David Lenga was born in 1927 in Lodz, Poland. After the Nazi invasion in 1939, he and his family were confined to a ghetto in the suburb of Strykow, where they spent the first two years of the war. David’s family was later forced to move into the second largest ghetto in Poland, the Lodz Ghetto. During a deportation from the ghetto, David was separated from his mother and younger brother and managed to remain in the ghetto.
David remained in the Lodz Ghetto until the final deportations in 1944. He was then sent to Auschwitz, where he relied on his boldness and determination, managing to sneak onto a train leaving to a labor camp in Bavaria, Germany. At a train crossing, several trains carrying war machinery were attacked by Allied air forces, and David and a few other prisoners took the opportunity to escape. David spent the remaining months of the war hiding throughout Southern Germany until he was liberated by American troops in May 1945.
Surviving the Holocaust: Stories of Life
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and Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust in Pan Pacific Park