Unstoppable: Siggi B. Wilzig’s Astonishing Journey from Auschwitz Survivor and Penniless Immigrant to Wall Street Legend

Insight Editions. Apr. 2021. 352p. ISBN 9781647222154. $29.99. BIOG
With this latest work, Holocaust scholar and filmmaker Greene (Justice at Dachau) has written a comprehensive biography of Siggi Wilzig (1926–2003), a survivor of the Auschwitz and Mauthausen concentration camps who later became a successful businessman in the United States. The author recounts how Wilzig narrowly avoided death during the Holocaust, having been sent to Auschwitz at age 16; he managed to get a visa to the United States after volunteering to help U.S. intelligence track down operators of Hitler’s camps. In telling this life story, Greene does not dwell on its tragedies. Instead, he primarily focuses on Wilzig’s life after his arrival in New York, penniless at 21 years old. Similar in narrative style to The Pursuit of Happyness, Unstoppable features conversational chapters that depict a life of determination, resolve, and humor. By taking whatever opportunities arose, Wilzig entered a career in business, acquired stocks, and ultimately became a well-known tycoon in the oil and banking industries. The author also details Wilzig’s philanthropy, which was instrumental to building the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
VERDICT A must-read that hopefully will be adapted for the screen. Greene lets Wilzig’s effervescent spirit shine through, and his story will appeal to a wide variety of readers.
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