Is Elie Wiesel just another Mossad asset? The question is not as surprising as it may sound.
The question of how involved Elie Wiesel was with the early terrorist groups that eventually became The Mossad, Israel’s feared intelligence arm, is one that must finally be asked and answered in a straightforward manner. Certainly, Wiesel is no stranger to politics from his young years. Zionism, along with Marxism and Communism, had strong currency among Eastern European Jews during the 20’s and 30’s; it grew only stronger in the atmosphere of the concentration camps and ghettos created by the Hitler regime and its allies during WWII.
By the time the camps were “liberated” and their inmates, along with others who desired to move about and get a new lease on life, streamed into the Allied Displaced Persons [DP] camps in Germany in 1945, the Zionist cause had reached fever-pitch. These camps, in which all Jewish people were treated with most-deserving status—no matter how they behaved or what their actual past had been—were hotbeds of recruitment for Jewish “resistance” groups such as Haganah, Irgun and Lehi, as well as for illegal transportation and entry into Palestine.
Background of Jewish Terrorist Organizations
The first Jewish paramilitary organization, Haganah [“The Defense”], was formed in 1920. It guarded the Jewish settlements that were forming in Palestine from the Arabs, who were beginning to resent the intruders. In 1931, the more militant elements of the Haganah splintered off and formed the Irgun [also calledEtzel and “Defense B”], led from 1943-48 by Menachem Begin.
After 1945, the Haganah was a full-fledged terrorist organization, carrying out bombings, sabotage and illegal immigration of Jews into Palestine. Famous members included Rabin, Sharon, Dayan, Zeevi and Dr. Ruth Westheimer. After Israel became a state in 1948, the Haganah became the Israeli Defense Force.
The Irgun policy was based on ultra-radical Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s “Revisionist Zionism,” which declared thatevery Jew had the right to enter Palestine, and that active retaliation and Jewish armed force were necessary methods to ensure the Jewish state. It was the Irgun that bombed the King David Hotel—killing 91 people and injuring 46—and carried out the infamous Deir Yassin massacre, along with the Lehi [the Stern Gang]. The Irgun is the predecessor to today’s Likud Party.
(L)Avraham Tehomi, the first Commander of the Irgun; (C) Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Irgun ideologist; (R) Avraham (Yair) Stern, founder of The Stern Gang
A commander in the Irgun, Avraham Stern, defected from the Irgun and founded the Lehi group, also known as the Stern Gang, They were even more fanatical than Irgun, and declared total war against imperialism and the British Empire, even while the British were at war with the Germans.
After May 14, 1948 [Israel’s independence], Irgun representatives in France purchased a ship and weapons, and brought it to the Israeli coast in violation of a ceasefire agreement with the neighboring Arab states and the United Nations. It was with the Irgun in Paris, France that Elie Wiesel found his first job.
Wiesel in France
Wiesel writes in All Rivers Run to the Sea 1, his memoir, that he and his young fellow “survivors” wanted to go to Palestine right from Buchenwald, but their American liberators couldn’t allow them to do that. They settled for free transportation and lodgings in France, sponsored by a Jewish welfare agency, the OSE, and the government of Charles De Gaulle.
Now, if it turns out to be true that Wiesel was not at Buchenwald, as I believe, then he was not on that particular passenger train trip to France that he describes on page 109 of his memoir All Rivers. There, he gives a strange explanation for why he never received French nationality:
The train stopped at the border, and they had us get off. A police official made a speech, of which I understood not a word. When I saw people raising their hands, I assumed they were volunteering for some task. […] I later found out that the policeman had asked for a show of hands of all those who wished to become French citizens. Since I did not respond, they probably wrote in my file: “Refused French nationality.” The consequence of my blunder was endless harassment and administrative hassles …
This is questionable for several reasons. First, he says prior to the above paragraph that he shared a train compartment with a boy from Sighet who knew a few words in French. But why would any of the boys be expected to know French? They wouldn’t. Second, there were two Jewish American Army Chaplains accompanying them who were supposedly looking out for their welfare. Third, Wiesel says, “They probablywrote in my file.” Didn’t he ask about it? Certainly he would have gotten another chance once he explained his mistake to the welfare authorities, since the point of the whole operation is that the boys from Buchenwald, if they were orphans, were offered to become French Nationals.
This simplistic and nonsensical explanation for why he spent years as a “stateless person” is just not convincing. It does not fit the world as we know it. This will be repeated in following explanations he gives for his experiences.
Wiesel writes that they were greeted by the OSE, the children’s rescue society, with all good things: a splendid chateau, lavish meals, smiles and promises. His smaller “group of young believers” requested kosher food and received it. They were also provided with their requested bibles, prayer books and Talmudic tractates, and a study/prayer room.2 Wiesel appears not to be interested in assimilating as a Frenchman, even though he finds his eldest sister to be living nearby. Among this group of youths were Zionists and Bundists. Elie was the former, while the Bundists preferred to “rebuild a Jewish cultural life in the Diaspora.”
Wiesel says he “rededicated” himself to his sacred studies, and in between played chess. One day:
…a couple of strangers wanted to take pictures as we played. One of them asked some questions in bad German; I answered in good Yiddish. Someone said they were journalists, but I had never met a journalist before; they were of no interest to me, and I didn’t see why I should interest them.3
This became the published photograph that is said to have alerted his sister Hilda, who had married an Algerian Jew and was living in Paris, to his whereabouts. In a few days, she had contacted the OSE and the brother-sister reuniting was arranged. But why have we never seen this picture? Why has it disappeared and why does no one of the holocaust historians or Wiesel biographers care enough to search for it? We can reasonably expect that sister Hilda would have kept that magazine picture as a treasured memento, but once again we are confronted with the unexplainable.
It was many months later that he reunited with his second sister, Bea, who was in a DP camp in Germany, waiting on a visa to the U.S. or Canada. According to All Rivers, Bea had traveled to Sighet, where Elie had refused to return. There, someone she met told her that her brother was alive. No further details on this—how and why she went to Sighet, and why the folks there would know. At this point in the memoir, Wiesel writes some very sentimental passages that take our attention away from his sisters’ discovery of his whereabouts, and never gets back to it.4
Early connections with Jewish Resistance
The next item of interest to our topic comes on page 120 of All Rivers. In 1947 the OSE arranges for a young Jewish teacher, Francois Wahl, to give Wiesel private French lessons, since he has decided to remain in France for the time being, rather than to emigrate to Palestine [illegally] or to the Americas or Australia. Wiesel writes that, while only two years his senior, Wahl seemed much older, and that “the bond between them was deep and true.” He then informs us that “in 1947, as the underground war raged in Palestine, Francois performed important secret tasks for a Jewish resistance group.”
During this time, Wiesel’s stated pursuits had solely to do with Jewish religion and politics. Actually, that has never changed, in spite of the effort to make it appear that he was, for a time, a real student at the Sorbonne [see here]. He associated only with other Jews, all of whom were naturally interested in the events in Palestine, by staying within the Jewish welfare system even though he was transferred twice—first to Taverny, then to Versailles. At the latter, he was not only with his Buchenwald group but with other Jewish orphans who had given themselves false identities and/or had lived with Christian families during the war.5
When Wiesel’s best friend Kalman left for Palestine [illegally], Wiesel stayed behind and kept up his love affair with Jerusalem from afar. There can be no doubt that he was familiar and highly sympathetic with the Zionist ideas of forcing their way into Palestine, and had no qualms about their methods.
On page 150 he confides: “I had wanted to write ever since childhood. In Sighet I often went to the offices of the Jewish community to write a page of Bible commentary on the only available Hebrew typewriter.” [See my questions about Wiesel’s typing ability here.] On the same page, Wiesel questions the value of writing, and more particularly, of words themselves.
… I told myself I should write. But I had to be patient. Someday, in years to come, I would celebrate memory, but not yet. Even then I was aware of the deficiencies and inadequacies of language. Words frightened me. What exactly did it mean to speak? Was it a divine or diabolical act? The spoken word and the written word do not reflect the same experience. The mysticism with which my adolescence was imbued made me suspicious of writing.
And on and on. This is a person caught in such a narrow perspective of life based on readings of Judaic mysticism that he has difficulty seeing anything just for what it is. Also, someone who forever contradicts himself. He wants to write but is frightened of words; he loves and hates at the same time.
At the “end of summer” the counselor finally persuades Elie to leave the comfort of Versailles and take a room of his own near the counselor’s home—he was nineteen and one of the last of his group to leave. From here, he continued seeing his mentor Shushani, his French teacher Francois, and followed Jewish current events closely. He says he bought the newspapers regardless of the expense.
