British boxing star David Haye learnt about the ‘boxer of Auschwitz’, an inmate at the camp who fought for his survival, during a trip to Poland this week.
The former world heavyweight champion, known as ‘the Haymaker’ learned about former prisoner Tadeusz Pietrzykowski, known as ‘prisoner 77’. He fought over 40 bouts in order to stay alive after being one of the first prisoners sent to Auschwitz.
The best known of Pietrzykowski’s fights was against Schally Hottenach, a 96-kilo German, which he won with a second-round knockout. It inspired the 1963 film “The Boxer and Death” by Slovak director Peter Solan.
During his trip to Poland, Haye visited the Warsaw Uprising Museum, and the monument for the Warsaw Uprising.
Brought to the country by the Polish National Foundation to learn about the country’s culture, David Haye said: “It is amazing to learn of the history here in Poland, to be in a city like Warsaw. After the Jewish uprising in 1943 and the Polish Uprising in 1944 was completely flattened – to see what it is today, a thriving capital city, that equals in beauty anywhere I’ve ever been, is just amazing.”
He toured these sites with Jonny Daniels, the British-born Israeli President of From The Depths foundation, which works preserve the memory of the Holocaust in the country.
Daniels told Jewish News: “David symbolizes strength, to be able to be with him in Warsaw and show him the sites of the Warsaw ghetto was very powerful, to show him of the resilience and strength of the Jews who didn’t just pick up arms and fight, but also those who fought every day for that little piece of bread, enabled him to see what it meant to fight back then.”
Robert Lubanski Vice Chairman of the Board of the Polish National Foundation said: “It is important for us that we are able to work with international influencers such as David Haye, have them visit our beautiful country, learn from our multicultural past, shared Polish-Jewish heritage, and see the current thriving and incredible culture we have here today, in a modern European Capital like Warsaw.”
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