Assemblymember Quirk Recognizes Holocaust Survivor, Len Talis

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) recognized Holocaust Survivor Len Talis at the annual Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony in Sacramento.


Mr. Len Talis was born in May of 1940 in Odessa, Ukraine. His uncle, who worked at the Port in Odessa, was able to secure his family a place on one of the last two ships leaving Odessa to Russia. They left before the Odessa Massacre that killed 80% of the 210,000 Jews living there. Len Talis and Assemblymember Quirk on the Assembly Floor before the Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony


The Talis family spent the duration of World War II as refugees in Tajikistan, Russia. The family lived in one room without indoor plumbing but the climate was warm and they had a small garden and deck. On May 9, 1942 Mr. Talis and his family headed back home to Odessa as Russia celebrated the end of the war. He went on to earn a college degree, marry and start a family.


In December of 1989, his family was able to immigrate to the United States, having been sponsored by his daughter-in-law’s family who was living in Alameda. He came to the US not able to speak English but through hard work and perseverance, he spent many years working in the information technology industry. Now retired, he is enjoying life in Fremont, and spending lots of time with his son and two granddaughters. 


“The Jews killed during the Holocaust were neighbors, coworkers, and even friends. We have to remember the deaths of millions of Jews. Some brave people risked their careers, their lives and the lives of their families to save thousands of Jews. We are very grateful to all of them. We pass our knowledge of the Holocaust and our heroes to our kids and grandkids,” said Mr. Talis.


“Mr. Talis and his family were fortunate to escape the atrocities during WWII. He lived through one of the darkest moments in history.  I am extremely honored to have him join me during this very important ceremony. We can never forget the past. Events like the Holocaust Ceremony give us time to reflect on how we continue to educate generations to come,” said Assemblymember Quirk.