The 35th Annual Town of Concord Holocaust Memorial Observance, called for and hosted by Concord’s Board of Selectmen, will be held at Concord Town House, 22 Monument Sq., on Sunday, April 26th, 2015 @ 7:00 PM.
DANGER AND SURVIVAL: VICISSITUDES IN THE EUROPEAN HELL OF WORLD WAR II
Summary of presentation:
The introduction of the presentation will be a review of my family’s background which will inform much of the series of subsequent experiences and the events that affected us during three harrowing years starting with the breakout of World War II. The overall story I will be presenting actually starts with Hitler’s seizure of power in 1933 and the subsequent events that caused my family to be on the run from Germany to Spain, from Spain to France, and from France back to Spain until we found a haven in South America in 1942. Repeated attempts by my parents to gain admission to the United States were unsuccessful due to a arbitrarily restrictive immigration policy of the State Department. We were in mortal danger following the military Nazi German occupation of the French town to which we had been forced to relocate by the French authorities. My family and I were able to escape to the relative “haven” of unoccupied Vichy France from where we eventually were able to gain access to Franco’s Spain. Finally, we reached Ecuador after a three-month long trip.
Short biographical note:
Pedro Lilienfeld was born in Madrid, Spain, in 1934 after his parents left Germany upon Hitler’s accession to power. Two years later they had to leave civil war-torn Spain settling in Paris, France. Three years later World War II started and, after a perilous escape to Vichy-controlled France, they were able to return to Spain in 1941. Several attempts to emigrate to the U.S. were unsuccessful and finally, in 1942, they traveled to Quito, Ecuador where they arrived after a 3 1/2-month trip. Pedro and his family remained there for 16 years. In 1958 he obtained an electrical engineering degree from the Politechnical School of Ecuador and later came to the U.S. to pursue graduate studies at Columbia U. in NYC.
In 1960 Pedro married his wife Evelyn in NYC. Their two children, Claudio and Armin, were born there. Pedro first worked as a research engineer at Del Electronics in Mt. Vernon, NY
until 1967, when he moved to Lexington, MA and started to work at GCA/Technology Div. as a research scientist in aerosol and atmospheric instrumentation development.
Through various company acquisition steps Pedro became president of MIE, Inc. which was acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific in 1998 for which company he worked as a Principal Science Advisor until 2004 when he retired to be a consultant.
Pedro has been teaching a course in Introductory Astronomy within the Lexington Community Education system for the last three years.