Taken from Mr Wear’s blog found here.
Simply put, it depends on the context, whether other eyewitnesses give similar independent accounts and whether said testimony fits in with what we already have evidence for.
John Wear takes a great deal of effort to criticise the alleged “testimony” of Elie Wiesel. To do this he refers to Wiesel’s book “The Night“. This is Mr Wear’s description of the book:
Elie Wiesel, whose autobiography Night written in 1956 helped him win the Nobel Peace Prize
Straight away, Mr Wear distorts the facts: The book “Night” is actually a fictional novel based on the experiences of Elie Wiesel during his stay at Auschwitz. Yes, Mr Wiesel bases a lot of his book on personal experience, but no, it is not a reliable testimony as to actual events at Auschwitz concerning gassings. Indeed no historian has ever used the book as proof for the existence of gas chambers. So when it comes to the burning pits…that is made up. Wiesel never saw them as he never went anywhere near Krematorias 4 and 5. That does not mean to say that said pits never existed; they did. So when Mr Wear makes this claim:
Also, if there had been burning pits at Birkenau, these would have shown in some of the Allied aerial photographs taken of Birkenau in1944.
He is simply ignorant of the air photo evidence we DO have regarding the burning pits of Auschwitz Birkenau. Indeed the R.A.F. in 1944 took very clear pictures of those pits in action in the summer of 1944.
These air photos coincide with secret photos taken by the Sonderkommando at the same time which show the pits in action.
We do not need any descriptions from Wiesel of burning pits in use at Birkenau because we have better evidence from better witnesses and documentation.
Mr Wear then goes on to make the claim that Wiesel and his father left Auschwitz in January 1945 with the Germans rather than stay to be liberated by the Soviets. Surely, according to Mr Wear, if the Germans had committed so many mass murders why would the two men go with them? Here is what Mr Wear writes:
If Birkenau had been a place of mass exterminations, why would Wiesel choose to travel with his supposed killers?
Quite obviously Mr Wear has not fully read the book. If he had done so, the reasons why Elie Wiesel and his father decided to leave the camp with the Germans would have been clear.
Were the SS really going to leave hundreds of prisoners behind in the infirmaries, pending the arrival of their liberators? Were they really going to allow the Jews to hear the clock strike 12? Of course not.
“All patients will be finished off on the spot” said the faceless one. “And in one last swoop thrown into the furnaces.”
“Surely the camp will be mined”, said another. “Right after the evacuation it will all blow up
How on earth could Mr Wear have missed this? It is rather obvious; the two men feared that they would be murdered if they stayed behind. Rumors can be powerful, especially in a camp where murder was common. Wiesel was not the only person to believe that they would be killed. Another prisoner, Joseph Bialot who lived in a different part of the camp to Wiesel, believed the same rumors:
Block 19, diarrhea section
[…] To stay in the block is to die. Nobody can assure that food will be supplied. No more bakery, no kitchens. Without even mentioning what the SS will do. As perfect assassins, they will leave no traces behind.
“Votre Fumee Montera Vers le Ciel”, p 168
Finally, by the time Elie Wiesel left Auschwitz in January 1945, the Final Solution had been cancelled since the previous November. Very few eyewitnesses actually saw any gassing as only the Sonderkommandos had access to the chambers. Many Sonderkommandos were murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz but some managed to mingle with other prisoners in the confusion of the last few days. All which makes this comment by Mr Wear:
…why would the German authorities at Birkenau leave behind thousands of witnesses to their genocide?