Wilkomirski Affair A Study in Biographical Truth

ISBN-10: 0805211357

ISBN-13: 9780805211351

Edition: 2001

Authors: Stefan Maechler

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Description:

This is the definitive report on Fragments, Binjamin Wilkomirski's invented "memoir" of a childhood spent in concentration camps, which created international turmoil. In 1995 Fragments, a memoir by a Swiss musician named Binjamin Wilkomirski, was published in Germany. Hailed by critics, who compared it with the masterpieces of Primo Levi and Anne Frank, the book received major prizes and was translated into nine languages. The English-language edition was published by Schocken in 1996. In Fragments, Wilkomirski described in heartwrenching detail how as a small child he survived internment in Majdanek and Birkenau and was eventually smuggled into Switzerland at the war's end. But three years after the book was first published, articles began to appear that questioned its authenticity and the author's claim that he was a Holocaust survivor. Stefan Maechler, a Swiss historian and expert on anti-Semitism and Switzerland's treatment of refugees during and after World War II, was commissioned on behalf of the publishers of Fragments to conduct a full investigation into Wilkomirski's life. Maechler was given unrestricted access to hundreds of government and personal documents, interviewed eyewitnesses and family members in seven countries, and discovered facts that completely refute Wilkomirski's book. The Maechler report has implications far beyond the tragic story of one individual's deluded life. It explores our feelings about survivor literature and the impact these works can have on our remembrance of the Holocaust.
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Book details

List price: $19.95
Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 4/10/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 512
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.034
Language: English

Maechler studied history and German literature at the University of Zurich.

Foreword
The Story of Bruno Grosjean
Wilkomirski Tells His Story
The Origins of Fragments
A Global Literary Event
The Plunge into the Abyss--Autobiography or Fake?
Tracking Down the Truth--The Historical Research
The Truth of the Biography
The Truth of the Fiction
Afterword
Epilogue
Notes
Select Bibliography
Permissions Acknowledgments
Fragments
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