Dr. Charles Moser: Tracing my Parents’ Past Lives
Sunday, August 25 • 2-4 p.m. • Hosted by the Excelsior German Center, 1699 Excelsior Avenue, Oakland, CA 94602 • RSVP by August 19, 2019
My mother always said that Sunday babies are destined to be lucky. This was certainly true for me, born in the United States in late 1939 to Jewish immigrants. Deprived of their professional lives and their citizenship by the Nazis, my parents escaped from a region of Eastern Germany that’s now part of Poland. Thanks to American cousins, who signed affidavits in support of my father. He arrived in New York 1936 and my mother followed in 1937.
They spoke frequently about their past lives, but as a child, I was more interested in baseball. Now, much later, researching their origins in Silesia and their ancestral roots in Province Posen, I’ve solved some riddles that arose from the tangle of Polish, Prussian and German history.
My younger brother and I grew up first in Queens, New York, and then in suburban New Jersey. I moved to San Francisco for training in Internal Medicine.
My parents would be quite shocked — although probably accepting — if they knew that our younger daughter had married a German man and has lived happily in Berlin for the last two years. Under the post-WWII German constitution, their children and grandchildren were entitled to restoration of German citizenship taken by the Nazis. Both of our daughters (and their daughters) have reclaimed it. Our 9-year-old granddaughter in Berlin is as fluent in German as in English.
(photos courtesty of Dr. Charles Moser. Left: Dr. Moser, right: Dr. Moser and granddaughter Harper)