Born in Poland, Samuel Pisar endured Soviet occupation and Nazi slavery in Auschwitz and other death camps, before emerging, at age 16, one of the youngest survivors of the Holocaust. After World War II he lived and studied in Australia, the United States and France, earning a law degree (with honors) from Melbourne University, doctorates from Harvard and the Sorbonne, and high academic distinctions from other universities.
In 1961, he was voted American citizenship by a special Act of the US Congress, after serving as a member of President John F. Kennedy’s task force on foreign economic policy and adviser to the State Department and various committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
A widely read author published in twenty languages, his seminal work ”Coexistence and Commerce: Transactions Between East and West” inspired Nixon’s and Kissinger’s policies toward China, the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
His autobiographical memoir, ”Of Blood and Hope”, was acclaimed as ”a powerful commentary on our times, touching the depths and heights of human experience” (Heritage).
Pisar is Knight of the French Legion of Honor, an Officer of the Order of Arts ans Letters, a Commander of Poland’s Order of Merit, an Officer of the Order of Australia and a recipient of other international distinctions and awards.
In 1989 Maestro Leonard Bernstein invited him to write and narrate an international concert commemorating the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II, broadcast globally from the Warsaw Grand Opera. In 1995, at the 50th commemoration of the Allied Victory in Europe, President Bill Clinton related the saga of Pisar’s tragic adolescence, dramatic escape from Dachau and miraculous liberation by an American tank column, while President Jacques Chirac cited him in a historic speech assuming, on behalf of France, responsibility for the Vichy regime’s crimes agaisnt the Jews.