11-10-2009, 07:49 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Re: Reptile face in the 5 pound note!!!!!
Every now and then, a Holocaust memoir is exposed as a fraud in the mainstream because it is simply too silly to be taken seriously be any serious historian. Below are two examples. Do note that only a fraction of the frauds actually gets exposed due to the sensitive nature of the topic.
Holocaust wolf memoir a fake, author admits
A Belgian writer has admitted her bestselling memoir about how she lived with a pack of wolves in the woods to escape from the Nazis during the Second World War was fabricated.
Misha: A Memoir of the Holocaust Years (also known as Survivre avec les Loups) by Misha Defonseca was translated into 18 languages during the 1990s and made into a feature film in France.
The author admitted on Friday that her story was not autobiographical and that she did not trek more than 3,000 kilometres across Europe with a wolf pack in search of her deported Jewish parents.
"I ask forgiveness to all who felt betrayed," Defonseca said in a statement released by her Brussels-based lawyers, Nathalie and Marc Uttendaele.
The 71-year-old author now lives in Dudley, Mass.
Author never fled Belgium in war years
In her book, Defonseca said the Nazis seized her parents when she was a child, forcing her to wander the forests and villages of Europe alone for four years.
She also claimed she was trapped in the Warsaw ghetto, killed a Nazi soldier and was adopted by a group of wolves.
In the statement, she concedes that the story was a fantasy and she never fled her home in Brussels during the war.
She also divulged that her real name was Monique De Wael and her parents were taken and killed by the Nazis because they were Belgian resistance fighters.
The writer says she invented the tale because of the hard life she had growing up as an outsider of sorts.
She was often called "daughter of the traitor" because her father was rumoured to have given up information under torture. She was cared for by relatives.
"Apart from my grandfather, I hated the people who looked after me. They treated me badly … [i] always felt Jewish," she told French newspaper Le Figaro in an article published Friday.
She was fascinated by wolves as a young girl, she told the paper, and that also became part of her fantasy life.
"There are times when it is difficult for me to tell the difference between what was reality and what was my interior universe," she said.
The revelation comes amid some controversy that had already been swirling around Defonseca for the past few weeks. There have been rumblings that she was not Jewish in addition to a protracted battle she's had with her American publisher over royalties.
Belgian historian Maxime Steinberg, interviewed on television, says the Defonseca family can't be found in Jewish archives and says the De Wael family is not Jewish either.
The story was written with the help of ghostwriter Vera Lee, who says she was shocked to hear Defonseca made up the story.
"She always maintained that this was truth as she recalled it, and I trusted that that was the case," Lee said.
Herman Rosenblat's Holocaust memoir of love is exposed as a hoax
A heartwarming Holocaust memoir that is to become a big-budget film has been exposed as a hoax by a Jewish survivor in Britain only weeks before it was due to be published.
Herman Rosenblat's Angel at the Fence: The True Story of a Love that Survived, tells how he met his future wife as a girl when she threw apples to him over the barbed wire fence of the concentration camp where he was held.
Oprah Winfrey, who twice invited Mr Rosenblat on to her talk show, hailed the book as “the single greatest love story ... we've ever told on air”. The still-unpublished memoir became the basis for a children's book and $25 million (£17 million) feature film, The Flower of the Fence, which is due to start shooting in March.
The February 3 publication date was abruptly cancelled at the weekend, however, when Berkley Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), said it had received “new information” from the author's agent.
Mr Rosenblat, 79, a retired television repairman living in Miami, said that he met his future wife while he was a teenage boy in Schlieben, a sub-division of the Buchenwald concentration camp.
The nine-year-old girl, he said, tossed him an apple. The two met again by chance when Mr Rosenblat agreed to a blind date with a Polish immigrant named Roma Radzicki in Coney Island in 1957, and recognised her. They married soon afterwards.
Holocaust scholars doubted the story, and it was exposed by the New Republic magazine. Ben Helfgott, a former Schlieben inmate, told the magazine that Mr Rosenblat's story was “simply an invention”. Mr Rosenblat joins the swelling ranks of discredited memorists. “I wanted to bring happiness to people,” he said. “I brought hope to a lot of people. My motivation was to make good in this world.”
The film's producer plans to go ahead. Harris Salomon, of Atlantic Overseas Pictures, said he had always planned a “loose and fictionalised adaptation”.