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April 26, 2010

The question that won’t go away — Does Elie Wiesel have a tattoo or not?

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 11:48 am

According to my blog statistics, the subject that most people are interested in is Elie Wiesel’s tattoo or lack thereof. Why is this so important?  Well, if he has a number tattooed on his arm, that might mean that he was  a prisoner at Auschwitz.  Of course, anyone can get a fake Auschwitz tattoo after the fact, so a number tattooed on one’s arm proves nothing.  On the other hand, if Elie Wiesel does not have a tattoo on his arm, that might mean that he was not at Auschwitz.  But what if he was in Auschwitz and had his identification tattoo removed?  So the lack of a tattoo proves nothing.

I’ve never had the opportunity to see Elie Wiesel in person and if I ever did see him, I don’t think I would demand that he show me his tattoo.  Others have said that Elie refuses to show his tattoo to audiences when he gives his talks.  Elie Wiesel is a Holocaust icon.  Who would be so rude as to ask the most famous Holocaust survivor in the world to publicly display his tattoo as proof that he is what he says he is?

A few years ago, I heard Elane Geller, a survivor of the Auschwitz II camp (Birkenau) give a talk at a local college.  Geller is famous for saying that she ate toothpaste and drank her own urine to survive at Birkenau.  This doesn’t make any sense at all. I had to use baking soda to clean my teeth when I was a child during World War II, yet the Nazis provided expensive toothpaste for the Jews at Birkenau?  More likely, the toothpaste was in the Red Cross packages that were handed out at Birkenau.

In her talk, Geller spent almost an hour ranting about “Holocaust deniers,” and barely mentioned her ordeal at Birkenau.  She did say that she does not have an Auschwitz identification tattoo because her father sneaked her into Birkenau.  Yes, you read that right. At the age of four, Elane Geller was sneaked into the Birkenau camp, hidden under a tarp on a truck; her father was not able to find a Polish family to take care of his daughter and he didn’t know what else to do with her, so he decided to sneak her into Birkenau where her aunt was a prisoner.  But I digress.

Elie Wiesel did not sneak into Auschwitz-Birkenau as Elane Geller did.  Elie wrote in his most famous book, Night, that he arrived at Birkenau on a train transport from Hungary in May 1944, although he did not mention the exact date. The train arrived at night, and Elie and his father were assigned to the former Gypsy camp at Birkenau.

According to his own account, in his book Night, Elie was transferred from Birkenau to Block 17 in the main Auschwitz camp, where he was put into quarantine for a period of three weeks. It was only after his time in quarantine that Elie was tattooed with the number “A-7713,” according to his book. However, the records in the archives at Birkenau show that the number A-7713 was given to another man: Lazar Wiesel, born Sept. 4, 1913; Auschwitz tattoo #A-7713, Buchenwald ID #123565.  The archives at Buchenwald do not show an ID number for Elie Wiesel.

Could two people have been given the same ID number at Auschwitz?  Yes, but not in the series of numbers that started with an A.

This YouTube video shows Elie Wiesel on a visit to his home town and then on a tour of Birkenau.  His bare arms are shown, and there is no tattoo visible.


  1. Edward, let’s say that there is a bonfire in a pit in your backyard, and you fell in, you were to weak to get up. Are you saying you would just be sitting there not burning at all? it is so idiotic to think that humans dont burn, try touching a hot stove for a few minutes and i think you’ll get a sense of the picture

    Comment by Galina — May 21, 2012 @ 5:10 am

  2. and all that i just said to John I will now say to Edward Tonkin, the person whose comment is above my first comment.

    Comment by anonymousauthor123 — February 16, 2012 @ 5:36 pm

  3. John- why don’t you try actually reading “Night”? It might clarify a few things. Elie thought that the people who didn’t go with the Nazis- who, mind you, WERE actually mass-murderers- were going to be blown up, along with the rest of the camp. You try making that decision. It would be so much harder than any one of us can possibly imagine. Elie’s story is real. He didn’t know that his decision was going to kill his father. His father died of dysentary and a blow to the head with a truncheon. Elie didn’t foretell the future. He couldn’t have known that the Russians were going to liberate those who stayed behind or he would have stayed. He only found that out years later, and it must have crushed him. Don’t just go spurting random crap around on the internet and acting cool when you actually have no idea about what you’ve read (or, in the case of “Night”, probabaly haven’t read). It’s people like you, who twist words and meanings, that make me and countless others soo mad and frustrated.

    And, for the Holocaust deniers (like John) out there- it’s kind of hard to fake the pain that still lives, freshly, in the victim’s families. It’s also hard to fake all of the concentration or death camps that are out there. It’s hard to fake the bodies, the belongings, and the proof. It’s hard to fake the fact that the Nazi’s recorded EVERYTHING about the Holocaust because they were proud- PROUD- of what they were doing. And now, everybody has access to that information. Did you know that it’s illegal to deny the Holocaust in Germany now? That’s because- take a wild guess- it reaally happened.

    Stop hating on Elie Wiesel and the Holocaust and get educated. You just offended billions of people. Hope you’re proud.

    Comment by anonymousauthor123 — February 16, 2012 @ 5:34 pm

  4. A human body cant be cremated in a open fire it would have to be burn in a high temperture oven . This story about Elie realy sickens me I belive he is a liar & a crook & should be exposed for what he is. Hes done great harm to the real victims both jew & gentile .

    Comment by Edward Tonkin — December 22, 2011 @ 1:37 pm

  5. The Holocaust survivors who are still alive today are the ones who marched out of the camp with the Germans. Those who stayed behind had to take care of themselves; they had to walk back home and when they got there, all the Jews were gone. Those who went with the Germans wound up in concentration camps in Germany where the Americans and the British took care of them in Displaced Persons camps after World War II ended. So Elie and his father made the right decision.

