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Oral history interview with Hugo Langshur

Oral History | Accession Number: 2015.73.1 | RG Number: RG-50.106.0239

Hugo Langshur (born Hugo Langschur in Jagerndorf (Krnov), Czechoslovakia on December 15, 1921) discusses his childhood with his father, a high school teacher, and his mother, who went to secretarial college; having a large extended family; speaking German at home though his father also spoke English, French, and ancient Greek; living in a mixed neighborhood of Jews and non-Jews; being mocked by other children at ages 10 and 11; having to sing German nationalist songs, living in a culture of growing danger, listening to Hitler’s speech, and feeling threatened; having to share a school desk with a classmate whose father wore a Czech Nazi uniform; his parents being urged by his mother’s sister in Britain to emigrate but his father did not want to lose his pension and his mother did not want to leave her hometown; his aunt insisting that his parents let Hugo go to England at the end of May 1938; going to Prague, Czech Republic by himself which was traumatic as he had never been so far away on his own; traveling through Germany and Belgium; docking at Dover, England and being met by his relatives at Victoria Station; living with Elsie and James Layton (Loebenstein) in Hampstead; corresponding with his parents in shorthand through Budapest until 1942 when they were deported to Theresienstadt and then shot in a forest in Baranovice (Baranavichy, Belarus); graduating from the military academy as a 2nd lieutenant in the British Army in 1943; transferring to northern Scotland; being posted to Ghana in 1944, then Burma, Nigeria, Naples (Itlay), and Graz (Austria); working as a mechanical engineer in a workshop; being transferred to northern Germany and being demobilized in 1948; working in London and then settling in Montreal, Canada in May 1951 as an aeronautical engineer with Pratt and Whitney; playing down his Jewishness because of much antisemitism in Canada; returning to Prague with a French Canadian group and seeing his parents name on the Pinkas synagogue wall.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Hugo Langshur
Gail Schwartz
interview:  2015 February 09
1 digital file : WAV.
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:39:32
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