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Oral history interview with Wolfgang Price

Oral History | Accession Number: 2014.146.1 | RG Number: RG-50.106.0224

Wolfgang Samuel Price, born August 16, 1930 in Berlin, Germany, discusses his father Simon Prejs, who fought in the German Army in WW I and was awarded the Iron Cross; his father’s haberdashery store; his mother Margaret (née Loser); his observant family; being expelled from public school and then going to a Jewish school; wearing a star on his coat; his father financing Wolfgang's two uncles, Willy and Herbert, to go to the United States in 1936; going to his father's haberdashery store after it was destroyed on Kristallnacht and picking up the few remaining clothes and feeling confused about what was happening; leaving in April 1939 with parents and younger brother John and boarding a freighter "The Ulm" in Hamburg, Germany; living in the hold with bananas and docking in Balboa, Panama; his father getting a job in the Canal Zone; living in one room of a private house; going to a Panamanian Catholic school; learning Spanish; adjusting to the floods; going to Ellis Island in the fall of 1941; being met by his uncle Willy and his aunt Ruth and staying with them for 6 weeks; moving to his family's own apartment in Queens, NY; going to public school with other German Jewish refugee children; his father’s employment in a parts factory; graduating from high school in 1945; working as a waiter; living on a dairy farm in Vermont; hearing that his grandparents did not survive; his father dying in 1949; joining the Air National Guard; going on active duty in March 1951, being a medical corpsman on B-29s; working as a salesman for industrial chemicals in Milwaukee; getting married; studying labor economics at Cornell University; working for the Atomic Energy Commission in Albuquerque, NM; doing strategic planning for nuclear weapons production from 1962 to 1968; doing public sector consulting for community mental health centers; opening his own firm advising on urban renewal; going to Vienna, Austria in 1998 for the International Atomic Energy Agency to negotiate the extension of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty; settling in Vienna and is writing a book about employment in Europe; and his feelings that the Germans have come to terms more than the Austrians with their history.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Wolfgang Price
Gail Schwartz
interview:  2014 May 02
1 digital file : MP3.
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:27:43
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