The 14 Words

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

The unforgettable Moshe 'gassed six times' Peer

I passed through the gas chamber at least a half a dozen times, through this vapor-filled "shower" room which, at Bergen-Belsen, was used as a torture chamber for both physical and mental torture, and in which women and children died."
"During my stay at Bergen-Belsen, I went to the showers six or seven times. I will describe things just as they happened, and remember that this is no fiction. These showers were, in reality, gas chambers. Chambers to be filled with poisoned vapors, chambers of death."
— Moïse-Israël Przemyslawski (a.k.a. Maurice Prémilat a.k.a. Moshe [Moshi] Peer a.k.a. Mo Is)
Holocaust survivor "Moshe Peer" is fairly notorious because of an article about him that appeared in the Montreal Gazette in 1993, which claimed that as a boy of 12, he'd survived six separate gassings at Bergen-Belsen, a camp in which homicidal gassing are not claimed by historians to have occured.

As you can see above, "Moshe Peer" was a man of many names. I recently got hold of a copy of the 1993 English translation of his memoirs U.B.B. Unforgettable Bergen-Belsen which were originally written in French and first published also in 1993 as I.B.B. Inoubliable Bergen-Belsen. Nowhere in, or on the book does the name "Moshe (or Moshi) Peer" feature. The author of the memoirs is stated on the cover etc. as "Mo Is," which he states is a pen name "short for Moïse-Israël my given name a birth." He also writes: his surname is Przemyslawski; "at a certain time, my family name was Prémilat"; that Maurice is the French version of his name, and that the English translation of his memoirs was by "A. Emeth, the editor (myself), simply means the truth in Hebrew"! In fact, the only indication from the pre-owned copy of the book that I now possess that its author used the name "Moshi Peer," is in a signed message that he presumably wrote to the original owner of my book, probably at a book signing.

The showering and delousing building at Bergen-Belsen (pictured in 1945 and 2012 more details) which contained a shower cum gas chamber according to Przemyslawski

Przemyslawski did write about the gas chamber of Bergen-Belsen at length in his memoirs, mostly in a chapter titled 'The "Showers": a Tribute to the Women.' Below I have reproduced approximately 75% of the text from the chapter.

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