Holocaust Survivor, Who Hid in a Sewer, Headed U.S. Tech Agency

Carl H. Rosner

already had endured the breakup of his mother and father’ marriage in Hamburg, Germany, life in an orphanage with different Jewish youngsters, the Nazi-decreed closure of his college, harassment by stone-throwing ruffians on the street, and a cattle-car journey to the Buchenwald focus camp.

“I used to be all the time optimistic,” he mentioned later. “I figured this couldn’t final, that the Germans couldn’t succeed at what they have been doing.”

In early April 1945, with Nazi Germany nearing collapse, that optimism was put to a extreme take a look at. All Jews within the camp have been ordered to collect for a roll name. The younger man suspected some type of atrocity awaited them.

He sought recommendation from an older prisoner, Erwin Lippmann, who had develop into his unofficial guardian. Mr. Lippmann steered Carl and his youthful brother right into a sewer, the place they hid for a day or two.

Inside days, U.S. troops liberated Buchenwald. Carl Rosner discovered his method to Sweden and in 1952 emigrated to the U.S., the place he labored as a analysis engineer at Normal Electrical Co. and for 3 a long time headed Intermagnetics Normal Corp., which equipped supplies for magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, gear.

Mr. Rosner died April 16 at his residence in Niskayuna, N.Y. He was 93.

Karl Heinz Rosner, the primary of three sons, was born April 4, 1929, in Hamburg. (He later modified the spelling of his first identify to Carl.) His mom, Rahel Rosner, ran a bedding retailer with assist from his Romanian-born father. His mother and father divorced, and his mom sought methods to to migrate together with her sons as Nazi persecution of Jews elevated. The youngest son, Eliot, was despatched to Sweden as a part of the Kindertransport program. Ms. Rosner adopted him there, leaving 9-year-old Carl and his 8-year-old brother, Joseph Wolfgang, to reside in an orphanage whereas awaiting an opportunity to to migrate.

“As a toddler you settle for issues,” Carl Rosner mentioned in a 1997 interview with the Shoah Basis. “You don’t query all the pieces or fear about all the pieces.”

In public, the boys needed to put on star-shaped patches figuring out themselves as Jews. In 1942, his Jewish college was closed, leaving Carl to play chess and browse books within the orphanage. Different Jewish youngsters have been despatched to focus camps. At first, he felt ignored and needed to go together with his buddies.

Carl H. Rosner at age 15 in a Buchenwald focus camp prisoner photograph.


Rosner Household

His Romanian citizenship, a legacy of his father, saved him from that destiny for a time. He and Joseph have been moved to a Jewish old-age residence, the place they helped with kitchen chores. Later, they moved in with a household whose daughter had been despatched to England.

They survived bombing raids in Hamburg however in June 1944 have been arrested and despatched to Buchenwald. Their heads have been shaved. They have been hosed with disinfectant. They have been required to observe hangings of prisoners who tried to flee.

Carl Rosner was put to work making bricks and fell gravely in poor health from the hunger food regimen and freezing temperatures. He survived with luck and assist from Mr. Lippmann.

Within the fall of 1945, the Rosner brothers lastly reached Sweden, and Carl Rosner resumed his formal training. He married one other Holocaust survivor, Frieda Zeidshnur, and in 1952 they emigrated to Newark, N.J., the place Mr. Rosner earned a level on the Newark Faculty of Engineering.

In 1955, GE employed him to work at a analysis lab in Schenectady, N.Y., the place he helped develop superconducting magnets. In visits to grade colleges, he spilled metallic shavings after which amazed the pupils by cleansing up the mess immediately with magnets.

Carl H. Rosner of the GE Analysis Laboratory, utilizing superconducting magnets, carried out on a big scale the ‘iron submitting experiment’ acquainted to high-school science college students.


Bettmann Archive/Getty Photos

He turned chairman of a GE spinoff, Intermagnetics, in 1971. Mr. Rosner stepped down as chief government in 1999 and retired as chairman three years later.

Philips Electronics

NV agreed to purchase Intermagnetics for $1.3 billion in 2006.

By then, Mr. Rosner was working one other firm, CardioMag Imaging Inc., that developed expertise for early detection of coronary heart illness.

He was cautious of retirement. He had observed what occurred to some individuals who quit work: “All of a sudden, they drop useless.”

His spouse, Frieda Rosner, died in 2000. He’s survived by his brother Joseph, three youngsters, six grandchildren and one nice grandchild.

His daughter Elizabeth Rosner wrote a 2017 ebook, “Survivor Café,” exploring how the trauma of atrocities is handed on to new generations. In her case, she believes her father’s ordeals gave her a “tendency to be hyper-vigilant” and “see calamities across the bend.” It additionally gave her confidence that she might endure hardship.

“My father typically talked about his luck in surviving,” she mentioned. “He was reluctant to credit score himself.” He was stunned when individuals thought of him extraordinary.

Although he barely had a childhood, he realized late in life to clown round together with his grandchildren. He cherished chess and revered Beethoven. At residence, his bookshelves have been packed two books deep. “I wish to know all the pieces,” he instructed the Albany Instances Union. “I’m focused on all the pieces.”

Write to James R. Hagerty at [email protected]

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