A remarkable portrait of the heroic people who faced the threat of extermination by the Nazis and resisted by any means possible—whether through boxing, exposing the reality of death camps, armed guerrilla attacks, or deadly acts of vengeance.
In Holocaust Fighters: Boxers, Resisters, and Avengers, Jeffrey Sussman shares the riveting stories of those who fought back against the Nazis. The lives of five boxers who were forced to fight for their lives while imprisoned in concentration camps are explored in depth, followed by the stories of those who managed to escape captivity and reveal the truth about the death camps. Sussman also depicts in fascinating detail the acts of the Avengers, a military unit that hunted down and killed Nazi war criminals. The final portraits are of the prosecutors who brought the Nazi leaders to justice, those same leaders who watched Jewish and Gypsy boxers beat each other for their own personal entertainment.
Holocaust Fighters is an incredible account of the many ways people resisted Nazi rule, providing moving portrayals of the resilience of the human spirit even in the face of incredible horrors.
Jeffrey Sussman is the author of 15 nonfiction books. His most recent titles include Max Baer and Barney Ross: Jewish Heroes of Boxing; Rocky Graziano: Fists, Fame, and Fortune; Boxing and the Mob: The Notorious History of the Sweet Science; and Big Apple Gangsters: The Rise and Decline of the Mob in New York, all published by Rowman & Littlefield. Sussman is president of Jeffrey Sussman Inc., a marketing and PR firm.
Chapter 1: Hitler and Boxing
Chapter 2: Men of Unsurpassed Evil
Chapter 3: The Biggest Little Champ: Victor Perez
Chapter 4: The Miracle of Life in a Pair of Fists
Chapter 5: 200 to 1
Chapter 6: Sinto Into the Ring
Chapter 7: Harry Haft: Contender
Chapter 8: Run for Your Life
Chapter 9: Vengeance is Mine
Chapter 10: The Nuremberg Trials
Chapter 11: German Boxing: Before, During, and After the War
Chapter 12: Anti-Semitism in Germany and America
About the Author
Sussman delivers a gut-wrenching, one-two punch in this revealing account of Jewish boxers who were forced to fight in life-and-death bouts for the sick and twisted pleasure of their Nazi captors. A heavyweight of a book.
This powerful book reminds me of why I am haunted by the Holocaust. It is a fine and thorough narrative that gives true meaning to fighting for survival in the face of the horror and cruelty of the Nazi's genocide against the Jews.
Holocaust Fighters is a powerful, moving, emotional, hard-hitting look at one of the darkest eras in history. It will brand its imprint in your mind and make you want to shout, 'NEVER AGAIN!'
A fresh perspective into the Nazi thirst for power and the fighters who battled for victory. Readers will be swept up by Sussman’s provocative insights.
So who were those gladiators whose fists won them the right to go on living?” asks Jeffrey Sussman in the opening pages of this masterful work. It’s a poignant question, and he does an excellent job answering it. Sussman doesn’t merely offer brief thumbnail sketches of these remarkable men--he fleshes them out. We feel their pain, their sense of anguish, and come to understand their heroism. In an evil-infested Nazi Empire bent on the systematic destruction of the Jewish People, the reader is introduced to tough, clever, and magnificent men who refused to be beaten.
Jeffrey Sussman's Holocaust Fighters comes at an important time. Knowledge of the Holocaust is fading as the years pass. This book is for those who need to improve their knowledge of the Holocaust. Jewish boxing fans will appreciate it as an introduction to Holocaust boxers.
10/16/21, WLIW (Long Island, NY): Jeffrey discussed the book with host Gianna Volpe.
11/1/21, Princeton Club: Jeffrey gave a virtual talk about the book.
11/6/21, East Hampton Library: Jeffrey Sussman discussed the book in this Author Talk.
11/14/21, The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center: Jeffrey helped mark the anniversary of Kristallnacht by discussing the stories of resistance featured in the book.
12/13/21, Gangland Wire: Jeffrey Sussman was interviewed about the book.
2/16/22, Amagansett Library: Jeffrey Sussman gave a talk about the book.
4/28/22, East Hampton Star: Jeffrey Sussman wrote a guest post about victims of the Holocaust and his book.