Finally, the momentous event of the U.N. resolution of Nov. 29, 1947, partitioning Palestine to create a homeland for the Jews, excited Wiesel into action. He found the Paris office of the Irgun newspaper, Zion in Kamf, and offered his services. He was accepted. This is what he writes.6 Whether this is the way it really happened we can’t be sure, knowing, as we do, how Elie Wiesel throughout his life has played fast and loose with the facts.
Next: Part Two – Elie Wiesel’s travels, and how they were paid for, go from being suspicious to hilarious.
- Elie Wiesel, All Rivers Run to the Sea, Alfred A. Knopf, 1995, 432 pgs.
- Ibid, p 110
- Ibid, p 113
- Ibid, p 115
- Ibid, p 130
- Ibid, p.157
by Carolyn Yeager
The activities of the Irgun dominate Wiesel’s life and attention in 1948.
This propaganda poster, with the Hebrew words “This Way Only” on the artwork, was for distribution in central Europe. It was designed in 1937 by the wife of a Polish reserve officer who was working with Irgun representatives. [See story below: Irgun in Central/Eastern Europe] The entire area was called Eretz Israel and was claimed for a future Jewish state.
Dear Readers, As it has turned out, there is much to relate about this one year of 1948 before we get to Elie’s travels. Therefore, I ask for your patience once again. When we left off in Part I, he had just gone to work for the Irgun newspaper, Zion in Kamf. It was November 1947. Here is how he describes his vision of the underground “resistance” at this time.
Physical courage, self-sacrifice, and solidarity could be found even in the lower depths; total compassion, rejection of humiliation either suffered or imposed, and altruism in the absolute sense were found only among those who fought for an idea and an ideal that went beyond themselves. Nobility of action was found only among those who espoused the cause of the weak and oppressed, the prisoners of evil and misfortune. 5
Strangely, this sounds like the “ideas and ideals” of the National Socialists in Germany in the 1920’s who sought the way to lift themselves out of the humiliation and extreme economic hardship imposed on them by the Versailles dictate. But to young Wiesel, the only suffering worth seeing or talking about was that of the Jews. He had not a thought or concern about the native people in Palestine and what was happening to them, just as the Jews of the previous inter-war generation had no concern for the Germans they were exploiting. These others, for him, could not be seen as the “weak and oppressed,” but only as the new enemy that must be overcome by whatever methods were necessary. To Wiesel, even in his youth, only the Jewish militant fighters were “noble” when they carried out their tough and “necessary” actions.
Wiesel admits that by going to work for the Irgun in Paris he was: “risking neither death nor imprisonment. Even deportation from France was unlikely. Stateless persons were rarely deported, that was one of the few advantages of the status.” (Rivers, p162)
This again brings up the question of why Wiesel didn’t seek to become a French national. His sister Hilda had done so. Could it be that his underworld advisors were keeping open where he would be most useful? And as he himself said, being stateless had its advantages – useful for someone working on the fringes of illegality. Here’s how he describes his introduction to the Irgun.
The following Monday I presented myself at the editorial office. Joseph, the boss, showed me to a desk, handed me an article in Hebrew, and asked me to translate it. The article, published in the Irgun’s newspaper in Israel, was a denunciation of David Ben-Gurion and the Haganah and a paean to Menachem Begin, commander in chief of the Irgun. I translated the Hebrew words into Yiddish without grasping their meaning. I knew that the Haganah was fighting the British as hard as the Irgun was, and I couldn’t understand why the two movements hated each other so much. The article also mentioned the Lehi (the so-called Stern Gang), but what was its role? [p163]
I don’t think, after having two “best friends” working for the “resistance” [Francois and Kalman] and reading everything in the newspapers about the events in Palestine during the past year or two, that Wiesel is being entirely honest when expressing such naivete about the disputing militant factions. Continuing:
The article talked about a certain “season” during which atrocious acts were allegedly committed by the Jewish political establishment. I didn’t dare ask Joseph about this.
“I didn’t dare” brings to mind another passage he wrote on pages 229-30 describing a visit to his sister Bea in Canada. “I desperately wanted to ask her a question that had haunted me for years. What was it like before the selection, those final moments, that last walk with Mother and Tsipouka? It was the same with Hilda. I didn’t dare.”
May I suggest “I didn’t dare” is cover for the real reason—he doesn’t want an answer so that he will notknow. And they – Bea, Hilda and Joseph – will be released from telling him something he will have to forget, or lie about. By not daring to know, he can remain blissfully naive about things that “happened, but weren’t real.” Or, were real but never happened?
Oddly, Wiesel’s mystic-mentor Shushani was also caught up in the Jewish assaults in Palestine:
Though he abhorred violence, he was hardly indifferent to the Jewish struggle in Palestine. Whenever the British arrested a member of an underground organization, Shushani tried to get information about his fate. One day he seemed extremely agitated. He interrupted our lesson, pacing, bumping into walls, blowing his nose, panting and wiping his forehead … It was the day a member of the Lehi and a member of the Irgun committed suicide together just a few hours before their scheduled execution. [p164]
I have had the suspicion that Shushani—the expert on the mysteries of life, the illumined one—also had connections to the Zionist intelligence network. Here we learn from Wiesel that he was so partial to the Jew’s fortunes in Palestine that he practically went into hyperventilation when two Jews met their death! Or is that just a typical rabbinical reaction, based on the belief that one Jewish life is worth a million Arabs. Think of the irony, though—that the British were executing Jews who were fighting against them in guerrilla uprisings, just as the Germans had done to Jews fighting as illegal guerrillas against their soldiers. I wonder if the wise Shushani could explain to me the difference?
Now, Wiesel wades in even deeper:
How and why did Francois suddenly decide to join the struggle for an independent Jewish state? Had he, too knocked on the Jewish Agency’s door on the Avenue de Wagram? Though he joined the Lehi, and I belonged to the Irgun, our friendship was unaffected. In any case, each of us kept his activities to himself. We both agreed that the less we knew about each other, the better.6 No one asked questions at the synagogue I attended on the Rue Pave`e. To them I was a student like any other. If only they knew. [p165]
Wiesel is concious of a separation between himself and ordinary people, even other Jews who would naturally be aware and following what was happening in Palestine with great interest and concern. He has gone much farther, and is actually working for those in the “lower depths” of the bloody struggle taking place. Another strange phrase is “I belonged to the Irgun.” In his signature manner, Wiesel covers up his true identity and objectives, but reveals them in the words that pop out unawares. I have commented about the psychological aspects of this trait among criminals elsewhere. So many luminaries of the “resistance” funneled through his office every day that he, by any measure, has to be considered something of an insider within the Irgun.
Above: Henry Bulawko, according to Wiesel one of his fellow camp survivors and an Irgun associate.
Haganah soldiers pose in 1948.
Through work I met Shlomo Friedrich, the leader of Betar, Jabotinsky’s Youth Movement. He was a tall, vigorous man with a rapid gait, a former prisoner in the Gulag.7 […] The process of becoming a journalist involved attending press conferences, public meetings, and demonstrations, and offered a chance to meet such “colleagues” as Henri Bulawko.8 As we talked, we discovered that we had been in Auschwitz-Buna at the same time. And I met Leon Leneman, one of the first to sound the alarm for Soviet Jews. […] Envoys from the Irgun came to the editorial offices every day. All were from Palestine and I was supposed to know only their aliases. Their commander, Elie Farshtei, was shrouded in mystery, but, after swearing me to secrecy, Joseph told me of an incident from his past. In 1946 … he was captured and tortured by agents of the Haganah […] I was flattered when Elie Farshtei stopped by to ask whether I wasn’t working too hard, whether my studies weren’t suffering. I told him that everything was fine, and that I hoped he was pleased with my “contribution” to “Zion in Struggle.” […] In the corridors I might have encountered a young Jewish girl from Vienna, beautiful and daring, who transported documents and provided a hiding place for guns: my future wife.9. [p166-7]
Elie was in deep admiration for all these and many other fighters. No “Nazi” could be more in thrall to the leaders of his movement. He tried to ingratiate himself and win their approval. There is never a hint of concern or questioning about the damage inflicted on non-Jews, of the “human rights” of the native Arab inhabitants. He mentions only Jewish casualties. “A wave of terror swept over the Jewish communities in various Arab countries.” A synagogue was burned, “dozens of Jews were slaughtered in Aden, Jerusalem was besieged” and “gangs loyal to the grand mufti, the pro-Hitler Haj Amin el-Husseini (former ally and protégé of Himmler), attacked Jewish villages and convoys.”
