Great men and women with great stories to tell. I am sadden to hear that another has passed but with his passing I hope people do not forget his life or story. If you haven’t seen Schindler’s List than I highly recommend this movie it is one of my favorite movies by far about the good that can come from such a horrible time in history.
Leon Leyson, who was the youngest of 1,100 Jews saved from the Nazis by Oskar Schindler, has died in Southern California at 83. When Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Leyson was 10 and six month later his family was sent to the Krakow ghetto where he survived mass killing and deportation to a concentration camp. He lost two brothers, one fled to the family’s village who died in a massacre of 500 residents and the other was sent to a concentration camp. Schindler called him “little Leyson” and was the youngest of the Jewish workers that Schindler saved by declaring them necessary to produce. Schindler also gave him double rations when he was weak and also put his mother as well as surviving siblings on the list. Leyson rarely talks about his experiences. He came to the U.S. in 1949 and taught at Huntington Park High School for 39 years.
“The truth is, I did not live my life in the shadow of the Holocaust,” he told the Portland Oregonian in 1997. “I did not give my children a legacy of fear. I gave them a legacy of freedom.” However he began to publicly speak about his experiences after the 1993 movie Schindler’s List came out. In 1974, Leyson saw Schindler along with a group of Jews in Los Angeles shortly before his death. Leyson introduced himself and Schindler remember exactly who he was calling him “little Leyson.” Leyson is survived not only by his daughter but by his wife, Lis; son, Daniel, of Los Angeles; sister, Aviva Nissenbaum, of Israel; brother, David, also of Israel, and six grandchildren.