Herman Rosenblat, 85, Dies; Made Up Holocaust Love Story

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The first curse on mankind was imposed because of an apple, and for all that happened to Herman Rosenblat in his 85 years — the horrors inflicted in Nazi concentration camps, the gunshot wound he suffered when his Brooklyn television repair shop was robbed, the global fame bestowed by two appearances on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” — it is an apple for which he will be most remembered. That first bite of the fruit was built on a lie.

Mr. Rosenblat, who died on Feb. 5 at a hospital in Aventura, Fla., wrote a moving but largely unexceptional Holocaust memoir in 1993. What distinguished it was one scene: a momentary encounter in a snow-dappled field in Germany between a starving teenage inmate at Schlieben, a subcamp of Buchenwald, and a young girl watching him from the other side of a barbed wire fence.

According to his own story, as recounted in another book: “He saw her pull something from her pocket. An apple? She squinted, gauging the distance between them, swung her arm in a few practice throws, then hurled the apple with a force that surprised him. The fruit flew across most of the distance between them before it dropped to the ground, rolled under the fence and landed just inches beyond the wire on Herman’s side.”




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