The Mascot

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
michael mills
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Re: The Mascot

Post by michael mills » 03 Oct 2022 01:04

Yes, I read the article linked by shamirnewell. What I would like to know are further details of how the DNA comparison was made. For example, in the Wikipedia article is states that Kurzem initially declined to give a DNA sample, which is odd for someone seeking to prove his identity. It may that he has since been persuaded to give that sample, but be nice to know more about the process.

There are of course other elements of his story that remain dubious, such as how he was able to survive through a harsh Belarusian winter as a five-year-old boy on his own. Also why for such a long time he claimed that he had become separated from his parents who were local pig farmers, ie at a time when it was no longer necessary to hide a Jewish identity.

PS: I tried the link to the Herald-Sun posted by shamirnewell, but the page could not be found.

shamirnewell
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Re: The Mascot

Post by shamirnewell » 03 Oct 2022 08:53

Mr. Mills,

You can contact Colleen Fitzpatrick.

https://identifinders.com/about/

Mr. Kurzem went to a hearing in 2013 and satisfied that hearing that he was in fact entitled to compensation claims.

https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-o ... d8f7b1245d

Screenshot of the above article in case the link gets broken.
Screenshot_20221003-032325.png

Mr. Kurzem provided DNA and that DNA according to Colleen Fitzpatrick, an expert in the field with a decade of working on this case, goes on record stating Mr. Kurzem comes from a Jewish family from Koidanov.

Screenshot at bottom of article which you can find by searching the Herald Sun.

At every step Mr. Kurzem has provided evidence. He may not have provided it as speedily as you desire or in the manner you desired it but it has been provided. Maybe Mr Kurzem was emotionally involved in the topic and let his feelings rule him.

Just for general info here is link to the 2002 documentary Mr. Kurzem was in: https://youtu.be/IAOjcn4x9YQ

I made my first post on this thread to provide evidence based information not feelings based opinions. I am not going to pursue this further. When you find evidence to support your opinions please post. If you crack the case and prove Mr. Kurzem a fraud then you can wear your laurels with pride.

Until then good day.
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shamirnewell
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Re: The Mascot

Post by shamirnewell » 05 Oct 2022 18:05

Mr. Mills,

I want to very quickly examine the claim where you state Mr. Kurzem claims to have made it through the winter on his own. The inference you are trying to make is that no one helped him during this time.

Now that is not how I remember it goes in the book. I do not have a copy nor do I feel the need. But I do have something better and that is the 2002 documentary:

https://youtu.be/IAOjcn4x9YQ

Starting around 24 minutes he does talk of sleeping in trees, sleeping in sheds etc but he also says people let him stay in their houses on the oven with them/getting food etc. and he does say he begged for food in fact that is how he seems to have ended up being handed over to the Latvians. That is what I remember the book portraying and the Latvian link you shared earlier in this thread also mentions this.

I think you want it to all make complete perfect sense with multiple sources documenting the story. That would be nice. But how old was Mr Kurzem at the time? Pretty small child. Less than 8 years old. Really wish he had kept a pocket diary with a detailed explanation of what he was doing with GPS coordinates. That would really make it all nice and neat for us.

Lastly I am going to speculate but this is pure speculation on my part and it in no way casts any disrespect on Mr. Kerzum.

Koidanov had 2 killing actions. One 21 October 1941 and then a 2 day action on the 1st and 2nd of March 1942. Mr. Kurzem mentions somewhere a day of shooting and running away that night. The next day his family is killed. Now the 1st and 2nd of March in that area is cold but Spring is much closer. Seems to fit the totality to me but I cannot say definitely what date his family died. Maybe some files will surface in the future.

Source for my claim of 2 actions https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dzyarzhynsk
They have the original reference noted.

But that is all speculation on my part. I certainly would not go around calling Mr. Kurzem dishonest. In fact I did not call him dishonest back in 2010 cause I had heard no hard evidence. There might be mistakes in the book but I am not going to label them lies until I see hard evidence.

Facts and Evidence stack up on Mr. Kurzems side and it is not even close.
1) He was alive in Belarus in 41/42 and lived through that winter. Not contested by anyone.
2) He was picked up by the Latvians. No one contests this.
3) We have on the record statements by one of his early doubters and a recognized expert in forensic genealogy that his family was Jewish from Koidanov. She investigated the man for a decade. Until this DNA evidence is debunked by facts not feelings, the continued casting of dubious and unsubstantiated allegations says more about the person making the allegation than Mr. Kerzum.

