Scrapbookpages Blog

May 10, 2012

Correction on the identification of prisoners in a Buchenwald photo — Updated

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 11:09 am

Update May 12, 2012:

The boy wearing a beret was incorrectly identified by the USHMM as Elie Wiesel

The photo above shows the face of the boy, who has been mistakenly identified by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as Elie Wiesel.  The photo shows the orphan boys who marched out of the Buchenwald concentration camp on April 27, 1945. The boy, who is right in front of the boy whose face is circled, has been incorrectly identified as Elie Wiesel on the website of Ken Waltzer.  According to The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, neither of these boys is Elie Wiesel.

A closer look at the face of the boy wearing a beret, who is NOT Elie Wiesel

The face of the prisoner identified by The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity as 16-year-old Elie Wiesel

I previously blogged about this whole controversy here.

Continue reading my original post:

I have made corrections on several pages of my website after being informed by The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity that Elie Wiesel is not in the photo of orphan boys marching out of the Buchenwald concentration camp.  I had previously identified Elie Wiesel as the tall boy wearing a beret in the photo below.  I had gotten this information from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website.  Apparently the USHMM was mistaken and Elie Wiesel in not in any of the photos of the orphan boys at Buchenwald.

Orphan boys marching out of the Buchenwald concentration camp

Another photo of the orphan boys marching out of Buchenwald

I should have known that the tall boy wearing a beret was not Elie Wiesel, but I trusted the USHMM to give accurate information.  The Communist prisoners, who ruled the camp, wore berets to identify themselves to the other prisoners.  Notice the man on the far right in the photo above wearing a beret to identify himself as a Communist. There is also an adult man, wearing a beret, in the photo below.

Child survivors of Buchenwald wearing clothes made from German military uniforms

One of the youngest survivors of the Buchenwald concentration camp, shown in the center of the photograph above, was four-year-old Josef Schleifstein. The Communist prisoners, who were in charge of the day-to-day administration of the camp, made sure that the children were well cared for. Note the adult man in the back row wearing a beret to identify himself as a Communist. The children in the photo are wearing clothes made for them by the Americans out of German uniforms. As prisoners in the camp, the orphans had worn striped uniforms just like the other prisoners.

Buchenwald orphans leaving on a train to Paris

I received the photo below, along with the caption, from The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity.

Note that the caption on the photo above states that “The picture was taken on April 16, 1945…”  Either the date on the photo is wrong, or Elie Wiesel made a mistake when he wrote in two of his books that he was in the hospital at Buchenwald on April 16, 1945 after the Buchenwald camp had been liberated.

I am eagerly awaiting Ken Waltzer’s new book about the Buchenwald orphans, which will get all this straightened out.  On his website, Waltzer also identified one of the orphan boys, marching out of the camp, as Elie Wiesel.  According to The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, the only photo of Elie Wiesel in Buchenwald is the one taken on April 16, 1945 in barrack #56. The orphans barrack was #66.


  1. I believe you are circling the wrong boy. Waltzer had identified the 4th boy from the front on the left side … but there was understood to be a boy bending down (not seen) between the 2nd and 3rd boy. Thus the fourth boy is the short, round-headed kid in the dark suit in front of the tall boy in the beret. It IS confusing, but on Ken Waltzers website he means the short boy is Elie Wiesel.

    I don’t know of the USHMM ever saying that Elie Wiesel was among those boys. That’s why I found it strange that Waltzer would continue to say so. I think I have it right on this web page:

    Comment by Carolyn Yeager — May 12, 2012 @ 9:46 pm

    • You have misread the convoluted sentence that I wrote: “The boy, who is right in front of the boy whose face is circled, has been incorrectly identified as Elie Wiesel on the website of Ken Waltzer.

      The USHMM changed it’s page after they were notified by the The Elie Wiesel Foundation. When I pointed out to the woman at the Foundation that I got my information from the USHMM, she said that she had notified the USHMM years ago of the error and they had corrected it.

      Comment by furtherglory — May 13, 2012 @ 7:38 am

    • Both top pictures are snapshots from the 2009 documentary Elie Wiesel, Messager de la Memoire.

      The circlings are not furtherglory’s.

      They are the director’s, after Wiesel’s directions.

      He misidentifies himself for the third time; it’s certainly unvoluntary.

