Editor’s note: Holocaust revisionism is not a core focus of F&H, but this article is exceptional in its critique of the spiritual influences of one of our society’s secular saints, Elie Wiesel. Please refer to question #22 of our FAQ for more information on F&H’s official position regarding the politics of World War II and its aftermath.
“As a human document, Night is almost unbearably painful, and certainly beyond criticism.” ~ A. Alvarez, Commentary Magazine
When reading the hallmark works of an era, we often learn as much from certain deductions to which those works compel us, and the interplay of one’s own assumptions with the material, as from the material itself. Foremost, this interplay is of an overt nature, regarding the internal coherence of a work – the author’s ability to keep the story straight, as it were. Other times, however, it is more a matter of subtle observations, such as in the case of the man who writes of “continental, peninsular, and insular lands,” who, by his terminology, reveals himself to be a reader of Latin, as he would otherwise never use the word “insular” with reference to the English words “island” or “isle.” But, in this way, every book involves some mental dialogue, for they evoke a certain conversation of mind between the engaged reader and the author. It is in the midst of these quiet interrogatives that we often find the most stunning disclosures; and it may be said that, absent such cross-examinations of the mind, one can never truly know the subject matter with which he is engaged, for every proposition must be weighed, measured, and aligned to fit in its own resting place in a man’s mind, contiguous with the landscape around it.
What I had expected to find when first approaching Elie Wiesel’s award winning retrospective, Night, was a candid civilian memoir of WWII, necessarily limited in scope by virtue of having come through the experience of a single child written down many years after the events in question. But what I found was something a bit different.
Elie Wiesel’s story begins in 1941 in the little Transylvanian town of Sighet. The story opens with an introduction to what would seem an unlikely influence upon the young Elie – an eccentric old Kabbalist known only as Moshe the Beadle, a functionary of the Hasidic synagogue in Sighet. In spite of his father having discouraged Elie’s mysticism and Kabbalist inclinations, young Elie surreptitiously, it seems, took Moshe the Beadle for his tutor in Kabbalism, conferring with the older man privately “nearly every evening . . . in the synagogue after all the faithful had left, sitting in the gloom, where a few half-burned candles still gave a flickering light” (p. 3).1 It is hard, indeed, to imagine any parent consenting to such late-night rendezvous between a young boy and an awkward man of advancing age, such as Moshe, no matter how much the child professed “love [for the mystic’s] great dreaming eyes” (p. 1). In fact, we have every reasonable expectation that such professions would only cement parental resolve against any association between the two.
Now, I am generally averse to psychoanalysis, but in light of his very questionable relationship with the Beadle, Elie’s characterization of his father as “an unsentimental man . . . [who] never gave any display of emotion, even at home” (p. 2) comes across as cliche. After all, the distant, disapproving father is a mainstay of the homosexual archetype. His father’s emotional vacancy more strongly still convinces the reader of the distinctly pederastic nature of the nightly candlelight dalliances with old Moshe. Elie testifies that Moshe repetitiously plied him with justifications of moral relativism such as, “Man raises himself toward God by the questions he asks Him. . . . Man questions God and God answers. But we can’t understand them. Because they come from the depths of the soul, and they stay there until death. You will find the true answers, Eliezer, only within yourself!” (p. 2f.). This amounts to nothing less than an apologetic for self-deification and hedonism.
I will say no more of this but to ask my readers to ruminate one last moment on the question of whether they would think appropriate such clandestine meetings as Wiesel describes with the Beadle if it were between their own child and a clergyman.
Now, everything we’ve examined heretofore is an unfortunate, and unfortunately early, digression from the central story; but it is nonetheless important, as it illuminates Elie’s formative influences, his character, and his controlling presuppositions: Elie Wiesel is a Kabbalist. As such, he identifies himself, as a Jew, to be in the aggregate synonymous with God Himself; he holds himself as the highest source of authority and arbiter of good on earth.2 Truth is, in his mind, defined by his internal stirrings. This goes some way to explaining why he has, subsequent to the work in question, said, “[C]ertain things are true though they didn’t happen, while others are not, even if they did.”3 These are things we must know if we hope to understand the rest of his story.
So we begin.
As an immigrant to the area, Moshe was caught up in the first of the Jewish deportations, aimed as they were early in the war, at foreign Jews only. Hungarian military loaded Moshe, along with other foreign Jews, onto trains bound for work camps in the forest of Galicia in Poland. But, after a few months, Moshe miraculously returned to Sighet with a tale of horror on his lips. Door to door and ear to ear he went, telling any Jew who would listen that the deportation was not a deportation at all, but, courtesy of the Gestapo, an extermination campaign which laid every one of his fellow deportees in a mass grave somewhere in the forests of Poland. Having been shot only in the leg, and mistaken for dead, Moshe crawled out of the pit as the sole survivor (p. 4).
As an aside, we must mention that in spite of our knowledge that many Jews were shot and interred in mass graves toward the end of the war, all such mass graves of the time found to present have, at length, proven to be filled with the bodies of ethnic Germans, Hungarians, and Ukrainians, all killed by Soviets4 – which is to say, killed by Jews.5
But, unlikely as it were, Moshe’s story would seem at least plausible if not, among other things, for the fact that none of his fellow Jews believed him. They thought him mad (pp. 4-5). Now, his burden of proof seems unpacked easily enough if he had only presented the healing wound or scar on his leg where shot. But the plot thickens. As Elie tells it, Moshe had been gone months straddling the years 1941 and 1942. This relay of events, if accurate, places the aged Moshe, “the shoeless” (as he was otherwise known), traveling destitute, malnourished, and injured by gunshot, through the forested countrysides of Poland, Hungary, and Romania to arrive, finally, back in Sighet (pp. 3-5). And though Elie doesn’t specify the season of Moshe’s harrowing return, the fact that he places it between 1941 and 1942 prompts us to ask if this trek supposedly took place during the winter months. Visions of a starving, shoeless, and gunshot man of advancing years sojourning alone for hundreds of miles through an alpine winter would seem to stretch credibility, would it not?
Aside from the presumed evidence of a gunshot wound, such a travail as Moshe described, if survivable, would leave marks upon a man so indelible that none would be able to dismiss his story without considerable investigation. Yet, not only do we find the Jews of Sighet dismissing the Beadle’s claims as a matter of course, but Elie himself fails to include any mention of such proofs: no scar, no limp, no physical signs of hardship, whatever. The only note he makes of Moshe’s appearance after his nigh-impossible fight for survival was to say that he’d “lost the joy in his eyes” (p. 4). All of which is to say that Moshe came nowhere near meeting the burden of proof of things which would, in reality, have been impossible for the man to conceal. Elie strangely omits any consideration of these most pertinent matters.