One other thing to note. There was a mob baying for his blood led by Dr. Resnick. He got a lot of publicity and picture/ name in papers and stories. Once the Claims Commission way back in 2013 said all their evidence and claims against Mr. Kerzum were circumstantial, they seem to have decided to shut up and I can find no evidence that they laid another accusation against Mr. Kerzum or did anything except skulk away.

I do not want to have to keep coming on this thread but I will unless people stop posting dubious allegations! Continue calling Mr. Kerzum dubious(liar) without posting evidence which debunks the DNA and you will never have the last word. How many firing squads are you going to threaten him with in his lifetime without hard evidence of wrongdoing?

If anyone including myself finds evidentiary sources I encourage you to post. Whatever new evidence shows up I am fine with. I can be wrong. Disprove the DNA evidence everything else is chaff until that is debunked.

shamirnewell
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Re: The Mascot

Post by shamirnewell » 07 Oct 2022 01:49

michael mills wrote:
23 Dec 2010 03:51
I think the strongest case for why Illya Galberin/Alex Kurzem's story is not a fabrication, other than the physical evidence which he has and has been able to gather is the fact that he had kept it hidden for decades to himself.
But he did not keep it to himself.

He in fact published his story in the Latvian media in Australia in the 1950s, when he was a young man. In that account he included his life as a mascot for a Latvian police unit working in alliance with the German occupiers.

If his attachment to the police unit is the element that Jelen finds most incriminating, and the one that he thinks Kurzem would be most anxious to keep hidden, then he is mistaken; Kurzem then had no qualms about revealing it. Presumably, in the 1950s Latvian refugees in Australia did not consider that their collaboration with Germany against the Soviet Union, now the enemy of Australia, was anything to be ashamed of.

The major difference from his later, more sensational account, is that in the first account Kurzem made no claim to being a Jew. He stated that he he had become separated from his parent in the forest, and was found by the Latvian police unit; he could not remember anything definite about his home town or parents, due to his very young age.

It is obvious that his story about being actually a Jew is a fabrication, added to his original story for the purpose of seensationalism and possibly making some money from a credulous public.

In short it is a documented fact that he was found in the forest by a Latvian police unit in 1942, was made their mascot, and later was adopted into the family of one of the policemen, migrating to Australia with them after the war.

His life before being found in the forest in 1942 remains unknown, but the claim that he was a Jewish child who escaped a massacre in 1941 and spent the winter hiding in the forest (as a little boy of 4-5) is the least likely of all possible alternatives, and indeed beggars belief.

It is also quite likely that his claims of having witnessed massacres and deportations of Jews are also fabrications, added to his story to increase the dramatic effect of a Jewish child aware of his origin and the need to conceal it, being faced woth the sight of his own people being killed.

In any case, the story has entirely disappeared from the radar here in Australia, no doubt because of a tacit recognition of ots probable falsehood.
Mr. Mills do you stand behind your statements in this post or would you like to issue a retraction/correction?
Last edited by shamirnewell on 07 Oct 2022 04:30, edited 1 time in total.

shamirnewell
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Re: The Mascot

Post by shamirnewell » 07 Oct 2022 01:54

Mark Kurzem the author passed away in February 2010.

https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian ... m-obituary

shamirnewell
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Re: The Mascot

Post by shamirnewell » 07 Oct 2022 13:33

michael mills wrote:
18 Mar 2009 03:42
I have just finished reading The Mascot, was a fascinating book, couldn't put it down.
A bit hard to understand why he stayed quiet with his family so long but that was his choice
I don't think it is hard to understand at all.

His experience of having been, as a young boy of 5-7 years, the mascot of a Latvian police unit working for the Germans would not have been something to boast about in post-war Australia, to which he had been sent with a Latvian refugee family.

Furthermore, his own memories of the time might have been rather vague. In any case, he had a new life in Australia, he grew up there, and no doubt simply wanted to forget about his boyhood in wartime Belarusia.

Or are you asking why this person did not reveal to his family that he actually was not a Latvian at all, but rather the child of a Belarusian Jewish family, and that he had survived a massacre,and lived alone through the winter of 1941-42?

Most probably the reason is that he had not yet invented that story, which is highly implausible. In my opinion, the only part of his story that is likely to be true is that he was adopted as a mascot by a Latvian police unit in 1942. What his life had really been before that event, where he really originated, is anybody's guess.

