IT'S A MIRACLE 

 

THE HOLOCAUST-SHOAH HAS NO REALITY IN SPACE AND TIME, ONLY IN MEMORY

 

Non-Jewish author makes millions in sales with Holocaust-Shoah fairy-tale book, then falls out with Jewish publisher who tried to short-change her.

 

_______________________________________

Fake Holocaust memoir author 'will pay price'

From correspondents in Paris

March 01, 2008 10:01am

Article from: Agence France-Presse

 

THE duped French book-editor and film-producer of a faked Belgian Holocaust memoir has scrambled to put a brave face on the deception, which saw the best-selling book made into the movie Surviving With Wolves. The book of the same name recounted the incredible tale of a young Jewish girl whose parents were deported from Brussels by the Nazis during World War II and who then crossed Europe with a wild wolf pack who had adopted her.

But a Belgian newspaper revealed yesterday that the author of the original autobiography, 70-year old Misha Defonseca, had made the memoir up  - and was in fact not even Jewish. Now both the book is likely to be re-classified as fiction and the movie will have to have the phrase "Based on a true story'' removed from its credits.

The book's French editor, Bernard Fixot, told RTL radio station his publishing house had had to hold an emergency meeting on Friday and that the autobiography was now effectively "a novel.'' "She will pay a very heavy price for this. I myself am slightly culpable for not having checked everything was true. If I don't believe something, I don't publish it,'' Mr Fixot, who owns the global rights to the book, said. "This was always a beautiful story, but now it is a novel. Obviously, it is cheating the readers to say it is a true story. The book's status has changed.''

The book had already been made into a movie which hit French cinema screens in January. Its producer, Vera Belmont, said she felt a mixture of anger and pity for the writer. "I am a little annoyed,'' she said. "But she concocted this tale in order to stop herself falling apart. So I have a little bit of pity in my heart for her.''

Ms Belmont said that whilst she had had occasional doubts about Defonseca's claims to have been adopted by wild wolves in a 3000 kilometre journey across Belgium, Germany and Poland, she had never suspected the author was not Jewish. "It is difficult enough being Jewish, so not for one second did I suspect that anyone voluntarily take on this burden,'' she said. "As for the rest of it, it reminds me of all children, who have their true memory, but in which the real and the imagined is intermingled.'' But she added that even if she had known the truth, she would still have made the movie.

Yesterday the Belgian daily Le Soir exposed Ms Defonseca's deception." Ms Defonseca, who lives in the US, and whose real name is Minique de Wael, said that after her parents were seized in Brussels, she lived with first her grandfather and then an uncle. "This book is a story, it's my story. It is not the true reality but it is my reality, my way of surviving," she said. 

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23301239-401,00.html

________________________________________________

 

Writer Says Holocaust 'Memoir' Not True

By CONSTANT BRAND

Associated Press Writer 

 

A Belgian writer has admitted that she made up her best-selling "memoir" depicting how, as a Jewish child, she lived with a pack of wolves in the woods during the Holocaust, her lawyers said Friday. Misha Defonseca's book, Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years, was translated into 18 languages and made into a feature film in France. Her two Brussels-based lawyers, siblings Nathalie and Marc Uyttendaele, said the author acknowledged her story was not autobiographical and that she did not trek 1,900 miles as a child across Europe with a pack of wolves in search of her deported parents during World War II.

 

"I ask forgiveness to all who felt betrayed," Defonseca said, according to a written statement the lawyers gave to The Associated Press. Defonseca, 71, now lives in Dudley, Mass. Her husband, Maurice, told The Boston Globe on Thursday that she would not comment. Defonseca wrote in her book that Nazis seized her parents when she was a child, forcing her to wander the forests and villages of Europe alone for four years. She claimed she found herself trapped in the Warsaw ghetto, killed a Nazi soldier in self-defense and was adopted by a pack of wolves that protected her.

