Real Love Is Fiction

Ken AshfordHistoryLeave a Comment

Oprah called it ""the single greatest love story, in 22 years of doing this show, we've ever told on the air." 

And she made the memoir of the story one of her books-of-the-month.  It has been featured on the Hallmark Channel, Lifetime Television, and CBS News.

And the story is this:

The author, Herman Rosenblat, who is a retired television repairman now living in Miami, recounts his experience as a teenage boy during the Holocaust at Schlieben, a sub-division of the infamous Buchenwald concentration camp. In the winter of 1945, Herman meets a nine-year-old girl–herself a Jew masquerading as a Christian at a nearby farm–when she shows up one day outside the camp and tosses him an apple over the barbed-wire fence. For the next seven months, the girl at the fence delivers Herman food each day, until he is suddenly transferred to another camp. Fast forward to Coney Island, 1957: Herman, now in his 20s and settled in New York, reluctantly agrees to a blind date with a young Polish immigrant named Roma Radzicki. They speak of their time during the war. Roma mentions a boy she had helped to survive in a camp. She said she fed him apples. A flash of recognition. Months later, Herman marries Roma, his angel at the fence.

Nice story, except for the fact that the only place where the apples could have been tossed from the women's camp to the men's camp was right beside the SS guard bunker.

Also, the man told the woman he could no longer see her because he was being gassed the next day (because that's what he thought; he was transferred instead).

Nice story, except for the fact that Jews typically weren't informed in advance that they were to be gassed.

And, oh yeah, Schliebem didn't have a gas chamber.

So, yeah.  The hoax got exposed.