      Comment by Eager for Answers — May 14, 2012 @ 10:18 am

  2. Don’t miss the story of four-year-old Josef Schleifstein; he escaped selection because his father concealed him in his tool-bag.

    Afterwards, the evil Germans just took a liking to him.

    Thus he was spared, and so were his parents too.

    Because of the difficulty in finding clothing for the children, the boys were clad in Hitler Youth uniforms. This created a problem, for when the train crossed into France, it was greeted by an angry populace who assumed the train was carrying Nazi youth. Thereafter the words “KZ Buchenwald orphans” were painted on the outside of the train to avoid confusion.

    Yeah, right. Those Frenchs are such haters.

    Frankly, who can still believe their hateful fables?

    Comment by Eager for Answers — May 11, 2012 @ 10:38 am

    • I have the same quote about Josef Schleifstein on my website on this page:

      On my website, I gave the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as the source. Wikipedia also gives the USHMM as the source for their information.

      The point is that Josef’s father SNEAKED him into the camp. A four-year-old child would not have been admitted into the Buchenwald camp. He would have been sent to Bergen-Belsen, along with his mother. As it turned out, little Josef was safer at Buchenwald, where the typhus epidemic was not as bad as in the other camps. He would probably have died in the epidemic at Bergen-Belsen.

      I don’t think it is correct to say that the orphan boys “were clad in Hitler Youth uniforms.” I think the clothes were made from regular German uniforms by cutting up the uniforms and making the pieces smaller, then sewing them back together. I was a child in America during this time, and it was common to scale down adult clothing to fit children. It was hard to get clothing during World War II because all the factories, in Germany and in America, were making military uniforms. Even in America, some people made children’s clothes from military uniforms.

      Comment by furtherglory — May 11, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

      • I should know by now that you’ve thoroughly surveyed every nook and cranny of the Holocaust and no details has escaped your piercing glaze; let’s hope one day your documents will be studied in classrooms instead of Night and Diary.

        I merely wanted to emphasize their irrepressible pulsions to project their hate and concoct dramatic and unbelievable stories out of any otherwise unremarkable event.

        Comment by Eager for Answers — May 11, 2012 @ 9:17 pm

  3. Thank you for a good laugh, furtherglory. So the Elie Wiesel Foundation is actually sending out the famous Buchenwald photo with the round-headed man circled in red! I’m glad to know that they are so bankrupt for evidence. Someone should tell Ken Waltzer, who still has Wiesel ID’d among the “Buchenwald boys” on his website. I guess he thought he could get away with it because the man in the barracks and the ‘Buchenwald boy’ marching both have round heads. LOL.

    Elie Wiesel’s Foundation says this barracks photo is the only image of Elie Wiesel in Buchenwald – which means there are NO images of Wiesel in Buchenwald, or at Auschwitz, or in a ghetto. Only in France, from about July to October 1945, do we have a few photographs of Wiesel – with all that long hair and wearing a beret (the mark of the communists, as you point out … and Zionists?) – looking happy and confident (sometimes a little bored), not like he went through the ordeal he claims. See and for these pictures of young Elie Wiesel in France in 1945.

    Comment by Carolyn Yeager — May 11, 2012 @ 8:29 am

    • I have seen an image of this photo in a newspaper without the Skinny naked guy standing there, can some clarify why the skinny guy image is still being promulgated as authentic, and where can I find a link to the original image? Thanks

      Comment by Histroika — December 10, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

  4. One more thing: this site is the best source of information for info about those photos.

    Comment by budly — May 11, 2012 @ 1:14 am

    • Did you intend to give a URL for a website that is the “best source of information about those photos”?

      Comment by furtherglory — May 11, 2012 @ 7:26 am

      • I mean scrapbookpages is the best site for info on these photos and the furtherglory blog.

        Comment by budly — May 11, 2012 @ 10:40 am

  5. So Waltzer’s website misidentified Wiesel also? LOL.

    Josef Schleifstein was used by Billy Wilder for propaganda. In the raw footage found at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum Steven Spielberg Video Archive, there is footage of Hollywood director Billy Wilder walking into a scene. But the footage just before that is Josef Schleifstein where they’ve put a tear in his eye and they’re trying to photograph the boy in a way that will get a glint off the tear. The boy looks to the side at someone who is likely telling him what emotion to have.

    Comment by budly — May 11, 2012 @ 12:51 am

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