Ladislaus Löb, 70
Emeritus Professor of German
Cnildhood in Transylvania
I was born in the capital of Transylvania, Cluj (in Romanian) or Kolozsvár (in Hungarian). I spent the first ten years of my life in the small town of Marghita or Margitta. My father was a small businessman. My mother died of TB when I was nine. After four years in primary school, I moved to my grandparents in Kolozsvár, where I enrolled in the Jewish “Gymnasium”.
Ghetto, concentration camp and rescue by Rezső Kasztner
In May 1944 I was taken to the ghetto of Kolozsvár. While most of my relatives were deported to Auschwitz, my father and I escaped to Budapest, where we joined the “Kasztner group” and in July found ourselves, with almost 1700 other Hungarian Jews, in the concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen. Five months later we were released to Switzerland thanks to a deal between Adolf Eichmann and Rezső Kasztner, himself a Hungarian Jew and leader of an illegal Relief and Rescue Committee.
After two years in the international boarding school Ecole d’Humanité in the Swiss Alps, I attended the “Realgymnasium” in Zurich. Subsequently I studied English and German at the University of Zurich, obtaining a schoolteacher’s diploma and a Dr phil degree. I became a naturalised Swiss citizen and also worked as a teacher and a journalist.
In 1963 I came to Brighton, to teach at the University of Sussex for one year, and stayed till my retirement as Emeritus Professor of German. I also taught German, English and Comparative Literature as a Visiting Professor at the University of Constance in Germany and Middlebury College, Vermont, USA. For lengthy periods I was Head of German, Convenor of the School of European Studies’ relations with continental universities and Director of an international summer school for advanced English learners. I was also one of the longest serving honorary secretaries of the Conference of University Teachers in Great Britain and Ireland. Since my retirement I have been busy writing, translating and lecturing to a wide range of audiences. I speak English, German, Swiss German, Hungarian, French and some Italian.