Publisher cancels disputed Holocaust love story

Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:42pm EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters Life!) - A publisher has canceled a Holocaust memoir with an amazing love story publicized by Oprah Winfrey after the writer admitted he made up parts, putting the book on a growing list of fabricated memoirs.

Berkley Books, an imprint of the Penguin Group, said it was canceling "Angel at the Fence, The True Story of a Love that Survived" after receiving new information from writer Herman Rosenblat's agent Andrea Hurst.

Rosenblat, 79, appeared twice on U.S. talkshow queen Oprah Winfrey's TV show to promote the memoir in which he wrote about meeting his future wife when she threw apples and bread to him over a fence at a Nazi concentration camp in Germany.

"Berkley will demand that the author and the agent return all money that they have received for this work," said Berkley Books spokesman Craig Burke in a statement.

Rosenblat's agent Andrea Hurst said in a statement that the writer had revealed to her that he invented the crux of the love story in which he claimed he met his wife when he was a teenage prisoner in a camp at Schlieben, Germany, and she threw him food.

He wrote that after the war he moved to New York and by chance met Polish immigrant Roma Radzicki who turned out to be the girl who threw him food. They fell in love and got married.

Hurst said Rosenblat's story about being in the concentration camps and the survival of the writer and his brothers was true but the retired electrical contractor from North Miami Beach, Florida, had made up the love story that had won such attention.


"Like millions of others who read this story or saw Herman and Roma on Oprah, I never for a moment questioned the authenticity of the widely circulated story," said Hurst.   Continued...