Posted on May 10, 2012 at 9:35 am
By Carolyn Yeager
copyright 2012 carolyn yeager
The official Holocaust narrative versus Elie Wiesel on what is Auschwitz Liberation Day
The official Holocaust narrative has it that the Red Army did not arrive at the Auschwitz labor camps until January 27th, 1945—where they found some of the barracks burning, and also blown-up crematorium buildings which had housed “gas chambers.” This is the date that is commemorated all over the world as the Liberation of Auschwitz.
However, on page 87 of the novel Night it is stated that the Russians “liberated” the inmates who were left behind at Monowitz (Auschwitz III) on January 20th, two days after the bulk of the prisoners left on the one-day forced march to Gleiwitz, from where they were put on a train to Buchenwald.
The photograph at right is a still photo from a Soviet propaganda film about the Auschwitz liberation. The clothing warehouses, known as “Canada,” are burning. But who set them on fire? [Author’s note: In January 2014, I wrote in an article published here: The photograph at right, a still from a Soviet propaganda film about the Auschwitz “liberation,” had been thought to be of the clothing warehouses burning. But new research suggests it is more likely regular barracks, probably in Compound B1. If this is true, it makes little difference when the picture was taken, as it was certainly after the Russians arrived.]
I included this detail in Night #1 and Night #2, Part Two under the heading “A record of fact it isn’t.” For the first time I’ve seen anywhere, I pointed out this sentence from Elie Wiesel’s book Night:
A strange detail … is on page 87 of the original Night. Eliezer remarks, after his and his Father’s deliberations and final decision to go on the march: “I learned after the war the fate of those who had stayed behind in the hospital. They were quite simply liberated by the Russians two days after the evacuation.” The evacuation, as we all know, was on the 18th. We also know the Russians did not arrive on the 20th of January! The actual liberation day is January 27. What possessed Wiesel to write this? Well, because it was in Un di velt: “Two days after we had left Buna, the Red Army occupied the camp. All the sick had stayed alive.”
It’s important to keep in mind that the Jan. 20th liberation originally appeared in Un di velt hot geshvign, the Yiddish book published in 1955 from which La Nuit was born in 1958 (with the English version Night following in 1960). Whether or not Elie Wiesel is the author of the Yiddish book, there is no doubt that he wrote La Nuit directly from it. So he either wrote that sentence in Un di velt or he copied it from Un di velt for La Nuit. In any event, he has never rejected that sentence as a mistake, nor was it changed in Marion Wiesel’s 2006 translation … perhaps because it appears in the Yiddish Un di velt.
What is the official narrative and what is its source?
There is no easily determined source for the narrative. It consists of the story that the Germans returned to Birkenau on Jan. 20th to blow up Crematorium II and III in order to destroy the evidence of the “gas chambers.”
According to web-based Holocaust Research Project:
On 20 January 1945 an SS division under SS–Corporal Perschel destroys Crematorium II and III and abandons the camp. On 26 January an SS squad blows up Crematorium V, the last of the crematoriums in Birkenau.
An entire division was required to explode two measly crematorium buildings?! I guess what they’re trying to say is that an SS team returned to Birkenau, after the bulk of the prisoners had been evacuated and before the Russians first arrived, to destroy the “evidence.” In other words, they didn’t plan well enough to do it ahead of time so had to sneak back after they had already abandoned the camp. But wouldn’t the ex-prisoners who remained in the hospital buildings that were very close to Crema II and III have heard and seen the explosions? Yes, of course they would, although we don’t have any statements of hospital patients about a demolition in the camp on January 20th.
On Nizkor we find this timetable (source unknown):
“January 20  … The SS division under Corporal Perschel blows up the already partly demolished Crematoriums II and III and abandons the camp.”
“January 23  … An SS division arrives in the prisoner’s infirmary camp in B-IIf in the afternoon…they set 30 storeroom barracks [the “warehouses”-cy] in the personal effects camp on fire…. These barracks burn for several days. After the liberation, 1,185,345 pieces of women’s and men’s outerwear, 43,255 pairs of shoes, 13,694 carpets, and a large number of toothbrushes, shaving brushes, and other items such as protheses, glasses, etc., among other things are found in the six remaining partially burned barracks.” [Note: The warehouse barracks were right behind the hospital barracks, where most of the remaining prisoners were staying.]
“January 26  … At 1:00 A.M. the SS squad with the task of eliminating the traces of SS crimes blows up Crematorium V, the last of the crematoriums in Birkenau.”
“January 27  …The first Red Army reconnaissance troops arrive in Birkenau and Auschwitz at around 3:00 P.M. and are joyfully greeted by the liberated prisoners….
