Is Kitty Hart-Moxon a plagiarist?

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David Green
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Is Kitty Hart-Moxon a plagiarist?

Post by David Green » 06 Jan 2018 20:59

Before continuing I would like to make it clear I do not claim to have made the initial discovery of the similarity in texts between these two books. I merely followed the clues left by Sergey Romanov and Michael Mills. If either of these fellows dug a little deeper into the matter of Hart-Moxon's uncredited borrowing of KZ's work after their initial exchanges, I do not know. Both Romanov and Mills have to the best of my knowledge remained completely silent on this matter ever since.

Please follow the link below and familiarise yourselves with the exchange between Romanov and Mills before we move on. Thank you.

https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic ... t#p1461064

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Re: Is Kitty Hart-Moxon a plagiarist?

Post by David Green » 06 Jan 2018 21:57

Kitty Hart-Moxon is Britain's best known and loved Holocaust survivor. Kitty first came to the nation's attention in November 1979 with the broadcast of Yorkshire Television's Kitty - Return to Auschwitz. After which she co-authored the bestselling book Kitty - Return to Auschwitz with James Burke. Since then the humble Kitty has been showered with honours such as honorary doctorates from respected British universities and an OBE awarded to her by Queen Elizabeth II. However, there is compelling evidence Kitty Hart-Moxon actually fabricated her wartime experiences at Auschwitz and plagiarized Krystyna Zywulska's 1951 book I Came Back.

To compare the texts of Krystyna Zywulska's I Came Back © 1951 and Kitty Hart-Moxon's I Am Alive © 1961 I have used only the original 1951 and 1961 books.

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To whet your appetite:

Krystyna Zywulska:
I awoke wet with perspiration. They were calling us for the morning roll-call. I was shivering and couldn't get up. Typhus? I rose with difficulty and went out of the barrack. My shivering grew more intense.
I knew I was ill.
(p.78)

I tried to get out of bed but my knees buckled under―they were like cotton. I fell over a bucket.
(p.79)
Kitty Hart-Moxon:
I woke in the night covered in sweat. I realized then I was ill. Was it Typhus? This was very probable for everyone caught it sooner or later.
(p.76)

I tried hard to get up in the morning , but my legs felt as if they were made of cotton wool, my knees bent under me and I collapsed.
(p.76)
Krystyna Zywulska:
At noon , two prisoners from the hospital came for me with a stretcher. Wala had sent for them.
(p.79)

They placed me on a pallet. Someone was already on it. I straightened my legs with difficulty. The other one's feet were touching my face.
(p.80)

The woman in my bed was very ill. She was kicking and twisting in bed. I begged her to stop, but she did not hear me.
(p.80)
Kitty Hart-Moxon:
Immediately after the morning roll call I was dragged to the Revir.
(p.76)

The block was full, and the single bunk that I lay on already had three occupants. One patient had diphtheria, another malaria and the third, like me, had typhus. All four of us was seriously ill. The typhus girl was unconscious, kicking out and throwing her body against the others. they begged her to lie still, but she was unable to hear. Continuously somebody's feet were in my face.
(pp.76-77)
Krystyna Zywulska:
In comparison with the quarantine and hospital barracks, our hut seemed luxurious. It had three normal windows and opposite the windows stood our three tier bunks. Our mattresses were packed tight with straw and each of us slept separately.
(p.118)
Kitty Hart-Moxon:
Our huts were luxurious in comparison with those in the main camps. There were only about three hundred girls to a hut. Inside were three-tier single bunks, with well filled straw mattresses and two blankets each. There were even proper windows with a view―of the gas chambers and crematoria.
(p.85)

Krystyna Zywulska:
First came the black limousine. We waited expectantly. Then came trucks loaded with wood. We knew―that was Kramer, the chief of crematories, the same one who had stopped us when returning from the fields.
[...]
Berlin had issued an order: burn 800,000 Hungarian Jews within a month and a half.
Wala and the others from the political office had told us that immediately after receiving the order, a 'devils council' had been held in the camp. Hustek, Kramer, Mohl and the others took part in it. Putting their heads together above the table they planned how to burn 800,000 human beings. Twenty thousand a day―that would be child's play.
(p.163)
Kitty Hart-Moxon:
The usual drunken sessions were to be seen, but at the same time a conference was taking place and every word could be heard. The drunken, bloodthirsty maniacs were working out plans to carry out the Berlin order. They had a problem on their hands - how to dispose of twenty thousand people a day.
(p.101)
The first indication that something was going to happen was the appearance of a big black saloon car. Inside sat Oberführer Eichmann who had been entrusted with the solution of the Jewish question, and who came personally to supervise the great slaughter. There was Lagerführer Krammer, Rapportführer Schillinger, and other high-ups including Hustek, Moll and Buch.
(p.102)
A PDF file containing all the suspect texts can be downloaded from these locations:

http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?fi ... 8373698912

http://www.filehosting.org/file/details ... _Alive.pdf

I would be interested to hear the opinions of others here on what could become a very controversial matter. I will return to AHF tomorrow and expand a little on what I have covered in this post.



[Edit: I added the tinyupload link which does not require an email address to download the PDF file.]
Last edited by David Green on 07 Jan 2018 14:27, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is Kitty Hart-Moxon a plagiarist?

Post by michael mills » 07 Jan 2018 01:10

Thanks for this, David. As you correctly surmised, I have not done any further research into the issue of whether Kitty Hart copied from Zywulska. It was just that when Sergei Romanov introduced the issue of Nurman copying from Hart that I remembered the "white powder" incident, and brought it to the attention of Forum members.

The sequence of events is that I first read Hart's book "I Am Alive", and was struck by her account of the "white powder" incident which seemed to me anomalous, in the first place because so far as I know Krema IV was screened off from the buildings comprising Kanada by a fence and trees, and secondly because a dangerous substance such as Zyklon-B was never carried in a paper bag. I later read Zywulska's book, and was immediately drawn to the chapter "White Powder", which was obviously the source for Kitty Hart's description of the incident.

It is interesting that there are other, perhaps less dramatic, examples of Hart's copying from Zywulska. It would seem that Hart has taken some fairly dry passages from Zywulska's book and reproduced them in a somewhat more dramatic form, adding various details.

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Re: Is Kitty Hart-Moxon a plagiarist?

Post by Sergey Romanov » 07 Jan 2018 03:51

Very interesting information. That certainly warrants further investigation.

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Re: Is Kitty Hart-Moxon a plagiarist?

Post by Sergey Romanov » 07 Jan 2018 13:44

> A PDF file containing all the suspect texts can be downloaded from this location:

Please use a hoster that doesn't demand entering an email address.

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Re: Is Kitty Hart-Moxon a plagiarist?

Post by David Green » 07 Jan 2018 13:51

Thank you both for taking the trouble to post in this topic.
michael mills wrote:
It is interesting that there are other, perhaps less dramatic, examples of Hart's copying from Zywulska. It would seem that Hart has taken some fairly dry passages from Zywulska's book and reproduced them in a somewhat more dramatic form, adding various details.
I have sat with both books in front of me and followed the same story unfolding in exactly the same sequence as I turned the pages. I find that completely remarkable even if both women were in the same camp and had similar experiences. The only reasonable explanations for the similarities in the texts is that I Am Alive was copied from I Came Back or both women were conjoined twins whilst at Auschwitz.

I also find it incredible nobody but us seems to noticed this borrowing given both books are readily available at sites like Amazon (I Came Back was republished in English by Tchu Publishing House, Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum under the title I survived Auschwitz).


A few more quotes from the early days at Birkenau.

Zywulska:
We approached a hut and were ordered to stop. A Jewish woman, wearing a red band on her arm with the number Bl. 21, came towards us. The woman who had led us there reported how many of us were present and went away.
I found out later the block-seniors were mostly Slovene Jewesses. They also held other positions. They had arrived in one of the first transports and had built the camp. When they had first arrived, there were only ditches, mud and a few huts. They had built the road, the washrooms and the latrines. Out of fifty thousand, less than a hundred remained. And these, naturally were holding positions.
(pp.22-23)
Hart:
We were met at the door by a vicious looking woman. She, too, looked well fed, and well dressed. Her voice was very gruff, and it was obvious she was the boss of the hut, known as the Blockälteste, or Blockowa. Each block had its own block-senior, as well as her assistants, Stubenältesten, or [/i]Stubowa.[/i] These were mostly Slovakian girls, who were brought here when the camp was first opened, and they had literally built it up with their own hands. There were many thousands of them to start with and only a few had survived. These survivors held the best posts in the camp.
(p.53)


Zywulska:
A girl approached us.
'Do you need a kerchief?' she asked.
'What do you want for it?'
'A portion of bread.'
Zosha showed interest. Is it for sale?'
(p.24)

Businesses was transacted everywhere on the wiese. Bread, onions, garlic were exchanged for all kinds of rags, slips, panties. One of the women even had a sweater. This was the most expensive item. It cost two portions of bread.
(p.26)
Hart:
Someone spoke to me.
"you new? Want to buy a scarf?"
The girl standing in front of me was French, and she held out a rag to me. I could have just have done with it to cover my bald head.
"What do you want for it?" I asked.
"It will cost you two portions of bread or one sausage."
(p.54)

Zywulska:
Suddenly, I heard a whistle and a shout: 'Roll-call, roll-call!
'Block 21―fall in!'
(p.27)

An overseer, a charming blonde of not more than twenty, walked slowly in front of the first formation of fives. She seemed the most gentle of all those who were allowed to shout at us. Our block was located in the first line of the blocks on the camp street. The overseers from the whole camp, after they had counted their blocks took their places near the desk―just as though we were in school.
(pp.27-28)
Again: 'Achtung!' An SS man rode up to the desk on a bicycle.
One of the 'old ones' informed us that Taube was the worst hangman on the camp. He was taking the role-call. The news spread instantly, causing alarm and dread.
Finally he rode away. The overseers mounted their bicycles. The role-call was over.
(p.28)
Hart:
Next I heard a whistle.
"Zahlappell. Alles anstellen," resounded over the camp. This was the evening roll call.
We stood for over two hours before we saw a green uniform in the distance, approaching on a bicycle along the Lagerstrasse. This was one of the Aufseherinen, an SS woman. Our Blockälteste screamed out: 'Achtung', and we all stood to attention. The SS woman passed slowly along the front rank, counting each row of five with her stick, this finished, she made her way to the main gate. There, at a specially erected desk, stood Rapportführer Taube, the SS man dreaded throughout the camps. It was his day on duty and he checked the numbers that were brought to him by the Aufseherin. Very often the numbers did not tally and there had to be a re-count. The old -prisoners informed us that this two hour role call was a very short one indeed, for it generally took three to four hours.
(p.56)

Zywulska:
How many more are they going to give us. We're packed like sardines.'
(p.28)

We were trying to forget we were resting on boards without pillows, when one of our companions nudged me. I sat up with a start.
'What do you want?'
'Take your clogs on the bunk, or they'll be stolen.'
'Clogs? But everybody has them.'
'Not everybody. You can do what you want. You'll be better off if you listen to someone who has experience.'
I got off the bunk and found only one pair of clogs. Mine or Zosha's had been stolen.
(p.29)
Hart:
We were just like sardines in a tin, head to tail. I was on the outside and neither the one and only blanket, nor the straw mattress reached to where I lay. And of course there were no pillows. I was warned not to take my clogs off, if I wanted to see them again, and to hide my rations inside my clothes.
(p.57)

Zywulska:
A few mile further we were stationed along a marked area. Shovels and spades were handed out. We were already very hungry and tired after the unexpected tramp, and the day was just beginning. Each group of five was assigned to a square of ground which had to be dug before noon.
I dug my spade into the hard ground. Observing the others I began to imitate them. I learned to burrow in the ground and rest with one foot on the spade when the supervisor had passed. It was most difficult for me to throw out the sand. I was too weak to lift the spade. Shura perspired copiously as she tossed the earth with unusual speed―with passion. She mumbled under her breath:
'Imagine that you are digging a grave for them, it will immediately become much easier. Just try...'
(pp.64-65)
Hart:
We were off . Again our march took about two hours. In this group girls were digging. At first it seemed as though nothing was really made here. Each girl had a patch allocated to her which had to be dug in a day. It soon became apparent to me that we were in fact digging graves. I dug, and my spade would go in, but how was I to find the strength to pull it out with the heavy mud on it? At least, I comforted myself, digging is easier than carrying stones.
"Just imagine you are digging these graves for them and not for our people," the girl next to me tried to cheer me. "You will see that will make it easier."
(p.62-63)

Zywulska:
Sometimes we succeeded in concealing a few potatoes in our uniforms and smuggled them through the gate, in spite of the rigid control.
(p.67)
Hart:
There were girls in our block who worked in the potato field. I decided to try my luck and smuggle in with them. It worked once again, and I found digging potatoes much easier. The first day I successfully smuggled two potatoes back into the camp, one under each armpit. What a joy!
(p.63)

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Re: Is Kitty Hart-Moxon a plagiarist?

Post by David Green » 07 Jan 2018 14:13

Sergey Romanov wrote:> A PDF file containing all the suspect texts can be downloaded from this location:

Please use a hoster that doesn't demand entering an email address.
I hope this link works.

http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?fi ... 8373698912

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Re: Is Kitty Hart-Moxon a plagiarist?

Post by David Green » 07 Jan 2018 16:11

Here are some more examples of the similarities between the Zywulska and Hart-Moxon texts for those who may be unable to download the PDF file.

Zywulska:
The landscape around Brzezinki was quite diversified. Several beech trees were scattered through the district. The name of the village must have been taken from the name of the tree.
(p.110)

Outside the gates a road led to the crematory right by a white villa. On both sides of the road stretched fields of buckwheat and lupins. Potatoes and vegetables grew between our barracks. Closer to the barracks were lawns or flower gardens. The most romantic spot was in the vicinity of the crematory behind the Sauna. The white villa inspired one with carefree joy and confidence. When the sun shone on that part of Brzezinki, one was under the impression that the white villa was a rural retreat where gentle folk could find peace and rest.
But―this white villa was where they carried out sentences of death. The prisoners were shot and the walls inside the villa were spattered with blood.
(p.112)
Hart:
As we marched along, we came to a small, but beautiful, wood full of birch trees. It was then that I understood the meaning of the word Birkenau or Brzezinki, for Birke in German means birch-tree.
(p.84)

As we walked through the gate I could recognize the sauna on the left. At the back of it was a well cultivated plot where vegetables were planted. Some distance behind was a white house, surrounded by beautiful lawns and flower beds, giving the impression of a holiday resort. In actual fact, the white house was empty. Its inside walls were splashed with blood, the blood of innocent people, for in there death sentences by shooting were carried out.
(p.84)


Zywulska:
We went to the Sauna after work. We each had our own soap and towel. Standing naked under the shower we were revelling in the hot water.
'Life is beautiful!' Basha shouted above the noise of the water. Just an hour ago everything had looked so dark, and now shouts of rapture!
'Wash my back,' she grimace playfully. 'Do I have many scars?'
'Irene has more,' I comforted her. We all had scars from scabies and sores.
(p.124)
Hart:
We were allowed to use the sauna every day. This was sheer luxury, for we organized the best soaps, scents, and talcum powders. Within weeks I was unrecognizable. My skin was getting white again, my abscesses were healing once more, until only the scars were visible.
(p.91)


Zywulska:
I noticed a girl of seven with a dark olive skin, huge dark eyes and long black hair. I couldn't tear my eyes from her. With graceful movements she glanced around the hall. Then she unwound a skipping-rope and took a few hops with her long slender legs. She did not notice the depressed and despairing expressions of the waiting crowd. She did not notice the true purpose of the place she had come to.
(p.125)

Sosha beckoned to me through the window. I ran out to her. 'Krysha you must look. It's horrible, but you must see it. You must remember it forever.'
Zosha accentuated each word. She pulled me by the hand. Some of our girls were already standing on the road. They were pale and rigid, their eyes were turned in the direction of the nearest crematory.
A ladder had been placed at the small window of the crematory. An SS man stood on the highest rung. His green uniform was clearly visible in the fading light. He put on his gas mask with a quick, nimble gesture, pulled on his gloves and opened the window. He raised himself to look inside and then swiftly pulled a bag out of his pocket. Holding the window frame with one hand, he thrust his head into the opening and with the other hand spilled the contents of the bag into the building. White powder. Then he shut the window. At that moment we heard a great inhuman cry―a cry like the wail of a siren. It lasted about three minutes and then slowly faded away. The SS man jumped off the ladder and disappeared behind the wall.
(p.142)
Hart:
Passing us were women, poor and rich, tired looking, clutching their children and babies. Men were hanging onto their belongings and families. Sometimes a small child wheeled a doll pram, or jumped over a skipping rope.
(p.93)

