Werner Reich: He Learned Magic in Auschwitz

From a New York Times obit by Richard Sandomir headlined “Werner Reich, Who Learned Magic in Auschwitz, Dies at 94”:

In the Auschwitz barracks where starving, emaciated, dying men were crammed six to a bed, Werner Reich’s closest neighbor was a gentlemanly German Jewish man in his 30s named Herbert Levin, who had been known before World War II as Nivelli the magician.

One day in early 1944, Mr. Reich, then 16, returned to the barracks from a work assignment, climbed to the top of his three-tier bunk and watched Mr. Levin shuffle the dirty deck of cards that prison guards had given him so that he could entertain them — a bit of protection against being sent to the extermination camp’s gas chamber.