Oy vey, another hoax!

So, yet another “Holocaust memoir” has been exposed as a hoax. This time it’s the “love story” of Herman Rosenblat (who, it so happened, was sent from the ghetto of Piotrków to Buchenwald, as I was) and his wife Roma. For over a decade the fairy-tale story of the boy who was given apples through a concentration-camp fence by a girl whom he later met on a blind date and married, as implausible as it was, circulated in the American media, including appearances on Oprah Winfrey’s show. Finally Herman Rosenblat has admitted that the tale was a fabrication.

Allow me to quote from an essay of mine, written in March 2005:

I have a rule of thumb that I have followed for sixty years: any Polish Jew’s account of his or her experiences during World War II must be taken with a grain of salt. So it is, for example, that the posthumous unraveling of the fraud that was Jerzy Kosinski’s autobiography only confirmed what I had already suspected. And when I saw the film Europa Europa I could only laugh at the subtitle “A True Story” that its poster bore; the filmmaker, intentionally or not, sabotages the film’s veracity with an epilogue in which the man whose tale is told is shown on a Tel Aviv beach, singing a Hebrew song and displaying a nose that was worthy of a caricature in Der Stürmer and would certainly make his passing as an Aryan less than plausible.

If any  literary agent, publisher, editor or screenwriter were to seek my advice, it would be this: if any purported Holocaust memoir from a Polish Jew sounds like fiction, it probably is.

2 Responses to “Oy vey, another hoax!”

  1. Myrtle Says:

    This hoax is a tragedy. The Rosenblats have hurt Jews all over and given support to those who deny the holocaust. I don’t understand why Atlantic Pictures is still proceeding to make a film based on a lie. I also don’t understand how Oprah could have publicized this story, especially after James Frey and given that many bloggers like Deborah Lipstadt said in 2007 that the Rosenblat’s story couldn’t be true.
    There are so many other worthwhile projects based on genuine love stories from the Holocaust. 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. 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. Now that’s a romantic love story! I also admire Dina for her tremendous courage 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.

    Also, Dina’s story has been verified as 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. James Woods Says:

    There are other examples: Wilkomirski from Switzerland or the partisan story from 2008 movie with David Craig. Movie makers frequently don’t care about historical truth because they hope that “Jewish” stories gives them good press and money. Journalists , at least in Europe, are frightened to criticize these movies due to badly understood political correctness. Certainly, there are many true stories which are worth to be memorized forever but as long as money, publicity or ideology is the most important things won’t change.

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