- David O'Connell is a professor of French
at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
- This article was published in the November,
2004 issue of Culture Wars magazine. CultureWars.com
- Elie Wiesel is widely admired by many
of the Catholics who wield power in the diocesan chanceries and the administrations
of the nation's Catholic schools and universities. He has received honorary
degrees from a number of Catholic institutions, including Georgetown, Notre
Dame, Fordham and Marquette. He is also fawned over by assorted Catholic
intellectuals. He is accorded this treatment despite the fact that he plays
a prominent role in exploiting the abusive relationship that exists between
the representatives of the major Jewish Organizations and those Catholics
who "dialogue" with them. In the 40 years since Vatican II, this
alleged "dialogue," well intentioned at the beginning, has actually
turned out to be a monologue in which the Jewish side ritually denounces
Catholics and Catholicism while the Catholic representatives nod in approval.
No serious criticism is ever made of Jews or Zionism. The dialogue, for
instance, is strangely "silent" about the unrelenting Israeli
war against the Christians of Palestine. In 1948, 18-20 percent of Palestinians
were Christian. That figure is down to about 2 percent today. The Christian
population of Bethlehem, once 95 percent, has dwindled to about 15 percent.
Even worse, the "separation fence" now under construction cuts
through many places that are holy to all Christians.
- The role that Wiesel has assumed in the
abusive relationship is to exploit his privileged access to the media to
attack high value Catholic targets. In 1979, he attacked the Pope for not
mentioning the word "Jew" while visiting the Auschwitz victims'
monument, which also omitted the word. He also attacked the Pontiff for
not mentioning the word "Israel" on his visit to the U. N. When
the Pope invited him to come to Rome for a personal visit, Wiesel turned
him down. Then, in 2000, he rebuked the Pontiff because his apology to
Jews for past persecutions was not good enough.
- His attacks against Cardinal O'Connor
of New York, an honest, sincere and terribly naïve man, began in the
1980s. When O'Connor visited Jerusalem in 1987, he broke down in tears
over Jewish suffering during World War II. Upset, he stated that this was
a "gift." What he meant was that, in Catholic terms, it was a
possible occasion of grace, as is all suffering. Wiesel and other New York
Jewish figures ripped him in the media for his supposed bigotry and insensitivity.
He and Wiesel then became "friends" when Wiesel came to visit
him.1 Wiesel then convinced O'Connor to do an "interview" book
with him. It was called Journey of Faith (1991), and in it the Cardinal
was on the defensive from cover to cover. In 1997, he talked O'Connor into
helping him dedicate the Jewish Holocaust Museum in New York City. While
there, the Cardinal took it upon himself to "apologize" for all
Catholics who had contributed to past Jewish suffering.2 Then, on September
8, 1999, very sick and not far from death's door, he wrote Wiesel a personal
letter in which he made the same kind of "apology." Wiesel then
paid $99,000 to turn the cardinal's private missive into a full-page ad
in the Sunday New York Times on September 19. Strongly implied in each
of O'Connor's gestures was the idea that Jewish suffering of World War
II replicates the sufferings of Christ in the 20th century, an idea that
a faithful Catholic simply cannot accept.3
- Wiesel's relationship with Cardinal Jean-Marie
Lustiger of Paris followed the same pattern in the 1990s. First he attacked
Lustiger because he had converted to Catholicism as a boy, then he achieved
reconciliation and finally "friendship" with him.
- Wiesel also delights in desecrating what
is for many Catholics the beloved memory of Pope Pius XII, routinely trashing
him for his supposed "silence" during World War II. No other
Jewish media voice even comes close to Wiesel in terms of the frequency
and the vitriol of his insults to the Catholic memory of that Pope. Wiesel
has been claiming for the past 35 years that Christianity died at Auschwitz.
As early as 1971, he stated: "The sincere Christian knows that what
died in Auschwitz was not the Jewish people but Christianity."4 Yet,
the Catholic press, intellectuals and hierarchy treat Wiesel with reverence!
