19 February 2009

Rosenblat: Holocaust faker admits lie - UPDATED

The latest Holocaust faker, Herman Rosenblat, appeared on Good Morning America and admitted he lied.

The love story was so touching, that Hollywood is even making a movie about it.

Herman Rosenblat received international attention for his tale about being a hungry little boy in a Nazi concentration camp who was thrown apples every day by a little girl named Roma, on the other side of the fence.

Years later, according to the story, Rosenblat met that same girl on a blind date in New York City and proposed to her on the spot.

Even Oprah Winfrey was taken in by the fraud, as were publishers and Hollywood.

On GMA, Rosenblat said:
"It wasn't a lie," he told "GMA." "It was my imagination. And in my imagination, in my mind, I believed it. Even now, I believe it, that she was there and she threw the apple to me. ... In my imagination, it was true."

Rosenblat said he told the story to give people hope and to promote understanding about the Holocaust. His wife went along with the story because, as Rosenblat said, she "loved" him.
His son, Ken Rosenblat, however, indicated the real motive was money. A book deal. A movie.

The effort proving the fraud linked forensic genealogy and Holocaust social history methods. The team included Holocaust researchers Dr. Deborah Lipstadt (Emory University), Professor Ken Waltzer (Michigan State University and director of Jewish Studies), author Danny Bloom and forensic genealogists Colleen Fitzpatrick and Sharon Sargeant. The team also received help from historians Uwe Schwarz (Germany) and Jean-Louis Rey (France) who are working on the history of the Buchenwald sub-camp Schlieben.

The talents of this group joined genealogical methods and historical research skills related to survivor testimony, ITS camp records (transport lists and prisoner records) as well as Claims Conference materials.

About six weeks ago, the team proved that it was impossible for prisoners to approach the fence at Herman's concentration camp and that his wife's family was really 200 miles away.

Learn how they did it at their new site Identifinders. Colleen and Sharon also exposed Misha DeFonseca's Holocaust hoax of living with wolves. I have just read and highly recommend a very detailed story focusing on Waltzer's role (view it online at Harpers).

Rosenblat's memoir, "Angel at the Fence," was canceled by Berkely Books. A children's book on the same subject, "Angel Girl," was published in September but pulled after the revelations.

The latest news is that a $25 million film project, "Flower of the Fence" will be going ahead.

Read the complete story at the link above.

Isn't it time that publishers hired forensic genealogists to clear books with this subject matter?

Publishers Weekly ran a story on this topic, recommending that such manuscripts be cleared by professional researchers before deals are made, rather than running extensive damage control after the fact; see Tracing the Tribe's link here.


  1. Anonymous4:48 PM

    I too had a Holocaust story to tell. My relatives perished in Nazi camps. However, because I could not prove what happened, I decided to create a fictional presentation of a Jewish love story in Nazi-occupied Europe.

    My Holocaust love story includes an accurate representation of the Shoah, with particular attention to historic detail (especially Theresienstadt and Auschwitz).

    A survivor who read my novel contacted me by phone to ask how I could have known with such intimate detail, what life was like in Auschwitz. The answer is.... three years of detailed and painstaking research.

    My novel, "Jacob's Courage," is available through all major booksellers. Some of the reviews are listed on Amazon. "Jacob's Courage" was also reviwed by Jewish Book World and by The Association of Jewish Libraries. A film company has expressed interest in the movie rights to my novel.

    As the Rosenblatt story unfolds, I am grateful that my book is not portrayed as fact. The characters are ficticious. But, the story that unfolds around them is very real. I hope that you will read "Jacob's Courage." If you can't afford it, contact me at csw1@sev.org and I will send you the e-book free of charge.

    Best wishes,

    Charles Weinblatt
    Author, "Jacob's Courage"

  2. Dr Ken Waltzer from Michigan State University should be mentioned in the post above too, he played major role in uncovering the hoax and convincing news media his team had the smoking guns.

  3. Anonymous5:19 AM

    I saw and met this couple at an Holocaust Memorial evening at our children's shul. Mr. Rosenblat was one of the speakers and he told this wonderful, or so we thought, story and then introducted his wife...Not a dry eye in the house. How sad that someone would deceive so many people with bull, so that he could make himself feel good.

  4. Anonymous5:47 AM

    It an emotional outlet for poor Herman, he was not after money or fame, but attention and applause and love. Forgive him, for he knew not what he did......

  5. This post has been updated to cover the unintentional omission of Prof. Waltzer's role on the team and to point to an additional article detailing that role.

  6. Anonymous11:12 PM

    We should all forgive this poor soul and not judge so harshly.