In 1996, Wilkomirski's Fragments was published in the UK by Picador. In it he described how as a small child he survived internment in the camps of Majdanek and Birkenau, and eventually was smuggled to Switzerland at the end of the war. The book was hailed by critics, awarded major prizes, compared with the masterpieces of Primo Levi and translated into nine languages. The charge that these childhood memories were untrue gave rise to the furious controversy that became the Wilkomirski affair.
Stefan Maechler, a Swiss historian, has now finally reconstructed the poignant life of Bruno Grosjean and traced how he became Binjamin Wilkomirski. In the course of his in-depth investigations, he uncovered facts that completely refute Wilkomirski's story. This affair has implications far beyond the tragic story of one individual's deluded life. Maechler explores the reception of survivor and eyewitness literature and its implications for our remembrance of the Holocaust.
This edition includes the entire text of Fragments.
Stefan Maechler is a Swizz historian, now living in Zurich.