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Triumph of the Spirit (1989)

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Fact based story about a former Greek Olympic boxer who was taken as a prisoner during World war II and placed in the Auschwitz prison camp. There he was permitted to survive as long as he ... See full summary »



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Title: Triumph of the Spirit (1989)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Father Arouch
Wendy Gazelle ...
Avram Arouch
Kario Salem ...
Edward Zentara ...
Maj. Rauscher
Burkhard Heyl ...
Aide to Rauscher
Zofia Saretok ...
Grazyna Krukówna ...
Sister Julie
Karolina Twardowska ...
Juranda Krol ...
Wiktor Mlynarczyk ...


Fact based story about a former Greek Olympic boxer who was taken as a prisoner during World war II and placed in the Auschwitz prison camp. There he was permitted to survive as long as he fought for the amusement of his captors. His father and brother were also held as insurance that he would continue to fight. Written by John Sacksteder <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prisoner | fight | prison | boxer | greek | See All (136) »


R | See all certifications »





Release Date:

23 December 1989 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

A pokol bajnoka  »

Box Office


$408,839 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Director Robert M. Young was initially hesitant to take on this project when given the original script. He felt that the subject was too voluminous to be incorporated into one movie. He later agreed when presented with a revised script that focused only on one small element in the death camp, or in Young's own words "like a cork, bubbling on the surface of the sea." See more »


During the movie, Arouch was rewarded for his boxing victories with a reassignment to the factory, which was considered easier work, was inside and provided more food for him. According to the real life Arouch, he was actually assigned to the camp's kitchen. He was able to take advantage of this work assignment by secretly procuring food from the kitchen for himself and his friend. See more »


Gypsy: Listen, I'm only going to say this once. For those who can hear me tell the rest. First come the SS, our lord and masters. Then comes our block health manager, Kyr. Then come the assistants, Otto and me. Then come the rats. Then come the lice... and then come you.
See more »


Featured in The Making of 'Triumph of the Spirit' (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

one of the best.........
5 January 2002 | by (asheville, nc usa) – See all my reviews

this is by far one of the best movies on the holocaust i've seen. what makes this different from the rest is that it focuses on greek jews, aka "gypsies" in the concentration camps. this story is based on fact. it's about the life of Salamo Arouch, who was a boxer before the war and boxing is part of what helped him survive. a wonderful story of how one man's love for his family and friends, and his own fierce spirit, allowed him to overcome the atrocities at hand and live to tell his that inspires all who see it.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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