Martin Gray (Holocaust survivor)

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Martin Gray monument erected close to his former Brussels's residence in the Uccle district.[1]

Martin Gray born Mieczysław Grajewski (27 April 1922, Warsaw, Second Polish Republic) is an assumed Holocaust survivor,[2][3] and postwar author. His family in Poland died in the Holocaust.[4] In 1946 Gray emigrated from Europe to the United States, where his grandmother was living. Some 10 years after his arrival Gray had become a tradesman in replicas of antiques according to what he wrote, doing business in the U.S., Canada and Cuba. He moved to the South of France in 1960, where he still lives.[5]

Writing[edit]

Gray's 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) has not yet been translated into English.[6]

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 he describes desperately looking for a way to live after the demise of his family in the 1970 fire. In 1979, U.S. photographer David Douglas Duncan produced a book of photographs and text about Gray: The Fragile Miracle of Martin Gray.[4]

Criticism[edit]

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: "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?’" [2]

Polish daily Nowiny Rzeszowskie (The Rzeszów News) on 2 August 1990 published an interview with World War II Captain Wacław Kopisto, a soldier of the elite Polish Cichociemni unit, who took part in the raid on the Nazi German prison in Pińsk on 18 January 1943. Kopisto was shown the wartime photograph of Martin Gray (a.k.a. Mieczysław Grajewski) and said that he never saw this person in his life before. However, Gray himself described his alleged participation in the same raid in his book For Those I Loved. Kopisto stated, when asked about any Jewish person in his unit alluding to Gray, 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 own long-term friend and colleague after the war. No man like the one in the photograph of Gray ever belonged to their unit; Kopisto said: "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."[3]

In film[edit]

  • 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.[citation needed]

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Part of the text affixed on the base of the monument located on Victor Allard street/Calevoet Station states: ""Make that the wounds, if hope wins on sufferings, become the veins in which life's blood flows." – Martin Gray.
  2. ^ a b Sereny, Gitta. "The Men Who Whitewash Hitler" New Statesman, Vol. 98, No. 2537, 2 November 1979, pp. 670-73.
  3. ^ a b Jacek Stachiewicz interview with Major Wacław Kopisto (August 2, 1990), "Kim jest Martin Gray?" (Who is Martin Gray) Nowiny Rzeszowskie (The Rzeszów News daily), Nr 163, 1990, p. 9 of scanned document, Scribd Inc. Also at: Polish daily Nowiny Rzeszowskie, DJVU Lizardtech viewer. Nr 162-183. Podkarpacka Digital Library.
  4. ^ a b David Douglas Duncan. The Fragile Miracle of Martin Gray: Photographs and Text. Hardcover, 96 pages (Published October 1st 1979 by Abbeville Press). ISBN 0896590739. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  5. ^ Martin Gray, Au nom de tous les miens, Paris, Laffont, 1971 ; rééd. Pocket, 1998, p. 327-329 et 332.
  6. ^ Amazon.com (2014). "Books by Martin Gray". Au nom de tous les hommes: Abel et Caïn. Publisher: Editions du Rocher; language: French. ISBN 226805182X. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 

External links[edit]