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The Fifth Diamond: A Special Jewel in the Genre of Holocaust Horror Stories, part 5 (of 5)

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Irene Weisberg Zisblatt writes of swallowing the same diamonds over and over again for a year in order to save all she has left of her family. What else does she say—and why is it not believable?

Apophenia: the phenomenon of seeing things that aren’t there. People will see, and believe, what they expect to see, what they want to see, or even what they are told they are seeing, as often as they will see, and believe, what they are actually seeing.

By Carolyn Yeager

Part Five

(ST=Shoah Testimony, FD=The Fifth Diamond, LD=The Last Days, RI=Radio Interview. See Part One for further explanation.)

Displaced Persons camp

(ST) She only says “They took us to Salzburg, Austria … I was with people from Poland, from different countries, waiting for borders to open up, waiting for papers to come through to go to different countries. Most of the people were hoping to go to Palestine, but that was closed too.” (@3hr3min) She says (Jews) had to be smuggled in and “we tried that also, we did get to Italy and laid on the beaches for 5 days and nights waiting for a ship to come get us … but there was no ship.”[24] When asked by the interviewer—“Who did you go with?”—she remained vague by answering, “Just, uh, kids that, uh, well, there were a couple of leaders that were very devoted, uh, Haganah[25] people and Zionists … they came one night” and recruited the residents to try to get to Palestine illegally. She says, “Most of the people, we didn’t even know each other.” She stayed in the DP camp until 1947. She had information placed in newspapers in the States and an uncle in the Bronx answered her “article” in The Forward.[26]
Remarks: When she says ‘us’ followed by ‘people from Poland’, it indicates she was with mostly Polish people. I suspect Zisblatt changed “Sabka’s” identity from Polish to Lithuanian because, as time went on, she wanted to distance herself from every Polish association, not least because she is hiding her early marriage to the Pole Alter Lewin, along with other Polish ties she may also be hiding. I note her failure to put names to any of the “we’s” and “us’s” she is so fond of using. She spent two years in the DP camp, was never alone, and not one friend or helper is mentioned by name. Two years versus one year in Nazi camps—the one year is filled with events and experiences worthy of an entire book, but the two (in spite of her marriage) are devoid of anything worth talking about. (Read more…)

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