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William Eisen, master tailor, Holocaust survivor
July 25, 1920 -- Oct. 25, 2008

William Eisen of Amherst, a Holocaust survivor who spent his adult life educating the public to never forget, died Saturday in Buffalo General Hospital. He was 88.

He arrived in the United States in 1947 and worked for 48 years as a master tailor and alterations manager at Kleinhans, where he earned many awards.

Mr. Eisen, who survived seven concentration camps and work camps in Poland and Germany during World War II, dedicated many of his efforts to ensuring that the next generation knew about the past and not take life for granted.

He wrote a book, "Two Pounds of Sugar," in which he recounted his life story and experiences in the Holocaust. He spoke regularly at area colleges, high schools, social clubs and seminars, and he conducted interviews honoring the memory of the millions of people killed in the Holocaust.

He also contributed an oral testimony of his life, as well as a book about his family's history, to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

He was a member of the board of directors of the Holocaust Resource Center and a member of the group's speakers bureau. He also served as the Ba'al Koreh of Temple Beth El and was to be honored as Ba'al Koreh Emeritus on the day of his death.

Mr. Eisen received the Louis E. Yavner Teaching and Citizenship Award for outstanding contributions to education on violations of human rights.

A former Town of Tonawanda resident, he also was secretary emeritus of the Sweet Home Masonic Temple/Perseverance Lodge 984, Free & Accepted Masons.

His wife, Sara, died in 2001.

Survivors include two sons, Drs. Sanford and Bernard.

A Masonic service will be at 12:45 p.m. today in Temple Beth Tzedek, 621 Getzville Road, Amherst, followed by a funeral service at 1.


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