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Mrs. Leah Bedzowki - Johnson

Mrs. Leah Bedzowki - Johnson
Meet Holocaust survivor Leah Bedzowki-Johnson, a personal friend of Tuvia Bielski, leader of the Bielsky Brothers and a member of the partisan band portrayed in the movie Defiance.  In 1939 at the age of sixteen, her hometown, Lida, was invaded and set ablaze by the Germans. Initially taken in by a series of gentile farmers and then ensconced in a barb-wired ghetto, she and her family soon got word of Hitler’s master plan to annihilate the Jewish people. One day, a gentile man who was with Tuvia Bielski brought a note advising her mother to enter the forest. She was 20 when she met Wolf Yonson, known to partisans by his alias, “Wolf the machine gunner.” They were married in the woods in the early part of 1943. Leah and her two brothers survived the war. After spending time in a displacement camp in Torino, Italy, she and her husband eventually settled in Montréal, Canada where they raised three children. Leah has 5 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren, and currently lives in Hallandale Beach, Florida.