One rather subdued issue which also deserves some reflection is the way Elie talks of the Germans early on in the war, prior to any action against the Jews: one moment he professes that the Jews could never imagine the Germans hurting them, and in the next he speaks of the Germans’ long, notorious cruelty (e.g., pp. 4, 7). Perhaps this strange tension was his attempt to convey, at once, the Jews’ surprise at such forthright action to come (eventually) against them by a people whom the Jews regarded as beneath them and incapable of resistance? Or, perhaps it was an attempt to cast the Jews as guileless to the point of naivete, and, therefore, all the more to be pitied? Whatever his rationale, his commentary, being both summer and winter at once, leaves the reader with a picture of the Germans (with no known grievance against the Jews, by Elie’s reckoning) exceedingly gracious and kind, who were, conversely, notorious for cruelty and capable of snapping on the Jews at any time. The Jews were, according to Elie, completely at ease with the German, yet ever terrified of him. For the candid reader, this moves beyond tension and into contradiction.
But it does soften the reader a bit for Elie’s profession of joy at London radio broadcasts detailing the daily Allied bombardment of Germany, which killed untold numbers of noncombatants, women, and children (p. 5). However, all this was still, from Elie’s vantage, prior to any confirmed action against the Jews. And Elie repeatedly makes casual mention of the universal love for Bolshevism on the part of European Jewry (e.g. p. 6). Here, then, is the substance of the Reich’s charge against them: that the Jews within all the European countries were opposed to, and conspired against, the survival of every European nation in favor of the communist world order. This is apparently not a matter of controversy to the author, but taken entirely for granted: every Jewish home was a little outpost of Bolshevism. Though, when Gentiles, then or now, acknowledge the same thing – that the Jews were ostensibly all communist subversives – they are called anti-Semites for it.
On the heels of the Jews’ communal celebration of the advance of “the glorious red army” and the slaughter of German women and children, the Germans then arrested the Jewish leaders; strangely, the author draws no connection whatever between the Jews’ anti-German and anti-Christian conspiracy and the arrest of the Jewish leadership, omitting the fact that they were interned not so much for being Jews, but for conspiracy and subversion. He makes no mention of the fact that the Jews were, uniformly, a committed enemy insurgency, aiding, abetting, and generally comprising the leadership of the common enemy of all their host nations.
When forced to wear the yellow Jewish star, Elie’s father sought to provide consolation by making light of it: “The yellow star? Oh well, what of it? You don’t die of it” (p. 9). Much later, with no small measure of schadenfreude, Elie upbraids his deceased father for not anticipating that wearing the mandated yellow star would lead to his death, asking rhetorically, “Poor father! Of what then did you die?” (p. 9). But if visual designation (such as a yellow star) for the purposes of identification is to be seen as an implied injury or a de facto death sentence, wouldn’t it then behoove us to demand the abolition of all prison uniforms? What of school uniforms? How were the Jews (in the main, communist subversives) more injured by wearing an armband than were the uniform-clad German soldiers dying in droves by communist bullets and bombs? This insinuation of injury by way of the yellow star is never really examined. Nor is it second-guessed. It is merely asserted to have been some grievous injustice and injury in itself.
When Elie describes the ghettos to which they were eventually restricted, he again speaks yea and nay, depicting their existence as a gross injustice while simultaneously reveling in the Jews’ having established their own “little Jewish republics,” complete with “Jewish Council, a Jewish police, an office for social assistance, a labor committee, a hygiene department – a whole government machinery . . . among Jews, among brothers” (p. 9). This well speaks to Wiesel’s conception of the ideal society as summarized and defined in purely governmental terms under the administration of Jews, alone. Concomitant with their professed love of the Reds, their ghettos congealed into de facto kibbutzes – unabashed communes. And in light of their having transformed the provisional ghettos (which were meant to contain and stifle their subversion) into organized and independent Bolshevik beachheads, the options of deportation and/or forced labor became rather unavoidable for the German government.
Of course, no one doubts the misery that these actions would visit upon the Jews, as all state action brought to bear against people, especially under the circumstance of war, tends toward the horrific. But in this the great irony is seen: the foremost advocates of maximal statism – the Jews, who orchestrated and cheered the dispossession, deportation, gulag imprisonment, and democide of the white Russians, the Ukrainians, the Kulaks, and the Volga Deutsch throughout the years of the Red Terror – would fall into the hands of a centralized socialist state themselves. And every step of the way, by their own provocation. That said, neither the irony nor the Jews’ overt hypocrisy diminishes the reader’s reflexive pity for their suffering; albeit, it is akin to the sort of sardonic pity one feels for a suicide.
At different intervals, Elie describes the Hungarian police and the Gestapo as earning his eternal hatred by their liberal use of truncheons as they compelled the Jewish crowds onward to the camps. Yet, Elie testifies that, once on the cattle cars, the Jews turned on their own in the same manner, repeatedly beating an hysterical old woman, one Madame Schachter, with whom he shared a railcar (pp. 22-25). One wonders at the fact that the author professes an undying hatred for the truncheon-wielding Gentiles on account of their brutality, while taking no special offense at the Jews’ repeatedly savaging one of their own elders, and a woman at that!
Neither does he take special offense at the morbid indiscretion of the Jewish youths who, he says, “free from all social constraint . . . gave way openly to instinct, taking advantage of the darkness” in the midst of the huddled crowd en route to Auschwitz-Berkenau (p. 21). This, too, is quite difficult to image – an orgy in the midst of a crying, bloodied, motion-sick, unwashed, hunger- and thirst-stricken press of flesh around a common latrine bucket? Vulgar beyond words. But Elie’s outrage is nonetheless reserved for the Gentile and never the Jew, it seems. Either way, the judicious reader must conclude that while possible in its parts, this segue of cattle car romance is, on the whole, rather impossible. Either the conditions weren’t as bad as Elie says, or the love-in didn’t take place. To maintain both in one story stretches credulity to the breaking point. Whatever “instincts” to which beaten, hungry, thirsty, nauseous, and terrified people may succumb, amorous inclinations aren’t among them.
More importantly, a central aspect of forced relocation by cattle car is its implied dehumanization, making cattle of men. This is an ugly thing in itself, to be sure, no matter its arguable practicality for the purposes of mass transit under such imperfect circumstances as war. But so too is it another great irony, as the Jewish Talmud and the rabbis have since Babylonian days spoken of Gentiles as their cattle.6 In this sense, then, the Jews’ relocation by cattle car takes on a grim poetic reciprocity. This is the insult which the Jew sees in it – that they who esteemed themselves the divine herdsman, and rightful rulers of all the nations, were themselves driven like beasts by their own “cattle.” This sheds light upon the previous question: why the author reserves all his outrage for Gentiles in spite of Jews doing as bad or worse in his presence than the Germans: it is the role reversal which insults him so.
