Friday, November 30th, 2012
By Carolyn Yeager
On Oct. 17 in New York, actor Tom Hanks became this year’s honoree of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. Honored for what, you ask? Well, it’s a little vague. What is written in the news account is “Hanks’ consistent thoughtfulness and concern with his charitable endeavors.” Doesn’t specify what they are, but I looked it up separately and found Hanks is a supporter of a variety of mainly health, i.e. curing disease symptoms, and environmental causes. He is on the Board of Governers of the National Space Society, which is dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization, and he supports UNICEF.
At right, Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson with Wiesel at the Elie Wiesel Foundation ‘Arts for Humanity’ Gala in New York City.
Oprah Winfrey was similarly honored in 2007. That ceremony was held at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. The ceremony for Tom Hanks took place at the New York Public Library, the difference of location possibly having to do with pre-Madoff and post-Madoff.
However, Hanks’ award is called the Arts for Humanity award, rather than the Humanitarian Award, which doesn’t appear to be given out every year – the last one mentioned was given to Nicholas Sarkozy in 2008 when he was President of France, for his “steadfast support of Israel.” [Of course, later Sarkozy was accused of “racism” for initiating a program of deporting France’s Roma refugee population back to Romania and Bulgaria from whence they came, which must have disappointed Wiesel and his Foundation staff. ] So is Hanks’ award the same or different from the Humanitarian Award? As with everything to do with Wiesel, it can’t be pinned down.
But the question that came up in my one-track mind is: Did Elie pull back his tuxedo jacket sleeve and show the famous actor his vaunted “death camp” tattoo – as a special privilege that he reserves for certain people? Hanks didn’t mention it, so I guess not. There were probably too many people around, anyway. This tattoo-unveiling must take place when no witnesses are present to spoil what is one person’s word against everyone who was not there (i.e. everyone else)!
Only Verena Dobnik, the Associated Press reporter on the NY City beat, has made the claim of seeing the elusive symbol that represents Elie being an inmate at the Auschwitz “Death Camp.”
Verena Dobnik and AP are now hiding from this issue
A reader, Laura Bell, has written in to tell us that Elie Wiesel has stated to “her teacher” that he doesn’t show his tattoo because he doesn’t want to say “Oh, look what the Nazis did to me.” He doesn’t want to give them that satisfaction. So that is the reason eh? Well, that apparently didn’t stop him from showing it to Verena Dobnik on the occasion of her interview with him, or to someone (according to Dobnik) at Buchenwald when he was there with U.S. Pres. Barack Obama in 2009. But Verena Dobnik doesn’t want to talk about this singular honor given her past her first claim that she was given it. My emails to her via the Associated Press go unanswered and my phone calls are not returned, even though I am assured “they will get back to me.” When they find out what I want from them, they simply go into hiding mode.
Between my emails and phone calls, and those of others such as Roger and Brian, we will keep their attention anyway. Brian suggested a registered letter – that is a good idea! I suppose he found a snail mail address. I will call the New York AP office again on Monday and this time I’ll ask for the name of the person to whom I’m speaking. I hope many more of you will do the same. The phone number is 1-212-621-1500; email is [email protected]
The Associated Press has put itself into a bad position by allowing a reporter like Verena Dobnik to include unverified nonsense concerning Elie Wiesel into her news stories. But this particular bit of nonsense is very different from the usual lies about what occurred to any random self-described “holocaust survivor” 70 years ago, or even to Elie Wiesel 70 years ago. This is about right now, and what this woman “saw” on Wiesel’s arm just two months ago, and how it can be verified – because it must be verified. I suggest that Dobnik come forward and answer some questions about what she saw, and the circumstances surrounding it, because we know that Elie Wiesel won’t do so. That’s why we call Elie Wiesel a liar, and now we’re also calling Verena Dobnik a liar … and next will come the Associated Press.