Leon Salomon was born in Maków Mazowiecki, Poland and lived there with his family until Poland was occupied by the Germans in 1939. Leon and two of his sisters moved east to Kobylnik to live with their brother, a school teacher who was later killed when the Germans took over the area. In 1942, the Jewish residents of the town were executed by the Germans in a nearby forest. As Leon was being taken away to be shot, he escaped from the guards and hid in the forest. Leon was the only member of his immediate family to survive and eventually joined a partisan group fighting in the Vilna and White Russia area. He joined the Soviet Army near the end of the war and fought with them until he was wounded in east Prussia.
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