Louis Weisser, 95, Holocaust survivor and vice president at Shillito’s, passed away on May 21, 2019, at the age of 95.
Louis was born in 1923 in the town of Podwoloczyka which before World War II was in Eastern Poland and is currently located in Ukraine.
His father passed away from a stomach illness in 1936 leaving Louis, his mother and twin sisters as his immediate family.
When Germany invaded Russia in June of 1941, the young Jewish men of Podwoloczyka fled east. Louis eventually ended up in Uzbekistan where he found work in a fish processing factory. He then volunteered for the Russian Army and saw combat on the eastern front from 1943-1945. He was wounded outside Berlin, while crossing the Oder River. He was in a military hospital in Warsaw at the time of the German surrender.
Louis lost his mother and sisters in the Holocaust. His mother and sisters as well as the entire Jewish community of Podwoloczyka were transported to the Belzec death camp in October of 1942.
After the war, Louis met his future wife Helen in Poland. Not wanting to live under communism, Louis and Helen eventually made it to Paris where they lived between 1947 and 1953. They emigrated to Cincinnati and settled in Roselawn with other families that survived the Holocaust.
Louis found work with Shillito’s Department Store and eventually became a senior vice president in charge of men’s wear. He was very active in the community and served as president of the Jewish Survivors of Nazism (the predecessor organization of the Nancy and David Wolf Holocaust and Humanity Center). He also volunteered for several years at the Rockwern Academy. Louis was loved and respected by all who knew him. He spoke seven languages fluently.
Louis is survived by his son Mark and Mark’s wife Sandy as well as his grandchildren Alex and Evan and their mother Julie, as well as his beloved friend Leah Levine. Donations to the Nancy and David Wolf Holocaust and Humanity Center, 1301 Western Ave. Cincinnati, Ohio, 45203, are appreciated.