Birthdate: March 18, 1925
Birthplace: Constance, Germany
Religious Identity: Jewish
“When my father was arrested by the secret police and taken away, we had no idea where they were taking him or what they would do to him. Or whether we’d ever see him again.”
Fritz Ottenheimer grew up as a young boy in Constance, Germany. He was eight years old when World War II broke out. His parents took part in righteous activities during the war by helping to rescue other Jews, and for this Fritzs’ father spent a short time in Dachau concentration camp, but did return. Fritz and his family witnessed Kristallnacht, the first state sponsored act of violence against the Jewish people. In 1939, he and his family immigrated to the United States. Fritz served in the United States Army as a liberator working with the military in the “de-Nazification” process in Germany. He attended college in the United States and became a professional engineer. He and his wife, Goldie, have two children and four grandchildren, who Fritz says are “all wonderful people”. Fritz enjoys giving presentations to school groups about his experiences and helping to educate young people about the lessons of the Holocaust. He says his two main roles in life are being the caretaker of his beloved wife Goldie, and being a public speaker.
“I started working in Pittsburgh in 1950. It must have been May, 1952, when we met at a party, and later that same year we got married, and we’re still married….62 years.”
To purchase Fritz’s book Escape and Return: Memories of Nazi Germany and read his full story, call us at 412-421-1500.