NEWS BLOG (WSAU) I have heard Gunther Skaletz speak. Three years ago he was a guest at a Midwest Communications managers seminar in Green Bay. He talked about his book "Life On Both Sides Of The Wall." This was either before there were questions about the accuracy of his book, or I was just ignorant.
Skalez's story is this: as a teenager in Poland when World War Two started he was sent to Auchwitz. He was a cook, and he was eventually freed and conscripted into Hitler Youth and later the German army. At the end of the war, he was caught in what would become the Soviet bloc and was forced by the KGB into a work camp. Again his skills as a cook got his work in an officers' club, and eventually allowed him to return to Germany, Poland, and later the United States.
Family members have cast doubts on parts of his story. They claim the places and times in Skaletz's book are inaccurate. Because of these doubts, he was uninvited to a lecture series at Wausau East High School.
When I heard Skaletz speak his wife was with him. She offered copies of his book for sale after his presentation. She was a generous lady who thanked us several times for the invitation. I do not know which relatives have objections.
Police will tell you, all eye-witness accounts have inaccuracies. Historical biographies are no different. Memories fade. Dates may not be exact. Sometimes stories are altered to the writer's benefit. Very often the motives and reasons behind events are speculative. Why not remind Wausau East students of that, and tell them that they can ask questions and decide for themselves? Gunther Skaletz has a story to tell. And students have missed out on an educational opportunity.
Operations Manager-Midwest Communications, Wausau