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Baltimore Jewish Times
June 30, 2000

Deli Strummer Addresses Her Critics' Allegations And Doubts About Her Holocaust Record.

Deli Survived, But Will Her Story?

Excerpts: For 11 years, John Holzworth taught the junior class at Fallston High School about the Holocaust as part of his American history course's section on World War II. To help students appreciate the Holocaust's impact, Mr. Holzworth brought in several survivors to the Harford County school through the Baltimore Jewish Council's 12-year-old speakers bureau. One of those speakers was Deli Strummer, a Vienna-born survivor and Towson resident who claimed she was in five concentration camps from 1941 to 1945. But five years ago, after hearing her speak twice at the school and at a Towson church, and interviewing her before a school panel discussion, Mr. Holzworth requested that the BJC not send Ms. Strummer any more.

A Series Of Inaccuracies Led To The Baltimore Jewish Council's Break With Deli Strummer.

Rona S. Hirsch
Staff Reporter

Six months ago, the Baltimore Jewish Council requested that Towson resident Deli Strummer no longer lecture on behalf of its Holocaust bureau and removed her from its list of recommended speakers. The decision was reached after two Holocaust experts interviewed the Ms. Strummer, 78, and presented their findings about a series of inaccuracies in her testimony.

Alan H. Feiler
Managing Editor

Excerpts: Over the past two decades, Deli Strummer has acquired a reputation as one of the preeminent public speakers in local Holocaust survivor circles. A presentation by the grandmotherly Ms. Strummer characteristically brims with unabashed patriotic fervor, poignant recollections about life in Vienna prior to World War II, graphic accounts of her experiences in the concentration camps, and hopes for a world to come full of peace and tolerance. [...]

Some of the inaccuracies discovered by Dr. Langer and Dr. Hilberg, as reported by the BJC include:

  • Ms. Strummer had claimed she was interned in concentration camps for four-and-a-half years from 1941-1945 including Theresienstadt, Auschwitz and Mauthausen. The experts said she was actually interned a little more than one year and 10 months.
  • She had claimed she arrived in Theresienstadt in 1941, but she actually arrived June 26, 1943.
  • Ms. Strummer said in the past she spent nine months in Auschwitz. After the experts concluded that she actually was there eight days at most, she now states that she was interned there about three weeks.
  • Ms. Strummer claims she escaped death in the gas chamber five times.
  • She said water came out of the nozzles instead of gas. The experts counter that it would have been technologically impossible for gas and water to come out of the same nozzle.
  • Ms. Strummer said she was sent to the gas chamber at Mauthausen on May 5, 1945, but the doors flung open and inmates ran out for breath, freed by U.S. soldiers who liberated the Austrian camp. But records show that the last gassing there was April 28.
  • Ms. Strummer claimed her father was a general in the Austrian army. But experts said it was impossible for such a young man to hold such a high rank.
  • Ms. Strummer said she witnessed Auschwitz guards lining up children and shooting them for target practice. Dr. Langer called it "unlikely."
  • Ms. Strummer claims she saw human bones on the floor of a shower. Dr. Hilberg said the claim was "invented".

Related items on this website:

  Internet Neo-Nazis Avoiding Strummer Case
  Belated downfall of another Holocaust liar: "Popular [Baltimore] Holocaust Survivor Doubted"
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