We had scarcely been inside for a few minutes, than someone pulled me to the window. I did not want to look for I was too afraid of what I might see.
"You must see this, do you hear, you must," said Isa with whom I palled-up on the way, and who was now one of our little family of four.
I raised my head and there not fifty yards away was a sight that staggered me. I had seen much, but never, never anything like this. I stood as if hypnotized. I could not move. I was actually witnessing with my own eyes a murder, not of one person, but of hundreds of people, innocent people who had been led, mostly unsuspecting into a large hall. This was a sight that could never be forgotten. On the outside of the low building a ladder had been placed which reached up to a small opening. A figure in SS uniform climbed up briskly. At the top he pulled on a gas mask and gloves. Holding the opening with one hand, he pulled a bag out of his pocket, and swiftly threw the contents, a white powder, inside, shutting the opening immediately. In a flash he was down and, throwing the ladder on the lawn, ran away as if chased by a ghost.
At the same time the most terrifying screams echoed through the air, the desperate cries of suffocating people. I stood holding my breath, my hands pressed against my ears, but the cries were so loud, one would have thought the whole world must be able to hear them
(pp.85-86)



Zywulska:
I looked toward the door. The chief stood there.
I wanted to disappear, to escape, but there was no way out. I only pulled the blanket up so as to conceal the sheet. One of the girls was smoking a cigarette. She tried to hide it, but the smoke betrayed her. The chief struck her in the face and took down her number. She would go back to the camp. The chief passed through the room. I envied those on the upper beds. They could hide from her. She lifted a blanket with the end of the cane which she carried so gracefully. There was no linen on that bed because the owner did not have the bread to spare for the purchase of a sheet in Canada.
'Block-senior!' the chief called. The block-senior, thoroughly frightened, stood before her at attention.
'You all seem very well off here. They were laughing when I walked in, smoking cigarettes. Do you think you have other rights than the rest of the camp? Remember that even though you are "the ladies of the property store", you are still under orders.'
'Yes, Chief-Overseer,' the block-senior affirmed obsequiously.
'And you, if you permit this conduct, straight to the bunker you'll go, understand?'
(pp.148-149)
Hart:
Someone in our block had been caught smoking.
"It seems you have it good here, Damen von der Kanada," said SS man Wunsch, nicknamed "Wiener Schnitzel". "If I catch you again the whole block will go to the SK and your Blockälteste to the Bunker."
(p.99)


Zywulska:
'Look there,' Nella said, catching me by the hand, 'what are they doing.?'
Wagner was standing on the field in front of the Sauna. The men who had been dismissed after the roll-call were now bending, jumping, stooping. Wagner was running around the field and snapping his whip like an animal trainer, and the men, young and old, fell, bent, jumped in rhythm to the short orders:
'Los! Auf! Schnell! Laufen! Los! Auf!'
If someone was a second late Wagner was beside him in a thrice and struck him in the face. He would at the same time call another other and run to another victim. Everyone was rushing breathlessly. A few of the older men fainted.
(pp.151-152)

'Why are they exercising?'
'They found a message to a woman on one of them, and a bottle of vodka on someone else when they searched the barracks.
(p.152)

Hart:
Punishments were carried out for the most trivial things. Someone in the men's camp had been caught a gryps, a letter to a woman, and this was strictly prohibited, one was not allowed to own a pencil, let alone write. We watched as the men behind the fence were made to perform to the lashing whip and the orders of SS man Wagner.
"Los! Auf! Schneller! Laufen! Los! Auf!"
Men, old and young were sitting down, getting up, running fast, laying down on their bellies, all at tremendous speed. If anyone was a second late Wagner was on him beating and kicking as he shouted his orders. It was a barbarous "sport". The men panting and with sweat pouring down their faces, trod over each other and on those who had already collapsed. This would go on for several hours, probably until Wagner was himself exhausted.
(p.99)

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Sheldrake
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Re: Is Kitty Hart-Moxon a plagiarist?

Post by Sheldrake » 07 Jan 2018 16:54

I am not convinced the examples of plagarism you have offered. They are far from word for word and Hart does not claim the same personal experiences.

Can I offer a null hypothesis?

#1 there was a lot of common experiences among concentration camp prisoners. Lots of things were carried out in a routine way. The same as the army. Two people in the same organisation at the same time will have common experiences.

#2 It is common for veteran's statements to blur together. As stories are exchanged, memories become confused with other people's stories.
Its the process whereby we get such concepts as "an old soldier's tale." In some cases people tell a story so often that they become confused between something that happened to them personally and things that happened to other people. The late professor Richard Holmes commented in "Tommy" how the stories of the WW1 veterans all started to resemble an identikit, and reflected what people were expecting to hear.

