L’EXPRESS – 09 Juillet 2009
« Le couple Radzicki-Rosenblat. C’est pour ce cas une imposture littéraire évitée grâce à la perspicacité d’un professeur de l’Université du Michigan. Roma Radzicki et Herman Rosenblat étaient prêts à publier leur trop belle histoire : celle d’une enfant de 9 ans qui aurait sauvé un adolescent de quinze ans en lui donnant du pain dans un camp près de Buchenwald, et qui s’étaient retrouvés et mariés des années plus tard à New York. »
Motolo Rich et Joseph Bergerdec, 28 Décembre 2008
Credit J. Pat Carter/Associated Press
A man whose memoir about his experience during the Holocaust was to have been published in February has admitted that his story was embellished, and on Saturday evening his publisher canceled the release of the book.
And once again a New York publisher and Oprah Winfrey were among those fooled by a too-good-to-be-true story.
This time, it was the tale of Herman Rosenblat, who said he first met his wife while he was a child imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp and she, disguised as a Christian farm girl, tossed apples over the camp’s fence to him. He said they met again on a blind date 12 years after the end of war in Coney Island and married. The couple celebrated their 50th anniversary this year.
Ms. Winfrey, who hosted Mr. Rosenblat and his wife, Roma Radzicki Rosenblat, on her show twice, called their romance “the single greatest love story” she had encountered in her 22 years on the show. On Saturday night, after learning from Mr. Rosenblat’s agent that the author had confessed that the story was fabricated, Berkley Books, a unit of Penguin Group that was planning to publish “Angel at the Fence,” Mr. Rosenblat’s memoir of surviving in a sub-camp of Buchenwald with the help of his future wife, canceled the book and demanded that Mr. Rosenblat return his advance.
Harris Salomon, who is producing a movie based on the story, said he would go ahead with the film, but as a work of fiction, adding that Mr. Rosenblat had agreed to donate all earnings from the film to Holocaust survivor charities.
Berkley’s decision came in the same year that another unit of Penguin, Riverhead Books, was duped by Margaret Seltzer, the author of “Love and Consequences,” her fabricated gang memoir about her life as a white girl taken into an African-American foster home in South Central Los Angeles. She had in fact been raised by her biological family in a well-to-do section of the San Fernando Valley. It also followed the revelations, nearly three years ago, that James Frey, the Oprah Winfrey-annointed author “A Million Little Pieces,” had exaggerated details of his memoir of drug addiction.
This latest literary hoax is likely to trigger yet more questions as to why the publishing industry has such a poor track record of fact-checking.
In the latest instance, no one at Berkley questioned the central truth of Mr. Rosenblat’s story until last week, said Andrea Hurst, his agent. Neither Leslie Gelbman, president and publisher of Berkley, nor Natalee Rosenstein, Mr. Rosenblat’s editor at Berkley, returned calls or e-mail messages seeking comment. Craig Burke, director of publicity for Berkley, declined to elaborate beyond the company’s brief statement announcing the cancellation of the book. In an e-mail message, a spokesman for Ms. Winfrey also declined to comment.
After several scholars and family members attacked Mr. Rosenblat’s story in articles last week in The New Republic, Mr. Rosenblat confessed on Saturday to Ms. Hurst and Mr. Salomon that he had concocted the core of his tale. Ms. Hurst said that in an emotional telephone call with herself and Mr. Salomon, Mr. Rosenblat said his wife had never tossed him apples over the fence.
LIRE LA SUITE : http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/29/books/29hoax.html?_r=0