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Oral history interview with Leon Benson

Oral History | Accession Number: 1999.A.0122.15 | RG Number: RG-50.477.0015

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Leon Benson (né Leon Samuel Szmelcan), born in Lodz, Poland in 1931, describes his family’s immigration to Paris, France when Leon was three years old; his father’s work as a furrier; the German occupation of Paris; being deported with his mother (Yana Benson), older brother, and younger sister to Auschwitz; being separated from his mother and sister, but remaining with his brother for a brief time; working in a grenade factory; being sent on a forced march to Buchenwald towards the end of the war; being liberated by the US Army in April of 1945; returning to Paris and living in a home for child survivors; being the only survivor from his immediate family; joining the Zionist movement and planning to immigrate to Israel; being contacted by relatives of his mother who had settled in the US and deciding to go to the US; living briefly on the east coast before moving to San Francisco, CA; his wife Lillian and their two sons and daughter; and ushering for the San Francisco Opera and the San Francisco Giants during his retirement.

Interviewee
Leon Benson
Date
1992 July 29  (interview)
1992 August 25  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
2 videocassettes (SVHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, acquired from Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:43:58
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn507687