To leave your own
testimonial about how the book or Alex's story has touched you,
"Mr. Lebenstein’s story is
gut-wrenchingly real. It’s not sugar coated. His pain is fierce and
continues to this day, but in his pain and anger he has been able to
connect with Germany’s children and put aside his feelings and needs
he travels there to talk to the young
people of his experiences.
He’s bravely shouldered a burden,
endlessly, so that “they” may understand and never repeat the sins
of their grandparents.
From a young boy hunted by the Nazis to
a man celebrated in the town that abandoned him, Mr. Lebenstein
educates whoever will listen to him so that the past will never be
repeated. The Gazebo is a must read."
- Andrea Sisco, Armchair Interviews (read the full review
made a huge impression upon the city with his several visits, that I
cannot walk through the streets of Haltern without someone stopping me and
asking me if I have heard from Alex and whether he is well.”
Erwin Kirschenbaum, friend and former Burgermeister (Mayor) of Haltern am
"I have to tell you how much I have loved reading The Gazebo. In all
honesty, I have never been much of a reader--I know, I know...that must
sound weird coming from a teacher. But it's true. This book, however, I
haven't been able to put down. I love your approach to writing the book.
The way you word things makes the book so powerful and suspenseful. I love
reading the end and seeing the way you have truly touched so many lives.
YOU have touched MINE! I also want to let you know that I truly
appreciate you taking the time to e-mail my class to answer their
questions. That is another thing I love about the book--it is very kid
friendly and easy for even a 4th grader to read, understand and learn
Katie Ward, Elementary School Teacher
first met Alex last winter at a teacher workshop here at the
. Alex graciously offered to speak at my school and I organized what I
affectionately called “Alex Day.” He came to
our high school and spoke to a group of nearly a thousand students. Those
of you familiar with teenagers know that they can be a tough audience.
During assemblies, they usually fidget, sleep, or whisper to each other,
but from the moment Alex began to speak the students were riveted. He had
them right in the palm of his hand for ninety minutes. Now, THAT is truly
a gift! Alex, you truly are a hero to many!"
Jackie Tully, High School Teacher
like to start by saying that no small words of mine can ever express the
deep debt of gratitude I owe you for sharing your experience with me. Your
experience touched me in a way that nothing else could because you helped
me to understand that I should enjoy my life the way it is because
there was a time when people couldn’t even walk on the sidewalks.
I will always admire you for your courage to stand
up and tell about what happened."
J. H., Middle School Student
was one of the students (I am in the 12th grade) who attended
the presentation at the
the day you delivered your message. After I heard your story, I could not
get you out of my mind and heart. Whether you realize it or not,
you have passed on your life’s story to a new
C. W., High School Student
all of the other students who were present when you came to our school to
talk to us, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart.
It’s not very often that a student who is learning about the Holocaust
has the chance to actually meet and talk to a survivor. It was very nice
of you to take the time to visit our school. I was very grateful for how
you openly and honestly expressed your emotions. You brought tears to my
eyes from describing how you suffered so mentally and emotionally. I
deeply appreciate your visit and will always remember it for the rest of
P.S., Middle School Student
you related to students of our high School your personal account of the
Holocaust. I was very fortunate to be a part of that audience. Along with
the impacting details of some well-known historical events, I was moved
and mesmerized by the words you spoke about your experiences. Those who
had arrived blind to the prejudices of the world before the speech
definitely received a powerful insight into the many terrors you and
thousands of others experienced. I will always remember such a
captivating speech that not only opened my eyes but my heart. Your
presence was a privilege for all who could attend."
M.R., High School Student
"Rarely in one’s life can one
individual witness history before their very own eyes, yet be so fortunate
to spend a Thursday morning with not only a Holocaust survivor, but also a
wonderful person. I am now more grateful of life itself, and
understand how lucky I am to live in this wonderful country during this
extraordinary time period. It is amazing how a one-hour class discussion
can give you a different perspective of exactly the true meaning of life.
Mr. Lebenstein you are a hero in my mind’s eye and your strength and
determination to withstand that pain and the hurt is truly
To be the sole survivor of the forty-seven
families of your hometown in Haltern is an inspiration to us all."
B.Y., Middle School Student