(JTA ) — A New York publisher has canceled the release of a Holocaust memoir after learning the core of the story was fabricated.
Berkley Books, a division of Penguin Group, has also demanded that Herman Rosenblat return his advance.
Rosenblat claimed that a woman he met on a blind date in New York 12 years after World War II and later married was the same person who, as a Jewish child in hiding during the Holocaust, disguised herself as a Christian farm girl and tossed apples to him over the fence of a sub-camp of Buchenwald.
Rosenblat and his wife Roma Radzicki Rosenblat recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
While Rosenblat was interred at the Schlieben concentration camp, his wife did not toss apples to him, a scholar discovered.
“I wanted to bring happiness to people, to remind them not to hate, but to love and tolerate all people,” he wrote in a statement published in the New York Times. “I brought good feelings to a lot of people and I brought hope to many. My motivation was to make good in this world. In my dreams, Roma will always throw me an apple, but I now know it is only a dream.”