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Born Kurt Schindler in Hamburg in 1919, into a prosperous family who owned a merchant’s business and lived in the affluent suburb of Harvestehude. Family completely non-observant, but Ken and his wife Sonja, a refugee from the Sudetenland, made a point of keeping their Liberal observance and passing it on to their two sons. Family emigrated to London in 1938, Ken joined the Pioneer Corps early in the war. He learnt arc welding, then became an electrical engineer, moving to Birmingham in 1963, successful in his career.