The magazine Hollywood Reporter on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, on 16.12.15 he published an article in the paper with photographic material and interviews with 11 Holocaust survivors who worked in the entertainment industry in America.

He is of Greek origin from Thessaloniki DARIO GABAI although he was not actively involved in the field of entertainment, until 1953 with a role in the film "The Brigade", as well as in a documentary by Spielberg and the BBC, he was included in the presentations of the magazine because he is the world's last living Zonderkommando. His disarming testimony presents the horror he experienced in the Auschwitz camp in which he lost his parents and younger brother and which is summed up in his phrase: "It is shocking to see 2.500 people dead, when only half an hour ago they were still alive." . After the liberation, Gabay immigrated to the USA.

Ο ROMAN POLANSKI the famous director and Oscar winner for the film "The Pianist" conceded exclusive interview to the Hollywood Reporter magazine about his childhood, as well as his wartime experiences and how they later influenced his work. Polanski was born in France, but at the age of 3 his parents moved to Poland. His mother died in Auschwitz, while his father was held in the Mauthausen camp in Austria from where he was rescued. In 1943, Polanski escaped from the Krakow ghetto and hid with a family of Christian friends of his father's, which was only 30 miles from the Auschwitz camp. He characteristically mentions that he remembers the day of the liberation of the camp, because there was a sound like a flock of birds and looking at the sky he saw the American bomber planes.

The Croat BRANCO LASTIG, producer of the Oscar-winning blockbusters Schindler's List and Gladiator, was a prisoner at Auschwitz and was released at the age of 12. Decisive for his career was his meeting with Steven Spielberg, to whom he told what he experienced in Auschwitz. The famous director moved by his story decided to work with him for the production of the film "Schindler's List". He donated the Best Picture Oscar he won for this film to the Yad Vashem Foundation. Lustig together with Spielberg founded the Shoah Foundation.     

Polish MEYER GOTTLIEB is the president of the production company "Samuel Goldwyn Films", who at the age of 4 was detained for 4 years in a camp in Ukraine.  

The French ROBERT CLARY he is an actor and at the age of 16 he was deported to Auschwitz where he lost all his family members. From childhood he had realized that he wanted to be involved in the entertainment industry, which supported him during the difficult period of his detention. After his release he moved to the US and took up acting and singing and became more widely known for his role in the television series 'Hogan's Heroes'.     

The Pole LEON PROTSNIK he is a screenwriter and when the Germans invaded Poland in 1939, he and his family, owners of one of the largest chocolate factories in Eastern Europe, managed to escape to America with the help of a relative.  

The German woman RUTH WESTHEIMER is the legendary and widely known as Dr. Ruth, American sexologist. Dr. Ruth lost her parents in Auschwitz, while she herself at the age of 10 fled to an orphanage in Switzerland where she remained until the end of the War. At the age of 17 he leaves Switzerland and goes to Palestine where he joins the Haganah (Jewish resistance organization) and then in 1950 he goes to Paris where he studies psychology at the Sorbonne. The story of her life has many human losses, but she herself declares: "Looking at my four grandchildren: Hitler lost and I won."        

The Pole CURT LOWENS is an actor and has embodied more than 120 roles, including several as Nazis. In November 1938 he was living in Berlin and his family had planned his religious coming of age which in the end never happened because the synagogue burned down during the events of Kristallnacht. His family tried to escape to England but failed and were held in the Westerbork camp.  

The Czechoslovakian BILL HARVEY he is the famous hairdresser of big Hollywood personalities such as Za Za Gabor and Liza Minnelli. Harvey was held at Auschwitz and then transferred to the Buchenwald camp in Germany, where he miraculously survived because someone managed to rescue him by pulling him from the pile of corpses in the Buchenwald crematoria.   

Poland RUTH POSNER is an actor and a founding member of the London Academy of Contemporary Dance and managed to escape from the Warsaw ghetto at the age of 9 and be saved with her aunt, while her parents perished in the Treblinka camp.  

Poland SELINA BINIAZ she is one of the survivors of "Schindler's List". Her son Robert Biniaz - an executive at the production company MCA/Universal - asked his mother about the presentation of Schindler - as Spielberg had reservations about the lead actor Liam Neeson who considered him 'too charming' for the role. It was Celia who finally "got the part" for Neeson, as she confirmed that Schindler was charming, and Spielberg then brought her into the making of the film.

[sources: JTA, 16.12.15/XNUMX/XNUMX & Hollywood Reporter ]



THE NEWS 31.12.2015: Dario Gabai, the Greek Sonderkommando of Hollywood, by Dimitris Doulgerides.

The "Son of Saul" case was the reality for hundreds of Greek Jews who were found in the Auschwitz-Birkenau crematoria. One of them participates in the "Hollywood Reporter" tribute to "Hollywood Survivors". Read HERE the whole article.