To Wiesel (as well as to our disproportionately Jewish mediarchy), Jewish
suffering during World War II has replaced the sufferings of Christ as
the functioning paradigm of the post-Christian era. It is the media's benchmark,
the sacred "burnt offering" of the secularists. As Rabbi Jacob
Neusner has pointed out, "the Judaism of Holocaust and Redemption"
has become the civil religion of America.5 Hardly a day goes by without
the Judeo-corporate media producing an article, report, TV show or movie
of some kind on the subject of the Holocaust and the dubious "lessons"
we are supposed to draw from it. Media propaganda, both against Catholicism
and in favor of the "specificity," or superiority of Jewish suffering,
- Over the course of his career, Wiesel
has told many tall tales about his alleged experiences during World War
II. They can be called "true lies," since they are meant to edify
and are told with supposedly good intentions, even though they are not
true. In the following pages, I shall examine closely one of these "true
lies." It has to do with his internment at Buchenwald. As I tell the
story, it will become apparent to readers that I avoid using the word "Holocaust."6
Since that term is has become a media code word that is all too often used
as a justification for the Jewish war crimes and crimes against humanity
that are routinely committed in occupied Palestine, it is tainted. It is
also associated with the scams and manipulations of various Jewish holocaust
profiteers, of whom Wiesel himself is probably the most flagrant example.
It also serves the purposes of the pro-Israel Judeo-corporate power structure,
since it justifies foreign adventures to "prevent another Holocaust."7
I refer instead to the Jewish Ordeal of World War II (JOW) to describe
the Nazi persecution of innocent Jews.
- Wiesel's Credibility
- But who is Elie Wiesel, and how is he
related to the JOW? One Jewish commentator, Pierre Vidal Naquet, whose
father died at Auschwitz, wrote of Wiesel: "For example, you have
Rabbi Kahane, the Jewish extremist, who is less dangerous than a man like
Elie Wiesel, who says anything that comes to mind. . . You just have to
read parts of Night to know that certain of his descriptions are not exact
and that he is essentially a Shoah merchant. . . who has done harm, enormous
harm, to historical truth."8 Another Jewish voice made the following
comments on Wiesel's self-righteous autobiography: "Elie Wiesel's
memoir is written by a man whose inner postures have gone so long unreviewed
he cannot persuade us he is on a voyage of self-discovery, the first requirement
of a testament. His book, I am sorry to say, gives being witness a bad
name."9 Christopher Hitchens, taking issue with Wiesel for his silence
about Jewish war crimes in Palestine, wondered out loud: "Is there
any more contemptible poseur and windbag than Elie Wiesel? I suppose there
may be. But not, surely, a poseur and windbag who receives (and takes as
his due) such grotesque deference on moral questions."10
- >From November 1947 to January 1949,
Wiesel worked for Zion in Kampf, the newspaper of the terrorist gangsters
of the Irgun. The Irgun extermination of innocent Arabs at the village
of Deir Yassin took place on April 8, 1948, while Wiesel was on the payroll,
yet he is always appalled by Palestinian "terrorism." Likewise,
while he was actively campaigning for a Nobel Prize in the 1980's, he made
a trip to South Africa. Of course, the New York Times was there with him
and recorded his ritual denunciation of apartheid. Yet Wiesel now strongly
favors the apartheid wall being built in occupied Palestine even though
it will impose additional inhuman hardships on the Palestinians. Even worse,
he has attacked Pope John Paul II for proposing that what the Middle East
needs is bridges, not walls, writing: "From the leader of one of the
largest and most important religions in the world, I expected something
very different, namely a statement condemning terror and the killing of
innocents, without mixing in political considerations and above all comparing
these things to a work of pure self-defense. To politicize terrorism like
that is wrong."11 Ironically, the same Wiesel who accuses Pius XII
of "silence" now wants Jean Paul II to be "silent"
about Jewish war crimes in Palestine.
- Wiesel and François Mauriac
- Wiesel's claim to fame is his problematic
"autobiography," Night, which is actually a novel, since it contains
a good deal of invented material. It was first published in French in 1958,
and was based on a much longer Yiddish version, which he had published
under the title And the World Forgot (Und Di Velt hat Geshveyn) in Buenos
Aires in December 1955. At a reception held at the Israeli embassy in May
1955, which Wiesel attended as a reporter for an Israeli newspaper, he
approached the well-known Catholic novelist, newspaper chronicler, man
of letters, and 1952 Nobel Prize winner, François Mauriac (1885-1970),
and asked if he would consent to be interviewed.
- Mauriac was a French right-wing nationalist
by birth and upbringing. In his family in the early days of the 20th century,
they referred to the bedroom's chamber pot as "le zola," since
the Mauriacs were convinced, like many French people, that Dreyfus had
been guilty despite the media campaign in is favor. But he changed political
stripes in the mid-1930s, becoming a strong supporter of world Jewry. He
continued this support through the war years and after, when he favored
the creation of Israel. Then, in 1951, he was the first Catholic to accuse
Pope Pius XII of "silence" during the war years. Amazingly, just
two years later, when his career seemed dead, for he had not published
a major piece if fiction since 1940, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for
Literature-for his novels! The Parisian literati were stunned! How could
this be, they wondered, especially at the height of the "existentialist"
craze? One question they did not dare ask was the possible role of the
Jewish lobby, so powerful with the Nobel Committee, in this decision. Was
the Nobel Prize a payback for his support of Jewry through the years of
World War II, as well as for waving an accusatory finger at Pius XII, who
was still very much alive? I have not yet been unable to resolve this question.
