Auschwitz Memorial casts doubt on Holocaust memoir timeline
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Auschwitz Memorial casts doubt on Holocaust memoir timeline

Memorial raises concerns about new book which claims the author's great uncle was among the first eight Jews imprisoned at Auschwitz

First One In, Last One Out by Marilyn Shimon, pictured on right, is published by Mirror Books (RRP £8.99)
First One In, Last One Out by Marilyn Shimon, pictured on right, is published by Mirror Books (RRP £8.99)

The Auschwitz museum has cast doubt on the timeline of events described in a new Holocaust memoir about a survivor’s incarceration in Nazi prisons and concentration camps.

Marilyn Shimon’s book “First One In, Last One Out”, recently released by Mirror Books, claims the author’s Polish Jewish great uncle was among the first eight Jews to be imprisoned at Auschwitz.

Murray Scheinberg, who died in Los Angeles in 1996, was a survivor of KL Auschwitz, Auschwitz II–Birkenau, Sachsenhausen, Oranienburg and Dachau.

The book offers an account of his survival, describing an arrest in 1939, a journey to Auschwitz on the first mass transport from Tarnow in June 1940 and his escape from Dachau in 1945.

The book asserts that Scheinberg was initially registered as a Polish political prisoner and that he concealed his Jewish identity for a period but was no longer able to keep it hidden while being forced to undress for a communal shower.

According to the timeline published in the book, Scheinberg was transferred to Auschwitz II-Birkenau and registered as number 31321 in November 1943.

But Auschwitz Memorial said in a statement on Tuesday the number tattooed on his wrist suggests he was “registered as a Jewish prisoner in Auschwitz on 18 April 1942 and arrived in a transport of 461 men deported from Pawiak prison in Warsaw.”

“They received numbers between 30937 and 31397,” read a lengthy statement from the museum at the site of the former Nazi death camp.

The statement said that it was “unlikely” Scheinberg was deported to Auschwitz in June 1940.

“If Mr Scheinberg had been deported to Auschwitz on 14 June 1940 his camp number would have been between 31 and 758,” the memorial said.

“It is impossible that a prisoner from the first transport from June 1940 would receive a new number. Even if a prisoner was registered as a non-Jewish prisoner and then the SS would ‘discover’ his Jewish identity, the number would not be changed,” it added.

But the author, 66, a retired educator based in the United States, told Jewish News last month that she spent four years researching and writing the book.

“We must educate the youth,” she told this newspaper. “They must know what happened because if they don’t, it will happen again.”

“And most important, not being a bystander.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments