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Jewish Heritage: The Oral Histories - Cuba Family Archives


                               EVELYN PLATSCHEK


                                RUTH EINSTEIN


Carlos Platschek was born Karl Gustav Platschek in Berlin. He changed his named to Carlos after moving to Atlanta. His father, Max Platschek, managed a department store in Berlin and earned a relatively comfortable living for his family. As a student, Carlos first attended the German National School, then the independent, Jewish Kaliski School after the Nazis barred jews from public schools. 

Carlos’ family escaped Nazi Germany when he was only nine years old, narrowly avoiding the violence of Kristallnacht. His maternal grandfather, Julius Rotholz, had been active in German nationalist politics before Hitler came to power. A member of the Gestapo gave Carlos’ family an anonymous tip that his father was to be arrested. The Platschek family then fled the country, eventually settling in Montevideo, Uruguay.

An international Jewish organization called The Joint helped the Platscheks settle into the tight-knit Jewish community that thrived in Montevideo. Carlos’ parents opened a business that sold textiles and ready-made clothing for women.

As a teenager, Carlos attended a catholic school and briefly served in the Uruguayan army. He also joined the Zionist youth movement, Maccabi Hatzair. In 1967, he attempted to make the Aliyah­—immigration to Israel—but the Israeli government declined his application.

As a young man, Carlos embarked on a successful career as a textiles engineer. His employer in Montevideo, Sudamtex, paid for him to attend North Carolina State University. He met his wife, Evelyn, in Uruguay and they married in 1968. They have one son, Daniel. Carlos worked mostly in Uruguay and Venezuela, but he also travelled—in a professional capacity—to Taiwan, and Indonesia. In 1990, Carlos and Evelyn moved to Atlanta.

Scope of Interview

Carlos discusses his family background, his father’s birth in East Prussia, as well as his childhood in Berlin. Carlos discusses his maternal grandfather, Julius Rotholz. He desribes his experience of escaping Germany on the eve of Kristallnacht, as well as his experience travelling through the Netherlands. He also discusses the members of his extended family who died in the Holocaust.

Carlos extensively discusses his life in Uruguay, his family’s business, the local Jewish community, his education, and leisure activities as a child. Carlos discusses his involvement with Zionist organizations and activities. Carlos discusses his career in textiles in Uruguay and Latin America, and his education in the United States. He also discusses his experience meeting his wife. Carlos discusses his moving to the United States. 

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