Austrian-Hungarian Empire

Lemberg, Austria

Henry Sontag was born in March 1914 in Lemberg, part of the Austria-Hungarian Empire, to his parents Maurycy and Yetty. Henry’s parents had five children including himself. The family had to move to Vienna during World War I because of the fighting reached to close to home. After the war life was good for Henry, who attended school till he was 14 years old. In 1938, the country of Austria was annexed to Germany in the Anschluss. This was the first time that Henry started to notice the discrimination in the country. One example is that the government issued an edict that all Jewish passports had to be stamped with a large red letter “J.” Soon there were more discriminatory acts in Austria. Henry describes the park signs now said, “Jews and Dogs are not allowed.” With all of the changes taking place Henry and his brother, Elie decided to leave for Belgium on July 7, 1938.