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Roy Rivenburg

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Larger Than Life: The Phony War Stories of Michel Thomas LA Times

Larger Than Life: The Phony War Stories of Michel Thomas

If everything he says is true, Michel Thomas has led an astonishing, even miraculous, life. Dressed in a navy blue suit and sporting a silver pompadour of unknown origin, he opens a battered briefcase and removes a stack of old photos and documents as he recounts various exploits: He was the sole survivor of not one but three concentration camps in World War II; he talked his way out of being executed by Gestapo chieftain Klaus Barbie; he helped liberate Dachau; he rescued 40 tons of Nazi dossiers on the verge of destruction in Munich; he hobnobbed with princes and seduced starlets; he dropped acid in 1958 as part of a pioneering drug experiment; he beat the slot machines in Monaco.

April 14, 2001 Go to Article