By Marista Lane
This morning on ABC’s Good Morning America, Herman Rosenblat said he wasn’t sorry for the book he called a Holocaust memoir, Angel at the Fence, but did admit he made a mistake and wants forgiveness from the American public. “It wasn’t a lie,” he said. “It was my imagination, and in my mind, I believed it. Even now, I believe it.” Here lies the difference between memoir and fiction.
Oprah, who praised the memoir as being one of the greatest love stories ever written, had the couple on her show two times since she heard of the story. The book probably would have been on her Book Club list in no time. Berkley Books canceled the supposed memoir since Rosenblat’s confessed that much of the story was fabricated last December.
The “memoir” was meant to be released sometime this month. It tells the story of how Rosenblat met his wife Roma during their time at a sub-camp of Buchenwald concentration camp during the Holocaust, and how they reconnected later in life and are still married to this day.
In a statement released after he knew the book was fabricated, Ken Waltzer, director of Jewish Studies at Michigan State University, said, “This was not Holocaust education but miseducation…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.”
Rosenblat was brave to appear on Oprah. Considering what happened to James Frey, it looks like Rosenblat came out relatively unscathed.