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Friday, April 15, 2016

Uncle Vicky

Victor Polatschek, an eminent clarinetist, died before I was born. He married my grandmother's sister, my great-aunt Fritzi. They left Vienna for Boston, where he was a member of the Boston Symphony.  Their apartment served as the endpoint of my family's escape from Vienna in 1938. Fritzi died in 1969, before I thought to ask her much about her earlier life. I have found records of frequent ocean crossings between Boston and Vienna in the years before the war.

Vicky and Fritzi sponsored six members of Fritzi's family in their journey from Vienna to Belgrade to Boston. Two families survived the war thanks to their efforts: my grandparents Leo and Emma, my mother Renee; my great-uncle and aunt Hans and Anna and their son Herbert. I have learned a bit about Vicky thanks to the research of Jesse Krebs, a clarinet player, who wrote an article about the legacy of Vicky.

Note: the picture of the article sometimes appears, sometimes not. I will find a better way to "preserve" it here when time permits.

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