- 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
- 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, never
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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"
- 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
- 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 Yugoslavia in 1998.
- 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 historique."
- 9. Vivian Gornick, "The Rhetoric of Witness: All
Rivers Run To the Sea: Memoirs by Elie Wiesel," The Nation, December
- 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, 1996.
- 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, 88.
- 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,
- 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 II.
- 25. "A Survivor's Prize," NYT, January 4, 1987,
- 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 article was first published in the November, 2004
issue of Culture Wars magazine.