SynopsisLeon K. was born on January 30, 1915 in Warsaw, Poland. He describes his family and explains their decision to evacuate to Moscow before the German occupation of Poland during the First World War. He recalls his father of dying of typhus. His family later returned to Warsaw. He describes how his mother and aunt supported the family. He describes his education. He describes the Jewish community and rich spiritual and cultural life. He describes his experiences with antisemitism. Leon describes attending university in England and Scotland. He recalls how the Jewish community helped him to finish school when the war broke out in 1939. He recalls learning what happened to the Warsaw ghetto from a Polish soldier who had been evacuated to England. He discusses the awareness of events in Europe by people in Britain. He describes sending correspondence to his family members via an uncle in Tangier. He discusses volunteering as a doctor in the British navy. He describes living in Britain after the war and learning that the rest of his family had perished. He discusses his decision to immigrate to Canada. He describes travelling to Israel and working in a transition camp and kibbutz. He recalls his friendship and correspondence with a woman from Warsaw who was a founder of the ghetto fighters’ kibbutz. He discusses sharing his experiences with his children. He discusses preserving Jewish values and traditions. He discusses ethnic identity. He discusses his faith. Leon shows photographs.
RightsThe University of British Columbia | Holocaust Documentation Project | Principal Investigator: Robert Krell, M.D. | Consent to Record and Retain Records (fn: Under the auspices of the Standing Committee on the Holocaust and Canadian Jewish Congress - Pacific Region) on file.
NoteTestimony simultaneously recorded on video and audio cassette.
Funding NoteCataloguing and digitization of this testimony was supported by funding from the Government of Canada.