May 15, 1948: Beginning of a 62-year exile for 750,000 Palestinians
Tent city in Palestine, 1948
It would soon be May, and the day of independence. Mobilized units of the Haganah, the Palmach, the Irgun, and the Stern Gang united their efforts and their wills. It was imperative to protect every kibbutz, every settlement. The Zionist organizations in the Diaspora worked tirelessly to supply our brothers in Palestine with political and financial support. In France and in the United States as well, we were mobilized. Young and old, rich and not so rich, all felt the fever our ancestors had known in antiquity. Representatives of all the resistance groups worked day and night, though separately, procuring arms and ammunition, raising funds, recruiting volunteers who would set out for the various fronts of the nascent Jewish state. Elie [Farshtei] and his aides no longer found time to sleep. Out of solidarity, neither did we. [p167]
Excitement! All Jews, all over the world, were involved. Wiesel approved 100%, including the procuring of arms and ammunition. In spite of the fact that it was illegal, the “fever of our ancestors” justified it. You might be wondering why Wiesel didn’t speak in a more moderate tone when he wrote his memoir in the 1990’s; why he didn’t pretend a more universal concern for human rights in order to protect his reputation as a champion of human rights. I say he would not because he will never detract in any way from the utter righteousness of the installation of a Jewish state in Palestine. That can never be questioned, human rights be damned. That’s one reason Elie Wiesel is such a hypocrite. Other people’s struggles can be criticized and shown to be inimical to the rights of others, but never the Jew’s.
I find it interesting that Wiesel chooses the words “Young and old, rich and not so rich,” rather than “rich and poor.” There were no poor Jews? Or is it understood that this was a networking of those with means and influence; the poor were really of no help. They are just pawns in the game, used to parlay the idea that they are the ones for whom all this is being done.
My personal circle narrowed. Kalman left for America; Israel Adler was recalled by the Haganah and was now in a training camp …near Marseilles. My friend Nicholas informed me that he planned to abandon his studies [to go and fight.]
Deep down, I had reservations. Military life was not for me. […] what if I died in combat? I hadn’t yet done anything with my life, had written nothing of the visions and obsessions I bore within myself, hadn’t yet shared them with anyone. […] Nevertheless, I decided to heed the call to arms.
Nicholas and I signed up at the recruitment office … [p167-8]
Wiesel says he didn’t pass the medical examination. Really? Were they that particular? The doctor told him he was “not in good shape.” So he continued to work for the Irgun newspaper. Soon it was Friday, May 14, 1948, the day David Ben-Gurion read Israel’s Declaration of Independence over the radio. Wiesel claims to have been extremely moved, possibly beyond anything before in his life. “I was unable to contain my emotion. When had I last wept? It was in an almost painful state of reverence that I greeted Shabbat10.”[p169]
Left: David Ben-Gurion reads the declaration of “Israel’s” independence, May 14, 1948 in Tel Aviv. A portrait of Theodor Herzl hangs above him. Right: Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, in the same year.
* * *
The role of the Irgun in Central/Eastern Europe—collaboration with Poland, then Paris
At this point, I would like to insert some information about the role of the Irgun in Central and Eastern Europe from the website http://www.etzel.org.il/english/ac16.htm. It tells of the cooperation between the Polish government and Jewish “resistance” groups before the outbreak of WWII, revealing the desire of European nations, other than Germany, to reduce their Jewish population.
More than three million Jews, concentrated mainly in the large towns, lived in Poland in the 1930s. In Warsaw, for example, Jews constituted one-third of the population. The Polish government, worried by the increase in Jewish influence in the country, not only did nothing to hinder the illegal immigration movement which the Revisionists (Zionist faction of Jabotinsky – Irgun) organized in Poland, but actively assisted it.
In 1936, Jabotinsky met with the Foreign Minister, Josef Beck, and created the infrastructure for collaboration. The Polish government hoped that the establishment of a Jewish state would lead to mass emigration of Jews, thus solving the Jewish problem in Poland.
In 1937, Avraham Stern (Yair), then secretary of the Irgun General Headquarters, arrived in the Polish capital armed with a letter of recommendation from Jabotinsky. He met with senior government officials and laid the practical foundations for cooperation between the Polish army and the Irgun Zvai Le’umi. […] Polish army representatives handed over to Irgun members weapons and ammunition which […] were despatched to Eretz Israel. Some of the weapons were concealed in the false bottoms of crates in which the furniture of prospective immigrants was transported, or in the drums of electrical machines. When the consignments reached Eretz Israel, they were taken to a safe place, and the weapons were removed from their hiding place.
Stern was much helped by Dr. Henryk Strasman, a well known lawyer and an officer in the Polish Reserve force. The Strasmans introduced Stern to the Polish intellectuals and high officials. It was in their home that the preparations for the publication of the Polish periodical “Jerozolima Wyzwolona” (Free Jerusalem) were begun. His wife, Alicia (Lilka) designed the cover – A map of Eretz Israel with the background of an arm holding a gun and the words in Hebrew: ” ” (This Way Only). This became later the symbol of the Irgun. [See poster at top of page]
In March 1939, senior Irgun commanders from Eretz Israel participated in a course held in the Carpathian Mountains, instructed by Polish army officers. The course took place under conditions of great secrecy, and the instructors wore civilian clothing. The participants were not permitted to establish contact with local Jews, and the letters they wrote home were sent to Switzerland, inserted into new envelopes, re-addressed to France, and finally posted from there to Palestine. The trainees received military training and were taught tactics of guerilla warfare.
Three remained in Poland: Yaakov Meridor, who was responsible for despatching the weapons received from the Polish army; Shlomo Ben Shlomo, who organized a commanders course for selected members of Irgun cells in Poland, and Zvi Meltzer, who organized a similar course in Lithuania.
September 1, 1939 cut short the extensive activity of the Irgun in Poland and Lithuania. Most of the arms which the Irgun had received were returned to the Polish army and Irgun activity ceased.
After the war, the Irgun General Headquarters decided to renew activity in Europe and to launch a “second front”. The first base was established in Italy, […] As a result of arrests in Italy, Irgun Headquarters in Europe were transferred to Paris. Meanwhile, branches had been set up in various parts of Europe, and attempts were made to strike at British targets. A train transporting British troops was sabotaged, and an explosion occurred in the hotel in Vienna which housed the offices of the British occupation force. However, the blowing up of the British embassy in Rome remained the pinnacle of Irgun operational activity in Europe.
In January 1947, Eliyahu Lankin reached Paris after his successful escape from internment in Africa. Lankin was a member of the Irgun General Headquarters before his arrest and had also served as commander of the Jerusalem district. The French government, which knew of his escape from British custody, gave him an entry visa, and when he reached Paris he was appointed Commander of the Irgun in Europe.
Shmuel Ariel, sent to Paris by the Irgun in early 1946, was in charge of immigration. Ariel established good contacts with the French authorities, and the Haganah called on his services extensively in connection with sailings from France. Thus, for example, Ariel succeeded in negotiating with the French Ministry of Interior the granting of 3,000 entry visas to Jewish refugees arriving in France en route to Palestine. Some 650 of them left aboard the Ben Hecht, 940 on the arms vessel Altalena, and the remainder were transferred to a ship organized by the Haganah. Thanks to Ariel’s close contacts with the French authorities, the Irgun General Headquarters was permitted to operate in Paris without interruption, and to supervise activity in the many branches all over Europe.
While we hear so much about the “Transfer Agreement” and the Zionist collaboration with the German National Socialists under Adolf Hitler, where do we hear that beginning in 1936 the Polish Government was also desirous of, and actively engaged in, transferring their Jews to Palestine? As with the Germans, the breakout of war brought an end to this cooperation. But as soon as the war was over, it started up again in Paris. Paris was then the headquarters of the Irgun in Europe, with the approval of the French Interior Ministry. An Irgun special representative was in charge of illegal immigration to Palestine. Can this explain why Wiesel remained in Paris until 1955? It does shed light on the alternate world of underground Zionist operations that Elie Wiesel was absorbed into … just how deeply we can only speculate.
Next: Part III – Elie Wiesel’s travels and how they were funded.
5. Wiesel, All Rivers Run to the Sea, p162
6. There is that “I didn’t dare ask” again; better not to know. You’re going to see as we go along that there are several phrases and numbers that Wiesel uses again and again.
7. In the Soviet Union, obviously.
8. A Lithuanian/Russian Jew born to an Orthodox rabbi, and a member of the French Resistance who was arrested in 1942
9. Wiesel is referring to Marion, whom he met and married later. As a “resistance” volunteer herself, she could well have delivered secret documents to his office.
10. Shabbat is the Jewish Sabbath, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.
Edited for the 3rd time on March. 1st, 2011
By Carolyn Yeager
1949-1955: Wiesel’s movements and life-support system during these years follow an odd pattern.
