Unstoppable: Siggi B. Wilzig's Astonishing Journey from Auschwitz Survivor and Penniless Immigrant to Wall Street Legend
In Unstoppable: Siggi B. Wilzig's Astonishing Journey from Auschwitz Survivor and Penniless Immigrant to Wall Street Legend, renowned Holocaust historian and documentarian Joshua M. Greene (Witness; Justice at Dachau) shares the story of one man's incredible life and enduring faith.
Born in a West Prussian village, Siegbert "Siggi" Wilzig lost 59 members of his family in the Holocaust. As a teenager, he survived nearly two harrowing years in Auschwitz-Birkenau, enduring two death marches before being liberated from Mauthausen in 1945. He spent the next two years hunting Nazi criminals--including Hans Goebbels, younger brother of Joseph Goebbels. The United States Army rewarded Wilzig's efforts by funding his passage to the U.S. in 1947, where he settled in New York at age 21. He arrived ready to work, and work he did: manual labor, toiling in a sweatshop, working as a traveling salesman, managing and owning businesses and, eventually, Wall Street-trading his way to building oil and banking empires worth billions.
In Greene's thorough, detailed treatment, Wilzig's improbable survival and success constantly amaze, even as Greene (and Wilzig's family) acknowledges Wilzig's whole self, rough edges included. Greene accessed troves of interviews and recorded materials, including footage of Wilzig shot by Steven Spielberg's crew. But especially candid and moving are quotes from Wilzig's children.
Wilzig remained steadfastly devoted to combatting Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism until his death in 2003. He once said, "Young people can learn accounting or law, but first they should get a real education. They should learn from the past." Wilzig's story will continue to teach them. --Katie Weed, freelance writer and reviewer