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Richard Schifter

»From 1942 onward I was greatly concerned as to whether I would ever see my parents again. I recall it when I entered the army we were all being urged to take up life insurance policies for the benefit of relatives. And I said, I remember, that I don’t have any close relatives.
On my dog tags I decided I was gonna keep the H. And I just said to myself, all right, this is the risk I take.«


Born 1923 in Vienna, Richard Schifter was the only member of his family who was able to emigrate to the United States. His parents were put on a waiting list. At the age of 15 he arrives in the U.S. After college he joins the army in 1943, in Camp Ritchie he is trained as an IPW – interrogator of prisoners of war.

Richard Schifter is assigned to the same special unit as the Ritchie Boy Morris Parloff and lands in France in summer 1944. Their task is to gather important documents and to arrest people who fall into certain arrest categories. During the Battle of the Bulge he and his team stay in Aachen and interrogate the entire civilian population, producing the first study of daily life in the Third Reich.

After Germany’s capitulation Richard serves with the Military Government as a civilian until his return to the U.S. in 1948. His search for his parents proved unsuccessful – they did not survive. He studies law and works as a lawyer, later he works for the U.S. State Department and the National Security Council and is appointed U.N. Ambassador and Deputy U.S. Representative of the United States in the UN Security Council. Today he lives in Bethesda near Washington.