A Tapestry of Survival

A Tapestry of Survival


By Leslie Mazei
With Magda Schwarz, Klara Mezei Noy and Annie Wasserman

A happy-go-lucky boy, Leslie Mezei attends the local high school and plays in the parks and forests surrounding his town of Gödöllő, Hungary, until the spring of 1944, when Nazi tanks roll through its dusty streets and change his life forever. Leslie and his family flee to Budapest to avoid deportation, but Leslie’s father is immediately taken by the Nazis. With one of his brothers already in a forced labour battalion and a sister deported to a concentration camp, Leslie and his remaining family move from place to place, seeking refuge and only just escaping capture a number of times. Finally, they find safety posing as non-Jewish refugees until the Soviets liberate Budapest in January 1945. Leslie and all of his siblings joyfully reunite and eventually make their way to pre-state Israel and Canada, where they rebuild their lives. In Montreal, Leslie meets his wife, Annie, who has a survival story of her own. In Tapestry of Survival the voices of Leslie, his sisters and Annie are woven together into a larger tale of courage, resilience and the search for healing.

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About the Author

Leslie Mezei (also Laszló, Laci) was born on July 9, 1931, in Gödöllő, Hungary. In 1948 Leslie arrived in Canada, where he completed high school and then graduated with a bachelor’s in mathematics and physics from McGill University and a master’s in meteorology from the University of Toronto. After working as a systems analyst and manager from 1955–1965, Leslie became a professor of computer science at the University of Toronto. An early pioneer in the field of computer art, Leslie’s articles were regularly published in Computers and Automation and Artscanada. Leslie developed two new graphic programming languages and produced innovative computer art, which was exhibited internationally. In the late 1970s Leslie left the university and became a personal financial planner. He married Annie Wasserman in 1953 and raised two children with her before she passed away in 1977. Since then, Leslie has been living with his wife, Kathy, in Toronto, enjoying the time with their five children and eleven grandchildren. He has been involved in the interfaith and interspiritual movements for twenty-five years and has been the recipient of five awards. For a number of years he published the Interfaith Unity News, with a mission to promote the message of unity in diversity.

Product Information

  • Release: March 15, 2019

  • $14.95 Paperback

  • 144 Pages with Photos

  • 6 x 9

  • ISBN: 9781988065526

The Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs

Since the end of World War II, over 30,000 Jewish Holocaust survivors have immigrated to Canada. Who they are, where they came from, what they experienced and how they built new lives for themselves and their families is an important part of our Canadian heritage. The Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs is guided by the conviction that each survivor of the Holocaust has a remarkable story to tell, and that such stories play an important role in education about tolerance and diversity. Millions of individual stories are lost to us forever. By preserving the stories written by survivors and making them widely available to a broad audience, the Holocaust Survivor Memoirs series seeks to sustain the memory of all those who perished at the hands of hatred, abetted by indifference and apathy. The personal accounts of those who survived against all odds are as different as the people who wrote them, but all demonstrate the courage, strength, wit and luck that it took to prevail and survive in such terrible adversity. The memoirs are also moving tributes to people – strangers and friends – who risked their lives to help others, and who, through acts of kindness and decency in the darkest of moments, frequently helped the persecuted maintain faith in humanity and courage to endure. These accounts offer inspiration to all, as does the survivors’ desire to share their experiences so that new generations can learn from them. Recognizing that most survivor memoirs never find a publisher, the Azrieli Foundation established the Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program to collect, archive and publish these distinctive records.