The con man who assumed the name Elie Wiesel has died. We may never know what his real name was.
A dedicated partisan for Jewish causes, he made himself rich and famous by spinning an elaborate web of lies about his supposed experience of the Holocaust. Careful reading of his work reveals telling implausible details suggesting conscious fraud.
After he had achieved fame, a magazine set up a "surprise" interview with an old acquaintance from the camp. Rather than greeting one another like long lost brothers, however, the two men did not recognise one another at all. The other man spoke to Wiesel in Hungarian which he appeared not to understand. "Who is this?" he said to the journalists. Embarrassed, Wiesel gave the other man a copy of his book and walked off.
Although Wiesel, in his book, claimed he had been tattooed on his arm. Photographed much later, however, there was no tattoo on his arm.
"Wiesel" was a Jewish con man who got away with a lifetime of lies.