Famous Celebrities Who Managed To Survive The Holocaust

The holocaust, which occurred in Europe during German Chancellor Adolf Hitler’s reign, is considered one of the most infamous chapters of history. After the Nazi dictator rose to power in Germany, millions of people belonging to the Jewish community were thrown into concentration camps, where they were subjected to different forms of torture. Most of these prisoners succumbed to the inhuman living conditions of these camps. However, there were a few who managed to survive the cruelty and narrate the horrific episodes of their past. While some of these individuals managed to escape the clutches of the German Police and move to England and the United States, a few others toiled hard at the labor camps until Hitler’s era finally ended. The list of lucky holocaust survivors includes the names of several noteworthy Hollywood celebrities. Acclaimed filmmaker Roman Polanski, Branko Lustig – the producer of blockbusters like ‘Schindler’s List’ and ‘Gladiator’ as well as Meyer Gottleib – producer of the flick ‘Secret Life Of Walter Mitty’ are a few. In a recent interview, Roman Polanski, the maker of films like ‘The Pianist’ recalled a terrifying incident he witnessed. The filmmaker who was a child back then saw a woman being shot dead by an SS officer. The incident sends shivers down Polanski’s spine even today. There are several such people who survived the tragedy and some of their stories are quite gripping. We have listed the names of quite a few holocaust survivors. It’s high time you read their stories.
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 1 
Elie Wiesel
( Author, Holocaust Survivor, Political Activist and Winner of 1986 Nobel Peace Prize)
Elie Wiesel
18
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: September 30, 1928
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sighetu Marmației, Romania
Died: July 2, 2016

Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist Elie Wiesel is best remembered for his book Night, which relates his traumatic experience as a Jewish prisoner in the Nazi concentration camps. After surviving the Holocaust, he became a journalist and a human rights activist, and also helped in establishing the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

 2 
Hannah Arendt
(One of the Most Influential Political Theorists of the 20th Century)
Hannah Arendt
6
Birthdate: October 14, 1906
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Linden - Mitte, Hanover, Germany
Died: December 4, 1975

Hannah Arendt was a political theorist. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most prominent political thinkers, Hannah Arendt's articles and books have had a significant influence on philosophy and political theory. Her life and work inspired the 2012 biographical drama film, Hannah Arendt. Her work has also inspired several biographies written by popular authors.

 3 
Otto Frank
(German Businessman and Father of ‘Anne Frank', the Author of 'The Diary of a Young Girl’)
Otto Frank
8
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: May 12, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Province of Hesse-Nassau
Died: August 19, 1980
Otto Frank, the father of Anne Frank, published her journal, detailing her experience during the Holocaust, as The Diary of a Young Girl, after her death. Otto was the only person in his family to survive the Holocaust. A former banker, he had also served in the German army.
 4 
Simone Veil
(The First Woman to Become the President of the European Parliament)
Simone Veil
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: July 13, 1927
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nice, France
Died: June 30, 2017

A Holocaust survivor, Simone Veil had lost her father, mother, and brother to Nazi concentration camps. She grew up to be a magistrate and became the first woman president of the European Parliament. She had also been an able health minister and rallied for abortion rights of French women.

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 5 
Gerda Weissmann Klein
(American Holocaust Survivor Who Became an Inspiring Speaker and Human Rights Activist)
Gerda Weissmann Klein
2
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: May 8, 1924
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bielsko, Poland
Died: April 3, 2022

Gerda Weissmann Klein is a Polish American writer. She survived the Holocaust in which her entire family perished. Later on, she wrote an autobiographical account of the Holocaust, All but My Life, which was adapted into a short film. She and her husband became advocates of Holocaust education. She was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.

 6 
Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria
(Prince)
Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: May 3, 1905
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: July 8, 1996
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 7 
Rudolf Vrba
(Former biochemist became known for having escaped from the camp in April 1944, at the height of the Holocaust)
Rudolf Vrba
2
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: September 11, 1924
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Topoľčany, Slovakia
Died: March 27, 2006
 8 
Georges Charpak
(Physicist)
Georges Charpak
2
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: August 1, 1924
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dąbrowica, Poland
Died: September 29, 2010

Georges Charpak was a physicist whose invention and development of the multiwire proportional chamber earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physics in 1992. He is also credited with co-founding several companies, including SuperSonic Imagine and Molecular Engines Laboratories. Over the course of his illustrious career, Georges Charpak was also honored with other awards, such as the Golden Plate Award.

 9 
Natalia Karp
(Polish Concert Pianist and Holocaust Survivor)
Natalia Karp
0
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: February 27, 1911
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kraków, Poland
Died: July 9, 2007

Natalia Karp was a Polish pianist and Holocaust survivor. During World War II, Karp and her sister were sent to the Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp where she was ordered to play the piano by SS functionary Amon Göth on his birthday. Impressed with her performance, Göth spared her and her sister. Karp survived the war and continued playing into her 90s.

 10 
Michel Thomas
(Linguist)
Michel Thomas
0
Birthdate: February 3, 1914
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lodz, Poland
Died: January 8, 2005
 11 
Mirosław Hermaszewski
(Astronaut)
Mirosław Hermaszewski
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: September 15, 1941
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lipniki, Poland
 12 
Henry Morgentaler
(Physician)
Henry Morgentaler
2
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: March 19, 1923
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Łódź
Died: May 29, 2013

Jewish Polish-born-Canadian physician and activist Henekh Morgentaler, CM, is noted for his abortion rights advocacy and commitment to enhance healthcare for women. He is counted among the first Canadian doctors who carried out vasectomies for inserting intrauterine devices to prevent pregnancies and provided birth-control pills to unmarried women. He became the first doctor in North America who used vacuum aspiration.

 13 
Francis Lemarque
(Musician)
Francis Lemarque
0
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: November 25, 1917
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 20, 2002
 14 
Olga Lengyel
(Writer)
Olga Lengyel
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: October 19, 1908
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Transylvania
Died: April 15, 2001

The author of Five Chimneys, an autobiographical account of her time as a prisoner at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Olga Lengyel was eventually the only survivor from her family. A physician’s assistant, she later moved to the US and formed the Memorial Library there, which now raises awareness about the Holocaust.

 15 
Thomas Blatt
(Writer)
Thomas Blatt
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: April 15, 1927
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Izbica, Poland
Died: October 31, 2015
 16 
Primo Levi
(Holocaust Survivor)
Primo Levi
2
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: July 31, 1919
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Turin, Italy
Died: April 11, 1987

Primo Levi was an Italian Jewish partisan, chemist, writer, and Holocaust survivor. Over the course of his career, Levi authored several books, including If This Is a Man, which narrates his experience in the Auschwitz concentration camp. The book was adapted into a stage production titled Primo in 2004. Levi's 1963 memoir titled The Truce was adapted into a film.

 17 
Curt Lowens
(German Actor)
Curt Lowens
1
Birthdate: November 17, 1925
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Olsztyn, Poland
Died: May 8, 2017
 18 
Ben Helfgott
(British Holocaust Survivor, Olympian and Former Champion Weightlifter)
Ben Helfgott
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 22, 1929
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland
Height: 5'5" (165 cm)
 19 
Tommy Lapid
(Serbian-Born Israeli Journalist and Politician)
Tommy Lapid
2
Birthdate: December 27, 1931
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Novi Sad, Serbia
Died: June 1, 2008

Serbian-born Israeli politician Yosef Lapid started his career as a print and broadcast journalist who went on to win the prestigious Sokolov Award. He then focused on politics and joined the Zionist Shinui party, before switching to the Secular Faction. He also served as Israel’s deputy prime minister and minister of justice.

 20 
Claude Bourdet
(Writer)
Claude Bourdet
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: October 28, 1909
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 20, 1996
 21 
Joel Teitelbaum
(Spiritual Leader and Founder of the 'Satmar Dynasty')
Joel Teitelbaum
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 13, 1887
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Sighetu Marmației
Died: August 19, 1979

Joel Teitelbaum was a Romanian philosopher and rabbi. He is credited with founding the Satmar dynasty. An important personality in the post-war renaissance of Hasidic Judaism, Teitelbaum is best remembered for adopting a strictly conservative line and rejecting modernity. He was also a fierce opponent of Zionism.