Leo "Leibel" Zisman, an internationally renowned SHOAH speaker, a Holocaust survivor from Kovno, Lithuania, gave his testimony last night at Young Israel Scarsdale in New Rochelle as part of a program to mark Yom Hashoah v'Hagvurahmark. Yom Hashoah v'Hagvurah or Holocaust Remembrance Day is a day set aside by the Jewish people to commemorate and honor victims of the Holocaust.
Zisman, 82, was born 1931 to a prominent family. The Nazis invaded his country when he was just a young boy. He lost his parents and two of his siblings to the Nazis. He survived the atrocities of the concentration camps on his own.
Shortly after the war he had a dream where his parents told him his brother was looking for him. That day his older brother and only surviving sibling found him at a camp in Hungary. Zisman and his brother emigrated to the United States and started a successful business together which they ran for over 50 years. The two still talk every day.
In "The Story of One Jewish Life", Zisman recounted how, as a boy of 12, he and his family were confined to a ghetto in his own country of Lithuania for years before being shuttled to various concentration camps, starting with Dachau, until the end of the war. Zisman moved the audience to tears, then laughter, then tears as he interspersed accounts of horrible atrocities committed by the Nazis and his own mischievous defiance of his captors which helped him survive. Many of the stories are too terrible to recount here.
The program also included reflections of Jewish Heritage participants and the lighting of Six Memorial Candles in recognition of holocaust survivors. Photographs presented by the Westchester Hebrew High School were on display.