Carolyn Yeager wrote:
Looking for sections to translate will not do it - we have to have the whole book. I have been making some inquiries and have learned that "someone" is working on a translation. This comes from a Yiddish organization, so it's very likely being done in conjunction with Elie Wiesel and/or his backers. This is not good. We have to have our own translation, totally objective. If anyone on this board has any connection to Yiddish speakers or would want to undertake this translation, let me know at [email protected]
Carolyn, I wonder if you'll find the smoking gun you're looking for. I did some test translations myself a few months back, after reading your articles on IH, and what I found was just that "Un di Velt" is terribly overwritten. In other words, Wiesel slashed huge amounts of filler out of the Yiddish text to create "Night," but the outline of the story, and the essential details, basically remain the same. That, at least, is the result I found.
I don't mean to be discouraging, and I don't mean that a translation might not be useful for other reasons. (As in, for example, the light it might shine on EW's real sympathies--Seidman did title her article "The Scandal
of Jewish Rage," after all.) I'm just not sure that a complete translation will be of much use in determining the larger question of whether EW really is the author of the text. The discrepancies which you've found between the existing translations of "Night" and EW's statements elsewhere are already enough to establish that the text is not a "true" story in the way it's usually passed off to be. But that's not likely to matter much to EW or his defenders. It's just too easy to say, "Oh, a few details were changed here and there--poetic licence." They'll shrug it off.
In other words, you might go to a huge amount of trouble to produce a complete translation, and still be no further along in making the case that EW is a fraud.
Anyway, I didn't come along just to be a naysayer. Like I said, I did some translations a while back, before I knew that others were working on the problem. So I'll post my results here, if only so that others don't waste their time on the same material. Following Eric's example, I'm uploading the pages as images--that looks like the easiest way to display them here, without people having to download. If anyone's interested, I can pass along the original Word files.
The text is in three columns: Yiddish original, translation, and the text of "Night" in Marion Wiesel's translation, for comparison. I've highlighted in yellow the material that EW cut in producing "Night." There are also a couple of places, highlighted in blue, which show additions
EW made to the text in "Night." Most of these are pretty trivial, but there is one that I'm sure everyone here will find significant. (It doesn't prove anything about authorship, however.)
Un di Velt, pp. 96-97
Un di Velt, pp. 167-171