archival documents of the period. (my emphasis) This process is now ongoing, so let's look at the news articles about Denis Avey and see if there are eyewitnesses and archival documents.

* * * *

The prestigious Times did their own tribute to Denis Avey in a Feb. 25, 2010 article(4), written by Jacob Wallis Simons. Some of the details change and one has to wonder whether it's the writer Simons, the Times staff, or Avey himself who made the changes from the BBC version. It begins with a description of Avey as a formidable figure, even at the age of 91. More than 6 ft. tall, with a severe short back and sides (a hair cut description) and a piercing glare, he combines the pan-ache (sic) of Errol Flynn with the dignity of age.

Denis Avey, who currently lives in Derbyshire with his wife of seventy-some years, looks relaxed, but says he has remained traumatized for 65 years. (The Mail Online)

 

Simons also tells us that Avey has a glass eye.

I ask him about it. He tells me that in 1944, he cursed an SS officer who was beating a Jew in the camp. He received a blow with a pistol butt and his eye was knocked in.

This is unlikely because the SS guards were under strict rules forbidding the beating of prisoners, let alone a British Prisoner of War who was under the authority of the Wehrmacht. The guard would have been severely punished, possibly even given a death sentence. Do Avey's records say he was then hospitalized and had his eye removed? You can be sure there aren't any such records.

Avey grew up on an Essex farm, describing himself as living a rough-and-tumble lifestyle. I had a shock of red hair and a temperament to match. In 1939 he volunteered for the Army—because he was too impatient to wait a week for the RAF (my emphasis). I ended up in the 7th Armoured Division, the original Desert Rats, he says. We operated behind enemy lines in Egypt. In 1942 we were ambushed. I was wounded and taken prisoner by the Germans.

Denis Avey with his sister Winifred in 1940, before going off to war. (The Mail Online)

For all his bravery, Avey told The Mail reporter, Andy Dolan, the reason he took so long to speak about his experience was because I was so traumatised at my whole experience of the Auschwitz camps it took me 60 years to be able to recount the horrors I saw.(5) We will see that Avey's experience of the regular Auschwitz camps consisted of two nights supposedly spent in an Auschwitz barracks.

 

Avey at Auschwitz

The Times article continues:

Avey was a troublesome prisoner. In the summer of 1943 he was deported to Auschwitz, in Poland, and interned in a small PoW camp on the periphery of the IG Farben factory. The main Jewish camps were several miles to the west. I'd lost my liberty, but none of my spirit, he says. I was still determined to give as good as I got.

By main Jewish camps, Simons means Auschwitz (I) and Birkenau (Auschwitz II). The main Jewish camp by the IG Farben plant was named Monowitz (Auschwitz III). The British POW camp was near the construction site of the Farben Buna plant and several hundred meters west of the Monowitz workers' camp. The first 200 British POWs arrived in September 1943. The barracks for the Monowitz camp were built in 1942 and all the prisoners who worked at the Farben industrial complex were moved into them. No Farben workers remained housed at Auschwitz or Birkenau after that.

 

Auschwitz Complex: Auschwitz I is the tiny orange rectangle in the center; Birkenau is on the left; Monowitz is the orange rectangle on the far right.

Avey says he immediately knew the situation at Monowitz:

The Stripeys — that's what we called the Jewish prisoners — were in a terrible state. Within months they were reduced to waifs and then they disappeared. The stench from the crematoria was appalling, civilians from as far away as Katowice were complaining. Everybody knew what was going on. Everybody knew.

The POW camp was separate from the Jewish camp and administered by the Wehrmacht, not the SS, so how does he know what state they were in? The Poles from the area say they did not know what was going on. The part about the stench cannot be true; nowhere is it said there were crematoria in Monowitz, and it is at least 10 km from Birkenau where the crematoria were. The city of Katowice is approximately 50 km away, and is a highly industrialized area that could be considered to have polluted air. Same with the Buna synthetic rubber plant—some odors would probably have come from there.

Remarkably, for a hothead, Avey was able to think beyond the war.

I knew in my gut that these swine would eventually be held to account. Evidence would be vital. Of course, sneaking into the Jewish camp was a ludicrous idea. It was like breaking into Hell. But that's the sort of chap I was. Reckless.

Simons tells us that

Avey's audacious plan was made possible by Ernst Lobethall, a German Jew from Breslau, who worked alongside Avey at the Farben factory. Although fraternising was forbidden on pain of death, the two men became friends. We spoke out of the corner of our mouths, Avey says, a difficult thing to do in German.

Avey's plan was made possible by Lobethal? How so? Lobethal says nothing about Ginger trading places with a Jewish prisoner in his testimony; he only spoke of getting cigarettes. It's Avey who's filled in all the rest. And did POW's and Jewish prisoners work together? Sometimes, no doubt, but it's rare to hear about it. If fraternizing was forbidden on pain of death, what would compel them to take the chance? And when did Avey learn to speak German, growing up on a farm in Essex and clearly disliking Germans, whom he called swine?

Lobethal revealed to Avey he had a sister living in England, so Avey says he

wrote to my mother, who told Susana that Ernst was alive. She posted 200 cigarettes to me via the Red Cross. Miraculously, four months later, they arrived. The cigarettes were worth a king's ransom. Ernst suddenly became rich.

The problem here is that if Lobethal knows his sisters address in England, he could have written to her himself. She could have sent a package with cigarettes and chocolate directly to her brother and the Red Cross would have delivered it. Dennis Avey is superfluous in this instance. This is Giveaway No. 1 that the story is fake. The BBC article even tells us that Avey contacted his mother with a coded letter. Why? There was nothing he was saying that was against the rules, except that he was fraternizing with an inmate from the labor camp. Maybe careful wording is what he meant by coding.

Avey's meticulous plan turns out to be this:  (He) found a Dutch Jew with a similar physique and persuaded him to exchange places for a day. Avey knew that they marched past each other at the same time every week. The Nazis were rigid, you see, he says. To them orders were orders, to be carried out exactly. That was what allowed me to find a way round them.

Once again, in spite of the Nazis' rigidity, he manages to persuade a Jew to risk his life in order to get one night outside his own barracks. The BBC article said:

He arranged to swap for one night at a time with a Jewish inmate he had come to trust.

Who was this inmate? It doesn't say. The article in the Daily Mail says the inmate was Lobethal:

The pair met while being used as slave labour at a nearby synthetic rubber factory. At the end of their shift one night, Mr Avey changed into Mr Lobethall's stripy uniform, took his ID card and returned with the Jewish prisoners to Birkenau, also known as Auschwitz II.(6)

Apart from Lobethal never saying anything in his Survivors of the Shoah video testimony about trading places with Denis Avey, or going into the British POW camp, the prisoners did not carry ID cards. That's what the tattoos were for, to keep track of them. Where did Andy Dolan get such an idea?

The Times continues:

Avey shaved his head and blackened his face. At the allocated time, he and the Dutch Jew sneaked into a disused shed. There they swapped uniforms and exchanged places. Avey affected a slouch and a cough, so that his English accent would be disguised should he be required to speak.

Try to imagine this, if you can. The POW's and the Jewish prisoners are marching in different directions and pass each other. Time stops; everyone else goes into suspended animation while the two men leave the ranks and go into a shed nearby. They change into each other's uniforms and return to take each other's place in the ranks. Time resumes and so does the marching.

In addition to this, the British Prisoner of War has shaved his head, while the Jew with a shaved head is pretending to be a British Prisoner of War. And the rigid, order-bound SS guards don't notice anything wrong. This is Giveaway No. 2.

Avey then tells Simons:

I joined the Stripeys and marched into Monowitz, a predominantly Jewish camp. As we passed beneath the Arbeit Macht Frei sign, everyone stood up straight and tried to look as healthy as they could. There was an SS officer there, weeding out the weaklings for the gas. Overhead was a gallows, which had a corpse hanging from it, as a deterrent. An orchestra was playing Wagner to accompany our march. It was chilling.

Avey is really warming up to his subject now. But he doesn't know Monowitz from Auschwitz where the Arbeit Macht Frei sign is. Auschwitz had very few Jews in it; they were all at Birkenau and Monowitz. Giveaway No. 3.

The BBC article said:

He fully intended to get as far as Birkenau, where the gas chambers and crematoria were constantly in operation, belching acrid fumes. He only made it as far as Auschwitz III, (Monowitz) where he spent the night on two occasions.

So where was he? Since he doesn't know, we can conclude he was never in these places. Especially when he describes it this way:

They were herded through the camp, carrying the bodies of those who had died that day. I saw the Frauenhaus—the Germans' brothel of Jewish girls—and the infirmary, which sent its patients to the gas after two weeks. I committed everything to memory. We were lined up in the Appellplatz for a roll call, which lasted almost two hours. Then we were given some rotten cabbage soup and went to sleep in lice-infested bunks, three to a bed.

Here he is definitely describing Auschwitz I, 7 km from Monowitz where they worked. But he's incorrect in everything he says. The brothel was called Die Puff, and didn't have Jewish girls working in it, but Polish women from outside the camp. Jews could not use the brothel at all, following the Nuremberg laws of racial purity. The infirmaries would not care for patients for two weeks only to then send them to the gas chamber. The camp administration was constantly fighting lice in the barracks and on the inmates. That's what the Zyklon B was for.

I wonder what happened in the British POW camp when the Dutch Jew brought his lice-infested body (according to Avey) into it and spent the night?! What about when Avey returned there after spending the night in a lice-infested bed? Here's Avey's description of the night:

The night was even worse than the daytime. As it grew dark, the place was filled with howls and shrieks. Many people had lost their minds. It was a living hell. Everyone was clutching their wooden bowls under their heads, to stop them getting stolen.

Only enamel covered metal bowls were used at all camps, so Avey reveals he's making it up when he specifies wooden bowls. He also doesn't tell us which barracks he stayed in. Giveaway No. 4.

Lobethall had bribed Avey's bedfellows with cigarettes. They gave me all the details, he says, the names of the SS, the gas chambers, the crematoria, everything. After that, they fell asleep. But I lay awake all night.

Where is Lobethal? If Avey traded places with the Dutch Jew, can we assume he spent the night in Lobethal's barracks? Again, I repeat that Lobethal didn't mention anything about his friend Avey's prisoner exchange in his testimony. If he bribed Avey's bedfellows with cigarettes, he was a part of it. But why would suffering Jewish prisoners need to be bribed to talk about their sufferings? They wanted to get the information out to the rest of the world, as I understand it. And what good were the names of the SS to Avey; has he ever reported any crimes by guards whose names he got that have resulted in action taken? Also, the alleged gas chamber had not operated in Auschwitz since 1942; now it was 1944. In spite of the shrieks and howls in this living hell, his bedfellows fell right to sleep. In the morning, after roll call and breakfast, they were marched back out of the camp.

When we passed the shed again, I slipped in to meet the Dutch Jew, he says. That was hair raising. Although I trusted him, I couldn't be sure that he'd turn up. And if an SS officer had looked in the wrong direction at the wrong time, that would have been it.

Amazing how the SS cooperated with his plan.

The changeover went smoothly, and Avey returned to the PoW camp. The Dutch Jew perished, but I'm certain that this short reprieve prolonged his life by several weeks, he says. Whether that was a good thing, I don't know.

Returned to his camp with his shaved head? How many of his fellow POW's knew what he was up to? And how convenient that the nameless Dutch Jew died, so there is no one, including relatives, alive today to corroborate Avey's story… or not. In these far-out holocaust tales, the essential characters always die early, and are usually nameless. Giveaway No. 5.

Here would be a good place to show you what the British POW's at their camp at Monowitz looked like. This is a picture of their soccer team, wearing matching team sport shirts, looking healthy, well-treated, and on friendly terms with their benign-looking Wehrmacht guards.


 

Football team in British POW camp near Monowitz, probably in 1944 (thanks to Scrapbookpages Blog)


British Prisoners of War at E715 POW camp near Monowitz (Photo Credit: Alan Howitt, whose father is in the picture) (thanks to Scrapbookpages Blog)

The Times article continues:

In 1945, as the Soviet Army closed in, the Nazis abandoned the camp and herded 60,000 prisoners in the direction of Germany, in what would become known as one of the Death Marches. Avey, who by then was suffering from tuberculosis, was among them. Around 15,000 prisoners died on the way. The road was littered with corpses, he says. I saw a chance to escape and seized it.

Giveaway No. 6. The POW's didn't go with the 60,000 regular prisoners. They didn't leave until January 21, while the regular prisoners began their march on January 18. This is very important because it shows that Avey could not have been there if he didn't know what kind of a march he was on. He's saying things off the top of his head, depending on what he has read or heard. He knows about the death march of the 60,000 but not that the POW's left later on a separate march.

He found his way to Allied lines and was transported back home. Two days before VE Day, he arrived at his parents' Essex farm half-dead with exhaustion and sickness. They had not expected to see him again.

I think it's certain the British or American Army would have hospitalized him right there if he had TB, not transported him sick and half-dead to his parents home, where he arrived on May 6. This arrival date to his parents in England may be documented, but Avey doesn't say how long his March lasted or anything else about it. Again, this is typical of false stories. I would like to see the official military record for Mr. Avey!

Simons now reveals even he knows this story doesn't make sense.

If Avey's story still sounds implausible, there is no doubt about the help he gave to Lobethall. Last year the BBC screened a moving documentary, during which Avey learnt for the first time that his old friend had survived the war and died in New York in 2001. Before his death, Lobethall recorded a video testimony for Steven Spielberg's Shoah Foundation, during which he emotionally recounts how his life was saved by Avey's (actually Ginger's - he never says he knew the soldier's name) initiative and Susana's cigarettes. This is the only moment that I see Avey's steely façade falter.

In other words, if you can't believe Avey, then at least believe Lobethall!

I was hospitalised for two years after the war, Avey continues. In 1947, I went to the military authorities to submit my information about Auschwitz. Their eyes glazed over. I wasn't taken seriously. I was shocked, especially after the risks I'd taken. I felt completely disillusioned, and traumatised as well. So from then on I bottled it up, and tried to piece my life back together.

This may just be his way of explaining why he waited 65 years to speak of this—until Yad Vashem and the BBC came looking for a red-haired British POW.

Readjusting to normal life was hard. Avey became addicted to adrenalin, racing fast cars, travelling to Spain for the running of the bulls. He was plagued by nightmares and flashbacks. Even today he shows signs of trauma. He always carries an expensive gold watch, so that if ever I find myself in a fix again, I've got something to fall back on.

Two nights spent in an Auschwitz barracks (considering that it really happened) would not create such Post Traumatic Stress in a tough, ready-for-anything Desert Rat, as he describes himself. This is Giveaway No. 7. Avey is clearly a man who has always had a myriad of psychological problems. His reckless nature leads him to take advantage of this opportunity for a claim to fame as a Righteous Among the Nations. But what does it say about Yad Vashem that they appear to be on the verge of accepting Avey's preposterous account? Why is Yad Vashem so anxious to confer this designation upon as many Gentiles as possible?

How Yad Vashem gains from their Righteous program

Let's look further into the meaning of this honor bestowed by Jews upon Gentiles. Yad Vashem says: Each case must be substantiated by eyewitness testimonies and archival documents of the period.

Signed and notarized testimonies by survivor and other witnesses of the rescue attempt. Testimonies should include all known personal data on rescuers and survivors, a detailed account of the rescue attempt (how the contact with the rescuer was made; the form of rescue; places and dates of rescue; what arrangements or agreements were made between rescuers and survivors; how did the danger to the rescuers manifest itself; any other details that may shed light on the nature of rescue.) (7)

Where are the testimonies for Avey and Lobethal? They come only from Avey, Lobethall and Lobethall's sister, a rather ingrown group. There are no outside neutral parties. The BBC tells us that Avey briefly met Susana Lobethal in 1945, when he came home from the war, traumatized by what he'd witnessed and endured. They both thought Ernst was dead. But where are the witnesses to this meeting? Susana lost touch with Avey and thus never told him the good news when she found out Ernst was alive.

Is it because all Avey did was to smuggle cigarettes to Lobethal (according to Lobethal) that they needed to build up a grander picture of him as risking his life? Yad Vashem and the British news media go to great lengths always to keep the horror of Auschwitz alive in the public consciousness. Denis Avey serves this purpose for them, in spite of the unbelievability of his story. As we can see from the comments from readers to these three articles, they accept what he says without question.

As for Yad Vashem, they have an even more sinister purpose for their Righteous Among the Nations than just pushing holocaust horror stories. This program has created for Israel a moral high-ground for Jews, from whence they look down upon and reward Gentiles who have put their own lives in danger to save Jews. This is a subtle, or not so subtle statement that good Gentiles defend and protect Jews. Do they ever say it is the responsibility of Jews to protect Gentiles? Never—this is never brought up at all. Because in their Jewish universe, Gentiles can only be perpetrators or silent bystanders, while Jews are perpetual victims of Gentiles. No matter what kind of murderous behavior Jews exhibit, this never changes.

Elie Wiesel, that personification of everything that is wrong with the holocaust industry, speaking at the 2005 opening of the new Yad Vashem Museum in Jerusalem, made this statement:

The Holocaust was not man's inhumanity to man. It was man's inhumanity to the Jews. (8)

This sums up the ethnocentric view of world Judaism, of religious Judaism and Zionism both—it's all about us, and we are working to make that the legal framework of this planet. Watch out, Gentiles!

It's instructive to look at the situation of the Roman Catholic Church and the path to sainthood of one of their beloved Popes, Pius XII. Jewry is doing everything in its power to stop the canonization of Pius XII because, in their estimation, he didn't do enough to help the Jews during their holocaust. Therefore, in their eyes he is not Righteous. Wrongly, they make it his responsibility, not their own, to look out for Jews. This is the message that's being transferred to the rest of us by constant barrage of Jewish outrage and interference in Gentile affairs. While some of us can see through it, most cannot.

But what if the tables were turned and concerned Gentiles were to do everything in their power to stop the Righteous Among the Nations from being conferred on Denis Avey, on the basis that he is unworthy of it? He is certainly lying about his exploits back in the camps; what was his status there exactly? The Jews are demanding all documents relating to Pius XII during the war years be released to them; we should likewise demand to see Denis Avey's military records, at the very least. We should make it our business, just as they make the Church's sainthood process their business.

In closing, I'd like to quote from a recent article (9) by Steven Walt (co-author, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy).

Challenging Orthodoxy Is a Form of 'Asymmetric Conflict': You Win By 'Not Losing.' As long as you remain part of the debate, you're winning. Minds don't change overnight, and it is difficult to know how well an intellectual campaign is going at any particular point in time—some days you might think you're winning big, while other days the deck will appear to be stacked against you. But the real question is: are you still in the game?

 

Endnotes:

  1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/8382457.stm.

  2. http://www1.yadvashem.org/righteous_new/about_the_program.html

  3. Ibid: news.bbc.co.uk. The BBC has now reunited the pair after tracing Susana, who is now Susana Timms and lives in the Midlands.

  4. http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/the_way_we_live/article7039572.ece

  5. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1235566/How-British-PoW-swapped-uniforms-sneak-IN-Auschwitz-Jewish-pal-slip-out.html#ixzz0i0XQUEm7

  6. Ibid.

  7. http://www1.yadvashem.org/righteous_new/how_to_apply.html

  8. http://www.jweekly. com/article/ full/57402/ yad-vashem- ramping-up- effort-to- combat-holocaust -denial/

  9. http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/02/22/on_grabbing_the_third_rail



The Case Against Denis Avey, the BBC, and the British Government

By Carolyn Yeager, April 2011
copyright Carolyn Yeager 2011

"The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz" is the product of a conspiracy to defraud.

Last year, I wrote an article published here about Denis Avey, a man whose newly-released WWII concentration camp survivor story was getting a lot of attention in the British press. In my article, and on my Internet radio program The Heretics' Hour, I did a pretty thorough job of debunking Avey's poorly concocted story and explaining the intention of the Yad Vashem Institute and Memorial in Israel to name him one of their "Righteous Among the Nations," an award they give to Gentiles whom they document as saving the life of a Jew during "the Holocaust."

Now Avey has come out with a book, The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz, which immediately became a best-seller (so they say) in the UK, but has not been released yet in the U.S. The book is co-written with Rodger Broomby, the BBC journalist who interviewed Avey for the article that started the whole ball rolling. It ran in the BBC online edition Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009.

Because Avey's basic story has already been thoroughly critiqued by me and others, I will now focus attention on the principals who conspired to create this hoax on the public by building up, even encouraging, the ridiculous tall tales of an old WWII veteran. Unfortunately this is nothing new in the Holocaust Industry, but this should not lead us to believe that familiarity makes it acceptable. It is not.

We also need to understand that these are not just harmless stories, and think we can afford to humor old men and women who indulge in them. These are harmful lies, and also distortions of history, that slander certain people and whole nations, even to the point of destroying once healthy societies. It is, in fact, a type of warfare—what's called Information Warfare.

The BBC's crucial role

The BBC first heard about Denis Avey in 2003 when he appeared on a BBC program discussing war pensions.  He began to speak about Auschwitz, where he said he had "come to witness", calling it "like hell on earth." As he continued, the TV hosts could hardly believe what they were hearing. Reportedly, the BBC began production on a documentary about him, but sat on this story for six years, during which time they discovered the story of the Jew Ernst Lobethal, who had testified on videotape to the Shoah Foundation in California before he died in 2001. Much has been made of the connection between the two men, but it has never been satisfactorily authenticated.

We have to assume that the BBC did its journalistic job and carefully looked at the story presented by Denis Avey. They had to see the implausibilities in it, most especially the change of uniforms between Avey and the "Jew" as their separate marching columns passed each other. This preposterous fantasy is what makes Avey's entry into the Jewish barracks possible. They also had to know that a similar story had already been concocted by another British subject—Charles Coward—right after the war, and a motion picture had been made about it. We are thus led to the assumption that BBC fell victim to that "if it worked once, it will work again" Hollywoodish penchant to repeat past hits. This makes it clear that the BBC knew it was dealing with a fraud, but cared only whether or not it could be "sold" to the British public, who are quite willing to "buy" German atrocity stories.

Even the knowledge that the Charles Coward story has been widely discounted in recent years did not cause the BBC to exercise restraint.

The Role of British Politics

We turn now to the connection to British politics. Back in 2005, Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown (in Tony Blair's government) made funding available to send, each year, two teenagers from every British secondary school on a visit to Auschwitz. The funding has been extended to 2011. According to the UK Telegraph, Brown's interest in the "Holocaust" went back to his childhood, when his clergyman father worked with a church group that supported the foundation of the state of Israel.

In Feb. 2008, Tory candidate David Cameron called Brown's school kids' Auschwitz trips a "gimmick." This backfired on the Tories, strengthening Brown's belief that being pro-Auschwitz was good public relations and good politics.

Following upon his elevation to Prime Minister, Gordon Brown made a highly publicized "emotional" visit to Auschwitz on April 28, 2009, when he also met with the Polish premier and president to discuss deployment of Polish troops in Afghanistan. The BBC carried the news that Brown said the UK government would do all it could to assist school visits to Auschwitz, and on April 30, the Prime Minister pledged to increase the number of school pupils who visit the concentration camp memorial yearly. He also pledged support to maintain Auschwitz as a permanent memorial amid concerns the site is in a state of decay and funding for its museum is under threat.

British "Heroes of the Holocaust"

When Prime Minister Brown returned from his Auschwitz trip, he announced the creation of an award to recognize British citizens—something he named "Heroes of the Holocaust." A campaign to gain official posthumous recognition of British Holocaust rescuers had already been initiated by the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET), a British charity founded by British Jews in 1988 to ensure that the Holocaust formed part of the National Curriculum for history. Through 2008 and 2009 the campaign attracted support from the media as well as members of parliament, both in the UK parliament and in the Scottish Parliament. This new national award was announced on 29 April 2009, just after Gordon Brown's first visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland. Brown had proclaimed at that time: "We will create national awards in Britain for those British citizens who helped so many people, Jewish and other citizens, during the Holocaust period."

When Prime Minister Gordon Brown launched his "Heroes of the Holocaust" awards in 2009, it seemed a good time to bring out Denis Avey, dust him off, and present this very-much-alive "Hero" to the British public. Thus the BBC got busy arranging a meeting between Ernst Lobethal's sister, who had been sent as a Jewish child to England in the late 1930's, where she remained, and Denis Avey.1 The meeting was filmed and presented on BBC-TV, as well as on BBC-Online on Nov. 29, 2009, exactly seven months after the "Heroes" announcement.

Two months later, Gordon Brown received Avey at 10 Downing St. in London, sat and talked with him and later awarded him, along with 26 other recipients, the British Hero medal.

Britain's legally blind Prime Minister Gordon Brown (right) touches the arm of Denis Avey as Avey recounts his exploits at a meeting at number 10 Downing Street in London on Holocaust Memorial Day in January 2010. (photo credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor)

'Great bravery': Gordon Brown greets 91 year-old Denis Avey at the awards ceremony, while 100-year-old Sir Nicholas Winton stands nearby. These are the only two living recipients of the award.


