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April 14, 2012

Elie Wiesel was saved from the gas chamber at Buchenwald by soldiers in the 1st Infantry Division who liberated the camp

Filed under: Buchenwald, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 8:35 am

I am indebted to a reader of my blog, who wrote a comment and provided a link to an article, written by Desiree Chen, in which she states that Abner S. Ganet was one of the soldiers with the 1st Infantry Division, which liberated Buchenwald on April 11, 1945.

Dead bodies found by American soldiers at Buchenwald

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum gives the credit for liberating Buchenwald to the 6th Armored Division, but what do they know?

This quote is from the article written by Desiree Chen:

But the man [Abner S. Ganet] known for his outspokenness had always been silent about one thing: his tour as an American soldier in World War II, and the day in 1945 when his 1st Infantry Division liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp. Mr. Ganet’s military service would earn him a Purple Heart and two Bronze Stars for bravery.

It wasn’t until 50 years later, in 1995, when Mr. Ganet realized he could no longer remain silent. That year, he met Nobel Peace Prize recipient, acclaimed author and death-camp survivor Elie Wiesel, who had come to Elmhurst College to speak during the College’s annual Holocaust Education Project.

“Wiesel asked if I had been in the war,” Mr. Ganet recalled in a 2004 interview for the College’s magazine, Prospect. “I said, Yes, Buchenwald.’ He said, ‘You liberated me.’”

Wiesel had been slated for the gas chamber on the day Ganet’s unit arrived and the camp’s guards fled.

The USHMM  claims that the 1st Infantry Division liberated Falkenau an der Eger, a sub-camp of Flossenbürg.  In 1995, Ganet was 70 years old.  Did his memory fail him, or is the USHMM wrong about which division liberated Buchenwald?

Elie Wiesel was first sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau in May 1944, but the Nazis were not gassing people on the night that he arrived. (On that night, they were burning prisoners alive in two separate ditches — the babies in one and the adults in another.) Elie was marched out of Birkenau in January 1945 and put on a train to Buchenwald.

In an interview with Time magazine on March 18, 1945, Elie Wiesel said this:

In Buchenwald they sent 10,000 to their deaths every day. I was always in the last hundred near the gate. They stopped. Why?”

What? You don’t believe that there was a gas chamber at Buchenwald?

Sign on the Buchenwald gate “To Each his Own” in English

On the web site of the Eisenhower Memorial Commission, there is a reference to a gas chamber at Buchenwald, where prisoners in the Ohrdruf “holding facility” were sent to be gassed:

“On April 4, 1945, elements of the United States Army’s 89th Infantry Division and the 4th Armored Division captured the Ohrdruf concentration camp outside the town of Gotha in south central Germany. Although the Americans didn’t know it at the time, Ohrdruf was one of several sub-camps serving the Buchenwald extermination camp, which was close to the city of Weimar several miles north of Gotha. Ohrdruf was a holding facility for over 11,000 prisoners on their way to the gas chambers and crematoria at Buchenwald. “

In fact, Buchenwald was the place where the Nazis first tested Zyklon-B on humans, according to this website:

In January or February, 1940, 250 Gypsy children from Brno in the Buchenwald concentration camp were used as guinea pigs for testing the Zyklon B gas.

At the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal in 1946, the French prosecutor submitted an official report which stated:

Everything had been provided for down to the smallest detail. In 1944, at Buchenwald, they had even lengthened a railway line so that the deportees might be led directly to the gas chamber. Certain [of the gas chambers] had a floor that tipped and immediately directed the bodies into the room with the crematory oven.

Sir Hartley Shawcross, the chief British prosecutor at the Nuremberg trial, stated in his closing speech that murder had been conducted “like some mass production industry in the gas chambers and the ovens” in Buchenwald and other Nazi concentration camps.

Jean-Paul Renard, a French priest who was an inmate at Buchenwald, wrote a book about his camp experiences in which he stated:

I saw thousands and thousands of persons going into the showers. Instead of liquid, asphyxiating gases poured out over them.

In a book published in 1947, Georges Henocque, another French priest and the former chaplain of the Saint-Cyr Military Academy, wrote a detailed description of the inside of the gas chamber in Buchenwald, which he claimed that he had visited.

Would a priest lie?  Two priests wrote that there was a gas chamber at Buchenwald, so it must be true.  Thank God the 1st Infantry Division arrived just in time to save Elie Wiesel from an ignominious death in the gas chamber.

You can read an analysis, by Robert E. Reis, of Elie Wiesel’s book Night on another website here.

Elie Wiesel says that he was a prisoner in the “Small Camp” at Buchenwald.  This was the quarantine section for prisoners who had newly arrived.  They had to stay in this section until it was known that they had no diseases that might spread throughout the camp.  The Jews who were brought to Buchenwald, after the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp was abandoned, were kept in this camp for months. Elie says that he was eventually taken to the orphan barracks in the Buchenwald camp after his father died.

The “Small Camp” was separated from the main part of the camp by a barbed wire fence and a gate that was made of wood and barbed wire.  A photo of the gate is shown below.

Barbed wire fence and gate that divided the “Small Camp” from the main part of the Buchenwald camp, which is shown in the background


  1. I have multiple accounts that the 1st Infantry Division liberated Falkenau with no mention of them liberating Buchenwald.

