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Thread: Now Official: Simon Wiesenthal Fabricated His Holocaust Stories

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    Exclamation Now Official: Simon Wiesenthal Fabricated His Holocaust Stories

    The "Nazi-hunter"’s trail of lies.

    Simon Wiesenthal, famed for his pursuit of justice, caught fewer war criminals than he claimed and fabricated much of his own Holocaust story

    Since the early 1960s Simon Wiesenthal’s name has become synonymous with Nazi hunting. His standing is that of a secular saint. Nominated four times for the Nobel peace prize, the recipient of a British honorary knighthood, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the French Légion d’honneur and at least 53 other distinctions, he was often credited with some 1,100 Nazi “scalps”. He is remembered, above all, for his efforts to track down Adolf Eichmann, one of the most notorious war criminals.

    His reputation is built on sand, however. He was a liar — and a bad one at that.
    From the end of the second world war to the end of his life in 2005, he would lie repeatedly about his supposed hunt for Eichmann as well as his other Nazi-hunting exploits. He would also concoct outrageous stories about his war years and make false claims about his academic career. There are so many inconsistencies between his three main memoirs and between those memoirs and contemporaneous documents, that it is impossible to establish a reliable narrative from them. Wiesenthal’s scant regard for the truth makes it possible to doubt everything he ever wrote or said.

    [...] He did bring some Nazis to justice; but it was in nothing like the quantity that is claimed and Eichmann was certainly not among them.

    [...] His background was ideal for any aspiring fabulist. Like many from Galicia, Wiesenthal would have spent his childhood immersed in the Polish literary genre of tall stories told over the dinner table. In a place such as Buczacz in the 1920s, truth was a relatively elastic concept. At 19 he enrolled as an architectural student at the Czech Technical University in Prague, where he found his metier as a raconteur and appeared as a stand-up comedian.

    His studies went less well. Although most biographies — including that on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s website — say he graduated, he did not complete his degree. Some biographies say he gained a diploma as an architectural engineer at Lvov polytechnic in Poland, but the Lvov state archives have no record of his having studied there and his name is absent from Poland’s pre-war catalogue of architects and builders. He claimed fraudulently throughout his life that he did have a diploma; his letterheads proudly display it.

    Similarly, there are large discrepancies in his dramatic stories of the second world war. He was in Lvov when it fell to the Nazis in 1941. He claimed he and a Jewish friend called Gross were arrested at 4pm on Sunday July 6, one of the few dates that remain constant in his ever-shifting life story. Whenever he is so specific, however, he is usually lying.

    Frogmarched to prison, they were put in a line of some 40 other Jews in a courtyard. Ukrainian auxiliary police started shooting each man in the neck, working their way down the line towards Wiesenthal. He was saved by a peal of church bells signifying evening mass. Incredibly, the Ukrainians halted their execution to go to worship. The survivors were led to the cells, where Wiesenthal claims he fell asleep. He was woken by a Ukrainian friend in the auxiliary police who saved him and Gross by telling them to pretend they were Russian spies. They were brutally questioned — Wiesenthal lost two teeth — but were freed after cleaning the commandant’s office.

    The story of this sensational escape — one of the most famous of Wiesenthal’s war and one that has helped to establish the notion of his divine mission — is in all likelihood a complete fabrication. Certainly the Ukrainians carried out brutal pogroms in Lvov in early July 1941; but there was then a pause and they did not start again until July 25. According to testimony Wiesenthal gave to American war crimes investigators after the war, he was actually arrested on July 13 and managed to escape “through a bribe”. By subsequently placing his arrest on July 6, his story fitted the timing of the pogroms.

    By the end of the year Wiesenthal was in Janowska, a concentration camp outside Lvov. Given the task of painting Soviet railway engines with Nazi insignia, he made friends with Adolf Kohlrautz, the German senior inspector at the workshop, who was secretly anti-Nazi. On April 20, 1943, Wiesenthal was apparently selected for a mass execution again. The SS at Janowska picked him among some Jews to be shot in a grim celebration of Hitler’s 54th birthday. They silently walked towards a huge sandpit, 6ft deep and 1,500ft long. A few dead bodies were visible in it. Forced to undress, they were herded in single file down a barbed-wire corridor known as the hose to be shot one by one at the edge of the pit.