Before the March 9, 2010 Award ceremony had taken place amid much fanfare and congratulations all round, the Daily Mail printed their own interview of Avey by Andy Dolan on Feb. 13, and the Times followed with one by Jake Wallace Simons on Feb. 25. All of these newspaper articles had differing details between them about important parts of Avey's story. The schedule is:

BBC: Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009 [by Rob Broomby]

Daily Mail: Feb. 13, 2010 [by Andy Dolan]

The Times: Feb. 25, 2010 [by Jake Wallace Simons]

Hero of the Holocaust Award Ceremony: March 9, 2010

Others who have joined in the hoax are the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation and Felix de la Concha. As written on the Wallenberg website:

The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation has commissioned painter Felix de la Concha to create a portrait as well as conduct an interview with Denis Avey, a man who "smuggled" himself into Auschwitz. The interview is a part of a bigger project aimed at portraying and recording Holocaust survivors that Mr. De la Concha has been carrying on since 2008.

Another conspirator is Yad Vashem. The folks there were all set to award Avey with their "Righteous Among the Nations" title, and it is only in the past weeks they started to express second thoughts.

There is also Pulitzer Prize-winning Jewish journalist Henry Kamm, a correspondent for The New York Times, who endorsed Avey's book with unqualified admiration for the man, and Jewish historian Sir Martin Gilbert, who wrote the forward, calling it "a most important book."

A serious problem here is that all of these people are intelligent enough to see that Avey's story is false on its face. They go along with the lie as a matter of course. The entire Holocaust business is rife with absurdities which no one can challenge without being heavily persecuted, if not arrested. Therefore they feel safe.

"The Holocaust" is a political asset that is used to gain, hold and justify power. It is therefore guarded with big guns. But once in awhile something is just too bizarre to pass.

The jig is up

On April 9, 2011 Guy Walters wrote in the Daily Mail that Avey's story is not believable. But a year before that, this was pointed out by the blogger at Scrapbookpages Blog on March 4, 2010, and then on my radio program mentioned above on March 8, and my article published at Inconvenient History Revisionist Blog on March 16, 2010.

Guy Walters happens to be the author of Hunting Evil, a biography of Simon Wiesenthal that exposed the famous "Nazi Hunter" as a first-class liar who used lies to advance the idea that there were "evil Nazis" hiding everywhere that needed to be brought to justice. Wiesenthal was supported by individual Jews and Jewish organizations; he then created his own organization just for that purpose. Though an establishment figure, Walters has come out with a similar expose of Avey's book.

In an opinion piece in the Daily Mail on April 9, 2011, Walters makes the case that "increasing numbers of people don't believe [Avey]."  Dr Piotr Setkiewicz, the head historian at Auschwitz, said outright that he did not believe Mr Avey's story of the swap. He added, "As there are no testimonies by other survivors, I certainly would not include this story in any book that I wrote."

His fear was "the story could provide ammunition for Holocaust deniers." This is always the worry of those who live off the Holocaust Industry. Note that the concern was not that it was untrue.  If the story could somehow pass muster, it would be allowed, but if the lies are so blatant and far-fetched they can be easily attacked, it's bad for the Industry. Remember Herman Rosenblatt's Angel at the Fence? And his fabricated story was far easier to swallow than Avey's.

The powerful World Jewish Congress has also changed course and called on the publishers to verify the historical accuracy of the book. They released the statement "We are deeply concerned about the charge that a significant part of Mr Avey's story — i.e, that he supposedly smuggled himself into the Auschwitz-Buna concentration camp — is exaggerated if not completely fabricated." (my italics)

In the same week, Yad Vashem said it was now unable to honor Mr Avey with "Righteous Among The Nations," because it could not back up his claims. The same Irena Steinfeldt, who last year effused over Avey's "noble and extraordinary act," this week said, "We didn't find anyone to confirm it. We went through several testimonies of Jewish inmates, and none of them mentioned that it happened. There was nothing to substantiate it."

She pointed the finger at the British Government when she added: "We often get recommendations that show that the applicant has won an honour from a government, but that in itself is not evidence." She's referring to the British "Hero of the Holocaust" Award given to Avey on March 9, 2010 by Prime Minister Gordon Brown. According to the Daily Mail, Avey's name was "put forward to Yad Vashem" as a candidate for the 'Righteous' title."

Even Former prisoners at Auschwitz and at the PoW camp where Avey allegedly had been held have strongly disputed that Avey's exploit was possible.

Sam Pivnik, 84, a Polish Jew, was sent to Auschwitz in August 1943 and held there until January 1945. "Avey's story seems to me highly unlikely," he says.

A stronger rebuke is heard from Brian Bishop, 91, a survivor of Dunkirk who had been captured in Africa in 1942 and was at camp E715. "I don't believe it. I can't understand how he did it. To do something like that you need to have several people helping on both sides — our side and the Jewish side." Bishop sees a further problem in Avey's timing.  "Why does he start telling this story now? I don't understand why all these stories are coming out now. It looks like they're waiting for everybody to die and then no one can contradict them." Exactly right.

Even Ernst Lobethal's daughter, Ingrid, says she does not believe the story of the swap. "Where is the detail in what he saw there than can't be gleaned from the vaguest Holocaust account?" She doesn't seem to realize that the "details" of most holocaust accounts are also lies. Still, when the daughter of the man you supposedly saved from death does not believe your story, it looks pretty bad.

Avey has said he approached British military authorities in 1947 with his story, but they weren't interested. But it has now come out that in 1947, he was approached by American prosecutors via the War Office to ask if he would like to make an affidavit of his experiences to help build a case in a war crimes trial, and he declined.

Plagiarism, too?

I mentioned previously that the story of Mr Avey's swap is almost identical to that told by another former PoW at camp E715 named Charles Coward, who is one of the posthumus recipients of Brown's 'Heroes of the Holocaust' award. This British Prisoner-of-War allegedly smuggled information about conditions at Auschwitz out and snuck food and other items in to Jewish inmates, and aided the escape of a significant number of Jewish "slave labourers." He lived in Edmonton, Enfield.

However, Coward's story has been discredited and his testimony at Nuremberg IMT is now widely considered untrue. A book was written about his exploits, titled The Password Is Courage; he was billed on the jacket as "The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz" — which became the title of Avey's book.

Avey's co-author Rob Broomby has made excuses for the implausibilities in the story and has had to admit that he can't confirm whether the "swap" really happened. "It's very difficult to verify at this stage,' he said. 'You're not going to find people 70 years afterwards. It's only when you've spent time with Denis that you know what he's like."

Denis falls back on the same kind of defense. In 2001, 10 years ago, Avey gave a five-hour interview to the Imperial War Museum and did not mention the swap. When recently asked why, he said, "I don't know why. I didn't choose to establish it then. But what I wrote in the book is the truth. I don't have to defend it. I don't mind what anybody says. I know what I've done."  

Broomby has also said, "This is not footnoted academic history. You have to look into the man's eyes and know what sort of man this is.' In other words, accept the lies in order not to insult the 93-year old man who's telling them. Oh yes, make no mistake, the argument has been made that Avey, as an elderly man, should be allowed to have his glory

and not be questioned or doubted. It's the nice thing to do. What kind of historical record does this leave us with?

Broomby's role in this makes him part of the conspiracy. Employed by the BBC, he first published an interview with Avey on November 29, 2009, along with the sentimental video produced by the BBC crews.

A month later, on Dec. 30, his byline appeared on another BBC article announcing that Avey is being considered for the title of "Righteous Among the Nations" by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. In that article, Broomby said that Avey's story was the result of a BBC investigation. Broomby then gets the lucrative job of writing Avey's sure-fire best-seller.

Is Britain copying Israel's 'Righteous Gentiles'?

This leads to my final point: Gordon Brown seems to have slavishly copied Israel in devising Britian's own "righteous Gentile" award, which he dubbed "Hero of the Holocaust." Though the silver medallion is inscribed with the words 'In the Service of Humanity,' the honor has been described as given to those who risked their lives to help Jews during the Holocaust. Is the Yad Vashem award not enough for the world? "These individuals are true British heroes and a source of national pride for all of us," Brown said in a statement. "We pay tribute to them for the inspiration they provide now and for future generations to come." In picking Denis Avey, and quite a few of the others, he is bringing dis-honor on Britain and arousing only a false national pride.

Considering the role of the Holocaust Educational Trust in all this, a clear picture of collaboration between the Holocaust promoters and the British government comes into view, a collaboration which results in the foisting of another fake "Holocaust Hero" onto a world already staggering under the weight of Holocaustism. The sinister purpose, as I said at the beginning, is to bolster the political power base of the World War II allied victors who have become the New World Order.

These people engage in telling lies to each other, congratulating one other on these lies, while the media does its part in carrying the lies to the public and repeating them until lies come to be fundamental to our thinking. Positive publicity for Great Britain as the "land of heroes" is part of it also.

What drives it?

Why is it so easy to get people to believe this stuff? Many repeat the popular idea that folks don't want to admit they have been fooled by what turns out to be, upon deeper study, obvious fairy tales. Thus they prefer to continue to believe it is true. I think the reason is more profound than that. It's not ego. People instinctively realize that if the Holocaust is a hoax, much else that they have believed, and even cherished, must also be wrong. This turns their world upside-down, and everything must be re-examined. Rather than deal with that, they refuse to think about it. They decline to look at the evidence.

This is what people like Gordon Brown and the BBC count on. This is why they feel safe. Can we hope that enough people will be outraged by the fraud committed against us, and the money, our own money, spent to uphold it, that they will be willing to re-arrange their world view? That is the hope.

Endnote:

  1. Rodger Broomby wrote that Avey's story "emerged following a recent BBC investigation" in a Dec. 30, 2009 article published by the BBC. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8433968.stm

Why the BBC and Labour Government Cynically Backed the Denis Avey Holocaust Hoax, and why they won't let it go

By Carolyn Yeager, April 2011
copyright Carolyn Yeager 2011

The latest media/government/holo industry campaign has turned into a can of worms, but there is too much is at stake to retract it.

Does the public enjoy being fed fairy tales that serve the interests of the power elite? The answer must be yes, especially when it's the kind that plays well with those who long for the "glory of Britain" in a time when Britain is becoming increasingly non-British. In order to soften the blow that via WWII the British not only lost their Empire but are losing their national sovereignty and also their racial distinctiveness, the alien government and media conspire to convince the people that doing so is a good and noble act … in Britain's "best tradition."

The Hoaxers: Denis Avey, the prize liar, is flanked by BBC producer Patrick Howse (left) and BBC World Service reporter Rob Broomby (right), at Number Ten Downing St. in London.

The two media men in the picture above admit they spent years hoping to verify the unlikely tale of Denis Avey, told by him to the BBC 60 years after the fact. They held on to it because for all mainstream government-connected media, new tales about the holocaust are worth their weight in gold.

Here was a living human being in his late 80's with a bold story, but no proof he was telling the truth. Avey apparently did not know the name of the Jewish prisoner he "traded places with" in the early telling of his tale. If he had, the BBC would have known where to look for the man. Rob Broomby wrote in the March 16, 2010 BBC official newspaper Ariel (page 5), titled "How a BBC investigation found genuine 'Hero of the Holocaust" that it was only when someone sent them a copy of a video interview made by a certain Ernie Lobet before his death in 2001, in which he recalled a British soldier he knew only as 'Ginger' who had smuggled cigarettes and chocolate from England to him inside Auschwitz, that they made the connection to Avey.

Here we have a problem because cigarettes, and maybe even chocolate at times, could be purchased in all the camps. In the Monowitz camp, working conditions were quite tolerable, and the Red Cross delivered packages to Jewish inmates right up to the point when Allied bombers began destroying all transports within Germany. If Lobethal knew where his sister lived (as he said he told Avey), he could himself have asked the Red Cross to look her up and ask her to send him packages. Although, it may have been a difficult request to fulfill since the BBC, with all its resources, could not find Lobethal's sister Susana in the 2000's until they went on a house-to-house search for her in person. Yet we're to believe it was easy for Avey's mother to contact her during the war.

 

Despite holes in the story, it is accepted

Avey and Susana Lobethal Timms both claim to have met "briefly" in 1945 when Denis returned from the war, according to Broomby. But Avey also says he was suffering from tuberculosis (highly contagious), exhaustion and post-traumatic stress and had to be hospitalized immediately and took two years to recover. I don't believe that these two ever met before the BBC got them together in October 2009. It's more likely that Howse and Broomby had met with Susana and she agreed to go along with the story, or simply agreed to the story. The explanation Avey and Timms give for not knowing each other-that "they lost touch" after 1945-is not persuasive. Susana would surely have made the effort to notify Avey that Ernst was alive, and then was moving to America, if all this were really true. If it were true, Ernst would want to thank the man who "saved his life" if his sister knew who the man was.

Avey claims he was known as 'Ginger' because of his red hair. He first said he traded places with a Jewish prisoner he had gotten to know in their common workplace (Lobethal), but later changed it to a "Dutch Jew named Hans" who died shortly afterward. Was it because Lobethal, in his testimony on the video, had said not a word about trading places in the barracks for a night? If he were involved in such a dramatic event, it would certainly not have slipped his mind. But Lobethal only told of being given cigarettes.

This, however, didn't deter Howse and Broomby from connecting dots that didn't exist. Lobethal's actual Shoah testimony is that a British PoW he knew as Ginger gave him 10 packs of cigarettes, and he used two packs to trade for heavy socks to wear with his boots. Avey's story is that Ernst got his shoes resoled. Broomby wrote in the Ariel promo linked to above that Lobethal said he traded cigarettes for "favours" which "enabled him to get his shoes resoled," and that "saved his life" But when I watched the video testimony, that's not what he said. In any case, this brings up the question that if conditions were as bad inside the Monowitz camp as Avey says, who is doing skilled labor like resoling shoes for prisoners whom Avey says were only waiting to die? In his testimony for the Shoah Foundation, Lobethal did not describe conditions in his camp and barracks the way that Avey does.

 

Avey was set up to be the next Schindler

Between 2003 and the time Lobethal's testimony was discovered, Avey was saying he had "broken into Auschwitz" and spent a couple of nights in the Jewish barracks to see what it was like. I don't know of him saying that he provided a special Jewish prisoner-friend with cigarettes. I think he said he used cigarettes to bribe his way into the Jewish barracks. I am skeptical that the Shoah Foundation video of Lobethal's testimony came to the BBC's attention after and not before they began their search for Susana Timms. Broomby avoids giving a clear timeline. It's possible that once they saw the Lobethal video, the two media men linked together the red-haired PoW Avey with Lobethal's 'Ginger'. It explains why they persevered in their search for Susana-she was the vital link (witness) necessary to tie the two men together.

Avey had already committed himself to the "breaking into Auschwitz" story; now he and the BBC added the "cigarettes-life-saving story" to that, even though Lobethal had said nothing about the former. The video of that part of Lobethal's testimony has been disabled from the original BBC article where it had appeared and I have not been able to find it on the Internet.

The BBC kept mentioning Oskar Schindler in connection with Denis Avey, for example here and here, hoping to build another huge holo-icon, only this time British, and also use the comparison to publicize the motion picture that is planned

 

The role of the Holocaust Education Trust

The strong backing of this powerful organization, with its sinister influence on British politics, is key to the whole Avey phenomenon. In his acknowledgements in the book, Avey thanks Lord Janner, Karen Pollack and the team at the Holocaust Education Trust (HET) for their ongoing help and support. "Their work is beyond value." He then thanks Gordon and Sarah Brown. Following this, a page is given over to The Holocaust Educational Trust to advertise its achievements and aim of making the Holocaust a permanent part of Britain's "collective memory."

On Jan. 25, 2010, when Avey first met with Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street, the Jewish Lord Janner was also in attendance. Janner proclaimed: "Denis Avey is a hero. He risked tremendous personal danger at Auschwitz to learn exactly what went on in that terrible place, and at the Holocaust Educational Trust we work to ensure that his efforts were not in vain - and that all young people learn about, remember and pass on to others the lessons of the horrors of the Holocaust."

The HET was set up by Labour politicians and is aligned with them. It works to ensure their reelection. Grenville Janner is a member of Labour, was an MP for a time, and was President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the main representative body of British Jewry, from 1978 to 1984. He has been a key international figure in efforts to seek compensation and restitution for Holocaust victims. Along with chairing the Holocaust Educational Trust, he is vice president of the World Jewish Congress. He was instrumental in arranging the 1997 London Nazi Looted Gold conference.

Janner received (bought?) a life peerage as Lord Janner of Braunstone in 1997 and since sits on the Labour benches in the British House of Lords. The president of HET is Steven Rubin. One of the things they do to intimidate British politicians is to place a "Book of Commitment" every Holocaust Memorial Day in the Houses of Parliament and "invite" members to sign it. By doing so, they "honour the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust and pay tribute to the bravery of those who risked their lives to help the persecuted" -in other words, the signees publicly affirm their belief in the Jewish Holocaust. HET takes pictures of the more prominent MPs signing the book, such as Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg … each looking properly somber and obedient. (You can see these pictures on the 5th page) Do you think any MP would dare to not sign the "Book of Commitment?"

On July 2, 2010, after the General Election, the HET hosted the MP's of all political parties, plus students and Holocaust survivors, at a special reception to mark the 10,000th participant in the 'Lessons from Auschwitz' government-funded trips for high school students. The event was held in the Houses of Parliament.

 

HET chairman Lord Janner, Education Secretary Michael Gove, Lessons from Auschwitz student ambassadors Jack Boyce and Nadia Caney

 

John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons and HET chief executive Karen Pollock at the July 2010 reception.

Karen Pollock, as HET's chief executive, writes regular essays published in the Guardian. Her Sunday May 17, 2009 opinion piece was devoted to the idea that if Yad Vashem in Israel honors "Righteous Gentiles" of many nationalities, these governments should also create an honor for them in their individual nations. There can't be too many holocaust awards-hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of them is the desire of the Jewish organizations. The world will actually revolve around the "Holocaust" as the pivotal point in history; nothing will be more important.

Pollock began her essay with: "Finally the government is honoring British heroes who risked their lives to help Jews during the Holocaust" and ended it by reminding us, "As the European and local elections approach, we are again subjected to poisonous propaganda from the far right, who seek to extend an exclusive claim over "Britishness" and who purport to represent our country's heritage. But the hatred and division they peddle is the very antithesis of what Britain stands for."

This kind of propaganda is meant to shame Britishers into going along with the Jewish holocaust agenda. The very powerful Jews of Britian force holocaustianity down the throats of all British politicians, who don't seems to mind the taste of it, however.

Here is Karen Pollock again (right), under all the make-up, at an HET fundraiser in 2010 that featured Denis Avey as speaker and raised almost half a million pounds, with Hannah Loftus (left).


The all-important elections

After Prime Minister Gordon Brown's visit to Auschwitz on April 28, 2009 and prior to the June elections, the Telegraph newspaper reported that "Ministers are working on plans for a new award to honour British people who helped the Jews of Europe during the Holocaust. The medal or other award would recognize acts of courage for those who saved Jews or other persecuted groups during the darkest days of the Second World War." "Other persecuted groups" is added as a sop to the politicians, but in fact all those eventually chosen as 'Heroes of the Holocaust' aided Jews. Of course, the HET plays a major role in the selection.

Following this media publicity, the 2009 local elections and European Parliament elections were held on June 4 in England. In 2010, the 'Heroes of the Holocaust' awards ceremony took place at Downing Street on March 9. The publicity for the event highlighted Denis Avey's swap story. On April 6, campaigning began for the British General Election. On May 6, the General Election was held.

Does this not make it clear that some obeisance and slavish offerings to Holocaustianity must always precede the elections in order to get on the good side of the powerful Jews? But now that Labour is out of power, will the Conservatives carry on in the same way?

Efforts to defend against the criticism are appearing

A recent article in the New York Post uses the word "hoax" to report on the growing disbelief in Avey's bizarrely concocted story. The main objection most have is to the 'swap', which is necessary for the title of the book, The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz, and is not something that can be dropped from the story.

The New York Post reports that the U.S. publisher Perseus did not return their call about whether they would conduct an investigation into the accuracy of the book's claims. According to a reviewer of the book on Amazon UK, Hoddard & Staughton, the UK publisher, posted a rebuttal on their website on April 11 to Guy Walters' April 9 Daily Mail critical review, but it was subsequently taken down. Now, however, an April 26, 2011 article by Reuters' Mike Collett-White, tells of the publisher's "point-by-point rebuttal of the Daily Mail article by Guy Walters," but not where to find it. Hodderd & Staughton has since said it was "proud to publish" Avey's book, and that "We have never doubted Mr. Avey's testimony." Well, they are not experts either, are they? This is equal to Boston University President Robert Brown writing to me on Sept. 27, 2010 that he "has no doubt Wiesel is a survivor of the Holocaust" and further that Wiesel is "a man of integrity and would not stoop to fabrication." Naturally he must say that, but he does not really have any direct knowledge whatsoever to base it on.

Hoddard & Staughton also said it responded with a "detailed explanation" to a fax from the World Jewish Congress asking to have the book verified. That explanation has not been made public either.

Rob Broomby issued a new statement: "I am certainly not distancing myself from the book at all. I stand by everything in the book." Good luck to him. Avey told Broomby that while the Walters' article is "deeply unpleasant … I stand by my account. It is a fact." A fact? Real facts are being ignored, while the issue is presented as being about taking an Englishman at his word.

On April 26 (yesterday as I write this), the BBC is carrying a Derbyshire story that Denis Avey is "searching for information about the Dutchman named Hans" with whom he exchanged clothing in the camp in Poland! The short notice says he is trying to find out what happened to "the other people involved in his story." This is really bizarre, a transparent and desperate tactic dreamed up by his co-author Rob Broomby and his publishers, perhaps. Will some cooperative soul crop up saying, Oh yes, I remember good old Hans writing to me about this escapade before I never heard from him again? Or maybe another "survivor" will suddenly appear and recall something about it. It does point out what Avey and the BBC should have been doing much earlier. But, of course, they didn't expect to be faced with this problem. Solutions are devised as problems arise.

The principals of the hoax are circling the wagons around them. The message is clear: they will do their utmost to survive the attacks that are coming. They have the media on their side, which is a giant advantage. And already the detractors are toning down their words. Piotr Setkiewicz, head of research at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, told Collet-White, "Perhaps 80 or 90 percent of what Mr. Avey says is true, but the problem is that deniers have this wonderful habit of fixing on every single thing which is obviously not true." It's certain that 80 percent of what Avey says is NOT true; one would have to go carefully through the book, but I'd be surprised if 40 percent is true. Additionally, Sekiewicz uses that odd language that calls someone who "fixes on what is not true" a denier! It has to follow that someone who does not pay attention to what is obviously not true is a believer.

Plenty of precedent for the Avey hoax phenomenon

The NY Post article mentions three of the well-known fictional "true stories" written by fake WWII camp survivors, but there are many books written by real camp survivors that are also mostly or partly fiction. One is The Password is Courage about Charles Coward, the first man who broke into Auschwitz, and who is the model for Avey's copy-cat bravado. Avey's insistence that his purpose is to "witness" is strangely similar to the sentiments of another self-appointed witness, Elie Wiesel, whose book Night is also a bizarre concoction by someone who wasn't there. There are no records in Auschwitz-Birkenau or Buchenwald for Elie Wiesel or his father, nor does Wiesel have the famous tattoo on his arm. He, like Avey, waited to hear the stories of other people before he wrote his own, and his book also doesn't jive with the official reality (or even physical reality) in several important places.

Holocaust literature is so full of fakes that are protected by the 'holocaust industry' and media that this Industry must now be vigilant against the most outrageous new fakes so as not to draw attention to the fakery in the old ones (as I just did above). This is the concern of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and the World Jewish Congress. The Yad Vashem Memorial Museum in Jerusalem has said it will definitely not be awarding Avey the "Righteous of the Nations" title. New holocaust memoirs by men and women who decided to write them after a lifetime of silence should be discounted right off the bat. They are money-making or glory-making ventures, as cynical as it gets.

 

Cui Bono-Who Benefits?

The British Holocaust Education Trust should also be concerned about the fakery they have promoted, but they are too deep into it and have no one else at whom they can point the finger. Passing off the blame is always necessary, a form of 'plausible denial.' The same goes for the BBC and the Labour Party and government of Gordon Brown-they were too anxious to force this story into the public consciousness for their own political gain without regard for its obvious falsity. But when have those benefiting from the holocaust been concerned with truthfulness?

Rob Broomby is guilty of personally accepting and seeking to profit from this hoax, along with Patrick Howse. The book's publishers had a great deal to gain, but now have a great deal to lose. They will do all they can to blunt the criticism. This is why the criticism must continue, and become ever more widely sourced … as well as louder and more demanding.

