Salamo Arouch, Jewish boxer, dies at 86
The Greek-born fighter survived Auschwitz by participating in win-or-die bouts staged by the Nazis. Decades after the Holocaust, Arouch served as a consultant on a film about his captivity.
By Richard Boudreaux
May 4, 2009
Reporting from Jerusalem — Salamo Arouch, a Greek-born Jewish boxer who survived the Auschwitz death camp by fighting fellow prisoners in bloody exhibitions staged by their Nazi tormentors and who returned decades later as a consultant on a film about his captivity, has died. He was 86 and had lived most of his life in Israel.

Weakened by a stroke 15 years ago, he had been in declining health since late last year, according to his daughter, Dalia Ganon. She gave no precise cause of his death, which occurred April 26 at a geriatric hospital near Tel Aviv.

Arouch’s harrowing series of win-or-die bouts during the final two years of World War II was immortalized in 1989 in “Triumph of the Spirit,” the first major motion picture filmed on location at Auschwitz. The film, along with Arouch’s inspirational postwar speeches, became part of his legacy in Israel. It has been shown to hundreds of Israelis preparing for visits to the site of the infamous Nazi camp in Poland.