Holocaust love story a hoax

By Suzanne Boyd email
Posted by Rachel Leigh email

(WFLX) - It's a story Oprah hailed as the greatest love story she's ever told on air. The love story that touched the world ends in sadness but not why you may think.

Turns out the romantic story of a South Florida holocaust survivor was too good to be true.

The Rosenblat's marriage seemed tailor-made for movies and memoirs. 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," recalled Herman Rosenblat.

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. "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. 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."

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.

The movie is set to begin filming in March. Filmmakers plan to go ahead with it, but will call it fiction instead.

Mr. Rosenblat has agreed to donate all earnings from the film to holocaust survivor charities.