To show that even the guilty cannot help but speak the truth at times, it's utterly appropriate that Broomby reports that Avey is fond of saying to Howse and himself, "It's you two who opened this can of worms." How very apt. A can of worms indeed is what it is.

 

Known Pedophile is Instrumental in Promoting Holocaust Hoaxer and Plagiarizer Denis Avey's New Book

By Carolyn Yeager, 2011
copyright 2011 Carolyn Yeager

 

Greville Janner, now Lord Janner of Braunstone, stands accused of pedophilia during the trial of Frank Beck in 1991. Janner, a well-known and well-connected British Jew, and a Labour MP from 1970 to 1997, has never answered the charges.

This is according to the C.H.R.I.S.-UK (Children Have Rights in Society) website in a copyrighted 2010 report. It tells us that Greville Janner, along with being the Chairman of the Holocaust Educational Trust, the President of the Commonwealth Jewish Council, a former President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and Vice President of the World Jewish Congress, is also a member of the Magic Circle and of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

I wrote about this man and showed a picture of him in my article of April 28, "Why the BBC and Labor Government Cynically Backed the Denis Avey Holocaust Hoax, and Why They Won't Let It Go." Here are two other pictures of him. 

 

Above top: Uri Geller poses with Greville Janner at his 80th birthday party. Note the Andy Warhol "Marilyn Monroe" print on the wall. This picture is from Uri Geller.com. Geller calls Janner an enthusiastic amateur magician and a dear friend. Above: a recent picture of Janner.

*    *    *

Francis Lawrence, founder of the Campaign for Decency, wrote this about Janner in 2005:

     JANNER is a child molester well known to the police. An active file on his activities has been maintained at Scotland Yard since even before the eruption of the Leicester Children's Home scandal of 1991 … JANNER used the device of a "Personal Statement" to deny all the accusations against him. Statements to the House of Commons of this kind, apart from being covered by Parliamentary privilege, are exempt from the usual interjections *and questions* from other MPs. After making his statement JANNER was invited by the press to answer their questions *outside* the privileged confines of the House. He refused to do so, and refused to explain why.

     Thus it may be seen that his subsequent claims to have been "cleared by Parliament of all accusations" is utterly untrue. JANNER ducked a genuine opportunity to clear his name by taking legal action against his former victim who, as a grown man, has re-iterated his evidence outside the protection of the witness box.

     Instead of quitting public life, JANNER simply kept his head down for a while. Now, in the mistaken belief that the dust from the Frank Beck affair has settled, JANNER has had the impudence to take a leading role in the crusade to recover “Holocaust Loot” allegedly held in Swiss banks.

     Signed:

     Frances Lawrence Campaign for Decency
     Hon. Secretary: Andrew Hillier
     64 Victoria Street
     London SW1E 6QP, England
     Tel. 0171-798-2259

*    *    *

Above: On the 2009 Holocaust Memorial Day ceremonies in Britain, Prime Minister Gordon Brown signs the Holocaust Memorial Day book of commitment watched by Lord Janner, left, and survivors Ben Helfgott and Mala Tribich, right. Does Brown look like captured prey to you?

 

What the CHRIS website tells us about Greville Janner is mind-blowing! Here is the story:

In 1991, Frank Beck accused Janner of pedophilic behavior with a teenager who was in his (Beck's) care as warden of the Leicester Children's Home.  But it was Beck who was arrested and charged with the sexual and physical abuse of children in his care over a thirteen-year period. At his trial Beck stated that:  "One child has been buggered and abused for two solid years by Greville Janner".

Beck was referring to Paul Winston, who was just thirteen years old when he and Janner first met. Though Winston was able to describe Janner's home, the hotel rooms they had shared, and Janner's habits and person in detail, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alan Green, also a Jew, let it be known that "for lack of evidence," Janner would not be prosecuted.

Ironically, Green himself was arrested for kerb-crawling (cruising red-light districts for solicitation of prostitutes) in Kings Cross a little while later. Furthermore, Green had come to the attention of the police previously for this same misdemeanour and was quietly given a formal warning. The scandal prompted his resignation from public office and the suicide of his wife.

In court, Paul Winston, who was, at the time of Beck's trial, a married man with children, stood up for Beck, as did several other witnesses, paying credit to his achievements and behavior, and confirming his testimony against Janner. Winston testified he was invited to Janner's home near Golders Green as a 13-year old, whilst Janner's wife was away, and this led to his sharing Janner's bed where they "cuddled and fondled each other." Thereafter Winston testified that, over the next two years, he was regularly sodomised by Janner.

Beck discovered what had been going on after Winston was put into his care, at which point he informed his superiors at Leicester Social Services. At one point, Janner visited the care home with a new bicycle for Paul but Beck denied him entry and would not allow the gift to be passed on. This was confirmed by another witness at the trial.

Even though Winston testified that Beck had counseled him over his relationship with the MP, and had brought the affair to an end, and had also had a beneficial effect on his life, Beck was nevertheless found guilty and sentenced to twenty-four years in prison, with five life sentences to run concurrently for his "crimes"! What the heck is going on in English courts, we may well ask.

What is going on seems to be "Jew power", the same kind of Jew power we saw at the Nuremberg Tribunals in 1946. Janner was never brought to court, nor was he ever called upon to testify. In 1994 at the age of only 52, after a game of badminton, according to prison officials, Frank Beck died suddenly of a 'heart attack' shortly before his appeal was due to begin. He was, by all accounts, a fit man at the time of his death. He never stopped protesting his innocence and Janner's guilt. Of Beck's two main solicitors, who believed in his innocence, one has since been killed in a road accident, and the other has been subjected to police harassment on a major scale.

The report of Beck's untimely death in The Independent UK on June 2, 1994 contained no mention whatsoever of Greville Janner. Nor is there any mention of this affair on Janner's Wikipedia page--suggesting a widespread cover-up by the British-Jewish elite.

Janner made a peer to escape being thrown out by voters

Several years later, in 1997, Janner was ennobled and took the title Baron of Braunstone. The man responsible for ennobling Greville Janner was Tony Blair (former Labor Party Prime Minister). As a member of the House of Lords, who are appointed essentially by the Sovereign on the recommendation of the Prime Minister rather than voted in as are the members of the House of Commons, Janner cannot be removed from office by the people.1 A "privilege" enjoyed by both Houses is that of freedom from arrest, although it is not total any longer.2

 Greville Janner with Labour politician Tony Blair, probably in 1998. Note the Israeli 50th Anniversary poster on the wall behind Janner.

Placing him in the House of Lords is believed to have been done for the protection of Greville Janner, so that he can remain a respectable actor in British politics and society. We have to assume that Janner donated a hefty sum to the British Labor Party in order to be recommended for a peerage. Or did he use blackmail? Gordon Brown is himself accused of being a pedophile, and Tony Blair accused of covering up for senior members of his government, no doubt including his Chancellor of the Exchequer, Brown.

How closely can we connect Avey to Janner?

This child molester, Janner, is the man Denis Avey thanked, right after thanking his wife and Sir Martin Gilbert who wrote the short forward, in the acknowledgements in his book The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz. He thanks Lord Janner, Karen Pollack and the team at the Holocaust Education Trust for their "ongoing help and support," and writes "Their work is beyond value." After Janner, he thanks Gordon Brown. So not only is Avey a liar and a poseur of the worst sort because of his made-up stories about his time in the POW camp at Auschwitz, he has no problem associating himself and getting assistance from the lowest forms of humanity in the United Kingdom, such as Janner. It is not reasonable to think that, as a Brit interested in British politics, Avey had not heard something about the Janner scandal; certainly his co-writer Rob Broomby knew all about it. Tellingly, Broomby did not mention Janner or the HET in his acknowledgements.

It's no wonder Avey so recklessly accuses innocent people of crimes that occurred only in his own sick fantasies--he obviously has no standards or scruples by which he guides his life, in spite of all his talk about his solid 'country' upbringing in Essex, and being a 'man of principle.' Avey writes in Chapter One of his book, "I grew up in a world of moral certainties and I was expected to stand up for what was right. [My father] taught me to respect humans and animals." What about unprotected children? It is clear from his show of respect for Greville Janner and Gordon Brown that Avey is not a man who 'stands up' for what is right. Instead, he 'stands up' for personal profit and falsely asserting himself as a 'hero.'

Janner the magician

What kind of illusionism did the morally-bankrupt Janner perform to get the police and prosecutors to refrain from investigating him, and to go after Frank Beck instead, the CHRIS website asks? It answers that in the House of Parliament, Janner had simply uttered a general denial, defamed his principal accuser Paul Winston (behind the protection of Parliamentary privilege) and whined about his suffering! He was not asked a single question by any of the Members who heard him, nor did he have to endure detailed cross-examination as did those who gave evidence at Beck's trial because he was not called as a witness.

Did he by any chance assist Avey in his own illusionism of presenting himself to the British public as a war hero, and a man of grandiose deeds? Avey has also not been subjected to questioning or any kind of scrutiny. Those who have come out and said they don't believe him are quietly ignored by the press and the government hacks who named him a "Hero of the Holocaust." What a racket! And what a combination these two men make. Truly, we live in an age of delusion and corruption perhaps unparalleled in history.

An important point I want to make is that this revolting travesty of justice reveals the connection, in the clearest manner possible, between the Holocaust and Politics. In the United Kingdom, as similarly in the United States and the European Union, the Holocaust is used to give substance and credibility to the most unworthy politicians and political agendas. This is a scandal that when it really breaks open will reveal the slimy and deeply evil underbelly of the 'New World Order' created  in 1945-46 with the totally falsified Nuremberg Tribunals and the on-going show trials that followed. One current example is the John Demjanjuk show trial which just ended.

In closing, I will add that Greville Janner, now Lord Janner of Braunstone, was born in 1928, married in 1955, and has, with his wife, three children and six grandchildren. He took over his father Barnett Janner's Leicester seat in Parliament, and also followed his father as Chairman of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain. A fine British family.

 

Endnotes:

1)       According to Wikipedia, There is no limit on the number of peerages the Sovereign (King or Queen) may create under the Life Peerages Act. Normally life peerages are granted to individuals nominated by political parties or by the House of Lords Appointments Commission, and to honor important public figures. There is currently no recognized way for a life peer to leave the upper House permanently and voluntarily. 

2)      Another privilege claimed is that of freedom from arrest; at one time this was held to apply for any arrest except for high treason, felony or breach of the peace but it now excludes any arrest on criminal charges. Wikipedia, Parliament of the UK.

 

Avey book heavily discounted as soon as it appears in bookstores

By Carolyn Yeager

A new article in hoaxter Denis Avey’s hometown newspaper The Derbyshire Times shows this photo of Avey holding his book with a price sticker of £4, partially covered by his fingers.

He is at a book-signing event at WH Smith’s bookstore in Buxton, near where he lives. His book, The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz, is listed at £20, but appears to have been discounted from the beginning to cause enough copies to be sold to push it to “best seller” status. In the publishing industry, being able to describe the book as a “best seller” is more important than if it actually was a best seller. When the U.S. edition comes out this summer expect to see “Best Seller in Britian!” or some such wording emblazoned on the cover. This will improve U.S. sales where there is a much larger population from which to draw.

The article in the Derbyshire Times is clearly a PR (public relations) release from the publisher, which is what so much of “the news” really is. These “articles” and photos will appear in as many outlets as are willing to publish them. Repetition is the name of the game, and it works. The more times people see it, the more convinced they are of its importance and authenticity.

Selling a £20 book for £4 immediately after publication is an increasingly common practice, but not for quality books that prestigious publishers take pride in offering. This is a just another cheap “holo fiction” that the publishers are hoping, given enough time, might become another Night.

New website to challenge Elie Wiesel on Auschwitz tattoo and identity

By Carolyn Yeager, July 2010

This article was written for the Smith Report newsletter to announce the new CODOH-sponsored website Elie Wiesel Cons the World.

 

I Con the World

Is Elie Wiesel an icon or an “I con?”

Wiesel has conned the world into seeing him as the next best thing to God, as someone who has risen above it all, as someone who is capable or has earned the right to pass judgment on the rest of humanity. What has earned him this right is clearly his suffering during the year he was held in German camps and his “powerful prose” in describing it.

Venerated and billed as “the world’s most famous Holocaust survivor” and a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, earning hundreds of thousands of dollars every year in speaking fees (at $25,000 a pop it might be closer to say a million), and holding a prestigious, but undemanding six-figure professorship in Humanities at Boston University, Elie Wiesel has never been asked to show any proof that he is what he says he is.

Everything written about Elie Wiesel that this writer can find skims over the details and dwells on the emotionality of Holocaust, humanity and hate. Among the many unnerving quotations from Elie concerning the h-word is this one, found preceding an essay in the Jewish Daily Forward of June 9th by Anita Epstein, titled “Why I Cannot Forgive Germany:” (1)

“I cannot and I do not want to forgive the killers of children; I ask God not to forgive.”
—Elie Wiesel

Ms. Epstein is influenced (or inspired?) by Wiesel to hold onto hate by holding on to the holocaust legends, such as the one about “Germans” throwing babies off of balconies. Another famous statement made by Elie is:

“Every Jew, somewhere in his being, should set apart a zone of hate – healthy virile hate – for what the German personifies and for what persists in the German. To do otherwise would be a betrayal of the dead.”

However, Elie’s actual presence in the Auschwitz “death camp” and the Buchenwald concentration camp during 1944-45 rests solely on the claims of the New York Times and his well-promoted books, the most famous being his first one, Night, published in 1955 in Buenos Aires. That’s an interesting story in itself, but here I will limit myself to a chronology of NYT features on Elie that coincide with his advancing fortunes.

On May 6, 1945, the New York Times published the now famous photograph of the “Crowded Bunks in the Prison Camp at Buchenwald” without identifying anyone in the picture. Further use of the picture follows.

October 1983, it was published again in the high circulation Sunday NYT Magazine with this caption: “On April 11, 1945, American troops liberated the concentration camp’s survivors, including Elie, who later identified himself as the man circled in the photo.”(2) (Wiesel says he is the last one on top row in this cropped version of the picture)

Wiesel had never claimed to be in this picture before, and this face is not the face of a 16-year-old boy, nor does it resemble an existing portrait of Elie before he was deported. But, the article included the statement: His name has been frequently mentioned as a possible recipient of a Nobel Prize, for either peace or literature.” So we suspect it was part of the campaign being waged to win him a Nobel Prize.

As David O’Connell has written in “Elie Wiesel and the Catholics,”(3) the NYT had manufactured history by declaring erroneously that Wiesel is seen in the picture, even though Wiesel had stated over the years that he was in the sick bay at Buchenwald on April 16, the day the photograph was taken.

October 14, 1986. The Nobel award was announced.

November 2, 1986. The NYTimes again republished a severely cropped version of the Buchenwald photo with the caption: “Elie Wiesel, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (at far right in the top bunk) in the Buchenwald concentration camp in April 1945, when the camp was liberated by American troops.” (4)

January 4, 1987. The NYT erroneously claimed that Wiesel had been “freed from Auschwitz” during the war. (5)

January 18, 1988. The NYT wrote on the occasion of his trip to Auschwitz: “Mr. Wiesel was a prisoner at Auschwitz and witnessed the killing there of his father and one of his sisters.” (6) But, according to Wiesel’s account (no records), his father died in Buchenwald. However, the NYT knew that Auschwitz was a familiar Holocaust “keyword” to its readers, while Buchenwald was not.

More confusion:

June 3, 1987, the Chicago Tribune published a photo of Wiesel, accompanied by two other men, standing in front of a blown-up version of the picture and pointing to himself in it. The caption read: “Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel points to a picture of himself, taken by a German at the Auschwitz death camp in 1945. The photograph is part of the Holocaust Memorial in Lyon, France.”(7)

April 21, 1995, Wiesel told the German weekly Die Zeit that the picture had actually been taken the day after the liberation, that is, on April 12, 1945, not on April 11, as he had always implied. (It was actually taken on April 16.) He also said, “On the day after the liberation the picture was taken in the Children’s Block at Buchenwald by an American soldier. It shows old men. But these old faces are the faces of men who, in truth, were 15 or 16 years of age like I was.” (8)

There is much more to the story of this photograph, but that must be sufficient for now.


Counter Claims

In March 2009, fellow Hungarian Jew Miklos (Nikolaus) Grüner’s accusation that Elie Wiesel is an imposter broke onto the Internet, mainly via an article(9) on Henry Makow’s website that he picked up from a Hungarian website.(10) Naturally, it didn’t get much coverage in the media, even though Grüner had documents from both Auschwitz and Buchenwald to back him up, including undisputed records that show him registered as a prisoner in both camps. Back in January 2003, Grüner had issued an “international press release to the world” from his home in Sweden:

Elie Wiesel A-7713 has never existed, and the man claiming himself to be “Elie Wiesel” with the concentration camp number A-7713, knowing full well that this number belonged to someone else, is an imposter of the worst kind. For this statement, I, Nikolaus Grüner A-11104, have certified and written knowledge of. (11)

In a press release of 2006, Grüner states: “I […] take full responsibility in revealing that the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize winner “ELIE WIESEL” has been impersonating Lazar Wiesel A-7713 who was born 1913 in Marmaros, Hungary. Further more I also state that the archives in Auschwitz and Buchenwald are missing evidence to prove that “ELIE,” known as A-7713, was ever registered as a prisoner in any German concentration camp at all.” (12)

The evidence Grüner presents is compelling, and can be found in an organized fashion in two articles written by Carlo Mattogno and posted at Inconvenient History Revisionist Blog (13) on Feb. 24 and March 26 of this year. One small piece of this evidence is that Elie Wiesel was born on Sept. 30, 1928, and another is that the ID number A-7713 was given out on 24 May, but Elie Wiesel says in his book Night that he wasn’t deported from Sighet (Marmaros) until after May 28, and possibly not until June 3, 1944.

But the most persuasive evidence to me is registration cards and other official documents from the Auschwitz Museum archives that show Lazar Wiesel, b. Sept. 4, 1913 received number (and tattoo) A-7713 and his brother, Abraham, b. Oct. 10, 1900 was given A-7712.

A-7712 is the number Elie claims belonged to his father Shlomo, who was with him. There are no such registration records for Elie and his father.

The situation at Buchenwald is similar and the evidence against Elie Wiesel being a survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald at all continues to build to a veritable mountain, all of which will be graphically presented and archived at a website that is now under construction and soon to open.

 

Where’s the tattoo?

Our new website will carry the theme “Where’s the tattoo?” – an idea originally suggested by a poster on the CODOH forum. We present this to viewers as a world-wide challenge and to encourage investigation and demand for answers. We will ask for independent efforts by diverse groups to work with film, Youtube videos, petitions and letter-writing campaigns to Universities, especially Elie’s employer, Boston University.

We will challenge those in the “mighty mainstream media” to force attention on this issue. Everyone—you—can act as an individual entrepreneur, make use of the information we will provide, contribute information to I Con The World, coordinate with us. Our spotlight on Elie Wiesel and the issue of who he really is will be intense and unrelenting. We are not talking about speaking in riddles here, but of evidence that is in-your-face … or in-his-face. We urge your participation, we urge you to recruit others by bringing I Con The World to their attention, by encouraging others to contribute in whatever way they can.

Watch for us. Get ready to help.

 

Endnotes:

1) Jewish Daily Forward, June 9, 2010. http://forward.com/articles/128652/

2) Samuel G. Freedman, “Bearing Witness: The Life and Work of Elie Wiesel,” NYT, October 23, 1983.

3) “Elie Wiesel and the Catholics,” Culture Wars, November 2004.

4) Martin Suskind, “A Voice from Bonn: History Cannot be Shrugged Off,” NYT, November 2, 1986.

5) “A Survivor’s Prize,” NYT, January 4, 1987.

6) “Wiesel and Walesa Visit Auschwitz,” NYT, January 18, 1988.

7) “Elie Wiesel and the Catholics,” ibid.

8) “1945 und Heute: Holocaust,” Die Zeit, April 21, 1995.

9) http://www.henrymakow.com/translated_from_the_hungarian.html

10) http://kuruc.info/r/6/36390/

11) Nikolaus Grüner, Stolen Identity, Stockholm, 2005-06

12) Grüner, ibid.

13) http://www.revblog.codoh.com

The Shadowy Origins of Night

An in-depth investigation into the source of Elie Wiesel’s famous “first book.”

By Carolyn Yeager, August 2010
copyright 2010 Carolyn Yeager

 In literature, Rebbe, certain things are true though they didn’t happen, while others are not, even if they did.   … Elie Wiesel, All Rivers Run to the Sea 

Part One:  When and how was Un di Velt Hot Gesvign written?

The question I present to you, the interested public is:  Was Night, a slender volume of approximately 120 pages in its final English-language form, written by the same person who wrote its original source work: the reputed 862 typewritten pages of the Yiddish-language Un di Velt Hot Gesvign (And the World Remained Silent)?

This is an important, though not crucial, question as to whether Elie Wiesel is an imposter. The evidence that I have uncovered so far is however, even on this question, not in his favor.

Naomi Seidman, professor of Jewish Studies at Graduate Theological Union, wrote a controversial article about Elie Wiesel titled “Elie Wiesel and the Scandal of Jewish Rage.” In that article, she mentions a 1979 essay by Wiesel, “An Interview Unlike Any Other,” that contains the following on page 15:

So heavy was my anguish [in 1945] that I made a vow: not to speak, not to touch upon the essential for at least ten years. Long enough to see clearly. Long enough to learn to listen to the voices crying inside my own. Long enough to regain possession of my memory. Long enough to unite the language of man with the silence of the dead.”1

Just as an aside, I have to wonder whether these are believable thoughts for a 16 year old? And why wouldn’t his memory be better immediately, rather than 10 years hence?

In the essay, Wiesel also explains that his first book was written “at the insistence of the French Catholic writer and Nobel Laureate Francois Mauriac” after their first meeting in May 1955 when Wiesel had obtained an interview with the famous writer and the subject of the Holocaust had come up. Wiesel told him he had taken a vow not to speak, but Mauriac insisted he must speak. “One year later I sent him the manuscript of Night, written under the seal of memory and silence.” 2

Below: Francois Mauriac

 As far as I can tell, there is no mention in this 1979 essay about writing the almost 900 page Yiddish manuscript while on a ship headed for South America. This particular essay is not available on the Internet, and Seidman is one of the few that even mention it.

In his 1995 memoir, All Rivers Run to the Sea, Elie Wiesel gives a more complete description of his first attempt to record his camp experiences already in 1954, before the ten year vow of silence was up. Wiesel is always stingy with dates, and gives no exact month for the ship crossing, but from later comments about when he returned to Paris, we can place it in April 1954.  Beginning on page 238:

I was sent on several European trips related to the Israeli-German conference on reparations, then to Israel, and finally to Brazil.

His assignment was to check out ‘suspicious’ Catholic missionary activities toward Jews.

My poet friend Nicholas proposed to go with me. A resourceful Israel friend somehow managed to come up with free boat tickets for us.3

Before he continues writing about the trip, he interjects a full page about a romance with Hanna, who wants to marry him, and whether he should. He tells her he will be gone 6 weeks—he is glad to have the time to think it over.

These questions haunted me during the crossing. I was worried sick that I might be making the greatest mistake of my life. Should a man marry a beautiful, intelligent, and impulsive woman with a marvelous voice, just because he had once loved her and because she had now proposed to him? And because he did not want to hurt her?

Then, the very next paragraph:

 I spent most of the voyage in my cabin, working. I was writing my account of the concentration camp years—in Yiddish. I wrote feverishly, breathlessly, without re-reading. I wrote to testify, to stop the dead from dying, to justify my own survival. I wrote to speak to those who were gone. As long as I spoke to them, they would live on, at least in my memory. My vow of silence would soon be fulfilled; next year would mark the tenth anniversary of my liberation. I was going to have to open the gates of memory, to break the silence while safeguarding it. The pages piled up on my bed. I slept fitfully, never participating in the ship’s activities, constantly pounding away on my little portable (see comment #1 below), oblivious of my fellow passengers, fearing only that we would arrive in Sao Paulo too soon.

We were there before I knew it. 4

 There is no lead-up in All Rivers Run to the Sea  that his concentration camp “testimony” was heavy on his mind; this paragraph just jumps out of the blue. And it’s all he wrote, in a 418-page memoir, about the process of putting down the most important words he would ever write.  But no! It seems clear from this that the finished words of La Nuit were the most important words he would write, and that he had a hard time knowing what to say about the writing of the “original” manuscript. So he brushed it off in one paragraph.

We get a very contrasting picture of Wiesel’s writing style in his Preface to the 2006 new English translation of Night by Marion Wiesel, his wife. Referring to his awareness [at that time] that he must bear witness, he writes:

Writing in my mother tongue [Yiddish]—at that point close to extinction—I would pause at every sentence, and start over and over again. I would conjure up other verbs, other images, other silent cries. It still was not right. But what exactly was “it”? ”It” was something elusive, darkly shrouded for fear of being usurped, profaned. All the dictionary had to offer seemed meager,  pale,  lifeless.

