'I was not a prisoner there': Pennsylvania man, 91, who claimed he escaped Auschwitz admits he made the story up A 91-year-old Pennsylvania man who has for years lectured to school groups and others about what he said were his experiences at Auschwitz has admitted that he was never a prisoner at the German concentration camp. Joseph Hirt, of Adamstown, admitted in a letter to LNP newspaper Wednesday, saying that he used poor judgement and faulty reasoning in trying to tell the story of those affected by the Nazis. 'I am writing today to apologize publicly for harm caused to anyone because of my inserting myself into the descriptions of life in Auschwitz,' Hirt wrote. http://i.***************/i/pix/2016/06/24/23/35A4201400000578-0-image-a-1_1466808469442.jpg +2 Joseph Hirt (pictured), 91, who has for years claimed he escaped Auschwitz recently admitted that he was never a prisoner at the German concentration camp located in Poland 'I was not a prisoner there. I did not intend to lessen or overshadow the events which truly happened there by falsely claiming to have been personally involved.' Hirt's admission came weeks after his story of escaping from Auschwitz was questioned by Andrew Reid, a history teacher in Turin, New York. Reid and several students attended an April presentation by Hirt and the educator concluded that many of the speaker's claims didn't add up. He launched his own investigation, which culminated in a 25-page letter he sent to media outlets and organizations that had written about or hosted Hirt. Those organizations unknowingly perpetuated 'his false claims to an even greater audience', Reid said. Among other findings, his research indicated that the identification number tattooed on Hirt's arm was actually that of another prisoner from 1944. Hirt apologized to Reid in a phone call earlier this month, according to Reid, who said he pushed Hirt to make a public apology. In his letter, Hirt recounted a visit he made to Auschwitz several years after World War II and said he was determined 'at that moment to prevent the loss of the truth' about life and death at the concentration camp. http://i.***************/i/pix/2016/06/24/23/35A4202700000578-0-image-a-2_1466808486307.jpg +2 In his letter, Hirt recounted a visit he made to Auschwitz (pictured in 1965) several years after World War II and said he was determined 'at that moment to prevent the loss of the truth' about life and death at the concentration camp Hirt's nephew, Michael, confirmed that his uncle has made the whole story up, saying there were distant family members imprisoned and killed in Nazi-run camps, but Hirt and his immediate family had fled Poland before the Germand invaded, according to PennLive. His nephew added that Hirt and his family were later rescued by the allies in Italy before being granted asylum in the US. Hirt initially stood by his claims and argued against detractors like Reid and his own nephew. Reid issued a statement regarding Hirt's confession, which said he 'was very happy to read Mr. Hirt's confession of wrongdoing and public apology'. 'I believe there is truth, that truth is not relative, and that the truth is the most liberating force in life,' Reid wrote in the statement. Hirt said he was wrong to lie to discuss the 'the important truth of the suffering and death of so many' at the hands of the Nazis. In his letter, Hirt asked for forgiveness. 'I ask that you forgive me if you feel you can, forget me if you feel you must, but keep the truth and the memory of the Holocaust always in your hear and mind,' he wrote.