Trump Invokes Memory of Liar Wiesenthal to Turn Holocaust Day into Holocaust Week
WHILE HIS SUPPORTERS were being purged from the Internet, Trump pandered to the people who had purged them, proposing that Holocaust Remembrance Day become Holocaust Remembrance Week. (How soon before it’s Holocaust Remembrance Month?) In his statement, Trump invoked the memory of Simon Wiesenthal.
Simon Wiesenthal, a Jewish-Austrian Holocaust survivor who endured five different labor and concentration camps to live to the age of 96, spent his life showing the world the depravity of the Nazis so that the haunting truths of the Holocaust would never fade. In his memoirs, he recounted being told by a Nazi guard that it was worthless to tell the story of the Holocaust because no one would ever believe such things were possible.
On Yom HaShoah, and during this week of remembrance, we join Simon Wiesenthal in refuting his captor and strongly reaffirm our everlasting commitment to honor the victims and survivors of the Holocaust, who through their courageous testimony, fulfill the righteous duty never to forget. We vow never to remain silent or indifferent in the face of evil. With absolute devotion, we will continue to advance human rights, combat anti-Semitism, and dispel all forms of hatred in every part of the world.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby ask the people of the United States to observe the Days of Remembrance of Victims of the Holocaust, April 28 through May 5, 2019, and the solemn anniversary of the liberation of Nazi death camps, with appropriate study, prayers and commemoration, and to honor the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution by remembering the lessons of this atrocity so that it is never repeated.
Simon Wiesenthal is a proven liar and con man. Even Israeli Jew journalist and historian Tom Segev has admitted this in his book The Life and Legends of Simon Wiesenthal.
In his statement, Trump said Wiesenthal had been at five camps. This is (probably) true. Over the course of his life, though, Wiesenthal claimed to have been in at least a dozen camps. Because Auschwitz became the centre of the Holocaust mythos, Wiesenthal felt the need to work it into his life story somehow. He eventually settled on the notion that his train stopped at Auschwitz but then moved away before he got off. Anecdotes of “miraculous deliverance” feature prominently in the various (contradictory) tales Wiesenthal spun about his experience. Even though he was a professional “Holocaust survivor”, constantly in the public eye, his lies were never exposed while he was alive and his “sacred memory” remains intact in the eyes of the ruling class. Despite being now a proven liar, his statue hasn’t yet been torn down.
Here are some relevant extracts from the book The Life and Legends of Simon Wiesenthal, which I have posted about in several previous articles you can see here.
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In October 1994, an official government limousine with a police escort drew up at the site of the Auschwitz death camp. Wiesenthal, now nearly eighty-six years old, had come to Poland on a visit of reconciliation. President Lech Walesa had presented him with a state decoration, and the Jagiellonian University of Krakow awarded him an honorary doctorate. The was heavily loaded with symbolism. Wiesenthal was deeply gain [sic] and again tears welled up in his eyes. It was not easy for him to make his peace with the Poles but the temptation to grant them forgiveness had won his heart over.
When they entered the gate under the notorious motto “Arbeit Macht Frei,” Wiesenthal told his biographer, Hella Pick, who was with him on the [trip] how he had been brought to Auschwitz on one of the death trains and how he had gotten out alive. They had arrived at Auschwitz from the Plaszow camp, he said, but instead of sending them to the gas chambers to be put to death, the Germans let them wait in the freight cars for three days, and then for some reason sent them to another camp, and that was how he survived. Pick did not doubt his story, but it was apparently not true.
In an autobiographical outline that he drew up in 1947, Wiesenthal described his stay at Auschwitz the same way he told it to Pick. But in the testimony he gave years later at Yad Vashem, he related precisely how it came about that he and his fellow prisoners did not reach Auschwitz. The Russians were nearing Plaszow and chaos reigned at the camp. “The Germans lost their heads,” he said. “Apparently they sensed that their end was approaching. By mistake, they failed to couple our car onto the train that was going to Auschwitz and instead coupled it to the train that was taking the regular prisoners, and so we arrived by mistake at the Gross-Rosen camp.” When Wiesenthal testified at the Lvov trial held in Stuttgart in 1966, he once again said explicitly that he was never at Auschwitz. When he submitted his reparations claim to Germany, he attached a sworn statement from the director of the Jewish community organization in Vienna, Willi Krell, who was with him in the camps, in which Krell stated they had left Plaszow together and arrived at Gross-Rosen the next day. Krell was transferred some weeks later to Auschwitz. Auschwitz, however, had become part of Wiesenthal’s public biography. In the United States, where many people tended to identify the Holocaust with Auschwitz, his purported stay at the camp was mentioned in speeches in his honor in the House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as in a background paper prepared for President Carter when Wiesenthal was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.
