Holocaust Survivor Reunites With One Who Saved Him - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

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Holocaust Survivor Reunites With One Who Saved Him

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NEW YORK, NY -

It's a heartwarming story, just in time for the holidays. A 79-year-old man has reunited with the person who he credits for saving his life.

This holiday season, Leon Gersten is giving a special thank-you to one man who he hasn't seen in nearly 70 years.

Gersten is a Holocaust survivor. When he was just eight years old, Europe was under the brutal chaos of World War Two, but Czeslaw Polziec kept Gersten and his family safe and hidden from the Nazis.

And now, separated for 69 years, the two reunite in New York.

"I cannot believe that I am here. I am very happy that after 69 years of separation I can finally meet my friend," said Czeslaw Polziec.

"We never forgot the fact that you, and of course your parents, are the ones who saved our lives. And the only reason that we are alive is because of you and your family," said Leon Gersten.

The Gersten family lived with the Polziecs until July of 1944, when the area was liberated by soviet soldiers.

Gersten recalled that during that period, they had a hard time keeping themselves busy.

"We had no toys, we had no books, We had nothing to play with. So all we could do is watch spiders catching flies," he said.

This year is the first time since the 1800's that both Hanukkah and Thanksgiving overlap. Gersten says that this holiday period has become extra special because of this reunion.

"I think it is a very appropriate day. In fact we are going to have a nice celebration on Thanksgiving Day with the family and together with Czeslaw and his nephew," said Gersten.

Gersten went on to become a clinical psychologist. He has five children, 34 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

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