[…]

And yet, having lived through this experience, one could not keep silent, no matter how difficult, if not impossible, it was to speak.

And so I persevered.

[…]

Is that why my manuscript—written in Yiddish as “And the World Remained Silent” and translated first into French, then into English—was rejected by every major publisher …

[…]

Though I made numerous cuts, the original Yiddish version still was long. 5

Here, Wiesel tells us that he agonized over the writing of the Yiddish manuscript, and it was slow going. He even consulted the dictionary. But his time on the ship could not have been more than 2 weeks of the planned 6-week voyage to Brazil. In All Rivers Run to the Sea, he claims to have written 862 typewritten pages during that time, when he had to also eat, sleep and take care of other essentials. So of necessity he says he wrote feverishly, without re-reading. It leaves the two accounts as total contradictions.

When the ship docked at Sao Paulo, his friend Nicholas, an Israeli citizen, disembarked. But Elie, as a stateless person, was prevented from doing so by some “red tape.”  Then he noticed a group of about 40 Jews from Palestine who had been “lured” over by the promises of Catholic missionaries, who also were not allowed to disembark. He makes the decision to join them and write their story for his newspaper. After traveling to several ports (Wiesel is now relegated with the unwanted Jews to staying in the ship’s hold), the boat docks at Buenos Aires, Argentina. It just so happens that in Buenos Aires a Yiddish singer came onboard with Jewish book publisher Mark Turkov. Wiesel shares his concern about the Jewish exiles, for whom he had become spokesman, with Turkov, and then:

As we talked, Turkov noticed my manuscript, from which I was never separated. He wanted to know what it was and whether he could look at it. I showed it to him, explaining it was unfinished. “That’s all right,” he said. “Let me take it anyway.” It was my only copy, but Turkov assured me it would be safe with him. I still hesitated, but he promised not only to read it, but “If it’s good, I’ll publish it.” Yehudit Moretzka (the singer) encouraged me by telling me she would make sure the manuscript would be returned to me in Paris, with or without a rejection slip. I was convinced Turkov wouldn’t publish it. I couldn’t see why any editor would be interested in the sad memoirs of a stranger he met on a ship, surrounded by refugees nobody wanted. “Don’t worry so much,” Yehudit told me as she left. But I felt lost without my manuscript. 6

This is the last that is said of the manuscript. Wiesel goes on to write about the positive outcome for the “exiles” and himself to go ashore in Sao Paulo, and Hanna’s letters which had piled up in the American Express office there. No further communication with Turkov is reported or any mention of his manuscript until 35 pages further on. It’s back to the business of journalism.

I had been away for two months when Dov recalled me to Paris to cover Pierre Mendes-France’s accession to power. I flew back, anxious to see Hanna. I would explain the exceptional circumstances, find a way to make her forgive me. She would understand, for I had missed her. I would tell her that I had been faithful to her, even in my thoughts.7

Handing his only copy (see comment #1 below) of the manuscript over to Mark Turkov in this strange manner appears to be an attempt to explain why Wiesel does not have possession of the original Un di Velt Hot Gesvign, but it is not convincing to me that he would turn such a “sacred –to him—soul work,” embodying his commitment to “witness for the dead,” over to strangers in a foreign country with only a vague promise that it would be returned. He is first consumed by it, then careless of it.  He adds his professed belief that Turkov would not be interested in it and would never publish it. Why then part with it—and feel lost without it? Like so much of Wiesel’s writing, it stretches the limits of belief.

Even more, he says it was not completed to his satisfaction. There are several things Wiesel is likely trying to account and cover for with the ship book-writing story: (1) the incredible length of this manuscript and the short space of time he had to write it; (2) a way to get it into the hands of an Argentine Yiddish publisher in 1954; and (3) his lack of ever being in possession of the original and even being relatively unfamiliar with it. Writing in such a “feverish state”, without re-reading (impossible!), leaves him free to have no clear idea what was in it.

Several pages further on in All Rivers Run to the Sea,  Wiesel writes about his meeting and relationship with Francois Mauriac:

He wrote of our first meeting in his column of Sat. May 14, 1955, referring to a “young Israeli who had been a Jewish child in a German camp.” Of course, I wasn’t Israeli. Perhaps in his mind, Jews and Israelis were the same thing.

I owe him a lot. He was the first person to read Night after I reworked it from the original Yiddish.8

Wiesel is telling us that “he” did the editing from the “original Yiddish.” He says the same in the Preface to the new 2006 translation of Night: “Though I made numerous cuts, the original Yiddish version still was long.”9

But when did he do this editing?

Mark Turkov, from whom I have not found one word of confirmation for the ship scene with Elie Wiesel, must have reduced the 862 pages to 245 pages himself because he published it in the same year, 1954, in his 176-volume series of Yiddish memoirs of Poland and the war, called Dos poylishe yidntum (Polish Jewry, Buenos Aires, 1946-1966).10 

 The next and last mention of Mark Turkov and the manuscript in All Rivers Run to the Sea again pops up as less than a paragraph in the midst of Wiesel’s busy schedule and after the breakup of another love affair, with Kathleen this time, in the summer of 1955. He writes:

In December I received from Buenos Aires the first copy of my Yiddish testimony “And the World Stayed Silent,” which I had finished on the boat to Brazil. The singer Yehudit Moretzka and her editor friend Mark Turkov had kept their word—except that they never did send back the manuscript. Israel Adler invited me to celebrate the event with a café-crème at the corner bistro.11

That’s it, believe it or not. This is obviously something Wiesel is not interested in focusing attention on. Because none of it is true?

The timing also requires that after Wiesel received the Yiddish book from Turkov in December ’55, he managed to translate the 245 pages into French for Francois Mauriac, and present it to him in May 1956–as Wiesel testified in “An Interview Unlike Any Other.”

What can we believe?

 Certainly Elie Wiesel, who had cousins living in Buenos Aires 12, could have known about Mark Turkov’s Yiddish publishing house and his massive series of WWII “survivor” memoirs. He could very well have read some of them, even the one titled Un di Velt Hot Gesvign, written by a Lazar (Eliezar) Wiesel from Sighet, Transylvania, which may have been passed around within the Yiddish-speaking community before it was published. Wiesel could therefore have used the volume of 245 pages to write a French version for Francois Mauriac.

 Could someone have intervened with Mark Turkov to convince him to go along with Elie Wiesel as the author? Sure, they could. And could something have happened to Lazar Wiesel, survivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau-Buchenwald, born Sept. 4, 1913, causing him to disappear from the scene? 13 Again, yes, and maybe not even foul play. This is speculation at this point, but nevertheless quite possible.

*   *   *

Part Two: Can the books Night and And the World Remained Silent have been written by the same author? What one critic reveals.

We know a lot about the man who calls himself Elie Wiesel from his own mouth and pen, but we know of the Lazar Wiesel born on Sept. 4, 1913 only through Miklos Grüner’s testimony, and of the author of Un di Velt Hot Gesvign (And the World Remained Silent) through the work itself. So let’s consider what we know of these two men before we look at their books.

The city of Sighet can be seen in the purple-colored Maramures district on this map of Greater Romania in the 1930′s.

Who is Elie Wiesel?

 Elie Wiesel says in Night that he grew up in a “little town in Translyvania,” and his father was a well-known, respected figure within the Hasidic Orthodox Jewish community. However, Sanford Sternlicht tells us that Maramurossziget, Romania had a population of ninety thousand people, of whom over one-third were Jewish.14 Some say it was almost half. Sternlicht also writes that in April 1944, fifteen thousand Jews from Sighet and eighteen thousand more from outlying villages were deported. How many with the name of Wiesel might have been among that large group? I counted 19 Eliezer or Lazar Wiesel’s or Visel’s from the Maramures District of Romania listed as Shoah Victims on the Yad Vashem Central Database. Just think—according to their friends and relatives, nineteen men of the same name from this district perished in the camps in that one year. It causes one to wonder how many Lazar and Eliezer Wiesels didn’t perish, but became survivors and went on to write books, perhaps.

 Lazare, Lazar, and Eliezer are the same name. Another variation is Leizer (prounounced Loizer). A pet version of the name is Liczu; a shortened version is Elie.15 In spite of having a popular, oft-used name, Elie Wiesel describes a unique picture of his life. The common language of the Orthodox Hasidic Jews of Sighet was Yiddish. Wiesel has said he thinks in Yiddish, but speaks and writes in French.16

 In his memoir, he admits that he was a difficult, complaining child—a weak child who didn’t eat enough and liked to stay in bed.17 He comes across as definitely spoiled, the only son among three daughters.

 According to Gary Henry, as well as other of Wiesel’s biographers and Wiesel himself, young Elie Wiesel was exceptionally fervent about the Hasidic way of life. He studied Torah, Talmud and Kabbalah; prayed and fasted and longed to penetrate the secrets of Jewish mysticism to such an extreme that he had “little time for the usual joys of childhood and became chronically weak and sickly from his habitual fasting.”18 His parents had to insist he combine secular studies with his Talmudic and Kabbalistic devotion. Wiesel says in Night that he ran to the synagogue every evening to pray and “weep” and met with a local Kabbalist teacher daily (Moishe the Beadle), in spite of his father’s disapproved on the grounds Elie was too young for such knowledge.

 Of his elementary school studies, Wiesel writes: “[My teachers] were kind enough to look the other way when I was absent, which was often, since I was less concerned with secular studies than with holy books.” 19 And “in high school I continued to learn, only to forget.”

 But his plans to become a pious, learned Jew came to an end with the deportation of Hungary’s Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Wiesel has told this story both in his first book Night and in his memoir All Rivers Run to the Sea, and in many talks and lectures.

After liberation, in France, Wiesel met a Jewish scholar and master of the Talmud who gave his name simply as Shushani or Chouchani.20,21 In his memoir, Wiesel wrote:

 It was in 1947 that Shushani, the mysterious Talmudic scholar, reappeared in my life. For two or three years he taught me unforgettable lessons about the limits of language and reason, about the behavior of sages and madmen, about the obscure paths of thought as it wends its way across centuries and cultures.22

 Wiesel describes this person as “dirty,” “hairy,” and “ugly,” a “vagabond” who accosted him in 1947 when he was 18, and then became his mentor and one of his most influential teachers. Reportedly, when Chouchani died in 1968, Wiesel paid for his gravestone located in Montevideo, Uruguay, on which he had inscribed: “The wise Rabbi Chouchani of blessed memory. His birth and his life are sealed in enigma.” According to Wikipedia, Chouchani taught in Paris between the years of 1947 and 1952. He disappeared for a while after that, evidently spent some time in the newly-formed state of Israel, returned to Paris briefly, and then left for South America where he lived until his death.23

 This could be important because it links up with Wiesel’s visits to Israel and his trip to Brazil in 1954. While the common narrative of Elie Wiesel’s post-liberation years focuses on his being a student at the Sorbonne University, Paris and an aspiring journalist, these sources reveal that he was still deeply into Jewish mysticism and involved with the Israeli resistance (terrorist) movement in Palestine.

Wiesel received a $16-a week-stipend from the welfare agencies.24 In addition, he worked as a translator for the militant Yiddish weekly Zion in Kamf.  In 1948, at the age of 19, he went to Israel as a war correspondent for the French-Jewish newspaper L’arche, where he eventually became a correspondent for the Tel Aviv newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.25 Shira Schoenberg at the Jewish Virtual Library puts it this way: “he became involved with the Irgun, a Jewish militant (terrorist) organization in Palestine, and translated materials from Hebrew to Yiddish for the Irgun’s newspaper […] in the 1950s he traveled around the world as a reporter.”26

 The above paints a picture of a religiously-inclined personality, strongly drawn to, perhaps even obsessed with, the most mystical teachings and “secrets” of his Judaic tribe. By the age of 15, this trait was well-established. One year in detention of whatever kind (yet to be established for certain), hiding out, or other privations had no power to change these strong interests, which asserted themselves again immediately upon his “release.”

 What kind of personality was Lazar Wiesel?

 We only know of the Lazar Wiesel who was born on Sept. 4, 1913 through Miklos Grüner , and of the author of Un di Velt Hot Gesvign through the work itself. Note that I’m not claiming these two are one and the same.

 Grüner writes in Stolen Identity27 that after the death of his father in Birkenau “after six months,” which must have been in October or early November 1944, he

 went to see the friends of my father and brother, Abraham Wiesel and his brother Lazar Wiesel from Maramorossziget, [ …] Abraham was born in 1900 and his tattooed number was A-7712 and Lazar was born in 1913 and was tattooed as A-7713, whereas my father had A-11102, my brother A-11103, and I who stood after my brother finished up with the number A-11104. When they had heard the story of my father, they promised to take care of me and from then on, they became my protectors and brothers and an additional refuge …”  (p. 24)

[…]

About three months had passed by, in my stage of hopelessness, I was informed by my “brothers” (Abraham and Lazar) that the Russians had managed to break through and they were on their way to liberate us from “BUNA,” Auschwitz III. (p. 25)

 […]

During the long march […] the walking became difficult and it was also hard to keep up with Abraham and Lazar. That was until I reached a place 30 km from Monowitz “Buna” called Mikolow, with a huge brickyard. Tired as I was after walking under the heavy winter conditions, I fell asleep on a pallet […] When night turned to dawn, I took my time and made my attempt to find Abraham and Lazar […] Later on I managed to find them and for the next 30 kilometres I had no problem in keeping up with them […] up to the next labor camp in Gliwice. After about three days stay in Gliwice, we were ordered to climb up onto an open railway carriage, without any given destination. […] Once again I lost Lazar and Abraham, but […] I found my old friend Karl … (p. 26)

 The journey lasted about four days. On our arrival … I wobbled away to search for Abraham and Lazar. After a while, I found Lazar who told me that Abraham was having a hard time of it and he was not sure that Abraham would be able to pull through. He also mentioned that no matter what, he was going to stay with Abraham and was asking for God’s blessing. (p. 27)

[…]

When finally we were given our clothes (after showers, etc), we were registered and received new numbers that we had to memorize like children, and then we were assigned to Barrack 66. (Comment: “we” does not include Lazar and Abraham. Barrack 66 was the children’s barracks in the “small camp” at Buchenwald. Grüner was 16 yrs. old and his father had died.)

 About a week later, I couldn’t believe my own eyes to see Lazar in our Block 66. He told me that Abraham had passed away four days after our arrival at Buchenwald. He made it clear that he had received special permission to join us children in Block 66, since he was so much older than us.

 Five days before the liberation in April […] In our Block 66, attempts were made to get us to the main gate. The supervisor of our block, called Gustav with his red hair, indeed had managed to drive us out of the block and was determined to drive us to the gate. When we reached the middle of the yard, I pulled my trousers down (halfway), then ran off to the side and kept on running as fast as I could to the nearest block, which I believe was Block 57. I asked the man in the lower bunk if the place next to him was occupied, and I simultaneously took my position in the left hand corner of the bunk, where I remained until I was liberated.

 If my memory serves me correctly, on the fourth day after my liberation, AMERICAN SOLDIERS came into the block and a picture was taken of us survivors of the Holocaust. […] This picture has become famous all over the world as a memory of the Holocaust.28 After a change of clothing and a medical examination, I went to look for Lazar, but unfortunately I could not find him anywhere. (p 28)

 

On page 30, Grüner writes: “When the liberating American soldiers came into our barrack, they discovered a block full of emaciated people lying in bunks. In the next minute a flashlight from a camera went off, and I without my knowing, was caught on the picture forever.” 

 Grüner never saw Lazar Wiesel again, since, according to him, Lazar was sent to France, and Grüner to a sanatorium in Switzerland. When Grüner was contacted in 1986 about meeting the Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel, he thought he was going to be meeting his old friend Lazar Wiesel.

 What does Un di Velt Hot Gesvign tell us about Eliezer Wiesel?

 Naomi Siedman, Professor of Jewish Culture at Graduate Theological Union, is one of the few academics to delve into Wiesel’s early writings with a critical spirit. Her very controversial essay “Elie Wiesel and the Scandal of Jewish Rage,”29 written in 1996, one year after the publication of Wiesel’s memoir All Rivers Run to the Sea, examines several passages in Night and compares them to passages in the Yiddish original. Among the relevant issues she brings up is this one:

 Let me be clear: the interpretation of the Holocaust as a religious theological event is not a tendentious imposition on Night but rather a careful reading of the work.

 In other words, Night presents the Holocaust as a religious event, rather than historical. In contrast, Siedman found that the Yiddish version, Un di Velt, published two years prior to the publication of Night, was similar to all others in the “growing genre of Yiddish Holocaust memoirs” which were praised for their “comprehensiveness, the thoroughness of (their) documentation not only of the genocide but also, of its victims.” Un di Velt Hot Gesvign was published as volume 117 of Mark Turkov’s Dos poylishe yidntum (Polish Jewry) in Buenos Aires.

 Siedman refers to a reviewer of the mostly Polish Yiddish series when she writes:

For the Yiddish reader, Eliezer (as he is called here) Wiesel’s memoir was one among many, valuable for its contributing an account of what was certainly an unusual circumstance among East European Jews: their ignorance, as late as the spring of 1944, of the scale and nature of the Germans’ genocidal intentions. The experiences of the Jews of Transylvania may have been illuminating, but certainly none among the readers of Turkov’s series on Polish Jewry would have taken it as representative. As the review makes clear, the value of survivor testimony was in its specificity and comprehensiveness; Turkov’s series was not alone in its preference. Yiddish Holocaust memoirs often modeled themselves on the local chronical (pinkes ) or memorial book (yizker-bukh ) in which catalogs of names, addresses, and occupations served as form and motivation. It is within this literary context, against this set of generic conventions, that Wiesel published the first of his Holocaust memoirs.

Siedman continues that “Un di velt has been variously referred to as the original Yiddish version of Night and described as more than four times as long; actually, it is 245 pages to the French 158 pages.”  But the “four times as long” was referring to the original 862 pages that Turkov cut down to 245. Siedman reminds us that Wiesel had earlier described his writing of the Yiddish with no revisions, “frantically scribbled, without reading.” She says this, and Wiesel’s complaint that the original manuscript was never returned to him, are “confusing and possibly contradictory.” She then writes:

What distinguishes the Yiddish from the French is not so much length as attention to detail, an adherence to that principle of comprehensiveness so valued by the editors and reviewers of the Polish Jewry series. Thus, whereas the first page of Night succinctly and picturesquely describes Sighet as “that little town in Transylvania where I spent my childhood,” Un di velt introduces Sighet as “the most important city [shtot] and the one with the largest Jewish population in the province of Marmarosh.” 30 The Yiddish goes on to provide a historical account of the region: “Until, the First World War, Sighet belonged to Austro-Hungary. Then it became part of Romania. In 1940, Hungary acquired it again.”

The great length of the original was no doubt due to the extensive detail it contained about the events, places and people that were the subject of the narrative. Despite the fact that descriptive detail is not a characteristic in any of Wiesel’s known writing, he would never have been able to write all that detail in two weeks in a ship’s cabin, relying only on his memory. He even says he saw no one during that time and cut himself off from everything. In the writing style of Elie Wiesel that we’re familiar with, what could he possibly have said to fill up 862 pages? Impossible!

Another point made by Siedman:  And while the French memoir is dedicated “in memory of my parents and of my little sister, Tsipora,” the Yiddish (book) names both victims and perpetrators: “This book is dedicated to the eternal memory of my mother Sarah, father Shlomo, and my little sister Tsipora — who were killed by the German murderers.” 31 The Yiddish dedication is an accusation from a very angry Jew who is assigning exact blame for who was responsible. In addition, this brings to mind the fact that Elie Wiesel’s youngest sister was named Judith at birth, not Tsipora (according to his sister Hilda’s testimony).

Siedman says the effect of this editing from the Yiddish to the French was:

…to position the memoir within a different literary genre. Even the title Un di velt hot geshvign signifies a kind of silence very distant from the mystical silence at the heart of Night. The Yiddish title (And the World Remained Silent) indicts the world that did nothing to stop the Holocaust and allows its perpetrators to carry on normal lives […] From the historical and political specificities of Yiddish documentary testimony, Wiesel and his French publishing house fashioned something closer to mythopoetic narrative.

Myth and poetry … from a very historical and political original testimony. Wiesel attempted to explain this in his memoir by describing his French publisher’s objections to his documentary approach: “Lindon was unhappy with my probably too abstract manner of introducing the subject. Nor was he enamored of two pages (only two pages?) which sought to describe the premises and early phases of the tragedy. Testimony from survivors tends to begin with these sorts of descriptions, evoking loved ones as well as one’s hometown before the annihilation, as if breathing life into them one last time.” 32 Just how convincing that is I leave up to the reader.

 The most controversial part of Siedman’s essay is about the Jewish commandment for revenge against one’s enemies. The author of the Yiddish writes that right after the liberation at Buchenwald:

Early the next day Jewish boys ran off to Weimar to steal clothing and potatoes. And to rape German girls [un tsu fargvaldikn daytshe shikses]. The historical commandment of revenge was not fulfilled.” 33

This reflects the same angry, stern Jew who demands the Jewish law of revenge upon one’s enemies be followed. He does not consider “raping German girls” to be sufficient revenge; thus he says the historical commandment was not fulfilled.  In the French and English, it was softened to: “On the following morning, some of the young men went to Weimar to get some potatoes and clothes—and to sleep with girls. But of revenge, not a sign.”34 Siedman comments on this passage:

To describe the differences between these versions as a stylistic reworking is to miss the extent of what is suppressed in the French. Un di velt depicts a post-Holocaust landscape in which Jewish boys “run off” to steal provisions and rape German girls; Night extracts from this scene of lawless retribution a far more innocent picture of the aftermath of the war, with young men going off to the nearest city to look for clothes and sex. In the Yiddish, the survivors are explicitly described as Jews and their victims (or intended victims) as German; in the French, they are just young men and women. The narrator of both versions decries the Jewish failure to take revenge against the Germans, but this failure means something different when it is emblematized, as it is in Yiddish, with the rape of German women. The implication, in the Yiddish, is that rape is a frivolous dereliction of the obligation to fulfill the “historical commandment of revenge”; presumably fulfillment of this obligation would involve a concerted and public act of retribution with a clearly defined target. Un di velt does not spell out what form this retribution might take, only that it is sanctioned — even commanded — by Jewish history and tradition.

The final passage that Siedman compares is the famous ending of Night. The Yiddish version presents not only a longer narrative, but a radically different person who emerges from his camp experience at the time of liberation.

Three days after liberation I became very ill; food-poisoning. They took me to the hospital and the doctors said that I was gone. For two weeks I lay in the hospital between life and death. My situation grew worse from day to day.

One fine day I got up—with the last of my energy—and went over to the mirror that was hanging on the wall. I wanted to see myself. I had not seen myself since the ghetto. From the mirror a skeleton gazed out. Skin and bones. I saw the image of myself after my death. It was at that instant that the will to live was awakened. Without knowing why, I raised a balled-up fist and smashed the mirror, breaking the image that lived within it. And then — I fainted… From that moment on my health began to improve. I stayed in bed for a few more days, in the course of which I wrote the outline of the book you are holding in your hand, dear reader. 

But—Now, ten years after Buchenwald, I see that the world is forgetting. Germany is a sovereign state, the German army has been reborn. The bestial sadist of Buchenwald, Ilsa Koch, is happily raising her children. War criminals stroll in the streets of Hamburg and Munich. The past has been erased. Forgotten. Germans and anti-Semites persuade the world that the story of the six million Jewish martyrs is a fantasy, and the naive world will probably believe them, if not today, then tomorrow or the next day.

So I thought it would be a good idea to publish a book based on the notes I wrote in Buchenwald. I am not so naive to believe that this book will change history or shake people’s beliefs. Books no longer have the power they once had. Those who were silent yesterday will also be silent tomorrow. I often ask myself, now, ten years after Buchenwald : Was it worth breaking that mirror? Was it worth it? 35 

This entire passage sounds nothing like Elie Wiesel, or anything he has written. It is matter of fact, not indulging in self-pity but addressing the reality of the situation with a cynical eye. The author is concerned with the traditional problems of Jews, as he sees it, and their welfare.  His “witness” as a survivor is not mystical or universalized, but is about assessing blame. His depiction of smashing the mirror that holds his dead-looking image, and how that expression of powerful anger and life-affirmation revived him, is convincing. Right away, he wants to write about his experience, and he begins. Anger and “putting it all down” is the way out of depression and listlessness.

Yet the author and editors of Night have removed almost all of this and end very differently:

One day I was able to get up, after gathering all my strength. I wanted to see myself in the mirror hanging from the opposite wall. I had not seen myself since the ghetto.

From the depths of the mirror, a corpse gazed back at me.

