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BUCHENWALD 127: Elie Wiesel Will Never See MY Dad’s Photographs

My heart is broken.  Elie Wiesel is dead.

Most of my life Elie Weisel was a second sun … a bright star in  the solar system, a star that served as a center of gravity when this post-Holocaust world seemed too flawed to be endured.

Elie’s death hurts so much more because my own fight still goes on.   We are in court to saveHugh Schwartz smallmico with text and publish my father’s heritage from Buchenwald.  I am fighting with my brother and sister, Hugh Schwartz and Stephanie Schwartz.  For reasons that only make sense as family hatred, they are determined to destroy the pictures and writings my father made when, in the spring 0f 1945, he led his small company of US Army medics into Buchenwald. Elie was then a prisoner, a 9 year old child in Kinderblock 77. 

I have been determined to use the material …  pictures and writings my father made duringWWII Schwartz Estate Memorabilia 298 chemist shop the liberation of Buchenwald … to create a book. Dad did this work against the orders of General Patton who wanted to restrict photography to the official photographers under control of the Army Signal Corps.   The 75 year old pictures are very fragile because they were processed on the battlefield and have never been properly treated.  Some are already lost.  As the pictures fade the survivors are dying off … and now Elie Wiesel is gone. 

Stephanie Quick Puerto Rico ico

Stephanie Schwartz Quick

My Dad’s will left these materials to the three of us, myself, my brother and my sister.   After my Dad’s death, a family war broke out.  This war was not over the pictures.  My brother and sister hated our step mother, Betty.  After our mother died, Betty and my Dad married.  Betty was Dad’s wife for 27 years.  Hugh and Stephanie resented Betty.  They wanted to force Betty to leave the house she and Dad had lived in, the house where we all grew up.   As executor, Hugh hired a series of hugely expensive corporate litigators, spending about $500,000 to force Betty to vacate the house.  One of these law firms did not even have a probate lawyer but Hugh claimed they were a good choice because Hugh’s wife was a partner in that firm.

Hugh fit and thin

Hugh Schwartz

Bill Quick ico Puerto Rico

William Quick, my brother in law and the author of the web site “STEVESHITS.”

Janet B Linn

Janet is my brother’s wife. Janet is also a corporate attorney and has acted as a non paid lawyer for much of this story .. including the hiring of her own firm, Eckert Seamens, to represent the estate.  Janet, though not a member of the Massachusetts bar, has been using a legal loophole to act as attorney for Hugh in our current court case.

During this time I became Betty’s defender.  Threats were made and Hugh followed though. His lawyers  filed false charges of “replevin,” claiming that my kids and I had stolen things from the estate.  My siblings went so far as to try to get my employer, the University of Washington, fire me.  They claimed that this website, THE-Ave.US, was racist and pornographic.  My sister’s husband, Bill Quick went so far as to launch a website claiming that my Dad’s pictures were plagiarized from the official photographs authorized by Patton … a charge denied by my father’s own words about how he processed the film in a jury rigged battlefield darkroom (see picture above).

After spending all this money, we signed agreements to end the fight. As part of these two contracts,  the siblings agreed to donate the WWII writings and pictures to a museum or university.  The US Holocaust Memorial Museum offered to do the work of preserving the materials and to take the most important items.  Brandeis offered to take the entire collection.

Instead, my brother took possession. He and my sister refused both offers.  Since then, now going on for four years, Hugh has used his authority as executor to  hide the materials, has refused to do an inventory and threatened to destroy them.

We are still in court. I still want to write the book.

I looked forward to giving Elie a copy of the draft.  Elie might provide  a few words or just tell me if he recognized my Dad   I wanted to know that my Dad had contributed just a  bit as the first  American physician to provide care  for Elie and the nine hundred other  Buchenwald children.

How can  my brother Hugh and sister Stephanie be so cruel?


1 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Roger Rabbit #
    1

    It just seems to me these materials should be preserved. Period. That part is really simple. A no brainer. The family feud, I dunno, maybe beanbags at 25 paces?



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