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Controversial WWII author's Wausau appearance canceled

World War Two survivor Gunther Skaletz signs a copy of his book "Life on Both Sides of the Wall"
World War Two survivor Gunther Skaletz signs a copy of his book "Life on Both Sides of the Wall"

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – Area educators have canceled a local appearance from a World War Two survivor because of doubts behind the truth of his book about his experiences.

Gunther Skaletz was scheduled to appear tomorrow night at 7 o'clock at Wausau East High School. He was also scheduled to make two presentations to students on Wednesday. All three presentations have been canceled.

Skaletz's book “Life on Both Sides of the Wall” tells his story about surviving the Auschwitz death camp and a Russian work camp.

But educators canceled his appearance because his relatives are disputing facts in the book, including timelines, places and events.

“There's too much controversy around the book and claims in the book...that we felt we could not in good conscience put the author before our students,” said Wausau school district community relations coordinator Mary Ellen Marnholtz.

Marnholtz said she and five other educators heading up the “A Walk in their Shoes” program made the decision to cancel the appearance on Sunday night.\

Skaletz would have been the third speaker in the program's history.