As their train reaches its destination at Auschwitz, Elie tells us that they were forced to remain in the cattle car for some time. In that interlude, two men were allowed to exit the car and fetch water for the rest. He says these men traded a gold watch for the confirmation that they’d arrived at the last stop (p. 24).
Now, this is very strange.
You see, prior to having been removed from their homes, Elie tells us that an edict had gone out which forbade Jews from keeping any valuables in their homes, including gold, silver, and jewelry, and that the penalty for ignoring this edict was death. Later, in the lead-up to relocation, they were told that they would be permitted to take only basic personal items with them. But when forced to assemble for census-taking purposes in preparation for their journey, they brought “household treasures, valuable carpets, silver candelabra, (etc.)” out with them, but were forced by Hungarian police to abandon it all before being marched out of town to the train depot (pp. 8-20). At the point in the journey that their train was commandeered by the German military, it was once more demanded that they give up all “gold, silver or watches,” and assured that any found retaining like possessions beyond that point would be shot on the spot (p. 21). So, when Elie tells us – subsequent to these successive seizures of valuables and threats of immediate execution for any found with such items – that two Jews traded a gold watch for information, we are forced to pause a moment and ask with whom they might have struck such a risky bargain. A German guard? No, Elie already assured us that the Germans would execute any Jew found in possession of such an item. A fellow Jew, then? No, to a Jew the item meant only a death sentence. Elie leaves us with only guesses at this point, again omitting any pertinent detail by which we might reconcile these apparent contradictions.
But, as if the story of their arrival at Auschwitz weren’t horrific enough, Elie cannot seem to restrain himself from embellishments to the tableau which, in truth, only weaken his overall testimony. So it is that he punctuates his midnight entry of Auschwitz with an ominous description of the fires billowing from the tops of the crematoria smokestacks, and the air hanging thick with the smell of burning flesh (pp. 25-26). You see, the crematoria chimneys at Auschwitz were, like all such crematoria chimneys, several stories tall for the express purpose of keeping any scent of smoke high above people on the ground.7 German crematoria were even then designed to be odorless,8 and the ones at Auschwitz were no different. Hence, despite his testimony to the contrary, crematoria do not allow flames to escape the chimney-tops. While his testimony is impactfully written, the most charitable view we can take of it is, perhaps, to see it as the product of a child’s imagination colored, understandably, by emotional trauma.
The telling of his family being split apart, women to one wing of the camp and men to the other, never to be rejoined (p. 27), is heartbreaking. Soul-crushing, really. It is every father’s worst nightmare. But this, again, strikes the engaged reader as quite ironic because the Jews, being the foremost devotees of communism, were the perennial advocates of familial atomization in which children were to be dissociated from parents and reared entirely by the state; so it seems they had their own utopian vision thrust back upon them, only to find it unbearable. All here were finally equal – banker, professor, stock-trader, rabbi, pimp, and pornographer alike. The family was obsolete. The marriage covenant reduced to meaninglessness, all possessions were held in common, rationed, and distributed by the government. The work camp was, indeed, communism in full bloom. Utopia.
But communists would identify the trouble with that utopia as its being run by the wrong people. This is why there is never any similar antipathy for the Soviet gulag system as for the German concentration camp – because the gulags were run by the right people.
We have every reason to believe that the German guards enforcing this atomization of Jewish families would likely see it in just this way: giving the Jews the utopia which they had long been forcing, in stages, upon Europe, and which they threatened to bring on all in double measure once the Soviets overran Germany. And seeing as how these soldiers were themselves separated from their families by the war, they would have thought it only a fair turnabout to impose the same upon those who had compelled them into the war.9 From the German guard’s perspective, their revanchism was merely the lex talionis applied – giving the Jews a taste of their own medicine until world communism would (hopefully) at last be neutralized. And who knew if the medicine might not truly be remedial? Perhaps the Jews might eventually learn from such an ordeal and finally quit their plot against Western civilization? So mused the optimist.
But Elie’s perspective of the camps didn’t originate with him: it was bequeathed to him in broad strokes upon his arrival at the camp by a gruff, unnamed inmate who, in between threats of violence, assured Elie and his father that the Jews were to be burned alive in the crematory ovens. Some of the arriving Jews were heard by Elie to reply, “We can’t let ourselves be killed. We can’t go like beasts to the slaughter” (pp. 28-29). It is at this point we recall that in Talmudic Hebrew, in Yiddish, and in terms of the Jewish culture, “beast” is often as not a synonym for Gentile. Thus, in objecting to being slaughtered like “beasts,” they were in effect saying, “We can’t allow the Gentiles to slaughter us as if we were mere Gentiles.”
After a brief face-to-face encounter with the infamous Dr. Mengele to determine their usefulness and duties most appropriately delegated to each, Elie and his father are directed down an avenue leading, he says, to long rows of open mass-grave fire pits which were fed a constant stream of live bodies, day and night – like something out of Dante’s Inferno (pp. 31-32). This version of events at Auschwitz has since been disseminated as fact in every government school in the Western world. The trouble is that every forensic attempt to corroborate this story has only proven the antithesis: that these mass-grave and open-air crematoria never existed. Whether it is surveys of the soil composition, chemical studies, or actual excavation, there is no evidence of such an event to be found – no bone fragments, no unusual nitrogen, no carbon layers, no chemical residue from accelerants. Nothing.10 In fact, modern ground-penetrating sonar confirms that the soil all around Auschwitz has remained undisturbed for millennia.
In fact, every attempt to prove the bare possibility of such a means of disposing bodies has likewise only proven its impossibility. The fact is that no one to present has conceived of a way to achieve and sustain temperatures in an open-air setting to mimic the effect of actual enclosed crematoria. As far as is known to modern crematory science, it is impossible to wholly incinerate bodies in open air pits. These facts notwithstanding, Elie is more elaborate, emotive, and declarative about this than any foregoing aspect of the story. He assures us with absolute conviction that he will never forget those fire pits which consumed untold numbers of men, women, and children.
This raises the question: if he can swear to be eternally haunted by what is, by all investigation, a fictional episode, and if he can do so with such gravity that it precipitates his cursing God, how much is his testimony in any other detail ultimately worth? Whether he dreamt this little apocalypse up out of a mixture of genuine trauma and grief, and truly believes it, or if he is intentionally spinning a yarn to sustain the advantages which pity (and government-exacted revenge) have since afforded him and others like him, we cannot distinctly say. The reason that we cannot cut between the two is because it is most likely a mixture of both, as each clearly reinforces and undergirds the other.
