The author Binjamin Wilkomirski has been stripped of his 1997 Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Literary Prize because the judges are now convinced he faked his memoir of life in a Nazi concentration camp.
The HH Wingate Foundation, which funds the £4,000 award, has found another £4,000, to be shared by Louise Kehoe, Silvia Rodgers and George Steiner, the runners-up.
Theo Richmond, a judge, said yesterday: "All the evidence suggests it was a fabrication. When Holocaust testimony is revealed as a fabrication it can only give ammunition to Holocaust deniers and deep offence to survivors who did suffer."
Picador, the British publishers, withdrew the book and Mr Wilkomirski's agents commissioned a historian to investigate his past. Mr Richmond said Mr Wilkomirski could keep the money. "Our decision was symbolic, not financial," he added.