Friday, August 17, 2018

The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible became Possible...on Schindler's List by Leon Leyson

While this memoir was written in a somewhat amateur style, the story was very compelling.  Leon Leyson who died in 2013 was one of the youngest people who survived the Holocaust by being on "Schindler's List".  His father who had worked in Schindler's factory from early in the war managed to save his wife and three of their children, including Leon, by asking Schindler to give them work and put them on his list.

But this was not before harrowing experiences in the Krakow Ghetto and the Plazcow concentration camp, including the separation from two other brothers who were not so lucky.

Leon apparently buried his memories for many years after immigrating to America and studying to become a successful school teacher despite having had his education interrupted by the Nazis at age 10.  Eventually he felt the need to speak and educate about his experiences and told his story, without notes, to countless groups in schools, community centres and elsewhere.  The book is essentially this story written down.

It was fascinating to read about Schindler from another angle and to see the enormous difference that one person with courage could make.  I also found Leyson's account of how he was haunted by the death of his older brothers for a lifetime particularly moving.

While some might view this as just another Holocaust memoir, I still believe it was worth the read as the story was told in such a personal and detailed fashion by someone who was just a child when the war began.

No comments:

Post a Comment