In 1943, the now-legendary boxer Harry Haft competed in his first bout. Instead of an audience of cheering fans, he performed for a crowd of sadistic Nazis; instead of competing in an arena, his ring was a Polish concentration camp; rather than fighting another trained boxer, he threw punches at fellow Jewish prisoners until the blows killed them. Haft is one of the integral figures in the cruel and barbaric history of concentration camp boxing. Trained by an SS guard for his own entertainment, Haft was forced to compete in a grim total of 76 fights as a prisoner. But his story doesn’t end there. When he finally managed to escape the camp, Haft used his skills as a boxer to garner national attention by fighting legends such as Rocky Marciano, hopefully earning the notice of his lost—and presumed dead—love. The Survivor, directed by Barry Levinson from screenwriter Justine Juel Gillmer’s take on Harry Haft: Auschwitz Survivor, Challenger of Rocky Marciano, tells the athlete’s stranger-than-fiction story in flashback
Read more in Paste Magazine.
Contributor Paste Magazine, Film School Rejects, Consequence, Looper, & Screen Slate. First cow in the territory.