Op-Ed: Will the Real Anna Baltzer Please Rise?
Lee Kaplan, Head of Stop the ISMThe writer heads Stop the ISM. He is an investigative journalist and contributor...
The individual known as Anna Baltzer, whose name remains questionable in terms of legal legitimacy, leads the US Campaign Against the Israeli Occupation and the Boycott and Divestment Movement (BDS) against Israel. Under that name, she has developed a sinecure traveling to churches and colleges worldwide regaling false tales of atrocities by Israel’s Jews against innocent Palestinians with slick presentations, somehow even grabbing a television appearance at Oxford University.
What’s in a Name?
Using the identity of Anna Baltzer, she claims to have appeared at over 500 venues spreading her revisionist history. Billing herself as the “grandchild of Polish-born Holocaust survivors” and a “Fulbright Scholar” to lend her legitimacy in college venues, Baltzer would appear to be the perfect foil to the Jewish state. But what appears to be emerging now is that the woman known as Anna Baltzer is not who she claims to bet While in the' West Bank', she routinely rubs elbows with known terrorists while citing her very questionable background.
Based on my investigation, it would appear that she is enough of an embarrassment to some of her family that she allegedly fabricated the name Anna Baltzer – or otherwise associated herself with that name without undergoing any obvious legal means allowing her to do so, to conceal her true identity. Research found that she has at least three aliases, including the identity as Anna Baltzer under which she personally collects money while rewriting history and spreading disinformation about the Jews
Fulbright Exaggerations & Damage Control
As a journalist I first ran afoul of reporting about Anna Baltzer, when I wrote a series of articles for the Gatestone Institute about her. In those articles I reported that there was no Anna Baltzer on record as being a Fulbright Scholar; that no one with the name Baltzer was on record as a Holocaust survivor from the death camps of Poland, and that no record existed of an Anna Baltzer ever going on a Birthright Tour to Israel. The Birthright Tour is of critical importance to her saga as it is during this event that Baltzer claimed she had been falsely indoctrinated into a pro-Israel position and that it inspired her to research the truth about the Palestinian plight.
When my first investigative article was published, a self-described Jewish anarchist named Daniel Sieradski began tweeting about her at Oxford.. Sieradski, having the same objectives to eliminate Israel, writes all manner of cynical “Jewish” materials, and continually defends anti-Semites and blames Jews for anti-Semitism.
He then contacted Gatestone with false accusations of sloppy journalism, contending the inaccuracy of my information about Baltzer despite the authenticated data contained in my report. For his evidence, Sieradski merely sent a computer screenshot from the Fulbright website that listed Baltzer’s real name, Anna J. Piller, suggesting that my initial information was incorrect.
Inspection of his “evidence” determined that the page he proclaimed as evidence that Baltzer, known as Anna Piller, was indeed a Fulbright Scholar was quickly dismissed. The “evidence” Sieradski offered was nothing more than a page devoted to students hired as teaching assistants by Fulbright, and not a list of actual Fulbright scholars. That page merely proved that Baltzer, under the surname Piller, was hired as a teaching assistant to teach English at an English language program in Turkey – an Islamic country. A separate list of legitimate Fulbright scholars dating back to 1990 showed no entries or listings under her legal name or alias. At best, she exaggerated her academic qualifications to gain entry to the university speaking circuit. Yet, Sieradski suggested that as a Jew, he felt I owed Anna Baltzer an apology.
Fellow activists from the ISM and Sieradski, who also encourages boycotting of Israel like Anna Baltzer does, flew into action and changed biographical data on the Wikipedia site to reflect now that her real name was Piller, explaining that this surname was the reason that Baltzer did not appear on the Fulbright Scholarship website. Such revisions were done after and in likely response to the findings from my initial investigative report.
Roseanne Barr bakes and more names for Baltzer appear
It is important to note that Sieradski is a Jew who is part of the in-house staff and writes for the anarchist magazine, Heeb. The word Heeb is considered a racial slur for Jews. The cover of that magazine once featured the notoriously anti-Israel Roseanne Barr, sporting a Hitler moustache and placing cookies shaped as Jewish people into an oven.
Gatestone removed my articles.Undeterred, I moved my investigative report to to a more heavily trafficked site. I decided to increase the scope of my investigation of the individual using the name Anna Baltzer. There was indeed more to be found.
