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  • Hodder Paperbacks
  • Hodder & Stoughton

Survivor: Auschwitz, the Death March and my fight for freedom

Sam Pivnik

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Biography: general, Memoirs, True war & combat stories, Prose: non-fiction, The Holocaust, Military history, Second World War

Sam Pivnik is the ultimate survivor from a world that no longer exists. On fourteen occasions he should have been killed, but luck, his physical strength and his determination not to die all played a part in Sam Pivnik living to tell his extraordinary life story.

In 1939, on his thirteenth birthday, his life changed forever when the Nazis invaded Poland. He survived the two ghettoes set up in his home town of Bedzin and six months on Auschwitz's notorious Rampkommando where prisoners were either taken away for entry to the camp or gassing. After this harrowing experience he was sent to work at the brutal Furstengrube mining camp. He could have died on the 'Death March' that took him west as the Third Reich collapsed and he was one of only a handful of people who swam to safety when the Royal Air Force sank the prison ship Cap Arcona, in 1945, mistakenly believing it to be carrying fleeing members of the SS.

He eventually made his way to London where he found people too preoccupied with their own wartime experiences on the Home Front to be interested in what had happened to him.

Now in his eighties, Sam Pivnik tells for the first time the story of his life, a true tale of survival against the most extraordinary odds.

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Praise for Survivor: Auschwitz, the Death March and my fight for freedom

  • 'This vivid memoir'. - Peter Condradi, Sunday Times

  • Sixty-seven years after the end of the war, by which point the extent of Hitler's death camps have been fully exposed, we've heard it all before, read the book, seen the movie. Yet we haven't. That's the thing about human stories: each is unique. Sam's is remarkable. Not just the death camps, but his escape from them. And that he could build a life afterwards. - The Big Issue

  • 'The tale is frank, brutal and horrifying...The fear seems real, and smells real'. - Good Book Guide

  • Powerful, absorbing and - tragically - entirely truthful, Hollocaust survivor Sam Pivnik is a remarkable storyteller. - Ham & High - Daniel Wittenberg

  • Frank, brutal and horrifying. - The Good Book Guide

  • 'This vivid memoir'. - Peter Condradi, Sunday Times

  • Sixty-seven years after the end of the war, by which point the extent of Hitler's death camps have been fully exposed, we've heard it all before, read the book, seen the movie. Yet we haven't. That's the thing about human stories: each is unique. Sam's is remarkable. Not just the death camps, but his escape from them. And that he could build a life afterwards. - The Big Issue

  • 'The tale is frank, brutal and horrifying...The fear seems real, and smells real'. - Good Book Guide

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Sam Pivnik

Sam Pivnik was born on 1 September 1926 in Bedzin, in South-western Poland, near the border with Germany.
In 1943 the family were sent to Auschwitz II/Birkenau where Sam's father and mother, his two sisters and his three younger brothers were murdered.

He built a life as a respected art dealer in London after the war and now shares his memories with a wider public through lectures and talks.

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