cover image Wrestling with Life: From Hungary to Auschwitz to Montreal

Wrestling with Life: From Hungary to Auschwitz to Montreal

George Reinitz, with Richard King. McGill-Queen’s Univ. (CDC, U.S. dist.; GTW, Canadian dist.), $34.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7735-5137-4

Early in retired furniture maker Reinitz’s memoir, he gives a remarkably tense account of the worst days of his life, when he was 12 years old and his family was taken from their home in Hungary to the Auschwitz concentration camp. After being forced off the overcrowded train, he didn’t his mother and sister again, and his father died during one of the Nazi’s “death marches” as the Russian army approached near the end of World War II. Eventually, Reinitz makes it to Canada to start a new life as a part of the Canadian Jewish Congress’s War Orphans Project in 1948. Understandably, the remainder of Reinitz’s life seems quiet in comparison. In his new country, amateur wrestling provided an outlet for Reinitz, who competed internationally and carried the flag for the Canadian team at the 1957 Maccabiah Games in Israel. “Wrestling helped me deal with the anger I felt for what my family and I had been through in Europe,” Reinitz notes. Written largely as a family history for his grandchildren, with later sections about finding love, starting a family, and building a business, Reinitz’s story still intersects with enough history to interest a broader readership. (Aug.)