BMEWS
 
Sarah Palin is allowed first dibs on Alaskan wolfpack kills.

calendar   Saturday - May 02, 2009

A VERY DIFFERENT KIND OF OBITUARY FROM ISRAEL.  BOOTED JUST TO POST THIS STORY.

Salamo Arouch, who died on April 26 aged 86, survived the Auschwitz concentration camp by fighting exhibition boxing matches for Nazi officers; his harrowing story later inspired a Hollywood film.

FROM THE TELEGRAPH SATURDAY OBITS

Born in Greece of Jewish descent, Arouch became middleweight champion of the Balkans, but his professional career was cut short by the Second World War and the German invasion of his homeland. Like thousands of other Greek Jews, he and his family and friends were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Ordered to fight other prisoners for the entertainment of the Nazi guards, Arouch escaped the gas chambers. At the end of the war he emigrated to Palestine and witnessed the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948. His story was the basis for Triumph of the Spirit (1989) starring Willem Dafoe, much of which was shot on location at Auschwitz, with Arouch making an emotional return to the site as an adviser.

Salamon Arouch – he dropped the final “n” and was always known as Shlomo – was born in Salonika in 1923 into a family of Sephardic Jews. His father taught him to box, and in 1937, when he was 14, he made his debut in his home town, knocking down his opponent twice to win by a technical knockout.

Adopting a traditional style of jabbing and crossing, by 1939 he had an unbeaten record with 24 knockouts. His fancy footwork earned him the nickname “The Ballet Dancer”, and before the outbreak of war he was reportedly a member of the Greek Olympic boxing team.

Drafted into the Greek military, Arouch became a member of the army boxing squad. But when the Germans overran Greece, he was arrested and, because he was Jewish, deported with his family to Auschwitz on March 15 1943.

All the female members of his family were gassed on the first day, as were all the children and infants. With his father and younger brother, Arouch was forced into slave labour. When a Nazi officer found out that inmate 136954 had been a boxer, Arouch was forced to fight in matches held at the camp on Wednesday and Sunday evenings.

These bloody encounters – often preceded by juggling gipsies and dancing dogs – involved Jewish and gipsy boxers at Auschwitz; they were forced to fight each other, with Nazi officers placing heavy bets on the outcome.

The bouts ended only when one fighter was unable to continue. For the winner there would be bread and soup; the loser would be executed and incinerated.

On his second day at Auschwitz Arouch’s first fight was against a Polish Jew, with a senior officer at the camp, one “Hans”, acting as “referee”. Arouch knocked the Pole out. Twenty minutes later, he knocked out a six-foot Czech with a single punch to the stomach. “He fold like a camel,’’ Arouch remembered. “Hans says: ‘You good, you good.’”

For the next two years, Arouch would fight two or three times a week in a smoke-filled warehouse for the amusement of his Nazi captors, knowing that a single defeat would almost certainly result in death. Thanks to his speed and nimble footwork, he could beat opponents who outweighed him by more than 100 pounds. On one occasion Arouch (135lbs) claimed to have knocked out a 6ft 6in, 250lb gipsy fighter in 18 seconds.

His toughest opponent was a German-Jewish boxer called Klaus Silber, who had an undefeated pre-war amateur boxing record (44-0) and who had never lost any of his 100-plus fights at the camp. His fight with Arouch was so fierce that at one point, both men fell out of the ring. Silber went on to stun Arouch and then to knock him down. But Arouch recovered to knock Silber out. After the fight, Silber was never seen alive again.

By the time Arouch was removed from the slave labour force and put to work in an office, his entire family had been murdered. His father was executed after becoming too ill to work; when his brother, Avram, refused to pull gold teeth from those gassed in the ovens, he was shot dead on the spot.

Arouch managed to survive at Auschwitz for nearly two years, racking up a record of 208 knockouts. When the camp was finally liberated, he asked the British forces if they had any boxers who would fight him in an exhibition. When two were found, Arouch knocked them both out.

Asked how he approached his life-or-death battles at Auschwitz, Arouch admitted he felt terrible. “I trembled,” he said. “But a boxer had to be without compassion. If I didn’t win, I didn’t survive.”

While searching for members of his family at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April 1945, Arouch met 17-year-old Marta Yechiel, from his own home town. After their marriage later that year, in 1948 he emigrated to the fledgling state of Israel and served in the Israeli Army, where he continued to box. In civilian life he ran a successful shipping and moving business in Tel Aviv.

Salamo Arouch’s wife and four children survive him.


avatar

Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/02/2009 at 09:54 AM   
Filed Under: • IsraelMiscellaneousNews-Briefs •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  
Page 1 of 1 pages

Five Most Recent Trackbacks:

The Brownshirts: Partie Deux; These aare the Muscle We've Been Waiting For
(2 total trackbacks)
Tracked at 香港特首曾荫权和部分高管分别用步行或搭乘公共交通工具的方式上班
西安电加热油温机 香港盛吹“环保风” 专家指市民已从被动变主动 中新网9月29日 淮安导热油电加热炉 电 据香港中通社报道,9月29日晚由香港某环保团体举行的“无冷气夜”,吸引了5万名市民及超过60间企业承诺参加。这是香港最近环保活动不断升温过程中的大型活动之一。 进入九月,香港各界环保活动渐入高潮,层出不穷。特首高官与各界市民齐齐参与,是其中一个最大特色。…
On: 03/21/18 04:12

meaningless marching orders for a thousand travellers ... strife ahead ..
(1 total trackbacks)
Tracked at Casual Blog
[...] RTS. IF ANYTHING ON THIS WEBSITE IS CONSTRUED AS BEING CONTRARY TO THE LAWS APPL [...]
On: 07/17/17 08:28

a small explanation
(1 total trackbacks)
Tracked at yerba mate gourd
Find here top quality how to prepare yerba mate without a gourd that's available in addition at the best price. Get it now!
On: 07/09/17 07:07

The Real Stuff
(2 total trackbacks)
Tracked at Candy Blog
[...] LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND ALL PARTIES IRREVOCABLY SUBMIT TO THE J [...]
On: 06/11/17 10:40

when rape isn't rape but only sexual assault
(1 total trackbacks)
Tracked at Trouser Blog
[...] took another century of Inquisition and repression to completely eradicate the [...]
On: 06/07/17 03:37



DISCLAIMER
Allanspacer

THE SERVICES AND MATERIALS ON THIS WEBSITE ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" AND THE HOSTS OF THIS SITE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF SATISFACTORY QUALITY, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, WITH RESPECT TO THE SERVICE OR ANY MATERIALS.

Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.

THE INFORMATION AND OTHER CONTENTS OF THIS WEBSITE ARE DESIGNED TO COMPLY WITH THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. THIS WEBSITE SHALL BE GOVERNED BY AND CONSTRUED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND ALL PARTIES IRREVOCABLY SUBMIT TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE AMERICAN COURTS. IF ANYTHING ON THIS WEBSITE IS CONSTRUED AS BEING CONTRARY TO THE LAWS APPLICABLE IN ANY OTHER COUNTRY, THEN THIS WEBSITE IS NOT INTENDED TO BE ACCESSED BY PERSONS FROM THAT COUNTRY AND ANY PERSONS WHO ARE SUBJECT TO SUCH LAWS SHALL NOT BE ENTITLED TO USE OUR SERVICES UNLESS THEY CAN SATISFY US THAT SUCH USE WOULD BE LAWFUL.


Copyright © 2004-2015 Domain Owner



GNU Terry Pratchett


Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
free counters