An Australian businessman, based in Melbourne has told of his family’s extraordinary survival of the Holocaust in his new biography.

Brighton Savoy Hotel owner Des Lee launched his book, I had nothing to lose: A life of ups and downs, before 200 guests at the Savoy on Sunday. Born in 1933 in Hungary, Mr Lee was among the thousands of Holocaust survivors whose testimonies were recorded for Steven Spielberg’s Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation. Nearly 52,000 interviewees from 56 countries were videotaped as a testimony to their survival of the Holocaust.

And six months ago Mr Lee decided to record his experiences on paper.

” I know it’s not safe to rely on technology so I decided to write a book about my life which will be around forever “ he said.

” I wanted something that can be passed down to my family from generation to generation. “

In his book Mr Lee tells of the family’s experiences as slave labourers on an Austrian estate, and their struggles to survive in Strasshof and Theresienstadt concentration camps.

He and surviving family members emigrated to Australia in 1956.

” It is a biography of my life and the combined bravery, initiative and hard work that helped me and my family survive “ Mr Lee said.

He dedicated the book to relatives who died during the war.

His book was launched by former Governor of Victoria Sir James Gobbo.

It is for sale at the hotel for $25, with all proceeds going to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.Phone: (03) 9592 8233.


Pic: Des Lee (right) with Sir James Gobbo at the book launch