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.