Born: 1921 Frankfurt, Germany
Refugee : United States
“Some got out and some didn't. We were lucky that our family sponsorship arrived in time,“ recalls Hans Strupp, who counts himself very fortunate to have come to the United States in 1939.
Hans's American uncle completed the affidavit required for immigration to the United States, promising financial support so that Hans and his mother and brother could leave Germany. He remembers every difficult day leading up to their departure. The Nuremberg Laws passed in 1935 legally excluded Jews from German life and became the foundation for further anti-Jewish policies. Every element of life was upended, from public schools to employment, shopping, and entertainment. Some childhood friends no longer came around. Hans recalls, “We were human and then we weren't. It happened so quickly and yet it was probably always there.“
Hans and his family left for the United States. Their furniture, photo albums, household goods, and clothing were neatly packed, but they never arrived. “We were Jews. We weren't allowed the luxuries of even our own clothing.“
Hans has never forgotten what might have been. “We knew we were lucky. We always knew. No one could anticipate what was to happen. Rumors, even at their worst, never revealed such a nightmare.“