Aside from his apocalyptic language, what we see in Elie’s first day at Auschwitz is that he was forcibly detained, kept from loved ones, yelled at, stripped, shaved, deloused, and housed in unsanitary conditions. As bad an experience as Elie describes his first day at Auschwitz to have been, nothing was done to him in that period which isn’t done routinely with prisoners in our own American jails today. In fact, the American penal system is, in many dimensions, more cruel still. By Elie’s telling, however, you’d think his experience was a hell unmatched. And like the denizens of hell, he tells us that this event evoked from him blasphemous curses against God; reveling in his own pride, he forever embraced his station among the damned. This is no armchair psychoanalysis; it is his express testimony: “In one ultimate moment of lucidity it seemed to me that we were damned souls . . . seeking redemption, seeking oblivion – without hope of finding it” (p. 34).
Now, it may be that, as a young boy, he was truly and deeply traumatized by the experiences of that first day as a prisoner, but this should cause us to reflect on the terror of a maximal state and of incarceration in general, not arrogate to his experience unique significance or authority.
The rations he received inside were coffee in the morning, thick soup at midday, and buttered bread at night (pp. 39-40). Their daily intake has been estimated between 800 and 1200 calories. This is quite low, to be sure, but it is the same rationed intake afforded to many of the German soldiers toward the end of the war as well. Many non-combatant Germans got by with even less at the time – in many cases, much less. The Germans subsisting on stone soup, tree bark, and shoe leather would have envied Elie.
The rations which Elie describes were an external imposition of war, not any irrational sadism aimed at the Jews. Although, we might well imagine prolonged subsistence on emergency rations to have fostered animosity in many camp guards toward their communist enemies partaking of the shared pool of resources, especially since many inmates partook without working. None of this, of course, would in the least excuse abuse of the prisoners, but it does put into perspective the animosity which Elie perceived on the part of camp guards. Remember, the guards were men separated from their families, many of whom were raped and murdered by communists. Many still were relatives of the Volga Deutsch whom the Jewish Bolsheviks had starved and/or massacred prior to the war. And yet, here they were, working full-time to care for the “fellow travelers,” if not the very enemy, themselves responsible for, and entirely unrepentant of, the carnage come upon their own flesh and blood for at least a half century. Under the circumstances, are the guards’ misgivings really so hard to understand?
In courts of law, men are to this day regularly acquitted of all charges after assaulting or even killing someone whom they thwarted in an attempt to murder, rape, or molest another. Such acquittals are especially likely if the avenger happens to be kin to the victim. Though the average inmate at Auschwitz cannot be taken as an exact equivalent to the murderer/rapist/pederast, they were, at minimum, advocates, enablers, and promoters of the same. The guards would be hard-pressed, then, not to harbor some degree of contempt for people who unabashedly promoted the enslavement and ultimate annihilation of the German people. So, when Elie gives his impression of the guards as hostile, I think we have every reason to believe this aspect of the story, his foregoing exaggerations notwithstanding.
Bear in mind, the very concept of a labor camp assumes forced labor. The rationale for putting Jews in such camps was, aside from the neutralization of their insurgency, to finally redeem their previous subversion through real, remunerative work, an activity to which the Jews were notoriously adverse. Elie himself underscores this point, relaying how the Jewish inmates did everything possible to avoid effectual work. When they were forced to do it anyway, they were committed to only doing enough to avoid punishment. No sense of duty could be imparted to them on this score (p. 48).
Now, that’s not to say that this writer can entirely blame them, either. Having been taken into slavery, the American Indian, for example, could not be compelled to work. He would simply sit and starve, paying little heed even to a whip on his back. When the Romans or the English attempted to enslave the Scot, he fought to the death. So, the Jews’ foot-dragging and purposefully poor performance may be taken as a similar form of protest against forced servitude. And to the extent that the Jew resisted effective servitude under those circumstances, the German guards found themselves becoming, once more, servants to the Jews.
Moreover, we must remember the German’s frame of reference: the reticence to do honest work was one of the chief stigmas of the Jew for nearly two millennia prior, second only to his inclination to subversion, or, perhaps, his penchant for enslaving other nations by usury and stealth.11 Thus, when the Jewish detainees, encamped for the express purpose of mitigating their adversarial behaviors, were found only to persist in the same, regardless of the German’s most thorough social engineering, the German came face to face with the reality that he, in spite of wielding all the power of the centralized state, could not change the Jew.
This struck at a central controversy between Jew and German, because the German’s foregoing conservative tendency (rooted in Christian sociology) was to deny both the efficacy and morality of utopian social engineering. Man could not be perfected in the state, only in Christ. So, to the extent that they persisted in Christianity, they had no expectation of the Jew being transformed into the image of a patriotic German, regardless of method. Even leaving open the possibility that the state might possess the alchemical power to transform hostile aliens into something like a German is to ascribe to the state the power to recreate the Jew after the German’s own image. This is the definition of idolatry. It is self-deification.
On the other hand, though, these historically Christian people, through both Enlightenment thought and the so-called “Prussian” government model of the Weimar era – both consonant with the rising tide of socialism – had been steadily persuaded toward the utopian notion that the state could, in fact, reform the heart and perfect society. National socialism was Christendom coaxed, if only midway, toward international socialism, which is to say, the socio-politics of Judaism.
To the shame of the German church, their long slide into theological pietism and “Positive Christianity” (which abdicated all public spheres to utilitarianism) had left the German people in a state of defenselessness before the socialist schema. The rise of the Reich, then, was a slide into maximal statism on the national scale in attempts to halt the slide short of the chasm they saw looming before the West: global statism under Bolshevism. They opted for national socialism as what they saw to be the only stopgap against communism.
The labor camp, then, was something of an experiment – an exercise in proving themselves wrong. It must have been a bitter pill, indeed, to realize that in spite of wielding all the concentrated state power against the Jew, they had made concession to the Jew’s argument in respect to the god-state, and, thereby, had fallen into the trap of trying to Judaize the Jew. But here is where that experiment bore a good fruit. The Jew’s native tendencies proving irreformable by state power established the substance of the German’s ancient conservative conviction – that which every camp guard must have reflected on sardonically – that even a limited attempt to force a degree of Jewish productiveness proved inept. More so, then, was the socialist maxim disproved, that the good society could be created by the state. There, in the laboratory of real life, they saw with a terrible starkness that it is, in fact, the good society which creates the good state, and its corollary, that the good society is nothing if not a good people. Of course, a good people implies an absolute standard of morality, which is found only in Christ-law: the very things which the Reich collateralized in order to oppose the amorality of world communism.
