Should Elie Wiesel, the world’s most famous Holocaust survivor, come clean about his life story? There is a whole website devoted to proving that Elie Wiesel was never a prisoner at Auschwitz or Buchenwald. The latest article on this website is entitled “When did Elie Wiesel arrive at Auschwitz? Could he have received the number A-7713?” You can read the article in full here.
As far as I know, Elie Wiesel has never acknowledged that Carolyn Yeager has done extensive research and has proved that he lied under oath when he claimed that he has the number A-7713 tattooed on his arm. I think that Elie should come clean and admit that he is a fraud. I believe that all the little kids who have read his book Night would come to his defense and forgive him.
Elie Wiesel appears to be in good health, but he is at the age where he could leave this earth any day now. He should ensure that his legacy is protected before that happens. Who knows what will happen if he dies before coming clean and asking for forgiveness.
I blame Oprah for this debacle. In 2005, Oprah selected the “memoir” of James Frey, entitled A Million Little Pieces as her book club selection. Some people questioned the truth of the book, and Oprah came to the defense of James Frey. Two weeks after defending Frey on the Larry King show, Oprah brought Frey back onto her show and confronted him in front of a live audience. Meanwhile Frey’s “memoir” had sold 2 million copies in the three-month window between Oprah’s announcement of its selection and her confrontation of Frey before a live audience. Oprah’s next book club selection was Elie Wiesel’s Night. At that time, the book Night was classified as fiction on Elie Wiesel’s own website. But when Oprah selected it for her Book Club, the book became a non-fictional account of Elie Wiesel’s true story of surviving Auschwitz and Buchenwald.
Another Holocaust survivor, Herman Rosenblat, went on Oprah’s show and told the story of how he met his wife when she threw apples over the fence to him (at the age of 9) while he was in a sub-camp of Buchenwald. After the publicity that he received from the Oprah show, Rosenblat landed a book contract. Rosenblat was on the Oprah show twice. The second time that he was on, I watched the show, and the minute that it was over, I e-mailed Oprah that this story could not possibly be true. I don’t think anyone paid any attention to my e-mail, but other people also told Oprah that the Rosenblat story was fiction and his book was never published, as far as I know.
All is not lost. Oprah no longer has a talk show, but she could go on some other talk show (I like the Dr. Drew show) and apologize to Elie Wiesel for enticing him to change the status of his book to non-fiction. Night is a great piece of literature and Elie Wiesel is a Holocaust icon. None of that would change if Elie Wiesel would just come clean and tell the truth. He would be admired even more for telling the truth. Keep in mind that nothing bad happened to Herman Rosenblat.