Suddenly the Shadow Fell

Suddenly the Shadow Fell


By Leslie Meisels

“That night, a fierce air battle developed around and above our train. Guns were blazing, bombs were falling.... In the morning, instead of the enemy, US soldiers found us and heard our cries: ‘Oh God, we are free!’” 

When 17-year-old Leslie Meisels insisted that his mother and two brothers join a transport going who knows where, all he knew was that they had to get out of the terrible holding facility in Debrecen, Hungary. Luckily, that decision put them among the roughly 20,000 “exchange Jews” whose lives had been bartered for gold, diamonds and cash in a secret deal between Rudolf Kastner and Adolf Eichmann. Added to Leslie Meisels’ memoir is a short account by his wife, Eva, who survived the Nazi occupation of Budapest as a five-year-old with the assistance of Raoul Wallenberg.

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About the Author

Leslie Meisels was born on February 20, 1927, in Nádudvar, Hungary. His whole immediate family survived the Holocaust. He immigrated to the US in 1958, following the Hungarian Revolution, and to Canada in 1967. He and Eva married in 1961 and they live in Toronto. 

Product Information

  • Release: March 1, 2014
  • $14.95 Paperback
  • 176 Pages
  • 6 x 9
  • ISBN: 9781897470428

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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.