We are honored to share updates and stories of our alumni that are featured in the media. If you have an article to share, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
International House Berkeley alumnus Paul Salz (IH 1950-52) was featured in the July 13th New York Times about his escape from Czechoslovakia prior to World War II.
Below is an excerpt from his interview:
Winton’s Children Share Their Stories
By SONA PATEL
JULY 13, 2015
Nicholas Winton organized the escape of 669 children, mostly Jews, from Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II. After Mr. Winton died on July 1, at age 106, The New York Times asked the survivors, the original Winton’s Children, and their descendants — whose numbers now exceed 6,000 — to share their stories.
Paul Salz, 91
I was 15 when my parents decided to send me to England. Before that, I had moved to Prague where my parents had an apartment. They were living in Stodo, Czechoslovakia, but were forced to flee when the Germans took over the Sudetenland.
I left Prague on one of Mr. Winton’s trains with 10 Marks in my pocket for spending money. At the German-Dutch border, German guards searched all of our luggage. They confiscated my 10 Marks.
In January 1940, I got word that my parents and brother were able to emigrate to the United States. At 20, I volunteered to join the Royal Air Force. I arrived in the United States in 1948 and reunited with my parents and brother after a little more than eight years.
I met my wife, Lottie, at the International House at the University of California, Berkeley. She was Czech, but did not have the advantage of being one of Winton’s Children. She had been put into the Terezin concentration camp, then Dachau. She survived but her parents did not.
We married July 1, 1953, and have two daughters and four grandchildren. I was an electrical engineer at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory for nearly 40 years.
Last year, Paul’s 90th birthday was celebrated at International House and we featured the story in the Spring 2014 I-House Times. Read article below:
Paul Salz 90th Birthday Celebration
In January, more than ninety friends and family members gathered at I-House to celebrate the big 9-0 for a beloved “Golden Age of IH” alumnus, Paul Salz (IH 1950-52). Eleven friends traveled all the way from the Czech Republic for the occasion which also drew family, friends and fellow I-House alumni, including Paul’s granddaughter Janey Keig, who spent a summer at I-House in the recent past. Said Janey “It’s so special that my grandpa has been able to hold onto the wonderful people that he’s met over the last 90 years.”
Paul, originally from Czechoslovakia, was part of the Children’s Transport as a fifteen year old and was put literally on the second to last train to England before WWII launched — one of hundreds of Jewish children whose lives were spared through this program.
Originally from England, Paul’s life winded through India before the Bay Area and his path to I-House where he met his future wife, Lottie Salz. Lottie, a vibrant personality who loved music and dance was one of four girls who had escaped a death march from Auschwitz and, along with several other residents, bore concentration camp tattoos from their experiences just as they pursued joyful global friendships in the post WWII era.
You can also view the article on page 12 of the Spring 2014 I-House Times Newsletter.
If you have a story to share or know about alumni we should interview, email email@example.com or submit story online at: http://ihouse.berkeley.edu/85years