Another Fake Memoir

Oprah, I think you need to hire me as a fact-checker. I'm ready whenever you are!

And have the people promoting their false autobiographies ever heard of fiction? Quite a reputable branch of writing, one where anything goes.

Since this particular book involves the Holocaust, there's an extra strike in terms of lying. Aren't there already enough Holocaust deniers without people who should know better providing them with ammunition by writing false stories in the guise of truth? And what an insult to Holocaust survivors and their descendants--and, even worse, the memory of those who didn't survive.

"As Another Memoir is Faked, Trust Suffers" by Motoko Rich and Brian Stelter
The New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/31/books/31opra.html

An excerpt:

"The story of Herman and Roma Rosenblat, who said they reunited years later on a blind date in New York, turned out to be fabricated, and over the weekend the publisher of his memoir, “Angel at the Fence: The True Story of a Love That Survived,” canceled the February release of the book. This isn’t the first time either a publisher or Ms. Winfrey has been gullible in the face of an exaggerated tale. Now both Berkley Books, an imprint of Penguin Books, and Ms. Winfrey are faces on a media dartboard, with Ms. Winfrey dodging criticisms of what the media blog Gawker called her “liar’s club.” "

Comments

Willa said…
How awful that the Rosenblats lied about their story and that the publishers and movie makers fell for it. Boy in the Striped Pajamas, which was a great book and now movie, never pretended to be true. The Rosenblats, like Madoff, are harming the good Jewish name and it's terrible.

I read a New York Times article about Stan Lee and Neal Adams the comic book artists supporting another TRUE Holocaust love story. There was a beautiful young artist, Dina Gottliebova Babbitt, who painted Snow White and the Seven Dwarves on the children's barracks at Auschwitz to cheer them up. Dina's art became the reason she and her Mother survived Auschwitz.

Painting the mural for the children caused Dina to be taken in front of Dr. Mengele, the Angel of Death. She thought she was going to be gassed, but bravely she stood up to Mengele and he decided to make her his portrait painter, saving herself and her mother from the gas chamber as long as she was doing painting for him.

Dina's story is true because some of the paintings she did for Mengele in Auschwitz survived the war and are at the Auschwitz Birkenau Museum. Also, 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 a fact.

I wish Oprah would do a story about Dina and her art not about the Rosenblats who were pulling the wool over all our eyes.
Thanks for your comments, Willa.

I hadn't heard about Dina Gottliebova Babbitt before. You're correct; that would make a wonderful, inspiring story for Oprah to cover.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is on my TBR list. Good reminder from you! I really think fiction can be a powerful forum for exploring true events in the right hands.

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