Posted on June 29, 2013 at 11:35 am
By Carolyn Yeager
Deborah Lipstadt slammed leaders of the Claims Conference on June 26, 2013. (Getty Images)
Prof. Kenneth Waltzer used to be the man to go to when the press wanted to know what to think about any “holocaust” scandal. An example is the book, that was ready to be made into a movie, by Herman and Roma Rosenblat, Angel at the Fence. Waltzer gained a lot from his role in debunking the story (even though it was easy to do), receiving attention in the press as an “honest holocaust historian. ”
Waltzer teaches German history at Michigan State University and is also director of its Jewish Studies Program since 1992 (with some time off).
When he was interviewed by Harper’s magazine about the Rosenblat fraud in December 2008, it boosted his reputation and standing. But for some time now, the only one getting the media attention is Deborah Lipstadt, professor of Jewish Studies at Emory University. I have not seen a word written, nor any kind of announcement from Waltzer about his main project for months. He spent 2011-2012 as the Winegarden Visiting Professor at UM-Flint during which time he worked with students creating their own papers to add to the overabundance of holocaust lore & trivia already in existence. [An interesting sidelight is that his students were directed to use “testimonies and memoirs” as primary sources, and “books and articles” as secondary sources. There is obviously no need for original documents in Prof. Waltzer’s classes.]
I have been scrutinizing Waltzer on the pages of Elie Wiesel Cons The World (EWCTW), not only for mistakes in his holocaust historical account, but also for deception and cover-ups. Can it be that, from this, Ken Waltzer has come to be seen as more of a liability than an asset to other holocaust historians? I can only say it is possible, and Deborah Lipstadt is one who would make such a determination faster than many others. Lipstadt is like a pitbull when it comes to fighting to keep her Jewish Holo Legend afloat; like a hound dog when it comes to sniffing out dangers to it.
Could it be that she has smelled a bad odor coming from Waltzer’s repeated screw-ups as revealed right here at EWCTW, and perhaps has even had a private “scholar to scholar” meeting with him?
“You’re going on the sidelines, Kenny, and I will take over. I don’t want to hear a peep from you until I can assess things and come up with the way forward. Because of your stupid “Rescue of the Children of Buchenwald,” Elie may now be damaged beyond repair … and even he is not more important than preserving the integrity of our sacred Holocaust narrative. If Elie Wiesel is not more important – then you, Ken Waltzer, are certainly not!”
Lipstadt’s special relationship with the Claims Conference
In any event, Lipstadt has taken it upon herself to go after the Jewish Claims Conference officials who handed out hundreds of millions of dollars of German taxpayers’ money to fake holo survivors for 8 years before they “discovered” in 2009 what they had been warned about in 2001.
You can read about her reaction here. The failure on the part of the Claims Conference is certainly bad, but my concern here is more with why Waltzer has nothing to say about it, or why news reporters are not seeking his remarks on Lipstadt’s comments. Has Kenny been put in the dog house?
She wrote dismissively of the Claims Conference, saying that “No one will resign. No one will admit that they screwed up… big time.” This informs us that in spite of her show of outrage, she considers it just a screw-up … not a crime! (Jews don’t commit crimes.)
But still and all, she remains a “great fan” because of the CC support of survivors and historians. Historians?
Lipstadt said the Claims Conference funded the translation of portions of her website, Holocaust Denial on Trial, into Arabic, Farsi, Russian, and Turkish. “I remain tremendously grateful to The Claims Conference for this and other important educational and humanitarian work it has done,” Lipstadt said.
So the Claims Conference, that was instituted to provide a lifetime allowance for “holocaust survivors” who allegedly meet the requirements, also gives German taxpayer money to historians for their websites on which they promote a pro-holocaust narrative and belief. And attack those who are skeptical about it, as Lipstadt does on her “Holocaust Denial on Trial” website.
Is the Claims Conference to be a supporter of pro-holocaust propaganda, or is it to be the administrative arm for determining who is an eligible survivor? It seems to me that Deborah Lipstadt is as guilty of mishandling these funds as anyone! However, on the Claims Conference web site on the “What We Do” page we find:
We fund social services that assist elderly, needy Nazi victims, and allocate limited funds to support Holocaust education, documentation and research.
They have snuck those words into the third item of the four, after the part about funding social services for elderly, needy victims. If it’s legitimate, why do they have to sneak it? Why not make it an item of it’s own.
Lipstadt’s relationship with Ken Waltzer
On Dec. 28, 2008, Deborah Lipstadt wrote this on her blog about Waltzer’s work:
“Professor Ken Waltzer, who did the research that essentially confirmed that Herman Rosenblatt’s memoir was fabricated, has issued the following statement. It is exceptional in its sensitivity and its focus on the real culprits in this entire messy saga.