- In any case, Mauriac invited Wiesel to
his home. They talked about the war years and the concentration camps.
In fact, it seems clear in retrospect that this was the only subject Wiesel
wanted to talk about. The two men became friends, and Mauriac told Wiesel
he would help him find a publisher for his book. But his book was not only
written in Yiddish, it was also several times longer than what would eventually
become La Nuit. How did the transformation take place? Did Wiesel rewrite
it, as he has always claimed, or did he get help from Mauriac? The answer
to this question could probably be found in their voluminous correspondence,
but Wiesel is in possession of both the letters received from Mauriac and
the ones he wrote to his friend and benefactor. Wiesel sits on this correspondence
and refuses to publish the letters, despite the entreaties of his rather
naive liberal Catholic admirers.12
- La Nuit became Night when it appeared
in New York in 1960. With the backing of the ADL, it became mandatory reading
in high schools shortly thereafter and has sold millions of copies since
then. It contradicts Jewish holocaust dogma on many key points, and in
fact is guilty of "holocaust denial" in this respect. Nevertheless,
it remains the only "holocaust memoir" with any redeeming literary
qualities (which brings us back once again to the question of who actually
wrote the final draft of the book). In the meantime, Wiesel moved to New
York, where he continued to work as a correspondent for an Israeli newspaper.
Shortly after his arrival, he was struck by a car near Times Square. Given
to exaggeration by nature, he later claimed: "I flew an entire block.
I was hit at 45th Street and the ambulance picked me up at 44th. It sounds
crazy. But I was totally messed up."13 Then, after the success of
Night, he was awarded a tenured teaching position at a public institution,
Hunter College. Despite his claims over the years about having studied
philosophy and psychology at the Sorbonne and doing a two year internship
at the Hôpital Sainte-Anne in clinical psychology, he actually never
enrolled for any credit-bearing course at the Sorbonne, or any other branch
of the University of Paris. Even worse, there is no evidence that he ever
earned a French secondary school diploma. Yet, he now earns a huge six-figure
salary as a year as a Mellon Professor of Literature at Boston University,
a position that theoretically requires a Ph.D.
- During the years from 1960 to 1967 the
two men kept up a regular correspondence. After the conquest of Palestine
in 1967, Mauriac voiced concern in his Bloc-Notes column in Le Figaro that
the Israelis were now behaving more and more like Nazis. During the war,
Mauriac had been obliged to give shelter to several German soldiers in
his home for over four years, and he knew what occupation did to both occupier
and occupied. The two men quarreled, and there were harsh words committed
to paper. Wiesel would prefer nowadays not to revive this issue, for he
probably wrote some things he is now ashamed of. Yet, for years he proclaimed
he was going to some day publish the letters.14 But I believe there might
be a much more important reason for the suppression of the correspondence,
for it could possibly reveal Mauriac's active role in the redaction of
La Nuit. After all, as Naomi Seidman has pointed out, La Nuit differs dramatically
from the Yiddish original in length, tone, basic themes and meaning. She
rightfully attributes this difference to Mauriac's "influence."15
But how do we define "influence?" While the Yiddish original
appears to be hated-filled, dripping with a Jewish desire for vengeance
against goyim, the latter is more oblique and restrained. In a word, it
is a work of literature and, as such, implies the presence of a mature
literary hand, like Mauriac's. Conversely, when one compares La Nuit to
the many novels that Wiesel has written since then, the absence of a mature
literary hand, like Mauriac's, is obvious. In France, La Nuit is mandatory
reading in state-sponsored indoctrination classes, but none of his other
novels are read in schools or taken seriously by critics. The same situation
prevails in this country. In a word, La Nuit is totally different from
anything else that Wiesel has written, and it is fair to ask if in fact
Mauriac's influence went beyond the level of mere suggestion and advice.
