Leo Mittler, a Holocaust survivor who shared his experiences with thousands of students and was a veteran of the Korean War, passed away April 11, 2020, in Denver. Rabbi Bruce Dollin officiated at the private April 17 service at Fort Logan National Cemetery. Feldman Mortuary made the arrangements.
Mr. Mittler was born May 23, 1927, in Andrychów, Poland, to Ida (Goldfinger) and Moritz Mittler. He had two older siblings, Otto and Felix.
He was 12 when Germany invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939. While trying to escape, the family was separated.
Mr. Mittler’s father and brother Felix were captured by the Nazis and deported to a concentration camp near Lvov; Otto was captured by the Russians and sent to a labor camp.
Mr. Mittler and his mother Ida remained in their home in Andrychów. A few months later they were relocated to the ghetto and were soon deported to a concentration camp.
His father Moritz was a leather tanner and received an extra bit of food. The Nazis killed Felix after he was forced to dig his own grave, and Otto was in Russian custody. Ida was sent to Auschwitz where she was gassed upon arrival.
Mr. Mittler endured seven concentration camps. His name was 35230, the number tattooed on the front and back of his left arm.
Mr. Mittler often contemplated escape, but witnessing the public hanging of those who were caught changed his mind.
When he was deported to what would be his final camp, Mr. Mittler was recognized by an uncle who was able to obtain double rations of food for his nephew, which saved his life.
The Russian Army liberated the camp on Feb. 10, 1945.
Mr. Mittler returned to his hometown in Poland but found out that his entire family perished in the Holocaust.
He immigrated to the US, settled in New York, enlisted in the US Army and served in the Korean War.
Upon his return he met Florence. They were married for 61 years.
Mr. Mittler, who was very active at the Tolerance Education Center, was honored for his contributions in 2014.
He shared his Holocaust story with thousands of students.
Leo Mittler is survived his wife Florence Mittler: children Edie, Perry and Felicia; and grandchild Jordan.
Contributions may be made to the Tolerance Education Center.
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