I have learned tonight that Penguin Berkley Press has pulled the memoir, Angel at the Fence, which I and others have been investigating, from publication. Herman Rosenblat has shared the news that he invented the false story with Harris Salomon, president of Atlantic Overseas Pictures, and Harris Salomon has told the publisher. Penguin Berkley Press will seek restitution. [The second sentence is awkwardly written, something that is common in Waltzer’s writing, showing he was not well educated before his admission to the graduate History program at Harvard. You decide for yourself how he got in. -cy]
I am saddened by the whole thing. First, Herman and Roma Rosenblat are of course to be faulted for making up a Holocaust love story and seeking fame and public attention, but their lying and dissimulating are actually understandable. Less understandable is the widespread belief in their story by the culture makers, including the publisher and movie maker and many thousands of others who have encountered it over a decade.
Second, such belief suggests a broad illiteracy about the Holocaust and about experience in the camps — despite decades of books, serious memoirs, museums, and movies. This shakes this historian up.
This memoir was at the far end of implausibility, yet until yesterday, no one connected with packaging, promoting, and disseminating it asked question about or investigated it. It is same with Elie Wiesel, exactly! Some actively resisted such investigation and tried to shut mine down. [Yes, indeed, investigation into Elie Wiesel’s Night is just as necessary as into the Rosenblat story.-cy]
The idea of a prisoner autonomously going to the fence daily, every day, in a Nazi concentration camp and meeting a young girl at the guarded, electrified fence who was allegedly hiding under false identity with her family in the nearby village and who threw him food beggars the imagination. Prisoners in konzentrationslager could not approach guarded fences; persons in hiding with a primary family group would not risk detection by going daily to a camp where SS guards were concentrated. The actual fence in Schlieben was right next to the SS barracks.
So Herman and Roma overreached and actually demeaned their own Holocaust stories — Herman forgot his brothers who kept him alive in the camps, Roma forgot her own remarkable and sad family story hiding not in Schlieben but elsewhere more than 200 miles away.
But where were the culture makers on this one? What kind of questions did Penguin Berkley Press bring to bear regarding a memoir about a love story set in a concentration camp? What kind of strategy did Harris Salomon embrace to elevate a candy coated Holocaust love story to bring Holocaust education to Middle America? This was not Holocaust education but miseducation. Holocaust experience is not heartwarming, it is heart rending. All this shows something about the broad unwillingness in our culture to confront the difficult knowledge of the Holocaust. All the more important then to have real memoirs that tell of real experience in the camps. [But real memoirs are called Holocaust Denial by D. Lipstadt! -cy]
I want to thank those who have worked with me – particularly forensic genealogists Sharon Sergeant and Colleen Fitzpatrick, and amateur Schlieben historian Uwe Schwarz and his associate Jean-Luis Rey. I also want to thank the many survivors, including Ben Helfgott and Sid Finkel, who put their trust in me and shared their knowledge. Gabe Sherman’s reportage at the New Republic has been remarkable, and there will be more to say in the coming days. [See all the help he needs! LOL -cy]
Director, Jewish Studies
Michigan State University
Finally, a podcast produced by Lipstadt’s denial website:
It carries no date, but would be from 2008-09, or early 2010 at the latest! The interviewer’s name was Leshem.
Finally, finally, can you just tell us what the title of your forthcoming book is and when we might expect it?
Well, I’ve got probably another year of writing to go. [At that time! So what happened? Give an explanation please. Where is the book?] The current title is The Rescue of Children and Youths at Buchenwald, and it tells the story of the communist-led underground in the camp who in ’43 and ’44 evolved a response to the rise of young children and youths inside Buchenwald. They tried to protect them; they tried to increase the likelihood or probability that they would endure until the end of the war. They did it in an ad-hoc (very specific) way because they didn’t have control of the transports and they didn’t know who, or what number, would be coming. And initially they didn’t save very many. Many were sent to the outlying camps and died doing harsh work. [How does he know?] But from summer of ’44 on, against the backdrop of the Allies coming closer from both East and West, which the underground knew about, the underground kept large numbers of boys inside the camp, kept them from being sent out to the outlying sub camps, sheltered them in barracks under underground control — a kind of tough love disciplined control — and gave them access to extra clothing and food, and even in a couple of cases in some barracks conducted schools that lifted their minds beyond the everyday nastiness of the camp. [This all comes from testimony – not under oath – of communists, jews, and communist Jews, not from records. Furthermore, it would not have been possible, and also was not necessary.]
And as a consequence, that helps answer the question how it is that there were 904 boys alive to be liberated when Patton’s army showed up. They had been nurtured, protected, and helped to be made safe by older men, including Communists from Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary, and a Polish-Jewish element that worked with the underground to help save the boys. [You see how they have to credit themselves for the survival of youngsters because it doesn’t fit their overall extermination narrative. Yet, the youth were looked after because the German camp administration saw to it that they were looked after. Following the “liberations,” all the German personnel were killed or arrested or were forced to flee, thus the “victims” could tell any story they wished. If there were any honest ones, they were soon silenced. -cy]