A comparative study of the plethora of autobiographical material left by Wiesenthal frequently makes it possible to determine what really happened. He was never a prisoner at Auschwitz. Wiesenthal regarded the testimony he gave at Yad Vashem as sacred, and it is evident to anyone reading this document that he tried to be accurate. He was also careful about what he said when he testified at the trials of war criminals. Again and again he told the judges that certain details were known to him only through hearsay; again and again he warned that his memory might be misleading him on everything to do with dates. In his evidence at one trial, Wiesenthal said that he had seen a trainload of Jews standing at the platform at Lvov for three days. This may have been the origin of his story of his three days in Auschwitz, which in a later version became four days. Either way, his attempt to place himself at the hub of the catastrophe — Auschwitz — was part of a set pattern, a tendency to magnify his ordeal.
Immediately after being liberated, Wiesenthal gave the names of the camps in which he had been imprisoned as Janowska, Plaszow, Gross-Rosen, and Mauthausen. On the way to the latter, he had also spent some time in a fifth camp, Buchenwald. With the years, the number of camps he claimed to have passed through rose. In resumes he drew up in the 1950s, he once wrote that he had been incarcerated in nine camps, and another time eleven camps.’ In the 1990s he approved for publication a series of biographical interviews in which it was stated that he had been in twelve camps, and Joseph Wechsberg, who edited his autobiography, wrote in his preface that Wiesenthal had been in over a dozen camps.’” In the early 1980s, Wiesenthal listed the places of imprisonment he had passed through and arrived at a total of twelve, including Auschwitz. However, six of those places were not concentration camps but small work encampments Wiesenthal passed through on his way from Janowska to Gross-Rosen. They should therefore not be counted as concentration camps in which he was an inmate.’ He was in fact a prisoner in five camps. In his books on his wartime experiences, he tended not only to aggrandize his ordeal, but also to add a dash of drama to the circumstances of his survival.
From Miracle to Miracle In his Yad Vashem testimony, Wiesenthal said that on the afternoon of July 6, 1941, he was playing chess with a neighbor in Lvov when a man wearing civilian clothes with an armband in the colors of the Ukrainian national flag came in and arrested them. The two were taken to the Brigidki jail, together with several dozen other detainees. They were told to put their hands behind their heads and face a wall. Wiesenthal said he heard shots and the men standing around him were hit and fell, one after the other. He remembered the sound of their bodies hitting the ground. At six o’clock, the shooting stopped. Those prisoners who were still alive were placed in a cell, among them Wiesenthal and his neighbor. They waited, anticipating their deaths in the morning. During the night, the door opened and a Ukrainian came into the cell, carrying a flashlight. He recognized Wiesenthal among the prisoners and asked, “Mr. Engineer, what are you doing here?” The man was a laborer who had worked on a building site Wiesenthal was overseeing before the war. Wiesenthal said that he had liked the man and had allowed him to sleep in one of the apartments under construction. Now the man returned the favor and got him out of the prison, together with his neighbor.
This story exists in various versions, some very detailed, others more sketchy. Many of the details are not identical, or are even contradictory. In some of them, there is no mention of the shooting and Wiesenthal is simply released after a few hours and returns home. In evidence he gave during one of the trials, the shooting ceased before they reached the prison, or immediately when they arrived there, because it was the end of the working day.
In some earlier versions of the story, Wiesenthal gave different dates in July for his arrest—the fourth, the eighth, the sixteenth. Eventually, he settled on the sixth, a Sunday. This was no coincidence. Joseph Wechsberg wrote that Wiesenthal’s life was saved because the bells of a nearby church began ringing and the Ukrainians stopped shooting and went to evening Mass. Thus, his survival was given a dimension of a miraculous divine intervention. In the testimony at Yad Vashem, Wiesenthal made no mention of the bells, but the inclination to give his rescue a celestial meaning was also present in the story of his “rebirth” at Janowska.
On April 20, 1943, Hitler turned fifty-four. Right after the war, Wiesenthal wrote a story that recounted what had happened to him on that day.
He was in the Janowska camp. The camp staff were preparing to celebrate the birthday of their leader. At around ten o’clock in the morning an SS officer by the name of Richard Dyga took Wiesenthal and a group of other prisoners, including some women, to a sandy area. They were told to strip bare and to stand alongside a six-foot-deep ditch, inside of which were lying the bodies of prisoners who had already been shot.
It was raining. The SS men started shooting the prisoners in the backs of their necks. Their bodies fell into the ditch, one after the other. Wiesenthal’s turn came closer, when suddenly there was a whistle and the shooting stopped. Wiesenthal was wondering if he was alive or already dead, when it turned out that an SS officer, Adolf Kolonko, had come running up to take Wiesenthal back to the camp. “Get out of the line,” he ordered, dragging him off, naked and wet.
Wiesenthal looked back. The shooting resumed and stopped again. The entire group had been murdered. On his return to the camp he was given clothing and ordered to make a birthday poster for Hitler. “You are lucky we still need you,” said Kolonko. That night, one of his cell mates said to Wiesenthal, “On April 20, two people were born, the Fuhrer and you.”
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Source: Diversity Macht Frei