I changed my name
from Hans Khan to an Irish Catholic name in case I was captured by the
I fled Germany in
1938 after I was kicked out of high school for being a Jew.
My father wanted to
get all of our family out, but was only able to obtain one American visa
for a single member of our family. The family decided that I should have
In December 1939,
my mother and I rode on the train to the Swiss border where we met our
father. But before the train crossed into Switzerland I watched my mother
being forcibly removed from the train by Gestapo agents.
That was the last
time that I ever saw my mother, along with my 3 younger brothers and my
grandmother. They all perished in Hitlerís Concentration Camps.
I enlisted in the
U.S. Army and volunteered for the paratroopers. I became a member of the
508th, and was assigned to Regimental HQ, Intelligence section.
To protect me from
the Naziís, they changed my name in case of being taken prisoner.
I was often picked
to lead patrols behind enemy lines, because I could bluff my way through
by speaking German.