Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives and invite open debate.
from the USA, Sunday, May 23, 1999
The Interpreter The first thing I would do would be to check the man's service record. I would not be surprised to discover he was not even in the service. While there are many stories regarding lying about one's age to get into the service perhaps making 19 in the Fall of 1945 credible, corporal and interpreter for such an important case is not. A service record indicating assignments in translation would be essential.
While it has certain points of verisimilitude it also lacks many. What it lacks can be easily covered by ommission.
The "offer him a cigarette" makes an interesting case. First he sits frozen and second the interogator mutters insubordination. Failure to respond to a wordless gesture is not classed as insubordination. But he does sit frozen, just like the paralysis in vivid dreaming, the way people are when being examined by aliens. I think he is exactly correct in these words:
"I don't quite remember what happened next. I don't even remember Höss leaving. Had the whole thing been a vision?"
Yes, it was a vision, more precisely a dream you had later, maybe even at the time if you were there.
"But there was the signed confession, and the cigarette still smoldering in the ashtray."
And next time you have a dream remind the man to put out his cigarette after he finishes it...
See also his letter of April 1999
YES, anybody like to check out interpreter Mr Fiss's credentials? Perhaps write to him direct? Keep us informed!