Leon Borzykowski and his family lived in Coney Island Houses at the same time as Coney Island History Project director Charles Denson's family and Leon's daughter Barbara was best friends with Charles' sister. Young Leon escaped from the Jewish Ghetto during the German occupation of Poland in 1939 only to wind up serving seven years in a Siberan prison camp. His parents disappeared during the Holocaust and were never seen again. When the war ended, Leon and his family fled Poland after his infant daughter was murdered by an anti-semitic nurse. They first traveled to Israel and then immigrated to New York and wound up in Coney Island. This interview was conducted in a combination of Polish, Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew, and English. The interview was conducted by Charles Denson and edited for English.
Leon Borzykowski was 97 when this interview was recorded. He celebrated his 100th birthday on December 3, 2018.
This program is part of the Cultural Immigrant Initiative supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York City Councilman Mark Treyger.