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Author who made up Holocaust memoir told to repay $28m

Published on May 13, 2014 6:27 AM

NEW YORK (AFP) - The author of a global best-selling Holocaust memoir who later admitted it was pure fantasy has been ordered by a US court to repay $22.5 million (S$28 million) to her publisher.

US-based Belgian writer Misha Defonseca's Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years told the supposedly true tale of a Jewish girl who was cared for by a pack of wolves and killed a Nazi soldier during World War II.

Published in 1997, it became an instant hit in Europe, was translated into 20 languages and made into the 2007 movie Surviving With Wolves. But in February 2008 Defonseca, whose real name is Monique de Wael, admitted that most of the events were false, including that she was not Jewish, but Catholic, and that she was never forced to leave her home in Belgium during the war.

"This story is mine. It is not actually reality, but my reality, my way of surviving," she said in 2008.

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