- Wiesel at Auschwitz and Buchenwald
- Wiesel, along with his parents and three
sisters was deported from Sighet, Hungary, to Auschwitz in May 1944. Born
in September 1928, he was fifteen and a half years old. The Germans needed
labor for their factories, since Nazi ideology forbade German women from
engaging in such work. Women stayed home in Nazi Germany, a policy that
made sense to the Nazi racists who ruled the country but left the Germans
short of blue-collar labor. Wiesel's mother and a sister died at Auschwitz
in the summer of 1944, probably in the horrible typhus epidemic that raged
in the women's camp. Their death certificates are in the files at Auschwitz,
but on a research trip there I was not allowed to see them. The two other
sisters survived the epidemic, and lived to advanced age. Wiesel was sent
to the men's camp with his father. In late 1944, when Wiesel injured his
foot in an industrial accident, he was operated on at the camp hospital.
According to the vulgate version of the Jewish holocaust story, he should
have been disposed of in a gas chamber since he was not only a child but
was also disabled. Yet nothing of the sort happened. While in the hospital,
he befriended the hospital personnel and, as the Russians approached in
January 1945, was offered the opportunity by the Jewish staff physicians
to stay on and not be evacuated with the retreating Germans. Yet, Wiesel
preferred to go off with the Germans who, according to the Jewish holocaust
story, were allegedly sending 20,000 people a day to the gas chambers.
This decision raises a number of very serious questions. Not only that,
he also insisted on dragging his sickly father along with him, which was
the equivalent of writing the man's death certificate. The latter, physically
weak even before the horrible trauma of the camps, died of dysentery shortly
after arriving in Buchenwald in the dead of winter. Repatriated to France
in late April at the age of sixteen and a half, Wiesel was reunited there
with the two sisters who had survived the typhus epidemic.
- On July 4, 2004, Parade magazine featured
an article by Wiesel. It included what is probably the most famous propaganda
picture from World War II. In it, a circle is drawn around the face of
a man who is supposedly Wiesel. The picture was taken by Private H. Miller
of the Civil Affairs Branch of the U. S. Army Signal Corps at Buchenwald
concentration camp on April 16, 1945, five days after the American arrival
there on April 11. It was not taken on the spur of the moment on April
11, but was one of a larger group of about a dozen photos in which professional
montage and mise en scène techniques were used.16 The shot was then
released to the media to be used for the usual propaganda purposes: project
an image of the Germans as war criminals while distracting the American
public from the horrible war crimes then being committed by Allied forces.
The fact that the picture is still being exploited almost 60 years after
it was taken shows how successful and adaptable it has proved to be.
- The last two pages of Night recount the
events associated with the flight of the Germans and the arrival of the
Americans at Buchenwald. Wiesel writes in Night that "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."
Thus, Wiesel's first claim about his mysterious illness is that it occurred
"three days after the liberation of Buchenwald," that is, on
April 14. He was immediately hospitalized, and "spent two weeks between
life and death." According to this scenario, he would have been in
the hospital from April 14 to April 28. Since the picture was taken on
April 16, he could not have been in it.
- Wiesel later changed this basic story
a number of times. Here is the second version of events, which he invented
many years later. "After the liberation I became sick and it's strange
how it happened. I hinted at it in Night but it's not the full story. April
11, 1945, when the Americans came, we were some 20,000 left in Buchenwald
out of some 60,000 or 80,000, and we hadn't had food for a week or so.
Suddenly the Americans came and brought their food but they really didn't
know what they were doing; they gave fats. 5,000 people died immediately
from food poisoning. . . and my body rebelled; I lost consciousness immediately
and was sick for ten days or so-unconscious, in a coma-blood poisoning
or something." In this second version, Wiesel says that he ate the
food "an hour or two after the liberation,"17 which contradicts
his original claim in Night that he only got sick three days after liberation.
Also, in this new version he is sick, unconscious and in a coma for ten
days, or from April 11 until about April 21. Here, once again, he could
not have been in a picture that was taken on April 16. As for Wiesel's
claim of 5,000 deaths from food poisoning, it is pure hysteria, and is
not supported by the historical record.
- Wiesel, Mendacity and the New York Times
- The Buchenwald picture first appeared
in the New York Times on May 6, 1945, several weeks after it was taken.
The caption read: "Crowded Bunks in the Prison Camp at Buchenwald."
