Lincoln man shares inspirational story of Holocaust survival - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Lincoln man shares inspirational story of Holocaust survival

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By: Jenn Schanz

On a day dedicated to honoring America's veterans, dozens of seniors gathered at Grand Lodge Retirement Community to hear a different kind of WWII survival story.

It's told by Lou Leviticus.

He was just a boy when the horrors of the Holocaust reached his front door.

"We had to look over our shoulder every minutes we walked on the street," he says.

He recalls the fear he felt as a child, hearing the harsh pounding of German solders' boots.

"Fear was always there. Fear was there from the day that the Germans came in."

At just 11, Lou escaped Nazi imprisonment when he jumped out of his apartment window in The Netherlands.

His parents, whom he never saw again, died in a concentration camp just weeks later.

But Lou survived.

He hid and worked at a country farm, and was eventually brought to an orphanage.

He came to the U.S. in the mid 50's.

Before arriving, his image of America was only what he'd seen in the movies.

"Cowboys and Indians. Bandits. Shirley Temple."

But then he saw Lady Liberty at Ellis Island.

"It gives you an anchor, and it gives you an ideal to live up to. Because there she is, it makes me always emotional."

Lou went on to become an agricultural engineering professor at UNL.

Despite his inspiring story of survival, he says he'll never see himself as a hero.

"I don't think I ever did anything to be a hero, they could call me escape artist."

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