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Leon Gildesgame papers

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Leon Lazar Gildesgame (1894-1989) was born to Avraham and Devora (née Kotoski) Hildesheim in Sompolno, Poland, formerly imperial Russia. Leon was one of eight children born to Avraham and Devora. While some of the Hildesheim children were born in Europe others were born while the family resided in Palestine. While living in Palestine Leon volunteered with the Jewish Legion in WWI. Leon was a corporal in the Zion Mule Corps which saw action in the Gallipoli campaign. After his military service Leon relocated to England and became a naturalized British subject. It was at this time that he changed his surname to Gildesgame. With his brother Pierre, Leon became the proprietor of Gildesgame Brothers Ltd. and traveled frequently to the United States where he settled with his American born wife Ruth. throughout his life Leon was committed to philanthropic causes and he served on the Jewish Conciliation Board of America. During the Holocaust many of Leon's siblings were dispersed across the globe. One brother, Aron, was arrested in France in 1942 and deported to Auschwitz. A sister, Ala Brysz, and her daughter Yanina were killed in the Warsaw ghetto.
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