In January 1949, six months after the establishment of Israel as a state, the purpose for the Irgun presence in Europe changed. Their Paris newspaper Zion in Kamf no longer being necessary, the office shut down.“Elie Farshtei and his lieutenants, Joseph [Wiesel’s boss] among them, were recalled to Israel. I received no orders or aid from anyone. “Why don’t you come with us?” Joseph asked. I promised to think about it.” 11
This is problematic. Was Wiesel’s enthusiasm for Israel simply in his fantasy? The formation of Israel had seemed to mean everything to him; why would he not want to live there now it had become a reality? It was also a logical solution to his stateless status. Once again, we feel we’re not given the true picture. Was Wiesel “not recalled” with the others because he was more useful in Europe, where he could better serve the new state. He says he now returned to his “studies,” and “There were days when I was so absorbed in my reading that I never left my room. I had nothing to seek in the desert.” [Rivers, p 174]. The world around him in Paris, where he supposedly preferred to stay, he calls a “desert!” Actually Israel was a desert, not Paris. Wiesel reveals his disdain for the Gentile world, even though he takes advantage of everything it offers him.
After loafing about for awhile, his sister Hilda’s brother-in-law arranged to get him a press card, which gave him certain privileges. Wiesel worked it out with the Jewish Agency—which after Israel’s independence became the mandated organization in charge of immigration and absorption of Jews from the Diaspora—to travel to Israel. They prepared a plan for him to join a group of immigrants in May or June , traveling from the train station in Lyons to Haifa. He had the idea to become a foreign correspondent for an Israeli paper.
The group happened to include a few Irgun veterans but they were leaving Europe for good, and I was ashamed to admit that I was less idealistic and above all less courageous than they. My wallet was not quite empty; a few thousand francs (my life savings) plus one pound sterling, a gift from Freddo. [P 175]
Here again, he attempts to show he is on his own, and poor, with the explanation that he can, but only barely, afford the trip. When they reach Marseilles and the sea, they go to a camp filled with Jews in transit, waiting for their passage on the ship Negba. Now he and the other Jews are in a transit camp where deprivations and close quarters are taken in stride. One man whom they asked about military service in Israel said:
Sure it’s tough, but consider this: Once I was a partisan, an underground fighter hiding in the woods like a hunted animal, not daring to come out except after dark, and now I’ll proudly wear the uniform of the Israeli army. [P 179-80]
This is a, perhaps unintended, confession of a Jewish “underground fighter” who “came out after dark” to attack the regular German troops. Wiesel comments on this, revealing his conspiratorial view of the world:
I grew up in a tradition that denies chance. Though not everything is predetermined, everything is linked. Nikos Kazantzakis (a Greek Jewish author) once said, citing an Etruscan proverb: “It is not because two clouds are joined that the spark ignites; two clouds are joined so that the spark may ignite.” Yet, free will and the possibility of choice exist. Rabbi Akiba tells us that all is foreseen, though human beings have free choice. [p180]
In other words, do events happen and result in a consequence, or is a desired consequence the cause of events happening?
Elie Wiesel on the boat to Israel in 1949, at the age of 20.
In Israel, after his initial enthusiasm, and joy in walking on the holy ground, Wiesel was disappointed over the lack of acceptance among Jews. He heard complaints and recriminations … some people said they were “not accepted”—these were the camp survivors who were seen as weak by the new Israeli “natives.”
In this atmosphere little attention was paid to the Holocaust. For many years it was barely mentioned in textbooks and ignored in universities. In the early fifties, when David Ben-Gurion and his colleagues finally decided to pass the Knesset bill creating Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial, the emphasis was on courage. Resistance fighters were presented as a kind of elite, while the victims—the dead and survivors alike—deserved at best compassion and pity. The subject was considered embarrassing. [p 184]
[It’s true the “Holocaust” was built up over time. Interest in it was fanned, beginning with the Adolf Eichmann show trial in 1961-62 and increasingly in the seventies, by the media and Hollywood. Elie Wiesel played a major role in establishing memorial museums, especially in Washington, DC , funded by U.S. taxpayers, playing on his theme of “Memory” with the help of influential newspapers with wide readership like the New York Times.]
Wiesel now says it was in Israel he got the idea to become a foreign correspondent. He writes that he got a recommendation to the editor of the small Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, a Dr. Herzl Rosenblum, 12 a signatory of Israel’s Declaration of Independence as a representative of Jabotinsky’s Revisionist Zionist Irgunmovement. Upon being hired by Rosenblum as the paper’s “foreign correspondent,” Wiesel sailed back to Paris on the Kedma, arriving in January 1950. [p 185]
I had lost track of Shushani 13 and Francois, but decided it would be a mistake to interrupt my studies on that account. I made a promise to myself. I vowed I would never spend less than an hour a day studying. [p 187]
Once again, it’s clear that, to Wiesel, “studying” meant reading on his own, not attending classes. Always needing to explain how he lived, he writes, “Money remained the problem. Once again, Shlomo Friedrich, my angel of mercy, managed to steer some free-lance translations and editorial work my way.” [p 188] We will see more of this type of explanation. Whenever Wiesel needs to solve the mystery of the appearance of needed cash, “free-lance” work is often the way he does it. Something to think about: Why Wiesel did not stay in Israel, among his own people who were so friendly and helpful, rather than choose to struggle in Paris as a stateless person? The most obvious answer is that he was assigned a job to do in France for the benefit of Israel. “I worked in my hotel room, a sunless cubicle overlooking the courtyard,” he writes.
In 1950, Elie Wiesel’s opportunities for travel begin … with a little help from friends
Suddenly wanting to return to Israel to talk to his new editor [or handler?] face to face, he somehow manages an appointment with a director of Zim Shipping.
I went to see a man called Loinger … a director of Zim, the Israeli shipping company. I explained … I had to go to Tel Aviv … Loinger understood immediately [!] … he picked up the phone and issued instructions …I was to be given a round-trip ticket on the Kedma that very day.[…] This crossing was very different from the last one. I had a comfortable cabin larger than my hotel room, a private shower, fruit and flowers on the table. [p 190]
This special treatment remains unexplained. Wiesel only tells us that, once in Israel, he visited with Dr. Rosenblum and became friends with his son, Dov. No discussion about his job is reported. Upon his return to Paris, “by chance” … by chance, mind you … he meets an official of the Jewish Agency who invites him on an automobile trip to Morocco. He “quickly” got an exit visa and a transit visa, “luckily” having enough photos on hand. [Are your eyebrows raised?]
But what about money? I had one month’s rent on my room saved up. I took the money, stuffed everything I owned into an old valise, and that was that. There were three of us in the car. The first stop was Marseilles, where we stayed in the transit camp near Bandol. […] Now it was Moroccans who were waiting to “ascend” to Israel. [p193]
This is the same camp he was in before. Wiesel says he questioned the Moroccans, spoke to them in fluent Hebrew of how wonderful Israel was. This little speech was enough to bring him a large tip from the camp director.
The camp director was so pleased with my little speeches that he insisted on paying me ten thousand francs (two hundred dollars). At first I refused, but I finally said thank you and put the money in my pocket. We set out for the Spanish border, I was terrified of the police and customs officials who examined my stateless person’s travel permit. Would they take me for a Communist agent, a veteran of the International Brigades? True, I could tell them I was only eight to ten years old during their filthy civil war, but did fascists know how to count?
Ouch. What to say about this? First, $200 in 1950 was the equivalent of around $1000 today. Could a camp director hand out that kind of money to a stranger for relating some feel-good stories to his transient charges? Not unless he was rich and very generous. We can only believe this story as told if we understand the camp as part of the Jewish Agency network for assisting immigration into Israel, and the “director” as something more than just a camp director. More likely, he was quite aware of journalist Wiesel, and what his needs were. Secondly, Wiesel’s extreme bitterness toward the “fascist” Catholic-Franco Spanish state is apparent here. He knows he is not dealing with Jew-friendly power and is nervous without that support. But he had no trouble and the threesome made it into Morocco.
I was dazzled by the subterranean nightlife of Tangier, a cosmopolitan city of countless entrepreneurs, from the most honest to the shadiest. [p196 – Now this is a Jew-friendly place.] … We crossed Spanish Morocco at breakneck speed and, arriving in Casablanca, encountered a blinding but somehow soothing whiteness … My traveling companions had contacts within the Jewish community. [p 197]
I bet they did. A poorly dressed Jew offered to serve Wiesel as a guide; he proved to know his way around the Jewish community, introducing Wiesel to many and varied sorts of people . One Saturday afternoon they attended a meeting at a Zionist club. Wiesel writes that after “teaching a few songs” to the local members, his traveling companion from the Jewish Agency gave him an envelope containing money that seemed “princely to me,” assuring that there were “no more money worries for two or three weeks.” [p 198]
Wiesel says he wrote articles while there, without really understanding the culture. When he returned to France, he received a telegram from ‘Ifergan,’ his guide: “Your articles aroused anger. I am now in the hospital, with a few broken ribs.” Twenty years later, Wiesel wrote in Yedioth Aronoth about this “wrong” he had inadvertently caused, and received a response from ‘Ifergan’ that contained the following:
Don’t blame yourself. I was only doing my job when I followed you. I was working for the Mossad at the time, and they told me to keep an eye on you. The chance of having my ribs broken was part of the deal.” [p 199]
Why would the Mossad want to keep an eye on our young journalist? What other reason could there be than for his protection. Did the unnamed official from the Jewish Agency invite Wiesel to come along because of his gift for telling stories in impeccable Hebrew and teaching songs to emigrating Moroccan Jews? That seems too simplistic. In any case, Wiesel is definitely a precious commodity who is never left without funds.
