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Photograph of students on a graduation trip

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2004.99.1

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    The photograph depicts two rows of students seated together in a boat on a high school graduation trip in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, (now Croatia) during the summer of 1940. Pictured from left to right in back row: unknown; Mladen Frölich killed; Mrs. Zavrtnik; her daughter, Ljubica Zavrtnik; Branka Marić; and unknown. From left to right in front row: Fedora [Feja] Frank; Renata Andres; Ivanka Roskamb; unknown; Lucie Sternberg [donor]; Mirjana Vidaković; Zora Kreutzer; and unknown man standing.
    circa 1940
    Collection Creator
    Lucie S. Rosenberg
    Lucie Rosenberg was born as Lucie Lucija Sternberg on December 5, 1921, in Zagreb, Yugoslavia (now Croatia) and had a brother Mario (b. January 14, 1925). Her father, Manfred Fredo Sternberg (b. February 27, 1892) was a well to do industrialist. He owned many factories in the Croatia and Slovenia provinces of Yugoslavia. His family lived in Slavonska Pozega, Croatia, 90 miles from Zagreb. Fredo studied in Zagreb where he met Lilly Prister, the daughter of a prominent Jewish architect. The two married on February 15, 1920.

    Lucie attended a Jewish elementary school and later transferred to a public gymnasium. In 1937, at the age of 16, Lucie left her high school in Zagreb and was accepted at Oxford University in England. Her brother, Mario, was sent to St. Edward's boarding school in England. In June 1939 Lucie and Mario traveled home for their summer vacation. Lucie's boyfriend and later fiancé, Joseph Heaton, and some of his friends joined them in Zagreb. In September 1939, as Germany invaded Poland, all of the English boys left Yugoslavia immediately and enlisted in the British Army. Joseph Heaton was sent to India and later to Burma where he was subsequently killed in action.

    In the years between 1933 and 1941, 50,000 Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria passed through Yugoslavia. The Prister family accepted many refugees into their home in Zagreb. Fredo he had to take his family out of Yugoslavia. He transferred some of his money to Switzerland and to the United States. In 1940 he was called into military reserve duty and served for two months. He secured a military permit to leave the country as well as a certificate which stated that he served as a representative of the Ministry of Trade. He sold his factory in Liubljana, Slovenia, and made acquaintance with the U.S. consul in Zagreb. The consul offered four U.S. immigration visas to the Sternberg family, and Fredo accepted.

    On March 29, 1941, Fredo, his family, his brother, Feliks (Felix) Sternberg, and the family chauffer drove to Belgrade, Serbia. Lilly, Fredo, Lucie, and Mario Sternberg boarded a train to Budapest, Hungary. Fredo phoned his family in Zagreb warning them of the imminent German invasion, but was greeted with disbelief. The next day the Sternberg family took a train to Vienna, Austria. The next train took them near the Swiss border, but they had to spend the night in a local inn where German soldiers were preparing for the invasion of Yugoslavia. Fredo was interrogated by one of the officers, but since most of his permits were written in Cyrillic, they gave up and let him go.

    In the morning the family was able to board the train to Geneva, Switzerland. They arrived there on April 6, 1941, and immediately called the family in Zagreb to warn them again. After three weeks in Geneva, the Sternberg family traveled on a sealed train via France to Spain and later by bus to Lisbon, Portugal. After a month they secured a passage on the SS Siborney, a US Export Lines ship. They arrived in Newark, N.J., and quickly settled in New York City. Mario, who was 16 years old at that time, attended high school, and in 1943 he was drafted into the U.S. Army. Mario was encouraged to change his last name from Sternberg to Sorell, in case the Germans captured him. Mario Sorell was killed in action on July 9, 1944, in Normandy, France, where he is buried.

    In 1942 Lucie started to work for the Office of War Information. She continued to work there until her marriage in 1946 to Morris Rosenberg, a journalist. They have two daughters, Jane and Mary, and two grandchildren. Lucie Rosenberg volunteered at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

    Physical Details

    1 folder

    Rights & Restrictions

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    Conditions on Use
    Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The photograph was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004 by Lucie Rosenberg.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 14:08:57
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