The comfortable life the Homburger family knew in Karlsruhe, Germany had begun to deteriorate in 1933 when restrictions for Jews began. At that time 3,358 Jews lived in Karlsruhe. During the first years of the Nazi regime, the community continued to function, particularly to prepare Jews for emigration. In a book published about the family history, Fred wrote I “clearly remember the abuses suffered on Monday afternoon, January 30, 1933, when the gym teacher arrived in SS uniform for the first time.” Fred continued at the school for two years before leaving for Switzerland in 1935.
Prior to Kristallnacht in November 1938, all male Polish Jews living in Karlsruhe were deported to Poland. They were arrested and sent to the Dachau concentration camp, but were released after they had furnished proof that they intended to emigrate. Fred was in Zurich when his father and uncle were deported to Dachau and was unsuccessful in attaining visas for them. A month later they were released when they agreed to liquidate the private bank that was the longstanding family business.
After 5 years in Switzerland, in 1940, Fred emigrated to New York City. There he tried to get 6 family members out of Gurs. Of the six, one died in the camp but the other five arrived in New York in 1941.
In 1943 Fred was drafted into the U.S. Army and was shipped to England in 1944, landed at Omaha Beach, Normandy in early July. He was discharged in 1946 after the war ended.
Lore immigrated to America via England, and moved to New York. Her father and Fred’s father, Dr. Paul Homburger, were in the same English class. Lore was having a party and her father asked Paul to invite his son, Fred. There they met, married, and re-located to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They made their home there and raised their two children, Eve and Frank, making sure to always remember their past.
Today the extended Homburger family meets every year for a big family reunion.
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