Leon Leyson, 83, the youngest survivor on Schindler's List

leon-leyson.jpgLeon Leyson, who died Saturday in Whittier, was not quite ten years old when the Nazis invaded Poland and pushed his family into the Krakow ghetto. He taught at Huntington Park High School for nearly four decades without talking much about his Holocaust experiences. Only after the 1993 film "Schindler's List" came out did he start to discuss being saved by the real Oskar Schindler. From Elaine Woo's LAT obituary:

Coaxed into breaking five decades of near-silence on the subject, Leyson — the youngest member of the group rescued by Schindler — embarked on a public speaking career that took him across the United States and Canada to share his story about coming of age during the Nazis' brutal reign.


"Any time he told his story he never used notes, he never gave the same talk twice. It always came from the head and the heart," said his friend and Chapman University religious studies professor Marilyn Harran. "It made people walk away wanting to be better people, to care more, to remember not only the Holocaust but to remember that we can never be indifferent."

[skip]

Leyson immigrated to America in 1949. His work experience in Schindler's factories led him to study industrial arts at L.A. City College and Cal State L.A. before earning a master's in education from Pepperdine University in 1970. He taught machine shop and was a guidance counselor at Huntington Park High School for four decades, retiring in 1997.

Photo: WRAL


More by Kevin Roderick:
Morning Buzz: Monday 1.14.13 crime roundup and Sam Zell
Leon Leyson, 83, the youngest survivor on Schindler's List
Lalo Alcaraz cartoon slips into '60 Minutes'
Monday politics: DN's nittier, grittier Greuel plus a lot more
SPJ chapter discovers 'unauthorized withdrawals' from bank
Recent Obituaries stories on LA Observed:
Leon Leyson, 83, the youngest survivor on Schindler's List
Aaron Swartz, tech prodigy was 26
Bill Mouzis, KHJ Boss Radio director was 90
Huell Howser, California TV icon was 67 *
Patti Page, one of top selling singers ever was 85

New at LA Observed
Follow us on Twitter

On the Media Page
Go to Media
On the Politics Page
Go to Politics

LA Biz Observed
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


Advertisement
LA Observed on Twitter and Facebook