The look in his eyes, as they stared into mine, has never left me.36

No anger. No recuperation or recovery possible for this character. No closure. Elie Wiesel leaves us in Night with the image of death, and for the rest of his life he will  pour it out on the world through his writings. This is his legacy; the Holocaust never ends.

Siedman comments on these two endings:

There are two survivors, then, a Yiddish and a French—or perhaps we should say one survivor who speaks to a Jewish audience and one whose first reader is a French Catholic. The survivor who met with Mauriac labors under the self-imposed seal and burden of silence, the silence of his association with the dead. The Yiddish survivor is alive with a vengeance and eager to break the wall of indifference he feels surrounds him.

Naomi Siedman intends the “two survivors” to be taken symbolically, as she is a “respected” Jewish academic who does not question the Holocaust story, and does not question (publicly at least) the authenticity of Elie Wiesel as the author of the Yiddish 862-page And the World Remained Silent, no matter what difficulties are encountered. As she continues in this essay, she posits Francois Mauriac’s powerful influence on Elie Wiesel as the way of explaining the further shortening and redirection of the focus of the original text. This is not my position, so I don’t find it profitable to seek for the origins of Night in Mauriac’s Catholic/Christian views. I believe there are sufficient grounds to consider a different authorship for Un di Velt Hot Gesvign, and that neutral-minded, critical thinkers who have an interest in this subject would not object to studying it from this angle.

*  *  *

Part III:  Nine reasons why Elie Wiesel cannot be the author of Un di Velt Hot Gesvign (And the World Remained Silent).

 1.  The only original source for the existence of an 862-page Yiddish manuscript is Elie Wiesel.

Wiesel’s 1995 memoir All Rivers Run to the Sea is the first time he mentions writing this book in the spring of 1954 on an ocean vessel on his way to Brazil.

In the original English translation of Night, Hill and Wang, 1960, there is no mention of the Yiddish book from whence it came. Nowhere does it name the original version and publication date. There is no preface from the author, only a Foreword by Francois Mauriac who was satisfied to simply call the book a “personal record.”

In his 1979 essay titled “An Interview Unlike Any Other,” Wiesel declares that his first book was written “at the insistence of the French Catholic writer Francois Mauriac” after their first meeting in May 1955. There is no mention in this essay of a Yiddish book, of any length. By “his first book” he obviously meant La Nuit, published in 1958 in France. 37

In his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in Dec.1986, Wiesel doesn’t mention his books, but refers twice to the “Kingdom of Night” that he lived through and once says, “the world did know and remained silent.” So it’s not like he was unaware of this book title. 38

Thus, All Rivers Run appears to be the first mention of the Yiddish origin of Night. Why did Elie Wiesel decide to finally write about And the World Remained Silent in that 1995 memoir? Could it have been because in 1986, after being formally awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Stockholm, he was “reunited” with a fellow concentration camp inmate Myklos Grüner, who, after that meeting, read the book Night that Wiesel had given him, recognized the identity of his camp friend Lazar Wiesel in it, and from that moment began his investigation of who this man named Elie Wiesel really was?

Grüner writes in his book Stolen Identity, “My work of research to find Lazar Wiesel born on the 4th of September 1913 started first in 1987, to establish contact with the Archives of Buchenwald.” 39 He was also writing to politicians and newspapers in Sweden. This could not have failed to attract the notice of Elie Wiesel and his well-developed public relations network. Grüner tracked down Un di Velt Hot Gesvign as the original book from which Night was taken, and believed it was written by his friend Lazar Wiesel and “stolen” somehow by “Elie.”40

This could account for why Elie Wiesel suddenly began to speak and write about his Yiddish book, published in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1956. (It was actually inserted into the larger Polish collection in late 1954, according to the Encyclopedia Judaica{see part II}, and printed as a single book in 1955, with a 1956 publication date.) 41

Wiesel claims the 862-page typescript he handed over to publisher Mark Turkov on the ship docked at Buenos Aires in spring 1954 was never returned to him.42 (Wiesel had not made a copy for himself, and didn’t ask Turkov to make copies and send him one, according to what he wrote in All Rivers.)

The only other person reported to ever have had the typescript in his hands was Mr. Turkov, but there is no word from him about it. We can only say for sure that he published a 245-page volume in Polish Yiddish titled Un di Velt Hot Gesvign by Eliezer Wiesel. The book has no biographical or introductory material—only the author’s name. Eric Hunt has made this Yiddish book available on the Internet 43 and is seeking a reliable translator.

There is practically nothing written about Mark Turkov. You can read about his accomplished family here. He was born in 1904 and died 1983. There is no direct testimony from Mark Turkov, that I have been able to find, that he ever received such a manuscript. Since Turkov lived until 1983 to see the book Night become a world-wide best seller, I find this inexplicable. Did no one seek him out to ask him questions, ask for interviews, take his picture? But at the same time, that becomes understandable if Night was not connected with Un di Velt until after 1986, when Miklos Grüner entered the picture and began asking questions.

We’re left with asking: was there ever an 862 page manuscript? And if not, why does Wiesel say he wrote that many pages?

 

2.  Wiesel could not have written the 862 pages in the time he says he did.

 According to what he writes in All Rivers, Wiesel’s voyage lasted at most two weeks. Spending all his time in his cabin, cut off from all sources of information, seemingly on the spur of the moment (not pre-planned), he types feverishly and continuously on a portable typewriter (even though he’s written all his other books in long-hand, by his own testimony) and produces 862 typewritten pages without re-reading a single one. That comes out to an average of almost 62 pages daily, for 14 days straight. Is there anyone who could accomplish such a feat?

The scrawny Elie Wiesel is not a superman; he is not even the intense type, but more of a spaced-out thoughtful type. What’s more, he was not even tired out by this marathon effort, but immediately upon the ship docking at Sao Paulo, he became the active spokesman for a group of “homeless” Jews.

Here is a picture of a Yiddish typewriter from the 1950’s.  Notice the red/black ribbon in front of the roller where the paper is inserted.

A point to consider about the typewriter: He would have used up a lot of ribbons typing that many pages. Ribbons are those inked strips of fabric that the metal characters hit to make the black or color impression on the white paper. This is something the computer generation doesn’t know anything about. The ribbons did not last all that long; the characters on the page got lighter as the ribbon was hit again and again; thus he  would have been installing a new one with some regularity. As I recall, replacing the ribbon was not a very fun thing to do. Did he plan on writing day and night, and bring plenty of ribbons with him? Was he able to purchase more ribbons for his particular machine in Brazil?

Another point about the typewriter brought up earlier by a reader: Was Wiesel a fast or slow typist? Many journalists were, and are, two-fingered (hunt and peck) typists because they never took typing classes. Where would Elie Wiesel have learned to type? In the newspaper office? If he was not a full-finger typist, it’s even less likely he could have churned out all those pages. Not to mention that these old typewriters did not allow the ease, and therefore speed, of  our modern keyboard. These are practical questions that help us to ground ourselves in reality.

In addition, this manuscript is said to have been written in the style of a detailed history of the entire process of deportation, detention, people and places, punishments, liberation, yet Wiesel has no reference materials on board ship—only his memory. And since it was nine years since the events had ended, certainly some dulling of his memory had occurred. This simply could not be accomplished in the kind of mad rush Wiesel describes in All Rivers.

 

3.  Wiesel’s motivation for attempting to write his concentration camp memories when he did is not given and is not apparent.

It’s astonishing that Wiesel gives only one paragraph in his memoir to the entire process of writing this book. He doesn’t write of thinking about it ahead of time. In fact, just at the time of his trip to Brazil he is carrying on a love affair in Paris, as well as being very busy, enthused and ambitious about his journalist assignments. Hanna, his love interest, had proposed marriage to him and he records in All Rivers that it “haunted me during the crossing,” during which time he “was worried sick that I might be making the greatest mistake of my life.”44 Yet, as though a kind of afterthought, he then tells us he spent the entire crossing holed up in his cabin, feverishly writing his very emotionally traumatic “witness” to the holocaust, even though only 9 years of his self-imposed 10-year vow of silence had passed.

In over 100 pages prior to the trip, Wiesel does not mention wanting to write about or even reflecting on his concentration camp year. The only explanation he includes in that paragraph is: “My vow of silence would soon be fulfilled; next year would mark the tenth anniversary of my liberation.”45 Then, just as suddenly, when he steps on land in Brazil, he is fully engaged in journalism and Hanna once again. He has given the typescript away and seems to have totally forgotten about it.

 

4.  Wiesel had no opportunity to edit the 862 pages of And the World Remained Silent to the 245-page published version, yet he says he did.

Wiesel writes in All Rivers, “I had cut down the original manuscript from 862 pages to the 245 of the published Yiddish edition. French publisher Jerome Lindon edited La Nuit down to 178.”46 The time is 1957 and Wiesel is pleased a French publisher has been found for the manuscript he gave to Francois Mauriac—his French translation of Un di Velt Hot Gesvign, of which Wiesel says of the latter, “I had already pruned and abridged considerably.” The publisher, Lindon, now “proposed new cuts throughout, leading to significant differences in length among the successive versions.”

He repeats something similar in his Preface to the new 2006 translation of Night:

Though I made numerous cuts, the original Yiddish version still was long.47

He can only mean the 245-page book as the “original Yiddish version”—thus he “made cuts” from the longer version. But Wiesel could not have done it because he never saw the manuscript again after he supposedly gave it to Mark Turkov. He writes of his extremely busy life following the Brazil trip—covering world events as a journalist, spending time in Israel again before considering moving to NYC. He sounds underwhelmed when he reports receiving a copy of the Yiddish book in the mail from Turkov in Dec.1955, and devotes only a couple sentences to it. 48  

Another time he refers to reducing the 245-page Yiddish version into a French version. Speaking of Mauriac:

He was the first person to read Night after I reworked it from the original Yiddish. 49

It is just these kinds of comments that cause the confusion remarked upon by Naomi Siedman in her essay commenting on Jewish rage in Wiesel’s first book. She writes that certain “scholars,” such as Ellen Fine and David Roskies give conflicting reports on the length of Wiesel’s original book, and it’s not clear just which book they are talking about. In my opinion, the reason for all the confusion is that they take Wiesel at his word as an honest witness … perhaps with some memory lapses. They won’t entertain the idea that this is part of a cover-up, the details of which Mr. Wiesel has a hard time keeping straight.

 

5. Wiesel’s recognized “style” and the style of the Yiddish book are noticeably different.

Not enough is known as yet to non-Yiddish readers like me about the content of Un di Velt Hot Gesvign to make the strongest case for the above statement, but a Jewish critic has provided some passages from the Yiddish book and I will quote from her (except for one passage from Joachim Neander). Naomi Siedman, in her long essay cited above, says this:

For the Yiddish reader, Eliezer Wiesel’s memoir was one among many, valuable for its contributing an account of what was certainly an unusual circumstance among East European Jews: their ignorance, as late as the spring of 1944, of the scale and nature of the Germans’ genocidal intentions. 50

In other words, holocaust narratives had already developed a “Yiddish genre” and the Wiesel memoir fit in with them. She explains:

When Un di velt had been published in 1956, it was volume 117 of Turkov’s series, which included more than a few Holocaust memoirs. The first pages of the Yiddish book provide a list of previous volumes (a remarkable number of them marked “Sold out”), and the book concludes with an advertisement/review for volumes 95-96 of the series, Jonas Turkov’s Extinguished Stars. In praising this memoir, the reviewer implicitly provides us with a glimpse of the conventions of the growing genre of Yiddish Holocaust memoir. Among the virtues of Turkov’s work, the reviewer writes, is its comprehensiveness, the thoroughness of its documentation not only of the genocide but also, of its victims.

[…]

Thus, whereas the first page of Night succinctly and picturesquely describes Sighet as “that little town in Transylvania where I spent my childhood,” Un di velt introduces Sighet as “the most important city [shtot] and the one with the largest Jewish population in the province of Marmarosh,” and also  “Until, the First World War, Sighet belonged to Austro-Hungary. Then it became part of Romania. In 1940, Hungary acquired it again.” 51

The Yiddish book has a different “feel” to it from Night; not only a different style, but a different personality is behind it. Ms. Seidman told E.J. Kessler, editor of The Forward:

The two stories can be reconciled in strict terms,” she said, “but they still give two totally different impressions, one of a person who’s desperate to speak versus one who’s reluctant.52

Here is a translation by Dr. Joachim Neander of a key passage in the Yiddish book, which he posted on the CODOH forum. It reveals an informal, talkative style, totally different from the spare, literary style used by Wiesel in all his books, even though the storyline is basically the same. Wiesel says he edited this book to its published form, but it doesn’t sound like him.

On January 15, my right foot began to swell. Probably from the cold. I felt horrible pain. I could not walk a few steps. I went to the hospital. The doctor examined the swollen foot and said: It must be operated. If you will wait longer, he said, your toes will have to be cut off and then the whole foot will have to be amputated. That was all I needed! Even in normal times, I was afraid of surgery. Because of the blood. Because of bodily pain. And now – under these circumstances! Indeed, we had really great doctors in the camp. The most famous specialists from Europe. But the means they had to their disposition were poor, miserable. The Germans were not interested in curing sick prisoners. Just the opposite.
If it had been dependent on me, I would not have agreed to the operation. I would have liked to wait. But it did not depend on me. I was not asked at all. The doctor decided to operate, and that was it. The choice was in his hands, not in mine. I really felt a little bit of joy in my heart that he had decided upon me.53

Back to Siedman’s translations. Two examples will have to suffice, from the Dedication and the very last paragraphs.

… while the French memoir is dedicated “in memory of my parents and of my little sister, Tsipora,” the Yiddish names both victims and perpetrators: “This book is dedicated to the eternal memory of my mother Sarah, father Shlomo, and my little sister Tsipora — who were killed by the German murderers.” 54

Now the book’s ending in the Yiddish version:

Three days after liberation I became very ill; food-poisoning. They took me to the hospital and the doctors said that I was gone. For two weeks I lay in the hospital between life and death. My situation grew worse from day to day.

One fine day I got up — with the last of my energy — and went over to the mirror that was hanging on the wall. I wanted to see myself. I had not seen myself since the ghetto. From the mirror a skeleton gazed out. Skin and bones. I saw the image of myself after my death. It was at that instant that the will to live was awakened. Without knowing why, I raised a balled-up fist and smashed the mirror, breaking the image that lived within it. And then — I fainted. From that moment on my health began to improve. I stayed in bed for a few more days, in the course of which I wrote the outline of the book you are holding in your hand, dear reader.

But — Now, ten years after Buchenwald, I see that the world is forgetting. Germany is a sovereign state, the German army has been reborn. The bestial sadist of Buchenwald, Ilsa Koch, is happily raising her children. War criminals stroll in the streets of Hamburg and Munich. The past has been erased. Forgotten. Germans and anti-Semites persuade the world that the story of the six million Jewish martyrs is a fantasy, and the naive world will probably believe them, if not today, then tomorrow or the next day.

So I thought it would be a good idea to publish a book based on the notes I wrote in Buchenwald. I am not so naive to believe that this book will change history or shake people’s beliefs. Books no longer have the power they once had. Those who were silent yesterday will also be silent tomorrow. I often ask myself, now, ten years after Buchenwald: Was it worth breaking that mirror? Was it worth it? 55

In contrast, Night ends with the gaze into the mirror at the very beginning of this passage. If the smashing of the mirror and the renewed will to live he felt from it was Elie Wiesel’s own experience, why would he leave it out in La Nuit? Because the publisher wanted it out? Not at all likely. Mauriac? Doubtful. It’s much more likely that it was not Elie Wiesel’s experience and it was not the kind of story he felt he could or wanted to tell.

Also note that the Yiddish writer says he wrote the outline of the book while still in the Buchenwald hospital, and that the published book is based on those notes. Elie Wiesel has never suggested that he began any writing in Buchenwald.

 

6. Wiesel wrote only one book in Yiddish; all subsequent books are in French.

If we could ask Elie Wiesel why he wrote his concentration camp memoirs in Yiddish, when he was already fluent and writing in French, we would probably get the answer he gave to his friend Jack Kolbert, who was writing a book about him:

“I wrote my first book, Night, in Yiddish, a tribute to the language of those communities that were killed. I began writing it in 1955. I felt I needed ten years to collect words and the silence in them.” 56

Alright. But we should also ask, just how good was Wiesel’s written Yiddish, that he could write this “enormous tome” in such a short time? After Nov. 29, 1947, Wiesel sought out and was given a job with the Irgun Yiddish weekly in Paris called Zion in Kamf. He tells how he was put to work translating Hebrew into Yiddish.

The task was far from easy. I read Hebrew well and spoke fluent Yiddish, but my Germanized written Yiddish wasn’t good. My style was dry and lifeless, and the meaning seemed to wander off into byways lined with dead trees. That was not surprising, since I was wholly ignorant of Yiddish grammar and its vast, rich literature.57

Even though he continued to translate and eventually write for the paper, he also spoke and wrote otherwise in French. He was attending classes at the Sorbonne and reading French classics and the newer existentialists. Following this first and only Yiddish book, Wiesel has done all his writing in French, by his own account—and in longhand, while the Yiddish was written on a typewriter.

It’s hard to reconcile Wiesel’s professed love of Yiddish 58 with his failure to do any writing beyond Un di Velt in that language. It’s suggested it is because Yiddish readers are a diminishing breed. No doubt, but that was already the case in 1954. For what it’s worth, Myklos Gruner records that when he met Elie Wiesel at their pre-arranged encounter in Stockholm in 1986, he asked Elie if he would like to speak in “Jewish,” and Elie said “no.” They ended up speaking together in English.59 Wiesel seems to have no interest in keeping the language alive.

 

7.  Wiesel gives contradictory dates for the writing of his first book, and is fuzzy about what his “first book” is.

Wiesel makes it definite in All Rivers that he wrote the Yiddish book in the spring of 1954, in a cabin of a ship going to Brazil. But around the year 2000 he tells his friend Jack Kolbert:

It took me 10 years before I felt I was ready to do it. I wrote my first book, Night, in Yiddish, a tribute to the language of those communities that were killed. I began writing it in 1955. I felt I needed ten years to collect words and the silence in them. 60

So, is it 1954 or 1955?  Wiesel says in All Rivers he met Francois Mauriac in May 1955, one year after his Brazil trip. Mauriac is often credited as the one who convinced Wiesel to end his silence, which culminated in Night. In his 1979 essay, “An Interview Unlike Any Other,” Wiesel writes:

Ten years of preparation, ten years of silence. It was thanks to Francois Mauriac that, released from my oath, I could begin to tell my story aloud. I owe him much, as do many other writers whose early efforts he encouraged. But in my case, something totally different and far more essential than literary encouragement was involved. That I should say what I had to say, that my voice be heard, was as important to him as it was to me.

[…]

(H)e urged me to write, in a display of trust that may have been meant to prove that it is sometimes given to men with nothing in common, not even suffering, to transcend themselves.61

He also wrote, in the same essay on the next page (17):

 Paris 1954. As correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, I was trying to move heaven and earth to obtain an interview with Pierre Mendes-France, who had just won his wager by ending the Indochina war. Unfortunately, he rarely granted interviews, choosing instead to reach the public with regular talks on the radio. Ignoring my explanations, my employer in Tel Aviv was bombarding me with progressively more insistent cabled reminders, forcing me to persevere, hoping for a miracle, but without much conviction. One day I had an idea. Knowing the admiration the Jewish Prime Minister bore the illustrious Catholic member of the Academie, why not ask the one to introduce me to the other? The occasion presented itself. I attended a reception at the Israeli Embassy. Francois Mauriac was there. Overcoming my almost pathological shyness, I approached him, and in the professional tone of a reporter, requested an interview. It was granted graciously and at once.

Wiesel continues the confusion around ’54 and ’55 when interviewed by the American Academy of Achievement on June 29, 1996 in Sun Valley, Idaho.62 In answer to the question “What persuaded you to break that silence?” he replied:

Oh, I knew ten years later I would do something. I had to tell the story. I was a young journalist in Paris. I wanted to meet the Prime Minister of France for my paper. He was, then, a Jew called Mendès-France. But he didn’t offer to see me. I had heard that the French author François Mauriac […] was his teacher. So I would go to Mauriac, the writer, and I would ask him to introduce me to Mendès-France. […]

Pierre Mendes-France became Prime Minister on June 18, 1954; his hold on that office ended on Jan. 20, 1955. Wiesel, according to his autobiography, had returned from Brazil, after writing and giving his 862-page Yiddish manuscript to Mark Turkov, expressly to cover the inauguration of France’s new Prime Minister for his Israeli newspaper.63 In this case, Wiesel’s first meeting with Mauriac had to be some time after mid-June 1954, since Mendes-France is already Prime Minister; it couldn’t have been in May or June 1955 because Mendes-France was long out of office. But in All Rivers, he puts his first Mauriac meeting in May 1955: “I first saw Mauriac in 1955 during an Independence Day celebration at the Israeli embassy.”(p.258) Israel’s Independence Day is May 14. Wiesel says the interview with Mauriac he obtained from that meeting resulted in his writing La Nuit and sending it to Mauriac one year later, in 1956. He continues describing that meeting to the Academy interviewer:

I closed my notebook and went to the elevator. He (Mauriac) ran after me. He pulled me back; he sat down in his chair, and I in mine, and he began weeping. […] And then, at the end, without saying anything, he simply said, “You know, maybe you should talk about it.”

He took me to the elevator and embraced me. And that year, the tenth year, I began writing my narrative. After it was translated from Yiddish into French, I sent it to him.

Wiesel says “the tenth year,” which would be 1955, but in the earlier part of the interview he is referring to 1954—because of Mendes-France. Since he is mixing up the date, it’s no wonder we find the same mis-dating in stories about Wiesel’s life and accomplishments in books and on the Internet, including on Wikipedia pages.

Whenever it was that Wiesel had that fateful visit with Mauriac, he clearly did not mention that he had already written a very long Yiddish memoir, whether a year or a couple of months earlier. But had he written anything yet? Mauriac never alludes to a first Yiddish text. And as stated before, Wiesel himself didn’t either, until his 1995 memoir All Rivers Run to the Sea. This is truly noteworthy. Also, the title Un di Velt Hot Gesvign or, in English, And the World Remained Silent does not appear on the long list of “books by Elie Wiesel” at the beginning of All Rivers or the 2006 translation of Night.

To clarify an important problem Wiesel faces here: Wiesel, prior to 1990, claims to have first met and interviewed Mauriac in the spring of 1954 after returning from Brazil, but later changed it to May or June 1955. But even after that, he sometimes reverted to the 1954 scenario. When you are inventing all or parts of your life story, it’s difficult to keep it straight, especially when your guard is down.

A likely reason is his need to fit the writing and publication of the Yiddish book into his “schedule”, something he had not considered, or just ignored, previous to the Yiddish book being brought to the attention of the world by Myklos Grüner.

 

   

8.  There are striking differences between Night, his “true story” derived from the Yiddish book, and his autobiography All Rivers Run to the Sea.

If Night is a true account of Wiesel’s holocaust experience, how to explain such major differences in the key passages that are compared below. In the first book it is his foot, in the latter his knee that is operated on right before the 1945 evacuation of Auschwitz.

Toward the middle of January, my right foot began to swell because of the cold. I was unable to put it on the ground. I went to have it examined. The doctor, a great Jewish doctor, a prisoner like ourselves, was quite definite: I must have an operation! If we waited, the toes—and perhaps the whole leg—would have to be amputated. .64

[…]

The doctor came to tell me that the operation would be the next day […] The operation lasted an hour.65

The doctor told him he would stay in the hospital for two weeks, until he was completely recovered. The sole of his foot had been full of pus; they just had to open the swelling. But, two days after his operation there was a rumor going round the camp that the Red Army was advancing on Buna. Not able to decide whether to stay in the hospital or join the evacuation, he left to look for his father.

“My wound was open and bleeding; the snow had grown red where I had trodden.” That night his “foot felt as if it were burning.” In the morning, he “tore up a blanket and wrapped my wounded foot in it.” 66

He and his father decided to leave. That night they marched out. They were forced to run much of the night and he ran on that foot, causing great pain. But after that he doesn’t mention it again. By contrast, in All Rivers, it is not his foot, but his knee that is operated on!

January 1945. Every January carried me back to that one. I was sick. My knee was swollen, and the pain turned my gait into a limp. […] That evening before roll call, I went to the KB. My father waited for me outside […] At last my turn came. A doctor glanced at my knee, touched it. I stifled a scream. “You need an operation,” he said. “Immediately.” […] One of the doctors, a tall, kind-looking man, tried to comfort me. “It won’t hurt, or not much anyway. Don’t worry, my boy, you’ll live.” He talked to me before the operation, and I heard him again when I woke up.” 67

[…]

January 18, 1945. The Red Army is a few kilometers from Auschwitz. […] My father came to see me in the hospital. I told him the patients would be allowed to stay in the KB […] and he could stay with me […] but, finally, we decided to leave with the others, especially since most of the doctors were being evacuated too.68

No further mention of the knee. How can we account for this bizarre change from foot to knee? It seems that as weak as Wiesel presents himself to be at Buna, he could not himself believe that he could run around on a foot that had just been operated on for pus in the sole, with no protection. So he simply changed it to his knee.