But at no time in the entire course of his book does Elie seriously address this centrally significant issue of the Germans’ motive in any dimension. He simply isn’t interested, and effectively presents them as irrational demons. Of course, such a lack of curiosity on the topic of the German’s motive might not be strange at the time of the events in question, as the author was only fifteen when they transpired. But so many years later? With the advantage of hindsight? Strange, indeed, if one hopes to maintain a semblance of even-handed judiciousness. Far from objectivity, the author doesn’t even bother to feign any judicious moderation.
So, too, does he fail to question any of his assumptions, even when his own experience seems to invalidate them again and again. A case in point is the succession of “selections” under which the detainees went; first, we are told that upon Elie’s arrival at Auschwitz, Dr. Mengele’s assessment of a prisoner’s usefulness had two possible results: if a prisoner were found fit and professed a blue-collar trade, he lived. But those too sickly, too young, or lacking trade skills were rumored to be taken straight away to the crematoria and burned alive. This rumor naturally inclined the prisoners to lie about their professions and their age (as did Elie and his father), because they knew the Germans’ animosity toward the Jews’ stereotypical penchant for culture-shaping endeavors such as law, bawdy literature, professoriates, screen-writing, money-merchandising, and so on (pp. 28-30). As shrewd a tactic as it may have been on of the Jews’ part to lie about their ages and professions, aside from the cases of the doctor and the dentist Elie mentions, the Germans never seem to have called upon the expertise of the Jews’ pretended trades. Rather, they were used for the most menial and skilless forms of labor, such as sorting bolts and nuts in a camp factory. Neither is there any confirmation of the rumor that those “selected” were liquidated. Elie just lets the assertion stand.
Later, after Elie and his father were much deteriorated by days in the camp under food rations, they were informed of a second “selection” in which it was again rumored that the weak, sick, or infirm were to be culled. Elie’s father was apparently numbered among those chosen for liquidation, and Elie paints a touching picture of what he thought to be his last moments with his father; Elie had to go with the other workers to make their rounds sorting nuts and bolts while Elie’s father stayed at the barracks to meet up with the German doctors. Father and son say their final farewells only to find that the selection was no big deal at all. His father just needed looking after by a physician (pp. 66-71).
But Elie didn’t question the narrative. This was a “Death Camp.” Selection always meant death – death by immolation in the crematory. Even when it didn’t. Even when he presented himself to the camp doctors because of a progressing infection in his foot (why would you go to camp officials for healing if you believed they only liquidated the infirm?), they elected to operate, provided him with preciously scarce medication, and gave him bed and board to convalesce in the hospital, upping his rations to several thousand calories a day all in order to revive the life of one sick, dependent Jew, otherwise lost.
And who should he meet in the hospital in the bed beside him? A fellow Jew whom he describes as an emaciated scarecrow, too weak to show facial expression, and barely able to speak. Yet, the German ‘Death Camp’ doctors strove to preserve even his life. It was this living corpse, Elie tells us, who warned Elie to get out of the hospital because they had a round of “selections” there, too, to weed out the weakest patients (pp. 74-75).
Are we really to believe that the first round of the dreaded selections under Mengele’s keen scrutiny to weed out the weak was circumventable by merely claiming a blue-collar trade which was never to be put to use in the camp, anyway? And the second round of selections was defused by insisting that one really didn’t need medical attention in spite of all appearance to the contrary? But if one truly could not avoid the infirmary (as was Elie’s case), he was not thrown alive into any oven, but tenderly nursed back to health just in time to face another round of selections to liquidate the very patients that they’d invested all the medicine, food, and energy trying to recuperate? Really? In what universe is this plausible?12
By this point in the story, cracks are so readily apparent in the veneer that Elie himself contemplates the possibility that the gaunt figure next to him may have concocted the story of another round of selections to ensure that Elie would leave the infirmary quickly, so as to save the sparse resources for himself. Thus, the totality of his witness in this regard is a series of conflicting rumors, each undermining the last.
Now, since Wiesel’s work has become something of a canon of political correctness, it is ironic to find him disclosing that “there was a considerable traffic in children among the homosexuals here, I learned later” (p. 46). Presently, any insinuation of connection between homosexuality and pedophilia is met (by Elie’s own torchbearers) with a chorus of indictments such as “homophobia,” “hate speech,” and “terrorism.” At least, they do if uttered by someone other than leftist royalty such as Wiesel.
Aside from this momentary digression from PC orthodoxy, though, we also must question how a traffic in children obtained and was sustained in a place where all children had supposedly been exterminated upon arrival. Further, how might the inmates in such a depleted physical state of disease and starvation find energy for any sort of libidinous activity at all? Taken together with his unlikely narrative of group orgies around the common latrine buckets en route to Auschwitz, we see a recurrent theme taking shape – that fear, injury, starvation, and sickness spurred the Jews to libidinous grotesquery. The only way to avoid acknowledging that theme is to question the veracity of certain particulars of his story.
No consideration of these matters is voiced by Weisel. He simply breezes through such sequences offering impossible contradictions as facts and ignoring the necessary conclusions. Neither do we find much explanation of Elie’s participatory hours as a member of the camp orchestra (pp. 47-49). (Why would “death camp” administrators provide instruments and precious leisure time to those they only meant to torment and kill?) He mentions it but briefly between discussions of malnourished misery and his hatred of God and Germans.
At one point, he seems to mix up the contents of his own spartan diet, saying, “I found the soup excellent that evening” (pp. 60, 62). He states this in spite of his having told us on at least two occasions prior that soup was always dispensed at midday and buttered bread in the evening. It is possible that the meal routine was rearranged at some point, but if so, he omits any mention of the change. This would be quite odd for someone completely preoccupied with the idea of food, as Elie insists he was.
He also describes an execution by hanging performed on a Dutch child (another child who should not have made it past the first selection); Elie attests that the child took more than a half an hour to die by strangulation (p. 62)! Approaching this passage with the most open-mindedness we can muster, we cannot see the assemblage of German guards, famed as they were for their precision, standing witness to a botched execution for over thirty minutes until the child-inmate finally succumbed to exhaustion.Whether we consider it from a protocol standpoint, a German pride standpoint, a German precision standpoint, or as a matter of physical logistics (even a slack-roped strangulation could not exceed a minute), this testimony just does not approach credibility.
