Monday, December 29, 2008

Oprah Get's Fooled with the Greatest Love Story She'd Ever Heard

There is something incredibly powerful about true stories. When you have true stories the triumphs are more triumphant, the challenges are more wretched, and the stories and relationships are all the more moving.

But for those who are most trusting and believing, the ultimate tragedy occurs if they find out this amazing true story is all a lie.

This memoir was one that was scheduled to be released in a couple months, called Angel at The Fence by Herman Rosenblat. This fictitious memoir is about how Herman Rosenblat met his wife of 50 years, Roma Radzicki Rosenblat, as a child in a Nazi concentration camp. In the "memoir" Roma, a Jewish woman, dresses up as a Christian farm girl and throws apples over the fence.

Oprah called this story the "single greatest love story" she had ever heard. Well, the story apparently has as much validity as the Jack & Rose Titanic story.

It's really too bad, because I love true stories and memoirs, but the fascination in outrageous and unbelievable stories, steals the spotlight from true stories.

One of the things that makes documentaries have a leg up over memoirs, is that while they still can deal with real stores, a documentary captures footage. Granted people may argue about the editing and commentary associates with a documentary, the fact of the matter is that a documentary at least captures real images.

(If you want to see an example of public outcry, read the comments on these two posts on the documentary Jesus Camp...some of my most commented on post: Becky Fisher closes camp following Jesus Camp Reactions, Becky Fischer's Yoke In Jesus Camp)

I don't think that memoirs need to be fact-checked line for line as if they were New York Times articles...but I wouldn't be opposed to a snopes.com-like-organization that verified and fact-checked books and gave them the "memoir seal of approval" because it's unfortunate to be moved by a true story only to discover it's a sham.

6 comments:

Simply Victoria said...

oi vey! poor oprah.
taken in. taken in again.

Loren Eaton said...

Yes, poor Oprah. (I never thought I'd put those two words together.) This is why I have a hard time with memiors.

Adam S. said...

Why should we ever let the truth get in the way of a good story?

The Cubicle Reverend said...

Why does she have any legitimacy anymore?

There was another book supposed to come out this year about a girl of spanish/native american decent who was a drug dealer in the city. Too bad she was a privileged white girl from the suburbs.

Shirley said...

This hoax is a tragedy. The Rosenblats have hurt Jews all over and given support to those who deny the holocaust. I don't understand why Atlantic Pictures is still proceeding to make a film based on a lie. I also don't understand how Oprah could have publicized this story, especially after James Frey and given that many bloggers like Deborah Lipstadt said in 2007 that the Rosenblat's story couldn't be true.
There are so many other worthwhile projects based on genuine love stories from the Holocaust. My favorite is the one about Dina Gottliebova Babbitt - the beautiful young art student who painted Snow White and the Seven Dwarves on the children's barracks at Auschwitz. This painting became the reason Dina and her Mother survived Auschwitz. After the end of the war, Dina applied for an art job in Paris. Unbeknownst to Dina, her interviewer was the lead animator on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. They fell in love and got married. Now that's a romantic love story! I also admire Dina for her tremendous courage to paint the mural in the first place. Painting the mural for the children caused her to be taken to Dr. Mengele, the Angel of Death. She thought she was going to be gassed, but bravely she stood up to Mengele and he made her his portrait painter, saving herself and her mother from the gas chamber.

Also, Dina's story has been verified as true. Some of the paintings she did for Mengele in Auschwitz survived the war and are at the Auschwitz Birkenau Museum. The story of her painting the mural of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on the children's barrack has been corroborated by many other Auschwitz prisoners, and of course her love and marriage to the animator of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs the Disney movie after the war in Paris is also documented.

Why wasn't the Rosenblatt's story checked out before it was published and picked up to have the movie made?? I would like to see true and wonderful stories like Dina's be publicized, not these hoax tales that destroy credibility and trust.

Robert Robillard said...

But for those who are most trusting and believing, the ultimate tragedy occurs if they find out this amazing true story is all a lie.

What a great statement! I'm one of those you mention that is trusting - until crossed.

Great post.

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