Sitting in his boxing gym just outside Amsterdam, former Dutch champion Barry Groenteman is reminiscing about the times he used to visit his grandmother.
When she was living in a retirement home and he would go to see her, he’d often come across an older man “who was always shadowboxing: in the hall, with the nurses”.
Groenteman continues: “He’d show me his ring, with the Star of David on it. And my grandmother would whisper: ‘That’s Ben Bril.'”
For the young Groenteman, it was an introduction to a man who would have a huge impact on him and whose story he feels compelled to tell.
Like him, Bril grew up as Jewish boy in Amsterdam, and – also like him – boxing became his life.
But there the comparisons end. Groenteman was born in 1986. Bril was born in 1912. By the time he reached his 30s, his life had been transformed by invasion, violence and anti-Semitism.
On Monday, the Dutch boxing world will come together to celebrate the return of the Ben Bril Memorial night, at Amsterdam’s famous Carre Theatre.
Those gathered will remember how a serial national champion was forced into hiding and then sent to the Nazi concentration camps by a former Olympic team-mate. They will look back on his remarkable survival and consider his legacy today – inside and outside of the ring.