Most important was her claim of being the grandchild of “Polish-born holocaust survivors”. Today, she is against the existence of Israel as the Jewish national homeland and not only a vindicator of the Palestinian goal to replace the Jewish state with an Arab one, but even of the violence that is practiced by Palestinian terrorists against Jews and other Israelis.
“Polish holocaust survivors” evokes images of Auschwitz and the Warsaw Ghetto, as it is meant tor. I mentioned in my earlier articles her use of her grandparents’ memory was probably at best an embellishment also and that they probably never spent time in the death camps.
As previously detailed in my last investigative report, I revealed that Anna Baltzer does not appear to legally exist, at least not in the manner of fashion used by Anna Piller. Her legal name appears to be Anna Judith Piller, yet she has been accepting financial donations made out to her personally under the name Anna Baltzer. My investigative research found no legitimately issued social security number to the Anna Baltzer we know… as Anna Baltzer.
Also noted was yet another possible alias Carrolle Corsuy, a name that consistently followed her from various addresses throughout the U.S. from 1997.
Based on my investigation, her actual surname is Piller, which also appears to be her mother’s maiden name. Anna Piller’s father was determined to be Knud Lambrecht, a French linguistics Professor at the University of Texas who appears to be German and not Jewish like Anna’s mother. Lambrecht was once legally married to Anna’s mother, Marion Rose Piller, and fathered two children with her, both with the mother’s last name Piller in Switzerland. Anna’s family, like her, seems to have a problem with names and identities.
I dug further. Was Anna indeed the grandchild of “Polish Holocaust survivors” - she, who had a personal epiphany against the evil Zionist Jews, and, who, technically, by her lineage on the distaff side of her family as a Jewish woman, was passing herself off as a conscientious Jew supporting Jew-killers abroad? After considerable digging I found the identity of Anna’s grandmother: Ida Piller, who later changed her name to Piller-Greenspan after the death of Anna’s grandfather Maurice Piller and Ida’s remarriage.
As I suspected, Ida and Maurice Piller never spent time in the death camps. However, they did endure 13 months of being on the run in western Europe as Belgian Jews until they made it to neutral Portugal. Once there they were going to go to the Dominican Republic when their entry papers came through to go to the United States, they were among the few lucky ones because the Roosevelt administration discouraged Jewish refugee immigration. Ida and Maurice got married when the Nazis invaded Belgium and France in 1940 and also fled Belgium that same day. The Nazis didn’t actually get around to rounding up the Jews in Belgium or France or even making them wear identifying stars until nearly a year later.
The Pillers’ connections to Poland were that they were indeed born there, but had grown up in Antwerp, a prosperous location for Jews prior to WW II. Maurice and Ida tried fleeing to England that offered to accept Maurice if he’d join the army, but refused admittance to Ida. They subsequently made it to neutral Spain and later to Portugal on their own. No deportations, no death camps. They did have unpleasant experiences being turned back at borders, though.
Ida Piller, Anna’s grandmother, was a strong supporter of Israel and an artist who created pictures about the thirteen months she and Maurice were on the lam from the Nazis. She had numerous solo exhibits in the U.S. and abroad and her artworks were proudly featured at Jewish events even in Israel. Her work has been shown at the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. and is part of the permanent collection at the Museum for Ghetto Fighters in Israel. She even had a book written about her escape experiences titled When the World Closed Its Doors that was ghost written by a close family friend of the Pillers whom I interviewed and who told me she has known Anna personally “since she was nine years old.”
The friend explained to me that Baltzer was a made up name and used by Anna Piller so her grandmother would not know what Anna was really doing to harm and defame the Jewish people and Israel for Arab anti-Semites abroad.
Ida Piller died in April of 2011 at 91. It was explained to me by her biographer that Ida Piller never knew her granddaughter, Anna, was making presentations against the Jews in Israel in churches and elsewhere and the rest of the family kept the information from Ida till the day she died. Ida Piller’s death in 2011 also helps to explain why “Anna Baltzer” now can tell everyone she is also “Anna Piller” publicly.. However, Baltzer/Piller cynically still uses her grandparents’ memories to validate her presentations to suggest in the minds of her audiences at churches and colleges, “Look at me, I’m Jewish, my grandparents suffered the Shoah, Polish Jews (are you thinking Auschwitz? Warsaw?), but I want Israel dismantled to create an Arab dominated state called Palestine in its place, and by the way, Palestinian violence is justified.”
