Raoul Kopelman

"Never believe it cannot happen again, never let it happen again."

Name at birth
Raoul Kopelman
Date of birth
Where were you born?
Where did you grow up?
Tel Aviv, Israel.
Name of father, occupation
Joseph Kopelman, Film producer.
Maiden name of mother, occupation
(Kara) Chaja Mencel, X-ray nurse.
Immediate family (names, birth order)
Parents, me, sisters: Anna, Pepi, and Franzi (they were each married, Anna and Pepi each had two children).
How many in entire extended family?
About 32.
Who survived the Holocaust?
Six uncles and their wives, nine cousins, two brother's-in-law, three nephews, one niece, my parents and I.
In March, 1938, my father was arrested and sent to Buchenwald.  My mother and I were practically hidden in our apartment.  My father and his three brothers somehow got back to Vienna.  In January 1939, I was quite sick.  On April 1, 1939, my family left Vienna for Zurich, then Triest, and finally Tel-Aviv.
Where were you in hiding?
Our apartment in Vienna.
Where did you go after being liberated?
We were able to escape in 1939. My parents and I went to Tel-Aviv.
When did you come to the United States?
Where did you settle?
Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1966.
Occupation after the war
Student, researcher, professor.
When and where were you married?
1955 in Haifa, Israel.
Chava Blodek, Psychotherapist.
Orion-Moshe, engineer/consultant; Leeron-Joseph, computer engineer; Shirli-Yocheved-Pauline, business school professor.
Talia and Yasmin.
What do you think helped you to survive?
1) My father’s acumen to get out legally from Buchenwald. 2) My Jerusalem uncle’s friendship with Moshe Scherton (later Sharett, Prime Minister of Israel) to get us a “Certificate to Palestine”.
What message would you like to leave for future generations?
Never believe it cannot happen again, never let it happen again.


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