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Holocaust Memoir Debunked. Author Admits to Making It All Up.

Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years which related a Jewish child’s Holocaust experience including trekking 1900 miles across Europe with a pack of wolves (I know, I thought I saw that Disney movie too) is apparently not a memoir but a pack of fiction (or pack of lies, but I thought that was too easy).

Misah Defonseca’s book was translated into 18 languages and made into a french film. The author currently lives in Massachusetts and is 71 years old. I mention her age specifically because I know that we aren’t supposed to say anything negative about someone over the age of, say, 50, even if what they did would be considered a fraud on the public.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. GrowlyCub
    Mar 01, 2008 @ 09:35:12

    Does she play the violin as well? Sorry, couldn’t help myself. What’s with all the fake memoirs recently? It’s like an epidemic!

    I do wonder how often the publishers are actually complicit in that they look for/push for the greater ‘authenticity’ that a memoir has over a novel.

    And while we are talking publishers and being lied to and taken to the cleaners: any news on Penguin/Dorchester/Kensington/CE? I saw that at least 2 CE books have been published so far this year and it seems poor Tolme was plagiarized again in another 2007 book of CE’s (see comments on CE cover snark on SBTB).

  2. Bonnie L.
    Mar 01, 2008 @ 15:43:31

    What, does a memoir have more cache than a piece of fiction? Wouldn’t the book worked as a simple work of fiction? I don’t get it.

  3. Maya Reynolds
    Mar 01, 2008 @ 18:04:21

    The backstory is almost more interesting than the actual “memoir.”

    Defonseca was giving talks about her imaginary life when she was approached by a small independent publisher named Jane Daniel. Daniel apparently decided not to look too closely at the details of Defonseca’s story before publishing it. Since Defonseca wanted to tell her story in French, Daniel convinced her next-door neighbor–a retired French professor–to write the book.

    After it was published in 1997, both Defonseca and the next-door neighbor sued Daniel for breach-of-contract. The judge trebled the damages awarded by the jury to 32.4 MILLION DOLLARS!

    THAT’S when Daniel decided to try to discredit the book.

  4. azteclady
    Mar 01, 2008 @ 18:19:14

    Huh. No honor among thieves, hmm?

  5. danny
    Dec 12, 2008 @ 19:33:15

    RE:What's with all the fake memoirs recently? It's like an epidemic!

    I do wonder how often the publishers are actually complicit in that they look for/push for the greater ‘authenticity' that a memoir has over a novel.”

    Do some google research online about this new Holocaust memoir coming soon called ANGEL AT THE FENCE. It might be true, it might be…..(fill in the word).

    Herman Rosenblat author of Angel at the Fence appeared on the Oprah TV show. Oprah said his was the single greatest love story ever told on the show, and called it a defining Oprah Show moment when it comes to destiny, fate, and the power of love.

    The backstory to this backstory might turn out to be (fill in the blank). You decide.

    But most probably the publishers of this book ARE complicit with whatever happens to this book. The book proposal sounded PERFECT, and the OPRAH publicity gives the book already alot of powerful pre-pub PR. So how can the book fail? It cannot fail. It will become a bestseller. But will it be exposed for be something other than what it says it is…..? Stay tuned. February 2009 is launch date. Most likely the media investigation won’t start until 2015 or so. Too late by then. Then again, maybe miracles REALLY DO HAPPEN, and this is what the book is really selling.

    Watch. GOOGLE. see and

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