What Oprah Winfrey once called “the greatest love story… we’ve ever told on the air” was indeed too good to be true.
The touching story of how Holocaust survivor Herman Rosenblat met his future wife, Roma, as a prisoner at a Nazi concentration camp when she snuck him apples and bread through a fence for seven months – and how they reunited on a blind date years later in New York – was fabricated, Herman admitted last week, according to The Associated Press.
“I wanted to bring happiness to people,” Rosenblat said in a statement. “I brought hope to a lot of people. My motivation was to make good in this world.”
The story was first questioned by The New Republic last Thursday in an article that called its circumstances an “impossibility.”
Rosenblat’s formerly forthcoming memoir of the events, “Angel at the Gate,” has now been canceled by publisher Berkley Books. It was due in February.
Herman has indeed been married to Roma for 50 years and he did meet her on a blind date in New York. He also did survive a Nazi death camp.
According to The New Republic, Rosenblat, 79, has been featured on the Hallmark Channel, Lifetime and CBS News as well as “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” on which he has appeared twice. A film version of the story is set to go into production in March. According to the Associated Press, the film adaptation will continue as planned.
This incident marks the second time Oprah has been burned on a falsified memoir – she chose James Frey’s “A Million Little Pieces” for her Book Club in 2005, only to bring him to the show to admit its inaccuracies after its content, including an alleged prison stay, was put into doubt by critics.
When reached by Access Hollywood on Monday, an Oprah rep was not available for comment.