Scrapbookpages Blog

March 9, 2012

The devil is in the details — Carolyn Yeager’s analysis of Elie Wiesel’s book “Night”

Filed under: Buchenwald, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 9:51 am

I have given a new title to Carolyn Yeager’s newest blog post about the changes made in the latest version of Elie Wiesel’s book Night. I first read Night many years ago when I knew next to nothing about the Holocaust. I read it in the public library, all in one sitting. I recall that I was appalled by Elie’s attitude of indifferance when his father died.  It never occurred to me that this book was not a true account of survival in Buchenwald and Auschwitz. It certainly never occurred to me at that time to check the dates in the book against the known facts.

This quote is from the article on the blog Elie Wiesel Cons the World:

When I ended Part One, Eliezer and Father were still in the train car on their way to Buchenwald. You will recall that the Yiddish, the French and thus the original English version of Night specified the trip took 10 days and 10 nights from Gleiwitz (on the former German/Polish border) to Buchenwald. Since we know from standard historical sources (Danuta Czech, in her Auschwitz Chronicle) that the prisoners were evacuated from Monowitz on Jan. 18 and arrived in Gleiwitz the next day, Jan. 19; and since according to the description in Night itself, they spend three days in Gleiwitz (Jan. 20-22), this would make their day of arrival February 1, 1945. But in Night, Father’s death takes place the night of Jan. 28-29, three days before they arrived!  This is why Marion Wiesel removed the number 10 in her new translation, leaving the number of days and nights undetermined.

Ms. Yeager’s objective is to prove that Elie Wiesel lied in his famous best-selling book, which is assigned reading for every child in America. The detail that she uncovered in the above quote proves that Elie lied.

One might argue that the prisoners didn’t have calendars in the camps, so a mistake in dates is not important. However, Ms. Yeager has uncovered another detail in the dates in the original Yiddish version, that is much more important, as quoted below from her article:

A strange detail that actually belongs in Part One is on page 87 of the original Night. Eliezer remarks, after his and his Father’s deliberations and final decision to go on the march: “I learned after the war the fate of those who had stayed behind in the hospital. They were quite simply liberated by the Russians two days after the evacuation.” The evacuation, as we all know, was on the 18th. We also know the Russians did not arrive on the 20th of January! The actual liberation day is January 27. What possessed Wiesel to write this? Well, because it was in Un di velt (the original version):  “Two days after we had left Buna, the Red Army occupied the camp.  All the sick had stayed alive.”

I have always suspected that the Soviet soldiers arrived before January 27th, the official date of the liberation of Auschwitz.  The official story is that the Germans left Auschwitz on January 18th, then came back twice (on January 20th and January 26th) to blow up the gas chambers in order to destroy the evidence.  To me that seems to be very un-German.  I don’t think the Germans neglected to blow up the evidence of the Holocaust, and then came back to the camp twice while Soviet soldiers were in the area.

According to the testimony of Robert Jan van Pelt in the David Irving libel case, the Germans neglected to fill in the holes that were used for pouring in the gas before they left, so they came back to fill in the holes and then blow up the gas chambers.  If you know anything about the character of the German people, you know that the Germans always plan, plan, plan.  They leave nothing to chance.  Certainly, the SS men would not have left the destruction of evidence to the last minute and then run off before it was done, thus making it necessary to come back twice.

Why are the dates of the liberation of the camp important?  The original Yiddish book, on which Night is based, mentions that the Soviets arrived on January 20th, the day that two of the gas chambers were blown up.  I think that this date is correct and that it was the Soviets who blew up the evidence so that they could then claim at the Nuremberg IMT that 4 million people had been killed at Auschwitz-Birkenau.  The Soviets also confiscated the death records and the train records.  With no records and no evidence to the contrary, no one could dispute the Soviet testimony at the Nuremberg IMT that 4 million people had been killed in this one extermination camp alone.

According to the Auschwitz Museum, after the fall of Communism in 1989, the Soviet Union turned over to the International Committee of the Red Cross 46 volumes of Death Books (Sterbebücher) which they had confiscated from the Auschwitz camp. (It was at the request of the famous Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel that the records were released.) These records, which had been kept by the political department (Gestapo) at Auschwitz, show that there were around 69,000 registered prisoners who died between July 29, 1941 and December 31, 1943. The Death books from June 14, 1940 to July 28, 1941 are missing, as are the death books from all of 1944 and January 1945. Based on these records, the International Red Cross has estimated that a total of around 135,000 registered prisoners died in the three Auschwitz camps. These figures are for Jews and non-Jews.  (Don’t repeat any of this in Germany, where it is against the law to quote the Red Cross records or to say that the Soviets arrived on January 20, 1945.)


  1. Furtherglory — just one small item. You wrote: “One might argue that the prisoners didn’t have calendars in the camps, so a mistake in dates is not important.”

    This is a common *argument* made by believers to excuse mistakes in dates made by “holocaust survivor chroniclers.” Yet it’s a false argument. All these books were written well after the writers were out of the camps and thus had every opportunity to reconstruct the timeline and get it right. There is no excuse for wrong dates. It’s either sloppiness or arrogance of mind (take your pick), downright ignorance of the whole picture, or an unwillingness to do any research … thinking that whatever they write *must* be believed on some kind of moral grounds they have become convinced they stand on.

