Hugo Modlinger – Memories

My father in law, Dr Hugo Modlinger was a resident at Kitchener Camp. He was living with his wife, Celia, in Vienna, at the time of the Anschluss. My mother-in-law received a number for visa for transit to the USA. She and her family were formerly residents of Odessa, Russia, and they were considered Russian nationals. My father-in-law came to Vienna from Poland when he was six years of age, and he was considered a Polish national. I have a letter from the US State Department to my father-in-law stating that he will never be permitted to enter the US because there are thousands of Poles trying to get US visas. My mother-in-law and her family emigrated to the US and my father-in-law was still seeking a place of rescue.  

As is common, my in-laws rarely spoke about Europe. They did say that my in-laws were separated and my father-in-law was at a camp in Sandwich, England, for six months before he was able to get a visa from the US. I have a letter written in Hebrew by an attorney to someone in Palestine, trying to arrange transport for my father-in-law to Palestine, apparently to no avail.  

Doing research on the internet and from some sources I found on this website, I learned how my father-in-law arrived in England, thanks to the Council of Jews. My father-in-law apparently traveled to Camp Kitchener with his cousin, Leopold Modlinger, whose name is on your registry. Hugo Modlinger’s name is not on the 1939 Registry.

It seems my father-in-law worked tirelessly to get a US visa during his time at Kitchener. I am sure it was only because he was a physician that he was allowed to emigrate. He had to send recommendations from his professors in Vienna, report cards from school, recommendations from the hospital he trained at in Vienna, his medical school diploma. He also needed a sponsor in the US and this was problematic  because his relatives in the US did not earn enough money and they were declined as sponsors. A cousin in NY arranged for the owner of the factory he worked at to sponsor Hugo, and this person was accepted as a sponsor.

Hugo had to do training at a hospital in Brooklyn to get his license. He and settled in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and later bought a house in East Flatbush. They had three sons, who all became doctors. Celia and Hugo are both deceased, as is their youngest son. They are survived by two sons and ten grandchildren.

Hugo’s cousin, Leopold, married in England and had two children – a son and daughter. Leopold had a beauty salon.

I have photos of  Hugo at Camp Kitchener, which I will send to this site. I am very grateful for this website, which has been so helpful in informing my family about the circumstances of Hugo before coming to the USA.

Kindly submitted by April Modlinger for Hugo Modlinger