Reinstein: Quests, Questions and Quotas

As a part of my own discovery and search for my own identity, I have begun to ask questions that I probably should have asked awhile ago.   My grandfather, Norbert Reinstein, scavenged and fought his way to the United States . . . I never met his family (other than his brother, Ernest Reinstein):  Nazi’s killed my great-grandparents.  Despite living into his nineties, my grandfather never knew exactly how his parents were killed.    My mother discovered that her grandparents were shot — a discovery that only occurred after my grandfather’s death.  

If you have read this blog or sat with me for a minute or two and heard me discuss my grandfather, you’d know that my feet were leaden and heavy when I took him to the hospital for what would be his final stay.  Life doesn’t really come full circle — its linear.   I was there with him at the end of the line, caring for him the way that he cared for me or would have if the tables were turned.  So I am on a quest of sorts . . . to discover more about his journey.  More about his life. 

I have started here:  he was turned away from medical school in the United States after fleeing Europe.  He had completed most it in Austria and was nearly done but when he came to the US and finished his stint in the Army, he was turned away.   Quotas?  Jews were excluded then from medical schools and professions.  There were quotas — to keep things balanced:  a Jew from Vienna did not fit in.  Was that the reason?  Was he not credentialed enough?  Was there no reciprocity?  Was that a convenient way to keep this Jewish immigrant out? 

I am on a journey.

2 responses to “Reinstein: Quests, Questions and Quotas

  1. Have you ever explored the ancestry tracing resources at the Holocaust Memorial Center’s library?

    • Dave, I haven’t but I plan on doing so. I have several tapes that my grandfather made as part of the Shoah project and tapes that he made that are at the Holocaust Memorial Center. I am trying to investigate why medical schools barred from him entry after he came to the United States giving him no credit for his work in Austria before coming to America. He was a survivor, his family killed in the Holocaust, he joined the Army, was honorably discharged and then was denied entry into medical school despite having completed all but one year in Vienna. My mission: get him an honorary, albeit posthumously issued degree in medicine.

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