[Note: If the clothing warehouses were set on fire on Jan. 23, would they still be burning on Jan. 28, 29, 30… however long it took the Soviet movie makers to get there?-cy]
In Danuta Czech’s Calendarium [Auschwitz Chronicle 1939-1945, Henry Holt, 1990, 855 pp], probably the source of the above, Czech has the final destruction of Cremas II and III taking place on January 20, 1945. Her basis for that are two “eyewitnesses”—female prisoners Anna Kowalczyk and Maria Matlak—who had remained behind and who said that they “saw” the SS in the camp on that day, and from them came the name of SS-Unterscharführer Perschel, who had been “capo of the Work Service in the women’s camp”, so they knew him. These two women said that after ordering 200 women outside the camp gates to be shot (!), Perschel selects a group of male prisoners from the infirmary (!) to carry boxes of dynamite to Cremas II and III. This is the entire basis for Czech’s claim that the SS returned on Jan. 20th and blew up the Cremas! This is what the Holocaust Industry passes off as proof.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum uses Czech’s timeline, but leaves out the Jan. 20-26 demolition dates.
JANUARY 17, 1945
As Soviet troops approached, SS units evacuated prisoners in the Auschwitz camp complex, marching them on foot toward the interior of the German Reich. The forced evacuations came to be called “death marches.”
JANUARY 27, 1945
Soviet troops liberated about 8,000 prisoners left behind at the Auschwitz camp complex.
I did not find anything on the Auschwitz-Birkenau website either. So one thing is clear: these dates about the SS divisions returning to blow up and burn down “evidence” are not sourced in documents. No order has been produced, and there would have to be an order. The SS troops couldn’t just do whatever they decided on their own. The witness statements are of dubious value, to say the least. Thus, there is no reason to believe the “Germans-blew-up-the-Cremas-to-hide-evidence-of-crimes” story, except that it became part of the official narrative that was constructed at Nuremberg. It is held .. it is believed … it is thought … but it is not proved.
What does a January 20th liberation mean?
A January 20th liberation by the Soviets means the Germans could not have returned to blow up the crematorium buildings, nor could they have burned down the clothing warehouses. It means that only the Soviets could have done it—because only the Soviets had the opportunity to do it.
Would they do such a thing if they really held “evidence of German crimes” in their hands … in the form of real gas chambers? Certainly not. It was because there was no evidence of German crimes in those buildings. It was to cover up the lack of German crimes that they would destroy the buildings. They reasoned (in their sly, dishonest minds) that the best course would be to invent German crimes, which they had already been doing since 1941 (and the Polish Resistance had been spreading gassing rumors since 1942), and to simply add the destruction of the buildings by the SS to their list of “German crimes.”
I came across an exchange between two revisionists that took place in 2005. It went like this:
1st revisionist: For me, it seems more plausible that the Soviets (or some other party) destroyed the crematoriums after the war to support their alleged story of genocide. Then they were able to spread this story: “Why would the SS have destroyed the cremas, if not to cover for mass homicide.”
2nd revisionist: I agree with you totally. I also believe the Russians blew them up to destroy the solid evidence that would contradict the lies they were cooking up and about to release on the world.
From the time the Red Army arrived, Soviet Intelligence was in total control. None of the other Allies were allowed to enter this region. In 1947, the Soviets rebuilt the crematorium in Auschwitz I to make it appear that it was used as a gas chamber. Even so, it is not a convincing job. In Birkenau, it was easier to destroy the crematoriums and tamper with them (such as breaking holes into the collapsed roof to match the absurd story of Zyklon B thrown into the chamber through the holes in the roof.) About these chiseled-out holes, court-certified expert engineer Walter Luftl, as quoted by Germar Rudolf in his book Lectures on the Holocaust (Theses and Dissertations Press, 2005), p 246, said:
In the cellars of Crematories II and III, the entire force of explosion was forced upward, causing heavy damage to the roofs. The hole under consideration is characterized by the fact that all the cracks and breaks of the slab are found around it, but do not go through it! According to the rules of construction technology this fact alone proves with scientific certainty that it was made after the roof had been destroyed.
Photo documentation and literature of what the Russians found is scarce.
Why is it that the earliest photo that exists of the destroyed Crema II is this one from February 1945? Why is there no photograph from the time the Russians arrived in January, since such a picture would have much greater propaganda value? To properly document such an important discovery—that the Germans had blown up evidence of crimes as they retreated—many photographs would need to be taken. What happened? Did they run out of film?
As Tom Moran noted on the Nizkor page linked to above: “It is written the Soviets installed an “Extraordinary Commission” the very day of liberation of the camp and yet no photos are presented on the Holocaust promotional circuit of these buildings, or what was left, lest of course the one and only photograph of Crema II which is nothing more than a collapsed slab of concrete.”