The next passage is after the liberation of Buchenwald on April 11, 1945. In Night:

Our first act as free men was to throw ourselves onto the provisions. We thought only of that. Not of revenge, not of our families. Nothing but bread.

And even when we were no longer hungry, there was still no one who thought of revenge. On the following day, some of the young men went to Weimar to get some potatoes and clothes—and to sleep with girls. But of revenge, not a sign.

Three days after the liberation of Buchenwald I became very ill with food poisoning. I was transferred to the hospital and spent two weeks between life and death.69

In All Rivers, Wiesel changes the story. He writes:

A soldier threw us some cans of food. I caught one and opened it. It was lard, but I didn’t know that.70 Unbearably hungry—I had not eaten since April 5—I stared at the can and was about to taste its contents, but just as my tongue touched it I lost consciousness.

I spent several days in the hospital (the former SS hospital) in a semiconscious state. When I was discharged, I felt drained. It took all my mental resources to figure out where I was. I knew my father was dead. My mother was probably dead ….. 71

 From two weeks to only several days spent in the hospital. Could this change have anything to do with the famous Buchenwald survivor photograph 72 that Elie discovered himself in sometime after 1980, when he was actively seeking a Nobel Prize? If he were in the hospital “between life and death” for two weeks following April 14 or so, he could not be in that photograph taken on April 16. The author of And the World Remained Silent, whoever he is, never claimed to be in that photograph.

 

9.  Elie Wiesel refuses to back up his authorship by showing his tattoo.

If Elie Wiesel is the man who wrote Un di Velt Hot Gesvign, the source of the world-famous Night—the same man who wrote about receiving the tattoo number A7713 at Auschwitz in 1944—why won’t he show us this tattoo on his arm?  And why do we see video of his left forearm with no tattoo visible at all? Wiesel could so easily clear up this problem, but he doesn’t choose to do so.

Endnotes:

1. “Elie Wiesel and the Scandal of Jewish Rage,” Naomi Seidman, Jewish Social Studies: History, Culture, and Society, Fall 1996 (Vol 3, No.1). Online at http://www.vho.org/aaargh/fran/tiroirs/tiroirEW/WieselMauriac.html

2.  Ibid.

3, Comment: If this is an assignment by the newspaper for which he is chief foreign correspondent, why does he need or want free tickets? Is this the way Israeli newspapers operated?

4.  Elie Wiesel, All Rivers Run to the Sea: Memoirs (New York, 1995), pp. 238-40.

5.  Elie Wiesel, Night, translated by Marion Wiesel, (New York, Hill and Wang, 2006), p. ix, x.

6.  All Rivers Run to the Sea, ibid. p. 241

7.  ibid, p. 242

8.  Ibid, p. 267 

9.   Night, 2006, p. x

10. Encyclopedia Judaica, 2008

11. All Rivers Run to the Sea,  p. 277

12. Ibid, p. 241. “In Buenos Aires my cousins Voicsi and her husband Moishe-Hersh Genuth came to meet us. I gave them some articles for the Yedioth Ahronoth. unaware that they would be reprinted or quoted in the American Jewish press.”

13.  Miklos Grüner claims that this Lazar Wiesel, his camp friend, is the true author of Un di Velt Hot Gesvign and that Elie Wiesel stole both his identity and his book.

14.   Sanford Sternlicht, Student Companion to Elie Wiesel, Greenwood Press, Westport, CT, 2003, p. 3.

15.    Ibid.

16.    First Person: Life & Work. http://www.pbs.org/eliewiesel/life/index.html

17.    All Rivers Run to the Sea, p. 9

18.    First Person: http://www.pbs.org/eliewiesel/life/henry.html 

19.    Rivers, p. 20

20.    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Wiesel.html

21.    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsieur_Chouchani

22.    Rivers, p. 121

23.    Wikipedia, Chouchani

24.    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_(book)  Miklos Grüner says his 32-year-old friend Lazar Wiesel was given an apartment and an income because he had travelled with the orphans to France, under special permission. (see Stolen Identity by Grüner, printed in Sweden, 2007)

25.    Wiki/Night

26.    Jewish virtual library, ibid.

27.    http://www.scribd.com/doc/33182028/STOLEN-IDENTITY-Elie-Wiesel

28.    Grüner is speaking of Block 56, where what was to become the “famous Buchenwald liberation photograph” was taken by an American military photographer on April 16, 1945, five days after liberation. See our analysis of this photo under “The Evidence” on the menu bar.

29.    “Elie Wiesel and the Scandal of Jewish Rage,” Seidman, ibid.

33.    Eliezer Vizel, Un di velt hot geshvign (Buenos Aires, 1956), p. 7

31.   Un di velt, n.p.

32.    Rivers, p. 319

33.   Un di velt, 244.

34.    Night, 120.

35.    Un di velt, 244-45

36.    Night, 120.

37.   Elie Wiesel, A Jew Today, Vintage Books, 1979, 260 pg.

38.   http://worldsgreatestenglishclass.com/media/ww2/19EWSpeech.pdf

39.  Stolen Identity, p. 50

40.   bid, p. 43.   Grüner mentions the 862 pages twice, but not with proof of their existence. “… Lazar Wiesel’s manuscript […] tell us his story and covers his survival of the Holocaust in 862 pages.” Also, “… had to use Lazar’s false identity in Paris and his existing manuscript of 862 pages …”

41.  All Rivers, p. 277. “In December (1955) I received from Buenos Aires the first copy of my Yiddish testimony And the World Stayed Silent,” which I had finished on the boat to Brazil.”

42.   Ibid.

43.    http://www.megaupload.com/?d=BOQ0UU98

44.   All Rivers, p. 239

45.    Ibid, p. 240

46.    Ibid, p. 319

47.  Night, p. x

48.  All Rivers, p. 277

49.   Ibid. p. 267

50.   Siedman, “Jewish Rage”

51.   Ibid.

52.  “The Rage that Elie Wiesel Edited Out of Night,” E.J. Kessler, ‘The Forward‘, October 4, 1996

53.    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=6146

54.    Siedman, “Jewish Rage,” (trans. from Un di Velt)

55.  Ibid. (Un di Velt, 244-45)

56.  Jack Kolbert, The Worlds of Elie Wiesel: An Overview of His Career and His Major Themes,  Susquehanna University Press, Selinsgrove, PA, 2001, p. 29

57.   All Rivers, p.163

58.   Ibid. p.291-92

59.   Stolen Identity, p.31

60.   Kolbert, p. 29

61.   ”An Interview Unlike Any Other,” Elie Wiesel, A Jew Today, trans. Marion Wiesel (New York, 1979), p.16

62.   http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/wie0int-3

63.    All Rivers, p. 242: “I had been away for two months when Dov recalled me to Paris to cover Pierre Mendes-France’s accession to power. I flew back …”  This had to be in June 1954.

64.  Night, p.82

65.   Ibid. p.83

66.   Ibid. p.87

67.   All Rivers, p.89-90

68.   Ibid. p.91

69.   Night, p.115-16

70.   Why would soldiers throw cans of lard? Sounds terribly disorganized and irregular. How did he open the can? If he didn’t know it was lard, and lost consciousness before he tasted it, we must assume someone in the hospital told him after he regained consciousness that he had been holding a can of lard when he was brought in. Either that or it’s just made up.

71.  All Rivers, p.97

72.   http://www.eliewieseltattoo.com/buchenwald

 

Elie Wiesel and the Mossad, Part 1

By Carolyn Yeager, February 2011
Copyright 2011 Carolyn Yeager

Is Elie Wiesel just another Mossad asset? The question is not as surprising as it may sound.

The question of how involved Elie Wiesel was with the early terrorist groups that eventually became The Mossad, Israel’s feared intelligence arm, is one that must finally be asked and answered in a straightforward manner. Certainly, Wiesel is no stranger to politics from his young years. Zionism, along with Marxism and Communism, had strong currency among Eastern European Jews during the 20’s and 30’s; it grew only stronger in the atmosphere of the concentration camps and ghettos created by the Hitler regime and its allies during WWII.

By the time the camps were “liberated” and their inmates, along with others who desired to move about and get a new lease on life, streamed into the Allied Displaced Persons [DP] camps in Germany in 1945, the Zionist cause had reached fever-pitch. These camps, in which all Jewish people were treated with most-deserving status—no matter how they behaved or what their actual past had been—were hotbeds of recruitment for Jewish “resistance” groups such as Haganah, Irgun and Lehi, as well as for illegal transportation and entry into Palestine.

Background of Jewish Terrorist Organizations

The first Jewish paramilitary organization, Haganah ["The Defense"], was formed in 1920. It guarded the Jewish settlements that were forming in Palestine from the Arabs, who were beginning to resent the intruders. In 1931, the more militant elements of the Haganah splintered off and formed the Irgun [also called Etzel and “Defense B”], led from 1943-48 by Menachem Begin.

After 1945, the Haganah was a full-fledged terrorist organization, carrying out bombings, sabotage and illegal immigration of Jews into Palestine. Famous members included Rabin, Sharon, Dayan, Zeevi and Dr. Ruth Westheimer. After Israel became a state in 1948, the Haganah became the Israeli Defense Force.

The Irgun policy was based on ultra-radical Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s “Revisionist Zionism,which declared that every Jew had the right to enter Palestine, and that active retaliation and Jewish armed force were necessary methods to ensure the Jewish state. It was the Irgun that bombed the King David Hotel—killing 91 people and injuring 46—and carried out the infamous Deir Yassin massacre, along with the Lehi [the Stern Gang]. The Irgun is the predecessor to today’s Likud Party.

(L)Avraham Tehomi, the first Commander of the Irgun; (C) Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Irgun ideologist; (R) Avraham (Yair) Stern, founder of The Stern Gang

A commander in the Irgun, Avraham Stern, defected from the Irgun and founded the Lehi group, also known as the Stern Gang, They were even more fanatical than Irgun, and declared total war against imperialism and the British Empire, even while the British were at war with the Germans.

After May 14, 1948 [Israel’s independence], Irgun representatives in France purchased a ship and weapons, and brought it to the Israeli coast in violation of a ceasefire agreement with the neighboring Arab states and the United Nations. It was with the Irgun in Paris, France that Elie Wiesel found his first job.

Wiesel in France

Wiesel writes in All Rivers Run to the Sea 1, his memoir, that he and his young fellow “survivors” wanted to go to Palestine right from Buchenwald, but their American liberators couldn’t allow them to do that. They settled for free transportation and lodgings in France, sponsored by a Jewish welfare agency, the OSE, and the government of Charles De Gaulle.

Now, if it turns out to be true that Wiesel was not at Buchenwald, as I believe, then he was not on that particular passenger train trip to France that he describes on page 109 of his memoir All Rivers. There, he gives a strange explanation for why he never received French nationality:

The train stopped at the border, and they had us get off. A police official made a speech, of which I understood not a word. When I saw people raising their hands, I assumed they were volunteering for some task. […] I later found out that the policeman had asked for a show of hands of all those who wished to become French citizens. Since I did not respond, they probably wrote in my file: “Refused French nationality.” The consequence of my blunder was endless harassment and administrative hassles …

This is questionable for several reasons. First, he says prior to the above paragraph that he shared a train compartment with a boy from Sighet who knew a few words in French. But why would any of the boys be expected to know French? They wouldn’t. Second, there were two Jewish American Army Chaplains accompanying them who were supposedly looking out for their welfare. Third, Wiesel says, “They probably wrote in my file.” Didn’t he ask about it? Certainly he would have gotten another chance once he explained his mistake to the welfare authorities, since the point of the whole operation is that the boys from Buchenwald, if they were orphans, were offered to become French Nationals.

This simplistic and nonsensical explanation for why he spent years as a “stateless person” is just not convincing. It does not fit the world as we know it. This will be repeated in following explanations he gives for his experiences.

Wiesel writes that they were greeted by the OSE, the children’s rescue society, with all good things: a splendid chateau, lavish meals, smiles and promises. His smaller “group of young believers” requested kosher food and received it. They were also provided with their requested bibles, prayer books and Talmudic tractates, and a study/prayer room.2 Wiesel appears not to be interested in assimilating as a Frenchman, even though he finds his eldest sister to be living nearby. Among this group of youths were Zionists and Bundists. Elie was the former, while the Bundists preferred to “rebuild a Jewish cultural life in the Diaspora.”

Wiesel says he “rededicated” himself to his sacred studies, and in between played chess. One day:

…a couple of strangers wanted to take pictures as we played. One of them asked some questions in bad German; I answered in good Yiddish. Someone said they were journalists, but I had never met a journalist before; they were of no interest to me, and I didn’t see why I should interest them.3

This became the published photograph that is said to have alerted his sister Hilda, who had married an Algerian Jew and was living in Paris, to his whereabouts. In a few days, she had contacted the OSE and the brother-sister reuniting was arranged. But why have we never seen this picture? Why has it disappeared and why does no one of the holocaust historians or Wiesel biographers care enough to search for it? We can reasonably expect that sister Hilda would have kept that magazine picture as a treasured memento, but once again we are confronted with the unexplainable.

It was many months later that he reunited with his second sister, Bea, who was in a DP camp in Germany, waiting on a visa to the U.S. or Canada. According to All Rivers, Bea had traveled to Sighet, where Elie had refused to return. There, someone she met told her that her brother was alive. No further details on this—how and why she went to Sighet, and why the folks there would know. At this point in the memoir, Wiesel writes some very sentimental passages that take our attention away from his sisters’ discovery of his whereabouts, and never gets back to it.4

Early connections with Jewish Resistance

The next item of interest to our topic comes on page 120 of All Rivers. In 1947 the OSE arranges for a young Jewish teacher, Francois Wahl, to give Wiesel private French lessons, since he has decided to remain in France for the time being, rather than to emigrate to Palestine [illegally] or to the Americas or Australia. Wiesel writes that, while only two years his senior, Wahl seemed much older, and that “the bond between them was deep and true.” He then informs us that “in 1947, as the underground war raged in Palestine, Francois performed important secret tasks for a Jewish resistance group.”

During this time, Wiesel’s stated pursuits had solely to do with Jewish religion and politics. Actually, that has never changed, in spite of the effort to make it appear that he was, for a time, a real student at the Sorbonne [see here]. He associated only with other Jews, all of whom were naturally interested in the events in Palestine, by staying within the Jewish welfare system even though he was transferred twice—first to Taverny, then to Versailles. At the latter, he was not only with his Buchenwald group but with other Jewish orphans who had given themselves false identities and/or had lived with Christian families during the war.5

When Wiesel’s best friend Kalman left for Palestine [illegally], Wiesel stayed behind and kept up his love affair with Jerusalem from afar. There can be no doubt that he was familiar and highly sympathetic with the Zionist ideas of forcing their way into Palestine, and had no qualms about their methods.

On page 150 he confides: “I had wanted to write ever since childhood. In Sighet I often went to the offices of the Jewish community to write a page of Bible commentary on the only available Hebrew typewriter.” [See my questions about Wiesel’s typing ability here.] On the same page, Wiesel questions the value of writing, and more particularly, of words themselves.

… I told myself I should write. But I had to be patient. Someday, in years to come, I would celebrate memory, but not yet. Even then I was aware of the deficiencies and inadequacies of language. Words frightened me. What exactly did it mean to speak? Was it a divine or diabolical act? The spoken word and the written word do not reflect the same experience. The mysticism with which my adolescence was imbued made me suspicious of writing.

And on and on. This is a person caught in such a narrow perspective of life based on readings of Judaic mysticism that he has difficulty seeing anything just for what it is. Also, someone who forever contradicts himself. He wants to write but is frightened of words; he loves and hates at the same time.

At the “end of summer” the counselor finally persuades Elie to leave the comfort of Versailles and take a room of his own near the counselor’s home—he was nineteen and one of the last of his group to leave. From here, he continued seeing his mentor Shushani, his French teacher Francois, and followed Jewish current events closely. He says he bought the newspapers regardless of the expense.

Finally, the momentous event of the U.N. resolution of Nov. 29, 1947, partitioning Palestine to create a homeland for the Jews, excited Wiesel into action. He found the Paris office of the Irgun newspaper, Zion in Kamf, and offered his services. He was accepted. This is what he writes.6 Whether this is the way it really happened we can’t be sure, knowing, as we do, how Elie Wiesel throughout his life has played fast and loose with the facts.

Next: Part Two – Elie Wiesel’s travels, and how they were paid for, go from being suspicious to hilarious.

Endnotes:

  1. Elie Wiesel, All Rivers Run to the Sea, Alfred A. Knopf, 1995, 432 pgs.
  2. Ibid, p 110
  3. Ibid, p 113
  4. Ibid, p 115
  5. Ibid, p 130
  6. Ibid, p.157

Elie Wiesel and the Mossad, Part 2

by Carolyn Yeager, February 2011
copyright 2011 Carolyn Yeager

The activities of the Irgun dominate Wiesel’s life and attention in 1948.

This propaganda poster, with the Hebrew words “This Way Only” on the artwork, was for distribution in central Europe. It was designed in 1937 by the wife of a Polish reserve officer who was working with Irgun representatives. [See story below: Irgun in Central/Eastern Europe] The entire area was called Eretz Israel and was claimed for a future Jewish state.

 

Dear Readers, As it has turned out, there is much to relate about this one year of 1948 before we get to Elie’s travels. Therefore, I ask for your patience once again. When we left off in Part I, he had just gone to work for the Irgun newspaper, Zion in Kamf. It was November 1947. Here is how he describes his vision of the underground “resistance” at this time.

Physical courage, self-sacrifice, and solidarity could be found even in the lower depths; total compassion, rejection of humiliation either suffered or imposed, and altruism in the absolute sense were found only among those who fought for an idea and an ideal that went beyond themselves. Nobility of action was found only among those who espoused the cause of the weak and oppressed, the prisoners of evil and misfortune. 5

Strangely, this sounds like the “ideas and ideals” of the National Socialists in Germany in the 1920’s who sought the way to lift themselves out of the humiliation and extreme economic hardship imposed on them by the Versailles dictate. But to young Wiesel, the only suffering worth seeing or talking about was that of the Jews. He had not a thought or concern about the native people in Palestine and what was happening to them, just as the Jews of the previous inter-war generation had no concern for the Germans they were exploiting. These others, for him, could not be seen as the “weak and oppressed,” but only as the new enemy that must be overcome by whatever methods were necessary. To Wiesel, even in his youth, only the Jewish militant fighters were “noble” when they carried out their tough and “necessary” actions.

Wiesel admits that by going to work for the Irgun in Paris he was: “risking neither death nor imprisonment. Even deportation from France was unlikely. Stateless persons were rarely deported, that was one of the few advantages of the status.” (Rivers, p162)

This again brings up the question of why Wiesel didn’t seek to become a French national. His sister Hilda had done so. Could it be that his underworld advisors were keeping open where he would be most useful? And as he himself said, being stateless had its advantages – useful for someone working on the fringes of illegality. Here’s how he describes his introduction to the Irgun.

The following Monday I presented myself at the editorial office. Joseph, the boss, showed me to a desk, handed me an article in Hebrew, and asked me to translate it. The article, published in the Irgun’s newspaper in Israel, was a denunciation of David Ben-Gurion and the Haganah and a paean to Menachem Begin, commander in chief of the Irgun. I translated the Hebrew words into Yiddish without grasping their meaning. I knew that the Haganah was fighting the British as hard as the Irgun was, and I couldn’t understand why the two movements hated each other so much. The article also mentioned the Lehi (the so-called Stern Gang), but what was its role? [p163]

I don’t think, after having two “best friends” working for the “resistance” [Francois and Kalman] and reading everything in the newspapers about the events in Palestine during the past year or two, that Wiesel is being entirely honest when expressing such naivete about the disputing militant factions. Continuing:

The article talked about a certain “season” during which atrocious acts were allegedly committed by the Jewish political establishment. I didn’t dare ask Joseph about this.

“I didn’t dare brings to mind another passage he wrote on pages 229-30 describing a visit to his sister Bea in Canada. “I desperately wanted to ask her a question that had haunted me for years. What was it like before the selection, those final moments, that last walk with Mother and Tsipouka? It was the same with Hilda. I didn’t dare.”

May I suggest “I didn’t dare” is cover for the real reason—he doesn’t want an answer so that he will not know. And they – Bea, Hilda and Joseph - will be released from telling him something he will have to forget, or lie about. By not daring to know, he can remain blissfully naive about things that “happened, but weren’t real.” Or, were real but never happened?

Oddly, Wiesel’s mystic-mentor Shushani was also caught up in the Jewish assaults in Palestine:

Though he abhorred violence, he was hardly indifferent to the Jewish struggle in Palestine. Whenever the British arrested a member of an underground organization, Shushani tried to get information about his fate. One day he seemed extremely agitated. He interrupted our lesson, pacing, bumping into walls, blowing his nose, panting and wiping his forehead … It was the day a member of the Lehi and a member of the Irgun committed suicide together just a few hours before their scheduled execution. [p164]

I have had the suspicion that Shushani—the expert on the mysteries of life, the illumined one—also had connections to the Zionist intelligence network. Here we learn from Wiesel that he was so partial to the Jew’s fortunes in Palestine that he practically went into hyperventilation when two Jews met their death! Or is that just a typical rabbinical reaction, based on the belief that one Jewish life is worth a million Arabs. Think of the irony, though—that the British were executing Jews who were fighting against them in guerrilla uprisings, just as the Germans had done to Jews fighting as illegal guerrillas against their soldiers. I wonder if the wise Shushani could explain to me the difference?

Now, Wiesel wades in even deeper:

How and why did Francois suddenly decide to join the struggle for an independent Jewish state? Had he, too knocked on the Jewish Agency’s door on the Avenue de Wagram? Though he joined the Lehi, and I belonged to the Irgun, our friendship was unaffected. In any case, each of us kept his activities to himself. We both agreed that the less we knew about each other, the better.6 No one asked questions at the synagogue I attended on the Rue Pave`e. To them I was a student like any other. If only they knew. [p165]

Wiesel is concious of a separation between himself and ordinary people, even other Jews who would naturally be aware and following what was happening in Palestine with great interest and concern. He has gone much farther, and is actually working for those in the “lower depths” of the bloody struggle taking place. Another strange phrase is “I belonged to the Irgun.” In his signature manner, Wiesel covers up his true identity and objectives, but reveals them in the words that pop out unawares. I have commented about the psychological aspects of this trait among criminals elsewhere. So many luminaries of the “resistance” funneled through his office every day that he, by any measure, has to be considered something of an insider within the Irgun.

 

Above: Henry Bulawko, according to Wiesel one of his fellow camp survivors and an Irgun associate.

Haganah soldiers pose in 1948.

Through work I met Shlomo Friedrich, the leader of Betar, Jabotinsky’s Youth Movement. He was a tall, vigorous man with a rapid gait, a former prisoner in the Gulag.7 […] The process of becoming a journalist involved attending press conferences, public meetings, and demonstrations, and offered a chance to meet such “colleagues” as Henri Bulawko.8 As we talked, we discovered that we had been in Auschwitz-Buna at the same time. And I met Leon Leneman, one of the first to sound the alarm for Soviet Jews. […] Envoys from the Irgun came to the editorial offices every day. All were from Palestine and I was supposed to know only their aliases. Their commander, Elie Farshtei, was shrouded in mystery, but, after swearing me to secrecy, Joseph told me of an incident from his past. In 1946 … he was captured and tortured by agents of the Haganah […] I was flattered when Elie Farshtei stopped by to ask whether I wasn’t working too hard, whether my studies weren’t suffering. I told him that everything was fine, and that I hoped he was pleased with my “contribution” to “Zion in Struggle.” […] In the corridors I might have encountered a young Jewish girl from Vienna, beautiful and daring, who transported documents and provided a hiding place for guns: my future wife.9. [p166-7]

Elie was in deep admiration for all these and many other fighters. No “Nazi” could be more in thrall to the leaders of his movement. He tried to ingratiate himself and win their approval. There is never a hint of concern or questioning about the damage inflicted on non-Jews, of the “human rights” of the native Arab inhabitants. He mentions only Jewish casualties. “A wave of terror swept over the Jewish communities in various Arab countries.” A synagogue was burned, “dozens of Jews were slaughtered in Aden, Jerusalem was besieged” and “gangs loyal to the grand mufti, the pro-Hitler Haj Amin el-Husseini (former ally and protégé of Himmler), attacked Jewish villages and convoys.”

