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John Subak-Sharpe

Arrived in Britain:
Place of Birth:
12 January 1939
Interview number:


Dr Anthony Grenville

Date of Interview:

Interview Summary:

John Subak-Sharpe (née Herbert Subak) was born in Vienna in 1924. His father was a civil engineer. His education was interrupted at 14 when he came with his younger brother Gerhard (Gerald) on the Kindertransport to a wealthy Jewish family in London, who left him to work under very poor conditions as an agricultural labourer.


In 1944 John volunteered for the Parachute Regiment and served in Palestine. He experienced some anti-Jewish resentment after the unit had been in Palestine. He was demobbed in 1947, and later studied and started a sucessful career as a geneticist and virologist. He was married and had three children 


Full Interview


What I would say is you have to be true to yourself. You must keep your own self-respect. That means also you have to work hard and you don’t do unto any other people what you would not want to have done to you. At the same time, let them respect you for what you are and not for what they believe that you might be.

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