He tells us that the crematoria (both the ovens and the pits?) were working to full capacity day and night, including Sundays and feast days (p. 64). But we know from the the regular inspections performed by the Red Cross and wartime photography that this just wasn’t so. Though we have multiple aerial and land photos of the crematoria smokestacks of wartime Auschwitz, there are none showing smoke emanating from the crematoria. Are we to believe, then, that the crematoria billowed a ceaseless stream of smoke (and flames, according to Elie) from their chimneys only until the moment a camera turned in their direction? This is what Elie asks us to believe. No, he doesn’t ask, he insists.
Of course, this story later prompted certain persons in the Holocaust museum circuit to doctor at least one famous photo of the chimneys, making it appear as if there was a giant smoke plume hanging over the camp. But this photo has been solidly debunked by students of history who presented the original, which is identical to the museum’s version except for lack of any smoke.13
Naturally, we would not even find ourselves opposed to the augmentation of such photographs were they not passed off as genuine and submitted as unassailable proof of Elie’s fantastical allegations. Which is simply to say that we object to fraud. If they were rather doctored candidly as illustrations for the purpose of telling a much more limited story, such as of an unusual occurrence, perhaps when the crematoria were run two whole days without interruption, then no one could be accused of wrongdoing for augmenting such a photo – not if it were openly admitted to be a touch-up, and if the claim it purported to further was limited enough to be feasible. But neither of these qualifications are met in regard to the photo in question, nor are they met in regard to the narrative which it has been used to further. When someone is caught lying about their “proof,” it not only undermines the veracity of any claim which he’d intended the fraudulent evidence to substantiate, but, in equal measure, his overall credibility. When known perjurers swear to tell the truth, honest men can’t but stand incredulous.
It is no small irony, then, that in the middle of his telling these whoppers, Elie concludes that man’s strength is far greater than God’s specifically because, as Elie tells it, Adam and Eve were able to deceive their Maker(p. 64)! Of course, that interpretation must come courtesy of Jewish tradition, because it certainly isn’t derived of the Scripture. This, then, is to Elie the definition and mark of greatness: Deception.
Seeming all the more emboldened by blasphemy, Elie goes on to impart to his readers the story of his block-leader, a German Jew whom Elie says had, over the course of more than a decade, “been through all the slaughterhouses, all the factories of death.” Meaning, that he had survived every one of the “death camps” (p. 67).
Really? How does one survive a solitary “death camp,” let alone all of them, one after another? This, by the way, isn’t my argument. Remarkably, it is the argument of the block-leader himself as he tries to quiet the Jews’ imagination and reassure the prisoners that Auschwitz was, in fact, not a death camp at all: “Am I telling lies, then? I tell you once and for all, nothing’s going to happen to you! To anyone! You’re wallowing in your own despair, you fool!” (p. 69). It seems he’d be the one to know, doesn’t it? The fellow survived all of the camps, after all. The alternative is rather impossible, seeing as how, if he were wrong, he would have died many times over prior to having crossed paths with our hero, Elie.
As Elie had just undergone surgery on his foot to remove a massive infection, his heel was now held on only by the surgeon’s stitch-work, and he could not yet even put shoes on for the swelling of that appendage. But as the front line approached, the decision was made to evacuate the prisoners to another camp removed from the battle lines, Buchenwald. On that bitter, cold, snowy night, they set out on foot, like another Egyptian exodus, with German military escort at the rear in a sequence which may be the most dramatic in the entire book (pp. 79-84).
From the outset it was announced that anyone lagging behind would be shot. The Germans kept their word and set a brutal pace, killing many along the way on the forty-two mile trek (p. 83). Yes, you read that right: forty-two miles. In case that number doesn’t mean much to you, bear in mind that a full-distance marathon is only twenty-six miles. Elie wants us to believe that the emaciated walking dead of Auschwitz ran almost twice that distance. Here, again, we reach a fork in the story which simply cannot be believed by those conversant with reality.
Remember, it’s mid-winter on a frigid German night: our hero, fresh from the operating table, has only one shoe, and he, along with a multitude of starved and disease-ridden elderly Jews, is forced to run two consecutive marathons in the middle of a blizzard, having neither pause, nor rest, nor even water. And the majority, even many advanced of years, actually make it. So the author alleges.
Such a story would be implausible even if they were all young Olympians, let alone a mass of sick and aged persons in the final stages of starvation. What is more, no one could do it, in any condition of health, with only one shoe. No one. Least of all the sickly Elie.
Now, rather than denying this sequence in full, we can imagine some parts being true: it’s conceivable that they were relocated in a spell of markedly bad weather. It’s possible that the guards insisted on everyone keeping a certain minimum pace. It’s even feasible that our hero was shoeless and recovering from surgery, rendering him lame in one foot (but only if he was allowed to ride on one of the German transports). They could all have been physically depleted. But these things simply couldn’t all be true at the same time. Such a caravan would not have made it a solitary mile under all these conditions. The distance he claims they ran in heavy snowfall is just impossible. And, as we’ve said, all the other far-fetched aspects of the tale only add to its impossibility.
But Elie’s story only grows more macabre, still. After the conclusion of their inconceivable forty-two mile tundra run, many would freeze to death in their sleep in Gleiwitz. Many more would freeze on the open-air, cross-country train ride from Gleiwitz to Buchenwald, which we are told lasted several days (pp. 93-98).
Along the way, as they passed through towns, Elie tells us that local people standing on the train platforms and at depots would throw crusts of bread to the emaciated huddle of Jews aboard the train. This evoked open savagery from the hungry Jews. They hit, kicked, clawed, bit, and killed one another for those crusts of bread (pp. 95-96). This is another one of those parts of the story which can be accepted only contingently: if they were in a relatively good state of health, hadn’t been starved for months, and hadn’t just completed two consecutive alpine winter marathons, this would be conceivable, but since Elie insists upon selling it as a package deal, we simply cannot accept it. Or do you, dear reader, really think that those infirm by age and months or years of starvation, who had just run a herculean race of survival (possible maybe for only the most elite athletes today), and who had spent a week exposed to the winter elements wearing nothing but flimsy inmate uniforms, could muster the strength to engage in continuing gladiatorial skirmishes?
After many such days, Elie tells us that a handful of the original number make it to the last stop, Buchenwald (p. 98). Now, we know that under normal conditions a man can go only three days without water. How long might we expect old, starving, and exhausted men wracked by dysentery and other maladies to go? Elie suggests they might go a good week.
Curiously, if the railway connected to Auschwitz at the beginning of the story, why did the prisoners have to run forty-two miles to the Gliewitz station in order to take a train? There is, strangely, no mention of the tracks being damaged, nor any other explanation of why the Germans opted to relocate the prisoners on foot rather than by rail, as they’d originally come.
