Leon Herschfus

"Never forget the Holocaust! Trust in our G-d!"

Name at birth
Leibel Herschfus
Where were you born?
Name of father, occupation
Chuna, Industrial diamonds
Maiden name of mother, occupation
Sara Feigenblum, Homemaker
Immediate family (names, birth order)
Parents, three daughters and two sons
Who survived the Holocaust?
All but my oldest sister Feiga Maliniak, her husband and two children who perished at Auschwitz
The family business was in industrial diamonds. We moved to Belgium.  I graduated from dental school in 1935.  In 1940, my older sister lived in Amsterdam; my brother was studying medicine in America. Our parents were on a trip to South Africa and my two younger sisters had just arrived in Belgium for a visit.  On May 10, Germany invaded Holland and Belgium.  I drove to France with my younger sisters.  We missed our ship, a freighter bound for Morocco.  We later learned it was torpedoed and sunk by the Germans.
We drove through France, Spain, and Portugal having harrowing experiences.  From Portugal we telegraphed our parents who were now in America.  Our parents sent money and tickets for passage.  I was detained in New York by U.S. Customs who were suspicious that I was a German spy since I had escaped from the Nazis.  After three weeks I was released.
Where were you in hiding?
In Belgium on French farms
Occupation after the war
Rayetta, Teacher
Marc, gastroenterologist Andrea, dental hygienist Maurice, dentist, died of Leukemia at age of 29 Brian, Lawyer
What do you think helped you to survive?
Faith and hope. I am convinced that throughout my life, G-d has sent down an angel, who took me by the hand. I have been a survivor many times, but let me tell you something, if there is a person who doesn’t believe in G-d or is questioning, let him come to me.
What message would you like to leave for future generations?
Never forget the Holocaust! Trust in our G-d!
Charles Silow
Interview date:

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