Now … twenty pages later, though dates are not given, Wiesel reports feeling “disillusioned with Europe” and decides to travel to India. Prior to this, he was passionately involved with the negotiations on reparations with the Konrad Adenauer government. Heading for Bonn, Germany from France, he first spent a day at Dachau, where he says he was “troubled and depressed, for the Jewishness of the victims was barely mentioned.” [p 202] He is no doubt unaware to this day that few Jews were kept at the Dachau camp. Typical Wieselism!
The Zionists offered him a well-paid job, with lodgings in a luxury hotel, as interpreter for Nahum Goldmann, the Polish founder and long-time head of the World Jewish Congress, at the conference of the WJC in Geneva. The Jews were deciding/debating the reparations issue among themselves. Wiesel says he was against the German reparation payments on the grounds they would lead to forgiveness or a “balancing of the shoah account.” Those in favor, such as Goldmann, argued the money for Israel was most important, while those against, including Wiesel’s former Irgun leader Menachem Begin, felt they stood on the moral high ground and would lose it by accepting financial compensation, which signaled “forgiveness.” Wiesel has always been against forgiveness. Goldmann has always been for the money, and “the Holocaust” was just another way to get it.
Left: Russian-born Nahum Goldmann, the long-time head of the World Jewish Congress, in 1966. Below: Moshe Sharett and Nahum Goldman, 3rd and 4thseated from left, signing the German-Israel Reparations Agreement in Sept. 1952
Miracles, miracles …Wiesel makes his most miraculous trip of all—a journeys to India.
I had long dreamed of visiting India, drawn to it by a desire to meet not maharajahs but sages, yogis, and ascetics … why not compare the Jewish idea of redemption with the Hindu concept of nirvana?
Travel expenses were a problem. Yedioth had no money, so I didn’t even bother asking. I wrote ten articles for various Yiddish newspapers, promised ten more for later, did a few translations, and bought a lottery ticket for the first time in my life. Miracles of miracles, I won a modest amount, and at last I had a ticket in hand, but not much more. The two hundred dollars in my wallet would not take me far. [p 223]
Lottery ticket? Isn’t that the lazy Wiesel mind again, coming up with whatever explanation comes to him without bothering whether it’s believable or not? My interpretation is that he is so confident of being protected by varying sorts of ubiquitous “Mossad agents,” even those of a volunteer status, that he doesn’t need to worry. Or is he just having fun with us? At any rate, we have here the usual nonsense. He wrote “ten articles” [nice round figure] for “various” newspapers” and promised ten more [for a cash advance?]. I ask: If he could get this work whenever he needed it, why not do it all the time and end the relative poverty he claims he was living in? Also, note the $200 figure again. This is not the last time we’ll see it.
There remained the question of a visa. Dan Avni, press attaché of the Israeli embassy … phoned his Indian colleague and settled that matter for me.
What Indian colleague is he speaking of? India didn’t establish diplomatic relations with Israel until 1992. At any rate, there was an “Indian colleague” who arranged an entry visa for Wiesel. Do you think he also got some assistance while he was there? But he never mentions anything like this; he pretends he was just helped along by miracles. It’s pretty clear, however, that he had to have some kind of unofficial business to carry out for Israel. With diplomats easing his way, he was off.
During the crossing—with stopovers in Suez and Aden—I studied English, read […] A fellow passenger […] gave me the name of an inexpensive hotel in Bombay. [p 224]
The passenger was a “medical student” who also played the ponies. He convinced Wiesel to wager some of his $200. This doesn’t sound like something Wiesel would do, but he says he did and came out even. The passenger, however, lost his money and now convinced Wiesel to lend him his $200 [to bet more!] until they reached Bombay, where he would be able to pay Wiesel back. And Wiesel did so! When they disembarked at Bombay, a very worried Wiesel searched the crowd for his “friend” and, lo and behold, he showed up with the money in hand. This is a strange story. It sounds like the yarn of an inveterate story-teller, embellishing greatly on something that in reality was far less suspenseful. At any rate, it’s definitely not one of prudence; and may be told to demonstrate his uncanny “luck.”
Wiesel wanders around Bombay, encountering begging children and orphans. He “set out in search of the country,” but reveals no plan of any kind to his readers. How far would he get on $200/$1000? Well, naturally, “a miracle” intervenes.
One day I met a rich and influential Parsi. (Seemingly sitting at an outdoor café.) We chatted about this and that, and he found something about me intriguing. (His Irgun handshake?) […] Several hours later, as he left to return to his associates, he gave me a calling card on which he had written a few words. “India is a vast country, he said. “You will undoubtedly move around a lot. With this card you can take any domestic flight to any destination.” I didn’t know how to thank him. In fact, it took only a few weeks for me to appreciate the true value of his gift. Whenever I was hungry, I would get on a plane. By then I had discovered the identity of my benefactor: He owned the airline. [p 226]
How similar this is to his experience with the Zim Shipping Lines! Wiesel throws out these stories in his 1995 memoir with little concern for how flimsy they are. He is used to people believing him and not asking bothersome questions. Again, we’re not given the name of this “Parsi” or his airline – just as we find in the concentration camp stories by Wiesel, and by many others.
I ask: How practical is it to fly from one city to the next in order to eat a meal? You end up in another place. First you have to get to the airport, wait around for the flight, board and finally be served a meal. After that, de-board the plane, wait around for your return flight and another meal, land, de-board, leave the airport and return to your lodgings. By then you will be hungry again. Were airline meals worth it? This is India in the early 1950’s—a third world country. He says he did this for “a few weeks” at least. Wiesel says a lot of foolish things, and this is just one more. He obviously had sufficient money for this trip and probably free travel arrangements made by his handlers. He is lying outrageously to his readers.
We also learn very little of substance about the country and what he did. Back in Bombay, Wiesel spends a Shabbat with a wealthy Jewish family.
I went to synagogue. My hosts proudly told me of their success. The Sassoon and the Kadouris were super-rich families, veritable dynasties. But it had never occurred to anyone to discriminate against them because of their origins or their ties to Judaism. There were so many ethnic groups, languages, cultures, and traditions in this vast country that Jews did not attract special attention.[…] I returned from India even more Jewish than before. [p 228-9]
There we have it—an explanation for the Jewish drive to racially and ethnically mix all nations but their own. It is so they will not attract special attention in the Diaspora with their super-wealth. Since Wiesel sees through eyes that can only admit Jewish persecution, he is often not aware of what he’s saying, and revealing, to the rest of us who see through very different eyes. This is a paragraph that should become better known.
Left: Elie Wiesel in his early 20’s, at the time of these travels.
A few more trips—why not, they’re free.
A free ticket from El Al enabled me to visit Montreal. Bea [his younger sister]seemed happy enough; she was now working at the Israeli consulate […] I desperately wanted to ask her a question that had haunted me for years. What was it like before the selection, those final moments, that last walk with Mother and Tsipouka? It was the same with Hilda. I didn’t dare.[p 229-230]
I’ve already commented on the reasons for this in Part II of this essay. Wiesel’s next trip is to Brazil, which I also discussed previously in “Shadowy Origins of Night” in relation to the writing of his ‘first book,’ the 862-page “lost” Yiddish manuscript. However, it is relevant to the Mossad question also.
It was Spring 1954. He was going on assignment for his newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. It seems that some Jews who had recently arrived in Israel from Eastern Europe were poor and unhappy, and the Catholic Church, according to the Zionists, was taking advantage of their unhappiness to convert them to Catholicism with offers of free passage and visas to Brazil, and $200 each. [There’s that $200 for the third time! How to explain it? Wiesel is stuck on this number.]
His editor wants him to “go and see what’s going on” with this “Catholic scam” in Brazil. His poet friend Nicholas, an Israeli citizen, would go with him. But once again he needs to explain the money. As usual, “A resourceful Israeli friend somehow managed to come up with free boat tickets for us.” [p238] Oh, those Israelis are incredibly resourceful! Wiesel remained in Brazil for two months, but he doesn’t tell us what he did there besides writing about the Jew-Catholic “scandal” and visiting people, including relatives. When he was called back to Paris to cover Pierre Mendes-France’s accession to power for his Israeli newspaper, it was mid-June 1954.
