Sunday July 5, 2020

A terrifying account of the survivors in striped pyjamas

Survivor: Auschwitz, The Death March and My Fight for Freedom by Sam Pivnik. Hodder & Stoughton, €17.60. Reviewed by Dermot Bolger.

22nd September, 2012
Sam Pivnik escaped death on 14 occasions during World War II. Photo: Adrian Weale

Survivor: Auschwitz, The Death March and My Fight for Freedom


When the teenage Sam Pivnik, along with his starving parents and five younger siblings, stumbled onto the railway platform at Auschwitz II/Birkenau in August 1943, the figures that fascinated him were not German. Certainly, the Waffen-SS were there: their curses blending with orders being snarled over loudspeakers and barking dogs as rabid as their German handlers.

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