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The Boxer: The True Story of Holocaust Survivor Harry Haft (2011)

por Reinhard Kleist

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1068256,318 (4.02)4
Poland, 1941. Sixteen-year-old Harry Haft is sent to Auschwitz. When he is forced to fight against other inmates for the amusement of the SS officers, Haft shows extraordinary strength and courage, and a determination to survive. As the Soviet Army advances in April 1945, he makes a daring escape from the Nazis. After negotiating the turmoil of postwar Poland, Haft immigrates to the United States and establishes himself as a professional prizefighter, remaining undefeated until he faces heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano in 1949. In The Boxer, Reinhard Kleist reveals another side to the steely Harry Haft: a man struggling to escape the memories of the fiancée he left behind in Poland. This is a powerful and moving graphic novel about love and the will to survive.… (más)
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» Ver también 4 menciones

Not for me. I can appreciate why the story was told, and the artist portrayed it very well in black and white.
But I didn't like reading about this man and the choices he made and the ones he was forced into.

( )
  Harks | Dec 17, 2022 |
graphic history/biography (Holocaust survivor). It's somewhat disturbing to see so much horror crammed into such a quick read, but Kleist effectively relays the story in an honest manner. I also appreciated the back matter text, which provided more information about Harry's life and how his story came to be finally told, as well as other boxers and survivors from that time. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
Herzko Haft, ebreo di Germania, internato in un campo di concentramento per salvare il fratello maggiore, sopravvisse all'orrore dei lager perché sapeva fare a botte. (fonte: Google Books)
  MemorialeSardoShoah | May 23, 2020 |
THE BOXER relates the incredible true story of Holocaust survivor Harry Haft. Written and illustrated by award-winning author/illustrator Reinhard Kleist, this graphic novel is largely based on the account of Haft's life story captured by his son, Alan Scott Haft. A more traditional non-fiction article / report is included in the pages following the end of the graphic novel, which give additional background information and facts about the people and places in the story and provide additional context. This report, "Boxing in concentration camps," by Martin Krauss, was especially enlightening, because it showed that--while Harry's story is indeed remarkable and unique--he was not alone in his experience of being forced to fight in death camps. I was particularly intrigued by the inclusion of scholarship around "Sport in Nazi concentration camps,' which explores the very real history of having prisoners compete in various physical endeavors, the most popular of which (among the SS and other German/Nazi elite) was boxing. These matches were an especially gruesome spectacle, since the fights were "to the death." Harry (born "Hertzko") survived some of the worst ordeals of WWII, and his story is incredibly compelling. He saw firsthand the horrors of Hitler's holocaust, from the establishment of ghettos to being separated from his loved ones to starvation and abuse in camps to being forced to work throwing bodies into the furnaces to witnessing cannibalism by desperate prisoners to the Death Marches. Understandably, these traumatic experiences had a profound effect on Haft, and his son describes him as a "violent, brutal man." Haft held onto his story for 40 years, only revealing his life story to his son in his old age. This prompted Alan to document his father's experiences in a book, HARRY HAFT: AUSCHWITZ SURVIVOR, CHALLENGER OF ROCKY MARCIANO. Kleist's graphic novel does justice to this account, and "although some details, on closer inspection, are historically incorrect or at least dubious," publisher Bernd M. Beyer claims that "this changes nothing about the truthfulness and forcefulness of his experience" (186).

The book has a tremendous scope, following Harry from his days as a young man in Poland, about to marry a beautiful girl, through his dark and painful odyssey, and then to modern day America, where Harry ultimately is reunited (for a moment at least) with his fiance from the old days in Poland. She is on her death bed, but lives long enough to tell harry (in Yiddish): "I never forgot you." Each page features beautiful, stark, black-and-white illustrations which capture the feeling and tone of Haft's story. The characters' facial expressions are especially emotive, and there are many panels in which no text is required to express the characters' depth and intensity of feeling. Other times, the illustrations really add to the content of the story and enhance the text, such as the description of cannibalism and working in the body furnaces. These images are haunting, and allow readers to better understand those horrible experiences. The appended materials at the end of the book provide context, insight, and a scholastic foundation for the story, which is, in a word, unbelievable. I was riveted, and I couldn't put the book until I was finished. Highly recommend. ( )
  andrewzutell | May 10, 2017 |
Haft's story is heartbreaking, but his refusal to abandon the notion of his survival demonstrates Haft's inner and outer strength.

Due to the violence displayed in this novel, I would keep this work confined to upper high school. This novel would be an excellent perspective to add to: a holocaust unit in a history class, a holocaust literature unit in and English class, or as a featured perspective of the holocaust in the library setting. This could also be an excellent supplement to a unit the focusses on 20th century sports. ( )
  MagLuCliff | Mar 8, 2016 |
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Poland, 1941. Sixteen-year-old Harry Haft is sent to Auschwitz. When he is forced to fight against other inmates for the amusement of the SS officers, Haft shows extraordinary strength and courage, and a determination to survive. As the Soviet Army advances in April 1945, he makes a daring escape from the Nazis. After negotiating the turmoil of postwar Poland, Haft immigrates to the United States and establishes himself as a professional prizefighter, remaining undefeated until he faces heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano in 1949. In The Boxer, Reinhard Kleist reveals another side to the steely Harry Haft: a man struggling to escape the memories of the fiancée he left behind in Poland. This is a powerful and moving graphic novel about love and the will to survive.

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