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 Paul Lichtman

Paul Lichtman

Vienna, Wien Stadt, Vienna (Wien), Austria
Death 16 Jun 2011 (aged 90)
Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California, USA
Burial Colma, San Mateo County, California, USA
Memorial ID 71929518 · View Source
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Paul Lichtman, an Austrian-born Jew who fled Europe immediately following Kristallnacht in 1938, died June 16 from complications from a stroke. He was 90.

The only child born to Mathilde and Morritz Lichtman in Vienna on April 16, 1921, Paul Lichtman was separated from his parents at the age of 17 when he emigrated to the U.S. with the help of an aunt and his parents fled to Shanghai.

The young Lichtman went to work for a jeweler in San Francisco and was drafted into the U.S. Army Air Forces in 1942 before his 21st birthday. At the conclusion of his stint, he was recruited by the Army to serve as a translator in Europe, but refused unless he was granted U.S. citizenship.

The official response was immediate.

"They took him to court and made him a citizen," said his stepdaughter, Marcie Christensen of Pleasant Hill.

Lichtman spent years driving across Europe with high-level officers, translating between German speaking citizens and military officials.

"When they would take over a town, Paul would be there to translate," Christensen said. "Then he would go and meet the mayor and meet all of the people."

Lichtman left the service in 1947 and returned to San Francisco and the jeweler's job he held before shipping off for the war.

In 1948 he married Lilly DeBurle. The pair had two children and were married 25 years before divorcing. In 1974, he married Lorraine Goodman.

Lichtman bought the jewelry business and renamed it Paul Lichtman Jewelry Manufacturing in 1972, providing repairs and custom creations.

After the San Francisco 49ers won a Super Bowl, Lichtman was asked by the organization to make a replica championship ring for the head of the grounds crew, Christensen said.

"My father was really a craftsman, really just was fantastic," said his daughter, Helen Grossman of Lynwood, Wash. "He was an artist."

Lichtman continued to work in the Bay Area even after he and Lorraine moved to Cotati in 1990. He commuted by bus each day until his retirement in 1991.

Lichtman was active in several veterans groups and Jewish organizations. He was past president of Temple B'nai Israel in Daly City.

He also was active with the Saucy Squares Dancing group in Sebastopol, but didn't limit himself to just one style of dance, his daughter said.

"He was a fantastic dancer. Oh, my dad could dance," Grossman said. "When he took me in his arms at my wedding, I felt like a princess."

In addition to Grossman and Christensen, Lichtman is survived by his wife of 37 years, Lorraine Lichtman of Santa Rosa, son Barry Lichtman of Seattle, stepson Erick Lurie of Clackamas, Ore., and six grandchildren.

Graveside services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at Eternal Home Cemetery, 1051 El Camino Real, Colma. A memorial service in Santa Rosa will be scheduled at a later date.

Donations may be made to a charity of choice.

(From the June 17 2011 Santa Rosa Press Democrat, website here.

Paul Lichtman, of Santa Rosa, CA, passed on June 16, 2011 at the age of 90. Beloved husband of Lorraine for 37 years; loving father of Helen Grossman (Carl), Barry Lichtman (Genelle), Erick Lurie (Marion) and Marcie Christensen (James); adoring grandfather of Benjamin Wnuk, Josha Wnuk (Danica), Miriam Wnuk, Reeve Lichtman, Sira Lichtman and Dustin Lurie; uncle to many nieces and nephews. Paul was a member of the Jewish War Veterans Post #152, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #3237, and American Legion Post #266. He was past Noble Grand Odd Fellows Bay City Lodge #71 and associate member of Odd Fellows #53, Santa Rosa. Paul was past President of Temple B'nai Israel and a member of the Contra Costa Hills Hiking Club and the Saucy Squares Square Dancing of Sebastopol. Paul proudly served in the US Army and US Army Air Force during World War II after being forced to leave Vienna, Austria, his birth place, in 1938. He was a jewelry manufacturer in San Francisco for over 65 years. Paul loved photography and was seldom seen without his camera. Paul loved to dance and never missed a step. Graveside services will be held on Monday June 20, 2011 at 11:00 a.m., at Eternal Home Cemetery, 1051 El Camino Real, Colma, CA. Memorial service to be held in Santa Rosa at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of your choice. SINAI MEMORIAL CHAPEL 415-921-3636 (Published on

Paul Lichtman in 2006 translated and published his fathers story of being detained by the Nazis on November 10, 1938, Kristalnacht and released 10 days later. This was the onset of the Holocaust and the story of how Moritz escaped Austria. Moritz wrote this story long hand in 1948. It was hidden in the back of another book and discovered in 1974.
Diary of Moritz Lichtmann

First cousin of William Sparr (1914-2001)

Family Members





  • Created by: Chris Mills
  • Added: 24 Jun 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 71929518
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Paul Lichtman (16 Apr 1921–16 Jun 2011), Find A Grave Memorial no. 71929518, citing Eternal Home Cemetery, Colma, San Mateo County, California, USA ; Maintained by Chris Mills (contributor 46897617) .