Anna, on her website, even speaks literally against “the Judaization of Palestine,” a term that smacks of Nazism and anti-Semitism she no doubt repeats from her Arab handlers. She calls Hevron, the center of the Kingdom of David in the Bible a “Palestinian city.” The Jews are taking over, she says, “Judaizing” the as yet non-existent country of Palestine! The land in the region all belongs to the Palestinians! The Jews have no rights to it. They are “Judaizing it!” She says Israel has no right to exist.
Ida Pillar’s granddaughter has found a sinecure preaching for another Holocaust against the Jews in Israel in American churches and at universities, but it’s ok, it’s only against the Jews over in the Middle East this time, and Anna claims she is a “human rights activist” anyway, because it sounds better than being “a propagandist for terrorists and anti-Semites,” as she really is.
To understand the background and motivations of Anna Baltzer/Piller is a fascinating tale in itself. While a student at Columbia U., Anna expressed her dreams on her personal website that this economics and math major should have a dream job that allowed her to travel after graduation. And she found one right away working as a propagandist for Jew-haters and killers in our American churches and on our college campuses. She never was brought up with any real sense of Jewish identity per her own interviews, but began using grandma’s experiences to bolster what she says is her mission as a “Jewish woman” against the Jews, a Jewish Tokyo Rose.
Anna claims she went on the very first birthright tour in January 2000, a free trip given Jewish youths to experience their Jewish roots. She says she felt “indoctrinated” about Israel on that tour so decided to research for herself. She says, “ I know in retrospect that it was also something of an indoctrination tour, to encourage me to support Israel, perhaps economically and politically as well as emotionally. I hope to go back soon to get a more balanced view of the country.” Gidi Mark, the Israeli head of the Birthright program, has refused to confirm if an Anna Piller ever went on a Birthright Tour in year 2000 after it was proven nobody named Anna Baltzer ever did.
Three years later, she’s in Turkey as a teacher’s assistant teaching English in a Turkish University—a Muslim country. From there she goes and visits Syria and Iran—both countries that advocate for the violent destruction of Israel and wiping out the Jews.
More Nagging Questions No one is Asking
Despite her claims of “witnessing” events in the "West Bank", the stories in Anna's book are repetitions of hearsay from anti-Israel Arabs and other ISM activists in the region, her handlers. This especially goes for atrocity stories she tells Christian church audiences of Israeli (meaning the Jews) killings of Palestinian children. After college, all she had to do was help the Arabs, Muslims and possibly the Iranians smear the Jewish people, posing as the Jewish woman against “judaization” of the Holy Land.
Before Germany invaded Poland, the images of Poles murdering Germans and especially German children were broadcast all over Germany in films and “documentaries”. What Anna Baltzer is and does, is similar. She serves as a delivery mechanism for Iranian and Arab terrorist groups and their propaganda to turn American and European audiences, particularly Christians, against the Jewish state and Jews in general.
Christians in the past were not supportive of Muslim Arab irredentist goals any more than Jews were; Christian Arabs held little interest in the goals of Hamas or of the other terror groups, having been persecuted by them in the Middle East.
With the creation of SABEEL, a part of the ISM that Anna works with and belongs to, an effort was devised to convince the West that Christian flight from Bethlehem was due to Jewish persecution, not Muslim and Arab violence or persecution. To this end, SABEEL and the tours by Anna Baltzer were created. She could travel and get paid for it as she always dreamed to do. All she would have to do is tell some lies and use deceptive presentations. She would even be presented as a published author! The ISM would write glowing reviews of her “book” under pseudonyms on Amazon.com and elsewhere. All she had to do was repeat whatever they told her to say to demonize the Jews.
Anna spent about eight months working for the Women’s International Peace Service (WIPS) that grew out of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and was started by a woman named Kate Raphael who hates the Jewish people and men and spends her time attacking Israel, Jews and especially America.. Israel banned Kate from its shores long ago because of her affiliations with communist subversive groups, advocacy for Palestinian terrorism and violent demonstrations. WLPF is a communist group that supported Stalin and still hopes to overthrow the US government. Kate Raphael branched out co-creating the WIPS and can be seen demonstrating all over the San Francisco Bay Area
Anna joined the Women’s International Peace Service over in the "West Bank". She once wrote me she isn’t a communist and I believe her. She lacks the intellectual and political mentality that even pro-Stalinists have. Anna Baltzer is just an opportunist for Anna Baltzer, one who developed a career trashing the Jews by banking on her mother’s ancestry. Hey, it beats working for a living.
