"Hearing one person tell their story gave a completely different perspective to what happened, as it wasn't about statistics or about a nation as a whole, but one person who lost his family and home." ~O. Avery (student)
Dr. Leon Bass
You can easily download and print Leon's biography here (pdf)
Dr. Leon Bass is a former high school principal and veteran of World War II who has dedicated much of his life as a teacher, a school administrator, and a speaker, to fighting racism wherever it exists.
As a nineteen-year-old soldier serving in a segregated unit of the U.S. Army, Leon Bass participated in the liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945. That moment changed his life. “I was an angry soldier,” says Bass. “I was being asked to fight for freedom while at the same time, as a black man, I was constantly being told in many ways that I wasn’t good enough to have that freedom.”
Following his service in the U.S. Army 183rd Engineer Combat Battalion in World War II, Bass graduated from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and later received a doctorate from Temple University. He taught at several schools in the School District of Philadelphia and was a principal at the Benjamin Franklin High School in Philadelphia for 14 years.
He has presented his story to audiences throughout the United States and across the world. He was a participant in the International Liberators Conference, held in Washington DC in 1981. In 1994 he was the keynote speaker at the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust, and in 1996 he was awarded the Pearlman Award for Humanitarian Advancement from Jewish Women International. He appeared in the Academy Award-nominated Documentary “Liberators: Fighting on Two Fronts in World War II.”