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Holocaust survivor Ben Lesser’s life is a remarkable testament to the indomitable human spirit, encapsulating courage, resilience, and the unbreakable bond of family. Born in 1928 in Krakow, Poland, Ben grew up in a loving family that cherished education and culture. His early years were filled with hope and aspirations, but as the shadow of Nazi Germany grew, his life took a harrowing turn.

Ben’s family faced increasing persecution as the Nazis tightened their grip on Poland. In 1942, they were forced into the Krakow Ghetto, a place of unimaginable suffering and despair. It was within this crucible of adversity that Ben began to understand the true meaning of survival. He learned to navigate the horrors of the ghetto, finding ways to secure food and essentials for his family, displaying incredible resourcefulness and bravery.


In 1944, Ben Lesser’s life took a turn for the worse when he and his family were transported to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Auschwitz, the very name evokes dread, and Ben’s recollections of his time there are chilling. He witnessed the inhumanity of the Holocaust firsthand, as families were torn apart, and countless lives were lost to the gas chambers and brutal experimentation.

Surviving Auschwitz was a testament to Ben’s sheer willpower and determination. As a holocaust survivor, he endured forced labor, hunger, and daily horrors. But perhaps the most nightmarish experience was his journey on the infamous Death Train to Dachau. Packed into cattle cars like animals, prisoners endured a journey marked by deprivation, overcrowding, and the constant threat of death.

After the unimaginable suffering at Auschwitz and the Death Train ordeal, Ben Lesser faced yet another trial: the grueling 7-week death march. Forced to walk hundreds of miles in the harshest of conditions, Ben’s will to survive pushed him forward. It was a journey marked by extreme physical and emotional hardship, with death a constant companion.

Finally, on April 29, 1945, liberation came when American forces reached Dachau. The moment of liberation was bittersweet, as Ben and his fellow survivors grappled with mixed emotions of relief and grief for those who didn’t make it. It was a moment that marked the end of one chapter of suffering and the beginning of another—a chapter where Ben would dedicate his life to ensuring that the world never forgets the horrors of the Holocaust.

See below for full interview:

Ben Lesser’s story serves as a reminder of the resilience of the human spirit and the enduring power of hope. He emerged from the darkest period in history with a determination to bear witness and educate future generations about the Holocaust. Through his memoirs, speaking engagements, and his founding of the Zachor Holocaust Remembrance Foundation, Holocaust survivor Ben Lesser has tirelessly worked to preserve the memory of those who perished and to inspire others to stand up against hatred and intolerance.

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"Holocaust Survivor Ben Lesser: An Eyewitness History Interview" History on the Net
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June 16, 2024 <https://www.historyonthenet.com/holocaust-survivor-ben-lesser-an-eyewitness-history-interview>
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