CRANFORD, NJ - Kurt Steiner, 107, of Cranford, passed away on Saturday, November 23, 2019 at Overlook Hospital in Summit.
A service will be held on Monday, November 25, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at B'nai Abraham Memorial Park, 2600 Route 22 East, in Union, NJ. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Cafe Europa programs of Jewish Family Service of Central NJ 655 Westfield Avenue Elizabeth, NJ O7028.
Kurt was born on April 25, 1912. His mother, Emma, died twelve weeks after his birth. Kurt and his half-sister, Geraldine, were raised by his father and step-mother.
He and his late wife, Nora, were survivors of the Holocaust. They moved from Vienna to New Jersey about one year after Hitler invaded their home city. After finishing high school, he worked in a factory and later took over his father’s sales position. He held that job for one year before he was forced to give up his job by the Nazis. Kurt, his father and his wife, Nora, were forced to give up their jobs, their home and their bank accounts under Hitler’s regime.
The couple took a train from Vienna to Liverpool and boarded a ship to Newark on May 12, 1939, 14 months after the Nazis entered Vienna. Upon arrival in Newark, Nora’s uncle and cousin were waiting for the Steiners at the dock. They brought them to their apartment, where the couple looked for work. Kurt began working in a box factory for 25 cents per hour. Nora wrote letters for people who could not write in English.
Kurt learned that his father was killed at the end of the war, when the Russian army set out to liberate the camp. The Nazis increased their mass killings and destroyed all records for people in the camp.
Kurt was forced to go into war production and eventually became a full-fledged toolmaker. He was later promoted to supervisor for two production departments, a position he held for more than 15 years. Nora worked as a bookkeeper.
After the war ended, they decided to try for a baby, but struggled with infertility. Although Nora became pregnant in 1947, the same year they moved to their first house in Clifton, she miscarried in her third month of pregnancy.
They got in touch with a Jewish agency in New York and they started to investigate adoption. They wouldn’t give them a baby because they were too old at 40-years-old, but were given a child. The Steiners adopted their son Joe. A few years later, in December 1953, the family moved to Cranford. Kurt remained in that home till his dying day.
Kurt leaves his son Joseph (and Pam) Steiner of Summit, NJ, grandson Bryan Steiner and great grandson Donavan Steiner. He is predeceased by his wife, Nora, who passed away in 1999; his half-sister, Geraldine, who died at the age of 102 in 2018; and Kurt's grandaughter Karen, died at age 47 in February 2018.
He was an active member of Temple Beth—El Mekor Chayim and belonged to two Holocaust survivor groups.