Believe It or Not: Another Fake Memoir - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Believe It or Not: Another Fake Memoir

Film based on embellished memoir to proceed despite revelation of hoax

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    Believe It or Not: Another Fake Memoir
    TJ Sullivan
    Author's claim that his wife threw apples to him over a concentration camp fence is revealed as a hoax.

    Yet again, a memoir has been revealed a work of fiction, much to the embarrassment of Berkley Books, a division of Penguin Group, which has decided to cancel the release of it as a work of non-fiction.

    A black eye for the publishing industry, to be sure.

    But, not to be outdone, the movie industry has stepped up and beat itself about the face by revealing that a planned movie version of the book wasn't planning to stick to the script anyway, so ... ACTION!

    OK. Time for background. Cue some soft violin music ... Picture sweet Herman Rosenblat, not as the big fat liar he is today, but as a truthful young boy in a Nazi concentration camp. Now, imagine Herman meeting his wife, Roma Radzicki Rosenblat, disguised as a free Christian farm girl who tossed apples over the fence to him while he was in the concentration camp, which apparently had security just as lax as that of the fact-checking department at Berkley Books.

    Turns out the whole thing is one gigantic fib. The couple didn't meet there.

    Stop the presses? Yes. Of couse. A memoir's got to be a memoir, a historical account. As for the film, well, when Hollywood says "based on a true story" what that means is some of it's true, and some of it isn't true, and it's up to you to ignore all that and just enjoy the darn movie. Basically, it's the same as fiction, but not. Well, not until something like this happens.

    Atlantic Overseas Pictures posted its reason for proceeding with the project on its Web site. It said: "Whereas the Penguin Publishing book 'Angel at the Fence' was a non fiction account of Rosenblat’s life, the feature film, 'The Flower of the Fence' was always a lose [sic] and fictionalized adaptation of his story. Therefore, AOP its principals and partners believe the integrity and the beauty of the story remains as a work of fiction."