 

In the statement, Defonseca acknowledged the story she wrote was a fantasy and that she never fled her home in Brussels during the war to find her parents. Defonseca says her real name is Monique De Wael and that her parents were arrested and killed by Nazis as Belgian resistance fighters, the statement said. "This story is mine. It is not actually reality, but my reality, my way of surviving," the statement said. "I ask forgiveness to all who felt betrayed. I beg you to put yourself in my place, of a 4-year-old girl who was very lost," the statement said.

 

The statement said her parents were arrested when she was 4 and she was taken care of by her grandfather and uncle. She said she was poorly treated by her adopted family, called a "daughter of a traitor" because of her parents' role in the resistance, which she said led her to "feel Jewish." She said there were moments when she "found it difficult to differentiate between what was real and what was part of my imagination."

 

Nathalie Uyttendaele said she and her brother contacted the author last weekend to show her material discovered by Belgian daily Le Soir, which questioned her story. "We gave her this information and it was very difficult. She was confronted with a reality that is different from what she has been living for 70 years," Nathalie Uyttendaele said.

 

Pressure on the author to defend the accuracy of her book had grown in recent weeks. "I'm not an expert on relations between humans and wolves but I am a specialist of the persecution of Jews and they (Defonseca's family) can't be found in the archives," Belgian historian Maxime Steinberg told RTL television. "The De Wael family is not Jewish nor were they registered as Jewish."

 

Defonseca had been asked to write the book by U.S. publisher Jane Daniel in the 1990s, after Daniel heard the writer tell the story in a Massachusetts synagogue. Daniel and Defonseca fell out over profits received from the best-selling book, which led to a lawsuit. In 2005, a Boston court ordered Daniel to pay Defonseca and her ghost writer Vera Lee $22.5 million. Lee, of Newton, Mass., said she was shocked to hear Defonseca made up the story. "She always maintained that this was truth as she recalled it, and I trusted that that was the case," Lee said. Defonseca's lawyers said Daniel has not yet paid the court-ordered sum.

 

Daniel said Friday she would try to get the judgment overturned. She said she could not fully research Defonseca's story before it was published because the woman claimed she did not know her parents' names, her birthday or where she was born. "There was nothing to go on to research," she said 

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/entertainment/2004250941_apholocaustbookhoax.html

________________________________________________________________________

 

Author: My best-selling Holocaust book is a hoax

 

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- A Belgian writer has admitted that she made up her best-selling "memoir" depicting how, as a Jewish child, she lived with a pack of wolves in the woods during the Holocaust, her lawyers said Friday.

.

Misha Defonseca's book, "Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years," has been made into a French film.

 

Misha Defonseca's book, "Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years," was translated into 18 languages and made into a feature film in France.

 

Her two Brussels-based lawyers, siblings Nathalie and Marc Uyttendaele, said the author acknowledged her story was not autobiographical and that she did not trek 1,900 miles as a child across Europe with a pack of wolves in search of her deported parents during World War II.

 

"I ask forgiveness to all who felt betrayed," Defonseca said, according to a written statement the lawyers gave to The Associated Press. Defonseca, 71, now lives in Dudley, Massachusetts. Her husband, Maurice, told The Boston Globe on Thursday that she would not comment. Defonseca wrote in her book that Nazis seized her parents when she was a child, forcing her to wander the forests and villages of Europe alone for four years. She claimed she found herself trapped in the Warsaw ghetto, killed a Nazi soldier in self-defense and was adopted by a pack of wolves that protected her. In the statement, Defonseca acknowledged the story she wrote was a fantasy and that she never fled her home in Brussels during the war to find her parents. Defonseca says her real name is Monique De Wael and that her parents were arrested and killed by Nazis as Belgian resistance fighters, the statement said. "This story is mine. It is not actually reality, but my reality, my way of surviving," the statement said. "I ask forgiveness to all who felt betrayed. I beg you to put yourself in my place, of a 4-year-old girl who was very lost," the statement said.

 

The statement said her parents were arrested when she was 4 and she was taken care of by her grandfather and uncle. She said she was poorly treated by her adopted family, called a "daughter of a traitor" because of her parents' role in the resistance, which she said led her to "feel Jewish." She said there were moments when she "found it difficult to differentiate between what was real and what was part of my imagination." 

