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Oral history interview with Fred Lorber

Oral History | Accession Number: 2012.9 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0652

Fred Lorber (b. Fritz Lorber) describes his early years growing up in Vienna, Austria; his modern Orthodox religious upbringing; his educational experience at an Austrian public school; his memories of the Anschluss; antisemitism he experienced in the 1930s; changes in Vienna during the Nazi occupation; what happened to his family during Kristallnacht; his father’s arrest and imprisonment in Dachau; how the Jewish community in Vienna coped with anti-Jewish laws and with being expelled from schools and professions; feelings of unease after the Nazi occupation of Vienna; how his school friend’s uncle and his mother helped get his father out of Dachau; when his family received their American visas; their arrival in New York, NY; attending an American high school and his Americanization process; how his family found financial success in the United States; being drafted into the army in 1943; his feelings of discomfort because he was not an American-born citizen; basic training; his brief time in Casablanca, Morocco before being moved to Italy; the Italian campaign; relations between US GIs and Italian civilians; being picked to go to Austria because of his German language skills; his feelings while being back in Vienna; his return to his former apartment; relations with Viennese citizens; his involvement in translating interrogations; antisemitism he found in post-War Austria; the experience of his family members who remained in Europe; his post-war family life in Des Moines, where he became involved in the Jewish community; and the aid he and his family gave to Russian immigrants who arrived in Des Moines in the 1970s.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Fred Lorber
Noemi J. Szekely-Popescu
interview:  2011 December 02
interview:  2011 December 08
2 digital files : WAV.
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:24:56
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