Document with Wiesel’s picture attached, dated 1954, issued by the Yugoslavian embassy in Paris . “Potpis” is Serbo-Croatian for “signature.” There is no mention of travel to Yugoslavia during this time, or any time, in Wiesel’s memoir.
In July 1955, Wiesel makes another trip to Israel for the reason of “feeling once again the need for a change of scene.” [p 273] He went by sea and spent several weeks “making many trips through the country.” At Bnei Brak he visited the Rebbe of Wizhnitz, of his own Hasidic sect, to whom he made his famous statement that “certain things are true though they didn’t happen, while others are not, even if they did.” [p 275] That did not win him the Rebbe’s blessing.
At the end of his several-weeks stay in Israel, his editor Dov [the old man’s son] “proposed that I leave Paris and go to New York, not just to write a few articles, but as a permanent correspondent.” [p 276] Their conversation about this important decision is short and rather silly, same as with every other major event or life change that Wiesel writes about. We can easily conjecture that his Irgun/Mossad handlers thought there was now more value to be mined in New York than from his base in Paris. The German reparation talks were over, the amounts established; from now on, America was where the action was.
Next: Part IV – Déjà vu. Wiesel’s adventures in America follow the same, now-established pattern.
11. Elie Wiesel, All Rivers Run to the Sea, A. Knopf, 1995, p174. [All following page numbers refer to this book]
12. Born in Kaunas in the Russian Empire (today in Lithuania), Rosenblum moved to Vienna after experiencing anti-Semitism and being prevented from studying law. In Vienna, he studied law and economics, gaining a PhD. He then moved to London, where he worked as an aide to Ze’ev Jabotinsky, a leader of the Revisionist Zionism movement. In 1935 he immigrated to Mandate Palestine and started working for the HaBoer newspaper, where he wrote under the pseudonym Herzl Vardi. In 1949, Rosenblum became editor of Yedioth Ahronoth. He remained as editor until 1986, during which time the paper became the largest selling in the country. His son, Moshe [called Dov], was later employed as editor.
13. In 1952 Chouchani left France for Israel where he remained until 1956, according to Wikipedia. Seehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsieur_Chouchani
By Carolyn Yeager
Déjà vu. But Elie Wiesel Becomes an American ties to Israel and HIS Manner of life do not change.
Arriving in New York in 1956, is greeted and assisted by Wiesel “Israeli colleagues” who accompanied Him and “real-estate Served as Advisors.” 14 There are Israelis Everywhere Wiesel goes on hand to help, HE is never alone or “on HIS own “and must conclude That We Never HE HAS Been. Some of associates at the time HIS has named David Gedailovitch, aka David Guy, a perfume merchant and restaurateur, Jacob Baal-Teshuva, year rep Israeli Film Weekly, Richard Yaffe, correspondent for Israeli daily year who ever had subpoenaed by the House Committee Been on Un-American Activities. Wiesel hangs out with Jews, of Which There Were No Lack in New York, and seems comfortable only with members of His Own Tribe-even more so if they have fellow Zionists, Which most seem to be. The French Catholic Francois Mauriac appears as the sole exception, But That relationship existed purely for Career Advancement.
Wiesel says the United Nations HE loved Covering, WHERE HE Abba Eban spoke with most Often, Israel’s “young ambassador.” [Rivers, p 290] But, as HE always does, heh heh That tells us a living wage and paid Was not HAD to “alleviate [HIS] Financial problems” with free-lance work. Also, would it Happens Often, unnamed benefactor year shows up-an “editor” Who Told Him HE HAD no money for news reports, But did have the budget for the novel. Wiesel replied, “May I have stuck in a drawer Something Somewhere.”
Wiesel writes HIS first novel
I sat at the Typewriter That very night, and in a week or two I churned out (under the pseudonym Elisha Carmeli) to romantic spy novel of Which I only remember the premise: A man and a woman, Israeli intelligence agents Both has Desperately in love, and one or the Other is sent on a mission to Egypt. I can not recall if the operation has successfully WAS, But I do know That all my characters at the end Died, Was not sure what else since I do to with Them. [P. 291]
Déjà vu, Indeed. Under pressure, Wiesel churns out in “a week or two”, just as HE did on the ocean liner to Brazil two years Less than a spy novel previous 15? In this instance, We have to assume HE WAS HIS still working at regular jobs, so the fact That it WAS a shorter book should Not Be Held Against Him. But, here are my questions: How does HE That would explain the religious, idealistic young man, Knew how to weave together HE believable story about Israeli spies to? Why did HE choose the subject of spies Even, Rather Than the simple romance between Displaced persons, or immigrants to Israel, HE HAD Something seen close up, and Even Experienced? I know about writing to know That Enough When one HAS to write Something in a Hurry, Will always choose the one most familiar theme. Otherwise too much research is required, without it, mistakes Will certainly occur.
Though this is a small detail tucked into Wiesel’s Memoir, I think it Speaks Volumes About That WAS actually familiar with Which Wiesel.
The “editor” published the book under the title, Silent Heroes. 16. Wiesel says HE never read the book, But Simon Weber, news editor of The Jewish Daily Forward, noticed it and, based on it, Offered a job with HIS Wiesel newspaper. Wiesel describes the Forward as “The World’s Biggest, richest, and most widely read daily Yiddish.” [P. 291] It must have Been Some book! Weber not did hire Wiesel Because of HIS great journalism, But Because of the silly spy novel, Quickly thrown together. Makes no sense except this I Wieselism Another typical. Wiesel obviously HAD connections and assistance at high levels, But Wants us to believe HE in the Holocaust Victims’ Luck and Miracles. Or maybe it’s That HE is so immersed himself in the lies he’s incapable of telling That the Truth About Anything. In That Regard, We now come to the Big One.
Wiesel gets hit by a taxi and flies through the air to land a full block away
On a summer evening in 1956, Wiesel WAS crossing Seventh Avenue at Forty-fifth Street with a woman from HE WAS HIS office hit When the taxi by.
The impact hurled me through the air like a figure in a Chagall painting, all the way to Forty-fourth Street, Where I lay for twenty minutes until year ambulance to take me to the cam hospital. […] My entire left side HAD Been Shattered. A ten-hour operation required to reconstruction IT WAS, leaving me in a cast from neck to foot. […] One morning I was visited by a lawyer who represented HE said insurance company year. He HAD a proposition for me: If I signed a Certain document, a simple piece of paper, hand me the HE Would quarter of a Million Dollars on the spot. […] I was ready to sign document and Any Others That In His bulging Briefcase. But my friend journalist Alexander Zauber screamed, “Are you crazy? Do not Sign Anything! “[…] You Really Want to let this ruin us crook? Tell Him to get the hell out of here! I’ll get you a lawyer who defends INSTEAD of swindling Them Victims. You’re Going to Be a Millionaire, I Guarantee it! “[P.293-95]
Showed the insurance Zauber emissary to the door. But worried about paying Wiesel WAS HIS current bills, mostly Because HE WAS To Be Moved into about a double room, for Him “Terrifying the leaflet. Ever since the war the idea of sleeping in the Same Room with a Stranger HAD panicked me. “With the immediate insurance money, HE Could Remain in a private room. Therefore, HE decided to call the insurance agent back That night, after Zauber HAD gone. [P.296]. But again, help arrived from the Irgun …
I HAD forgotten to allow for the Possibility of a miracle. Among my visitors Hillel Kook WAS That day, Who Asked Aviva and Other friends to leave us alone. HE WAS MAN unusual year, the European Central archetype in demeanor and intellectual Looks, nearsighted, thin, tension, and curious. I HAD HIM interviewed Several weeks earlier. He founded just HAD to fight the Soviet organizational policies in the Middle East Interference. I Knew Him by reputation only. A member of the Irgun High Command under the alias Peter Bergson, the writer Ben Hecht and HE HAD directed the National Liberation Committee of Hebrew during the war. Their main to save European Jews WAS Objective. In fact, no one ever had done more to alert the American Than Bergson public to the Tragedy of the Jews under the Nazis. Consequently, HE WAS Thoroughly disliked by the American Jewish establishment, Which consistently fought and slandered Him.During the Altalena affair HE WAS Even imprisoned by Ben-Gurion. “I Heard what happened to you,” he said, coming straight to the point. “As you’ve probably discovered by now, Being sick in New York Costs money. You do not have ANY, But I do. So I Brought You A Few blank checks. Fill out as the Need Them arises, and let me know When You Need More. “Hillel’s Manner matter-of-fact WAS, HE though I made gestures like this Every Day. [P.296]
Right: Hillel Kook, aka “Peter Bergson,” member of the Irgun High Command of Wiesel’s Another WAS Angels of Mercy. He worked in America as year undercover agent made a considerable fortune THEN on Wall Street in the 1950s and 60s. 17
I was so overcome by generosity that I WAS HIS unable to utter a word. I gaped at HIM HE though I Were a tzaddik or emissary of the Prophet Elijah year, most of prophets Unpredictable. I finally managed to ask Him how I ever repay Him Would. “Do not worry,” he replied, as nonchalant as a banker Addressing a colleague. “I have plenty to live on. You Can Pay Me Back When the insurance company pays you off. “
When Aviva and the Others cam back in, I Told Them of the miracle. Zauber Cried, “It’s a sign from God. He Wants you to listen to me. Do not Be a Fool. Now You Can Stay in your own room and you CAN hire my lawyer. “” You’re Going to Be a Millionaire, “he said. “My friend the millionaire. I warn you, if you Sabotage my crying, I’ll kill you. Will defend me and my lawyer. “
Every week, Called to find out if Hillel I Needed more checks. In the Meantime, the lawyer filed the suit and Zauber HE That Would Change My Life Assured me for good. I made statements, signed documents and depositions. A month, A Year Went By. I Returned to my hotel. Zauber Returned to Israel, Drink to Montreal. From time to time I Were Asked the lawyer how things going. He WAS a Patient Man, and advised me to follow HIS HE example. Eighteen months after the accident HE accompanied me to court. This WAS not yet the trial, a simple procedural matter But. Two years after the accident, There WAS still nothing. Hillel Day One Called Me, and We HAD coffee together. He Asked me about the trial. Wall Street, it seems, ever had Not Been Kind to Him, and HE WAS short of cash. Not to worry But, heh Would it work out. He Would wait. That day I instructed my lawyer to Settle the matter Within the week. He tried to talk me out of it. […] The next day HE Informed me of the result of HIS Negotiations: He Would Receive 30 Percent of my payment and from the rest Hillel Would Be paid back.
