The strange and disturbed world of fake holocaust survivors - who even write books of their 'struggles'.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Real Holocaust Survivors, Holocaust Books, Third Reich, Mistreated WWII veterans, Fake WWII memorabilia, WW2 restitution cases, Auschwitz Survivors.
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Pennsylvania Man Who Claimed He Escaped Auschwitz Admits Story A Lie
A 91-year-old Pennsylvania man who has for years lectured to school groups about what he said were his experiences at Auschwitz now says he was never a prisoner at the German death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. Joseph Hirt made the admission in a letter. He said he used poor judgment and faulty reasoning in trying to tell the story of those affected by the Nazis. `I am writing to apologize publicly for harm caused to anyone because of my inserting myself into the descriptions of life in Auschwitz. I was not a prisoner there. I did not intend to lessen or overshadow the events which truly happened there by falsely claiming to have been personally involved.`
The story of a family of dwarves snatched from the gas chamber by Josef Mengele sounded incredible - How to verify the testimony of Holocaust survivors?
"I was saved by the grace of the devil," Holocaust survivor Perla Ovitz told, recounting how she and her dwarf family were taken to the gas chamber. A heavy door opened and they were pushed inside. "We stood in what looked like a large washing room, waiting for something to happen. We looked up to the ceiling to see why the water was not coming. Suddenly we smelled gas. We gasped heavily, some of us fainting on the floor. With our last breath we cried out. Minutes passed... then we heard an angry voice from outside – `Where is my dwarf family?` The door opened, and we saw Dr Mengele standing there. He ordered us to be carried out and had cold water poured on us to revive us."
17 arrested in New York in connection with a $42.5 million fraud against a Holocaust compensation fund
17 persons - including 6 staff members of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany Claims Conference, which issues payments to Holocaust victims - are charged with making false financial claims using forged documents.
US Court: Holocaust survivors cannot sue Vatican Bank for storing millions of Nazi blood money
An American appeals court dismissed a case by Holocaust survivors who alleged the Vatican bank accepted millions of dollars of their valuables looted by Nazi sympathizers. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco maintained a lower court ruling that said the Vatican bank was immune from such a case under the 1976 Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which protects foreign countries from being sued in US courts. Holocaust survivors had filed suit against the Vatican bank, saying it stored and laundered the looted assets of thousands of Jews, Serbs and Gypsies who were killed by the Nazi-backed Ustasha regime that controlled Croatia.
One more holocaust survivor memoir turns out to be completely fake
Author Jean Goodwin Messinger found out that the subject of her popular nonfiction book "Hannah: From Dachau to the Olympics and Beyond" is not the woman she claimed to be. In fact, the subject of the book, known as RoseMarie Pence, is a fraud. Messinger said she was disturbed to find out that Pence had made up the "Hannah" story. "Hannah" is the story is of a girl who was imprisoned at a Nazi camp during World War II, was rescued by American forces, and later became an Olympic skier. The problem is none of her story is true. Messinger offered an apology for her role in giving voice to the fake memoir.
Simon Wiesenthal caught fewer war criminals than he claimed and fabricated his Holocaust story
Simon Wiesenthal`s name is synonymous with Nazi hunting, but Guy Walters - about to publish his book "Hunting Evil" - claims the Nazi hunter caught fewer war criminals than he claimed and made up much of his Holocaust story. Wiesenthal lied repeatedly about his supposed hunt for Eichmann as well as his other Nazi-hunting feats - not to mention his stories about his war years and false claims about his academic career. The famous story of his amazing escape in 1941 seems to be a complete fiction - and he never was in 13 Nazi camps, only in 6. He miraculously survived with 200 calories a day - and made it through the death marches with infected leg.
US publisher cancels Holocaust love story - One more fabricated WWII memoir
A publisher has called off a Holocaust memoir with an amazing love story after the writer revealed he made up parts, adding the book to a growing list of fabricated WWII autobiographies. Berkley Books said it was canceling "Angel at the Fence, The True Story of a Love that Survived" after Herman Rosenblat admitted to his agent Andrea Hurst that he had invented part of the book. Rosenblat claimed he met his wife when she threw apples to him over a fence at a Nazi concentration camp - but it later came to light he made up the story for a competition a decade ago. Berkley Books demand that the author and the agent return all money that they have received for this work.
Huge profits, of which not all goes to survivors, casts shadow over Holocaust group
Through the sale of property Nazis seized from Jews in eastern Germany, the Jewish Claims Conference (JCC) has made a profit of 1.5 billion euros. But not all of that money has been given to Holocaust survivors. Criticism of the powerful organization is raising and many, like the Israeli government and parliament, are calling for greater transparency. Around the globe, the descendants of Holocaust victims feel unfairly treated by the JCC, an umbrella association for Jewish organizations. They accuse it of collecting compensation and restitution funds, but not distributing them to victims.
Wolf woman Misha Defonseca admits: Holocaust book was a pack of lies
Misha Defonseca`s account of how she lost her parents to the Holocaust and lived with wolves in the forests has been revealed as a fabrication. In a statement she admitted that while her parents, members of Belgium`s resistance, were killed by the Nazis most of the events of the book were made up. Her book "Surviving with Wolves" (also turned into a film) became a bestseller after its publication in Italy and France and has made her a millionaire. At the film`s premiere she showed up with a little compass, "my most precious talisman", which she said had helped her find her way on her journey.
Prominent death camp survivor accused of collaborating with Nazis
A Holocaust-survivor Rudolf Schwarz - one of Britain’s most famous orchestra conductors - has been accused of being a Nazi sympathiser, in an academic study which has left his family devastated. The paper, by Dr Charlotte Exon, accused Schwarz of being "Hitler’s willing victim," alleging he "sympathised and collaborated with the Nazi regime". She also claimed Schwarz "like the majority of Germans... undoubtedly welcomed Hitler as the nation’s answer to the political and economic chaos" and chose to live in Nazi Germany under Nazi rule instead of trying to leave. The analysis that he initially backed the Nazis has created fury.
Holocaust Survivors Grow Poorer in Israel
When Gizela Burg arrived in Israel after making it out of four Nazi concentration camps alive, she thought her problems of survival were behind her. But now she can no longer afford to pay her growing medical bills. Burg is among about 90,000 Holocaust survivors a third of the total in Israel who live in poverty, according to official figures. For the childless widow, her inability to fix her television -- while television and radio stations broadcast the stories of survivors -- or afford a taxi meant she was spending annual remembrance day alone and in silence.