May 15, 1948: Beginning of a 62-year exile for 750,000 Palestinians

 

Tent city in Palestine, 1948

It would soon be May, and the day of independence. Mobilized units of the Haganah, the Palmach, the Irgun, and the Stern Gang united their efforts and their wills. It was imperative to protect every kibbutz, every settlement. The Zionist organizations in the Diaspora worked tirelessly to supply our brothers in Palestine with political and financial support. In France and in the United States as well, we were mobilized. Young and old, rich and not so rich, all felt the fever our ancestors had known in antiquity. Representatives of all the resistance groups worked day and night, though separately, procuring arms and ammunition, raising funds, recruiting volunteers who would set out for the various fronts of the nascent Jewish state. Elie [Farshtei] and his aides no longer found time to sleep. Out of solidarity, neither did we. [p167]

Excitement! All Jews, all over the world, were involved. Wiesel approved 100%, including the procuring of arms and ammunition. In spite of the fact that it was illegal, the “fever of our ancestors” justified it. You might be wondering why Wiesel didn’t speak in a more moderate tone when he wrote his memoir in the 1990’s; why he didn’t pretend a more universal concern for human rights in order to protect his reputation as a champion of human rights. I say he would not because he will never detract in any way from the utter righteousness of the installation of a Jewish state in Palestine. That can never be questioned, human rights be damned. That’s one reason Elie Wiesel is such a hypocrite. Other people’s struggles can be criticized and shown to be inimical to the rights of others, but never the Jew’s.

I find it interesting that Wiesel chooses the words “Young and old, rich and not so rich,” rather than “rich and poor.” There were no poor Jews? Or is it understood that this was a networking of those with means and influence; the poor were really of no help. They are just pawns in the game, used to parlay the idea that they are the ones for whom all this is being done.

My personal circle narrowed. Kalman left for America; Israel Adler was recalled by the Haganah and was now in a training camp …near Marseilles. My friend Nicholas informed me that he planned to abandon his studies [to go and fight.]

Deep down, I had reservations. Military life was not for me. […] what if I died in combat? I hadn’t yet done anything with my life, had written nothing of the visions and obsessions I bore within myself, hadn’t yet shared them with anyone. […] Nevertheless, I decided to heed the call to arms.

Nicholas and I signed up at the recruitment office … [p167-8]

Wiesel says he didn’t pass the medical examination. Really? Were they that particular? The doctor told him he was “not in good shape.” So he continued to work for the Irgun newspaper. Soon it was Friday, May 14, 1948, the day David Ben-Gurion read Israel’s Declaration of Independence over the radio. Wiesel claims to have been extremely moved, possibly beyond anything before in his life. “I was unable to contain my emotion. When had I last wept? It was in an almost painful state of reverence that I greeted Shabbat10.” [p169]

Left: David Ben-Gurion reads the declaration of “Israel’s” independence, May 14, 1948 in Tel Aviv. A portrait of Theodor Herzl hangs above him. Right: Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, in the same year.

* * *

 

The role of the Irgun in Central/Eastern Europe—collaboration with Poland, then Paris

At this point, I would like to insert some information about the role of the Irgun in Central and Eastern Europe from the website http://www.etzel.org.il/english/ac16.htm. It tells of the cooperation between the Polish government and Jewish “resistance” groups before the outbreak of WWII, revealing the desire of European nations, other than Germany, to reduce their Jewish population.

More than three million Jews, concentrated mainly in the large towns, lived in Poland in the 1930s. In Warsaw, for example, Jews constituted one-third of the population. The Polish government, worried by the increase in Jewish influence in the country, not only did nothing to hinder the illegal immigration movement which the Revisionists (Zionist faction of Jabotinsky – Irgun) organized in Poland, but actively assisted it.

In 1936, Jabotinsky met with the Foreign Minister, Josef Beck, and created the infrastructure for collaboration. The Polish government hoped that the establishment of a Jewish state would lead to mass emigration of Jews, thus solving the Jewish problem in Poland.

In 1937, Avraham Stern (Yair), then secretary of the Irgun General Headquarters, arrived in the Polish capital armed with a letter of recommendation from Jabotinsky. He met with senior government officials and laid the practical foundations for cooperation between the Polish army and the Irgun Zvai Le’umi. […] Polish army representatives handed over to Irgun members weapons and ammunition which […] were despatched to Eretz Israel. Some of the weapons were concealed in the false bottoms of crates in which the furniture of prospective immigrants was transported, or in the drums of electrical machines. When the consignments reached Eretz Israel, they were taken to a safe place, and the weapons were removed from their hiding place.

Stern was much helped by Dr. Henryk Strasman, a well known lawyer and an officer in the Polish Reserve force. The Strasmans introduced Stern to the Polish intellectuals and high officials. It was in their home that the preparations for the publication of the Polish periodical “Jerozolima Wyzwolona” (Free Jerusalem) were begun. His wife, Alicia (Lilka) designed the cover – A map of Eretz Israel with the background of an arm holding a gun and the words in Hebrew: ” ” (This Way Only). This became later the symbol of the Irgun. [See poster at top of page]

In March 1939, senior Irgun commanders from Eretz Israel participated in a course held in the Carpathian Mountains, instructed by Polish army officers. The course took place under conditions of great secrecy, and the instructors wore civilian clothing. The participants were not permitted to establish contact with local Jews, and the letters they wrote home were sent to Switzerland, inserted into new envelopes, re-addressed to France, and finally posted from there to Palestine. The trainees received military training and were taught tactics of guerilla warfare.

Three remained in Poland: Yaakov Meridor, who was responsible for despatching the weapons received from the Polish army; Shlomo Ben Shlomo, who organized a commanders course for selected members of Irgun cells in Poland, and Zvi Meltzer, who organized a similar course in Lithuania.

September 1, 1939 cut short the extensive activity of the Irgun in Poland and Lithuania. Most of the arms which the Irgun had received were returned to the Polish army and Irgun activity ceased.

After the war, the Irgun General Headquarters decided to renew activity in Europe and to launch a “second front”. The first base was established in Italy, […] As a result of arrests in Italy, Irgun Headquarters in Europe were transferred to Paris. Meanwhile, branches had been set up in various parts of Europe, and attempts were made to strike at British targets. A train transporting British troops was sabotaged, and an explosion occurred in the hotel in Vienna which housed the offices of the British occupation force. However, the blowing up of the British embassy in Rome remained the pinnacle of Irgun operational activity in Europe.

In January 1947, Eliyahu Lankin reached Paris after his successful escape from internment in Africa. Lankin was a member of the Irgun General Headquarters before his arrest and had also served as commander of the Jerusalem district. The French government, which knew of his escape from British custody, gave him an entry visa, and when he reached Paris he was appointed Commander of the Irgun in Europe.

Shmuel Ariel, sent to Paris by the Irgun in early 1946, was in charge of immigration. Ariel established good contacts with the French authorities, and the Haganah called on his services extensively in connection with sailings from France. Thus, for example, Ariel succeeded in negotiating with the French Ministry of Interior the granting of 3,000 entry visas to Jewish refugees arriving in France en route to Palestine. Some 650 of them left aboard the Ben Hecht, 940 on the arms vessel Altalena, and the remainder were transferred to a ship organized by the Haganah. Thanks to Ariel’s close contacts with the French authorities, the Irgun General Headquarters was permitted to operate in Paris without interruption, and to supervise activity in the many branches all over Europe.

While we hear so much about the “Transfer Agreement” and the Zionist collaboration with the German National Socialists under Adolf Hitler, where do we hear that beginning in 1936 the Polish Government was also desirous of, and actively engaged in, transferring their Jews to Palestine? As with the Germans, the breakout of war brought an end to this cooperation. But as soon as the war was over, it started up again in Paris. Paris was then the headquarters of the Irgun in Europe, with the approval of the French Interior Ministry. An Irgun special representative was in charge of illegal immigration to Palestine. Can this explain why Wiesel remained in Paris until 1955? It does shed light on the alternate world of underground Zionist operations that Elie Wiesel was absorbed into … just how deeply we can only speculate.

Next: Part III – Elie Wiesel’s travels and how they were funded.

Endnotes:

5. Wiesel, All Rivers Run to the Sea, p162

6. There is that “I didn’t dare ask” again; better not to know. You’re going to see as we go along that there are several phrases and numbers that Wiesel uses again and again.

7. In the Soviet Union, obviously.

8. A Lithuanian/Russian Jew born to an Orthodox rabbi, and a member of the French Resistance who was arrested in 1942

9. Wiesel is referring to Marion, whom he met and married later. As a “resistance” volunteer herself, she could well have delivered secret documents to his office.

10. Shabbat is the Jewish Sabbath, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.

Elie Wiesel and the Mossad, Part 3

By Carolyn Yeager, February 2011
copyright 2011 Carolyn Yeager

1949-1955: Wiesel’s movements and life-support system during these years follow an odd pattern.

In January 1949, six months after the establishment of Israel as a state, the purpose for the Irgun presence in Europe changed. Their Paris newspaper Zion in Kamf no longer being necessary, the office shut down. “Elie Farshtei and his lieutenants, Joseph [Wiesel's boss] among them, were recalled to Israel. I received no orders or aid from anyone. “Why don’t you come with us?” Joseph asked. I promised to think about it.” 11

This is problematic. Was Wiesel’s enthusiasm for Israel simply in his fantasy? The formation of Israel had seemed to mean everything to him; why would he not want to live there now it had become a reality? It was also a logical solution to his stateless status. Once again, we feel we’re not given the true picture. Was Wiesel “not recalled” with the others because he was more useful in Europe, where he could better serve the new state. He says he now returned to his “studies,” and “There were days when I was so absorbed in my reading that I never left my room. I had nothing to seek in the desert.” [Rivers, p 174]. The world around him in Paris, where he supposedly preferred to stay, he calls a “desert!” Actually Israel was a desert, not Paris. Wiesel reveals his disdain for the Gentile world, even though he takes advantage of everything it offers him.

After loafing about for awhile, his sister Hilda’s brother-in-law arranged to get him a press card, which gave him certain privileges. Wiesel worked it out with the Jewish Agency—which after Israel’s independence became the mandated organization in charge of immigration and absorption of Jews from the Diaspora—to travel to Israel. They prepared a plan for him to join a group of immigrants in May or June [1949], traveling from the train station in Lyons to Haifa. He had the idea to become a foreign correspondent for an Israeli paper.

The group happened to include a few Irgun veterans but they were leaving Europe for good, and I was ashamed to admit that I was less idealistic and above all less courageous than they. My wallet was not quite empty; a few thousand francs (my life savings) plus one pound sterling, a gift from Freddo. [P 175]

Here again, he attempts to show he is on his own, and poor, with the explanation that he can, but only barely, afford the trip. When they reach Marseilles and the sea, they go to a camp filled with Jews in transit, waiting for their passage on the ship Negba. Now he and the other Jews are in a transit camp where deprivations and close quarters are taken in stride. One man whom they asked about military service in Israel said:

Sure it’s tough, but consider this: Once I was a partisan, an underground fighter hiding in the woods like a hunted animal, not daring to come out except after dark, and now I’ll proudly wear the uniform of the Israeli army. [P 179-80]

This is a, perhaps unintended, confession of a Jewish “underground fighter” who “came out after dark” to attack the regular German troops. Wiesel comments on this, revealing his conspiratorial view of the world:

I grew up in a tradition that denies chance. Though not everything is predetermined, everything is linked. Nikos Kazantzakis (a Greek Jewish author) once said, citing an Etruscan proverb: “It is not because two clouds are joined that the spark ignites; two clouds are joined so that the spark may ignite.” Yet, free will and the possibility of choice exist. Rabbi Akiba tells us that all is foreseen, though human beings have free choice. [p180]

In other words, do events happen and result in a consequence, or is a desired consequence the cause of events happening?

Elie Wiesel on the boat to Israel in 1949, at the age of 20.

 

In Israel, after his initial enthusiasm, and joy in walking on the holy ground, Wiesel was disappointed over the lack of acceptance among Jews. He heard complaints and recriminations … some people said they were “not accepted”—these were the camp survivors who were seen as weak by the new Israeli “natives.”

In this atmosphere little attention was paid to the Holocaust. For many years it was barely mentioned in textbooks and ignored in universities. In the early fifties, when David Ben-Gurion and his colleagues finally decided to pass the Knesset bill creating Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial, the emphasis was on courage. Resistance fighters were presented as a kind of elite, while the victims—the dead and survivors alike—deserved at best compassion and pity. The subject was considered embarrassing. [p 184]

[It's true the "Holocaust" was built up over time. Interest in it was fanned, beginning with the Adolf Eichmann show trial in 1961-62 and increasingly in the seventies, by the media and Hollywood. Elie Wiesel played a major role in establishing memorial museums, especially in Washington, DC , funded by U.S. taxpayers, playing on his theme of "Memory" with the help of influential newspapers with wide readership like the New York Times.]

Wiesel now says it was in Israel he got the idea to become a foreign correspondent. He writes that he got a recommendation to the editor of the small Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, a Dr. Herzl Rosenblum, 12 a signatory of Israel’s Declaration of Independence as a representative of Jabotinsky’s Revisionist Zionist Irgun movement. Upon being hired by Rosenblum as the paper’s “foreign correspondent,” Wiesel sailed back to Paris on the Kedma, arriving in January 1950. [p 185]

I had lost track of Shushani 13 and Francois, but decided it would be a mistake to interrupt my studies on that account. I made a promise to myself. I vowed I would never spend less than an hour a day studying. [p 187]

Once again, it’s clear that, to Wiesel, “studying” meant reading on his own, not attending classes. Always needing to explain how he lived, he writes, “Money remained the problem. Once again, Shlomo Friedrich, my angel of mercy, managed to steer some free-lance translations and editorial work my way.” [p 188] We will see more of this type of explanation. Whenever Wiesel needs to solve the mystery of the appearance of needed cash, “free-lance” work is often the way he does it. Something to think about: Why Wiesel did not stay in Israel, among his own people who were so friendly and helpful, rather than choose to struggle in Paris as a stateless person? The most obvious answer is that he was assigned a job to do in France for the benefit of Israel. “I worked in my hotel room, a sunless cubicle overlooking the courtyard,” he writes.

In 1950, Elie Wiesel’s opportunities for travel begin … with a little help from friends

Suddenly wanting to return to Israel to talk to his new editor [or handler?] face to face, he somehow manages an appointment with a director of Zim Shipping.

I went to see a man called Loinger … a director of Zim, the Israeli shipping company. I explained … I had to go to Tel Aviv … Loinger understood immediately [!] … he picked up the phone and issued instructions …I was to be given a round-trip ticket on the Kedma that very day.[…] This crossing was very different from the last one. I had a comfortable cabin larger than my hotel room, a private shower, fruit and flowers on the table. [p 190]

This special treatment remains unexplained. Wiesel only tells us that, once in Israel, he visited with Dr. Rosenblum and became friends with his son, Dov. No discussion about his job is reported. Upon his return to Paris, “by chance” … by chance, mind you … he meets an official of the Jewish Agency who invites him on an automobile trip to Morocco. He “quickly” got an exit visa and a transit visa, “luckily” having enough photos on hand. [Are your eyebrows raised?]

But what about money? I had one month’s rent on my room saved up. I took the money, stuffed everything I owned into an old valise, and that was that. There were three of us in the car. The first stop was Marseilles, where we stayed in the transit camp near Bandol. […] Now it was Moroccans who were waiting to “ascend” to Israel. [p193]

This is the same camp he was in before. Wiesel says he questioned the Moroccans, spoke to them in fluent Hebrew of how wonderful Israel was. This little speech was enough to bring him a large tip from the camp director.

The camp director was so pleased with my little speeches that he insisted on paying me ten thousand francs (two hundred dollars). At first I refused, but I finally said thank you and put the money in my pocket. We set out for the Spanish border, I was terrified of the police and customs officials who examined my stateless person’s travel permit. Would they take me for a Communist agent, a veteran of the International Brigades? True, I could tell them I was only eight to ten years old during their filthy civil war, but did fascists know how to count?

Ouch. What to say about this? First, $200 in 1950 was the equivalent of around $1000 today. Could a camp director hand out that kind of money to a stranger for relating some feel-good stories to his transient charges? Not unless he was rich and very generous. We can only believe this story as told if we understand the camp as part of the Jewish Agency network for assisting immigration into Israel, and the “director” as something more than just a camp director. More likely, he was quite aware of journalist Wiesel, and what his needs were. Secondly, Wiesel’s extreme bitterness toward the “fascist” Catholic-Franco Spanish state is apparent here. He knows he is not dealing with Jew-friendly power and is nervous without that support. But he had no trouble and the threesome made it into Morocco.

I was dazzled by the subterranean nightlife of Tangier, a cosmopolitan city of countless entrepreneurs, from the most honest to the shadiest. [p196 - Now this is a Jew-friendly place.] We crossed Spanish Morocco at breakneck speed and, arriving in Casablanca, encountered a blinding but somehow soothing whiteness … My traveling companions had contacts within the Jewish community. [p 197]

I bet they did. A poorly dressed Jew offered to serve Wiesel as a guide; he proved to know his way around the Jewish community, introducing Wiesel to many and varied sorts of people . One Saturday afternoon they attended a meeting at a Zionist club. Wiesel writes that after “teaching a few songs” to the local members, his traveling companion from the Jewish Agency gave him an envelope containing money that seemed “princely to me,” assuring that there were “no more money worries for two or three weeks.” [p 198]

Wiesel says he wrote articles while there, without really understanding the culture. When he returned to France, he received a telegram from ‘Ifergan,’ his guide: “Your articles aroused anger. I am now in the hospital, with a few broken ribs.” Twenty years later, Wiesel wrote in Yedioth Aronoth about this “wrong” he had inadvertently caused, and received a response from ‘Ifergan’ that contained the following:  

Don’t blame yourself. I was only doing my job when I followed you. I was working for the Mossad at the time, and they told me to keep an eye on you. The chance of having my ribs broken was part of the deal.” [p 199]

Why would the Mossad want to keep an eye on our young journalist? What other reason could there be than for his protection. Did the unnamed official from the Jewish Agency invite Wiesel to come along because of his gift for telling stories in impeccable Hebrew and teaching songs to emigrating Moroccan Jews? That seems too simplistic. In any case, Wiesel is definitely a precious commodity who is never left without funds.

Now … twenty pages later, though dates are not given, Wiesel reports feeling “disillusioned with Europe” and decides to travel to India. Prior to this, he was passionately involved with the negotiations on reparations with the Konrad Adenauer government. Heading for Bonn, Germany from France, he first spent a day at Dachau, where he says he was “troubled and depressed, for the Jewishness of the victims was barely mentioned.” [p 202] He is no doubt unaware to this day that few Jews were kept at the Dachau camp. Typical Wieselism!

The Zionists offered him a well-paid job, with lodgings in a luxury hotel, as interpreter for Nahum Goldmann, the Polish founder and long-time head of the World Jewish Congress, at the conference of the WJC in Geneva. The Jews were deciding/debating the reparations issue among themselves. Wiesel says he was against the German reparation payments on the grounds they would lead to forgiveness or a “balancing of the shoah account.” Those in favor, such as Goldmann, argued the money for Israel was most important, while those against, including Wiesel’s former Irgun leader Menachem Begin, felt they stood on the moral high ground and would lose it by accepting financial compensation, which signaled “forgiveness.” Wiesel has always been against forgiveness. Goldmann has always been for the money, and “the Holocaust” was just another way to get it.

 

 

 

Left: Russian-born Nahum Goldmann, the long-time head of the World Jewish Congress, in 1966.

Below: Moshe Sharett and Nahum Goldman, 3rd and 4th seated from left, signing the German-Israel Reparations Agreement in Sept. 1952

 

Miracles, miracles …Wiesel makes his most miraculous trip of all—a journeys to India.

I had long dreamed of visiting India, drawn to it by a desire to meet not maharajahs but sages, yogis, and ascetics … why not compare the Jewish idea of redemption with the Hindu concept of nirvana?

Travel expenses were a problem. Yedioth had no money, so I didn’t even bother asking. I wrote ten articles for various Yiddish newspapers, promised ten more for later, did a few translations, and bought a lottery ticket for the first time in my life. Miracles of miracles, I won a modest amount, and at last I had a ticket in hand, but not much more. The two hundred dollars in my wallet would not take me far. [p 223]

Lottery ticket? Isn’t that the lazy Wiesel mind again, coming up with whatever explanation comes to him without bothering whether it’s believable or not? My interpretation is that he is so confident of being protected by varying sorts of ubiquitous “Mossad agents,” even those of a volunteer status, that he doesn’t need to worry. Or is he just having fun with us? At any rate, we have here the usual nonsense. He wrote “ten articles” [nice round figure] for “various” newspapers” and promised ten more [for a cash advance?]. I ask: If he could get this work whenever he needed it, why not do it all the time and end the relative poverty he claims he was living in? Also, note the $200 figure again. This is not the last time we’ll see it.

There remained the question of a visa. Dan Avni, press attaché of the Israeli embassy … phoned his Indian colleague and settled that matter for me.

What Indian colleague is he speaking of? India didn’t establish diplomatic relations with Israel until 1992. At any rate, there was an “Indian colleague” who arranged an entry visa for Wiesel. Do you think he also got some assistance while he was there? But he never mentions anything like this; he pretends he was just helped along by miracles. It’s pretty clear, however, that he had to have some kind of unofficial business to carry out for Israel. With diplomats easing his way, he was off.

During the crossing—with stopovers in Suez and Aden—I studied English, read […] A fellow passenger […] gave me the name of an inexpensive hotel in Bombay. [p 224]

The passenger was a “medical student” who also played the ponies. He convinced Wiesel to wager some of his $200. This doesn’t sound like something Wiesel would do, but he says he did and came out even. The passenger, however, lost his money and now convinced Wiesel to lend him his $200 [to bet more!] until they reached Bombay, where he would be able to pay Wiesel back. And Wiesel did so! When they disembarked at Bombay, a very worried Wiesel searched the crowd for his “friend” and, lo and behold, he showed up with the money in hand. This is a strange story. It sounds like the yarn of an inveterate story-teller, embellishing greatly on something that in reality was far less suspenseful. At any rate, it’s definitely not one of prudence; and may be told to demonstrate his uncanny “luck.”

Wiesel wanders around Bombay, encountering begging children and orphans. He “set out in search of the country,” but reveals no plan of any kind to his readers. How far would he get on $200/$1000? Well, naturally, “a miracle” intervenes.

One day I met a rich and influential Parsi. (Seemingly sitting at an outdoor café.) We chatted about this and that, and he found something about me intriguing. (His Irgun handshake?) […] Several hours later, as he left to return to his associates, he gave me a calling card on which he had written a few words. “India is a vast country, he said. “You will undoubtedly move around a lot. With this card you can take any domestic flight to any destination.” I didn’t know how to thank him. In fact, it took only a few weeks for me to appreciate the true value of his gift. Whenever I was hungry, I would get on a plane. By then I had discovered the identity of my benefactor: He owned the airline. [p 226]

How similar this is to his experience with the Zim Shipping Lines! Wiesel throws out these stories in his 1995 memoir with little concern for how flimsy they are. He is used to people believing him and not asking bothersome questions. Again, we’re not given the name of this “Parsi” or his airline – just as we find in the concentration camp stories by Wiesel, and by many others.

I ask: How practical is it to fly from one city to the next in order to eat a meal? You end up in another place. First you have to get to the airport, wait around for the flight, board and finally be served a meal. After that, de-board the plane, wait around for your return flight and another meal, land, de-board, leave the airport and return to your lodgings. By then you will be hungry again. Were airline meals worth it? This is India in the early 1950’s—a third world country. He says he did this for “a few weeks” at least. Wiesel says a lot of foolish things, and this is just one more. He obviously had sufficient money for this trip and probably free travel arrangements made by his handlers. He is lying outrageously to his readers.

We also learn very little of substance about the country and what he did. Back in Bombay, Wiesel spends a Shabbat with a wealthy Jewish family.

I went to synagogue. My hosts proudly told me of their success. The Sassoon and the Kadouris were super-rich families, veritable dynasties. But it had never occurred to anyone to discriminate against them because of their origins or their ties to Judaism. There were so many ethnic groups, languages, cultures, and traditions in this vast country that Jews did not attract special attention. […] I returned from India even more Jewish than before. [p 228-9]

There we have it—an explanation for the Jewish drive to racially and ethnically mix all nations but their own. It is so they will not attract special attention in the Diaspora with their super-wealth. Since Wiesel sees through eyes that can only admit Jewish persecution, he is often not aware of what he’s saying, and revealing, to the rest of us who see through very different eyes. This is a paragraph that should become better known.

 

Left: Elie Wiesel in his early 20’s, at the time of these travels.

 

 

A few more trips—why not, they’re free.

