WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) released the following statement expressing his deepest respects for the late Leo Bretholz who passed Saturday at his home in Pikesville. Bretholz was a Holocaust survivor and resistance fighter who turned his story into the memoir Leap Into Darkness. In 1947 Bretholz emigrated to Baltimore, entered the publishing business and shared his story with audiences worldwide. At the time of his death Bretholz was advocating for reparations for Holocaust survivors who were transported to the camps by the French railroad company Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer Francais (SNCF).
“Myrna and I are mourning the loss of Leo Bretholz. Leo was a warm and loving man who inspired countless people around the world. He was a man of unique strength and courage. As a young man he used every ounce of that strength and courage to escape a Nazi railcar bound for Auschwitz. After escaping Leo joined the underground resistance movement in France as part of Armée Juvie. His efforts during the war saved countless lives. Leo was more than a hero; he was a role model for us all. After witnessing humanity at its worst, he responded with his best. His effort to seek justice for Holocaust victims was beyond admirable. I take solace in the fact that Leo Bretholz was able to contribute so much to this world in his 93 years. My prayers go out to his children and grandchildren.”