"Hearing one person tell their story gave a completely different perspective to what happened, as it wasn't about statistics or about a nation as a whole, but one person who lost his family and home." ~O. Avery (student)
You can download and easily print Gunter's biography here (pdf)
Gunter Hauer was born in Berlin, Germany in 1919. His father fought in WWI and earned the Iron Cross and worked at a department store. His mother was a homemaker. In 1929, when Gunter was a teenager, he went to see Adolf Hitler speak at a rally for the Nazi Party and he could not believe what he was hearing. Then in January 1933, Hitler came to power and Gunter’s life began to change. Within a few short years, he was no longer allowed to sit on a public park bench or go to the movies.
During Kristallnacht, November 9-10, 1938, Gunter’s schoolteacher sent Gunter home for the sole purpose of being Jewish. Gunter, then 18 years old, tried to convince his parents that they had to leave Germany. His Aunt worked in the travel business and was able to obtain passports to leave through Russia. However it turned out to be a scam and they remained stuck in Nazi Germany.
By sheer luck, his Aunt was able to get eight spaces aboard the Terukuni Maru, a Japanese ship that sailed from London, England. On September 1, 1939, the start of WWII, they were sailing through the Suez Canal and away from the impending tragedy that soon befell Europe.
Gunter survived the war, got married, and made his way to California and eventually to Philadelphia in 1947 where he worked in the music industry working his way to becoming an executive at Atlantic Records promoting concerts and events.