Friday, February 29, 2008

Holocaust fraud solved by source documents

My podcast this week features an interview with Sharon Sergeant who alluded to a holocaust fraud case she resolved using sound genealogical methods. Today the first US newspaper, the Boston Globe, picked up the story:

Author admits making up memoir of surviving Holocaust
By David Mehegan
Globe Staff / February 29, 2008
“Eleven years after the publication of her best-selling Holocaust memoir - a heartwarming tale of a small Jewish girl trekking across Europe and living with wolves - the Massachusetts author yesterday admitted the whole story was a hoax. […] Yesterday's confession follows a week of intense publicity in French and Belgian media, prompted by disclosure of documents unearthed by Waltham-based genealogical researcher Sharon Sergeant showing that Monique De Wael (Defonseca's real maiden name) was baptized in a Brussels Catholic church in September 1937 and that she was enrolled in a Brussels primary school in 1943-44. The researcher also discovered that Defonseca's parents, Robert and Josephine De Wael, were members of the Belgian resistance and were arrested and executed by the Nazis.”

Podcast listeners will recall that Sharon focused using a photo timeline that helped her team create a research plan, and on the importance of following the paper trail. The subjects of the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) and proper source citation must continue to receive our studious efforts, that we may arrive at the most complete understanding of our ancestors’ lives.


Board for Certification of Genealogists. BCG Genealogical Standards Manual. Orem: 2000.

Evidence: A special issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. National Genealogical Society Quarterly 86 (Sept 1999) no. 3.

Greenwood, Val D. The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy Third Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company. 2000, reprinted 2005.

Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence! Citation & Analysis for Family Historians. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company. 1997, reprinted 2006.

Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company. 2007.

Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence Analysis - A Research Process Map. Board for Certification of Genealogists. 2006.

Mills, Elizabeth Shown, editor. Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company. 2001.

Mills, Elizabeth Shown. QuickSheet: Citing Online Historical Resources Evidence! Style. First Revised Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company. 2007.

Tucker, Mark. Genealogical Research Map. 2008.

Rose, Christine. Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case. San Jose: CR Publications. 2005.

Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment