Schindler Survivor Featured at Lifetree Café

Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 03:15 PM.

The story of Oskar Schindler’s youngest Holocaust survivor will be presented at 7 p.m. CT on Monday, Jan. 28 at Lifetree Café.

The program features a Lifetree exclusive: a film of Leon Leyson, who was 13-years-old when Schindler put him to work in his enamelware factory near Krakow, Poland. Because of his short stature, Leyson stood on a wooden box so he could reach the handles on the machinery.

In the Lifetree film, Leyson describes how the Nazis captured his family members, confined them in the Jewish ghetto area of Krakow, and herded them onto trains bound for concentration camps.

“Suddenly, I lost my most basic rights,” said Leyson. “I was hungry all the time and frightened all the time.”

Leyson describes how Schindler pulled him out of a line bound for the death camps. Schindler named him “Little Leyson” and showed him favor with extra food rations.

After the war, Leyson moved to the United States. He remained quiet about his wartime experience until the release of the Oscar-winning Stephen Spielberg film “Schindler’s List.” Then Leyson gradually began to tell his story.

Lifetree’s Thom Schultz, who conducted the exclusive interview, said Leyson revealed portions of his story he had not shared before.

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