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The Boxer

By Reinhard Kleist

Paperback with flaps, 200 pp, $22.95

Separated from his family in Nazi-occupied Poland and plunged into the horror and degradation of the concentration camps, young Hertzko Haft found himself forced into life-or-death boxing matches by his SS captors. His battles took him to the end of the Second World War and – against all the odds – liberation. Chasing a rumour to post-war America, Hertzko became Harry and traded desperation for professional boxing – all to send a message to a long-lost friend.

Reinhard Kleist's vivid and expressive storytelling shows us two halves of a divided life, and the common thread running through them both. Contrasting the privations of wartime with the possibilities of a new life across the ocean, The Boxer tells the incredible true story of Haft's struggle against experiences that would shape the rest of his life.


Reinhard Kleist


Reinhard Kleist was born in 1970 near Cologne. After graduating from the School of Graphic Art and Design in Münster, he moved to Berlin, where he has lived and worked as a freelance comics artist and illustrator ever since. Kleist's books have been translated into many languages and have received several prizes. His graphic novel Johnny Cash: I See A Darkness won both Eisner and Harvey Awards, as well as receiving the Max und Moritz Prize for Best German-language Comic. With The Boxer, Kleist became the first cartoonist to receive the German Youth Literature Award. An Olympic Dream was serialised in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung before being published, with some revisions, as a graphic novel.

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Reviews

"It's the compelling tale of a born fighter, survivor and romantic."
— The Independent
"It's safe to say this is an early candidate for graphic novel of the year honors."
— Publishers Weekly