I am also suspicious of attempts to challenge the integrity of holocaust survivors, as this serves a common cause with unsavory political groups.

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Re: Is Kitty Hart-Moxon a plagiarist?

Post by Sergey Romanov » 07 Jan 2018 23:35

David Green wrote:
Sergey Romanov wrote:> A PDF file containing all the suspect texts can be downloaded from this location:

Please use a hoster that doesn't demand entering an email address.
I hope this link works.

http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?fi ... 8373698912
Thanks, very helpful!

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Re: Is Kitty Hart-Moxon a plagiarist?

Post by Sergey Romanov » 08 Jan 2018 00:13

Sheldrake wrote:I am not convinced the examples of plagarism you have offered. They are far from word for word and Hart does not claim the same personal experiences.

Can I offer a null hypothesis?

#1 there was a lot of common experiences among concentration camp prisoners. Lots of things were carried out in a routine way. The same as the army. Two people in the same organisation at the same time will have common experiences.

#2 It is common for veteran's statements to blur together. As stories are exchanged, memories become confused with other people's stories.
Its the process whereby we get such concepts as "an old soldier's tale." In some cases people tell a story so often that they become confused between something that happened to them personally and things that happened to other people. The late professor Richard Holmes commented in "Tommy" how the stories of the WW1 veterans all started to resemble an identikit, and reflected what people were expecting to hear.

I am also suspicious of attempts to challenge the integrity of holocaust survivors, as this serves a common cause with unsavory political groups.
While the last sentence is understandable, it is IMHO not helpful. Whether one is suspicious or not, the facts need to be examined. Suspicions don't bear on facts and arguments. David could be a Holocaust denier for all I know, but that wouldn't change the need to examine issue further.

While there are attempts by the Holocaust deniers to challenge the survivors for obvious reason, it is also a fact that some survivors are simply and demonstrably unreliable (like Irene Zisblatt, http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot. ... ct-or.html ) and some did plagiarize, as was the absolute case with Rachel Nurman, described above, and with Filip Müller ( http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot. ... -book.html ). It is therefore more helpful to examine the crux of the matter.

How does your hypothesis explain this passage from Hart (incidentally, plagiarized by Nurman)
We had scarcely been inside for a few minutes, than someone pulled me to the window. I did not want to look for I was too afraid of what I might see.
"You must see this, do you hear, you must," said Isa with whom I palled-up on the way, and who was now one of our little family of four.
I raised my head and there not fifty yards away was a sight that staggered me. I had seen much, but never, never anything like this. I stood as if hypnotized. I could not move. I was actually witnessing with my own eyes a murder, not of one person, but of hundreds of people, innocent people who had been led, mostly unsuspecting into a large hall. This was a sight that could never be forgotten.
On the outside of the low building a ladder had been placed which reached up to a small opening. A figure in SS uniform climbed up briskly. At the top he pulled on a gas mask and gloves. Holding the opening with one hand, he pulled a bag out of his pocket, and swiftly threw the contents, a white powder, inside, shutting the opening immediately. In a flash he was down and, throwing the ladder on the lawn, ran away as if chased by a ghost. At the same time the most terrifying screams echoed through the air, the desperate cries of suffocating people.
compared to Zywulska's account:
Sosha beckoned to me through the window. I ran out to her. 'Krysha you must look. It's horrible, but you must see it. You must remember it forever.'
Zosha accentuated each word. She pulled me by the hand. Some of our girls were already standing on the road. They were pale and rigid, their eyes were turned in the direction of the nearest crematory.
A ladder had been placed at the small window of the crematory. An SS man stood on the highest rung. His green uniform was clearly visible in the fading light. He put on his gas mask with a quick, nimble gesture, pulled on his gloves and opened the window.
He raised himself to look inside and then swiftly pulled a bag out of his pocket.
Holding the window frame with one hand, he thrust his head into the opening and with the other hand spilled the contents of the bag into the building. White powder. Then he shut the window. At that moment we heard a great inhuman cry―a cry like the wail of a siren. It lasted about three minutes and then slowly faded away. The SS man jumped off the ladder and disappeared behind the wall.
?

It has the same structure, told in similar expressions (and IMHO not how you would tell a tale orally). And the crucial part is the mistaken description of Zyklon B as "white powder" carried in a "bag" taken from a "pocket" (*not* a usual survivor description).