All aspects considered, we are forced to conclude that this interlude about the the ultra-marathon is contrived. More likely, they were actually relocated directly from Auschwitz to Buchenwald by rail, as this was early determined as the most convenient means of moving prisoners to and from the camps, and no reason is even contemplated as to why, after moving them in by rail, they weren’t also moved out the same way. This, or perhaps they rode to Gleiwitz in transport vehicles, and were there loaded on trains bound for Buchenwald. We really can’t say which it was. All we can be certain of is that it didn’t transpire as Wiesel says.
We are told his father died pitifully on January 28, 1945. Though Elie fell asleep that night in the knowledge that his father had suffered a fractured skull courtesy of a German truncheon, and though the old man’s body was carried away while Elie slept, Elie suggests that he was thrown alive into the crematory ovens (p. 106). As sad an event as his father’s passing was, Elie at no point offers us any actual reason to believe that his father, or anyone else, was ever thrown alive into an oven – no witness, no circumstantial evidence, nothing. He simply continues asserting it.
He declines to comment on his stay at Buchenwald after his father’s passing, except to say that he was transferred to the children’s block, which was occupied by six hundred young prisoners (p. 107).
But wait, these camps didn’t dictate their own policies. The Germans of the era prided themselves on uniformity, and the camp policies were dictated and overseen from Berlin. The policy in regard to child inmates was the same at both Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Now, recall that the author told us that the children of Auschwitz were all cast alive into the crematory ovens upon arriving there. Later, he directly contradicted that testimony by admitting that many children abided with their parents at Auschwitz, and by acknowledging the lavish trade in boy-flesh amongst the camp’s homosexual denizens. Yet, he still insisted we believe the rumor that the policy was to terminate all children by immolation upon arrival at Auschwitz.
His stay at Buchenwald, briefly sketched as it is, reveals what actually happened to the children separated from adults at Auschwitz: they were housed in their own dormitories in order to protect them from the large number of pedophiles which Elie acknowledges to have been marbled throughout the general camp population (pp. 46, 107). Notwithstanding, in spite of this revelation having clearly debunked all the rumors floated at Auschwitz, Wiesel continues to peddle the rumor, making of it what we can only call a willful lie.
The war was coming to an end, but Elie’s dance macabre continues.
On April 5, 1945, the head of the camp broadcast over the Buchenwald PA system, calling all Jews to present themselves for a roll call. Despite their having undergone redundant head counts for years by that point, the Jews somehow concluded, “This was the end! Hitler was going to keep his promise” (pp. 107-108). By which Elie implies that Hitler had at some unspecified point promised to annihilate the Jews. Where or when Hitler ever made such a promise is unknown to history.14 So far as we can know, this is pure fiction. Yet Elie references it more than once in the course of the book as if it were an established fact.
He further tells us that, upon assembly, the prisoners were informed by the head of the camp that Buchenwald was being “liquidated,” and that there would be no more distribution of rations from then on. Block by block, they proceeded to escort people out of the camp gates, never to return (p. 108).
If the camp was such hell, why does the author frame his liberation from it in such sad colors? I haven’t referenced the original Yiddish version on this one, but in English, and especially in the context, his use of the word “liquidated” makes it sound as if they were all to be executed at this point. At minimum, his ominous tones in speaking of their release make it sound as though he and his fellows were more afraid of the world outside the camp than in.
But just before the mass of the prisoners were to be forced out of those hellish gates to their freedom, Elie tells us how the resistance movement suddenly rose up with what was apparently a significant arsenal of guns and grenades. So significant was the prisoners’ arsenal, and so powerful were their fighters, that Elie says the battle was won almost as soon as it began. The Germans all fled, the Jews taking control of the camp with ease (pp. 108-109).
See, all the Allies needed to beat the Germans in battle was to set phalanxes of emaciated and diseased Jews on the front line. They’d have beaten the otherwise indomitable German war machine with ease. So the author would have us believe.
While we’re on the subject, where did these men even acquire the guns, ammunition, and grenades? Are we really to accept the proposition that starving people, whose only thoughts were, according to Elie, of food, could not arrange any contraband means of obtaining it, yet they were able to acquire contraband weapons? And would starving men risk everything to obtain guns over bread? Further, doesn’t this sequence necessarily imply certain omittances in Elie’s story?
Either the prisoners weren’t as ill-kept by the camp administration as Elie portrays, or they did, in fact, obtain food for themselves along with their contraband weapons. There is, moreover, also the possibility that this uprising itself is pure fiction. To whichever option we are inclined, any one of them makes far more sense than the yarn Elie has spun of men wracked by hunger and dysentery forgoing the option of food and medicine (for years) to run a clandestine trade in arms only to stand by as their numbers are decimated, waiting until the very moment when the Germans announced their release – then, suddenly, attacking and overcoming their captors handily. This is Never-Never Land lore.
That same day, he tells us the prisoners gorged themselves on food. Of course, we know that those gone long hungry cannot digest large amounts of food, nor, in many cases, can they digest even small amounts of processed or particularly rich food. But this fact doesn’t seem to impede the story at all.
Wiesel concludes his retrospective with a twist strange beyond reckoning. The realities of long starvation took so little toll on the Jews that Elie tells us:
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. (p. 109)
Within a solitary day of their first getting food, the men set out for town looking for sex. Again, either the conditions under which they had been kept weren’t nearly so bad as the author claims, or these men would’ve been rendered completely impotent by the long-term shutdown of their endocrine systems brought on by malnutrition and stress overload.
In a discussion of Wiesel’s book, we find this passage in particular to carry devilish baggage. In Naomi Seidman’s correspondence with Elie Wiesel on the subject of how his account varies in different language-versions of Night, she makes some horrifying disclosures:
But the Yiddish [of Un di velt, your early version of Night] continues: “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.” In French this passage reads: “Le lendemain, quelques jeunes gens coururent ý Weimar ramasser des pommes de terre et des habits – et coucher avec des filles. Mais de vengeance, pas trace.” Or, in Stella Rodway’s English rendition: “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.”
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.15
Ms. Seidman is herself Jewish. She is speaking to a Jew about the Jewish tradition which they hold in common. The “historical commandment of revenge” of which she speaks is a thing unknown to the Gentile world, but in Jewish tradition it is a matter of course.