    Comment by Jordan Bonardi — March 6, 2016 @ 9:31 pm

  2. Yes, the date is wrong. It was 1985. Good catch. It shows how dates sometimes don’t really register as we’re reading.

    Comment by Carolyn Yeager — April 15, 2012 @ 6:42 am

  3. I doubt Elie Wiesel said anything to anyone in 1945
    This has the year as 1985, which is at least possible – although I haven’t checked myself

    Comment by littlegreyrabbit — April 15, 2012 @ 5:41 am

    • Elie Wiesel made a mistake in writing his first book too soon. He should have waited 50 years, like all the other Holocaust survivors, before writing a book and going on speaking tours. If he had waited 50 years, he would have known about the gas chambers and he could have included them in his book “Night.”

      Comment by furtherglory — April 15, 2012 @ 9:02 am

  4. Maybe the gas chambers were near the rhinoceros enclosure.

    Comment by The Black Rabbit of Inlé — April 14, 2012 @ 8:26 pm

  5. In an interview with Time magazine on March 18, 1945, Elie Wiesel said this:

    “In Buchenwald they sent 10,000 to their deaths every day. I was always in the last hundred near the gate. They stopped. Why?”

    Wiesel never spoke about gas chambers in Buchenwald, although many idiotic “survivors” and “liberators” do. He referred to the crematoria, just as he did at Auschwitz, but never gas chambers. When he said he was “marched to the gate” he implied the prisoners were going to be taken outside the camp to be killed … well, possibly to be taken to a camp where there *were* gas chambers. But the idea was that they were going to be killed. How was left up to your imagination.

    Comment by Carolyn Yeager — April 14, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

    • If Elie Wiesel was, in fact, a prisoner at Buchenwald, he would have been in the “Small Camp” in the rear of the camp. The main part of the Buchenwald camp was between the Small Camp and the “Jedem das Seine” gate. There was a gate in the Small Camp that opened into the main part of the camp. The prisoners in the Small Camp would have been marched to this interior gate first. If there had been a gas chamber at Buchenwald, it would have most likely been in the main part of the camp. But maybe not. The alleged gas chamber at Dachau was outside the camp and when the camp was in operation, there was no gate into it as there is now. At Dachau, the prisoners would have been taken through the “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate and then taken the length of the camp to the gas chamber.

      In other words, there was a very inefficient set-up for the alleged gas chambers at Buchenwald and Dachau. Himmler was a very fussy, orderly type of person. He would not have allowed such inefficiency.

      Comment by furtherglory — April 15, 2012 @ 8:56 am

      • What did this gate between the small camp and main camp look like? Was it an imposing gate or just a little wooden gate, part of a fence? Do you have a photograph of it? In Wiesel’s writings and interviews, he never distinguishes this gate from the front gate. You tend to explain things for him, rather than going simply by his own words. His own words reveal that he wasn’t at Buchenwald. But somehow he knew the Russians arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau on Jan. 20, 1945… in time to blow up the Kremas. Maybe he was still there? LOL.

        Comment by Carolyn Yeager — April 16, 2012 @ 9:24 am

        • I have updated my blog post and added a photo of the gate in the quarantine section that opened into the main part of the camp. As prisoners were released from quarantine, they were taken to the main camp or to a sub-camp, or even released, as were the American pilots who were rescued by the Luftwaffe. Everyone who was sent to any concentration camp had to spend some time in quarantine before they could be released into the general population in the camp. Elie Wiesel claimed that he was sent to the former Gypsy camp at Birkenau when he arrived, and was then transferred to Block 17 in the main Auschwitz camp for quarantine. After spending time in quarantine in the main Auschwitz camp, Wiesel claims that he was sent to the Monowitz camp to work.

          Comment by furtherglory — April 16, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

  6. What is wrong with the Robert E. Reis article, on the David Irving website, is that it is not dated. Why? Not to date your writings is an absolute no-no for scholarship, as Irving knows. My feeling is that a date is not given when an author wants to hide that he took his material from other writers who have worked long and hard on the research which he so blithely uses without crediting them. I could be wrong. If anyone can discover a date for Mr. Reis’ article, I would like to be informed of it

    I googled Robert Reis and found another article by him at Majority Rights, also not dated, titled: “The Fundamental Flaws of the Holocaust Cult.” But he is shown to be an administrator at Majority Rights who regularly posts there. Another search result brought up a recent post by him at MR that was dated Jan. 26, 2012. It’s title: “Ireland Worshipping at the Holocaust Shrine.” So at least he writes exposing the Holocaust fraud and seems to do a good job of it. But when writing is passed around, the date it was originally penned should not be discarded.

    Leaving writings undated is increasing on the Internet, where copying the work of others without giving them the credit they deserve is becoming commonplace. Many high-profile personalities do it. I think people and websites should be called on it. I notice that you are very careful, furtherglory, to date everthing you write, including updates, and also to give credit to and/or link to everything you use. You are an upstanding example of doing it right!! :-))

    Comment by Carolyn Yeager — April 14, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

    • Alright! I found Robert Reis’ page at Majority Rights here: Lots of good stuff there.

      His paper “Night and the Holocaust” was posted by him on Wednesday, August 20, 2008, 4 years ago. I had never run across it before.

      Comment by Carolyn Yeager — April 14, 2012 @ 7:35 pm

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