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January 28, 2012

the remarkable story of Leslie Schwartz who survived Auschwitz and Dachau

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:48 am

I have blogged twice in the past about the remarkable story of Holocaust survivor Leslie Schwartz here and here. A reader of my blog, Marc Bonagura, who has his own blog Talking Weeds made a comment on my blog and provided a link to his blog. This blog post on Talking Weeds is also about Leslie Schwartz.

I have done some research on the Internet about the story of Leslie Schwartz, who is a cousin of Tony Curtis, and here are the highlights of his remarkable story:

Leslie Schwartz was born in 1930 in a small village in Hungary that had a population which was one third Jewish, mostly Hasidic or Orthodox Jews.  In 1943, when the Germans came into Hungary, the Jews were deprived of their Hungarian citizenship; at the age of 13,  Leslie was sent, along with the rest of his family, to the Ukraine.  In 1944, they were brought back and sent to a ghetto in Hungary, from which they were transported in May 1944 to Auschwitz in cattle cars.

Hungarian Jews arriving at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944

According to Schwartz’s own account, when he arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau at the age of 14, he was sent to the children’s barrack where there were “kids” under the age of 15 who were waiting to be killed in the “crematoriums.”  All of these “kids”  were killed, according to Schwartz, but he survived because, after 10 days in the children’s camp, he asked his friend Sandor Grosz to allow him to sneak into the adult barracks. This saved his life because he was able to join the adults on a transport train out of Auschwitz.  Schwartz says that Sandor is the reason that he is living today.  (more…)