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Boxer who survived Auschwitz by fighting dies

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Salamo Arouch, a Greek-Jewish boxer who survived Auschwitz by fighting fellow prisoners, has died.

Arouch died in a nursing home in Israel on April 26. He was 86.

Arouch served as a consultant on the 1989 film "Triumph of the Spirit" about his win-or-die fights staged by the Nazis. It was the first major movie to be filmed on location at the German-run death camp in Poland.

He had been a boxing star in his hometown of Salonika before being deported in 1943 to the death camp. Arouch has said he won 208 fights and had two draws during his time in the camp. Each fight continued until one of the competitors died either from the fight or by the gun of a Nazi soldier.

In 1945 he was transferred to Bergen-Belsen until he was liberated by Allied forces. 

In Israel, Arouch was known as Shlomo. He boxed there as an amateur after fighting in Israel’s War for Independence, then opened a shipping and moving business in Tel Aviv.

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