That’s how I failed to Become a Millionaire. [P. 297]
The Prodigal visits HIS Hometown Sighet
In 1960, Wiesel’s book published in English WAS Night, But slow to catch hold WAS. In 1961 the Adolf Eichmann trial in Jerusalem WAS HIS Attention and the object of journalism, Which HE Covered for the Forward. In 1964, at the age of 35, HE [OR HIS handlers] decided the time right for a WAS trip to Sighet, HIS alleged Hometown, via Budapest, Bucharest and Baia Maire. [P. 357]
In Budapest I visited the Jewish quarter, seeing traces of past STI. […] When I finally did return to Sighet, the Cemetery I WAS the first place wanted to visit, to meditation at my Grandfather’s grave. As is customary, I have to light candles Would. I found the store and bought two candles.So it WAS that I ever had the feeling I was Following the scenario written by Someone who existed only in my imagination. Michael precursor 18 WAS my, my scout. Every step I FOLLOWED HIS. I saw through HIS eyes, I felt what I felt HE among passersby who wandered the streets or not did me Even Recognize glance at me, and as I Entered my home, a stranger in my own house.[P. 357-8]
Above right: Photo of the house allegedly WHERE Grew up Elie Wiesel in Sighet, Rumania. Above center:The Same house in 2007 after remodeling. Is the blue and white paint in honor of Israel? His Parents have said to have run a grocery store on the premises, But We Can See No Evidence of That in the pictures.
We should note again Wiesel Be Surprised That early life experiences as if HE HIS Were a fictional character in HIS own writing. In Night, supposedly the “true” account of Auschwitz and Buchenwald at HIS time [“Every word is true”], HE WAS Eliezer, the 13-year-old boy [NOT HE WAS 15 as in real life] who saw flames shooting Crematory from the chimney I disembarked from the train HE at midnight, the burning pit of FOLLOWED BY wires Which Were Being thrown babies. Now, HE Becomes “Michael,” From Another Novels of HIS, as he “Wanders” through Sighet. Was it so unfamiliar Because HE HAD never really lived There, just as HE WAS never in Auschwitz or Buchenwald Really?
Fürther, WE CAN ask: How did he “enter HIS home?” Was it empty? HE DID ask permission for the current Residents? Not Being Thos answers given, it left to our imagination Remains.
Though it hadn’t changed, I found it hard to orient myself in the little town. It seemed to have endured the war note. Were the streets teeming with people. The park WAS HAD IT I Been, the trees and benches still in love. There WAS Everything. Before I. Everything except the Jews. I looked all over for Them, looked for the children
I roamed the streets, stopped at the movie house, Went to the hospital. No one paid Attention to the returning Prodigal home from outside. It Was Not only I though I did not exist, But I though I HAD never existed. There Had Been A Time When Jews really lived here? 19 [p.358]
I Continued my rediscovery of Sighet. Walking down the Street of Jews-Almost Every town in Eastern Europe, I HAD one saw shutters and doors sealed Nothing But Nailed closed. All […] now stood empty. It Struck me how poor they HAD Been, Jews of Sighet Thos so dear to me. That WAS true of all of us, though as a child I HAD Been unaware of the Poverty That prevailed in the Jewish Neighborhoods. 20
I set out to see the synagogues again. Most Were closed. In one I found Hundreds of holy books with Dust Covered. The Authorities HAD Taken from abandoned homes and Stored Them Them here. In the frenzy, I began to look through Them. When I discovered I was rewarded HAD A Few That belonged to me. Even I found Some yellowed, withered sheets of paper in a book of Bible 21Commentaries: The Commentaries on the commentary I ever had at the age of thirteen Written or fourteen. The Handwriting WAS clumsy, the thoughts confused. [P.359-60]
Which “Authorities” IS HE Referring to: Jewish or Hungarian? Would the police have bothered to take Hungarian books out of the homes and store Them? And what is the odds That HE Could look through “Hundreds of books” in the time HE HAD and find Some of His Own in the piles? Now That Would Be Stored at HIS one of the still-open Few synagogues in Sighet and his Commentaries Were still in Them? He falls back on previously used artificial HIS That HE DID IT WAS Possible Because it “in a frenzy.” I typed 862 pages of HE the manuscript in two weeks max Difficult in 1954 – in a frenzy, now it does Another impossible task in HEa frenzy. Fürther, HAS anyone ever seen handwritten Commentaries tissue? Them There Would HE have left?They offer proof That HE Would actually lived in That Town.
Previously I wrote about the question of Wiesel’s typing Ability. HE HAS Written That Sometimes He Went to the Synagogue as a youth ‘office’ WHERE HE used the only available in the community Typewriter to type up HIS religious Commentaries. But now heh heh writes Thos That Were found handwritten. He made it clear That Also HAS ALL HIS HAS Been done in adult writing longhand, not typewritten. This is unusual for Someone with a long career as a journalist.
A mission to bring Soviet Jews to Israel
In 1965, Wiesel made an “unexpected journey to the Soviet Union.” Unexpected Because It May have Been the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs HE Requested That Go, But HE WAS Prepared carefully for it.
Meir Rosenne Countries and Ephraim, two of the most devoted young Effective and Diplomats in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Prepared me. Both spoke French, Were Interested in literature, and, as it Turned out, belonged to the semiofficial government office Directly reporting to the Prime Minister. Ephraim Meir in New York and in Paris oversaw clandestine activities of Soviet Jews On behalf. IT WAS arduous task year, more Dangerous Than it appeared. Even the largest and Arduous Because most influential Jewish Communities to Become actively involved Refused. They Were delighted to aid Israel, But the desperate Jews behind the Iron Curtain Were Both distant and invisible. Nobody seemed to know what concrete action Soviet Jews Jews in the West really wanted to take for Them. [P.365]
How Many Were they? There WAS talk of millions, But That seemed implausibly high figure. “You ought to go and see,” Both Israelis Told Me. “You have Been a Witness Before, now you must go and find out the Soviet Jews’ true Situation and testify for Them.” […] I was briefed by Experts.[P.366]
WAS Why the choice of the Israelis Wiesel who Reported Directly to the Prime Minister about illegal activities in the Soviet Union Regarding Jews? HE Was Famous in 1965? Was HE the High Priest of the Holocaust at That time? No, That WAS still to come. But HE WAS a Mossad agent, and on Their payroll, at Least as a retainer. Wiesel seems now to have up to immigration of Jews Been involved When legally or illegally to Israel-Concerned-WAS, and to bolster the feelings of Jewishness in the diaspora of Thos. This trip appears to follow the vein That. Communist Jews Were perfectly Acceptable, Dark-Skinned I Morrocan and Ethiopian Jews Were earlier. The idea WAS to fill up with Jews in Israel to keep order claiming more of the physical Territory of Palestine.