    A whistle interrupted the gunshots, followed by a shout of “Wiesenthal!” An SS man called Koller ran forward and told Wiesenthal to follow him. “I staggered like a drunk,” Wiesenthal recalled. “Koller slapped my face twice and brought me back to earth. I was walking back through the hose, naked. Behind me, the sounds of shooting resumed but they were over long before I had reached the camp.” Back at the workshop he found a beaming Kohlrautz, who had convinced the camp commander it was essential to keep Wiesenthal alive to paint a poster that would feature a swastika and the words “We Thank Our Führer”.

    On October 2, 1943, according to Wiesenthal, Kohlrautz warned him that the camp and its prisoners were shortly to be liquidated. The German gave him and a friend passes to visit a stationery shop in town, accompanied by a Ukrainian guard. They managed to escape out the back while the Ukrainian waited at the front.

    Yet again he had seemingly cheated death in a miraculous fashion. But we only have his word for it. According to Wiesenthal, Kohlrautz was killed in the battle for Berlin in April 1945. He also told a biographer, however, that Kohlrautz was killed on the Russian front in 1944. And in an affidavit made in August 1954 about his wartime persecutions, he neglects to include the story at all. In both this document and in his testimony to the Americans in May 1945, he mentions Kohlrautz without saying the German saved his life.

    From this point in Wiesenthal’s war it is impossible to establish a reliable train of events. With at least four wildly different accounts of his activities between October 1943 and the middle of 1944 — including his alleged role as a partisan officer — serious questions must be raised. Some, such as Bruno Kreisky, the former Austrian chancellor, repeatedly accused Wiesenthal in the 1970s and the 1980s of collaborating with the Gestapo. Kreisky’s claims were supported by unsubstantiated evidence from the Polish and Soviet governments. Wiesenthal took him to court and won.

    Whatever the truth, by November 1944 Wiesenthal was in Gross-Rosen, a camp near Wroclaw. He told Hella Pick, his biographer, that he was forced to work barefoot in the camp quarry and soon learnt that the team of 100 prisoners assigned to the work kommando shrank by one each day. After a few days he felt sure his turn was about to come. “My executioner was behind me,” he recalled, “poised to smash my head with a rock. I turned around and the man, surprised, dropped his stone. It crushed my toe. I screamed.”

    Wiesenthal’s quick reactions and yell apparently saved his life because there was some form of inspection that day — he thought it may have been by the Red Cross — and so he was stretchered away to the first-aid station. His toe was cut off without anaesthesia while two men held him still. The following day, Wiesenthal said, he was in agony. “The doctor came back and saw that I had a septic blister on the sole of my foot. So they cut it open and the gangrene spurted all over the room.”

    Yet again, one of Wiesenthal’s “miracles” is open to doubt.
    First, the story appears in no other memoir or statement. Secondly, if the Red Cross really was inspecting Gross-Rosen that day, then the SS would have temporarily halted any executions. As it was, the Red Cross was not allowed access to concentration camps at that time. Thirdly, the medical consequences seem entirely implausible.

    Soon afterwards, according to Wiesenthal’s account, he managed to walk 170 miles west to Chemnitz after Gross-Rosen was evacuated. Walking on a gangrenous foot with a recently amputated toe would have been hellish. Instead of a shoe, he had the sleeve of an old coat wrapped around his foot with some wire. For a walking stick he had a broomstick. Of the 6,000 prisoners who marched out, only 4,800 arrived in Chemnitz. With his infected foot, Wiesenthal was lucky to be among them.

    From Chemnitz, the prisoners ended up at Mauthausen camp near Linz in Austria. Wiesenthal arrived there on the frozen night of February 15, 1945. In The Murderers Among Us, he tells how he and a fellow prisoner, Prince Radziwill, linked arms to make the last four miles uphill to the camp. The effort was too great and they collapsed in the snow. An SS man fired a shot that landed between them. As the two men did not get up, they were left for dead in the sub-zero temperature. When lorries arrived to collect those who had died on the march, the unconscious Wiesenthal and Radziwill were so frozen that they were thrown onto a pile of corpses. At the crematorium, however, the prisoners unloading them realised they were alive. They were given a cold shower to thaw out and Wiesenthal was taken to Block VI, the “death block” for the mortally ill.