 

Nathalie Uyttendaele said she and her brother contacted the author last weekend to show her material discovered by Belgian daily Le Soir, which questioned her story. "We gave her this information and it was very difficult. She was confronted with a reality that is different from what she has been living for 70 years," Nathalie Uyttendaele said.

 

Pressure on the author to defend the accuracy of her book had grown in recent weeks. "I'm not an expert on relations between humans and wolves but I am a specialist of the persecution of Jews and they (Defonseca's family) can't be found in the archives," Belgian historian Maxime Steinberg told RTL television. "The De Wael family is not Jewish nor were they registered as Jewish."

 

Defonseca had been asked to write the book by U.S. publisher Jane Daniel in the 1990s, after Daniel heard the writer tell the story in a Massachusetts synagogue. Daniel and Defonseca fell out over profits received from the best-selling book, which led to a lawsuit. In 2005, a Boston court ordered Daniel to pay Defonseca and her ghost writer Vera Lee $22.5 million.

 

Lee, of Newton, Massachusetts, said she was shocked to hear Defonseca made up the story. "She always maintained that this was truth as she recalled it, and I trusted that that was the case," Lee said. Defonseca's lawyers said Daniel has not yet paid the court-ordered sum.

 

Daniel said Friday she would try to get the judgment overturned. She said she could not fully research Defonseca's story before it was published because the woman claimed she did not know her parents' names, her birthday or where she was born. "There was nothing to go on to research," she said.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/books/02/29/holocaust.bookhoax.ap/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

_______________________________________________  

 

 

 

Holocaust survivors are not laughing

Dvir Abramovich
March 1, 2008 

THE CONTROVERSY generated by Melbourne artist Sam Leach portraying himself as Hitler is another illustration that the cheapening, commercialising and commodifying of the Holocaust is all-pervasive.

 

Such poor taste can be found everywhere. Mike Fusella has produced a fast-selling line of Nazi figurines of Hitler and Mengele, each with moveable pivot-points, allowing for quick and easy "Heil Hitler" salutes. Santiago Sierra, a Spanish performance artist, invited Germans to come and be symbolically gassed.

 

In August 2005, James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, compared embryonic cell stem research to the practice of Nazi death camp experiments, while US senators Dick Durbin, Rick Santorum and Robert Byrd compared the actions of American interrogators at Guantanamo Bay to Nazi tactics. But there is much worse. The 2003 campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called The Holocaust on Your Plate equated the suffering of livestock to that of victims of the Shoah. Appallingly, it showed photographs of crowds of people shoved into trains, children behind barbed wire, and mounds of corpses, set to similar images of cattle, pigs and chickens.

 

Offensive representations found their way into the Jewish Museum in Manhattan. Mirroring Evil: Nazi Imagery used Nazis as pop culture symbols to attack consumerist culture and argue that there are parallels between the Nazis and modern capitalism. A build-it-yourself LEGO concentration camp set, an artist holding a Diet-Coke can with a superimposed image of emaciated prisoners, a sculpture consisting of a gift box with three canisters of poison gas bearing the logos of Chanel and Tiffany and collages with bar codes were some of the items on display. The Brooklyn Museum exhibition Sanitation by Hans Haacke featured anti-art declarations by politicians, including former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, that were written in Frankfurt Gothic typeface, the same lettering used by the Third Reich. And who can forget Yahoo!, which allowed thousand of objects of Nazi memorabilia on its auction site until stopped by a French court.

 

The Hollywoodisation of history means that the suffering of the victims and survivors can be lightened with laughs. Simple-minded, crass attempts to domesticate the Holocaust and turn it into an entertaining spectacle of kitsch proliferate. In Jakob the Liar, Jews in the ghetto were bursting with health, reducing the mind-numbing, inhuman conditions of starvation and death into inconsequence. Life is Beautiful, an absurdist fantasy, irresponsibly dared to set a comedy in an extermination camp, raising the stakes of bad taste and shallowness. Benigni told The New York Times that we must learn to laugh at the Holocaust. Apt Pupil, directed by Bryan Singer, used the gas chambers for cheap horror thrills. Then there's Mein Fuhrer: The Really Truest Truth About Adolph Hitler, a comedy directed by a Swiss Jew.

