Where is Elie's Tattoo?
Elie Wiesel has told us for over 50 years that he was tattooed at Auschwitz in 1944, and that his tattoo number is A7713. He has repeatedly said that he still has this original tattoo on his arm. Just last March in Dayton, Ohio, Elie met with the press, high school and college students, and 2300 members of the local community. As reported in the Dayton Daily News , one student asked Wiesel if he still has his concentration camp number and if it serves as a reminder of those terrible experiences. "I don’t need that to remember, I think about my past every day," he responded. "But I still have it on my arm – A7713. At that time, we were numbers. No names, no identity."
Posted on May 22, 2016 at 10:27 am
By Carolyn Yeager
That’s not asking too much. He burst on the scene (with the help of Bild news organization) of what is already a show-trial in Detmold, Germany and made it even showier. He sought attention for himself.
He is quoted by NBC News as proclaiming in the courtroom, referring to Auschwitz:
“Can you imagine working in a crematorium, when you are only 15 years old? I had to break the bones of the dead to get them untangled … I am not Joshua Kaufman, I am number 109023.”
I think, under the circumstances, this statement requires him to tell us if he has this number tattooed on his arm. He sought publicity for his story of being a victim of Auschwitz – no one dragged him into that courtroom as they dragged Reinhold Hanning, the defendant. He can’t selectively say what he wants and hold back what he doesn’t want to say. Plus most of his fellow Auschwitz deportees willingly show their tattoo – those that have one, that is.
I have explained elsewhere that according to the bits and pieces Joshua Kaufman has thrown out there (not in any chronological order, by the way), he cannot have had the Auschwitz number 109023. According to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum web site, as a Hungarian Jew arriving at Birkenau in 1944, his number would have been preceded by an ‘A’ followed by a number no higher than 20,000. The number he gives is over 100,000. Because of this discrepancy, which he himself originated, he is responsible for answering how he came up with this number.
A second problem with this statement is that it can be shown he was 16 years old when he would have been in Auschwitz in 1944. He even says he was 15 at Dachau, in 1945. It appears he has chosen the age of 15 for his victim story because it has a better ring to it than does sixteen.
A Media Creation
The media won’t ask such a question or bring up any discrepancies. The Joshua Kaufman story is a media creation. Beginning with the Daily Mail UK‘s trumped-up January 2015 story about a reunion with his American “liberator,” then moving on to Germany’s Bild and it’s before-and-after arrival video, plus the US’s NBC News coverage in the courtroom with Kaufman, it is media creating the news. Yet with these three major news outlets covering the man’s story, we still know practically nothing of substance about Kaufman. All they give us are a few outrageous lies (like the one above), and ‘human interest’ profiles.
Here are some things I’ve learned about him from carefully scanning the news articles:
1. He comes from Hungary, born in 1928.
2. He was a ‘survivor’ of the Debrecen ghetto.
3. He was deported to Auschwitz (probably in 1944), then worked in 3 smaller camps, ending the war in Dachau where he was liberated on April 30, 1945.
4. He moved to Israel at an unknown date after the war, stayed there for 25 years (some sources say 30 years), served in the IDF during two wars in 1967 and 1973, moved to the United States before 1975.
5. He married at age 47, which would have been in 1975, and had a family of four daughters.
6. He worked as an independent plumber in California.
7. He never talked about his holocaust experience until recently “because he felt guilty about throwing [fellow Jews] into cement mixers.” He’s talking about it now because “In ten years’ time, there will probably be no one left who survived it.”
So let’s start with number one and two:
Kaufman says he is 88 years old in May 2016 which gives him a birth date of 1928. It was his “liberator” Daniel Gillespie who identified Kaufman to the Daily Mail as a Hungarian Jew. Bild reinforces that by writing that he was a survivor of the Debrecen ghetto:
Kaufman survived the Debrecen ghetto (Hungary). He also survived the Auschwitz and Dachau concentration camps. In Dachau, he was freed on 30 April 1945. Following his liberation, he lived in Israel for 25 years. Kaufman: “In the concentration camp, I was no longer a human being, but an animal. Aged 15, I had to carry 50-kilo bags of cement for more than 12 hours a day. Everyone who could not manage that was thrown into the cement mixer.
Does anyone at Bild really think that exhausted workers were thrown into the cement mixer? I doubt it, but not a questioning word is heard. Checking out the Debrecen ghetto, I found this on Wikipedia:
The order to erect a ghetto there was issued on April 28, 1944. They finished building the ghetto walls on May 15. On June 14 all Debrecen Jews were deported to the nearby Serly brickyards. Most of the Debrecen Jews were deported to Auschwitz, arriving there on July 3, 1944.
The Debrecen ghetto was only used for one month before they were deported to Auschwitz. Kaufman, being among them, wouldn’t have arrived until July 3, 1944, and spent only 10 months at various camps. Or, he never left Hungary at all.
Debrecen was liberated by the Soviet Army on 20 October 1944. Some 4,000 Jews of Debrecen and its surroundings survived the war, creating a community of 4,640 in 1946 – the largest in the region. About 400 of those moved to Israel, and many others moved to the west by 1970.
