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The Boxer: The True Story of Holocaust Survivor Harry Haft

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  779 ratings  ·  122 reviews
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 immigra ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published April 29th 2014 by SelfMadeHero (first published 2011)
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  779 ratings  ·  122 reviews


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Sam Quixote
Mar 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
World War 2 contained some of the most extraordinary stories in human history. The conflict encompassed so much of our planet and involved so many people that 70 years later it’s possible to still discover new and stunning stories about people from that time. One of those people is Hertzko “Harry” Haft, a Polish Jew, who at 16 was sent to Auschwitz in 1941. He was one of the few who survived and inexplicably during his time there got his start in a career that would make him famous in America af ...more
David Schaafsma
Read Sam Quixote's fine review for more about the book; I tend not to do actual "reviews" because so many others do that, summarizing the plot, etc. Though it is worth doing, for the sheer joy of it. I say "joy" because it is a terrific story, but it is also horrific, in the way of great Holocaust survivor narratives. This one stands with Maus as one of the great ones, surely. The art is, I think, a kind of tribute to Will Eisner, who also told hard scrabble, working class Jewish stories. Black ...more
Sweetdhee
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i, uhm... how to say this, yah?

There had been so many conspiracy theory about The Holocaust.
I somehow manage to read some books about it and still can not figure out what actually happen behind the incidents.

All the books are always about human.
Humanity.

How can you believe...
arghhh...
i'm still trying to get myself back if i remember the scene of canibalism in this book.

Hertzko "Harry" Haft tertangkap dan terpaksa pindah dari satu kamp konsentrasi ke kamp konsentrasi lain.
Berbagai cara ia lakukan
...more
Seth T.
Nov 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Review of The Boxer by Reinhard Kleist

Here in the post-colonial democratic West, bastion of liberty and freedom and justice for all, the human identity is derived by one of three formulae. An American will be a product of either a) the decisions and circumstances of their past, b) the actions and position of the present, or c) the person one hopes to be in the near or distant future. Other cultures may offer additional options—an identity might, for instance, be derived from the community rather than the individual—but parcel and pa
...more
eleventeen
May 19, 2019 added it
Shelves: nonfiction
a graphic novel of a brutal life story told with an unflinching eye. I'm not going to rate someone's memoir, but there were technical issues that made this a somewhat disappointing experience.

I think the graphic novel is a good medium to tell a harrowing story, but the art was very sketched-in in its style, and I sometimes got confused as to who was who as a result. Prose was basic and direct, and after reading Primo Levi it's harder to connect to this sort of straightforward telling of horror.
...more
Emmkay
Very good. Recounts the powerful true (though fictionalized) story of a working class young Jewish man who began boxing in a concentration camp in WW2 at the behest of an SS protector. Hertzko Haft would be put in the ring with an opponent, both there through coercion, and the soldiers and their families would bet on the outcome. Apparently ‘sport’ was not an uncommon feature of the camps. Haft’s story is remarkable, and dark. He moved to the US after the war, and only 60 years later did he shar ...more
Emily
Aug 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
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.

Arlene
I had never heard to Harry Haft, but I'm glad I read his story. Harry, then known as Hertzko Haft, was 16 years old on the eve of his wedding when he inadvertently took the place of his older brother in line when the Nazi had occupied his town of Belchatow, Poland in 1939. The Nazi where setting up "registrations" tables but it got to Hertzko that he would never see his brother again, he ran to him made a distraction and was taken instead. From then on it's a story of survival for Haft, where h ...more
Joana Veríssimo
I had seen an exhibition about this graphic novel a few years ago, but I came into this story without really remembering much - I didn't even remember it was set during the Holocaust. And I was surprisingly amazed by this book, it's definitely on my top favorite comics/graphic novels now, probably my favorite standalone
The art is simple, but incredibly beautiful. And the story was touching and it was really interesting to follow this true portrayal of someone's life - it reminded me at the same
...more
Alicia
The measured way the graphic novel unfolds feels slow, but reflecting on it, it's methodical, revealing the pain of Haft's experience. A Polish Jew who was brought to camps to do forced labor and death marches before being used as entertainment for SS guards endured so much over his life. After seeing the torture and pain, he was cursed with thankfulness and equally disgusted by his actions. In order to curry favor with an SS guard who gave him some extra rations, he began to box in the camps, f ...more
Derek Royal
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is another one of those books I had sitting on my self, just waiting to be read. It was definitely worth the wait...but I just wish I hadn't waited. This is something I would have loved to have reviewed for The Comics Alternative blog.
Stephanie Tournas
May 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
A son reflects on his father's story of learning to box in the concentration camps during WW II. Great story.
sevdah
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a haunting story, an amazing artwork. in short - it has everything a graphic novel needs.
Beth Honeycutt
Oct 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Interesting and sad graphic novel.
Mr. Stoner
Oct 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed it but it was sad. I like the true stories of great inspiration to fight. This was more literal, but a great read.
Swati
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Moving and beautifully told.
Clare McCarthy
Kleist's B&W artwork is stark and the perfect vehicle for this story of a man who fought his way through the holocaust. From Poland, 1939 to Miami, 1963 Kleist chronicles the life of Hertzko "Harry" Haft. Haft survived the concentration camps because German soldiers liked betting on prisoner boxing matches. Loser was shot or sent to the ovens. Haft survived.

After the camps were liberated Haft began a pugilism career in Europe, then America. But he fought for an ulterior motive. He fought to rega
...more
Anthony McCullough
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fabiola
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great story. Simple graphics. Wish this was in a written form so I could get more emotions from this story. I'm not a great graphic novel reader, I love descriptions of emotions and all that jazz but I didn't want to take away any stars for that matter since it is not the story's fault. Very interesting survivor story. Wasn't aware of there being boxers in the death camps so I've definitely learned something with this one as well. Very good!
Jared McLane
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Damn, this one hit me in the feels harder than Rocky Marcianos left hook. Harry Haft, Am I right? But in all seriousness, this is a great story. Very inspiring. This is the second graphic novel by Reinhard Kleist I've read and I've enjoyed both very much (The other being the Nick Cave one) but I think this one was a little bit better. Probably cause I'm not really a huge fan of Cave's by any means, but it did get me into em. Off I go to read the Johnny Cash one!

Cheers!
Sue Doherty
Here's a story from the Holocaust that is not well-known, about how the Nazis used prisoners to entertain them in boxing matches. I thought the story was presented well, with enough detail to really understand who Harry Haft was and how he survived the Holocaust.
Reyel2107
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I never liked bios but this one is amazing !!!
Jacob Dobscha
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Unbelievable story! Worth the quick read!
Janice Chapman Murray
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Interesting read, would be great for teens interested in WWII or boxing.
Rae
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
A new historical perspective to consider for life during the Holocaust that adds layers to time.
Barbara McEwen
What a story, and powerful illustrations too.
Martha Curtis
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great Graphic Novel.
Tony Hactavish
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The ending is simply beautiful
Lizz
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Polish Jew's Holocaust tale of survival, boxing. A worthwhile story.

See more ten word book reviews on my blog: tenwordbookreviews.wordpress.com
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Born in 1970 near Cologne.

After school he had an internship at printing and publishing Landpress in Weilerswist Studium at the College of Visual Arts in Münster. There the albums "Lovecraft", "Dorian" and "adventure of a switchman" were created.

After graduation in 1996 he moved to Berlin.
where he worked in a studio. For some years he did workshops, lectures and exhibitions in countries like Mexico
...more

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