Ralph Howard, our oldest Vice President, was born in Berlin on 22 April 1918, where he first started rowing.
With the rise of Hitler and the Nazi regime, non-Germans were being told to leave Germany. In Germany, you took the nationality of your father. Ralph’s father was Czech and his mother Polish – so no choice but to leave where he was born, leave his mother in Berlin and go to his father’s birthplace in Czechoslovakia.
He had at least been allowed to finish his studies and take the exams in Berlin to be an Optician – as was his father. In early 1939 he left Berlin. His father had died in 1936 but his brother, 8 years older, had gone with his father to Czechoslovakia and he too was an Optician and carried on his father’s practice.
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