Battle Over Faked Holocaust Memoir in Mass. Court





It was a shock to Misha Defonseca's readers this year when she admitted that the best-selling story of her tortured childhood during the Holocaust was false, but her U.S. publisher saw it as an opportunity to undo a stinging, 7-year-old court judgment.

Jane Daniel says she never would have been ordered to pay Defonseca and her ghost writer $32.4 million over her handling of profits from "Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years" had the jury known the book was filled with lies.

Defonseca never lived with wolves to escape the Nazis, never killed a German soldier in self-defense, never walked 3,000 miles across Europe in search of her parents. Contrary to the book's claims, Defonseca admitted in February that she isn't even Jewish.

Daniel is asking a judge to throw out the verdict; a hearing is set for Thursday in Middlesex Superior Court.

"This is a case where everyone was so enamored and felt so much sympathy for the Holocaust survivor, it just overwhelmed everyone in the case, including the jury," Daniel said in an interview with The Associated Press. "Now to find out that the book was not true, that is fraud on the court."

Defonseca and her ghost writer, Vera Lee, said the truth of the 1997 book had no bearing on the jury's finding that Daniel cheated them out of profits.

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