Unstoppable: Siggi B. Wilzig’s Astonishing Journey from Auschwitz Survivor and Penniless Immigrant to Wall Street Legend
Siggi B. Wilzig was born in 1926 in what was at the time Krojanke, West Prussia. By 1941 he was forced to work at a factory producing munitions for the German army. By 1943 at the age of seventeen, he was deported to Auschwitz, where he suffered horrific and unimaginable conditions. He was lucky enough to survive until the concentration camps were liberated in 1945, after which he worked with the U.S. Counter Intelligence Corps tracking down war criminals. In 1947 he immigrated to the United States. He arrived with little more than a few dollars, but in time, he became the CEO of an oil company and a banking company.
Mr. Greene does a fantastic job bringing Mr. Wilzig’s life and accomplishments to light in Unstoppable. It seems hard to believe that before picking up this book, I knew nothing of this man and the mark he made on American business or his role in creating the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.. But through this book, I felt that I got a sense of his extraordinary character and what was important to him. He was clearly a determined optimist. By focusing on his goals of creating a new life and vowing to remember and relay his experiences of the Holocaust, he was able to flourish in a country that didn’t always welcome Jewish refugees or immigrants.
Mr. Greene included many interesting photographs which helped bring this story alive. And what makes this such a riveting read is that he doesn’t just include personal details but puts them into a broader historical context for readers interested in the many areas and themes covered in the book. I appreciate that he highlighted the fact that the U.S. Army was aware of the concentration camps at Auschwitz during the war but decided not to bomb them. To my mind, this was a terrible disgrace to the Allies. And, although I do not personally remember the events surrounding President Reagan’s visit to Bitburg cemetery in Germany, I can fully understand how Mr. Wilzig felt about the event. I was, however, sad to learn that he stopped giving lectures feeling that his words were not making a difference. Luckily, he resumed them in the early 1990s, fearing the rise of deniers of the Holocaust were gaining too much attention. Unstoppable is a well-written, researched book that I hope will lead others to discover the extraordinary life of Siggi B. Wilzig and his determination to remind us of the lessons we need to learn from the past.
This page was created by an City Book Review staff member.
|Author||Joshua M. Greene|
|Page Count||352 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Biographies & Memoirs|