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Posted Thursday, April 20, 2000

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April 19, 2000 Web posted at: 2:45 PM EDT (1845 GMT)

Holocaust author's house searched in fraud investigation


ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) -- Swiss investigators have searched the house of the author of a disputed book of Holocaust memoirs, an official said Wednesday.

Bruno Doessekker is accused of deception in publishing "Fragments: Memories of a Wartime Childhood" under the name Binjamin Wilkomirski, said prosecutor Lucienne Fauquex.

Officials wouldn't say what they were looking for.

Lawyer Manfred Kuhn filed the complaint against Doessekker, saying he had defrauded him, and thousands of others, out of the cost of the book.

The award-winning book has been published in more than a dozen languages. The author claimed to be a Latvian Jew who at age 3 or 4 saw his father beaten to death while imprisoned in a concentration camp in Poland. He said he recovered details of his childhood during therapy.

Kuhn's complaint followed a decision by Suhrkamp-Verlag, publishers of the original German version, to recall hardback copies of the book after a historian the firm had commissioned raised concerns that the story was a fabrication.

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