Given this, the basic assumption for a further discussion is that these accounts are not textually independent from one another. Further verbal "coincidences" need to be examined in this light.

Now, your hypothesis would probably treat this as a shared story between two survivors who knew each other. I find it doubtful for the reason stated above - it doesn't look like an oral story - and in any case for this to work it should be shown that they did know each other.

If it cannot be plausibly shown that they did, one could discuss whether what we see here is "plagiarism", "inspiration" or something else (and where the line between these options lies).

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Sergey Romanov
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Re: Is Kitty Hart-Moxon a plagiarist?

Post by Sergey Romanov » 08 Jan 2018 00:53

The descriptions of the consequences of the destruction of the "Gypsy camp" are also remarkably close in their peculiarities:

Zywulska:
Because the Gipsies had been registered and had been given numbers, the political office instructed that all their deaths should be registered with the date of August 1st. This example of idiotic order aroused distaste and indignation. Nobody in the world would believe that 5,000 Gipsies died a natural death in one evening. But 'Order' was a sacred word. However, the authorities realized that the thing was too obvious. They, therefore, concocted an alibi which was even more impudent. Twenty doctors (Poles and Jews) were selected haphazardly out of the list of doctors working in the Gypsy camp. They were charged with spreading a mysterious virus among the Gypsies. The virus was supposed to have produced symptoms similar to those of the bubonic plague. We had heard of several cases of this strange disease. The doctors, who were supposed to be responsible for spreading this disease were sentenced to hard labour and immediate transport. These innocent doctors were forced to sign declarations to give personal data and were then sent off.
Hart:
All Gypsies were non-Jews and therefore, like all other non-Jewish inmates they, as well as their belongings were registered "in case of release". They, like some of the German prisoners, were not tattooed. It was therefore essential to enter their dates of death. It was indexed as 6 August 1944. But how on earth could anyone believe that five thousand people had died of natural causes in one night? It did not take for the SS to think out an alibi. About twenty Polish and Jewish doctors who did "duty" in this camp were held responsible for the outbreak of a typhus epidemic, and this was actually registered as their cause of death. The doctors were punished by being transported to the SK (hard labour) Kommando and then sent away on "transport".
The number (5000) is the same - and not due to being a real number (which is unknown but is likely to be 3000 something). Witnesses usually give the numbers between 3000 and 4000. But most crucially, the tale of the doctors allegedly punished to cover up the registration fiasco seems only to exist in these 2 sources, as far as I know. Lucie Adelsberger who actually worked as a Jewish doctor in the "Gypsy camp" never mentions anything like that, neither does Regina Steinberg, the registrar in this camp.

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Re: Is Kitty Hart-Moxon a plagiarist?

Post by michael mills » 08 Jan 2018 02:14

It seems that the case against Hart is becoming fairly solid.

But one is left wondering why she felt the need to copy so much material from Zywulska's much earlier book. One would think that as a Jewish prisoner in Auschwitz she would have had enough experiences of her own to relate. Perhaps her life there was not very eventful, just a drab day-to-day existence of hard work, not much to eat, miserable living conditions, and fear of offending the various authorities who had the power of life and death over her.

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Sheldrake
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Re: Is Kitty Hart-Moxon a plagiarist?

Post by Sheldrake » 08 Jan 2018 10:24

Sorry but this is nonsense.

Plagiarim in practice means copying someone else's work. It does not mean writing about a common experience using your own words. Nor does it meant that the first author has sole rights to specific events, otherwise no one could otherwise. The standards being applied to Kitty Hart are much higher than to military memoirs from the word wars. Many veterans consulted other works before writing their own memoirs/ I spoke at some length to Ken Tout https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ken-Tout/e/B001HOPQU2

None of the examples of "plagiarism stand up, and can be explained by the null hypothesis. Kitty Hart hasn't exactly cut and pasted anything, which she could have got away with in the pre-internet era.

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Re: Is Kitty Hart-Moxon a plagiarist?

Post by michael mills » 08 Jan 2018 12:14

None so blind as he who will not see.

It is blindingly obvious that Hart has copied the "white powder" episode from Zywulska. The wording is almost identical, and the clincher is that Hart makes the same mistake in describing the killing medium used in Crematorium IV as a white powder, rather than as granules kept in a tin, which is what Zyklon-B was.