Of course, Anna tells us she’s really just a human rights advocate, and promoting peace. But is she really doing that? An article by her in the ISM-linked Electronic Intifada website about her travels has her recounting her friendly meeting with members of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade and a leader named Moussa. Al Aksa is a known terrorist group, even so designated by the U.S. State Department. It has killed many Jews and other Israelis including Israeli Arabs during the intifadas that Anna praises and calls for. It has also killed at least four Americans.
In her article, Anna informs us how Moussa told her the Jews and Arabs got along famously throughout history and how when the Jews created Israel, the problems began. Anna repeated this misinformation on TV on the Daily Show, also ignoring the Arab Higher Committee and Palestinian leader Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, a partner with Hitler and “Palestinian leader,” Arafat’s uncle, and that the Arabs cooperated with the Nazis in the extermination of the Jews. That’s the same spiel Anna gives her audiences in her live presentations.
The fact the Arabs massacred the Jews in the Palestine Mandate in 1920, 1929, 1936 and routinely murdered Jews before Israel even existed, has no play in her mind. Nor the fact the Arabs attacked Israel the day the UN created the country killing 6,000 Jews in the process and killing another 127 in a pit even after the armistice.
Then there’s the issue of checkpoints in her lectures and how she lies to audiences about them. In 2007, she spoke at a Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, California to a room filled with sundry ISM and other Jew-haters after she wrote them offering her services to attack the Jews in the interest of “human rights” that was displayed on a Yahoo groups message board.
At the presentation that followed, she showed photos of two roads side by side, one modern and sleek, the other one with potholes and worn. She declared the modern one a “Jew only” road in the best Arab propaganda tradition. What she didn’t say was the road she had a photo of was a bypass road created because the Arabs throw rocks and attack Israeli citizens (and not all are Jews) who traveled the older main roads near Arab villages. Only months ago, a young Israeli father and his infant son were both killed by Arabs stoning them on the highway. Israeli Arabs can use the roads. Palestinian Arabs in the nascent Palestinian Authority can use them also after completing a background security check and most Arab taxi drivers do so. There are no “Jew only” roads in the ' West Bank'.
After telling the lie about the roads, she inspires gasps of shock and anger as she tells a fictitious story of a Palestinian woman who was pregnant and lost two babies due to a checkpoint. According to Anna, the Arab woman arrived at a checkpoint in an ambulance, but was refused passage by Israeli soldiers who kept saying “We are just following orders!” - an allusion by Anna to Nazi excuses for atrocities against the Jews at Nuremberg.
When I interviewed her afterward, she had no idea who the pregnant woman was, the date or the outcome of any military investigation. Nor had she “witnessed” the event, telling me the story was told to her by Lamis Deek, an ISM-Palestinian activist involved with the Hamas front group Al Awda, who is also an attorney in Sheepshead Bay, New York.
She refused to talk to me after I pointed out she was using hearsay. . Proof she was lying about the event is another article about one of Anna’s presentations at a college a year earlier where she and Lamis Deek told the same story, only Lamis Deek was allegedly the pregnant mother who lost two babies at a checkpoint at Deir Balut. Apparently, my catching Anna in a lie caused her to come out with a second edition of her book where she “witnessed” the same untrue story, only this time the woman who lost two babies was “Hessa, From Deir Balut.”
That Lamis Deek might be Anna’s handler for the Palestinians is a distinct possibility, but the two of them concocting a story of an Arab woman losing two babies due to a checkpoint (that Anna conveniently ignores are set up to keep out terrorists during the violent Intifadas that Anna also supports and calls for) should come as no surprise. There is no Hessa, who lost two babies, there was no such event, but Anna doesn’t mind “witnessing” it to Christian audiences to paint the Jews as being as brutal as the Nazis to “just follow orders.”
During one presentation in 2006, Anna Baltzer decided to use her real name for once, Piller. But at another speaking engagement she told her interviewer Piller was an alias and Baltzer her real name. Perhaps it was then she decided to make sure her grandmother didn’t know what she does. As one reads the introduction to her book, she mentions betraying her grandmother, which is exactly what she does.
