Leon Leyson died last week in California at the age of 83. He was number 69128 on Oskar Schindler’s famous list; and very likely the youngest person on that list. With the International Day of Holocaust Remembrance being observed on Jan. 27, this is a good time for Mr. Leyson’s story to be told.
Born on Sept. 15, 1929, in the small Polish town of Narewka, Leon described his early boyhood years as happy: “During [that] time, everything was peaceful between Jews and Poles.”
Leon’s father was an accomplished tool-and-dye maker managing a glass factory in his small village. When the factory grew and was moved to the large city of Krakow, the owners asked his father to take over the big city plant.
Krakow was a wondrous experience for then-nine-year-old Leon: “like going to Disneyland” he later recalled.
Then came September of 1939, and the invasion of Poland by…
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