As I pointed out back in 2010, there was a cyanide compound that had the form of a white powder and was used for disinfestation purposes. This compound released the cyanide on contact with water, and so was used for disinfesting the holds of ships where water was present.

There is only one reliable account of this compound's being used by the SS for a homicidal gassing, and that was the one-off gassing carried out by Kramer at the Natzweiler concentration camp of the prisoners selected for Hirt's skeleton collection. In this case, Kramer poured the compound through a tube into an improvised gas-chamber, where it fell into a bucket of water, releasing the cyanide.

So far as I know, there are no credible accounts of this compound being used for homicidal gassings in the Auschwitz complex. The Auschwitz staff would have had no need to use it, since they had plenty of supplies of Zyklon-B.

It seems to me unlikely that Zywulska witnessed the scene she describes in her book in the chapter "White Powder". Some elements of it are consistent with other evidence; in Crematoria IV and V the Zyklon-B was introduced into the gas-chamber from outside through a small window high in the wall, and the Sanitaeter introducing it did stand on a ladder and wear a gas-mask. But it is difficult to believe that she could have mistaken a metal canister containing Zyklon-B granules for a bag containing a powder and carried in the Sanitaeter's pocket.

In my opinion, Zywulska must have heard a description of a gassing at either Crematorium IV or Crematorium V, and the true elements in her story derive from it. She must also have heard an account of the gassing carried out by Kramer at Natzweiler, including the killing agent used, and surmised that the killing agent in the description she had heard of a gassing in Birkenau was the same as that used at Natzweiler. Such a surmise might have been supported by the fact that in both cases the killing agent was introduced into the gas-chamber from the exterior of the building.

It needs to be borne in mind that Zywulska was a journalist and a political activist, and after the war married an officer of the Polish political police. The name Zywulska was a pseudonym she adopted while serving with the Polish Underground during the German occupation, as part of her adoption of a false Polish identity; her original name was Sonia Landau, and she was of Jewish origin. Her concealment of her Jewishness was successful, since was sent to Auschwitz as a member of the Polish Underground rather than as a Jew.

Some interesting information from this source: https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/zywulska-krystyna
Till the spring of 1943 she lived on the “Aryan” side, helping other Jews in hiding. In June 1943 she was arrested by the Germans and imprisoned at the Pawiak prison in Warsaw, from which she was taken to the Birkenau death camp. During the evacuation of the camp in January 1945, she escaped and hid with a Polish family in Silesia. After the war she lived first in Lódz, where she worked for the Glos Ludu newspaper (she made her debut there with reviews in 1945), and then moved to Warsaw, where she worked as a journalist (contributing to numerous newspapers and journals, including the popular weeklies Szpilki and Swiat), writer, editor and translator (from Russian into Polish). In 1946 she married Leon Andrzejewski. In the same year she published her war memoirs, Przezylam Oswiecim (I Survived Auschwitz), in which she does not mention her Jewish origin at all and presents herself as a Christian Pole (for example, she mentions receiving parcels and celebrating Christmas), although in several places she expresses sympathy for the plight of Jewish prisoners and victims. In 1963, however, she published another autobiographical novel, Pusta woda (Empty water), which covers an earlier period of her stay in the Warsaw ghetto and in which she speaks from her Jewish point of view. In juxtaposing the two books it is clear that, after surviving the war under a false identity, for a while she did not want to reveal her real self. Apparently, a passage of time was needed for her to do that. Commenting on this unusual situation, Henryk Grynberg stated: “There were many cases of Jews who after the war were afraid to admit their Jewishness, especially after such experiences as those Zywulska lived through. But this is perhaps the only known case in which a writer narrating her profoundest personal experiences and the tragedy of her people in the first person conceals her true identity from her readers. This must be considered yet another of the unprecedented tragedies of the Holocaust.” (Grynberg, 41).


Zywulska's concealment of her Jewish identity in the immediate aftermath of the war was not all that strange, since at that time it was common practice for Jewish Communists to hide their ethnic origin and pretend to be ethnic Poles. It should also be borne in mind that "Glos Ludu" (Voice of the People), founded in Lublin in 1944, was the organ of the Central Committee of the Polish Workers party, ie the Communist Party.

It seems to me likely that Zywulska-Landau was a Communist activist, or at least sympathiser, and her book published in 1946 had a partially political purpose. That may have been a reason for her inventing the "white powder" story, which of course did have a basis in the historical fact that homicidal gassings were carried out in Crematorium IV.

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