 

Clearly all taboos have been broken. Anything goes is the mantra. Mel Brooks' The Producers is Broadway's biggest hit. The finale has a chorus of leggy women in black boots dancing on a revolving swastika giving the Sieg Heil while Hitler and Braun romped at Berchtesgaden. What great fun unless you were a victim.

 

Jerry Seinfeld made out with his girlfriend during a screening of Schindler's List and labelled an immigrant chef the Soup Nazi. Hitler has made cameo appearances in episodes of The Simpsons and has been humanised as a struggling painter in a miniseries and in the film Max.

 

We shouldn't be surprised when people start believing the Holocaust wasn't so bad after all, with material that plays down the horror. More than anything else, the feelings of the survivors need to be privileged. They shouldn't be subjected to more pain. They have suffered enough. There's a moral obligation to show them respect and to acknowledge their pain, not trivialise it.

 

The Holocaust as a comedy or slapstick? There is nothing funny, amusing or musical about Auschwitz or Hitler. The Holocaust must not lead to a feel-good reaction, cosiness or comfort. Rather, it should generate gut-wrenching awe and shock. Whether we like it or not, the generations to come will learn about the Holocaust from the words and images created and represented by popular culture. Any medium that touches this incomprehensible evil must do so with great sensitivity and understanding.

 

Dr Dvir Abramovich is director of Jewish studies at the University of Melbourne and researches anti-racism education http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2008/02/29/1204226990270.html

 

____________________________________________________________ 

 

How Pakistan knocked YouTube offline (and how to make sure it never happens again)

 

February 25, 2008 2:30 PM PST 

Posted by Declan McCullagh 30 comments 

 

This graph that network-monitoring firm Keynote Systems provided to us shows the worldwide availability of YouTube.com dropping dramatically from 100 percent to 0 percent for over an hour. It didn't recover completely until two hours had elapsed. (Credit: Keynote Systems)

A high-profile incident this weekend in which Pakistan's state-owned telecommunications company managed to cut YouTube off the global Web highlights a long-standing security weakness in the way the Internet is managed. 

 

After receiving a censorship order from the telecommunications ministry directing that YouTube.com be blocked, Pakistan Telecom went even further. By accident or design, the company broadcast instructions worldwide claiming to be the legitimate destination for anyone trying to reach YouTube's range of Internet addresses. The security weakness lies in why those false instructions, which took YouTube offline for two hours on Sunday, were believed by routers around the globe. That's because Hong Kong-based PCCW, which provides the Internet link to Pakistan Telecom, did not stop the misleading broadcast--which is what most large providers in the United States and Europe do.

 

This is not a new problem. A network provider in Turkey once pretended to be the entire Internet, snarling traffic and making many Web sites unreachable. Con Edison accidentally hijacked the Internet addresses for Panix customers including Martha Stuart Living Omnimedia and the New York Daily News. Problems with errant broadcasts go back as far as 1997. It's also not an infrequent problem. An automatically-updated list of suspicious broadcasts created by Josh Karlin of the University of New Mexico shows apparent mischief--in the form of dubious claims to be the true destination for certain Internet addresses--taking place on an hourly basis.

 

So why hasn't anyone done something about it? False broadcasts can amount to a denial-of-service attack and, if done with malicious intent, can send unsuspecting users to a fake bank, merchant, or credit card site. To understand why this is both a serious Internet vulnerability and also difficult to fix requires delving into the technical details a little.

 

How to pretend to be YouTube.com 
When you type a domain like "news.com" into your Web browser, it uses the Domain Name System to cough up a numeric Internet address, which in our case is 216.239.113.101. That IP address is handed to your router, which uses a table of addresses to figure out the next hop toward the news.com server.

 

Network providers--called autonomous systems, or ASs--broadcast the ranges of IP addresses to which they'll provide access. One of the functions of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is managing the master list of AS numbers, which it does by allocating large blocks of 1,000 or so at a time to regional address registries.

