By S. T. Karnick
The editorial committee at Berkley Books undoubtedly thought they had a big winner on their hands when they first saw the manuscript of Angel at the Fence.
The true story of a romance that blossomed between a free citizen and a concentration camp inmate on opposite sides of a barbed-wire fence, the book had all the right elements: just the right blend of Jewish victimhood and indomitability, courage and daring, along with some romance and stock Nazi villains.
It was a natural to sucker in smarmy, sentimental postmodern relativists with an easy drama using the world’s only remaining agreed-upon villains at the center.
Naturally the story, ripped from history, received great acclaim from Oprah Winfrey and other such dimwits even before publication, which was scheduled for this coming February. Unfortunately for them, the story was pretty obviously untrue, and upon an uproar of skepticism from scholars and an admission by the author that the book was not factual, Berkey canceled publication.
Even more embarrassing is the situation of Lerner Books, which actually published Angel Girl, a children’s book based on Rosenblat’s false story. The Minneapolis-based publisher has pulled the book out of sale and is offering refunds to those who bought it.
It’s obvious that the story grabbed so much attention not because it was true or even plausible—it was neither—but because allegedly jaded, wealthy, American elites desperately want to believe in real villains but find it extremely difficult to find ones they can successfully sell to a national population that largely admires the very people the elites most hate, such as Christian clergy, athletes, and the military and police.
As Orwell said, there are some things so stupid only an intellectual will believe them.
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