The tale that he survived the winter of 1941-42 as a 5-year old boy on his own is highly improbable. It is more likely that someone was caring for him prior to his adoption by the Latvian police unit. He may well have been part of a large group of Belarusian orphans of various ages, and that is what enabled him to survive the winter.

Just as unlikely is the story of his being really the child of a Jewish family and having survived a massacre. It seems to me that a probable psychological motive for inventing such a story would be his shame (which probably arose in later life) at having been connected to a Nazi-allied unit.

I strongly suspect that we have another "Wilkomirski" here.
Mr. Mills,

Do you stand behind your statements in this post or do you wish to retract/correct?

shamirnewell
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Re: The Mascot

Post by shamirnewell » 07 Oct 2022 13:38

michael mills wrote:
06 Jun 2009 01:50
Does anyone know whether anything further has been done to establish the reality or otherwise of his claimed familial connection to certain Jewish survivors from the Belorusian village in which he claims to have lived as a child?

For example a DNA test?

In the absence of such hard evidence that he is genetically linked to that Jewish family, his story about being the survivor of a massacre of Jews in that Belarusian village must continue to be regarded as wishful thinking at best, or a deliberate falsification (perhaps on the part of this person's son) at worst.

The story consists of two parts:

1. The account of his being adopted as a mascot by a Latvian police unit in 1942, then taken into a Latvian family and migrating with that family to Australia after the war. That part seems to be adequately documented.

2. The account of his having been born into a Jewish family living in a Belarusian village, and surviving a massacre in that village in 1941. The existence of a Jewish family in that village has been documented, and survivors of that family have been located, but the question of whether this person really is linked to it remains open.

The two parts are bound together by his tale of surviving the winter of 1941-42 as a five-year-old boy on his own, wandering through the Belarusian forests. Frankly, I find that account totally unbelievable, and simply a fictional device invented to link the two parts of his story. The implausibility of this story of survival is the great weakness in the whole account, and casts doubt on the veracity of his claim to be a survivor from a slaughtered Jewish family.

The most plausible version of events is that prior to his adoption by the Latvian police unit, he must been being cared for by somone, perhaps a Belarusian family, perhaps an orphanage or some similar institution, or perhaps he was part of a gang of children including older teenagers. The example of conditions in Third-World countries of today show that it is possible for groups of abandoned children to survive on the streets, provided that they stick together and have some older members to lead them.
Mr. Mills, Do you wish to retract/correct any of your statements on any posts to date? Now that you got the DNA analysis by a recognized genetic forensics specialist?

shamirnewell
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Re: The Mascot

Post by shamirnewell » 07 Oct 2022 14:30

michael mills wrote:
03 Oct 2022 01:04
Yes, I read the article linked by shamirnewell. What I would like to know are further details of how the DNA comparison was made. For example, in the Wikipedia article is states that Kurzem initially declined to give a DNA sample, which is odd for someone seeking to prove his identity. It may that he has since been persuaded to give that sample, but be nice to know more about the process.

There are of course other elements of his story that remain dubious, such as how he was able to survive through a harsh Belarusian winter as a five-year-old boy on his own. Also why for such a long time he claimed that he had become separated from his parents who were local pig farmers, ie at a time when it was no longer necessary to hide a Jewish identity.

PS: I tried the link to the Herald-Sun posted by shamirnewell, but the page could not be found.
Mr. Mills,

Do you understand that everything after the second sentence looks like an attempt to continue to cast Mr. Kurzem in the most dubious way? That you seem to be shifting the blame on the victim for you believing what was only the most circumstantial evidence? Mr. Kurzem no longer has to prove anything. You have to disprove the DNA analysis unless you want to retract your historical and current views.

Continuing to cast aspersions on Mr. Kurzem in the future will amount to attacking a Holocaust survivor unless the DNA analysis can be debunked. The Claims Commission investigated him twice also but the DNA is the linchpin. A continuing pattern of calling Mr. Kurzem's story as dubious, and questioning his motives and character could be construed in a negative light. Now my feeling is that you just got it wrong made a mistake. No big deal I am wrong very often. I even spelled Mr. Kurzem's name wrong. But continuing to cast aspersions by questioning his motives, calling his claims dubious etc. I know you do not want to do that.

BTW the book and documentary address the areas you seem to be concerned about. You have read the book right? Watched the documentary?

Do you stand by your claims that his story is an obvious fabrication to get more money and for sensationalism at this point based on the DNA analysis?

Mr. Kurzem already had to face all the circumstantial allegations back in 2013 and any judge would agree on that finding. There is no basis for any further allegations, claims, or motive questioning until you can disprove the DNA analysis.

