Some Interesting Questions for Professor Elie Wiesel
Published: 1996-06-01

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As is clear from David Irving's letter (above). Nobel peace laureate Elie Wiesel has resumed his attacks on revisionists (perhaps someone showed him a copy of Smith’s Report No. 31, which exposed his hypocrisy in pressing for the rehabilitation of the German Carl von Ossietzky while ignoring the current plight of Israeli Mordechai Vanunu).

Careful students of Wiesel's career, from Robert Faurisson to Professor Howard M. Sachar (of George Washington University), have easily demonstrated this “Super Survivor” for the intellectual and moral fraud he’s been since at least the 1950’s. Yet the facts continue to escape Wiesel’s admirers, who, as Professor Sachar writes, over the years have failed to consider whether:

... that in negotiating a merger of the Holocaust industry with the mysticism vocation, Wiesel might have been staking out a high assay lode of vast entrepreneurial potential... By [1976], his platform technique honed to perfection (a Chasidic rebbe addressing his disciples), he was demanding and securing honoraria on the lecture circuit unmatched in Jewish forensic history. (A History of the Jews of America, New York: Knopf, 1992, p. 849.)

It has always been difficult to confront and expose Wiesel. He’s no pushover. But early last month I collaborated in a simple tactical exercise which may prove to be successful if pursued. On 6 May, Elie Wiesel bobbed up at the University of Washington (Seattle) to speak on “Building a Moral Society.” Campus activists from Puget Sound area universities were waiting for him. We had put together and formatted 15 interesting questions for Super Survivor and our student friends at WU had made 500 photocopies of them. Although unable to gain access to the lecture, they succeeded in handing out and posting hundreds of leaflets, causing, in the words of one WU student, “quite a stir.”

... And for entertainment we have a Holocaust survivor

... And for entertainment we have a Holocaust survivor

These are the questions that contributed to the “stir.”

  1. Do you still maintain that geysers of blood “spurted” from mass graves at Babi Yar in Ukraine for months after the killings? (In Paroles d'etranger, 1982, p. 86)
  2. Do you continue to claim that, as you told Time magazine in 1985, at Buchenwald “they sent 10,000 persons to their deaths each day,” while you narrowly survived each time? (Time, March 18, 1985)
  3. The Auschwitz authorities offered to let you and your father stay behind and await liberation by the Red Army when the Germans were evacuating the camp in early 1945. Yet you and your father chose to march away with the Germans, the Nazis, the SS. Why?
  4. You claim to have escaped gassing and being burnt alive, survived a “death march,” recovered from typhus, and eluded other types of death at the hands of the Nazis, all during their alleged attempt to exterminate the Jews of Europe. Isn't the most rational explanation for this that the Nazis didn’t want to kill you?
  5. You once 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 German.” (From “Appointment with Hate,” in Legends of Our Time, 1968) Do you still advocate that every Jew should do this?
  6. How would you characterize someone who wrote the same sentence, but substituted “German” for “Jew” and vice versa?
  7. What would you say to a Palestinian refugee who expressed identical sentiments as to how his people should regard “what the Zionist personifies and for what persists in the Zionist”?
  8. Do you still pray to God, as you did at Auschwitz last year, to damn those who created the camp? (New York Times, January 27, 1995)
  9. The Federal Republic of Germany has been a staunch ally of Israel throughout its existence, sending billions of dollars to the Zionist state. Yet when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, you opposed German reunification as “premature.” Why?
  10. Christians believe that God became man and endured incalculable torment to redeem mankind. In 1954 you told the French Francois Mauriac that you “knew Jewish children every one of whom suffered a thousand times more, six million limes more, than Christ on the cross.” Do you still abide by these computations, and these sentiments? (Quoted in Elie Wiesel, by Ted L. Estess, Frederick Ungar Publishing, New York, 1980)
  11. In 1985 you implored President Reagan not to visit a military cemetery at Bitburg as a conciliatory gesture to the Germans, because several SS men were buried there. Bearing in mind the numerous atrocities carried out by Israelis against Arabs, from the slaughter at Deir Yasin by Menachem Begin’s Irgun in 1948 to the recent massacre at the Qana refugee camp in South Lebanon, are there any Israeli cemeteries you would recommend that American presidents avoid?
  12. You have recently urged that Germany posthumously rehabilitate Carl von Ossietzky, who was convicted of treason by the Weimar Republic for publishing military secrets. Why have you been silent on the fate of Mordechai Vanunu, who has been imprisoned for life in Israel for revealing details about Israel’s nuclear arms stockpile to the press?
  13. Seen in the light of the “victim” persona you have assigned (and assumed) for the Jew's in the Diaspora, have not the Palestinians been the “Jew's” of Israel? If so, do you not tremble lest they adopt your style of “memory”?
  14. Last month it was reported (by Eric Breindel in the New York Post, April 12) that you threatened withdrawal of your endorsement from books published by St. Martin's Press unless it canceled publication of David Irving's biography of Goebbels. As a professor at a great American university, do you not believe in the value of diversity of scholarly opinion, and in open debate on historical issues?
  15. You are certainly aware that historians who challenge the orthodox version of the Holocaust are arrested, tried, fined, and imprisoned in Germany, France, and other countries. As a Nobel peace laureate, and as a victim of persecution, will you not speak out against the criminalization of dissent on the history of the Holocaust?

Wiesel told his listeners at Washington University, “I teach my students the art of questioning, not the art of answering.” Our friends who flyered Wiesel’s audience at WU forced me to think about the coming academic year. I will develop a flyer on Elie Wiesel based on the 15 Questions, place notices on the Web, and in this newsletter asking to be kept informed of where Wiesel is speaking, and look for students to leaflet every one of his audiences.


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Author(s): Bradley R. Smith
Title: Some Interesting Questions for Professor Elie Wiesel
Sources: Smith's Report, no. 33, June 1996, pp. 4f.
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Published: 1996-06-01
First posted on CODOH: Sept. 26, 2015, 4:40 a.m.
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