BEFORE AND AFTER THE REICHSKRISTALLNACHT

The history of a Königsberg family

  told by

Rainer Radok

  CONTENTS

PROLOGUE

I.. A NAME EMERGES

Bohemia 1680 to 1868

The jews of Tyn nad Vltavou move in 1680 to the nearby Kolodye, take surnames , enjoy the liberating laws of 1848. Elias Radok is born 1840, studies mechanical engineering Prague and goes after years long activities in Berlin to Königsberg, the capital of the provice Prussia.

II. WELCOME TO ALL INDUSTRIOUS NEWCOMERS

East Prussia 1819 to 1890

The family Pincus comes from Löbsens in the Netze District to Königsberg, where their son Salomon, after a difficult time at school, studies Medicine. He becomes District doctor in Insterburg and later on Chirurgical Assessor in Königsberg. Seine Tochter Jenny marries Elias Radok.

III. PROFESSIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

Königsberg 1764 bis 1910

Königsbergs Union-Foundry has been built on the plot of a silver foundry, etsablished in 1764. Its director Gottfried Ostendorff fethces Elias Radok to Königsberg. After Ostenddorff's death Elias Radok leads the Company to great success. Elias and Jenny Radok have five children. They lead an active life with excursions to the Baltic sea and skiing in town. When Elias dies in 1910, he is well known and wealthy.

IV. A PROVINCE SEEKS NEW FARMERS

Ostpreußen 1800 bis 1913

The Vagelers come from Holstein with many children, in order to farm in East Prussia . Their oldest sonWilhelm also has many children, who frequently visit their grandfather at his neighbouring farm. Among the children is Gertrud, who marries in 1913 Fritz Radok

V. MONARCHY, WAR AND INFLATION

Königsberg 1913 bis 1921

After their wedding Fritz and Gertrud Radok wander through German East Africa. At the start of the World War they are back in Germany. Fritz voluteers for army service. However, he is released after a few months for health reasons. He finds employment in Königsberg's Railway Stock Company Steinfurt . I arrive as fourth child of five children 1920.

VI. HOME AND HOMELAND

Königsberg 1922 bis 1933

A large house with a beautiful garden are the background for a privileged family life. Its peaks are Christmas , New Year's Eve, Easter, and Whitsuntide, Excursions by train or by car to Neuhaeuser and Cranz fill many weekends, Musik und Musizieren. viele Abende

VII. A HAVEN

Nidden 1924 bis 1939

Nidden, a Fishermen's village in a natural reserve, receives electricity only ay the beginning of the Thirties. It is reached by ship, hors-drawn carriage or sledge, on horseback, by bicycle or on foot.. It becomes the idyll of my youth and the goal of eternal longing.

VIII. MY EDUCATION

Königsberg, Munich 1926 to 1939

I finish primary school and Hufen High School, while Hitler reaches full control of Germany. Father celebrates the First of May. une after another leave my brothers Königsberg. We celebrate 1938 our parents' Silver Wedding and I matriculate at Munich's Technical Highschool in Mechanical Engineering. Father looses 1938 his employment. Two brothers find in England work. Preparations for an emigration of the entire family begin slowly and accelerate after the Reichskristallnacht in November 1938. I have the good luck of meeting on my way home to Königsberg Christmas 1938 Norah Trangmar.

IX. MY EMIGRATION

England 1939

I organize with Mrs. Trangmar's help my own emigration independently of the plans of the family. Perhaps motivated by the fact that two brothers work already in England, I depart 15th July 1939 for England. My brothers decide that in the face of Germany's attacking Poland on Friday 31st August, we should seek common accommodation with friends in Middlesborough. We are interned on 24th September.

X. THE EMIGRATION OF OUR PARENTS AND SISTER

Germany, Italy, Portugal, USA 1939 to 1941

Slowly Father gets used to the idea of emigration. He sends in applications for the USA and Australia.. He vorresponds with Grete Simon in New York and Uwe in Scotland. He searches for relatives who long ago emigrated. At the outbreak of the war he is arrested. is alone and seeks advice from Karl Kiesel in Berlin.. Father is released shortly before Christmas 1939 , in order to look after the emigration and to solve the problems of visa, money and passports. Under way to Venezuela with mother and daughter he is again arrested in Genua when Italy enters the war and interned in Salerno. After several months in Lissabon, they reach Ellis Island in February 1941.

XI. INTERNMENT OF THE THREE BROTHERS

England und Australien 1939 bis 1942

On 24th September1939, we are interned in camps with other people including sailors from German ships at Gainsborough, Seaton, London und Lingfield, etc. . The reasons for our presence in England are examined. At the beginning of March 1940, the "Solf Case" causes the internment of many more people. On 30th June1940, we are deported to Canada on the luxury liner"Arandora Star", which is torpedoed by a German submarine. We are saved together with many others and taken to Scotland . On 11th July 1940, we embark on the troop transport Dunera for Australia. On 2nd Sptermber 1940, we disembark in Melbourne with the more "suspicious" prisoners, while the remaining more than 2000 internees continue to Sydney. After a few weeks, our small group of refugees from Germany is separated from the Nazis and taken to another camp, which receives soon after internees from Singapore. With the aid of the philantropic Australian Christlian Student Movement (ACSM), we are enabled to sit in London and Australia for university examinations. On 13th May 1942, we are released from internment and enlisted in the Australian Army.

XII. SOLDAT AND STUDENT

Australien 1942 bis 1945

We become Soldiers . We load ships and trains, and perform other chores in Melbourne and in Victorian border railway stations at Albury and Tocumwal. I immatriculate at the University of Melbourne . During my first longer leave I meet Torchie at Lorne. After passing examinations at the ends of three years, Torchie and I are married on 22nd Dezember 1944. A few months after Uwe, I am discharged from the army in January 1945

EPILOGUE

By 1947, the entire family is rejoined in Melbourne. In 1965, Torchie and I are invited to visit Russia and are allowed to visit Kalinigrad and Nida, where I am enabled to take at many locations unique photographs before development and tourism change the environment.

Last revision 15th September, 1999.