    Comment by Carolyn Yeager — March 10, 2012 @ 6:34 am

  2. THANK YOU, furtherglory! I was not focused on this issue of the Russians blowing up the Cremas, and what day they were blown up, and it wouldn’t have fit into this article …. but I would have added it as a footnote if I had thought of it.

    I said the Russians blew up Cremas 2 and 3 in my booklet, Auschwitz: The Underground Guided Tour and mentioned it in a comment here about a month ago. Black Rabbit of Inle told me I was wrong and showed the same map he has shown here now, but I have always believed the same as you — that the Germans would not do that, but the Russians certainly would! Black Rabbit’s, and others, reasoning for it being the Germans did not convince me.

    Now you have put together what the author of Un di velt hot geshvign (Yiddish precursor of Night) wrote in that book that was published in 1955/56 — that the Russians arrived at Birkenau on Jan. 20 — that I saw as an inexplicable error — with the date of the Crema destruction! Fantastic! This is how new inroads are made and I think we have something to work with here. I wonder if other “mistakes” in Un di velt hot geshgivn, that found their way into NIght, might reveal some other hidden truths? I will be more open to this and I hope you will keep studying this latest long research article.

    Comment by Carolyn Yeager — March 9, 2012 @ 3:36 pm

  3. Futherglory, I believe that your theory; that the Germans didn’t blow-up the Kremas, is based on one photo.

    Here’s why that photo doesn’t prove anything about any of the Kremas:

    Comment by The Black Rabbit of Inlé — March 9, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

    • I did not base my theory on the photo shown in the link that you gave. The photo shows two warehouses in the area called Canada which are still burning after they were allegedly set on fire by the Germans before they left on January 18th. This a still photo from a movie made by Henryk Makarewicz, a soldier in the Polish Berlin Army, shortly after the camp was liberated. So these are two wooden buildings filled with clothing and they are allegedly still burning 9 days after they were set on fire. I think this photo was taken after the Soviet soldiers arrived, but I believe that they arrived much earlier than January 27th. I think the warehouses were set on fire by the Soviet liberators. The chimneys are part of the buildings in Canada. The chimneys are too far apart to be the chimneys of one of the crematoria buildings. Krema IV was the closest building to the warehouses and Krema IV was blown up by the prisoners long before the camp was liberated. Krema V was too far away to be in a photo of the warehouses.

      When I visited Auschwitz in 1998, my guide told me that the warehouses in the Canada section burned for a week after the Germans left. I don’t believe that story. I think the Soviets set the buildings on fire.

      Comment by furtherglory — March 9, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

  4. IRVING: Hold it there. So what you are saying is with the Red Army just over the River Vistula ever since November 1944 and about to invade and, as we found out earlier this morning, the personnel of Auschwitz concentration camp in a blue funk and destroying their records and doing what they can, some SS Rottenführer has been given the rotten job of getting up there with a bucket and spade and cementing in those four holes, in case after we have blown up the building they show?

    VAN PELT: I would like to point out that the gas chamber was removed in November 1944.

    IRVING: The gas chamber was removed?

    VAN PELT: The gas chamber, the installations were removed. The installations in the gas chambers were removed. Also during the month of November and December 1944, because the Germans were still confident that they could hold back the Bolshevik hoard from the East, they were creating gas tight air raid shelters in Auschwitz at that moment. They had started constructing these things just before. So there was still some local, small-term, small site construction activity going on. This was very primitive, but certainly the SS would have been able in November 1944, even December 1944, to repair the roof and to remove the evidence of the holes. The invasion, the offensive, only started on January 12th, as we have established before.

    Day 9, p.188-189

    Comment by The Black Rabbit of Inlé — March 9, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

    • This is all speculation, is it not?

      Comment by Carolyn Yeager — March 9, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

      • Coming from the person who speculates that Wiesel was never in any concentration camps, I find this ironic!

        Comment by Art Gardner — March 9, 2012 @ 5:28 pm

        • First, I do far more than speculate. But why don’t you and holocaust denier *prove* that Wiesel *was* in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. I nor anyone can prove a negative, I can only show there is no proof or even any evidence for it. Elie Wiesel’s story is based on his own claim written in his book Night. It is not backed up with anything else. So I would like to see you actually come up with something to back up your BELIEF that he was there.

          Comment by Carolyn Yeager — March 10, 2012 @ 6:13 am

  5. I’ve recently started looking into the official narative of the holocaust story. Seeing as my ancestors are from Prussia, I understand to an extent how the German people are into paying attention to detail. In the 80s when I was a teen and became interested in WW2 the real knowledge was tougher to get in the middle of the US. Even then I knew in my gut that the story didn’t fit with how i understood the Germans to be. The build the best weapons, the best cars and the best machines on the planet yet….they build sloppy gas chambers to kill millions? Luckily the internet has changed access to a lot of this info. I’m glad that you and Ms. Yeager as well as some of your other followers are doing the work that you are. I wish Americans in general would turn off their televisions and quit listening to the presstitude media that has an agenda driven message. And…..just so you know my research into the 9-11 narative eventually led me to revisit the truth of the holocaust. The majority of recorded history in the West for the 20th century is lies and half truths and the holocaust narative is at the very center of it. Thanks for you hard work……

    Comment by followmetohell — March 9, 2012 @ 10:58 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: