Martin Gray (Holocaust survivor)
|This biographical article relies on references to primary sources. (May 2008)|
In 1946 Gray emigrated to the United States, where his grandmother was living. Some 10 years after his arrival Gray had become a tradesman in replicas of antiques, doing business in the U.S., Canada and Cuba.
He moved to the South of France in 1960, where he still lives.
His first book, For Those I Loved (Au nom de tous les miens), became a bestseller. Another 11 books would follow over the years. All of Gray’s books have been written in French. Several of them have been translated into English. Gray’s last book Au nom de tous les hommes (2005, In the Name of All Mankind) has not yet been translated into English.
Two of Gray’s books are autobiographies: the already mentioned For Those I Loved covers the era from his birth in 1922 to 1970, when Gray lost his wife and his four children in a forest fire. His second autobiography, La vie renaitra de la nuit, (Life Arises Out of Darkness) covers the years from 1970 to 1977, during which Gray found his second wife, Virginia. In this second autobiography Gray describes himself desperately looking for a way to live after the family disaster of 1970.
In 1979 the American photographer David Douglas Duncan wrote a book on Gray: The Fragile Miracle of Martin Gray.
- Gray’s life has been put on film: For Those I Loved. The film was broadcast as a mini-series during the 80’s in Europe, starring Michael York and Brigitte Fossey.
- A second, shorter film was made by Frits Vrij, who tried to contact Gray for several years. The encounter between Gray and Frits Vrij resulted in a film: Seeking Martin Gray. The film was recently brought out on DVD.
Holocaust historian Gitta Sereny has dismissed Gray’s book as a forgery in a 1979 article in New Statesman magazine, writing that "Gray's For Those I Loved was the work of Max Gallo the ghostwriter, who also produced Papillon. "During the research for a Sunday Times inquiry into Gray's work, M. Gallo informed me coolly that he ‘needed’ a long chapter on Treblinka because the book required something strong for pulling in readers. When I myself told Gray, the ‘author,’ that he had manifestly never been to, nor escaped from Treblinka, he finally asked, despairingly, ‘But does it matter? Wasn't the only thing that Treblinka did happen, that it should be written about, and that some Jews should be shown to have been heroic?’" 
On August 2, 1990, Polish daily newspaper Nowiny Rzeszowskie (The Rzeszów News) published an interview with Captain Wacław Kopista, a soldier of the elite Polish Cichociemni unit in World War II who took part in the raid on the Nazi German prison in Pińsk on January 18, 1943. Kopista was shown the wartime photograph of Martin Gray and said that he never saw this person in his life before. However, Gray described his alleged participation in the same raid in his book For Those I Loved. When asked about Martin Gray or any Jewish person in his unit, Wacław Kopista stated that among the sixteen Polish soldiers in his partisan group there was in fact a Polish Jew from Warsaw by the name of Zygmunt Sulima, his long-term friend and colleague after the war. No man like the one in the photograph of Gray ever belonged to their unit: "For the first time in my life I saw Martin Gray in a 1945 photo, which was published in March 1990 in Przekrój magazine (...) There were only sixteen of us participating in the 1943 Pińsk raid, and he was not among us."
- Part of the text affixed on the base of the monument located Victor Allard street/Calevoet Station.
- Martin Gray, Au nom de tous les miens, Paris, Laffont, 1971 ; rééd. Pocket, 1998, p. 327-329 et 332.
- Sereny, Gitta. "The Men Who Whitewash Hitler", New Statesman, Vol. 98, No. 2537, November 2, 1979, pp. 670-73.
- Nowiny Rzeszowskie, "Nowiny: gazeta codzienna. 1990, nr 162-183 (sierpień)." Page 9 in scanned document. Nr 163. "Kim jest Martin Gray?" (Who is Martin Gray) Polish daily newspaper Nowiny Rzeszowskie, August 2, 1990; interview with Captain Wacław Kopista. Lizardtech viewer.
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