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Leon Kliot memoir

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2016.316.1

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    The Leon Kliot memoir includes a copy of Kliot’s unpublished manuscript titled “Portrait of a Nazi War Victim: #5567” and a partial English translation of the memoir. The memoir describes Kliot’s prewar life in Vilna, Poland, in the Vilna ghetto and Vaivara concentration camp complex in Estonia during the Holocaust, and his return home and decision to immigrate to the United States after the war. The memoir also includes several poems written during the Holocaust and after liberation. Translations for pages 395 to 443 are mis-numbered as pages 295 to 342, and translations for pages 295 to 394 appear to be missing.
    Alternate Title
    Portrait of a Nazi War Victim: #5567
    creation:  1982
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Rosalyn Kliot
    Collection Creator
    Leon Kliot
    Leon Kliot was born in 1929 in Vilna, Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania). Before World War II, Kliot owned a hardware business, married, and had a child. Following the Soviet Union seizure of eastern Poland in 1939, the city became part of Lithuania. In 1941, the Germans forced Kliot and his family out of their home and into the ghetto. Leon was part of the resistance movement in the ghetto and snuck out to find food for his family. Ghetto conditions were poor, and his first wife and child both perished. In fall of 1943, Kliot was deported to the Vaivara concentration camp complex in Estonia. Leon was one of 75 men on his transport who immediately began planning an escape. Leon met his second wife, Vera, also from Vilna, in the camp. She joined Leon and 18 other prisoners when they escaped the camp one night in September 1944. Upon returning home the couple found that most of their family members had been murdered. They headed for the American sector of Germany, planning to immigrate to the United States. They stopped in Łódź, where Vera gave birth to the couple’s daughter, Rosalyn, in April 1945. The family continued on to Heidenheim, Germany, where Leon worked for two years for the United Nations Relief Organization. In 1947, the Kliot family sailed from Bremerhaven, Germany to Boston Harbor and settled in Skokie, Illinois.

    Physical Details

    Yiddish English
    1 box
    System of Arrangement
    The Leon Kliot memoir are arranged as two files: 1. Copy, and 2. Translation.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    The donor, source institution, or a third party has asserted copyright over some or all of these material(s). The Museum does not own the copyright for the material and does not have authority to authorize use. For permission, please contact the rights holder(s).

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Vilna (Lithuania)

    Administrative Notes

    Rosalyn Kliot donated the Leon Kliot memoir to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2016. Rosalyn Kliot is Leon Kliot's daughter.
    Record last modified:
    2023-05-26 10:42:25
    This page:

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