Eliezer "Elie" Wiesel was born in Sighet, Romania on September 30, 1928. In 1944, he and his family were deported along with other Jews to the Nazi death camp Auschwitz. His mother and his younger sister died there. He loaded stones onto railway cars in a labor camp called Buna before being sent to Buchenwald, where his father died. He was liberated by the United States Third Army on April 11, 1945. After the war ended, he learned that his two older sisters had also survived. He was placed on a train of 400 orphans that was headed to France, where he was assigned to a home in Normandy under the care of a Jewish organization. He was educated at the Sorbonne and supported himself as a tutor, a Hebrew teacher and a translator. He started writing for the French newspaper L'Arche. In 1948, L'Arche sent him to Israel to report on that newly founded state. He also became the Paris correspondent for the daily Yediot Ahronot. In this capacity, he interviewed the novelist Francois Mauriac, who urged him to write about his war experiences. The result was La Nuit (Night). After the publication of Night, Wiesel became a writer, literary critic, and journalist. His other books include Dawn, The Accident, The Gates of the Forest, The Jews of Silence: A Personal Report on Soviet Jewry, and Twilight. He received a numerous awards and honors for his literary work including the William and Janice Epstein Fiction Award in 1965, the Jewish Heritage Award in 1966, the Prix Medicis in 1969, and the Prix Livre-International in 1980. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for his work in combating human cruelty and in advocating justice. He had a leading role in the creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D. C. He died on July 2, 2016 at the age of 87.
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 story.
In 1939, on his thirteenth birthday, Pivnik's 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 Rampe Kommando 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 Fürstengrube 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.
The Boy presents the stories of three Nazi criminals, ranging in status from SS sergeant to low-ranking SS officer to SS general. It is also the story of two Jewish victims, a teenage girl and a young boy, who encounter these Nazis in Warsaw in the spring of 1943. The book is remarkable in its scope, picking up the lives of these participants in the years preceding World War I and following them to their deaths. One of the Nazis managed to stay at large for twenty-two years. One of the survivors lived long enough to lose a son in the Yom Kippur War. Nearly sixty photographs dispersed throughout help narrate these five lives. And, in keeping with the emotional immediacy of those photographs, Porat has deliberately used a narrative style that, drawing upon extensive research, experience, and oral interviews, places the reader in the middle of unfolding events.