The caption does not date the photo, but it does imply that the picture
was taken when the prisoners were being liberated on April 11. The media
has always implied this date, but that is the basic lie on which everything
else is based. Also, the New York Times does not identify any of the men
in the picture, which did not so much portray the chaotic reality of Buchenwald
on April 11, but rather the Holywoodized version of it that had been carefully
crafted by the Signal Corps. The photo appeared in conjunction with an
article by correspondent Harold Denny, in which he communicated the official
U. S. Government propaganda line. Entitled "The World Must Not Forget:
What was done in the German prison camps emphasizes the problem of what
to do with a people who are morally sick,"18 his piece was a distraction
from what the Allies were doing to innocent German civilians. As he wrote,
Germany was a smoldering ruin as a result of Allied carpet bombardment
of civilians, Dresden and Hamburg had been bombed to a pulp, the dams on
the Rhine had been destroyed drowning untold numbers of innocents and destroying
their homes, countless German civilians whose families had lived in East
Prussia and Poland for generations were being forcefully evicted by the
advancing Soviets, the five million Volga Germans who had been settled
in Russia since the 18th century had been deported to Siberia during the
war where most of them would perish, the valiant men of the Red Army were
in the process of raping millions of German women as they advanced through
Germany, and, most dreadful, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were on the drawing
board. For the NYT, however, it was the Germans who were "morally
sick." But the Allies had saved "civilization."
- The third version of Wiesel's liberation
from Buchenwald is linked to this photo. In 1983, almost 40 years after
the picture was taken, the NYT published it with the 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." It is important to note here that Wiesel had never claimed
to be in this famous picture before 1983. Why had he never told anyone
about this before 1983? And why did the NYT suddenly want to associate
Wiesel with this picture, especially since the individual circled in it
was a young man, and clearly not a boy of 16? Furthermore this man does
not resemble in any way what Wiesel actually looked like at this age! Obviously,
no checking was done by the paper to see if Wiesel's claim was true, but
the NYT knows that in the matter of the Jewish holocaust story, no one
would dare to challenge them. In retrospect, however, it is clear that
this bogus claim was a first step in the NYT campaign to secure a Nobel
Prize for Wiesel, either for literature or peace.19 The picture was published
in the high circulation Sunday NYT Magazine , and included the statement,
"His name has been frequently mentioned as a possible recipient of
a Nobel Prize, for either peace or literature."20 Incredibly, after
the NYT had manufactured history by declaring erroneously that Wiesel is
seen in the picture, they had the nerve a few years later to castigate
Buchenwald Museum authorities for not repeating their lie as fact! In 1989,
a NYT reporter visiting Buchenwald wrote: "A large photograph in the
[Buchenwald] museum shows Mr. Wiesel, among others, on the day of liberation.
He is not identified in a caption. And the guide who has shown visitors
around Buchenwald for 14 years had never heard of the author, who has written
eloquently about that camp."21 In addition to Wiesel's earlier claims
that he was sick when the picture was taken, another major problem with
Wiesel's alleged image in this picture is that it is quite unlike his appearance
in a photo taken shortly before his deportation eleven months earlier.
Clearly, he was merely a boy at the time, and his image bears no relationship
to that of the man shown in the bunk at Buchenwald.22 This picture, coupled
with the fact that he has stated repeatedly over the years that he was
sick on April 16, offers double proof that his claim be to shown in the
Buchenwald shot is nothing but a Jewish holocaust scam. Tragically, this
true lie exploits the tragic sufferings of Wiesel's relatives and all the
other innocent Jews.
- As the Nobel campaign went forward, the
NYT usually tried to present Wiesel in dramatic terms, even if it meant
telling more "true lies." His image as a JOW survivor needed
to be enhanced. Thus, for example, when he made a trip to Berlin in January
1986 to attend a JOW conference, the NYT reporter declared solemnly: "Elie
Wiesel returned to Germany this week for the first time since he was released
from the Buchenwald concentration camp almost 41 years ago."23 Unfortunately,
this dramatic statement was nonsense, as the NYT should have known, since
Wiesel had begun his career as a New York journalist in December 1962 when
he published a hate-filled article appropriately entitled "An Appointment
with Hate" in Commentary, the organ of the American Jewish Committee.
Its subject was a recent trip he had made to Germany. In it, he wrote:
"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
Germans. To do otherwise would be a betrayal of the dead." The word
"Catholic" can easily be substituted for "German" here.