A free ticket from El Al enabled me to visit Montreal. Bea [his younger sister] seemed happy enough; she was now working at the Israeli consulate […] I desperately wanted to ask her a question that had haunted me for years. What was it like before the selection, those final moments, that last walk with Mother and Tsipouka? It was the same with Hilda. I didn’t dare. [p 229-230]

I’ve already commented on the reasons for this in Part II of this essay. Wiesel’s next trip is to Brazil, which I also discussed previously in “Shadowy Origins of Night” in relation to the writing of his ‘first book,’ the 862-page “lost” Yiddish manuscript. However, it is relevant to the Mossad question also.

It was Spring 1954. He was going on assignment for his newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. It seems that some Jews who had recently arrived in Israel from Eastern Europe were poor and unhappy, and the Catholic Church, according to the Zionists, was taking advantage of their unhappiness to convert them to Catholicism with offers of free passage and visas to Brazil, and $200 each. [There’s that $200 for the third time! How to explain it? Wiesel is stuck on this number.]

His editor wants him to “go and see what’s going on” with this “Catholic scam” in Brazil. His poet friend Nicholas, an Israeli citizen, would go with him. But once again he needs to explain the money. As usual, “A resourceful Israeli friend somehow managed to come up with free boat tickets for us.” [p238] Oh, those Israelis are incredibly resourceful! Wiesel remained in Brazil for two months, but he doesn’t tell us what he did there besides writing about the Jew-Catholic “scandal” and visiting people, including relatives. When he was called back to Paris to cover Pierre Mendes-France’s accession to power for his Israeli newspaper, it was mid-June 1954.

Document with Wiesel’s picture attached, dated 1954, issued by the Yugoslavian embassy in Paris . “Potpis” is Serbo-Croatian for “signature.” There is no mention of travel to Yugoslavia during this time, or any time, in Wiesel’s memoir.

 

In July 1955, Wiesel makes another trip to Israel for the reason of “feeling once again the need for a change of scene.” [p 273] He went by sea and spent several weeks “making many trips through the country.” At Bnei Brak he visited the Rebbe of Wizhnitz, of his own Hasidic sect, to whom he made his famous statement that “certain things are true though they didn’t happen, while others are not, even if they did.” [p 275] That did not win him the Rebbe’s blessing.

At the end of his several-weeks stay in Israel, his editor Dov [the old man’s son] “proposed that I leave Paris and go to New York, not just to write a few articles, but as a permanent correspondent.” [p 276] Their conversation about this important decision is short and rather silly, same as with every other major event or life change that Wiesel writes about. We can easily conjecture that his Irgun/Mossad handlers thought there was now more value to be mined in New York than from his base in Paris. The German reparation talks were over, the amounts established; from now on, America was where the action was.

Next: Part IV – Déjà vu. Wiesel’s adventures in America follow the same, now-established pattern.

Endnotes:

11. Elie Wiesel, All Rivers Run to the Sea, A. Knopf, 1995, p174. [All following page numbers refer to this book]

12. Born in Kaunas in the Russian Empire (today in Lithuania), Rosenblum moved to Vienna after experiencing anti-Semitism and being prevented from studying law. In Vienna, he studied law and economics, gaining a PhD. He then moved to London, where he worked as an aide to Ze’ev Jabotinsky, a leader of the Revisionist Zionism movement. In 1935 he immigrated to Mandate Palestine and started working for the HaBoer newspaper, where he wrote under the pseudonym Herzl Vardi. In 1949, Rosenblum became editor of Yedioth Ahronoth. He remained as editor until 1986, during which time the paper became the largest selling in the country. His son, Moshe [called Dov], was later employed as editor.

13. In 1952 Chouchani left France for Israel where he remained until 1956, according to Wikipedia. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsieur_Chouchani

Elie Wiesel and the Mossad, Part 4

By Carolyn Yeager, March 2011
copyright 2011 Carolyn Yeager

Déjà vu. Elie Wiesel becomes an American but his ties to Israel and manner of life don’t change.

Arriving in New York in 1956, Wiesel is greeted and assisted by “Israeli colleagues” who accompanied him and “served as real-estate advisors.”14 Everywhere Wiesel goes there are Israelis on hand to help; he is never alone or “on his own” and we must conclude that he never has been. Some of his named associates at the time are David Gedailovitch, a.k.a. David Guy, a perfume merchant and restaurateur; Jacob Baal-Teshuva, an Israeli Film weekly rep; Richard Yaffe, correspondent for an Israeli daily who had been subpoenaed by the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Wiesel hangs out with Jews, of which there were no lack in New York, and seems only comfortable with members of his own Tribe—even more so if they are fellow Zionists, which most seem to be. The French Catholic Francois Mauriac appears as the sole exception, but that relationship existed purely for career advancement.

Wiesel says he loved covering the United Nations, where he spoke most often with Abba Eban, Israel’s “young ambassador.” [Rivers, p 290] But, as he always does, he tells us that he wasn’t paid a living wage and had to “alleviate [his] financial problems” with free-lance work. Also, as so often happens, an unnamed benefactor shows up–an “editor” who told him he had no money for news reports, but did have a budget for a novel. Wiesel replied, “I may have something stuck in a drawer somewhere.”

Wiesel writes his first novel

I sat at the typewriter that very night, and in a week or two I churned out (under the pseudonym Elisha Carmeli) a romantic spy novel of which I remember only the premise: A man and a woman, both Israeli intelligence agents, are desperately in love, and one or the other is sent on a mission to Egypt. I can’t recall if the operation was a success, but I do know that all my characters died at the end, since I wasn’t sure what else to do with them. [p. 291]

Déjà vu, indeed. Under pressure, Wiesel churns out in “a week or two”—just as he did on the ocean liner to Brazil less than two years previous15—a spy novel? In this instance, we have to assume he was still working at his regular job, so the fact that it was a shorter book should not be held against him. But, here are my questions: How does he explain that as a religious, idealistic young man, he knew how to weave together a believable story about Israeli spies? Why did he even choose the subject of spies, rather than a simple romance between displaced persons, or immigrants to Israel—something he had seen close up, and even experienced? I know enough about writing to know that when one has to write something in a hurry, one will always choose the most familiar theme. Otherwise too much research is required; without it, mistakes will certainly occur.

Though this is a small detail tucked into Wiesel’s memoir, I think it speaks volumes about that with which Wiesel was actually familiar.

The “editor” published the book under the title, Silent Heroes.16. Wiesel says he never read the book, but Simon Weber, news editor of the Jewish Daily Forward, noticed it and, based on it, offered Wiesel a job with his newspaper. Wiesel describes the Forward as “the world’s biggest, richest, and most widely read Yiddish daily.” [p. 291] It must have been some book! Weber didn’t hire Wiesel because of his great journalism, but because of a silly spy novel, quickly thrown together. This makes no sense except as another typical Wieselism. Wiesel obviously had connections and assistance at high levels, but he wants us to believe in the holocaust victims’ luck and miracles. Or maybe it’s that he is himself so immersed in lies that he’s incapable of telling the truth about anything. In that regard, we now come to the Big One.

Wiesel gets hit by a taxi and flies through the air to land a full block away

On a summer evening in 1956, Wiesel was crossing Seventh Avenue at Forty-fifth Street with a woman from his office when he was hit by a taxi.

The impact hurled me through the air like a figure in a Chagall painting, all the way to Forty-fourth Street, where I lay for twenty minutes until an ambulance came to take me to the hospital. […] My entire left side had been shattered. A ten-hour operation was required to reconstruct it, leaving me in a cast from neck to foot. […] One morning I was visited by a lawyer who said he represented an insurance company. He had a proposition for me: If I signed a certain document, a simple piece of paper, he would hand me a quarter of a million dollars on the spot. […] I was ready to sign that document and any others in his bulging briefcase. But my journalist friend Alexander Zauber screamed, “Are you crazy? Don’t sign anything!” […] You really want to let this crook ruin us? Tell him to get the hell out of here! I’ll get you a lawyer who defends victims instead of swindling them. You’re going to be a millionaire, I guarantee it!” [p.293-95]

Zauber showed the insurance emissary to the door. But Wiesel was worried about paying his current bills, mostly because he was about to be moved into a double room, for him “a terrifying prospect. Ever since the war the idea of sleeping in the same room with a stranger had panicked me.” With the immediate insurance money, he could remain in a private room. Therefore, he decided to call the insurance agent back that night, after Zauber had gone. [p.296]. But again, help arrived from the Irgun

I had forgotten to allow for the possibility of a miracle. Among my visitors that day was Hillel Kook, who asked Aviva and other friends to leave us alone. He was an unusual man, the archetypal Central European intellectual in demeanor and looks; nearsighted, thin, tense, and curious. I had interviewed him several weeks earlier. He had just founded a political organization to combat Soviet interference in the Middle East. I knew him by reputation only. A member of the Irgun high command under the alias Peter Bergson, he and the writer Ben Hecht had directed the Committee of Hebrew National Liberation during the war. Their main objective was to save European Jews. In fact, no one had done more than Bergson to alert the American public to the tragedy of the Jews under the Nazis. Consequently, he was thoroughly disliked by the American Jewish establishment, which consistently fought and slandered him. During the Altalena affair he was even imprisoned by Ben-Gurion. “I heard what happened to you,” he said, coming straight to the point. “As you’ve probably discovered by now, being sick in New York costs money. You don’t have any, but I do. So I brought you a few blank checks. Fill them out as the need arises, and let me know when you need more.” Hillel’s manner was matter-of-fact, as though he made gestures like this every day. [p.296]

 

Right: Hillel Kook, a.k.a. “Peter Bergson,” member of the Irgun High Command was another of Wiesel’s Angels of Mercy. He worked in America as an undercover agent, then made a considerable fortune on Wall Street in the 1950s and 60s. 17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was so overcome by his generosity that I was unable to utter a word. I gaped at him as though he were a tzaddik or an emissary of the Prophet Elijah, most unpredictable of prophets. Finally I managed to ask him how I would ever repay him. “Don’t worry,” he replied, as nonchalant as a banker addressing a colleague. “I have plenty to live on. You can pay me back when the insurance company pays you off.”

When Aviva and the others came back in, I told them of the miracle. Zauber cried, “It’s a sign from God. He wants you to listen to me. Don’t be a fool. Now you can stay in your own room and you can hire my lawyer.” “You’re going to be a millionaire,” he said. “My friend the millionaire. I warn you, if you sabotage my plans, I’ll kill you. And my lawyer will defend me.”

Every week, Hillel called to find out if I needed more checks. In the meantime, the lawyer filed the suit that he and Zauber assured me would change my life for good. I made statements, signed documents and depositions. A month, a year went by. I returned to my hotel. Zauber returned to Israel, Bea to Montreal. From time to time I asked the lawyer how things were going. He was a patient man, and he advised me to follow his example. Eighteen months after the accident he accompanied me to court. This was not yet the trial, but a simple procedural matter. Two years after the accident, there was still nothing. One day Hillel called me, and we had coffee together. He asked me about the trial. Wall Street, it seems, had not been kind to him, and he was short of cash. But not to worry, he would work it out. He would wait. That day I instructed my lawyer to settle the matter within the week. He tried to talk me out of it. […] The next day he informed me of the result of his negotiations: He would receive 30 percent of my payment and from the rest Hillel would be paid back.

That’s how I failed to become a millionaire. [p. 297]

The prodigal visits his hometown Sighet

In 1960, Wiesel’s book Night was published in English, but was slow to catch hold. In 1961 the Adolf Eichmann trial in Jerusalem was the object of his attention and journalism, which he covered for the Forward. In 1964, at the age of 35, he [or his handlers] decided the time was right for a trip to Sighet, his alleged hometown, via Budapest, Bucharest and Baia-Maire. [p. 357]

In Budapest I visited the Jewish quarter, seeing traces of its past. […] When I finally did return to Sighet, the cemetery was the first place I wanted to visit, to meditate at my grandfather’s grave. As is customary, I would have to light candles. I found a store and bought two candles. So it was that I had the feeling I was following a scenario written by someone who existed only in my imagination. Michael 18 was my precursor, my scout. I followed his every step. I saw through his eyes, felt what he felt as I wandered the streets among passersby who didn’t recognize me or even glance at me, and as I entered my home, a stranger in my own house. [p. 357-8]

Above right: Photo of the house where Elie Wiesel allegedly grew up in Sighet, Rumania. Above center: The same house in 2007 after remodeling. Is the blue and white paint in honor of Israel? His parents are said to have run a grocery store on the premises, but we can see no evidence of that in the pictures.

We should not be surprised that Wiesel again experiences his early life as if he were a character in his own fictional writing. In Night, supposedly the “true” account of his time at Auschwitz and Buchenwald [“every word is true”], he was Eliezer, the 13-year-old boy [not 15 as he was in real life] who saw flames shooting from the crematory chimney as he disembarked from the train at midnight, followed by a burning pit of fire in which babies were being thrown. Now, he becomes “Michael,” from another of his novels, as he “wanders” through Sighet. Was it so unfamiliar because he had never really lived there, just as he was never really in Auschwitz or Buchenwald?

Further, we can ask: How did he “enter his home?” Was it empty? Did he ask the current residents for permission? Those answers not being given, it remains left to our imagination.

Though it hadn’t changed, I found it hard to orient myself in the little town. It seemed not to have endured a war. The streets were teeming with people. The park was as it had been, the trees and benches still in place. Everything was there. As before. Everything except the Jews. I looked all over for them, looked for the children

[…]

I roamed the streets, stopped at the movie house, went to the hospital. No one paid attention to the prodigal returning home from afar. It was not only as though I didn’t exist, but as though I had never existed. Had there really been a time when Jews lived here? 19 [p.358]

[…]

I continued my rediscovery of Sighet. Walking down the Street of Jews—almost every town in Eastern Europe had one—I saw nothing but sealed shutters and doors nailed closed. All […] now stood empty. It struck me how poor they had been, those Jews of Sighet so dear to me. That was true of all of us, though as a child I had been unaware of the poverty that prevailed in the Jewish neighborhoods. 20

[…]

I set out to see the synagogues again. Most were closed. In one I found hundreds of holy books covered with dust. The authorities had taken them from abandoned homes and stored them here. In a frenzy, I began to look through them. I was rewarded when I discovered a few that had belonged to me. I even found some yellowed, withered sheets of paper in a book of Bible 21 commentaries: a commentary on the commentaries I had written at the age of thirteen or fourteen. The handwriting was clumsy, the thoughts confused. [p.359-60]

Which “authorities” is he referring to: Jewish or Hungarian? Would the Hungarian police have bothered to take books out of the homes and store them? And what are the odds that he could look through “hundreds of books” in the time he had and find some of his own in the piles? Or that his would be stored at one of the few still-open synagogues in Sighet and his commentaries were still in them? He falls back on his previously used artifice that it was possible because he did it “in a frenzy.” As he typed 862 pages of a difficult manuscript in two weeks max in 1954—in a frenzy, so now he does another impossible task in a frenzy. Further, has anyone ever seen these handwritten commentaries? Would he have left them there? They would offer proof that he actually lived in that town.

Previously I wrote about the question of Wiesel’s typing ability. He has written that he sometimes went as a youth to the synagogue ‘office’ where he used the only typewriter available in the community to type up his religious commentaries. But now he writes that those he found were handwritten. He has also made it clear that all his adult writing has been done in longhand, not typewritten. This is unusual for someone with a long career as a journalist.

A mission to bring Soviet Jews to Israel

In 1965, Wiesel made an “unexpected journey to the Soviet Union.” It may have been unexpected because the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs requested that he go, but he was carefully prepared for it.

Meir Rosenne and Ephraim Tari, two of the most effective and devoted young diplomats in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, prepared me. Both spoke French, were interested in literature, and, as it turned out, belonged to a semiofficial government office reporting directly to the prime minister. Meir in New York and Ephraim in Paris oversaw clandestine activities on behalf of Soviet Jews. It was an arduous task, more dangerous than it appeared. Arduous because even the largest and most influential Jewish communities refused to become actively involved. They were delighted to aid Israel, but the desperate Jews behind the Iron Curtain were both distant and invisible. Nobody seemed to know what concrete action Soviet Jews really wanted Jews in the West to take for them. [p.365]

[…]

How many were they? There was talk of millions, but that figure seemed implausibly high. “You ought to go and see,” both Israelis told me. “You have been a witness before, now you must go and find out the Soviet Jews’ true situation and testify for them.” […] I was briefed by experts. [p.366]

Why was Wiesel the choice of the Israelis who reported directly to the prime minister about clandestine activities regarding Jews in the Soviet Union? Was he famous in 1965? Was he the High Priest of the Holocaust at that time? No, that was still to come. But he was a Mossad agent, and on their payroll, at least as a retainer. Wiesel seems up to now to have been involved when immigration of Jews to Israel—legal or illegal—was concerned, and to bolster the feelings of Jewishness of those in the diaspora. This trip appears to follow in that vein. Communist Jews were perfectly acceptable, as dark-skinned Morrocan and Ethiopian Jews were earlier. The idea was to fill up Israel with Jews in order to keep claiming more of the physical territory of Palestine.

I left for Moscow in time for the High Holidays, then went on to Leningrad, Kiev, and Tbilisi. I returned transformed […] I immediately felt close to these forgotten, tenacious Jews. … Having survived the massacres of the Nazi era and the Stalinist persecutions, they proclaimed their Jewishness even in the heart of the Gulag and the cellars of the NKVD and KGB. [p.366]

[…]

We were determined to help the Jews left behind the Iron Curtain, even if we had to defy the Kremlin and all its police. We had been privileged to make the surprising discovery that with a number of notorious exceptions, even Communist Jews had remained Jewish. [p.369]

Notice the “we.” He was working with others on behalf of Zionism and its goals, not on his own. Wiesel can find good things to say about all Jews, no matter how much blood is on their hands—for example, Zinoviev and Ehrenburg.

Left: Grigory Zinoviev, a.k.a. Apfelbaum, born Radomysisky in Russia, died 1936, was a close associate of Lenin. Right: Ilya Ehrenburg, a leader of the hate campaign against Germans during WWII, author of the article “Kill” which appeared in 1942. His support for Stalin never wavered.

A journalist friend told me that Zinoviev—Lenin’s companion and ill-fated admirer/adversary of Stalin—faced execution with the Shma Yisrael on his lips. All his life he had clung to his atheism. For a Jew to be a Communist meant repudiating his or her Jewish faith, Jewish tradition, Jewish history.22 And so many became resigned to integration, assimilation, and mixed marriages—anything to ensure that their children would no longer be tied to the Jewish people or to Jewish destiny. And yet …

Ilya Ehrenburg was an example. During the last years of the war, along with Vasily Grossman (author of the brilliant Life and Fate), he scoured cities and villages, gathering chronicles and testimony from survivors of the ghettos and the camps. Together they compiled an anthology of human cruelty and Jewish suffering reaching from Vilna to Minsk, Berdichev to Kiev, Kharkov to Odessa. This “black book” contained accounts one cannot read without feeling despair. It was not published because by 1945 Stalin had changed his policy toward both Germany and the Jews. The Kremlin’s spokesmen and propagandists received orders to no longer emphasize German atrocities or the calvary of their Jewish victims. […] It was he [Ehrenburg] who had entrusted a copy of the manuscript to a reliable friend who was to convey it to Jerusalem when the chance arose. Novelist, pamphleteer, propagandist, and Communist, if not Stalinist, Ehrenburg nevertheless had remained a Jew at heart. [p.369]

Ehrenburg, the murderer of millions of Russians and Germans, is hailed as a True Jew by Elie Wiesel! This is the true Wiesel, who will forgive any Jew as long as he professes himself a Jew and proves loyal to Jewry. He celebrates this recognized monster, releasing him of all his sins because he compiled a book of Soviet lies about “Nazi atrocities” and the sufferings of Jews. Stalin changed his policy in 1945 because Germany was no longer a threat to him, but the Jews were, just as they had been to Germany before, and before that to Czarist Russia. This is a low point in Wiesel’s memoir, but he is trapped in his own ideology and complete insensitivity to any but Jews.

A second trip to the USSR

Wiesel made a second trip to the USSR about a year later. Though it was more difficult to get in since he had published about his first trip, still he and a friend, Michel Salomon, managed to return. Once again his high-level connections made it possible. At the airport,

the Israeli charge d’affaires, David Bartov, and his wife, Esther, had come to greet us. [ …] We sped through the city in David’s diplomatic vehicle. Two spacious rooms had been reserved for us at the National Hotel. That very evening the Bartovs took us to a performance by a traveling Yiddish troupe. [p.370]

Don’t they ever get away from Jews? No, they don’t appear to have any desire to. Also, note what priceless benefits statehood has brought to international Jews–they have diplomats with special privileges and immunity, and greatly improved international connections.

On this trip, Wiesel says he was followed by KGB agents, his hotel room was searched while he was out, and the copy he brought along of his newest book on the plight of Russian Jews, The Jews of Silence, was taken. Finally frightened by this, he was back at the airport for a return flight back to Paris, about to board, when …

The young woman motioned to me to board, but at the same instant the officer shouted something. Suddenly things moved quickly. Before I realized what was happening, the two Israelis were at my side. One of them took my ticket while the other snatched my passport out of the officer’s hand. I felt myself being lifted like a package. They ran, and so did I, amid whistles and shouted orders. I don’t know how we managed to jostle our way through all the gates and barriers, but we jumped into the embassy car and took off. Why the police didn’t stop us, I don’t know. I was too stunned to try to understand, too dazed to think about it. The Israeli behind the wheel drove as if he were back home in Tel Aviv. I would worry about that later. In a moment we were on embassy grounds. [p.374]

Wiesel tells about this trip in great detail, taking five pages, which means it probably happened the way he says. Why can he do it in this instance, while other, more important events in his life are sloughed over in a single paragraph? I leave the reader to answer that. After spending three days at the Israel Embassy, things were “straightened out.”

Accompanied by my two Israeli bodyguards, I returned to the airport. Everything went smoothly. The Intourist and Aeroflot employees greeted me amiably. There was no problem […] The plane was half empty. I had the whole first-class section to myself. 23

[…]

I arrived in Paris just in time for the annual conference of French Jewish intellectuals organized by Jean Halperin and Andre Neher under the auspices of the World Jewish Congress. Rather than speak on that year’s designated topic (God and …), I recounted my experiences and impressions while in Moscow. [p375-6]

 

Above: Elie Wiesel at a rally for Soviet Jews in New York after his two trips to the Soviet Union. Wearing dark glasses, he looks the role of the undercover agent.

A couple pages later, we gain some insight into Wiesel’s fanatical and totally Jew-centered world-view when he speaks about the Talmudist Saul Lieberman, with whom he was thrilled to be able to study.

He made me aware that to be a Jew is to place the greatest store in knowledge and loyalty; that it is because he recognizes divine justice that he speaks out against human injustice. That it is because a Jew remains attached to his God that he is permitted to question Him. It is because the prophets loved the people of Israel that they admonished them and reprimanded their kings. Everything depends on where you stand, my master used to say. With God anything can be said. Without God nothing is heard. Without God what is said is not said. [p.380]

This explains to some extent to me why they can lie so easily. All Jews are with God, therefore anything can be said. Those without God—goyim, gentiles—are not heard. What they say is not said, means nothing. This is a reasonable interpretation which we see acted out everywhere before our eyes. It makes clear why the Gentile world and the Jewish world cannot adjust to one another. All such talk by Jews that if the Gentiles would just make enough concessions it would be possible, is deceitful. At least it is when dealing with Jews like Elie Wiesel and Saul Lieberman.

The Mossad motto: By way of deception (deceit), thou shalt make war (defeat thine enemies). Elie Wiesel has been shown again and again to be deceitful. Thus, he is perfectly in tune with the Mossad.

Endnotes:

14. Elie Wiesel, Memoirs: All Rivers Run to the Sea, Knopf, 1995, p. 286.

15. Wiesel claims to have written Un di Velt Hot Gesvign, a Yiddish manuscript of 862 pages, while on a boat traveling to Brazil in Spring 1954. See http://www.eliewieseltattoo.com/the-shadowy-origins-of-night

16. Silent Heroes is not ever listed among the books Wiesel authored, nor could I find it at Amazon.

17. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/04/27/pen_portraits_from_a_forgotten_middle_east?page=0,4

18. Michael is the main character in his book The Town Beyond the Wall [1962], a fictional account of his life in Sighet.

19. According to one visitor: In the spring of 1944, more Jews than Gentiles lived in Maramureş, a remote part of Romania then under Hungarian control. Most had come in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries from Russia. (They are really Russians, not Hungarians or Romanians.) Some worked the farms, and some lived in villages and towns, working as traders and craftsmen. There were synagogues in most villages, and in the regional capital, Sighet, Jews worshiped at the elaborate synagogue on Nagykoz Street.

20. Yet Wiesel, or his handlers, presents his family as prosperous, progressive, cultured and upstanding. We see pictures of them looking fairly middle-class. Sighet was the capital city of the province. What is the reality?

21. By “Bible” he really means Talmud.

22. This is simply not true, but is Wiesel’s attempt to separate Jews from the Communist taint.

23. We learn from this that Wiesel travels first class. What else would we expect?