I am a 92 year old German born Jew who grew up in the Hitler youth and was forced to fight in WW2 in the German anti-tank division. I deserted and became a POW in a British camp and eventually moved to Canada in 1955. Just recently, I published a ...
I was born in 1927 in Herne, Germany. To quote from my memoir, "I am a survivor of Nazi Germany during WW2. During my childhood I had to live 2 lives: a false public one as a loyal Nazi and my true one at home as a Jewish child in an anti-fascist family." Though both of my legal parents were German citizens, by biological father was Jewish. My family was always very open and accepting of others, and did not support fascism (but did what they needed to to survive). During WW2, we kept my heritage a secret. As a result, I was raised in the Hitler youth and trained as an anti-aircraft soldier. I was quite tall and desirable to the SS, but I had no interest in becoming one of them, so I volunteered to be in the anti-tank division once I was old enough to enlist.
Though I fought as a German, I never believed in the war and waited for an opportunity to desert. When I was 17 a group of like-minded soldiers and I deserted and became POW in a British camp for 7 months.
When the war ended, I returned to the secret family business of smuggling. The economic depression post-WW2 created an opportunity for my family to make money by illegally importing goods from surrounding countries (e.g. women's stockings from France). During this time I married my wife and had my first daughter.
In 1955, my wife, daughter, and I moved to Montreal, Canada. I worked any job I could get, including work as a butcher (even though I was not trained as one), a gas station attendant, and a candy maker. In 1958 we moved to Thunder Bay where I worked in a factory, then as a logger. There I had 3 more children.
My family and I eventually moved to Thompson, Manitoba so I could work in the mine. We had a good standard of living there (my wife was quite happy). We had a brand new home and plenty of extra income, but I saw no future for my children there. I lied to my wife, saying I had secured a job at the Britannia Beach mine and moved the entire family across Canada to Squamish, BC. I did end up getting a job in the mine, where I worked for a few months (until they went on strike). After that I worked in a pulp and paper mill (Woodfibre) for 25 years until my retirement.
My wife passed away from cancer in 2001. Since then I have traveled extensively, remarried, and am living happily in BC. I recently wrote a book about my life and you can find it here: https://www.amazon.ca/FEARLESS-Jewish-boy-Nazi-Germany/dp/1674561202/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=fearless&qid=1578004297&sr=8-4
Hello Reddit, I am Roberts grand-daughter. I will be helping him with this post, by asking him your questions and writing his responses. He would like to add that this post makes it sound like his life was a lot more smooth and pre-planned than it was. His life was a lot more 'by the seat of his pants' than this suggests.
Below we have attached some photos from his life
Hello everyone, thanks for the overwhelming amount of responses. We are going to stop answering questions for now but we might try and answer some of the bigger ones in the next couple days, when I (grand-daughter) am able to get together with Robert again.
Also, to people wondering how someone who had a Jewish father, who was killed for being a Jew, could be alive (since the Germans would have killed the whole family). Simply put, Robert's biological father and legal father are two different people. His biological father was one of his neighbors and worked as a sales manager for the family. Robert found out at 4 years old, but he was still raised to be his legal father's son.