- Likewise, even after the Nobel award
was announced on October 14, 1986, the NYT would continue to embroider
the facts, always trying to dramatize Wiesel's life experience. For instance,
on November 2, they triumphantly 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."24 The picture was cropped in such a way that the man who
is supposed to be Wiesel remains barely visible. The NYT also suggests
the picture was taken on April 11, 1945 without, of course, actually saying
so. Then, in January 1987, they erroneously claimed that Wiesel had been
"freed from Auschwitz" during the war.25 A year later, when he
made a trip to Auschwitz, the NYT wrote: "Mr. Wiesel was a prisoner
at Auschwitz and witnessed the killing there of his father and one of his
sisters."26 Of course, Wiesel's father died in Buchenwald, and the
tragic details of his sister's death are contained in the unavailable (to
me at least) Auschwitz camp records. But the word "Auschwitz"
is one of the three Jewish holocaust terms that have been sloganized in
the pages of the NYT, along with "six million" and "gas
chambers," while "Buchenwald" is not.
- In 1987, a year after cashing his $270,000
Nobel check, Wiesel appeared at the Klaus Barbie trial in Lyons, France.
Here, once again, the Buchenwald photo was put to use by the media, although
it is not clear to what extent Wiesel was involved in this particular Jewish
holocaust fraud. On June 3, 1987, the Chicago Tribune published an AP photo
containing a cropped version of the men in the bunks at Buchenwald. What
was completely new in this fourth tall tale about his liberation was that
Wiesel, accompanied by two other people, one of whom might have been French
Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, was shown 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."
- This caption is totally mendacious, and
the only problem with this particular scam is determining Wiesel's role
in it. However, when we recall words he wrote early in his career and has
repeated many time since then, we have a possible key. "Some events
do take place but are not true; others are true although they never occurred."27
Telling a "true lie" with good intentions is simply not a problem
for Wiesel. Also, since the Barbie trial focused on deportations to Auschwitz,
not Buchenwald, the former was in the news every day during the summer
of 1987, while hardly a word was being said about the latter. Thus, Wiesel,
never shy about generating publicity for himself, might well have felt
that a "true lie" was called for here.
- In 1995, Wiesel offered a fifth version
of his liberation experience in an interview published in the German weekly
Die Zeit. It contained two new pieces of information. The first was the
claim that the picture had actually been taken the day after the liberation,
that is, on April 12, 1945, not on April 11th, as the media had always
implied. This new date not only contradicts the date of April 16 given
by the U.S. Army, but it also made it impossible for him to be in it if
we believed his second claim that he had been put in the hospital for ten
days immediately upon eating American food on April 11th. The second new
assertion to emerge from this interview was that the picture was taken
in the children's barracks, or Kinderblock at Buchenwald, where Wiesel
was lodged. The following statement to this effect appears twice in the
article, once in the text and once again as the caption to the picture
(in which the person alleged to be Wiesel is circled as it had been in
the NYT in 1983): "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."28 Since 1945, when the NYT
first made propaganda use of this picture, no one has ever claimed that
it depicts children. Yet, Wiesel actually expects us to believe that these
men, some of whom are heavily bearded or partially bald, were mere boys.
Finally, when Wiesel states that the picture was taken "by an American
soldier," he gives the impression that it was a spur-of-the-moment
event and not one that was carefully orchestrated for propaganda purposes.
- A sixth version of events at the liberation
of Buchenwald was concocted by Wiesel in 1989 when a black filmmaker and
a Jewish producer were trying to create a new myth, namely, that a black
unit, the 761st Tank Battalion, had actually liberated the Jews at Buchenwald.
Their intention was to increase black and Jewish mutual "understanding"
in Brooklyn through a movie to be shown on PBS called Liberators. For the
benefit of the NYT, which gave serious coverage to this far-fetched story,
Wiesel conjured up a brand new memory that he had never mentioned before:
"I will always remember with love a big black soldier. He was crying
like a child-tears of all the pain in the world and all the rage. Everyone
who was there that day will forever feel a sentiment of gratitude to the
American soldiers who liberated us."29 He made this statement despite
the fact that there were no blacks present at the liberation of Buchenwald
on April 11, 1945, and the black unit in question was over 50 miles away
on that date. After a gala preview screening of the movie in Harlem, it
was gradually revealed that the film's thesis was a hoax. Thus, it was
never released. Jeffrey Goldberg, among others, denounced this media fabrication
that the NYT had so strongly supported.30 Yet, Wiesel repeated this true
lie in his autobiography: "I will never forget the American soldiers
and the horror that could be read in their faces. I will especially remember
one black sergeant, a muscled giant, who wept tears of impotent rage and
shame, shame for the human species, when he saw us. He spewed curses that
on his lips became holy words. We tried to lift him onto our shoulders
to show our gratitude, but we didn't have the strength. We were too weak
to even applaud him."31 In Wiesel's patronizing and essentially racist
view of the world, blacks are portrayed as physically strong but inarticulate.