She acknowledges that Israel is a democracy, a safe haven for Jews, but her “friends” in fascist and anti-Semitic countries tell her horror stories about the Jews that she chooses to believe, as if the Iranians in particular are reliable descriptors of Jews and Israel. So she then tells stories of Jews poisoning barley to kill Palestinian Arab's sheep, barley she personally helped clean up, she says.
The shibboleth of Jews poisoning wells has been used for centuries to instill hatred and promote pogroms, and Anna is more than willing to continue the tradition. She tells a tale of a child dying of asthma at checkpoint set up to stop suicide bombers that is also fabricated. The best tales she lies about are that Jews throw rocks at innocent Palestinians and assault their children walking to school, something the Arabs are known to do to to the Jews daily. But worse than this are Anna’s affiliations and support of terrorist groups that murder Jews, notably Hamas.
One of Anna’s biggest publicity moments was her appearance on the Daily Show on Comedy Central as the sidekick of Mustapha Barghouti, a Palestinian activist. Anna constantly replays on her websites the interview with the naïve and slap happy host Jon Stewart where she endorses all the lies that Barghouti tells about Israel, including tales of genocide committed by the Jews.
One audience member was so incensed, he shouted , “Liar!” and was removed during the taping. Asked by Stewart after she and Barghouti said they were “peace activists” and “human rights “ workers if she thought Israel had a right to exist, Anna made it clear her answer was no.
Barghouti, with whom she bashed Israel on the show, has in fact worked actively with and supports Hamas, as can be seen by a photo of him below with the Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah. Anna claimed Israel has “violated more UN Resolutions than any other country” when surely she knows the UN is kangaroo court dominated by Arab and other totalitarian states against Israel; the late terrorist thug Mohammar Gaddafi was in charge of the UN Human Rights Commission.
Anna’s real views about human rights concerning Israel’s Jews isn’t far off from the late Libyan strongman’s: she doesn’t protest Hamas rockets fired on daycare centers in Israel from Hamas in Gaza, instead making excuses for them. Anna has also endorsed the Hamas despite the Hamas Charter not only calling for the end of Israel, but also the complete annihilation of Jews in the entire world. Grandma would be so proud.
Of course, Anna also called for Boycotting and Divesting from Israel on the TV show, a movement she leads in the United States. The same Nazis her grandmother fled from also instituted a boycott and divestment from the Jews in 1933, to economically starve the Jews out. Grandma would be so proud.
Living up to its name: Comedy Central
Viewers of the tape on Comedy Central would see Anna doing backup for a Palestinian leader who in fact supports Hamas while he claims he is for peace, human rights and democracy. Anna told of Arabs living peacefully with the Jews before the creation of Israel and other Arab shibboleths, then called for boycotting Israel.
Anna’s sidekick Mustapha Barghouti has appeared in support of Hamas and its leader Ismail Haniyah. The fact that Barghouti got the TV producers to put “Democratic leader” in subtitles under his name does not change the fact he fraternizes with and supports Hamas. Anna does also. Barghouti is from the same Arab family clan as terrorist Marwan Barghouti who killed hundreds of people in Israel including several children during the Intifadas.
You won’t hear Anna complain about that or display such pictures in her presentations, because she has learned to parrot whatever her ISM and Arab leaders tell her to say.
Anna concludes every presentation with a photograph of an Arab child throwing rocks at two Israeli policemen standing by their patrol car and then makes an analogy that “If someone came into your house and started trashing your furniture and your couch, wouldn’t you pick up a lamp and hit them with it?” In this manner, she condones Palestinian violence and suggests her Christian audiences think the Arabs are justified in their endless attacks on the Jews. It’s all part of a good day’s work for Anna Baltzer/Piller/Coursuy/Nardie/Lambrecht.
Winston Churchill once said a lie can make its way around the world before the truth can even get its pants on. Anna Baltzer is the embodiment of that phrase.
So, what is one to do? She won’t stop doing her tours and preaching against the Jews. Her audiences are mostly groups predisposed to Jew-hatred. Where the problem occurs is when she makes her presentations to churchgoers and the uninitiated at colleges. To that end people should print out this and my earlier articles about this woman and send them in advance to every pastor and priest, to every college dean and administrator and campus newspapers so when she makes her rounds, the truth comes out about this vile, self-serving woman .
She doesn’t promote peace, or human rights, in fact is promoting endless war against the Jews in Israel and the operations of Arab terrorist groups. It’s time for Anna Baltzer’s happy sinecure to end, and the only way to do it is to show what she really is.