Elie Wiesel: A Darker Side to Wiesel’s Night

Published: 1998-01-01

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A while back an SR subscriber tipped us off to a juicy tidbit on Elie Wiesel that had appeared in the February 1997 issue of Instauration, a journal speaking in the interest of America’s white “Majority” (and which recently had some kind words for Smith and CODOH).

Instauration very briefly summarized an article by Naomi Seidman, “Elie Wiesel and the Scandal of Jewish Rage,” published in the Fall, 1996 issue of Jewish Social Studies, in which Professor Seidman investigated Wiesel’s little-known Yiddish-language predecessor to his renowned personal memoir of the Holocaust, Night. Given our interest in the discrepancies and anomalies that seem to pop up whenever a neglected text by Wiesel is subjected to analysis, we consulted the journal.

Professor Seidman begins by noting that Wiesel’s Yiddish memoir, titled Un di velt hot geshvign (“And the World Kept Silent”), was published in 1956, two years before the initial, French edition (La Nuit) of Night appeared—thus contradicting the First Sufferer’s claim that the publication of his book in French ended ten years of silence on his wartime experience.

More interesting, Seidman compared Wiesel’s Yiddish text with the French (and English) versions. She discovered a passage referring to the liberated inmates of Buchenwald that reads in Night, the English version (1960), as follows:

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. (Night, p. 109)

But here’s how his original Yiddish translates:

Early the next day Jewish boys ran off to Weimar to steal clothing and potatoes. And to rape German girls. The historical commandment of revenge was not fulfilled. (Un di velt..., p. 244)

Quite a difference—especially when one notices that Naomi Seidman has translated Wiesel’s Yiddish word shikses, a slurring term for non-Jewish females, merely as “girls.” One can only wonder how word of this particular post-Holocaust lament by the future Nobel peace laureate would play on America’s campuses!

Professor Seidman produces other passages in Wiesel’s Yiddish memoir that have disappeared from Night, La Nuit and other translations aimed chiefly at non-Jews. Toward the end of Un di velt hot geshvign, the (even then!) less than sunny Doyen of Doom was writing:

Now, ten years after Buchenwald, I see the world is forgetting. Germany is a sovereign state, the German army has been reborn. The bestial sadist of Buchenwald, Ilse Koch, is happily raising her children. War criminals stroll in the streets of Hamburg and Munich. The past has been erased Forgotten.

Germans and anti-Semites persuade the world that the story of six million Jewish martyrs is a fantasy, and the naive world will probably believe them, if not today, then tomorrow or the next day. (pp. 245)

As can be gleaned from Professor Seidman’s article, there’s work to be done by Wieselologists, particularly from the revisionist ranks: Wiesel’s Yiddish memoir of the Holocaust is roughly fifty percent longer than Night. Who knows what else Wiesel has chosen to suppress?

More important, the final sentence from the Yiddish cited above (“Germans and anti-Semites...”) makes it quite evident that, even before he had published Night, Elie Wiesel, far from being the agonized, tousled, absentminded survivor-mystic he has long masqueraded as, was writing, evading, and deceiving about the Holocaust with the revisionist threat firmly in mind, from day one.

[Instauration, which gives due attention to revisionist matters, may be contacted at Box 76, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920]

Additional information about this document
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Author(s): Bradley R. Smith
Title: Elie Wiesel: A Darker Side to Wiesel’s Night
Sources: Smith's Report, no. 50, January 1998, pp. 5f.
Published: 1998-01-01
First posted on CODOH: Oct. 11, 2015, 5:07 a.m.
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