They can only spit out obscenities. Amazingly, even though the story was
known to be false, he later incorporated it into his lecture routine, as
- Elie Wiesel, so admired by many U. S.
Catholic leaders, is in fact a con man who has enriched himself with his
tall tales. Although courted by various misguided Church representatives,
he is actually an outspoken enemy of traditional Catholicism, and should
play no role whatsoever in Catholic life in this country. It is also evident
that both Wiesel and the NYT are comfortable using true lies to promote
the Jewish holocaust story and, in turn, Israel. Even worse, it is appalling
that Wiesel, in his drive to become a multi-millionaire (he charges a standard
fee of $25,000 per appearance and demands a chauffeur-driven car to go
with it), and media personality, has so heartlessly exploited the suffering
and death of his parents and sister at the hands of the Nazis. In falsifying
his "memories" for personal gain, Wiesel has trivialized the
personal tragedies of not only his closest family members, but also of
all those, Jews and Gentiles, who died in the camps. The old shame of the
JOW was, and is, the documented deaths of all too many innocent Jews during
the war. The new shame of the JOW is the ongoing media exploitation of
those deaths by people like Wiesel and the editors of the New York Times.
- David O'Connell is a professor of French
at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
- 1. Ari L. Goldman, "For Cardinal,
Wiesel Visit Proved a Calm in Storm Over Trip," NYT, February 15,
1987, I, 67.
- 2. Brian Caulfield, "Holocaust Memorial:
Cardinal Asks Forgiveness for Christians Who Turned Their Backs on Jews,"
Catholic New York, September 18, 1997, 14-15.
- 3. Brian Caulfield, "University
Award: Cardinal Honored for Promoting Catholic Jewish Relations,"
Catholic New York, November 13, 1997, 12. "Although many Christians
were persecuted by the Nazis, the cardinal said, only Jews were killed
mainly because of their ethnic background. He stressed that he is 'passionately
committed' to making the truth about the Holocaust known.'" Of course,
this statement is absurd, for Nazi ideology was equally scornful of the
Catholic Poles, whose country was supposed to provide living space for
the Germans. Furthermore, an archbishop's primary responsibility is to
proclaim Christ, not to tell the Jewish holocaust story.
- 4. "What is a Jew? Harry Cargas
Interviews Elie Wiesel," U.S Catholic/Jubilee , September 1971, 28.
- 5. Jacob Neusner, "American Jews
Embrace a Religion of Memory," St. Petersburg Times, April 12, 1999.
This is why the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee,
the New York Times and other media outlets were so one-sided and hateful
in their attacks on Mel Gibson's Passion. He was not only reiterating the
centrality of Christ's suffering for the redemption of all mankind, but
in doing so he was also undermining our country's civil religion. It was
no accident that various mediarchs repeatedly accused him of "Holocaust
denial" for reasserting Christ over "Holocaust." It should
be noted that the capital H in Holocaust underlines the racist assumption
that other holocausts, whether they refer to the millions of victims in
Ruanda, Armenia, Cambodia, the Stalinist Ukraine (in which Jewish commissars
played a major role) or Palestine, are not important.
- 6. Limitations of space do not permit
a description of how Wiesel, with the help of his mentor at the NYT, Abe
Rosenthal, created the word in 1968 as a cover for the 1967 conquest and
occupation of the rest of Palestine. Catholic victimhood at the hands of
the Nazis, well documented at Nuremberg, was declared by Wiesel to be henceforth
inoperative. Only Jews could be true victims of the Nazi "holocaust."
- 7. Bob Woodard, Plan of Attack, (New
York, Simon & Schuster, 2004), 320-1. Woodward recounts Wiesel's visit
to the White House in late February 2003, when Bush was still allegedly
wavering in his decision to attack Iraq. After hearing Wiesel tell him
that Israel's security was at stake, Bush made the decision easily. Americans
must fight to protect Israel. Did Bush know at the time that Wiesel is
on the CIA payroll, as he boasts in his autobiography? Wiesel, of course,
had previously been a leading supporter of Clinton's bombing of Yugo slavia
- 8. Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Zero [monthly
magazine], avril 1987, 57. "Par exemple, vous avez le rabbin Kahane,
cet extrémiste juif, qui est moins dangereux qu'un homme comme Elie
Wiesel qui raconte N'IMPORTE QUOI. . . Il suffit de lire certaine description
de La Nuit pour savoir que certaines de ses descriptions ne sont pas exactes
et qu'il finit par se transformer en marchand de Shoah. . . Eh bien, lui
aussi, porte un tort, un tort immense, à la vérité
- 9. Vivian Gornick, "The Rhetoric
of Witness: All Rivers Run To the Sea: Memoirs by Elie Wiesel," The
Nation, December 25, 1995.
