View from a Hoax: New Book is Next Chapter in Oprah Holocaust Love Story Hoax

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"The Apple" by Penelope Holt (York House Press) looks at the story behind the Holocaust "hoax", dubbed an Oprah Top 10 Mistake, which erupted as 2008's publishing scandal. The book examines the story behind the story of Herman Rosenblat, and the reasons why the Holocaust survivor embellished his heart-rending account of survival with a heart-warming tale of love that set off a firestorm of criticism from the Holocaust community and led Berkley Books to cancel Mr. Rosenblat's 2009 memoir, "Angel at the Fence."

setting back the Jewish cause.

"The Apple" by Westchester-based author, Penelope Holt, (York House) goes behind the Oprah Holocaust love story "hoax". A two-time guest on Oprah, who called his tale "The greatest love story we've every told," Herman Rosenblat claimed that a young girl had helped him survive by tossing him apples over the fence when he was a boy in a Nazi concentration camp. The same girl, he said, was his blind date years later, after they had both comes to America, where they later married.

After the publishing scandal, Rosenblat was vilified for "aiding and abetting Holocaust deniers," and was ranked alongside Wall Street swindler, Bernie Madoff, for "setting back the Jewish cause." In "The Apple," primarily a work of creative non-fiction, Ms. Holt adds a more balanced voice to the chorus, simultaneously recounting Herman's survival as a child from 1939 to 1945, under a Nazi reign of terror, as well as what happens to Herman as an old man in the weeks after his memoir scandal breaks, culminating in a "gotcha" national news interview.

"The story of the apples took up only a handful of pages in Herman's original 250-page plus memoir," says Ms. Holt, "but it was the hook that drew all the media attention, landed him on Oprah, and won would-be readers. Without a doubt, the desire for attention and profit factored into Herman's motivations, but there are certainly other compelling reasons that influenced him to embellish his account, and these can best be understood by reading his legitimate survivor story."

"The Apple" lets the reader decide. While not justifying how Herman Rosenblat misled the public, the book does serve as s a reminder about the complexity of the situation. Much more than one man and his faulty Holocaust tale, this is also a story of how media, commercial enterprise and culture-makers jumped on the opportunity bandwagon, but ultimately left Herman holding the bag.

"The Apple" is now on sale; available at retail bookstores, online sellers and for digital download on iTiunes and Kindle.

Contact York House Press at (914) 764-1080, or email info (at) yorkhousepress (dot) com Visit http://www.theapplenovel.com.

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May Contino
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