KAHN, Leon




Author Tags: Jewish, War

Born Leon Kaganowicz in Eisiskes, Poland in 1925, Kahn grew up in a shtetl or village and fought with the partisans against the Nazis after his village was first occupied by the Russians. First the Nazis wouldn't allow his people to walk on the sidewalks; they could only walk in the gutters. Belongings were confiscated, yellow stars of David had to be worn. Most of his village's 5,000 people were eventually killed. At age 16, Kahn hid and watched rapes and the murders of children. He lived in the forest and gave his life meaning by fighting back. Both Russian and American forces detained Kahn at war's end until they could verify that he was not an enemy alien. He survived and immigrated to Vancouver in 1948, worked successfully in real estate, and died in 2003. His posthumous memoir is No Time To Mourn: The True Story of a Jewish Partisan Fighter (Ronsdale, 2004). This account was originally self-published in 1979 under his imprint of Laurelton Press. Kahn's memoir, written when he was a middle-aged businessman in Vancouver, is dedicated to his 24 close relatives (including his mother, father, sister, brother and grandmother) who were killed by the Nazis.

[BCBW 2004] "Jewish" "War"

No Time To Mourn: The True Story of a Jewish Partisan Fighter
Review (2009)


from Joan Givner
No Time To Mourn: The True Story of a Jewish Partisan Fighter by Leon Kahn (Ronsdale, $21.95)

Born Leon Kaganowicz in Eisiskes, Poland, in 1925, Leon Kahn grew up in a shtetl, or village, and lived through first the Russian and then the German invasion. He tells how, at sixteen years of age, he returned to his village and, from the edge of a gravel pit, witnessed the mass murder of the communityís women and children, the women being repeatedly raped before being shot. He then took to the forest and joined the partisans in order to carry out raids on German targets. He survived Nazi search parties, Jew-hating Soviet, Polish and Ukrainian partisans and outdoor hardships to emerge at the warís end, along with thousands of Jews, from the forests.

He explains how the Nazis began by not allowing his people to walk on the sidewalks; they could only walk in the gutters. Belongings were confiscated, yellow Stars of David had to be worn. Most of his villageís 5,000 people were eventually killed.

Kahn gave his life meaning by fighting back, but at warís end both Russian and American forces detained Kahn until they could verify that he was not an enemy alien.

He survived and immigrated to Vancouver in 1948, where he worked successfully in real estate, and died in 2003. No Time To Mourn: The True Story of a Jewish Partisan Fighter was written after he had become a well-known philanthropist and businessman. Kahnís account is dedicated to his 24 close relatives (including his mother, father, sister, brother and grandmother) who were killed by the Nazis.

1-55380-011-7

[BCBW 2009]