- The Washington Times - Monday, December 29, 2008

Holocaust book canceled

The publisher of a disputed Holocaust memoir has canceled the book, adding the name Herman Rosenblat to an increasingly long list of literary fakers and ending with a heartbreaking crash his story - embraced by Oprah Winfrey among others - of meeting his future wife at a concentration camp.

“I wanted to bring happiness to people,” Mr. Rosenblat said in a statement issued Saturday through his agent, Andrea Hurst. “I brought hope to a lot of people. My motivation was to make good in this world.”

“Angel at the Fence” had been scheduled to come out in February, but Berkley Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), withdrew the memoir following allegations by scholars, friends and family members that his tale was untrue.

Mr. Rosenblat, 79, a resident of the Miami area, was virtually unknown to the general public until the 1990s, when he began speaking of how he came to know his wife, Roma Radzicky. According to Mr. Rosenblat and his wife, he was a prisoner at a subcamp of Buchenwald in Nazi Germany and she a young Jewish girl whose family was pretending to be Christian.

For months, they met on opposite sides of a barbed-wire fence. Mr. Rosenblat was transferred to another camp, and the two lost touch until the 1950s, when they were reunited by accident - on a blind date - in New York. They married and earlier this year celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Wasserman dies

Dale Wasserman, author of the book for the Tony-winning musical “Man of La Mancha” as well as the stage adaptation of Ken Kesey’s novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” has died. He was 94. Mr. Wasserman died Dec. 21 of congestive heart failure at his home in the Phoenix suburb of Paradise Valley, his wife, Martha, said Saturday.

“Man of La Mancha,” the tale of the intrepid, ever idealistic Don Quixote, was one of Broadway’s biggest hits in the 1960s. The show, which starred Richard Kiley and Joan Diener, opened in 1965 and won the Tony for best musical. It ran for more than 2,300 performances.

Mr. Wasserman’s adaptation of “Cuckoo’s Nest,” Mr. Kesey’s novel about a renegade mental hospital inmate, opened on Broadway in 1963. The production, which starred Kirk Douglas and Joan Tetzel, ran for just a little more than two months but later became a fixture in community theaters. It was revived on Broadway in 2001 with Gary Sinise and Amy Morton in the lead roles.

Pinter memorialized

Tributes poured in Friday for Nobel Prize-winning British playwright Harold Pinter, 78, one of theater’s biggest names for nearly half a century, who died Christmas Eve.

At a staging of one of his plays in London’s West End, the first such performance since his death, the stars of the drama hailed Mr. Pinter as “one of the greatest literary figures of all time” and read aloud an address to be repeated at his funeral.

After an emotional performance of “No Man’s Land,” one of the play’s stars, David Bradley, told the sold-out theater: “We have lost one of the greatest literary figures of all time. His loss is monumental, and his influence cannot be calculated.”

Compiled by Dianne Lash from Web and wire reports

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