Holocaust survivor and Temple Emanu-El member Ted Bernstein died April 19 at 90.
Bernstein was born in Wissen, Germany, Oct. 23, 1932, a few months before the Nazis came to power. His parents, Ilsa Gottlieb Bernstein and Walter Bernstein were Orthodox, and his father was politically active.
Ted spent his early years in Hachenburg, and in 1938, his father was arrested by the Nazis, before Kristallnacht on Nov. 9 and 10 when Jews across Germany and Austria were attacked, their businesses destroyed, and synagogues burnt. He was released on condition that he leave Germany, and he joined a cousin in Hamlin, Texas.
Ted and his mother lived through Kristallnacht and were able to acquire U.S. visas and travel tickets. They arrived in New York City in May 1939. Ted and his mother quickly made their way to Texas, and the reunited family settled in Dallas.
Ted’s maternal grandparents were also able to leave Germany before the war broke out. They settled in Dallas near his parents and opened a small diner. His paternal grandparents, unable to flee Germany, were deported to Poland and murdered in Auschwitz.
Ted is survived by his wife Cathy, his children Michael Thornton, Stephanie Thornton, and Jeff Rose, and three grandchildren.