Massachusetts – A woman who wrote a fake Holocaust memoir has been ordered to forfeit her share of millions in a judgment won by her publishers.
The Massachusetts Court of Appeals ordered Misha Defonseca to vacate $7.5 million in her judgment against Mt. Ivy Press and Jane Daniel, the publisher’s principal.
According to Courthouse News Service (http://bit.ly/1hHCeiI) Defonseca was awarded a publishing deal in 1995 with the defendants for “Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years.”
The author’s memoir included tales of her killing a Nazi soldier and how a pack of wolves adopted her into their pack, providing food friendship.
After a judge ordered Daniel and Mt. Ivy Press to pay $32.4 million to Defonseca and her ghostwriter, Vera Lee, due to “highly improper representations and activities,” Daniel tried to find out if Defonseca’s story was true. Daniel found a document showing Defonseca’s date and place of birth, her mother’s maiden name and baptism records.
Daniel learned that Defonseca’s real name is Monica Ernestine Josephine De Wael, and that she was in a Brussels school in 1943, not living with wolves and trying to survive on her own.
Daniel and Mt. Ivy took Defonseca to court in an appeal and the court forfeited her share of the $32.4 million.
“Misha” was a bestseller in Canada and Europe. It was translated into 18 languages and eventually made into a French movie called, “Survivre Avec les Loups (Surviving With the Wolves).”