January 19, 1929,
Gleiwitz, Germany (now Poland)
The only child of Hans and Lotte Liebermann, Frank lived with his family in an industrial town near the borders of Poland and Czechoslovakia. Hans was a prominent surgeon in the city and the family lived a comfortable middle-class existence. The families of both of Frank’s parents had lived in the area for several generations.
By 1933 German public schools separated Jewish and non-Jewish students. When Frank started school in 1935 the Jewish students were allotted three small classrooms and dismissed five minutes early in order to rush home as antisemitic attacks by other students became frequent after school.
In 1936 anti-Jewish laws led to rapid changes in Gleiwitz. Denied hospital privileges and not allowed to accept insurance payments, Hans could no longer make a living. Playgrounds, swimming pools, and other venues were closed to Frank and other Jews. It was an extremely difficult time for Jewish families in Gleiwitz and the rest of Germany.
Hans traveled to the United States in 1938 to obtain immigration papers. With the help of a cousin, he obtained an affidavit that enabled the Liebermanns to be placed on a waiting list for visas. He then returned to Lotte and Frank in Gleiwitz to wait for the visas.
The visas were issued in June 1938. Immediately Hans traveled to the United States to begin preparing for the Ohio State Medical Board examination. Frank and Lotte stayed behind to settle household affairs and then purchased tickets for a ship bound for the United States that departed Germany on October 13, 1938, less than a month before Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass.”
The Liebermann family settled in Ohio because it was less difficult for Hans to obtain a medical license there than in other states. After passing the state examination, he set up a medical practice in Dayton.
Frank graduated from Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve University) in 1950 with a degree in chemistry. Today he works as a travel agent and volunteers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Franz Liebermann and his mother Lotte Lieberman visit a park shortly before they emigrated from Nazi Germany. is seated on the left. Franz's grandmother Hedwig Orgler is on the right. US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Franz Liebermann
Franz Liebermann goes mushroom hunting in the countryside with his family. US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Franz Liebermann
Lotte Liebermann plays with her infant son Franz. US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Franz Liebermann
Franz Lieberman writes at a table with his mother looking on. US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Franz Liebermann
Franz Lieberman poses with two young friends in Gleiwitz. US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Franz Liebermann
Franz Leiberman dressed in a costume distributes programs at the wedding of his aunt and Uncle Heinz and Marianne Orgler. US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Franz Liebermann
Franz Lieberman has a conversation with his teddy bear. US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Franz Liebermann