In Photographing the Holocaust: Interpretations of the Evidence (Tauris & Company, London, in association with The European Jewish Publication Society, 2004) on page 143, author Janina Struk writes:
On 28 January, 1945, the day after the camp was liberated by the Red Army, Adolf Forbert was one of the first Polish soldiers to arrive. He described his first impression of Auschwitz as being as “macabre” as Majdanek but on a larger scale.
Forbert stayed to film everything he could, but with only 300 meters of film, a camera of the Bell and Howell type manufactured by the Russians, and one Leica, the possibilities were limited.
He said there were 500 sick women in the women’s hospital in Birkenau. The fate of Forbert’s film and photographs of Auschwitz is not known.
The film “Chronicles of the Liberation of Auschwitz,” made in 1945, is attributed to four Soviet army filmmakers. The majority of the now well-known stills of the liberation are taken from this film.
Soon after liberation, other photographers began to arrive to take photos for the special investigative commissions established to collect evidence of Nazi crimes.
(Barbie) Zelizer [author of books on the Holocaust and Media -cy] states there was an inconsistency in the way the Soviets reported the liberation of the camps in Eastern Europe generally. Not only did they not publicize the liberation of Auschwitz until after the liberation of the western camps, but they didn’t issue press releases about the extermination camps at Belzec, Sorbibor and Treblinka.
Although their [Red Army] advances through Silesia were reported in detail, there were only two brief mentions about the liberation of the camp. On 29 January in the Guardian, one sentence. On 3 February, the Daily Express had one column on page 4 about the liberation.
In Poland itself, few images were published of the liberation of Majdanek or Auschwitz-Birkenau.
It would be decades before images of Auschwitz would become familiar in the West.
There is almost nothing in Holocaust literature on the arrival of the Soviets to Auschwitz-Birkenau. The only documentation was put together afterward. All the photographs that are exhibited in the various memorial museums (USHMM, Yad Vashem, A-B Memorial & Museum, etc.) and in books, are “stills” from a propaganda film(s) made many weeks or months later … or they are retouched photos, photo-montages and mis-labeled photos that actually show other places and even other national-ethnic groups.
The narrative of a January 27th liberation comes unraveled when scrutinized
Why all the deception? Why all the trickery? The arrival of the Soviets on Jan. 20 instead of Jan. 27 explains it. The person who runs Scrapbookpages Blog and calls himself “furtherglory” once wrote this to a commenter on his blog:
I have read in several books that the Soviets arrived in the area on January 17, 1945 and were in the area for 10 days before they “liberated” the prisoners on January 27, 1945. I have read at least one Holocaust survivor book which said that the warehouses were still there after the Germans left on January 18, 1945. I believe that the Soviets burned down the warehouses. With all the evidence gone, no one could dispute the Soviet testimony at the Nuremberg IMT that 4 million people had been killed at Auschwitz.
The Central Sauna building at Birkenau was kept off limits to tourists for 60 years. Why? The Sauna building was where the clothes were disinfected. Why weren’t tourists allowed to know that the Germans were trying to prevent typhus epidemics?
Also, keep in mind that the last group of Sonderkommandos were marched out of the Birkenau camp and I think a couple of them are still living. Why did the Germans allow these witnesses to live?
Cremas IV and V were also shower houses with hygiene facilities for disinfection. They were close to The Central Sauna and served the same purpose although on a smaller scale. Consider that if the only shower facility in the entire camp was the rather modestly-sized one in The Sauna building, it would not have been at all adequate. But with “Cremas IV and V” also serving that function, they got by. Crema IV was heavily damaged in an uprising on Oct. 7, 1944. Both were ultimately totally destroyed, but the question remains—by whom?
The answer has to be by the Russians themselves. And it is Elie Wiesel who has told us. Just as with his failure to mention “gas chambers” in his book Night, Wiesel falls out of step with the official storyline at times and lets the truth slip out. Was he just saying what most people knew at the time, in spite of what was dreamed up at Nuremberg? I think so. He wrote this in 1954. Not even Elie Wiesel should confuse 9 days with 2 days when it comes to a matter of life or death. Which brings up another question: Is it reasonable that the prisoners left behind in an unguarded facility would just hang around for nine days waiting for the feared “Red Army” to arrive? Would they not take off once they got the chance? Elie says he was one of the hospital patients, his father being allowed to stay with him, yet they both were capable of going on the evacuation march and keeping up with the pace. Thus, many others lying around in the hospital surely could do the same. That is, unless the Soviet representatives surprised them by showing up already on the 20th, before they could prepare themselves to leave.
The story of the Auschwitz liberation is as cloudy as it gets. It has been told in emotion-wrenching photographs that were all staged by Soviet photographers and film makers in the following month of February and even March–every one of them–and by revengeful witnesses who were coached in what to say. As portions of the book by Janina Struk point out, time would pass before a final solution of what happened at Auschwitz could be cobbled together for public consumption by Soviet propagandists.