Good Wednesday Copious Notes readers. Yesterday CNN broke the news that yet another book based on a true story is a hoax. You may remember a couple of years ago how James Frey was busted about his book ‘A Million Little Pieces’ and how the book, which seemed like an amazing story, was significantly embellished. This time it’s Herman Rosenblat and a book that was set to come out in just a few short months titled “Angel at the Fence”.
The story is simple in that Rosenblat was in a Nazi concentration camp and claimed a little girl would throw him apples over the fence each day. A chance meeting 10 years later lead to them marrying. It sounds extraordinary and it was. The only true part was that he was really in a Nazi concentration camp. His publisher has pulled the plug and demanded all their money back from his advance. The book was to be made into a movie and that, interestingly enough, is still slated to be done at this point. The final nail in the coffin is that people have reported his real love story was good enough where he didn’t need to lie for the book.
Below is an excerpt from the story but feel free to click the above link to read the whole story.
Finally, I’m going to tag this post in my ‘Tips’ area because here is a tip for all writers: Don’t Lie! How’s that for a concept?
Holocaust ‘greatest’ love story a hoax
(CNN) — Oprah Winfrey once dubbed it the “greatest love story” she had ever heard: a boy held at a Nazi concentration camp during World War II and a girl on the outside who tossed him apples to keep him alive. They eventually married and grew old together.
It turns out the story of Herman and Roma Rosenblat isn’t true.
The two had told their love story for years and years, inspiring a book deal, an upcoming movie, and stories across the globe on television,……
Seriously, I’m baffled by writers who do this. I just don’t get it. I’m glad the book was pulled, and that the advance will have to be returned. As for the movie? Harumph.
I think what’s even more upsetting is that Frey is now intentionally writing fictional memoirs, and is getting paid to do so! So much for the consequence of having lied the first time around,
I’ve got to agree with Janna here. This makes no sense to me. Why not just admit it’s fiction and say “based on a true story”? It probably would have been just as popular, if for different reasons, and he’d still probably be getting that big advance.
What a waste.
I agree with both of you guys. I don’t understand it myself and wonder why people do this. Also if it was fiction, people would still love it. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
What intrigues me is that the wife and husband told this lie all of their lives. I wonder how the lie evolved. Did one day the husband tell the story to a group of friends, and his wife just agreed for agreeing sake? Then it was “too late” for it not to become “their “story? Or did the two of them come up with the lie together?
How awful that the Rosenblats lied about their story and that the publishers and movie makers and Oprah didn’t figure it out. So sad.
Some Holocaust love stories are true. The NY Times featured a story about the famous comic book artists Stan Lee and Neal Adams and a story they were publicizing.
The story is about Dina Gottliebova Babbitt who was a 19 year old art student at Auschwitz. There she was asked by the Jewish head of the children’s camp to paint something to cheer them up. Dina painted a mural of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and in the end, Dina’s art became the reason for her salvation.
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 she bravely stood up to Mengele and he decided to make her his portrait painter, saving herself and her mother from the gas chamber.
After the war, Dina applied for a job to be an animator and the person interviewing her turned out to be the man who created Snow White & the 7 Dwarfs for the movie. They fell in love and got married. Show White saved Dina’s life twice!