Wolfgang Munzer

Wolfgang Munzer

Born: February 26, 1920

Berlin, Germany

An only child, Wolfgang was born in Berlin to Jewish parents. His father was the foreign representative for a sewing notions company. The family lived in a comfortable apartment in the southwestern district of the city. Wolfgang attended secondary school there and hoped to become an electrical engineer.

1933-39: When the Nazis came to power, Wolfgang's father fled Germany because he was a socialist and was afraid he'd be arrested. Wolfgang's mother was very ill, so his grandmother took care of him until it became too difficult for her, and then she placed him in a Jewish orphanage. By then, Jews weren't allowed in public schools, so he switched to a Jewish middle school. In l937 he joined his father in Paris and entered a training institute to learn to be a mechanic.

1940-44: By 1943 Wolfgang was living in Nice with his father and his stepmother, who owned a lending library. Many Jews had sought haven in Nice because under the Italian occupation there, Jews were not persecuted. But when Italy surrendered to the Allies in September, the Germans occupied the area. In March 1944 the Nazis deported Wolfgang, his parents, and 1,500 other Jews in sealed box cars from a transit camp near Paris to Auschwitz. Upon arrival, he was separated from his parents and herded into a room where his head was shaved.

Wolfgang's parents were gassed upon arrival at Auschwitz. Wolfgang was put to work in an electrical components factory and survived the war. He immigrated to America in 1947.

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