A publisher has cancelled a Holocaust memoir with an amazing love story publicised by Oprah Winfrey after the writer admitted he made up parts.
The book is the latest in a list of memoirs in which the author has been accused of fabrication.
Berkley Books, an imprint of the Penguin Group, said it was cancelling Angel at the Fence, The True Story of a Love that Survived after writer Herman Rosenblat admitted to his agent Andrea Hurst that he had invented part of the book.
Rosenblat (79) appeared twice on Oprah's TV show to tell a story about meeting his wife when she threw apples to him over a fence at a Nazi concentration camp in Germany but it transpired he made up the story for a newspaper contest about a decade ago.
"Berkley will demand that the author and the agent return all money that they have received for this work," said a Berkley spokesman.
Hurst said that the writer had revealed to her he invented the crux of the love story in which he claimed he met his future wife when he was a teenage prisoner in a camp at Schlieben, Germany.
He wrote that, after the war, he moved to New York and by chance met Polish immigrant Roma Radzicki, who happened to be the girl who threw him food. They fell in love and got married.
Hurst said Rosenblat's story about being in the concentration camps and the survival of the writer and his brothers was true but the retired electrical contractor from Florida had made up the love story that had won such attention.
"Like millions of others who read this story or saw Herman and Roma on Oprah, I never for a moment questioned the authenticity of the widely circulated story," said Hurst.
"I know that everyone who has worked so hard with Herman this past year is as stunned and disappointed as I am that this story of hope has such a sad ending."
Polish-born Rosenblat could not be contacted for comment.
The memoir, due to be published in February, came under public scrutiny after several scholars said Rosenblat's description of the camp was inaccurate and throwing food over the fence impossible.
Harris Salomon, president of Atlantic Overseas Pictures, is pushing ahead with plans to make a $25m movie about Herman Rosenblat with filming to start in Hungary in March.
"There are some things in life you don't question, like a Holocaust survivor. I believed it," said Salomon, who had spoken to Rosenblat since the book was cancelled.
"He claimed he did it because he thought it would help him tell the story about the Holocaust. It was something that helped young people understand. It was the right message but a bad messenger. But the core of this story is really wonderful."
Salomon said the movie would portray the full story.
Historian Deborah Lipstadt says the book had upset some other Holocaust survivors and could also give fodder to Holocaust deniers.
Other memoir writers accused of fabrication include James Frey, who in 2006 admitted he had made up key parts of his drug and alcohol memoir A Million Little Pieces.
And in February, Misha Defonseca admitted most of her bestselling autobiography, which told of a young Jewish girl saved by wolves while hiding from the Nazis in wartime Europe, was made up.