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Dr. George A. Frank was born in Budapest, Hungary in April 1938, one week after legislation was passed that severely limited the rights of Jews in their every day existence. He and his parents lived in an apartment on the Pest side of Budapest, near the Danube River. In late 1943, certain apartment houses were designated to be “yellow-star” buildings where all Jews were supposed to live. His widowed Grandmother lived in such a building and they moved there.
On March 19, 1944, a dreary Sunday morning, George’s parents saw German soldiers goose-stepping through the streets, carrying rifles hidden under their long winter coats. George’s parents were visibly upset at the sight, making the Holocaust a reality for them and all Hungarian Jews. His family was ordered to wear the yellow Jewish Star of David and his father was forced to work daily in labor camps. The daily work became weekly work. His father was allowed to return home on weekends but by early summer, he was not allowed to go home at all.
Under Adolph Eichmann’s command, the Nazis acted swiftly to resolve the “Jewish Question” in Hungary. They killed more than 450,000 Hungarian Jews between March 1944 and April 1945 about half the prewar population. Dr. Frank survived the Holocaust by hiding with a Catholic woman. Her Jewish husband and George’s father served in the same labor camp and arranged, in advance, for George to be picked up by the Catholic wife in case the need arose. In late summer 1944, members of the Hungarian Nazi Arrow Cross Party came to deport the Jews from the building. Someone warned George’s mother who took him to a woman friend’s apartment who, in turn, notified the Catholic woman of the need for her to come to take George with her.
George’s mother and grandmother died in the Holocaust but his father returned to Budapest months after the war ended. George finished high school in 1956 and escaped to Vienna after the Hungarian Revolution in October 1956. His father and stepmother joined him a few weeks later. His family immigrated to the United States in February 1957.
George earned a B.S. degree in chemistry form Colorado State University in 1960, a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from MIT in 1965, and a J.D from the Temple University School of Law in 1977. George now lives in Bala Cynwyd, PA with his wife of 31 years. They have two grown children and two grandchildren. He has been practicing patent law for 33 years.