    Comment by furtherglory — April 30, 2010 @ 7:01 am


    Elie Wiesel states in his book “Night,” that when the Germans evacuated Auschwitz, he was given the option of staying at the Auschwitz hospital, with his father registered as a patient, to await the arrival of the Soviets, or to join the evacuation with the “mass-murdering” Nazis to Germany.

    Guess what? Elie Wiesel chose to go to Germany with the “mass-murdering” Nazis.

    Amazing,… eh? Elie Wiesel chose to accompany the “mass-murdering” Nazis on a long journey in the middle of a freezing winter, taking his father with him, rather than wait (with about 7,650 other sick or disabled Jews) for the Soviets to arrive.

    Wiesel’s father died because of his choice. The actual quote is:

    “The choice was in our hands. For once we could decide our fate for ourselves. We could both stay in the hospital, where I could, thanks to my doctor, get him (his father) entered as a patient or nurse. Or else we could follow the others. ‘Well, what shall we do, father?’ He was silent. ‘Let’s be evacuated with the others,’ I told him.”

    Isn’t it hilarious,… that the Jew Elie Wiesel (whose books repeatedly describe horrendous Nazi “mass-killings” of Jews at Auschwitz) should choose to go with the very same Nazis that had been “mass-killing” his fellow Jews, rather than wait for the Soviets.

    It is fair to ask why the Nazis didn’t bother to kill off the 7,650 witnesses to “genocide” they left behind when they evacuated Auschwitz.

    7,650 witnesses to “genocide” just let go by the “mass-murdering” Nazis.

    It is also fair to ask why the Nazis didn’t bother to kill off the 60,000 witnesses to “genocide” that they transfered to camps in Germany.

    Another 60,000 witnesses to “genocide” left alive by the “mass-murdering” Nazis.

    It is also fair to ask why the Nazis needed the hospitals at Auschwitz and Monowitz, since they could just kill the Jews who got sick and were unable to work. Of course, killing all Jews who were sick and unable to work, is part of the Jew Auschwitz myth.

    Imagine that, the “mass-murdering” Nazis tried to heal sick Jews. Surely they should have just killed them.

    It is also fair to ask why Elie Wiesel never mentioned any gas-chambers in his memoir, “Night.” In his version of the fiction, the Jews were burnt alive in huge pits.

    Then there is the little problem that human bodies don’t burn.

    And even then, there is the little problem regarding fires in pits. they tend to go out due to a lack of oxygen.

    And even then, there is the little problem regarding the level of the water-table at Auschwitz. Any pit more than 45 centimeters deep, would fill with water,…

    but why let a few facts get in the way of a good story.

    Comment by John — April 30, 2010 @ 6:15 am

    • John, you are an idiot! You write as if you are one of the unintelligent people who deny the Holocaust ever happened.

      1st Elie left with the evacuation because they were afraid they would be put to death if they stayed. He didn’t learn they were liberated until after the war. He thought he had to choose: go and try to live or stay and be put to death.

      2nd “human bodies don’t burn”? Really, well better tell the people who have been cremated. I guess they can’t do this anymore!

      Comment by Kimberly — February 28, 2011 @ 8:30 am

    • Okay, John. First of all, Elie wasn’t accompanying the mass murdering Nazis. He thought the hospital at Auschwitz was going to be bombed as soon as the Death March started so in order to stay with his father, decided to leave with the rest of the inmates to avoid what he thought would be dying immediately. Might as well take the chance of survival, how was he to know the hospital would soon be liberated? Do you think the Nazis gave them that kind of information?
      As to him never mentioning gas chambers, so what? Maybe the memory is too disturbing to bring back. Maybe he didn’t experience people being sent to the gas chambers. Maybe while he was at Auschwitz more people were being burned. Simply because one author chose not to mention the gas chambers doesn’t mean he is a fraud.
      And last, people can in fact be burned. If you were thrown in a huge fire pit, please tell me, how would you survive? The fire would indeed kill the prisoners, and since humans are not fire proof, their remains would also be burned.
      Stop being an idiot and do some research before you accuse somebody of something like that.

      Comment by Marty — February 7, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

  7. “But what if he was in Auschwitz and had his identification tattoo removed? So the lack of a tattoo proves nothing.”

    Under oath in 2008 giving witness testimony, Prof Wiesel said he has (present tense) a tattoo on his left arm.

    so the lack of a tattoo would prove at least that he was a perjurer

    Comment by little grey rabbit — April 26, 2010 @ 6:30 pm

  8. > But what if he was in Auschwitz and had his identification tattoo removed? So the lack of a tattoo proves nothing.

    Well, aside from defending the veracity of his memoir, Night, before a court of law, he was also kind enough to mention that he still sports the tattoo at a time later than the video’s.

    Of course, with his being a congenital liar, this doesn’t prove much of anything either. The question already went away — why you choose to portray this as yet controversial is beyond me.

    Comment by Nick — April 26, 2010 @ 4:48 pm

  9. You have a serious error in your account. You should make a notice of your correction after correcting it.

    The real owner of Auschwitz tattoo number A-7713 was not born in the same year as Elie Wiesel, but in the year 1913, 15 years earlier than Elie. His name is Lazar Wiesel. You seem to have a lot of resistance to this information, since you don’t usually make the same mistake over again, as you’ve done here.

    Lazar Wiesel: born Sept. 4, 1913; Auschwitz tattoo #A-7713, Buchenwald ID #123565

    Elie Wiesel: born Sept. 30, 1928;
    Auschwitz tattoo #? (not registered there)
    Buchenwald ID #: does not have one

    Comment by Sceptic — April 26, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

    • Thanks for catching my error. I will make a correction.

      Comment by furtherglory — April 26, 2010 @ 1:58 pm

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