Martin Gray (Holocaust survivor)
Martin Gray, born as Mieczysław Grajewski (born 27 April 1922, Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

, Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

) is a Holocaust survivor and author.

In 1946 Gray emigrated to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, 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
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 and Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...


He moved to the South of France in 1960, where he still lives.


His first book, For those I loved, 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 found an English translation.

Two of Gray’s books are autobiographies: the already mentioned For those I loved covers the period: 1922 (birth) - 1970, when Gray lost his wife and all four children in a forest fire. His second autobiography La vie renaitra de la nuit (Life arises out of night) covers the period 1970 – 1977, the year in 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
David Douglas Duncan
David Douglas Duncan is an American photojournalist and among the most influential photographers of the 20th century. He is best known for his dramatic combat photographs.-Childhood and Education:...

 wrote a book on Gray: The fragile miracle of Martin Gray.


  • Gray’s life has been put on film: For those I loved
    For those I loved
    For Those I Loved is a drama film from 1983 with Michael York, about a Polish Jewish Holocaust survivor who emigrated to the USA in 1946.- Plot :...

    . The film was broadcast as a mini-series during the 80’s in Europe, starring Michael York
    Michael York (actor)
    Michael York, OBE is an English actor.-Early life:York was born in Fulmer, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, the son of Florence Edith May , a musician; and Joseph Gwynne Johnson, a Llandovery born Welsh ex-Royal Artillery British Army officer and executive with Marks and Spencer department stores...

     and Brigitte Fossey
    Brigitte Fossey
    Brigitte Fossey, born in Tourcoing, Nord, is a French actress.-Early years:The daughter of a schoolteacher, Fossey was five years old when she was cast by director René Clément to star in his film, Forbidden Games. Fossey played the role of an innocent child orphaned by World War II...


  • 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.

Criticism by Gitta Sereny

Holocaust historian Gitta Sereny
Gitta Sereny
Gitta Sereny is an Austrian-born biographer, historian and investigative journalist whose writing focuses mainly on the Holocaust and child abuse. She is the stepdaughter of the economist Ludwig von Mises....

 has dismissed Gray’s book as a forgery in a 1979 article in New Statesman
New Statesman
New Statesman is a British centre-left political and cultural magazine published weekly in London. Founded in 1913, and connected with leading members of the Fabian Society, the magazine reached a circulation peak in the late 1960s....

magazine, writing that "Gray's For Those I Loved
For those I loved
For Those I Loved is a drama film from 1983 with Michael York, about a Polish Jewish Holocaust survivor who emigrated to the USA in 1946.- Plot :...

 was the work of Max Gallo
Max Gallo
Max Gallo is a French writer, historian and politician.The son of Italian immigrants, Max Gallo's early career was in journalism. At the time he was a Communist . In 1974, he joined the Socialist Party. On April 26, 2007, the French Academy recorded his candidacy for its Seat 24, formerly held by...

 the ghostwriter, who also produced Papillon
Papillon may refer to:* Papillon , a memoir by Henri Charrière about his imprisonment at a penal colony in French Guiana** Papillon , a 1973 film based on the book starring Steve McQueen...

. 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?’”

External links

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