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More fallout from another fake memoir

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The children’s picture book, “Angel Girl,” is being pulled from store shelves, according to a message on the Lerner Publishing Group website. The company is offering refunds for returns and has put the brakes on all plans for reprints. Lerner officials took the action after Holocaust survivor Herman Rosenblat admitted that part of his so-called true love story was a lie.

Since the mid-1990s, Rosenblat has told an incredible story of how a little girl brought food to him while he was in a Nazi Germany work camp. Years later, he claims they got married after meeting on a blind date. Rosenblat repeated the story in newspaper interviews and on “Oprah” twice! 

Last September Lerner released, “Angel Girl,” which retells portions of Rosenblat’s fake love story. The author, Laurie Friedman, spent months with Rosenblat and his wife Roma, “…I wanted to find a way to share what I felt was an important and inspiring message for children.” Friedman thought the message was one of hope, but it turned out to be one of deceit.

Last weekend, Berkeley Books canceled plans to publish Rosenblat’s memoir, “Angel at the Fence:The True Story of A Love That Survived,” due out in February. The publisher is reportedly demanding the return of all advance money. Also, there was a movie in the works.

Experts have had doubts about the love story for a while. Yet it was a recent investigatve article in the New Republic that forced Rosenblat to concede that his love story was more fiction than fact.

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2 Responses to More fallout from another fake memoir

  1. Phyllis Saturday, January 3, 2009 at 3:20 am #

    The Rosenblat story is so sad. Why is Atlantic Pictures making a film based on a lie? Why didn’t Oprah check the story out before publicizing it, especially after James Frey and given that many bloggers like Deborah Lipstadt said in 2007 that the Rosenblat’s story couldn’t be true.
    Genuine love stories from the Holocaust do exist. 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 to cheer them up. 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. It’s such a romantic love story. Another reason I love Dina’s story is the tremendous courage she had 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.

    Dina’s story is also verified to be 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. Fronnie Saturday, January 3, 2009 at 4:15 pm #


    Excellent comments. I agree a lot of folks dropped the ball when it came to checking out the Rosenblat “Angel at the Fence” tale. Also, I was not aware of the true Holocaust story of Dina Gottliebova Babbitt. And yes, it would make a wonderful book and movie. Thanks for sharing.

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