Considering he doesn’t say when he was arrested, or what he did immediately after liberation from Dachau, he could very well be one of the 400 who moved to Israel from Debrecen and then to the United States in the 1970’s. But, in any case, his alleged Auschwitz number doesn’t fit his history, as far as we can know it. More on that in a moment. First I want to include some history of Debrecen, Hungary’s second largest city, from Wikipedia:
Jews were first allowed to settle in Debrecen in 1814, with an initial population count of 118 men within 4 years. Twenty years later, they were allowed to purchase land and homes. By 1919, they consisted 10% of the population (with over 10,000 community members listed) and owned almost half of the large properties in and around the town
In 100 years they went from 0 to 10% of the population, from 118 to 10,000, and owned 50% of the large properties. This is why they were and are resented. The mistake came when they were given the same rights as Hungarians by being allowed to purchase land and homes anywhere. If individual Jews are not wealthy themselves, they get money from Jews who are wealthy, even abroad, and buy up everything they can as their agent. So the Hungarians were glad to get rid of these Jews when they were deported — not to a death camp but to a labor or detention camp.
At that time, in 1944, Kaufman was 16 years old. He has shown pictures of himself in the Bild video in which he appears to be a well-to-do Jew, both before and after his “ordeal.”
More on Kaufman’s history
Of numbers 3 through 6, I have no further information than what is stated.
Number 7 tells us that Kaufman’s objective is to help the Jewish case for “The Holocaust,” just like Martin Gray, Elie Wiesel and Paul Argiewicz, and hundreds of others. It’s not about reality but about what’s good for the Jews. Kaufman jumps right into it.
“I lost 100 members of my family, At age 15, I was working in a gas chamber in Auschwitz, dragging out bodies.”
If he became a “sondercommando” working in a gas chamber, he would certainly have been tattooed. Bild newspaper was even told that he had to transport the dead bodies out of the gas chamber with a wheelbarrow. “In Auschwitz, Kaufman had to transport the dead bodies out of the gas chamber with a wheelbarrow. He will talk about this during the trial,” they wrote. A wheelbarrow!? Excuse me, but I have to laugh at that. With 20,000 allegedly gassed per day at that time, you would need a hundred people like him, all bumping into each other with their wheelbarrows!
Then this man Kaufman, who does not answer questions himself, has the gall to say about defendant Hanning:
“I would like to hear answers from him. How can you act this inhumanely? How can you live with it? How was he able to happily go home to his family in the evenings? I want him to beg for forgiveness.”
Who is this guy lecturing Germans – showing up at an on-going trial, whether it be right or wrong (it’s wrong, but he’s not trying to right it), with his highly questionable story? What a completely arrogant human being. He goes on:
“They should know what happened to us. In ten years’ time, there will probably be no one left who survived it. That’s why I am talking about it now. For a long time, I did not [talk about it] because I did not feel like a hero. I felt guilty. After all, I had to throw people into the cement mixer, too. Not a single minute passes without my having to think of Auschwitz. I will speak for everyone who did not survive.” (Except it was at Dachau where he says he threw people into the cement mixer.)
He was not a hero! He now thinks people see him that way, after all the movies and books and endless newspaper stories he’s seen over the past 50 years. In the Bild video, he gives himself away by anticipating disbelief in advance, saying: “Everything I did – and nothing is copied from a book and nothing from a movie – everything myself experienced.” That means it’s just the opposite. It was all copied because he only mentions extreme things that never took place in reality. His goal is to exemplify the “Nazis” as evil personified and himself as an innocent survivor of that evil, but what he chooses to say portrays him as just the opposite. As a villain. He “broke the bones” of dead Jews and threw others in a cement mixer!
He volunteered for the ‘gas chamber’ work at Auschwitz
Orit Arfa, a friend of Kaufman’s daughters, wrote a story published in the Jewish Journal of her meeting with the three of them after they left Detmold and came to Berlin. The occasion was a Shabat (Friday night) dinner at an Orthodox Chabad meeting place. Orit called Joshua “Yehoshua” and said “he had hurt his knee a few weeks earlier but decided he must travel to Germany to seek justice.”
Justice?! For whom? More justice for Jews is all he can mean. She wrote:
He had prepared his words, how he had lugged dead bodies out of Auschwitz gas chambers, pulling them apart as they stuck together during their murder. He was 15 at the time, and volunteering for such gruesome work helped keep him alive.
I get the feeling she read this in the news accounts of the trial, don’t you? Maybe she then asked him about it because she quoted Kaufman as saying:
“It was a way for me to stay alive and to see what was going on around the camp,” Yehoshua related at the Chabad table.
Wow, how casually stated. He volunteered to assist in the gassing and cremating of fellow Hungarian Jews in order to stay alive himself! Since he has also said he was sent out to work from Auschwitz, that is not what kept him alive. Big Lie. Another reason was to see what was going on around the camp? Like a tourist? Or a detective? How superficial and unfeeling is this statement. Note he doesn’t say which gas chamber or crematorium he worked in, as if there were only one. Funny no one asked him. But then Orit tells us:
But he seemed more interested in discussing other subjects, like why I wasn’t married. […] He enthused how pleased he was to see me, and how glad they decided to go to Chabad in the end, despite physical and emotional exhaustion from long train rides and legal roller coasters. He looked proudly around the room of Jews singing Shabbat hymns.
So he wants to change the subject, does he? He’s not interested in going into any detail about his stories. This, I think, is the most important sentence I’ve come across, that he didn’t want to discuss it further. He had his “prepared words” and that’s all he had.
After berating Reinhold Hanning for not confessing to what he did not do and did not know, but remaining silent, Joshua Kaufman reveals himself as the most silent of all when it comes to what he doesn’t know and did not do. The Media also remains silent in the face of obvious and important contradictions and impossible claims. Both Kaufman and the Media are engaging in a hypocrisy so entrenched the public barely notices it. But I notice it and I want to know:
How does Kaufman explain his number 109023? Where is his tattoo? I am demanding answers from him. Why don’t you join me.