Goldfinger, Peter (2 of 33) National Life Story Collection: Architects' Lives

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  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, London and the British Library

  • Interviewees

    Goldfinger, Peter, 1933- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Courtney, Cathy (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 2: Children didn’t talk much to UB until after EG died, tended to see them together. Paris days were highlight of UB’s life. UB and EG married in Paris. Blackwell family disapproved of UB marrying an Hungarian with a Jewish name. EG broke down their prejudices, his ideal was to be an English gentleman, dressed as one, saw England as great liberal power.PG’s memories of staying with EG’s parents in Brussels after the war. EG’s brothers professors of physical chemistry, one in Brussels, one in USA. PG still has cousin in Brussels. EG’s father, Oscar Goldfinger [OG], mother, Regine [RG]. OG died in Brussels approx late 1950s. RG came to live with EG and UB in Hampstead. OG was trained as a lawyer, became a businessman. OG born in southern Poland, part of Austro-Hungarian Empire. RG came from Transylvania, probably met OG in Budapest. EG eldest of the three sons. RG’s family had forests in Transylvania and OG built up business there, details. EG’s youngest brother went to US with his wife when war broke out. OG and RG survived war and went to Switzerland and then Belgium. Grandfather and EG had Polish passports and after marriage, UB took on Polish nationality. EG’s efforts to become naturalised British, through political contacts and family connections, unsuccessful until 1947 so during war EG and UB considered aliens, details. EG worked for Army Bureau of Current Affairs making posters (now in cinema area of Willow Road). RG lived until age 101. Memories of PG’s grandparents’ flat in Brussels. EG and his brothers despised religion. EG’s brother, Paul, worked for the Resistance making explosives during the war, was given Belgian Legion d’Honur after war. George, EG’s brother who lived in USA, worked at Buffalo University as well as in industry, involved with optical analysis of colours for cotton industry.. Widow lives in North Carolina. Paul Goldfinger was Professor at University of Brussels. Both were educated at German universities. PG went to live in New York in 1962, saw a lot of GG and his wife, who lived in New Haven.Memories of PG’s grandparents’ homes in Brussels. EG and brother designed and built house divided into flats for brother and his wife and for RG. RG bought elaborate Austro-Hungarian furniture to Willow Road when she came to live there. Father’s schooling at expensive Swiss school. EG thought his children’s life should be completely English and did not emphasise his own upbringing. EG believed ‘you had to have it in your guts’ to be an architect. EG’s sense of duty towards RG as the eldest son. RG became a good cook despite fact that had previously had cooks

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