I left for Moscow in time for the High Holidays, THEN Went on to Leningrad, Kiev, and Tbilisi. I Returned transformed […] I felt close to tissue Immediately forgotten, Tenacious Jews. … Having survived the massacres of the Nazi persecutions was and the Stalinist, They proclaimed Their Jewishness Even in the heart of the Gulag and the cellars of the NKVD and KGB. [P.366]
Determined to help We Were the Jews left behind the Iron Curtain, Even if We HAD to Defy the Kremlin and all ITS police. We HAD to make the privileged Been That Surprising discovery with a number of notorious exceptions, possibly HAD Communist Jews remained Jewish. [P.369]
Notice the “we.” He WAS Working with Others On behalf of Zionism and ITS Goals, Not On His Own. Wiesel CAN find good things to say about all Jews, no matter how much blood is on Their Hands-For Example, Zinoviev and Ehrenburg.
Left: Grigory Zinoviev, aka Apfelbaum, Radomysisky born in Russia, Died 1936, a close associate of Lenin WAS. Right:Ilya Ehrenburg, the leader of the hate campaign Against Germans during WWII, author of the article “Kill” which appeared in 1942 . His support never wavered for Stalin.
A journalist friend Told Me That Zinoviev, Lenin’s ill-fated companion and Admirer / opponent of Stalin, faced with the Shma Yisrael execution on HIS missing. HE HAD HIS life all clung to HIS atheism. For a Jew to Be a Communist or HIS are meant repudiating her Jewish faith, Jewish Tradition, Jewish history. 22 And So Many Became resigned to integration, assimilation, and Mixed Marriages owned-Anything to ensure That Their Children Would Be No longer Tiede to the Jewish people or to Jewish destiny. And yet …
Ilya Ehrenburg year WAS example. During the last years of the war, Vasily Grossman Along with (the brilliant author of Life and Fate), cities and villages scoured HE, gathering and Testimony from Survivors Chronicles of the ghettos and the camps. Together they compiled year Anthology of Jewish Suffering Human Cruelty and from Vilna to Minsk Reaching, Berdichev to Kiev, Kharkov to Odessa. This “black book” One can not read accounts contained without feeling Despair.Because It Was Not published in 1945 by Stalin changed HAD HIS Policy Toward Germany and the Jews Both. The Kremlin’s spokesmen and propagandists received orders to no longer emphasize the Calvary of German atrocities or Jewish Their Victims. […] It WAS HE [Ehrenburg] who ever had a copy of the manuscript entrusted to a reliable friend who WAS to Convey it to Jerusalem When the chance Arosa. Novelist, pamphleteer, propagandist, and Communist, Stalinist Not if, Ehrenburg nevertheless remained a Jew at heart ever had. [P.369]
Ehrenburg, the murderer of millions of Russians and Germans, is hailed as a Jew by Elie Wiesel True! This is the true Wiesel, Will Forgive Any Jew who as long as the Jew himself professes HE Provesi and loyal to Jewry. He celebrates recognized this monster, releasing Him Because of all HIS SINS HE compiled a book of Soviet lies about “Nazi atrocities” and the sufferings of Jews. HIS policy changed in 1945 Stalin Because no longer a threat Germany WAS to Him, But Were the Jews, just as they HAD Before Been to Germany, Czarist Russia and Before That to. This is a low point in Wiesel’s Memoir, But HE is Trapped in His Own Ideology and complete insensitivity to Any But Jews.
A second trip to the USSR
Wiesel made a second trip to the USSR about the Year Later. Though it WAS more Difficult to get in since HE HAD HIS published about first trip, and HE still a friend, Michel Salomon, managed to return. Once again high-level connections HIS Made it Possible. At the airport,
The Israeli charge d’affaires, David Bartov, and his wife, Esther, come to greet us ever had. […]We sped through the city in David’s diplomatic vehicle. Two spacious rooms reserved for us at HAD Been the National Hotel. That very evening took us to the Bartovs performance by a troupe of Yiddish Traveling. [P.370]
Do they ever get away from Jews? No, They Do not Appear to have Any desire to. Also, note what priceless benefits HAS Brought to statehood, they have international Jews with special privileges and Immunity Diplomats, international connections and greatly Improved.
On this trip, Wiesel says HE WAS FOLLOWED BY KGB agents, HIS hotel room while HE WAS WAS searched out, and the copy of HIS HE Brought Along newest book on the plight of Russian Jews, The Jews of Silence,Taken WAS. Finally frightened by this, HE WAS back at the airport for return flight back to Paris, about to board, When …
The young woman motioned to me to board, But at the Same instant the officer shouted something. Suddenly things Moved Quickly. Before I Realized what WAS happening, the two Israelis Were at my side. One of Them took my ticket while The Other snatched my passport out of the officer’s hand. I felt myself Being Lifted like a package. They ran, and so did I, amide whistles and shouted orders. We do not know how I managed our way to Jost through all the gates and Barriers, But We jumped into the car and took off Embassy. Why not did the police stop us, I do not know. I was too stunned to try to understand, to think about it too Dazed. The Israeli Behind the wheel drove back home as if HE Were in Tel Aviv. Would I worry about That Later. In A Moment We Were on Embassy Grounds. [P.374]
Wiesel tells in great detail about this trip, Taking five pages, Which Means it probably the way HE says Happened. Why HE CAN do it in this instance, while Other, more important events in HIS life has sloughed over in a single Paragraph? I leave the reader to answer that. After spending days at the Israel Embassy Three, Were things “straightened out.”
Accompanied by my two Israeli bodyguards, I Returned to the airport. Everything Went smoothly.The Intourist and Aeroflot Employees greeted me amiably. There WAS no problem […] The plane WAS half empty. I HAD the Whole first-class section to myself. 23
I arrived in Paris just in time for the annual conference of French Jewish Intellectuals Organized by Jean Halperin and Andre Neher under the auspices of the World Jewish Congress. Rather Than That year’s Designated speak on topic (and God …), I recounted my experiences and impressions while in Moscow. [P375-6]
Above: Elie Wiesel at a rally for Soviet Jews in New York after two trips to the Soviet HIS Union.Wearing dark glasses, the role of the HE Looks undercover agent.
A couple pages later, and insight into We gain Some Wiesel’s fanatic and totally Jew-centered world-view about the Talmudic When HE Speaks Saul Lieberman, WHOM HE WAS thrilled with To Be Able to study.
He made me aware That to Be a Jew is to place the greatest store in knowledge and loyalty, That it is divine justice recognizes Because heh heh That Speaks Out Against Human unjust. Because it is the Jew That Remains attached to HIS God That is permitted to question Him HE. Because it is the prophets of Israel loved the people they admonished Them That Their kings and reprimanded.Everything depends on WHERE you stand, my master used to say. With God Anything Can Be Said. Without God nothing is Heard. Without God Is Not What is Said said. [P.380]
This explains to me Why Some extents to lie so they CAN easily. All Jews have with God, therefore Anything Can Be Said. Thos without God-goyim, the Gentiles, Are Not Heard. What they say Is Not Said, Means nothing.This is a Reasonable Interpretation Which We see acted out Before our eyes everywhere. Why It Makes clear the Gentile world and the Jewish world can not Adjust to One Another. All talk Suche That if the Gentiles by Jews Would just make it Would Be Enough Possible concessions, is deceitful. At Least When it is dealing with Jews like Elie Wiesel and Saul Lieberman.
The Mossad motto: By Way of Deception (deaths), Thou Shalt make war (thin defeat enemies). Elie Wiesel HAS Been Shown To Be deceitful again and again. Thus, perfectly in tune with HE is the Mossad.
14. Elie Wiesel, Memoirs: All Rivers Run to the Sea, Knopf, 1995, p. 286.
15. Wiesel Claims to have di Velt Hot Gesvign Written A, the Yiddish manuscript of 862 pages, while on the boat Traveling to Brazil in Spring 1954. See
16. Silent Heroes Is Not Listed among the books ever Authored Wiesel, cloud Could I find it at Amazon.
18. Michael is the main character in HIS book The Town Beyond the Wall , a fictional account of HIS life in Sighet.
19. According to one visitor: In the spring of 1944, more Jews lived in Maramures Than Gentiles, a remote part of Romania THEN under Hungarian control. Most come in the late nineteenth HAD Early Twentieth Centuries and from Russia. (They have really Russians, Hungarians or Romanians note.) Some worked the farms, and lived in Villages and Towns Some, working as traders and craftsmen. There Were synagogues in most villages, and in the regional capital, Sighet Jews worshiped at the Synagogue on Nagykoz Street developed.
20. Yet Wiesel, handlers or HIS, HIS family presents as prosperous, progressive, Cultured and upstanding.We see pictures of middle-class Them looking fairly. WAS the capital city of Sighet the province. What is the reality?
21. By “Bible” he Really Means Talmud.
22. This is Simply Not True, But is Wiesel’s Attempt to separate Jews from the Communist taint.
23. We learn from this first class Travels That Wiesel. What else Would We Expect?