- 10. Christopher Hitchens, "Wiesel
Words," The Nation, February 19, 2001.
- 11. Anon. "Wiesel Slams Pope's Comments,"
News24.com, November 17, 2003.
- 12. Eva Fleischner, "Mauriac's Preface
to Night: Thirty Years Later,' America , November 19, 1988, 411, 419.
- 13. Clyda Haberman, "An Unoffical
but Very Public Bearer of Pain, Peace and Human Dignity," NYT, March
5, 1997, C1.
- 14. Isreal Shenker, "The Concerns
of Elie Wiesel: Yesterday and Today," NYT, February 10, 1970, 48.
"The two became close friends, and Mr. Wiesel plans to publish a volume
of their dialogue-which have had strongly polemical moments, notably on
the subject if Israel."
- 15. Naomi Seidman, "The Rage That
Elie Wiesel Edited Out of Night," Jewish Social Studies, December,
- 16. Jonathan Heller, War and Conflict:
Selected Images from the National Archives, (Washington, D.C., National
Archives and Records Administration, 1990), 253.
- 17. Cargas, Conversations with Elie Wiesel,
- 18. Harold Denny, "The World Must
Not Forget," NYT, May 6, 1945, 42.
- 19. After Wiesel received the prize,
several Jewish writers denounced him for shamelessly lobbying for it. See,
for example: Jacob Weisberg, "Pop Goes Elie Wiesel," New Republic,
November 10, 1986, pp.12-3.
- 20. See: Samuel G. Freedman, "Bearing
Witness: The Life and Work of Elie Wiesel," NYT, October 23, 1983.
The picture appeared on p. 34.
- 21. Henry Kamm, "No Mention of Jews
at Buchenwald," NYT, March 25, 1989, 8.
- 22. Elie Wiesel, "Le Jour où
Buchenwald a été libéré," Paris-Match,
#28126, du 10 au 16 avril 2003, 116.
- 23. John Tagliabue, "Elie Wiesel
Back in Germany After 41 Years," NYT, January 23, 1986, A4.
- 24. Martin Suskind, "A Voice from
Bonn: History Cannot be Shrugged Off," NYT , November 2, 1986, IV,
2. The article points out that the Nobel Committee "chose precisely
Elie Wiesel for the award" because they wanted to send a message to
the Kohl government in Germany, which had not demonstrated sufficient guilt
in 1985 in commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the end of World War
- 25. "A Survivor's Prize," NYT,
January 4, 1987, XIII, 3.
- 26. "Wiesel and Walesa Visit Auschwitz,"
NYT, January 18, 1988, I, 3.
- 27. Legends of Our Time, (1968), viii.
- 28 "Am Tag nach der Befreiung wurde
das Bild aus dem Kinderblock von Buchenwald von einem amerikanischen Soldaten
aufgenommen. Darauf sind alte Männer zu sehen. Doch diese alten Gesichter
sind die Gesichter von Menschen, die in Warheit wie ich um die um die fünfzehn
oder sechzehn Jahre alt waren." Elie Wiesel [aufgezeichnet von Werner
A. Perger] "1945 und Heute: Holocaust," Die Zeit, April 21, 1995,
- 29. Henry Kamm, "No Mention of Jews
at Buchenwald," NYT, Mar 25, 1989, 8.
- 30. Jeffrey Goldberg, "The Exaggerators,"
New Republic, February 8, 1993, 13-14.
- 31. All Rivers Run to the Sea, 97.
- 32. Anon. "Maya Angelou and Elie
Wiesel on Love, Hate and Humanity," Massachusetts, Spring 1995, 4.
- This is an important piece on one of
the last century's major moral frauds. It is known in Israel but not in
the US that following WW2, Wiesel emigrated to Israel where he became an
Israeli and joined Betar, the youth organization of the fascist Jabotinsky
movement which had become the Irgun and became a writer for the Betar paper.
At some point, the opportunist lurking Wiesel propelled himself to leave
Israel and emigrate to the US where he pretended to be a stateless person
and the epitome of the eternal Jewish victim. It is for that reason that
Wiesel has never been popular among Israelis, the right-wing because he
hid his Israeli citizenship...and the left, such as it was and is, because
of his refusal to say a word about Israel's atrocities against the Palestinians
and its alliances and military assistance to right-wing regimes in Africa
and Latin America.