Holocaust Survivor Dies After Completing His Memoir

By Maryann Yin Comment

Simon & Schuster’s Atheneum Books for Young Readers will publish a memoir by holocaust survivor Leon Leyson in August. The publisher added this sad postscript to The Boy in the Wooden Box release: “Leyson passed away the day after the manuscript was received by Atheneum.”

Leyson is one of the youngest people to be saved by humanitarian Oskar Schindler during World War II.

Dr. Marilyn J. Harran, a religious studies professor at Chapman University and the 2008 recipient of the Spirit of Anne Frank Award, wrote the book with Leyson.  Peter Steinberg of The Steinberg Agency negotiated the deal with editorial director Caitlyn Dlouhy.

Here’s more from the release:

Leon was only ten years old when the Germans invaded Poland and his family was forced to relocate to the Krakow ghetto. With incredible luck, perseverance, and grit, Leyson was able to survive the sadism of the Nazis including that of the demonic Amon Goeth, commandant of Plaszow, the concentration camp outside Krakow. Ultimately, it was the generosity and cunning of Oskar Schindler, who saved the lives of Leyson, his parents, and two of his four siblings. Three years after the war ended, Leon and his parents relocated to Los Angeles, where Leyson restarted his life, met his wife, and became a teacher at Huntington Park High School.