    In 1961, when Wiesenthal was interviewed for the Yad Vashem archive by the Israeli journalist Haim Maas about his war years, Wiesenthal mentioned that the infection from his foot had now turned blue-green and had spread right up to his knee. He lay in the death block for three months until the end of the war. Too weak to get out of bed, he claimed he survived — incredibly — on 200 calories a day, along with the occasional piece of bread or sausage smuggled to him by a friendly Pole.

    Mauthausen was liberated on May 5, 1945. Despite weighing just 100lb, Wiesenthal struggled outside to greet the American tanks. “I don’t know how I managed to get up and walk,” he recalled. If he was able to walk, his severely infected leg must have been cured during the previous three months by either amputation or antibiotics. We know the former did not take place, and the latter was emphatically not a common treatment for ailing Jews in Nazi concentration camps. Once again, it appears as though a miracle had taken place.

    The rapidity of Wiesenthal’s recovery is so astonishing that it is doubtful whether he was as ill as he claimed
    . Just 20 days after the liberation, he wrote to the US camp commander asking whether he could be involved in assisting the US authorities investigating war crimes. Claiming to have been in 13 concentration camps — he had in fact been in no more than six — Wiesenthal supplied a list of 91 names of those who he felt were responsible for “incalculable sufferings”.

    According to most accounts, Wiesenthal asked if he could join the American war crimes investigators, but they refused, telling him he was not well enough. After he had gained some weight, he returned and was assigned to a captain with whom Wiesenthal claimed to have captured his first “scalp”, a snivelling SS guard called Schmidt. “There were many others in the weeks that followed,” Wiesenthal later wrote. “You didn’t have to go far. You almost stumbled over them.”

    A curriculum vitae Wiesenthal completed after the war does not mention his work for the Americans but lists his occupation as the vice-chairman of the Jewish Central Committee for the US zone, based in Linz. Its task was to draw up lists of survivors that other survivors could consult in their hunt for relatives.

    For at least a year after the war, Wiesenthal’s other task was to lobby hard for his fellow Jews;
    he became president of the Paris-based International Concentration Camp Organisation. He also forged contacts with the Brichah, which smuggled Jews out of Europe to Palestine.

    It was not until February 1947 that he formed the organisation that would make him famous, the Jewish Historical Documentation Centre in Linz. Its aim was to collate information on the final solution with a view to securing the indictments of war criminals. Wiesenthal claimed to have started it because of an anti-Semitic remark made by an American officer, which made him realise that the allies would never hunt down the Nazis to the extent that was required.

    Sadly, he was to be proved right. He and his band of 30 volunteers travelled around the displaced persons’ camps, collecting evidence on the atrocities from former concentration camp inmates. In all, Wiesenthal’s team compiled 3,289 questionnaires, which is a far more impressive feat than anything the allies achieved.

    Wiesenthal died in 2005 at the age of 96 and was buried in Israel. The tributes and eulogies were many and fulsome and at the time it would have been churlish to have detracted from the many positive aspects of the role he played. He was at heart a showman and when he found a role as the world’s head Nazi hunter, he played it well. As with so many popular performances, it was impossible for the critics to tell the public that the Great Wiesenthal Show was little more than an illusion.


    Source: Times Online




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    Wiesenthal

    Greath post Ahnenerbe!

    Abouth Simon Wiesenthal i must only add that he was a tricky person who used scames and fake documents to compromise some of wheal known and prominent germans / austrians and i personaly found him a perfect person for a cover of a nazi pamflet where they show his race as a scaming, money hangry, german blood trusty rats looking person!

    Demien

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    Exclamation Simon Wiesenthal, A Fraud

    I must admit I had a chuckle.

    The figure who emerges in the book is far more complex than one might expect.

    Dr Segev shows that so much of Wiesenthal’s account of his life was the product of exaggeration and self-mythologising. Appearing on Radio 4’s Today programme this week, the author said Wiesenthal was ‘a storyteller, a man who lived between reality and fantasy’.

    "In my view, Simon Wiesenthal was a liar and a fraud. In fact, I’d go so far as to say he was one of the biggest conmen of the 20th century."

    [...] like so many others, the image I had built up of Simon Wiesenthal was hopelessly incorrect. There were too many distortions and inconsistencies, too many outright lies — none of which could be explained away by sympathetic psycho-babble offered by the likes of Dr Segev. The fact is that Wiesenthal lied about nearly everything in his life.

