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Oral history interview with Fred Lubcher

Oral History | Accession Number: 2018.148.1 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0960

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

Fred Lubcher (né Ephraim Lubczer), born on January 28, 1931 in Lesko, Poland, discusses his name change upon enrolling in school in the United States; moving to Vienna, Austria when he was one year old; a visit to Poland when he was six years old to visit relatives; his two older brothers and other family members; speaking German and Yiddish at home; his father’s work as a butcher; living in the Second District of Vienna; growing up in a somewhat religious home; his parents’ arranged marriage; attending school in Vienna up to the third grade; a friend who illegally tried to get to Palestine; an uncle who lived in Brooklyn, New York; the Anschluss in March 1938; returning to Vienna in the 1970s and hearing of antisemitism then; the fate of his family members; the outbreak of World War II in September 1939; his father fleeing Vienna before he could be arrested; an unsuccessful attempt for him, his parents, and one brother to be smuggled into Lesko and the family’s return to Vienna; arrangements for his other brother to get on one of the Kindertransports out of Vienna; his father’s arrest and the destruction of the family’s religious items in their apartment; his father’s transport to Buchenwald; receiving a telegram notifying the family of his father’s death and receiving his ashes; his uncle, who had remained in Lesko and was killed; traveling to Genoa, Italy to board a luxury passenger ship to go to the United States in March 1940 with his mother and brothers; arriving in New York and staying at a Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society shelter before being picked up by relatives; staying with relatives in Brooklyn, New York for a short time; moving to their own apartment in Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn; attending school and learning English; his two uncles who had arrived in the United States earlier; eventually switching from speaking German to English at home; getting a job delivering groceries; his brother’s time at a camp run by the United Jewish Appeal; his mother’s second marriage when he was sixteen years old; his oldest brother entering the U.S. Army and serving in Europe during World War II; listening to the radio and following his brother’s army division’s movements; attending New York University for his undergraduate and law studies; practicing estate law; marrying and having children; not sharing his wartime experiences with many people; and his thoughts about life in the United States. (Family photographs and descriptions follow the interview.)

Interviewee
Fred Lubcher
Interviewer
Ina Navazelskis
Date
2018 April 19  (interview)
Geography
creation : Woodmere (N.Y.)
Language
English
Extent
1 digital file : MPEG-4.
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Record last modified: 2018-11-07 13:54:07
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn611751