Kent State Academics to Embrace Elie Wiesel

Jewish Studies program educates students on Holocaust, Prepares for Elie Wiesel visit
Published: 2013-05-26

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When I learned that Elie Wiesel was going to speak at Kent State University, (See: I thought it would be good to participate in the festivities. I brought the matter up with Jett Rucker and he agreed that it might be worth the while to join in. We understood we would not be welcome guests, but then that is the fate of all revisionists in these matters. We began with my letter to the editor of the Daily Kent Stater. Kent Wired is the online edition of the paper.

Isobel Parish, Editor
Kent Wired
Kent State University
T: 330 672-2584

20 March 2013

For Publication:

Elie Wiesel will speak at Kent State University on 11 April 2013. Professor Wiesel is the most famous, most respected Holocaust survivor in the world. Wiesel has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the Congressional Gold Medal, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom among many others.

Every academic at Kent State University is well acquainted with Mr. Wiesel’s fame, but here I will speculate that not one academic at Kent State has suggested to her students that Wiesel’s words should be looked at with a critical eye.

For example: Elie Wiesel claims that after Jews were executed at Babi Yar in the Ukraine, “geysers of blood” spurted from their grave for “months” afterward (Paroles d'etranger, 1982, p. 86). Has one professor at Kent State suggested to her students that the truth of this claim might be questioned?

Why not?

Elie Wiesel claimed he was “liberated” from Dachau (Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 11 April 1983), “liberated” from Buchenwald (NYT, 2 Nov. 1986), and “liberated” from Auschwitz (NY Post, 23 Oct. 1986 and NYT, 4 Jan. 1987). Has one professor at Kent State University bothered to look into which, if any, of these claims is true? If so, is there a record available to Kent State students for their perusal?

Why not?

Elie Wiesel has quoted Yankiel Wiernik, an escapee from Treblinka, before university audiences. “It was a terrifying sight,” Wiernik reported. “The most gruesome ever beheld by human eyes. When corpses of pregnant women were cremated, their bellies would burst open. The fetus would be exposed and could be seen burning inside the mother's womb.” At one lecture at Northwestern University Elie Wiesel, after reading this passage from Wiernik’s Death Camp Treblinka, said:

“You must listen. You must listen to more! I repeat, if Yankiel Wiernik had the courage to write, you must listen.”

Elie Wiesel is the man who is going to speak at Kent State University to the applause of its faculty and Administration. There is a scandal here, for which there is no evidence that any academic at Kent State is willing to address. Why is that so? What have your professors to lose for simply acting in concert with the ideals of their profession and of the University itself?

Of being, simply, grown-ups?

Bradley Smith

On the 17th I posted a comment on Kent Wired about how the KSU Jewish Studies program was preparing for a visit by Elie Wiesel on 11 April. Ten days later my comment was still there. I wrote a note to the Editorial Board to congratulate it. The below text was copied to students and faculty campus-wide.

To: Editorial Board
The Daily Kent Stater
Kent State University

March 27 2013

Note to congratulate the Board for allowing the below comment to be published.

“In his autobiographical book Night, Elie Wiesel writes that in January 1945, when he and his father were both prisoners of the murderous German Nazis at Auschwitz, they were asked by their captors if they would prefer to remain in that death camp, where countless Jews had already been murdered in gas chambers, to await the imminent arrival of their Soviet liberators, or would they rather leave with the Nazi Jew-killers who were abandoning the camp. Elie Wiesel and his dad, talking it over, agreed they would prefer to leave on the death-march retreat with German Nazis dedicated to exterminating Jews as a race rather than wait for their Soviet liberators.

Is there one professor at Kent State University who thinks it might be worthwhile that students consider the significance of this confession?

“Why not?”

“My unstated prediction was that, no, there would be no academic at Kent State who would dare to encourage a free exchange of ideas on this or any other adolescent claim that Professor Wiesel has made regarding his alleged experiences at Auschwitz. There is more than one moral issue here. It is the ‘eyewitness’ testimony of such men and women as Elie Wiesel that is used to morally justify the Jewish conquest and occupation of Arab land in Palestine. And it is a moral, as well as an intellectual decision, for KSU academics to suppress a routine examination of the text in examination of Elie Wiesel's Night.”

—Bradley Smith

On 20 March I posted a second comment on the Elie Wiesel story regarding the upcoming appearance by Wiesel.

“Elie Wiesel, the darling of Kent State academics and of the Professorial Class nationwide, is to be welcomed there on 11 April to speak. Would it be improper, meanwhile, for Kent State students to learn what Elie Wiesel has written, say, about Babi Yar?

“Babi Yar is a ravine near Kiev in Ukraine. There, during the Holocaust years, the Germans executed Soviet citizens, some of whom were Jews, and buried them where they fell. Wiesel writes that there is ‘eyewitness’ testimony that for months after the killings the earth trembled and ‘geysers of blood’ spurted from the ground.

“Okay. So there they are. They’re dead, they’re cold, they’re buried in dirt, but they retain a unique ability, as do so many eyewitnesses that Elie Wiesel promotes, to express themselves with a unique imagination. They organize down there in their airless, dark surroundings, and in order to speak to the world so we will ‘never forget,’ they shudder until the earth itself trembles. And they spurt their blood up through the ground into the air again and again where ‘eyewitnesses’ can view the bloody geysers for months on end (literally) and report it to whatever ninny will believe it and take it around the world until it ends up at Kent State University.

“Elie Wiesel wrote that in Jews of Silence, a straightforward book of journalism. If one Kent State academic were to initiate a discussion of this corrupt Babi-Yar romance, is it not possible that students on campus would find it informative? Perhaps interesting? That they might have a couple new questions to ask Professor Elie Wiesel when he shows up to lecture them?

“Elie would probably prefer that no one mentions Babi Yar. He can count on Kent State academics to remain silent. But I wonder, can he really count on Kent State students?”

—Bradley Smith

This was stuff that KSU students had never seen. Comments by others were beginning to appear, introducing the issue of Israeli depredations against Palestinians. It’s trench work, but word gets around. I submitted a third comment dealing with the Yankiel Wiernik tale about being an eyewitness to pregnant ladies being cremated, their bellies bursting open to reveal their fetuses burning like little torches.

This time my comment was not published. The kids at the paper must have been getting an earful behind the scenes. And then the next step took place. All “comments” to the Elie Wiesel story were “disappeared,” as well as the original article announcing Wiesel’s coming appearance. They were there one day, gone the next. It was like KSU student newspaper was being run by Argentinean fascists. You do something, you say something that is not approved of by the ruling class, there is not a lot of small talk, you’re just disappeared. Real life had caught up with the editors at Kent Wired.

It would be interesting to know how the Board is being “advised” by their professors in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications. The Department, speaking for itself, writes: “Our faculty members are dedicated to preparing students for 21st century careers on paper, on air and online in mass communication professions.”

That being the case, Jett next had an open letter for them.

Additional information about this document
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Author(s): Bradley R. Smith
Title: Kent State Academics to Embrace Elie Wiesel, Jewish Studies program educates students on Holocaust, Prepares for Elie Wiesel visit
Sources: Smith's Report, No. 196, June 2013, pp. 4-6
Published: 2013-05-26
First posted on CODOH: May 25, 2013, 7 p.m.
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