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Is The Champion a True Story? Is the 2020 Movie Based on a Real Person?

Champion (also known as Champion of Auschwitz) is a 2020 sports drama. This Polish film was written and directed by Maciej Barczewski. It tells the story of Polish boxer Tadeusz Pietrzykowski, who rose to fame for a string of nearly undefeated victories in Nazi concentration camps.

Set at the height of World War II, the story follows Pietrzykowski’s near-impossible battle for survival in a Nazi concentration camp. So audiences have to wonder if any real events or characters inspired the film. In that case, here’s everything you need to know about the inspiration behind “Champion.”

Is the champion based on a true story?

Yes, The Champion is based on a true story. The film is based on the real life of Polish boxer Tadeusz “Teddy” Pietrzykowski. Writer-director Maciej Barczewski created the screenplay based on the lives of great people. Pietrzykowski was born on April 8, 1917 in Warsaw. Her father, Tadeusz, was an engineer and her mother, Sylwina, was a teacher. At a young age, Pietrzykowski joined the boxing department of the Legia Warsaw club and trained with Feliks Stamm. Soon Pietrzykowski became a boxer, reaching his peak in 1937. However, in September 1939 Germany invaded Poland and Pietrzykowski volunteered to join the army.

Photo credit: Robert Pałka/Iron Films

After Germany defeated Poland, Petrzykowski tried to flee to France, but was arrested, tortured and deported. On June 14, 1940, he was transferred from a prison in Tarnov to Auschwitz. Pietrzykowski was one of the first prisoners to arrive at the camp. In March 1941, Pietrzykowski began participating in unofficial boxing matches at the concentration camp. His first battle was with Walter Dünning, who was crucial in improving prisoner morale.

Pietrzykowski rose to fame in the concentration camps by fighting and beating German officials in the boxing ring. He was nicknamed “Weiss Nebel” (White Mist) due to his unique fighting style. Petrzykowski is said to have lost only one battle during his time at Auschwitz and to have received certain privileges as a reward for his victory.

Later Pietrzykowski moved to other camps such as Neuengamme and Salzgitter. He eventually settled in Bergen-Belsen, from which he was released in April 1945. In his later years, Petrzhikowski moved to Bielsko-Biala after completing his studies at the University of Sports in Warsaw and worked as a sports teacher. physical and port education. Pietrzykowski died on August 16, 1991 at the age of 74.

In an interview with Cine Europa, writer-director Maciej Barczewski talks about the screen adaptation of the fascinating true story of the real-life boxer. Barczewski revealed he heard about Pietrzykowski through a story about a boxer. The director took an interest in the life of the boxer and studied him for a long time before making a film on the subject.

“I was fascinated by the fact that, for his fellow prisoners, he was a symbol of hope in overcoming the horrors of the Nazis. At the same time, it turns out that today he is a relatively unknown man, despite the fact that he had to The place and the environment of the duel, his fights take on an almost mythical character. statement.

In the same interview, Barczewski revealed that he tried to stay true to Pietrzykowski’s life portal and worked with the boxer’s daughter to render the film’s story realistically. In another interview, however, Barczewski explained that he took some liberties in adapting Pietrzykowski’s life for the screen, as the biopic’s narrative needed to be streamlined. Therefore, he decided to make cosmetic changes to certain events, locations, and characters. Yet the director is sure that the film is still real.

Ultimately, “Champion” is based on a little-known but inspiring true story of desperately surviving the horrors of Auschwitz. The film portrays real-life boxer Tadeusz “Teddy” Pietrzykowski as a source of hope and strength among concentration camp prisoners. As a result, audiences learned of his exploits in the boxing ring and his impact on the concentration camps and their prisoners. Additionally, the producers were careful to stick to the facts, while only making minor edits to enhance the actual story. As a result, audiences are treated to an emotional, dramatic and gripping account of the life of Peter Zkowski.

Read more: Where is The Championship (2020) being filmed?

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