Holocaust Survivor Gets the Surprise of a Lifetime From John McEnroe During US Open
Sports| | By Margo Gothelf
One Holocaust survivor is finally getting his day in the sun.
At just 6 years old, Les Held was sent to a concentration camp. However, each time the Nazis tried to kill the young boy, he managed to escape death. On the day he was sent to the gas chambers, they just so happen to run out of gas. When the Nazis tried again, they sent him to the firing line only to have an older man take the bullet for him.
Regardless of all of the hardships Held faced as a child, he managed to survive the Holocaust and live his life to the fullest.
“My dad is amazing,” Held’s daughter Elizabeth Leibowitz shared with Today. “He’s the most giving and caring person. He only wants to help others.”
His son Aaron was able to echo the same words sharing: “My father’s entire life was these series of horrors with a series of amazing people went out of their way to help him.”
After the Holocaust, Held came to America and taught himself English by studying comic books. He also became very interested in tennis and has become quite the player.
Luckily for Held, Hoda Kotb found out he was a major fan of John McEnroe and gave Held and his family tickets to McEnroe’s special match during the U.S. Open.
After the match, Kotb introduced Held to the crowd and shared his inspiring and special story with everyone. She also gave Held the surprise of his life.
“There’s someone here who wants to meet you,” she told Held.
McEnroe then walked out on the court to greet his biggest fan. He also offered to play a few games with Held on the court right then and there.
“I can’t believe they did that,” Held shared.
Check out the video below and watch Held meet McEnroe.