Touching Holocaust Story A Hoax

The publication of a holocaust memoir called "Angel at the Fence" has been canceled. It was written by Herman Rosenblat, a holocaust survivor, but his story was too good to be true.

The Rosenblat's marriage seemed tailor-made for movies and memoirs, reports CBS News correspondent Kelly Cobiella. A love story born in Hitler's Europe at a German labor camp.

"I saw a little girl on the other side of the barbed wire," Herman Rosenblat said.

Twelve-year-old Herman was a prisoner, the girl on the other side, he said -- his savior.

"She took out an apple out of her jacket and she threw it over the fence," Herman said. "I grabbed the apple and I ran."

Years later Rosenblat, now an adult, said he met that same girl on a blind date in New York.

"And that was it," Herman said. "I knew right then and there we were going to get married."

The story inspired a children's book, two appearances on the Oprah Winfrey show, a movie deal and memoir in the works and countless interviews.

Some historians believed him too, but one recently raised red flags. The timeline, he said, didn't work, and the fence was too high. On Saturday, Berkley Books canceled Rosenblat's memoir "Angel at the Fence." In a statement he admitted his version of history was fiction.

Fellow Holocaust survivor Sidney Finkel appeared on the Oprah show with Rosenblat last year.

"I regret I didn't have the courage to really face him with it because I wasn't really 100 percent sure, but I pretty well knew that it was a made up story," Finkel said.

Rosenblat did survive a concentration camp, and his 50-year marriage to Roma is real. A seemingly unrepentant Rosenblat says he made up the rest to bring people happiness and hope..


Holocaust scholar Michael Berenbaum sat down with Early Show co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez to discuss the implications of the revelation that the Rosenblat's story was fiction. To view, click the Play button below.


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