 

Kim Davies, ICANN's manager of route zone services, says ICANN isn't able to revoke the AS number of a misbehaving network provider. "It's best to think of them as similar to post codes or ZIP codes," Davies said. "We maintain a registry of them to ensure that they aren't conflicting." If the address information provided by AS is reliable, all is well. But if an AS makes a false broadcast, because of a configuration mistake or for malicious reasons, all hell can break loose.

 

This is what happened with YouTube, which Pakistan's government ordered blocked because of offensive material, apparently a video depicting the cartoons about Muhammad that had been posted in a Danish newspaper. Some reports have said the video featured several minutes of a film made by Dutch politician Geert Wilders, an outspoken critic of Islam.

 

A spokesman for the Pakistani embassy said on Monday that the order to block access to YouTube came from the highest levels of the government. It would have been passed along to Pakistan's Electronic Media Regulatory Authority and then to Pakistan's telecom authority, the spokesman said, which in turn would have issued the formal order to the Internet providers.

 

Pakistan Telecom responded by broadcasting the false claim that it was the correct route for 256 addresses in YouTube's 208.65.153.0 network space. Because that was a more specific destination than the true broadcast from YouTube saying it was home to 1,024 computers, within a few minutes traffic started flowing to the wrong place.

 

A timeline created by Renesys, which provides real-time monitoring services, says that it took about 15 seconds for large Pacific-rim providers to direct YouTube.com traffic to the Pakistan ISP, and about 45 seconds for the central routers on much of the rest of the Internet to follow suit.

 

YouTube took countermeasures within minutes, first trying to reclaim its network by narrowing its 1,024 broadcast to 256 addresses. Eleven minutes later, YouTube added an even more specific additional broadcast claiming just 64 addresses--which, under the Border Gateway Protocol, is more specific and therefore should overrule the Pakistani one. Over two hours after the initial false broadcast, Pakistan Telecom finally stopped. 

 

How could this have been prevented? First, Pakistan Telecom shouldn't have broadcast to the entire world that it was hosting YouTube's IP addresses. Second, Hong Kong-based PCCW could have recognized the broadcast as false and filtered it out. An employee of PCCW, who wished to remain anonymous because he is not authorized to speak for the company, said that as soon as the false broadcast occurred, PCCW started receiving a flurry of phone calls from global ISPs wondering what had gone wrong. A YouTube representative also called. Even Pakistan Telecom contacted PCCW. "I don't think they understood what was going on," the employee said. A spokesman for PCCW's U.S. operations, based in Herndon, Va., declined to provide details.

 

At the moment, large network providers tend to trust that other network providers are behaving reasonably--and aren't intentionally trying to hijack someone else's Internet addresses. And errors that do arise tend to be fixed quickly by manual intervention.

 

But as the number of suspicious broadcasts grows, and the potential for fraud increases, so does the justification for more aggressive countermeasures. (Besides, some government will eventually order its network providers to broadcast false information about the Internet addresses of "offensive" Web sites. We've already seen domain name blocking in Finland and Web page blocking in the United States, both supposedly enlightened Western democracies.)

 

One way to handle this is for network providers to be automatically notified when the virtual location of an Internet address changes, which is what some researchers have suggested in the form of a "hijack alert system." Another is to treat broadcasts with changes of addresses as suspicious for 24 hours and then accept them as normal. Simple filtering of broadcasts may not always work because some networks provide connectivity to customers with thousands of different routes.

 

Probably the most extensive countermeasure would be a technology like Secure BGP, which uses encryption to verify which network providers own Internet addresses and are authorized to broadcast changes. But Secure BGP has been around in one form or another form since 1998, and is still not a widely-used standard, mostly because it adds complexity and routers that understand will add additional cost.

 

At least that's been the conventional view. A high-profile incident like YouTube being knocked offline may accelerate this process, said Steven Bellovin of Columbia University. "I know there are serious deployment and operational issues," Bellovin said. "The question is this: When is the pain from routing incidents great enough that we're forced to act? It would have been nice to have done something before this, since now all the world's script kiddies have seen what can be done."

News.com's Greg Sandoval contributed to this report.

 

  

Top | Home

©-free 2008 Adelaide Institute