Oral history of British science
Land, Frank (2 of 18). An Oral History of British Science.
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Land, Fred Frank, 1928- (speaker, male)
Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)
Part 2: Comments on father: private in army in First World War until invalided out; built up a car lift manufacturing business; apprentice in London; Anglophile, gave son's English names of Fred Frank and Ralph Richard [RL]; interned on Isle of Man in World War 2. Remarks on mother: strong, started a hat and dolls' dress business. Remarks on parent's dolls' dress business, the East Surrey Engineering Company. Comparison of creative mother and business minded father, parents named Louis Landsburger, Zocha Wineburger. [04:45] Remarks on mother's family background in Austro-Hungary, brother who became a lawyer. Remarks on father being a good man. Further remarks on mother: bourgeois communist, artist, student at Art Institute in Camden Town in her 90s, well matched to father. Remarks on large extended family, maternal grandparent's death in Theresienstadt, uncle who died shortly after war's end in a labour camp, lawyer uncle who was imprisoned in Dachau pre-war but survived. [09:50] Remarks on Jewish school in Germany, first day at school. Remarks on earliest memory of watching Hitler in a parade on the Kurfürstendamm with their nanny. Remarks on other early memories: childhood home in a large apartment; sale of their property before emigrating. [13:20] Remarks on mother studying art at Vienna; previous marriage between his parents' families; father's first world war experiences and uncle Kurt's service as a decorated balloonist; a massive receipt from hyperinflation. [17:13] Remarks on father: gentle, loving father, fairly big business, loved England; camp cook in internment. [21:08] Remarks on grandparents, father's family origins in East Prussia, assimilated Jews, grandfather rode with Kaiser, father. Remarks on parents siblings: father one of seven; mother's brother, a distinguished lawyer; saw family quite often as children. [26:30] Description of childhood home in Berlin: apartment, large furniture, near the Funkturm, large garden nearby. Story about a childhood accident while playing. [29:14] Remarks on close relationship with twin brother: went to same University, both worked at Lyons; married differently; currently involved with a twin study for St Thomas Hospital; thinking in similar ways, with a story about an answer phone misunderstanding; well know as twins at LSE. [36:15] Remarks on childhood entertainments. Remarks on public garden on Potsdamer Platz becoming segregated, having to append Isaac to his name. [38:11] Remarks on family being agnostic, but having a Jewish consciousness and occasionally attending Synagogue. Story about evacuation knocking religion out them by having to attend Jewish Saturday and Christian Sunday schools. [40:40] Remarks on foster home having a best room. Remarks on being middle class in Germany, becoming more socially conscious in England. Remarks on politics: left wing; mother's emotional attachment to Zionism and Communism; father more conservative, 'Daily Telegraph' reader. [45:09] Comments on parents seeing themselves as role models, mother keen on education. Comments on education: blossoming at grammar school, developing interest in anthropology, mixed quality of teaching, science emphasis of school, favourite subject history, ideas about career in business or civil service. [49:56] Remarks on starting PhD on Egyptian Sterling Balances. Comparisons of school in Germany and Britain, school near Kilburn slums. Remarks on teacher, distinctions between middle and lower class children, evacuation, long distance cycling.
Interview with computer programmer and information systems theorist Frank Land.