I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on June 15, 1916. My father, an electrical engineer, had come to the United States in 1903 after earning his engineering diploma at the Technische Hochschule of Darmstadt, Germany. He was an inventor and designer of electrical control gear, later also a patent attorney. An active leader in professional and civic affairs, he received an honorary doctorate from Marquette University for his many activities in the community. My mother, an accomplished pianist, was a third generation American, her forebears having been '48ers who immigrated from Prague and Köln. Among my European ancestors were piano builders, goldsmiths, and vintners but to the best of my knowledge, no professionals of any kind. The Merkels in Köln were Lutherans, the Goldschmidts in Prague and the Simons in Ebersheim, Jews.
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