The fact that the French and English translations are sanitized of the candor present in the original Yiddish version also tells us something. The publishers knew that the implications of an honest rendering of such things would shock Christian sensibilities. By comparison of the clear and conspicuous evil of the original version over against the repetitious obfuscations in subsequent translations, we see the non-Jewish world is fed a purposeful distortion. Of course, absent this redaction, non-Jews, especially of a Christian disposition, would have great difficulty sympathizing with Elie’s folk as innocent victims.
As much as we may marvel at the callous flippancy with which the author discusses the Jews’ post-war rape spree on innocent German girls, one’s blood runs cold at his suggestion that such revanchism didn’t go nearly far enough. The ire rises not just from the horror of the acts themselves, nor even from his wish for vengeance to be meted out on innocents more aggressively, but out of the fact that his genocidal hatred has been deemed acceptable, if not by the reading public, at least by the Allied powers; and, moreover, because the Jewish prerogative of vengeance was ultimately instituted under Allied policy – the Morgenthau Plan – the plot to forever destroy the German nation.
Elie’s vengeance is still being meted out to this very day. To the mind of Wiesel and his ilk, their vengeance is limitless and shall never be satiated. Am I saying that to be bombastic? No. I am acknowledging the narrative of the man’s book: he tells us repeatedly throughout that he wishes for nothing less than to kill every German and to “burn the whole world” (p. 103).
In conclusion, we’ve already mentioned at the outset of this essay that Elie identified himself as a mystic and a Kabbalist, but aside from those early professions of faith, Elie’s only hints at his religion and worldview are his constant indictments of God and continual identification with Satan. On page 65, he says: “I felt very strong. I was the accuser, God the accused. . . . I felt myself to be stronger than the Almighty.”
The “Accuser” is the Hebrew idiom, as well as the English translation, for the title Satan. Setting his throne above that of the Most High, Wiesel frankly declares himself a satanist. He remorselessly sticks to this resolution from then on.
Recognizing this fact, I believe, is the only way one might make sense of the jumble of self-contradiction, morbidity, hatefulness, excoriations of God, the exaltation of deception and willfulness as virtues, and transparent lies at every turn. He has consciously committed to deifying himself, and intends with this work, his revelation, to see his dark will done on earth.
In his pursuit of vengeance, the truth itself became his enemy. He and his acolytes mean to “burn the whole world.”
- Page numbers come from the 1982 version of the book, printed by Bantam Books and translated by Stella Rodway. ↩
- This may surprise people who believe they sufficiently distinguish the Christian and Jewish conceptions of God by articulating the former as trinitarian and the latter as unitarian. But there is significant evidence that Jews view themselves, in various ways, as God Himself. For example, the Talmud speaks of how God wears phylacteries which include praise for the Jewish people (BT Berakhot 6a-b), and the rabbis are in many ways imbued with an infallibility that can even nullify God’s own revelations (Mo’ed Kattan 16b). Moreover, the Zohar explicitly states, “The Jewish people and God are wholly one.” All these claims are documented in Michael Hoffman’s Judaism Strange Gods, pp. 112ff. ↩
- Elie Wiesel, All Rivers Run to the Sea: Memoirs, p. 275. Qtd. in Frederick L. Downing, Elie Wiesel: A Religious Biography, p. 121. All Rivers Run to the Sea is Wiesel’s autobiography. ↩
- Examples of these graves are the Vinnytsia massacre and the Katyn Forest massacre. This article and this one discuss further Soviet mass graves, and this video discusses grounds to be skeptical of certain allegations of German mass graves. ↩
- Not that the Soviet army was primarily composed of Jews, but its actions were directed by Jews, for the Bolshevik leadership in the Soviet Union was prevalently Jewish. The thesis that Bolshevism has been predominantly a Jewish movement has received widespread skepticism today, but it has remarkable historical support. Frank L. Britton’s Behind Communism provides a good overview. Important preliminary evidence is the fact that, besides the communist ideologues Karl Marx and Moses Hess, Bolshevik leaders like Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, Lazar Kaganovich, Grigory Zinoviev, Genrikh Yagoda, Yakov Sverdlov (who ordered the execution of the last Russian czar and his family), Yakov Yurovsky (who carried out the execution), Lev Kamenev, and many others were Jews. Again, those who dismiss the Judeo-Bolshevist thesis as a “conspiracy theory” will assume all these men’s Jewishness is incidental to their Bolshevism, but such would not be the prima facie position to hold, and other evidence does not bear that out anyway. ↩
- The Talmud contains numerous teachings denigrating Gentiles as vastly inferior to Jews, likened to mere cattle. Jews are permitted to cheat Gentiles in court (BT Sanhedrin 57b), to steal Gentiles’ property as if it had no owner (BT Baba Bathra 54b), and to flat-out kill Gentiles (BT Sanhedrin 57a). This is because the injunction for Jews to love one’s neighbor is intended to exclude all Gentiles as non-neighbors (BY Sanhedrin 52B). This is further documented in Judaism’s Strange Gods, pp. 183ff. ↩
- The pictures of crematoria (e.g. here, here, here, and here) demonstrate that no flames could have possibly been surging out. While flammable gases can result in such tall flames in places like gas refineries, the same certainly cannot be said for crematoria. ↩
- Cyrenus Lent had a patent for odorless chimneys in 1896, considered as the origin of the modern cremation process, as did Augustus Felton in 1916. The German crematoria did not neglect these advancements. ↩
- Naturally, any non-mainstream claims about Jewish involvement in causing World War II would require many resources to fully explain and establish, but their political and economic involvement can be preliminarily established by these hyperlinks. ↩
- The lengthy video “One Third of the Holocaust” demonstrates conclusively the impossibility of such crematoria. ↩
- See the section “Have Jews Been the Victims of Perpetual Persecution?” in this article on Christian Zionist myths. ↩
- This conundrum of patients-to-be-liquidated receiving medical treatment is also discussed in the documentary “The Last Days of the Big Lie.” ↩
- http://www.fpp.co.uk/Auschwitz/docs/fake/SWCsmokeFake.html ↩
- For example, the Wannsee Conference is often heralded as definitive proof of the Nazis’ “final solution” to exterminate the Jews, yet there is evidence that the conference’s protocols were forged, and even if they weren’t, the protocols do not themselves mention any extermination! Read it for yourself. (This is why you will see Holocaust-promoting sites assert that the “final solution” is a mere “code name” for extermination, such as here.) Furthermore, historian David Irving demonstrates in his book Hitler’s War how the “final solution” referred to a deportation of Jews from German lands, not at all their extermination. ↩
- Naomi Seidman, “Elie Wiesel and the Scandal of Jewish Rage,” Jewish Social Studies: History, Culture, and Society, Fall 1996, Volume 3, Number 1, p. 6. http://www.fpp.co.uk/