You have been on this forum a long time lot of posts. Me I occasionally roll through. A good chunk of the forum members would like to see me not come here. If you feel like I am personally attacking you I am not. This is strictly business. I posted my first post on this thread just to share info and had no thought of having to do all this back and forth. If the story had said the opposite I would have posted. You are going to have to clarify where you stand. I know you will.
Last edited by shamirnewell on 07 Oct 2022 20:50, edited 7 times in total.

Biber
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Re: The Mascot

Post by Biber » 07 Oct 2022 16:42

A Jewish orphan, son of pig farmers? Really?

shamirnewell
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Re: The Mascot

Post by shamirnewell » 07 Oct 2022 17:46

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shamirnewell
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Re: The Mascot

Post by shamirnewell » 07 Oct 2022 20:42

Alex Kurzem death notice:

KURZEMNIEKS, Alex (Uldis)
18/11/1933 - 31/01/2022
Publication: Herald Sun
Date Listed: 2/2/2022

https://www.mytributes.com.au/notice/de ... s/5885007/

shamirnewell
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Re: The Mascot

Post by shamirnewell » 07 Oct 2022 20:48

Mr Mills,

I spoke with Dr Colleen Fitzpatrick for 15 minutes about Alex genetic analysis. She confirmed that yes he was fully Jewish. She has a wealth of knowledge on his family. She would happily respond to contact via email or phone to discuss. She spent 13 years researching Alex and told me of his passing.

Her contact again: https://identifinders.com/contact/

The report again:

https://www.forensicmag.com/570262-Gene ... sh-Mascot/

https://www.pressreader.com/australia/s ... 0768709597

shamirnewell
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Re: The Mascot

Post by shamirnewell » 08 Oct 2022 23:31

Just a point of information that I forgot to pass along yesterday. During my conversation with Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick I asked specifically about the Galperin family connection. The connection to the Galperin family has been ruled out.

shamirnewell
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Re: The Mascot

Post by shamirnewell » 11 Oct 2022 04:30

JELEŃ wrote:
23 Dec 2010 16:09
If M. Mills wants to believe the version of history that he offers, he is free to do so. Just as D. Irving is free to believe the version of events that has transpired in his mind.

However, the willingness to lend a voice to individuals who create facts or use less than credible sources; allows for a mockery of sorts to be created.

In my opinion, you can hardly have a free-flowing discussion when one side offers up a viewpoint which is considered to be 'revisionist' by the majority of scholars, educators, historians and 'normal' individuals alike.
Mr. Mills

In an effort to help you understand emotionally what was done with Mr. Kurzem I refer you to the above post.

You see a person emotionally involved in the argument basically scream like a child "Mr. Mills did not say and do what Jelen FELT you should and he then immediately says you are "super baddy X"", substitute what ever is bad at the moment for X, as needed to win a FEELINGS based argument.

Fortunately the good overlord Mr. Thompson orbiting at 30000 feet drops a wisdom bomb.

Jelen then protests " I do not like the rules of this game I want to change them!" Another wisdom bomb from on high ensues.

Now he could have begun dealing in facts but stormed off it appears. No offense to Jelen intended because at one time or another we all make feelings based arguments.

That is the same argument that was used against Mr. Kurzem. People got emotionally upset that he did not think of the Latvians the way they thought he had to. Then it was all circumstantial evidence thrown with increasing volume in the public sphere. Just because you can get 10000 people all chanting something does not make the thing true. That just makes it propaganda. Just look at how many people believe the earth is flat or a hundred other things.

The days of basing allegations and claims on what 10000 other emotionally involved mob members were yelling and what your FEELINGS say are over on this topic. Time to deal with Facts and Evidence.

shamirnewell
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Re: The Mascot

Post by shamirnewell » 06 Jun 2023 10:37

Mr. Mills,

I accept your silence as an admission that you have no evidence to present, and not as being intentionally rude. Given posts like #15, I know you just cannot help yourself. Opened up Twitter the other day and some neonazi(A real one not the recent definition of anyone who disagrees with me is one) was sharing some old post of yours from another site, and raving about how much truth you were laying down. Had a good chuckle and had to come check on you. Anyway post evidence when you find it, or apologize to Mr. Kurzem for not being a neutral and objective observer on this topic, until then I wish you long life and good health!

As part of my pledge to share facts on the subject of this thread Alex Kurzem, some photos of him during the war years:
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