You can shelve "Angel at the Fence" next to "A Million Little Pieces," "Love and Consequences," and "Misha: A Memoir of the Holocaust Years." Then you can label the whole group "stories that never should have been believed."
Putting an end to a storm that has been brewing since Christmas Day, Berkley Books, an imprint of the Penguin Group, announced that it was canceling publication of the memoir as the author has now admitted fabricating the core of his story.
Herman Rosenblat, it turns out, really is a Holocaust and concentration camp survivor, but his story of a young girl tossing him apples and bread to help him stay alive in the camp (and then meeting him in New York 10 years later and becoming his wife) is an invention.
The memoir, due to be published in February, came under public scrutiny after a writer for The New Republic interviewed Holocaust scholars who said the story could not possibly be true. "Angel at the Fence" had also been made into a children's book already released this fall and a movie scheduled for release in March.
Rosenblat and his agent will be returning all money made from the sale of the story.
As for the rest of us, there's nothing left to be done but to feel sad.