Window of Opportunity

To Stay or To Go

"They thought that this would all pass."

"I believe [my father's family] thought that this would all pass, you know. Because there had been anti-Semitism before. It was kind of underlying in the culture, but no one ever thought that this would really come to pass. And their opportunity to leave was a very narrow window.

My grandfather’s brother Kurt felt differently, and he tried everything to get out. They were able to leave Germany in 1937 or 1938. They left going east, through Russia, to Shanghai, China. But he was convinced it was not a good place to be and left. My father—my grandfather, Alexander, I think Kurt tried to convince him to leave, and Alexander said, “No, this is my home. I’m a German.” And so, when the window of opportunity passed, obviously, it was too late."