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I understand the authors right to be emotional but......
on 12 September 2014
While I see the importance of these books to keep history alive I also believe that absolute accuracy is paramount, everywhere these days there are denials of the holocaust as it is reported, these people are always on the lookout for inconsistencies, it's important not to give them any to lend weight to their argument.
I believe Olgas tale without reservation but in some instances she appears to go for what is really hearsay instead of the truth, I will cite one example: she states that the "Blonde Angel" also called the "blonde Bitch of Belsen" or "the Hyena of Auschwitz" Irma Grese had to be dragged to the gallows, however both the british officer commanding the executions and Albert Pierrepoint the hangman have written separately that Grese walked to the trap laughing and told them to Schnell, she even joked with them about asking her her age. This in itself is a small matter but it reveals that the author does stray from the facts to either wishful thinking on Greses reaction or to a trust in a story she has been told. The facts as they happened could easily have been checked and I think it leaves room for suspicion that if one fact is so obviously incorrect or sensationalist then what else is.
I know it's probably not allowed to criticise these type of memoirs but like it or not there were many testimonys at the Nurnberg trials that were understandably confused where guards and events were mixed up, some testimonys were deemed by the court to be openly malicious or false.
I like Primo Levis books better I have to say, and often find also that books written by non-inmates but based on research and interviews with them are often less emotional and more revealing. I fully understand this authors right to be emotional and passionate on the events that she suffered through though, and I hope that instead of rebuffing any criticism people understand that only through discussion can the memory of these terrible events be preserved.