Anger, sadness over fabricated Holocaust story

*This is starting to become common.*

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 concentration camp.

“I question why I never questioned it. I believed it; it was an incredible, hope-filled story.”

On Saturday, Berkley Books canceled Rosenblat’s memoir, “Angel at the Fence.” Rosenblat 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 message.

“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.”

Rosenblat’s believers included not only his agent and his publisher, but Oprah Winfrey, film producers, journalists, family members and strangers who ignored, or didn’t know about, the warnings from scholars 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 scholar Michael Berenbaum.

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.

The damage is deep. Scholars and other skeptics as well as 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 student 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 experienced.”

“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 camps.”

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 the book.

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 burned.”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081228/ap_on_en_ot/books_holocaust_memoir

8 thoughts on “Anger, sadness over fabricated Holocaust story

  1. Virginia says:

    The Rosenblat story is so sad. Why is Atlantic Pictures making a film based on a lie? Why didn’t Oprah check the story out before publicizing it, especially after James Frey and given that many bloggers like Deborah Lipstadt said in 2007 that the Rosenblat’s story couldn’t be true.
    Genuine love stories from the Holocaust do exist. My favorite is the one about Dina Gottliebova Babbitt – the beautiful young art student who painted Snow White and the Seven Dwarves on the children’s barracks at Auschwitz to cheer them up. This painting became the reason Dina and her Mother survived Auschwitz. After the end of the war, Dina applied for an art job in Paris. Unbeknownst to Dina, her interviewer was the lead animator on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. They fell in love and got married. It’s such a romantic love story. Another reason I love Dina’s story is the tremendous courage she had to paint the mural in the first place. Painting the mural for the children caused her to be taken to Dr. Mengele, the Angel of Death. She thought she was going to be gassed, but bravely she stood up to Mengele and he made her his portrait painter, saving herself and her mother from the gas chamber.

    Dina’s story is also verified to be true. Some of the paintings she did for Mengele in Auschwitz survived the war and are at the Auschwitz Birkenau Museum. The story of her painting the mural of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on the children’s barrack has been corroborated by many other Auschwitz prisoners, and of course her love and marriage to the animator of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs the Disney movie after the war in Paris is also documented.

    Why wasn’t the Rosenblatt’s story checked out before it was published and picked up to have the movie made?? I would like to see true and wonderful stories like Dina’s be publicized, not these hoax tales that destroy credibility and trust.

  2. Ricky says:

    Your comments are antisemitic and rude. You are doing this story but you racist. You need to take this story off of your site to make yourself more acceptable.

  3. Paddy says:

    @ Ricky

    #1- Learn to write English properly
    #2- Here is a tip… as you seem to be too lazy to buy newspaper, turn on the tv, turn on the radio or even google the news: Click the link provided.
    #3- Why I am not surprised you are using an ADL URL? Denouncing Israel exterminating Palestinian is also antisemitic according to ADL, it is also antisemitic saying Madoff is a scheming thief…list can be long.

  4. roy albrecht says:

    Virginia,

    Ya why, why, why…?

    How can it be?

    This is the only Jew that ever lied about anything it seems!!

    Dr. (Boogyman) Mengele (sounds like “mangle ’em” ) spared her courageous life because of a valiant painting on a wall to cheer up children who were gonna be turned into lamp shades, fertilizer and soap anyway.

    Ya right!

    I would laugh if it weren’t for the fact that there are still quite a few Canadians who believe your shit.

    Give me a break, you filthy “She Kike”. Get the f@ck outta America and go try your lies on an Afghanis and see how long you last!

  5. anarchore says:

    Roy, due to recent events, I may harden my stance against the UberKike filth, and those who try to pass themselves off as ‘good Jews’ by criticizing Israhell.

    They may on first appearance look altruistic, but deeper inspection reveals Kike deception.

    If mention Israel Lobby control of Canada, and near ubiquitous Kike control of media, they freak out.

    I know this: unless some resounding evidence comes to my attention that the Kikes don’t deserve a deportation enmasse to be dropped into a volcano, or dumped into the artic ocean, I am not going to advocate mercy to ANY of them, except for Henry Makow.

    That is the only Jew in Canada who is telling the truth.

    When the time comes, we’ll find out all these gatekeepers trying desperately to cover for Jew power.

    I am going to enjoy ‘interviewing’ the GateKikes, asking them about the Israel Lobby.

    “how could you claim not knowing about it? I posted the Harvard study on your site!”

    “Kvetch, kvetch, moan whine!”

    “Wrong answer! Circumcise his head!”

    Scroll down the comments for my exchange, to observe degenerate, genetically inbred filth weaseling out of the truth with their ‘nazi’ epithet:

    http://www.rabble.ca/babble/activism/breaking-news-jewish-women-occupy-israeli-consulate-toronto

  6. anarchore says:

    I really feel like a sucker, having advocated that Jews are human beings, and always trying to find goodness in the Jews.

    No more Mr Nice Guy!

  7. roy albrecht says:

    anarchore,

    I can tell you about being a sucker, because I have been one very often and it has cost me dearly.

    Thankfully, the power that Kikes have is rarely wrought from their own productive work, but through usury and skimming off the top or outright legislative manipulative theft.

    I say thankfully, because it means they are really not as smart as their mainstream media make them out to be. That means they are not very innovative in their thievery. they tend to depend on other peoples ideas and combine them to produce “new” ideas.

    Being hard may not be as effective as being calmly dispassionate, unless you catch one in the act!
    Then a certain amount of force is needed to put him in his place.
    A shot of self-conjoured adrenaline (through the controlled release of a bit of hate) helps to drive the sword through the more dense parts of the bone.
    But remember that this is only a tool and should not become a pattern.

    Be strong and hard if you like, but remember your objectivity and remain in control at all times. Like a spigot you should be able to turn it on and off when you need it.

  8. anarchore says:

    Roy:

    I have posted quite a lot on Usenet, and believe me lots of the stuff that I posted in the past pulls no punches, but is probably not as effective. I do like to exercise my rage every now and then.

    But usenet is gone and forgotten(well not really but you get the idea) after the debate is gone, while a website/blog has static pages that are meant to be read widely.

    Scholarly and reasoned is better in that context, every time.

    Once you are out of the Jews’ sandbox, truth wins out. Their ridicule is impotent, they can’t ban you(well the blog host could but that rarely happens, so far), and facts are judged on their own merits.

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