New Links to European Publications Added

In the past week, since posting Misha's baptismal and school records, this blog has had hundreds of hits from France, Belgium and other European countries. A number of articles have appeared in European publications and blogs denouncing Misha Defonseca as a fraud. Copies of the documnts posted here and at Parlez-Moi Blog have appeared on these blogs. Those links have been added to the Links column at right. Those printed in French are so noted.

We wish to especially thank Serge Aroles, an outspoken critic of Survivre avec les loups. You can see his comments on Loup.org ("Loup" is French for "wolf"). We are grateful for his supportive blog posts, articles, and emails. And thanks are also due to the historian Maxime Steinberg for his article in Regards, Revue du Centre communautaire laic juif de Belgique, in which he also denounces Misha's story and refers to it as the "greatest swindle of the decade".

Below is a list of current online articles including the articles on Parlez-Moi Blog. More will be added as we learn of them:
~~ Maxime Steinberg - Regards, Revue du Centre communautaire laic juif de Belgique: « Survivre avec les loups » : Une des plus grosses escroqueries de cette dernière décennie ?
~~ Le Soir - Marc Metdepennigen's
Le vrai dossier de « Misha »
~~ Ferrus -"Survivre avec les loups" : elle était à l’école !!!
~~ Serge Aroles' Loup.org -"Survivre avec les loups" : Une escroquerie !!!
~~ Parlez-Moi Blog - A Memoir of the Holocaust or a Literary Fraud?
~~ Parlez-Moi Blog - Literary Fraud II

Articles will be added as we are made aware of them.

Thanks to all for their help.


jc durbant said...


It probably won't be much comfort to you, but has anyone looked into the possibility that the lady in question could, like Benjamin Wilmorski, be a victim of "false memory syndrome" or "RMT"?


Jane Daniel said...

Recovered memory is a controversial subject. While we all understand that memory is fallible, where do we draw the line between events that are "mis-remembered" and events that are knowingly fabricated with the intent
to deceive? It is the difference between a mistake and a lie. Draw what conclusions you wish from the bank record which I have just posted on this blog.

On August 6, 1998, around the time of publication of the French edition Survivre avec les loups, Monique (Misha) Defonseca added her name as a joint signatory and signed a signature card for a bank account that was originally
opened in 1991 in the sole name of her husband, Maurice Defonseca. On the card she stated that her place of birth was Etterbeek, Belgium, her mother's maiden name was Donville, and her date of birth was 05/21/37.

Apparently, at that time she clearly remembered those facts which are now corroborated by her baptismal record, but which, in the book, she says she never knew. The spelling of her mother's name on the baptismal record is Donvil, not Donville, suggesting that perhaps she was deliberately dragging
a "red herring" across the trail. This was one of many "red herrings"
such as changing the "false" name she was given from DeWael, as it appears in the original American edition, to Valle, in the French edition which appeared just a few months later.

Misha Defonseca is the real Monique DeWael. In fact, what she did in the book was reinvent herself as a Jewish orphan who was given the "false" identity of Monique. According to our research, many of the people and events in her account are based on truth, but disguised. And, of course, now
we know she never walked 3,000 miles and lived in the forest with wolves.

One footnote: The date of birth (September 2, 1937) of Monique DeWael, father Robert, that appears on the Schaerbeek school registration appears to be an error. We believe the correct date is May 21, 1937, the date she
entered on the bank record and the one that appears on the baptismal record.

Anonymous said...

I have just read your blog from beginning to end. Quite apart from the horrible injustice done to you, I am fascinated by the 'mental condition' of the woman herself. The reason I am so fascinated, is that I am currently investigating similar bizarre claims, from a similar Holocaust survivor, who has also written her 'true memoirs' in a title which is to be released this coming April (yes, Holocaust Remembrance month).

In fact, from what I have read about Misha (here and elsewhere), these two women could be identical twins :-)

You may find this interesting (in light of JC Durbant's remark), as I suspect that this is what *my* author (who was also 4 at the time) is suffering from:

Pseudologia Fantastica


What amazes me, is how so many decent and normally intelligent people are taken in by these so obviously bizarre and glaringly ridiculous assertions.

Anonymous said...

Came across this blog while looking into that hoax story. Had seen the movie just days before Misha's revelations. Was not quite surprised, to tell you the truth - the story looked miles from reality - almost laughed when the comment said "based on a true story".

thought it was unfair what's happened to you. After all, you were on the losing side right from the start, being portrayed as the greedy publisher taking advantage of the poor Holocaust Survivor traumatized by a nightmarish childhood.

let's hope that with all that happened to you, you'll make out something out of it - tell your story - publish your own book before all this ends for you, by that i mean the legal battles ahead - would be ironic to add an invented conclusion to your story beforehand.