added by this website]
79, has been married to the former Roma Radzicky
for 50 years, since meeting her on a blind date
Monday, December 29, 2008
over fabricated Holocaust story
By HILLEL ITALIE (AP National Writer)
From Associated Press
NEW YORK - It's the latest story
that touched, and betrayed, the world.
"Herman Rosenblat and his
wife are the most gentle, loving, beautiful
people," literary agent Andrea Hurst said
Sunday, anguishing over why she, and so many
others, were taken by Rosenblat's story of love
born on opposite sides of a barbed-wire fence at a
"I question why I never questioned it. I believed
it; it was an incredible, hope-filled story."
Deborah Lipstadt moment:
FORGET: "Deborah Lipstadt, author
of the anti-revisionist polemic Denying
the Holocaust, has assigned
Fragments in her Emory University
class on Holocaust memoirs.
"When confronted with
evidence that it is a fraud
spent the war in comfort in Switzerland,
not Auschwitz, and was not even a
Jew], she commented that the
new revelations 'might complicate
matters somewhat, but [the work]
is still powerful.'" --
In other words, who
cares about fact or fiction where the
Holocaust is concerned?
Deborah Lipstadt received an
ecstatic welcome when she spoke in Feb
2005 at Brandeis University, and signed
six million copies of her latest book
Rosenblatt and his Apples Over the Fence
Lipstadt whines that she is accused of
On Saturday, Berkley Books
[a sub-division of
Penguin Books, Lipstadt's co-defednant in the
Lipstadt Trial] canceled Rosenblat's
memoir, "Angel at the Fence," after he acknowledged
that he and his wife did not meet, as they had said
for years, at a sub-camp of Buchenwald, where she
allegedly sneaked him apples and bread. The book
was supposed to come out in February.
Rosenblat, 79, has been married to the former
Roma Radzicky for 50 years, since meeting
her on a blind date in New York. In a statement
issued Saturday through his agent, he described
himself as an advocate of love and tolerance who
falsified his past to better spread his
"I wanted to bring happiness to people," said
Rosenblat, who now lives in the Miami area. "I
brought hope to a lot of people. My motivation was
to make good in this world."
included not only his agent and his publisher,
but Oprah Winfrey, film producers,
journalists, family members, school children and
strangers online who ignored, or didn't know
about, the warnings from scholars and skeptics
that his story didn't make sense.
Other Holocaust memoirists have devised greater
fantasies. Misha Defonseca, author of
"Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years,"
pretended she was a Jewish girl who lived with
wolves during the war, when she was actually a
non-Jew who lived, without wolves, in Belgium.
Historical records prove Rosenblat was indeed at
Buchenwald and other camps.
"How sad that he felt he had to embellish a life
of surviving the Holocaust and of being married for
half a century," said Holocaust
The damage is broad. Publishing, the most
trusting of industries, has again been burned by a
memoir that fact-checking might have prevented.
Berkley is an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), which
in March pulled Margaret B. Jones' "Love and
Consequences" after the author acknowledged she had
invented her story of gang life in Los Angeles.
Winfrey fell, as she did with James Frey,
for a narrative of suffering and redemption better
suited for television than for history.
"If I ever take on another memoir, they're going
to have to prove everything, every line," Hurst
says. "From now on, I may just stick to basic
fiction and nonfiction."
The damage is deep.
Scholars and fellow survivors fear that
Rosenblat's fabrications will only encourage
doubts about the Holocaust.
"I am very worried because
many of us speak to thousands
of students each year," says Sidney
Finkel, a longtime friend of Rosenblat's and a
fellow survivor. "We go before audiences.
We tell them a story
and now some people will question what I
"This was not Holocaust education but
miseducation," Ken Waltzer, director of
Jewish Studies at Michigan State University, said
in a statement.
"Holocaust experience is not heartwarming, it is
heart rending. All this shows something about the
broad unwillingness in our culture to confront the
difficult knowledge of the Holocaust," Waltzer
said. "All the more important then to have real
memoirs that tell of real experience in the
Among the fooled, at least the partially fooled,
was Berenbaum, former director of the United States
Holocaust Research Institute at the U.S. Holocaust
Memorial Museum in Washington. Berenbaum had been
asked to read the manuscript by film producer
Harris Salomon, who still plans an adaptation of
Berenbaum's tentative support - "Crazier things
have happened," he told The Associated Press last
fall - was cited by the publisher as it initially
defended the book. Berenbaum now says he saw
factual errors, including Rosenblat's description
of Theresienstadt, the camp from which he was
eventually liberated, but didn't think of
challenging the love story.
"There's a limit to what I can verify, because I
was not there," he says. "I can verify the general
historical narrative, but in
my research I rely upon the survivors to
present the specifics of their existence with
integrity. When they don't, they destroy so much
and they ruin so much, and that's terrible."
"I was burned," he added. "And I have to read
books more skeptically because I was
2008 The Associated Press.
"The ASSHOLS"*, another
everyday story of Holocaust
Books cancels the disputed Holocaust
"adding the name Herman Rosenblat (right,
with wife) to an increasingly long line of
literary fakers" on the Holocaust. Worries grow
that each such episode enhances the
remain on Oprah's
| The dominoes fall: "Angel
Girl," Children's book based on Rosenblat myth,
is now also pulled
Asked why [Rosenblat] had made up the
tale, she said simply, "For money." | San
Francisco Chronicle: Is
it good for the Jews? Whatever you do, don't
| Associated Press: Anger,
no need to embellish" says Deb
"When you're teaching about horrible stuff you
just have to lay out the facts" |
Books cancels the disputed Holocaust
the name Herman Rosenblat (right, with
wife) to an increasingly long line of literary
fakers" on the Holocaust | There's
Gold in them thar
In the beginning, there was a boy, a girl, and
an apple, or perhaps not: right, the
happy Rosenblat couple] | Rosenblatt
Lipstadt whines that she is accused of slander
Association of Spurious Survivors of the
Holocaust and Other Liars