Victor "Young" Perez PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 23 October 2010 05:53

Victor "Young" Perez

Born: October 18 1911; Tunis, Tunisia

Died:  22 January, 1945 (Probably) Poland, near Gleiwitz camp

Age: 33

Cause of death: Shot by Nazi or died of fatigue on forced march.

Notable because: 5 ft 1 inch tall.  Perez became the youngest boxing world champion ever in 1931. After being denounced in Paris, in 1943 Perez was sent to Auschwitz. A myth arose in later years that in Auschwitz he had to fight in the ring for the amusement of the officers, literally fighting for his life, twice a week, every week, for the 15 months, reportedly scoring 140 straight knockout victories.

Victor "Young" Perez was a Sephardic Jew born in French Tunisia, he was the World Flyweight Champion in 1931 and 1932. Perez was arrested in Paris in 1943 and detained in the Drancy internment camp before being transported to Auschwitz where he was assigned to the Monowitz subcamp to serve as a slave laborer for I.G. Farben at the Buna-Werke. He was killed on January 22, 1945 on the death march from Monowitz to Gleiwitz.

Perez was a fighter who was full of energy; He was not a power hitter but was a non-stop puncher; He lost only 28 of 134 bouts and scored 27 knockouts; During his career, he won the NBA Flyweight Championship of the World, the IBU Flyweight Championship of the World and the Flyweight Championship of France

Victor defeated such men as Frankie Genaro, Emile Pladner, Valentin Angelmann, Nicolas Petit-Biquet, Eugene Huat, Kid Francis, Aurel Toma, Vittorio Tamagnini, Kid Socks and Carlos Flix

Perez was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1986

Perez arrived at Auschwitz on October 10, 1943 as part of "Convoy 60" a group of 1,000 prisoners shipped from Drancy, France; While at Auschwitz, Perez was forced to particpate in boxing matches for the amusement of the Nazis; By 1945, Perez was one of just 31 survivors of the original 1,000; In March 1945, the Camp was evacuated; The Nazis shot and killed Perez on the ensuing "Death March"

Perez was arrested by local police on October 10, 1943, and deported to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland. According to reports, Perez was forced to fight in the bi-weekly boxing matches at the camp. The fights were bet on by the Nazi officers in command of the camp. The winners of these matches were awarded with bread and soup, while the loser was executed.

Perez's first fight in the camp was against a German-Jewish heavyweight (inmate) named Iorry. Even though his opponent was over a foot taller, and 50 pounds heavier, Perez scored a knockout. Perez went on to fight twice a week, every week, for the next 15 months, reportedly scoring 140 straight knockout victories.

In 1945, Perez was evacuated from the camp. It was reported that on the road near a camp called Gleiwitz, Perez attempted to pass bread through a fence to another inmate, and was shot and killed by Nazi guards. Some sources list his death in January 1945, others in March.


1943-1945    Perez reportedly had a 139-0-1 record in Auschwitz, Poland 



Victor Perez was born in 1911 in what was still the French colony of Tunisia, the son of Khmaïssa Perez and Khaïlou René Perez. His father worked as a salesman of household goods in a small shop. Along with four siblings, he grew up in modest circumstances in Dar-El Berdgana, a Jewish quarter of Tunis. Even as a child, he wanted only one thing: to emulate his Senegalese idol Louis Phal, “Battling Siki,” and win the world boxing championship. At the age of 14, he started training, along with his older brother Benjamin “Kid” Perez, in the Makkabi organization, and two years later he won his first officially staged fight.

Victor “Young” Perez left Tunis in 1927 to continue his career in Paris. There he met Joe Guez, who became his trainer. In 1930, he won the French championship in the flyweight class, defeating Kid Oliva from Marseille. On October 24, 1931, in a match against the American Franckie Genaro, he won the flyweight world championship and became the youngest world champion in boxing history. Intoxicated by success, he began to lead a dissolute life, fell in love with the actress Mireille Balin, and neglected his training, which resulted in his loss of the title to Jackie Brown only one year later. After switching to the bantamweight class, Young Perez was unable to repeat his athletic successes.

Despite the growing anti-Semitism in Paris, he thought he was safe – he even went to Berlin for a match in November 1938. When Paris was occupied by the German army in 1940, he tried to escape, along with a friend, but then returned to Paris. On September 21, 1943, he was arrested on the basis of a denunciation, deported from Drancy to Auschwitz in Transport 60, and placed in the Buna/Monowitz concentration camp. At first the SS permitted him to train a little, to use him in a show match for their amusement, but after this fight against an SS man he got the same treatment as all the other prisoners.

Victor “Young” Perez died on the death march on January 22, 1945; probably he was shot because of an attempted escape or died of complete exhaustion. He was 33 years old.

The Institut National des Sports in Paris named its boxing arena after Victor “Young” Perez and put up a plaque in his memory in 1997.




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YOUNG PEREZ|Victor Young Perez

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Surviving Auschwitz ( Victor Young Perez ) [ NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.2 Import - United Kingdom ]

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Editorial Review: United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: it WILL NOT play on standard US DVD player. You need multi-region PAL/NTSC DVD player to view it in USA/Canada: LANGUAGES: French ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), French ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN, SPECIAL FEATURES: Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Victor Perez was a Jewish boxer who became world flyweight champion in 1931 and 1932, but was transported to Auschwitz concentration camp when Paris fell to the Nazi s in 1943. While there he was forced into slave labour and made to participate in violent boxing matches for the amusement of the Nazi guards. Surviving Auschwitz tells Victors astonishing, harrowing, brutal and incredibly moving true story. ...Surviving Auschwitz ( Victor Young Perez )


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