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Belgian Author Admits She Lied

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    Surviving without wolves: Belgian autobiographer admits the truth 29/Feb/2008 http://www.ejpress.org/article/24735 BRUSSELS (AFP)---A Belgian woman who wrote a
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2008
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      Surviving without wolves:
      Belgian autobiographer admits the truth
      29/Feb/2008
      http://www.ejpress.org/article/24735


      BRUSSELS (AFP)---A Belgian woman who wrote a bestseller-turned movie
      about how she was adopted by wolves after her parents were seized by
      the Nazis, admitted Thursday that the 'autobiography' was a work of
      fiction.

      The book's author, known as Misha Defonseca, who lives in the United
      States, made the admission to a Belgian newspaper weeks after the
      release of the hit Franco-Belgian film "Survivre avec les loups"
      (Surviving with Wolves).

      The story tells of a young Jewish girl whose parents are seized and
      deported by the Nazi Gestapo in 1941.

      She flees across Belgium, Germany and Poland with only wolves for
      company, adopting their ways and being accepted as part of the pack.

      She miraculously travels 3,000 kilometres in search of her parents in
      a heart-rending Holocaust tale.

      Except it didn't happen.

      In her media confession to the Le Soir daily, the 70-year-old author
      says her parents were indeed seized from Brussels during the war but
      that she subsequently stayed with a grandfather, then an uncle who
      treated her badly.

      "It's true that I invented a life, a life that cut myself off from my
      family, a life far away from the people I detested," she adding in the
      statement under her real name Minique de Wael.

      "There were times when it was difficult for me to tell the difference
      between what was the reality and what was happening in my interior
      universe."

      "The book is a story, it's my story. It is not the true reality but it
      is my reality, my way of surviving".

      "I ask for forgiveness for all those who feel betrayed but I ask them
      to put themselves in the place of a small girl of four years old who
      has lost everything and who has to survive."

      De Wael admits that her family weren't even Jewish though they were
      deported from Belgium and killed during the war.

      The mea culpa came after suspicions arose over the story in Belgium
      and the non-Jewish De Wael family name began circulating.

      The alarm bells were first raised in the Jewish community which saw
      discrepancies in her story.

      According to her birth certificate she would have been four in 1941
      rather than the eight-year-old girl portrayed in the book and film.

      At the film's premiere in France last month she turned up with a
      little compass "my most precious talisman" which she said had helped
      her find her way on her journey east.

      Up until Wednesday she had declared her deep hurt at her doubters.

      In her defence Misha/Monique said that she had not wished to publish
      her story but had been persuaded by her American editor Jane Daniel.

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