Holstein, Bernard

In 2004, the Australian writer Bernard Brougham, alias Bernard Holstein, published a book recounting his time at Auschwitz, titled Stolen Soul. It turns out that the book was a complete fraud. In October of that year, the publisher, University of Western Australia Press, discovered the many lies in it and pulled copies of the book from bookshops after a private investigator probed the author’s background. Brougham had claimed that, as a nine-year-old Jew at Auschwitz, he was subjected to medical experiments, that he belonged to the resistance, and that he had fled and was caught and tortured. Upon investigation, his adopted family reported to the publisher that Brougham was neither born in Germany nor was he a Jew. The detective discovered that Brougham was born in Australia and baptized a Roman Catholic in 1942 (Madden/Kelly 2004).

There have been many such Holocaust frauds over the years, and the reaction to revelations here was typical (Singer 2004):

“Publisher Judy Shorrock […] was still ‘shocked’ by the revelations and fears the incident may incite Holocaust denial. ‘I have spent three years working on this book. I am devastated… that it could damage the credibility of the Holocaust – that just makes me feel sick,’ she said.”

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