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Must-read books: Survivor by Sam Pivnik

Sam Pivnik – Survivor. There are so many books published each and every day that many great reads simply disappear into the flood of new titles. We are always on the look out for hidden gems and your favourite reads so get in touch if you have any suggestions. This week we’d like to recommend to you Survivor by Sam Pivnik.

Below is the book description and a link to buy. It is available as an e-book or paperback.

sam pivnik survivor

Description: 

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 life story.

In 1939, on his thirteenth birthday, his 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 Rampkommando 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 Furstengrube 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.


You can find out more about Sam’s astonishing journey that defies belief by visiting his website.

Sam himself explains on his site: People ask me, ‘Why has it taken you so long to tell your story, Sam?’ That’s a simple question, but the answer is complicated. When I first came to London after the war, nobody wanted to know. They all had their own problems – the loss of their own loved ones, blitzed buildings, the ‘age of austerity’. Part of me said, ‘Forget it. Build a new life. Move on.

But of course, I couldn’t forget it. What you will read once – perhaps twice – in my book, I live with that, every night, every day. Every Holocaust survivor does. This is not complaining. This is not ‘poor me’. It is a simple fact.

And it is a fact, too, that one day I knew I had to tell my story. Officially. In print. Because every Holocaust story should be told. Edmund Burke said a long time ago ‘those who don’t know their history are condemned to repeat it’. The Holocaust happened. And in the terms of History, it happened just yesterday. My generation won’t be here forever and one day all there will be of us will be words on a printed page. Sam Pivnik is nobody: just one of millions.

But the story of Sam Pivnik – I hope that will live on.’


We’d love to hear your views on this book so get in touch and let us know. Also feel free to recommend any books you know. Why not follow us on Twitter and put your suggestions forward.

Why not show your love and support for Sam? You can purchase the book from Amazon.com (click here) or Amazon.co.uk (click here).

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Written by MarkCross

Assignment Editor for Press On This. Twitter @MarkCrossPOT

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