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Publication Of Holocaust Memoir, Loved By Oprah, Canceled

Berkley Books, an imprint of large book publisher, Penguin, has canceled the publication of the Oprah-endorsed Holocaust memoir, “Angel at the Fence,” after allegations of its validity were made by Jewish groups, family, and friends. “Angel at the Fence” was supposed to come out in February, and told the love story of Herman and Rosa Rosenblat — in the memoir, Mr. Rosenblat claimed that his life was saved when young Rosa (then Roma Radzicky, also a prisoner at the concentration camp) threw him apples over a fence to prevent him from starving. Rosenblat said they found each other years later, set up on a blind date. “I wanted to bring happiness to people,” Rosenblat said in a statement issued Saturday through his agent, Andrea Hurst. “I brought hope to a lot of people. My motivation was to make good in this world.”

Though there is no doubt Rosenblat was a Holocaust concentration camp survivor, serious doubts exist that he could have met his wife in the ways he describes in the book. Thus, Jewish groups and scholars worry that such inaccuracies would only encourage Holocaust deniers. “This was not Holocaust education but miseducation,” Ken Waltzer, director of Jewish Studies at Michigan State University, said in a statement. “Holocaust experience is not heartwarming, it is heart rending. All this shows something about the broad unwillingness in our culture to confront the difficult knowledge of the Holocaust. All the more important then to have real memoirs that tell of real experience in the camps.”

Oprah interviewed the couple a number of times over the years and called their romance, “the single greatest love story … we’ve ever told on the air.” They have inspired a children’s book and a feature film adaptation is scheduled to begin next year. [AP]

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