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The Boy on the Wooden Box

English Nonfiction Book Project
by

Amanda Stoyanof

on 4 May 2015

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Transcript of The Boy on the Wooden Box

Summary
Book Project

Author
This book is a memoir by Leon Leyson. Leon and his family were victims of the Holocaust. They suffered through hard times and if it wasn't for Oskar Schindler, him and many others would not be alive today. Oskar Schindler was a German Nazi that helped saved Jews. Which later became a motion picture movie called Schindler's List. Leon wrote
The Boy on the Wooden

Box
about his experience of how he survived the Holocaust by being on Schinkdler's list, and how he got on the list.
Purpose
Theme
Response
In my opinion I would rate
The Boy on the Wooden Box
a 4 1/2 star book. Leyson's story is told in a simple, honest way that not only portrays the reality of what life was like for Jews in Europe during the war but also shares of how their lives were after the war. He attempts to explain how he was particularly baffled at how his fellow Polish citizens simply accepted the Nazi's ways that spread throughout Poland. He wondered why the Nazi did such things but mainly how he would survive. He gives the reader a large insight of the hero of the Holocaust, Oscar Schindler and his list that saved nearly 1,200 Jews from almost certain death. It is a story that is very inspiring and filled with hope. When finished reading this interesting book, it leaves you with a felling that there is hope in every corner of this world. A feeling that the impossible can become the possible, that dreams can become reality, but mainly that one should never judge a person for what they are but should focus on who they are.
Introduction
The Boy on the Wooden Box
By Leon Leyson
Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
on August 27, 2013 in New York, New York
By Amanda Stoyanof
Leon Leyson real name is Leib Lejzon. He was 10 years of age living a life of freedom, happiness and joy. This little boy was enjoying his time playing with his friend, going to school, and living a life with his family, eating with them and living together under the same roof. He lived in Narewka, a country village in northeastern Poland, near Bialystok, not far from the border with Belarus.
Fun Fact
Leon titled the book
The Boy on the Wooden Box
because when working at the concentration camp, the only way he could reach the equipment was by standing on a wooden box. This box made him seem taller, since he was only 10 years old, and more helpful towards the production line in the Nazi's eyes. This box was one little thing that helped save Leon's life.
Even through differences,everyone is equal
Argument
If people had the chance of to save themselves or their families , what would they choose? This seemed to be one of the most common arguments in Leon's memoir. One example of this is the situation of Leon's brother, "Tsalig told Schindler that he couldn't leave Miriam. That is the kind of young man he was. He wouldn't desert his girlfriend even when it would have secured his own safety" (pg 96). One might ask themselves "Why did Leon's brother not take Schindler's offering to safety when he had the chance?" This is because, Tsalig would rather be with his girlfriend than save his own life. Many other people were in this situation. They had to think about their family, and that each choice that they made, how it effected not only themselves but their family. Would they rather take the chance of saving their own life or spend their last moments with the ones they love, their family?
The main purpose for writing this book is to show that in the darkest of times, there is strength, hope and bravery.
" Weak as I was, I stole away, determined to find my father and brother. Finally, totally exhausted, when I thought I would have to abandon my search, I opened one last door" (pg 116, Leon Leyson)
"All I could do was hold on and hope that my father would somehow find a way for me to be with him" (pg 119, Leon Leyson).
" Now and then, I would sit on a park bench just to prove I could do what I wanted, resisting the Nazi in my own small way" (pg 64, Leon Leyson)
Quotes :
" In a way I used their own stereotypes against them, since there was nothing about me that made it obvious I was a Jew".
The Nazi's stereotyped the Jews just because they were a different type of person to them. From being different the German's thought that they had to be punished for it even though a lot of the Jews had blonde hair and blue eyes just like the Nazis. One person who did look similar to them was Leon Leyson. His thick blonde hair, blue eyes, and the ability to speak German, he could pull off looking like a lot of other Polish boys (pg 64).
Claim
" You are free," he told us (pg 163, Oscar Schindler)
Schindler claimed that his workers were free, this included Leon and his family, but were they really? They spent so many years working for him, doing their best to survive this terrible nightmare. Through this nightmare, "freedom seemed like an impossible fantasy" (pg 163). As this fantasy came true, they didn't know what to do. They didn't really have their old lives to get back to since those lives did not really exists. They had gone through so much that they could not return to their past lives.
Resources
"The Boy on the Wooden Box." Goodreads. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.
"The Boy on the Wooden Box." YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.
Leyson, Leon. The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible Became Possible... on Schindler's List. N.p.: n.p., n.d.Print.
"LibrisNotes." : The Boy On The Wooden Box by Leon Leyson. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.
"Oskar Schindler and Little Leon Leyson." Oskar Schindler and Little Leon Leyson. Louis Bullow, n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.
Before Leon expected it, his whole life changed. The Nazi's came into his town changing everything. They made new laws that restricted Jew's. This made Leon not able to go to school, play with his Polish friends, sit on buses or do any other normal daily actions one does. To make things worse, the Nazi's kept ransacking through the homes of Jew's, taking any valuable things they wanted to eventually leaving the Jew's with nothing but only their memories. Leon lived this isolated life with his family and the rest of the Jew's in his town, until Leon and his family, and other Jew's were moved to concentration camps to suffer through hell.
After being jam packed in a small train carts, Jew's were separated by gender and health. This separated Leon's family. Leon first stayed with his father and brother until they got sent to another camp, thus leaving Leon completely separated from his family. When finally reunited with his father and older brother, they all got placed on Schindler's list to specifically work for a Nazi by the name of Oscar Schindler. They then requested that his mother be placed on the list as well. After Leon's whole family, not including his second oldest brother, was at Schindler's factory, they all worked on machines. Here they got more food than they have ever had in a while, decent beds, decent clothing, and a life they could thankful for.
When working in Schindler's factory, Leon's father heard news of the Soviet army locations. As time went by, the Soviet army got closer and closer to the factories, that the Germans fled leaving Schindler to set his workers free. After all the Jews were free, they waited for the Soviet army to come and help them get back to safer land.
After being set free, Leon and his family went back to their home town to only find that it was not the same. Many people that they once knew did not survive and all the non-Jewish people acted weird towards them in a shocked and surprised way. They didn't stay there to long because of the bad rioting still happening towards Jewish people and the thought that Leon's family felt towards their home town; for it was not their home town anymore. So they looked for a way out of Poland to America. They found this in the United Nations in Germany. Here Leon made new friends to talk to about his experiences through hell and to learn how to coop with it. He got the chance to take tutoring in math, and drafting with a kind doctor by the name of Dr. Neu. He went to his house three times a week for two years until his family got the news that their immigration papers were approved. As soon as they got the news, they were on a boat to America. On the boat, Leon go the chance to learn some English and before landing got to change their last name to Leyson and to go beyond, Leon decided to change his whole name to Leon Leyson. When landing in the United States, the Leyson family got on a train from the Union Station to Los Angeles. It wasn't until Leon was 19 years of age that his life was just beginning.
Steven Spilberg, producer of Schindler's List.
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