Leo Bretholz's leap of faith [Letter]

  • Leo Bretholz, an Holocaust survivor, speaks to students at the John Carroll School in Bel Air. He is showing a picture of himself and Sister Jeanne D'Arc when they were reunited in 1999 in France. Sister Jeanne D'Arc had helped him in 1944 when he was rushed to St. Vincent's Hospital in France for emergency surgery
Leo Bretholz, an Holocaust survivor, speaks to students at… (Lloyd Fox, The Baltimore…)
March 17, 2014

Leo Bretholz was easily one of the finest human beings of our time ("Leo Bretholz, Holocaust survivor, dies," March 10).

Having lived to be 93, God had certainly granted Leo the gift of years. However, he had accomplished — and was continuing to accomplish — so much that benefited so many that one tended to think he would live forever.

He will be mourned by his family first and foremost, by his friends, his neighbors, his fellow Holocaust survivors and the hundreds of people with whom he shared his story in person and in his thrilling book, "Leap into Darkness."

The same courage, determination, faith in God and lifelong joy in his fellow human beings recounted in the story of his escape from the Nazis are the attributes Leo called upon when he made the decision to share his journey from a happy childhood in Austria to his years on the run in Europe and finally to a new life of hope and freedom here in Baltimore. I will be forever grateful for Leo's "leap" into my life.

Anne H. Kidwell

The writer is director of religious education at St. Mark Church in Catonsville.

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