Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

George Korper - March 26, 2007


The following is an interview with Mr. George Korper at his hotel in Campus Inn in Ann Arbor on March 26th, 2007. The interviewer is Sidney Bolkosky.

My name is George Korper. Uh, I am uh, 81-years-old. I was born in Prague in 19--December 1925 and uh, I lived there until I left to go to England in 1939.

Tell me something about your memories of Prague before the war started.

Well, before the war you have to understand that I was uh, third generation Jewish. In other words, my grandfather was the first who had, uh, who enjoyed the full rights of a, of a citizen in what was then Bohemia Moravia, part of the Hungarian -Hapsburg at the time. Well, yes, Franz Joseph was the emperor of the empire. And uh, uh, so my generation was the sort of generation which is very similar to, to, to people who are a little younger than myself here in the United States who are also probably third or fourth generation of people who immigrated end of the nineteenth century, early, early twentieth century who had a tough life. Their children had it easier already and their grandchildren had it made. Had the, had the benefit of good schools, etc., etc., and this is what, this is what was my life what I would call a life of luxury. In other words, I was--we, we were part of the upper middle class going by standards in the USA. People who have their own houses or own their apartments. People who could afford to have full summer holidays either in Czechoslovakia or outside of the popular place were Austria or Yugoslavia on the coast or Italy. Mostly coast because we were a land...landlocked country. We had plenty of lakes but no sea. And, the schooling was excellent. I went to a equivalent of a high school here. Um, there were fifty-two pupils in my class of which there were only three Jewish boys because, apparently, in the area where I lived there, there weren't all that many Jews, even though we had a synagogue uh, ten minutes' walk away from where we lived.

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