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Alone in the Storm

The Azrieli Foundation | The Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs

In 1944, twenty-year-old Leslie Vertes escapes from a forced labour detail in Budapest and miraculously survives by assuming a false identity. About to taste freedom as the end of the war nears, his liberation is shortlived when he is caught by the new Soviet regime and sent for two years of back-breaking labour and captivity. Years later, when he and his family flee to Canada, Leslie finally finds true freedom.


Leslie Vertes was born in Ajak, Hungary, in 1924; he immigrated to Canada with his family in 1957. Leslie has been actively involved in Holocaust education and has volunteered for various organizations. In 2015, he received Quebec’s YMCA Peace Medal and the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award in recognition of his

volunteerism and contributions to the community.

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