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Angel at the Fence – another fabricated memoir?


Angel at the FenceIs 2008 going to end with a revelation about another made-up memoir? Perhaps. The book in question is Angel at the Fence: The True Story of a Love That Survived by Herman Rosenblat, who has twice appeared on Oprah’s TV show. The book is set to be published by a division of Penguin in February and a movie called Flower of the Fence is scheduled to go into production in 2009.

The author describes his experience as a teenage boy during the Holocaust at Schlieben, part of the Buchenwald concentration camp. One day a nine-year-old girl appears and throws an apple over the fence to Herman and continues to bring food for months, helping Herman to survive. After the war, Herman moves to New York and meet a Polish immigrant named Roma Radzicki, who turns out to be that same girl and they fall in love and marry.

However, the New Republic reveals the facts don’t add up and Herman’s description of the camp is inaccurate – and that throwing an apple over the camp’s fence would be impossible.

James Frey, Ishmael Beah, Margaret B Jones, Misha Defonseca – the list of authors accused of fabrication goes on and on. Is Herman Rosenblat the latest one? It will be interesting to see where this story goes.

It could be another very embarrassing episode for Oprah – the memories of James Frey’s Oprah misadventure remain as clear as a bell.

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Richard Davies