Gabe Sherman has followed up on his initial story in the New Republic on Herman Rosenblatt's supposed memoir, Angel at the Fence, with another one detailing extensive interviews with survivors, some of whom were with him in the camp. He has also interviews Rosenblatt's sister-in-law whose late husband, Herman's brother, was with him in the camp.
To a person they all say the story is false. A number of them tried to stop Rosenblatt from telling this story. They could not.
Up until now I have written with great sadness about this whole mess. I still am sad. Sad that other survivors will feel on the defensive about having to "prove" their memories are indeed true. Sad that some people will feel more inclined to wonder if a survivor is telling the truth. Sad that the deniers will use this story as fodder for their argument that you cannot believe survivors' stories.
But, after reading Sherman's latest my sadness is mixed with anger. People tried to stop Rosenblatt. They told it was wrong to fabricate a story. They warned him against it. All to no avail. He apparently loved the publicity.
Some people have written to me asking why they should even care about deniers. "They lie anyway. Why do you care if this gives them ammunition?" I don't care about deniers. They have made their minds up based on lies and inventions. I just don't want to give them any ammunition to convince other people, people not inclined towards denial. Rosenblatt played right into their hands.
This scandal was unnecessary.
Herman Rosenblatt survived the camps as a young boy despite the inhumane efforts of the Germans to work him and other prisoners to death. That's enough of a miracle in my book.
The apples and all the other embellishments should have stayed in the larder.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Apples over the Fence : The New Republic Interviews Survivors: Story is Fabricated
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This story has so many parallels to the Misha Defonseca hoax --- stories concocted by people years and years after the supposed events purely for the purpose of exploiting the public's sympathy and concern for Holocaust survivors in order to make money. By inventing these "heart-warming" stories and selling them to publishers and movie-makers people like Herman Rosenblatt and Misha Defonseca trivialize and, in fact, generate suspicion and doubt for the millions who truly suffered.
Silence equals permission. Speak out and let the world know these hoaxes are not acceptable. They are contemptible!
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