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#223 Unstoppable: Siggi Wilzig's Astonishing Journey from Auschwitz Survivor and Penniless Immigrant to Wall Street Legend
December 29th, 2021 | E223

What I learned from reading Unstoppable: Siggi Wilzig's Astonishing Journey from Auschwitz Survivor and Penniless Immigrant to Wall Street Legend by Joshua M. Greene.


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Never give up. Only death is permanent. Everything else can be fixed.

I couldn't take such talk about not coming out alive. I didn't want to hear it. Whenever my mind told me I was not going to survive, the Almighty told me to keep going. So I stayed away from the others.

Because I could outwit the guards, I always felt superior to them. I hated them. I hated their brutality, their inhuman behavior. I felt stronger, more intelligent, and I had confidence in myself from childhood. So even though they had the guns and did all the killing, I felt superior. It was obviously a touch of arrogance, and some of it was justified and some not justified, but even in that totally hopeless condition I looked down on all of them.

It was clear that Americans were alive in every sense, moving purposefully toward some vision of tomorrow. He liked that. He would do that, too: grasp opportunities and not allow the darkness of the past to rob him of a bright future.

Even smart chickens shit on their own feathers!

When Naomi found out her husband was purchasing shares of Wilshire on a regular basis, she chided him. "More stock? We can barely pay the bills and you're buying more stock?" Siggi made excuses, but he didn't stop buying. "I didn't see how this was going to change our life," Naomi said, remembering other stocks her husband had bought and other career moves he had made. "But that's how it turned out."

You are looking at a man who had the foxlike instincts to survive history's darkest hour, a man who has no fear of adversity and who cannot be intimidated by overwhelming odds.

Siggi had grown his bank from $180 million in assets to more than $4 billion.

Siggi was the first person in history to sue the Federal Reserve.

He's just happy to be alive. People thought he was nuts and laughed at him, but he didn't care.

Less than a year after his death, his estate was worth hundreds of millions of dollars. “Not bad," as Siggi once said, "for a short, bowlegged Jew with flat feet who never graduated kindergarten and started with only $240 in his pocket."


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