“I said I was in the IDF,” but “it was a lie,” Irena Wachendorff, 51, told The Jerusalem Post, in a telephone interview on Friday.
She has termed strong pro- Israel activists “the neo-Nazi troop among the Jews,” and expressed support for Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
As an 18-year-old, she said, she left Germany for Israel and wanted
Wachendorff further claims that her father is Jewish and fled to England in 1936, and her
The Post and
According to Pyka’s investigative essay, Wachendorff’s father, Raymund, served in the German Army during the Third Reich and her mother, Barbara, denies being incarcerated in Auschwitz.
Wachendorff admitted to the Post on Friday that her father was an officer in the Wehrmacht. She asserted on
Wachendorff wrote on Facebook that her mother was “four months in Auschwitz” and has a “tattooed number on her arm.”
Wachendorff, however, told the Post that she could not recall the name of the extermination camp where her mother was imprisoned and that there is “something” on her mother’s arm, but she cannot identify whether it is a number. After Friday’s Post interview, Wachendorff closed her Facebook account on Saturday.
In a telephone interview on Saturday, Pyka told the Post that she smelled a fraudulent history almost two years ago and unraveled a string of deceptions and contradiction in Wachendorff’s Facebook assertions. In a long essay that appeared late last month on the German website Die Achse des Guten (The Axis of Good), Pyka uncovered a series of alleged half-truths and lies. Spiegel Online and the cultural website Perlentaucher cited Pyka’s expose as one of the top blog entries of the week.
Wachendorff repeatedly told the Post, “I am Jewish. I am member of a liberal Jewish community and I am not anti- Semitic.”
According to Pyka’s research, there is no documentation supporting Wachendorff’s assertions that she is Jewish or a member of a German Jewish community.
Pyka sharply criticized Wachendorff for having traded on the tragedy of the
“Six million dead Jews serve her own publicity and at the same time she undertakes a perfidious victim-perpetrator inversion to damage Israel and all Jews,” the journalist said.
Pyka summed up the growing scandal: “The entire thing is a Grusical [comic horror musical] that is made in Germany and only those who are themselves fake Jews or anti- Semites can stage and applaud the Grusical.”
Ruprecht Polenz, a senior deputy in the Bundestag, vehemently defends the anti- Israel activist’s work.
Polenz, the head of the Bundestag’s Foreign Affairs Committee, welcomed a group of Iranian lawmakers to Berlin last year. He has served as Wachendorff’s main advocate.
In an email to the Post, he declined to provide specific comments on the string of alleged lies from Wachendorff.
In addition to being under fire for defending Wachendorff, critics accuse the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) deputy of allowing his Facebook site to be turned into a magnet for jihadists,
In another entry, Darwisch Salman Khorassani wrote that if “USREAL [Israel and the US] attack, I will register as a suicide bomber. Not from Islamic motives but from pure humanistic motives.”
When asked about hate and anti-Semitism on his Facebook page, Polenz wrote the Post, “When in doubt, decide in favor of freedom of opinion – every person is responsible for his opinion.”
In an email to the Post on Saturday from the US, the German Jewish author and expert in modern anti-Semitism, Henryk M. Broder, slammed Polenz for advancing Wachendorff’s stature in Germany.
“Irena Wachendorff is not the first lunatic to fantasize her role as a Jew. This has occurred before. The scandal regarding this story is that she was tolerated and sponsored for years by a politician from the CDU, who used her for his goals and she used him for her racket. This is the curtain-raiser to the