Harry Haft, a Polish Jewish boxer was trained in Auschwitz by Nazis to fight to the death for the amusement of military personnel
By 1942 Haft served in several German-Nazi slave labor camps where he was beaten and starved. Because of his strong physical stature, an SS overseer trained him to be a boxer, and had him compete at fights to the death in front of the military personnel.
The fights took place at the concentration camp Jaworzno, which was situated at a coal mine north of Auschwitz. Haft fought a total of 76 fights there.
When the camp in Jaworzno was dissolved because of the advancing Soviet Red Army, thousands of its surviving inmates were sent West on death marches to Germany. Haft managed to escape from one such march in April 1945.
On the run, he killed a bathing German soldier and donned his uniform. During the remaining weeks until the end of the war, he moved from village to village. At one point he killed two elderly people who harbored him on their farm because he feared they had discovered he was not a German soldier and would turn him in to authorities
Haft’s final fight was against future champion Rocky Marciano, on 18 July 1949 in Rhode Island Auditorium, in what was Marciano’s 18th professional fight. Haft made a good showing in the first round, landing a blow to Marciano’s stomach that was the bout’s first punch, and went blow for blow in the first minute of the second, but was knocked out by Marciano in the first half of the third round after receiving a flurry of punches.