    [...] Despite a lack of academic credentials, he would fraudulently use his supposed engineering diploma on his letter paper for the rest of his life. During the war, Wiesenthal claimed to have spent years in and out of a succession of concentration camps.

    Although he certainly spent time in camps such as Mauthausen, he also said he had been in Auschwitz — a claim for which there is no record.

    Then there is his supposed career as a brave partisan. In two of his memoirs, he claims to have joined a group of partisans after escaping from a camp in October 1943.
    Read more...


    Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worl...hal-fraud.html

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    What a lovely piece of journalism.
    Hopefully one day the greatest lie of all, the holocast, will be exposed for what it is.

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    Exclamation Even Jews now admit that Wiesenthal was a liar and a fraud!

    It is right to expose Wiesenthal?

    By Daniel Finkelstein, August 20, 2009



    Simon Wiesenthal’s reputation is built on sand. He was a liar and a bad one at that. From the end of the war to the end of his life, he would lie repeatedly about his supposed hunt for Eichmann as well as his other "Nazi-hunting" exploits.



    “Wiesenthal would also concoct outrageous stories about his war years and make false claims about his academic career.”

    With these words, the historian Guy Walters begins his examination of the career of the world’s most famous Nazi hunter. It forms one of the main themes of his new book, Hunting Evil, a history of the Nazi war criminals who escaped and the effort to bring them to justice. And it is impossible to read it without feeling deeply uncomfortable.

    There are two reasons for this, and only one of them is to do with Wiesenthal. The first reason for discomfort is simply that Walters lays bare, in what is a fine, very readable but nonetheless important, book about how the victors simply let criminals, thousands upon thousands of terrible murderers, walk away after the war.

    A couple of years ago, at the end of a drama documentary on the Wannsee conference, the sentences handed out to the conspirators were rolled on the screen just before the credits. I remember watching aghast as I read that one after another of these monsters appeared to have gone back to Bavaria or wherever and lived a quiet life as a greengrocer. Walters explains how this happened.

    To start with, the Allies simply had what they regarded as more important things to do. They didn’t want to spend any time or money catching Nazis. Walters prints a tragi-comic correspondence between a set of war crimes investigators and their superiors in which headquarters declined a request for an English-German dictionary, saying that it was out of print and wouldn’t be available for a year.

    The victors were also fighting each other. Nazis were recruited to help fight the Soviets, and thus protected from justice. The Allies were fearful, too, that legal proceedings would expose their own soldiers to liability.

    They failed to comprehend the scale of the Nazi crime until the units were disbanded and it was too late. Into the vacuum stepped privateers. And Wiesenthal was the most famous. He did a wonderful thing. He kept the issue in the public eye, kept the memories alive, kept the pressure on.

    This made him a secular saint.
    Until now, criticising Wiesenthal has been the occupation only of cranks and antisemites. Walters is most definitely neither of those. But has he erred by providing them with ammunition? Should Jews welcome his book, or shun it? Very firmly the former, in my view.

    Walters’s documentary evidence on Wiesenthal’s inconsistencies and lies is impeccable. He shows how the Nazi hunter’s accounts of his wartime experiences are contradictory and implausible. He demonstrates that he had no role, contrary to his own assertion, in the capture of Adolf Eichmann. He pitilessly dissects Wiesenthal’s overblown claims about the numbers he brought to justice, suggesting it was not much more than a handful.

    When you read Hunting Evil, you know its author is telling the truth.
    And, above all — above everything — the truth matters. The truth however painful, the truth however embarrassing, the truth wherever it takes you. Jews can never be hurt by the truth about the Holocaust and must never fear it, never run away from it.

    Ben Barkow, the director of the Wiener Library, the institution that my grandfather established to document the truth, has lent his voice to that of Walters, agreeing that a revaluation of Wiesenthal’s contribution was in order. Barkow argues that a nuanced view is possible. That accepting that Wiesenthal was a showman and a braggart and, yes, even a liar, can live alongside acknowledging the contribution he made.

    Surely he is right. But even if he is not, Walters has done a service to history and therefore to Jews.


    Author: Daniel Finkelstein is associate editor of The Times

    Source: The Jewish Community Online

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