The Arbeit Macht Frei sign at Auschwitz
A recent image of Sam Pivnik

Photographed by Eloise Campbell

Sam   Pivnik


Auschwitz, The Death March and
My Fight for Freedom

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.

Survivor by Sam Pivnik was published in hardback and ebook by Hodder & Stoughton on 30 August 2012.

If you are unable to purchase Sam's book through the links provided on this site, you should be able to find a copy from other providers on (not which is where this site links to).

View 'Return to Poland' video (Part 1)
View 'Return to Poland' video (Part 2)
The sinking of the Cap Arcona documentary
Sam Pivnik is interviewed by Adrian Weale
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