Leon's father has been saving up for a long time for his family to move in with him. When he earned enough money from his well paying job, the family bought a super tiny apartment and moved in with their two parents, one sister, and 4 boy family. With an already scarce amount of food and water, the family had to do everything they could to find money, food, and even a job. The InvasionThen it happened, the Germans came and took over everything. Before, Leon made friends with other boys that weren't even Jewish like him. But, after the Germans came, they abandoned Leon only because he was Jewish. The Jews that were about 10 years and older, had to wear a sleeve with the sign of David on it. But, Leon never wore that sleeve, and it could have cost his life. Now and then, I would sit on a park bench just to prove I could do what I wanted, resisting the Nazis in my own small way, Leon saidIt was a hard time for Leon and his family because they had to make the decision for Leon's older brother to go back to their old village, with his girlfriend.
Leon was devastated. His brother was his best friend, yet he would most likely never see him again. After a little while of the Germans take over, the Jews had to move out and move into an enclosed community and were forced to do hard labor. But, the only people that didn't have to go, were the special few on Schindler's list. Schindler's list basically includes a few lucky people that Schindler (a German man himself but who believes in Jew's rights) choose to save from death because they were good enough to keep alive only to do work.So, because Leon's father was a very skilled glass worker, their family got spared to be on Schindler's list. Leon thought he was safe, his parents thought they were safe. But, that wasn't the case. You can NEVER be safe when your being taken over by the Germans (and especially when they can do whatever they want to you). But, then the German's barged in and took Leon's older brother, for no reason at all. They took him away, and Leon knew that would be the last time he saw his best friend. His brother.
After that, Leon and his family knew they had to hide. So, while all the Jews were moving out, Leon, his mother, and their next-door neighbor and son devised a plan. To hide. So they found a cellar to hide in for two or three days straight. Without food or even water. After the hiding though, Leon knew they wouldn't get by that easily. Only about 1,098 Jews were on Schindler's list in the camp. When it was time for them to leave for work, the family moved into an even smaller apartment shared with even more people.
Work to DIE forOnce they started working for Schindler, it wasn't all fun and games. It was very hard work and everyone only get one meal a day, disgusting soup. And often enough, Leon had to sneak out and find food in the trash cans, and around the ground. But, since the kitchen workers were Jews as well and while Leon got to know them, when it came to lunch time, Leon always got a little extra food. During work though, Leon and along with everyone else never knew what would happen. Sometimes, a German man named Amon Goeth (who is the boss of Schindler and has complete control of the business) came in and kept a close eyes on the Jews. But the worst part was that he could do anything he wanted, even if that meant killing the Jews, just for fun and game. And nobody dared to stop him. Once, Amon came when Leon was doing work with the snow, he came and made his men take all if the Jews and hit them with leather whips. As the whips came, the Jews were made to call out the number of whips, and if they didn't the whips started over again from one to 25. Although I was numb from the cold, the pain seared through me each time, like being branded by a poker.
Leon said putting in his opinion. Whenever he went to Leon's working space, Leon got all stiff and scared, especially because he saw Goeth come in one day and take a couple of Jews out with a gun, and those two Jews had no idea he was there. He seemed to thrive on inflicting agony on on the helpless. Leon wrote. But, there was one sort of encouraging thing, whenever Schindler came in, he went up to Leon and talked with him. (considering Leon was one of the youngest Jews on his list) While Leon stood on his little wooden box to give him a boost, they talked for a while. Yet, with all the hard labor work, it didn't make it the tiniest bit easier for Leon.At night, Leon and his family were separated and couldn't sleep in the same place. So, a couple times Leon snuck out to try and find his father and brother first. It took him awhile, but Leon was finally able to find them. But, Leon had to be really stealthy, because if Goeth ever found out or saw it, he would've killed Leon right away and not regret anything. He also tried to find his mother, with the same circumstances. I was so small and thin, and my hair was so shaggy, I could pass for a girl; I knew I would be severely punished if I were discovered.
Leon wrote when he tried sneaking into the women's bunker to try and find his mom. While the war was coming to an end, Leon always keep the thought in his head that he was going to be killed by the very last bullet in the war. And that thought stuck in his mind throughout the whole holocaust. But that wasn't the case because Leon survived to tell the story.Leon changed his name from Leib Lezjon to Leon when he came to America, but on Schindler's list, he was known as Leib Lezjon, with the rest of the Lezjons. Free at last!When the war finally ended, Leon, his mom, dad, brother and sister then traveled to America for a brighter future. Leon was still young then so he still went to school. Leon then graduated with a teacher's license and taught high school kids. Eventually Leon got married, had kids, became an uncle, and soon a grandfather.When Leon's family first made it to America, Leon tried to tell his experiences during the holocaust, but nobody would ever listen. So he keep his experience to himself. But, after a slight interview with the newspaper, everyone soon knew Leon's story and wanted him to show up to events for speeches, and people even wanted autographs. And one fun fact was that whenever Leon gave his speeches, he never read off a script, it was all improvised.
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