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Oral history interview with Adolf Grünbaum

Oral History | Accession Number: 2015.100.1 | RG Number: RG-50.106.0240

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Adolf Grünbaum (born on May 15, 1923 in Cologne on Rhine, Germany) discusses his childhood; his parents Benjamin and Anna; his younger siblings Susanne and Norbert; living in a moderately religious household; being in a Zionist youth group HaShomer HaTzair; having a large extended family many of whom went to Belgium and then did not survive; being excluded from swimming pools and other restrictions in physical instruction by the Nazis; feeling intimidated and fearful seeing SS and SA troops yet nonetheless feeling defiant; being a non-believer interested in philosophy but having a Bar Mitzvah to show he was part of a community; attending Kulturbund concerts; his family immigrating to the United States in February 1938; traveling via train to Belgium and then sailing on the Milshtein boat of the Cunard Line to New York; his diaries; attending high school; graduating in the fall of 1943 from Wesleyan College; becoming a US citizen; entering the US Army and being sent to Camp Ritchie in Maryland along with Sigmund Freud’s nephew Harry Freud to be trained in military intelligence to interrogate highly placed German SS and civilians as a member of Mobile Field Intelligence Unit (MFIU) number 2; being stationed in Berlin, Germany in Himmler’s headquarters on Lake Wannsee; questioning highly placed Germans, such as Dr. Ernst Sauerbruch; returning to the US in 1946; receiving a master’s degree in physics from Yale and a Ph. D. in the philosophy of science at Columbia University; becoming an academic at the University of Pittsburgh since 1960; having honorary doctorates from universities in Cologne and Constanze, which gives him a sense of historical vindication; and how he only feels at home in the United States.

Interviewee
Adolf Grunbaum
Interviewer
Gail Schwartz
Date
2015 March 31  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
1 digital file : WAV.