1939 World’s Fair Pin

In Attire

In 1939 Lazlo Kohn left Budapest to travel to the 1939 World’s Fair to sell furs and visit his brother, who had changed his name to Joe after immigrating to the States. News was quite censored in Hungary at the time, but when he arrived in the US, Lazlo saw the threat Hitler presented. He rushed back to Hungary. He and his wife, Karolina, tried to convince their families to leave too, but they refused. All of them, including Karolina’s nine siblings, died in 1945 in Aushwitz. Lazlo and Karolina booked their passage on the St Louis. This would be the last boat to leave Germany. The next voyage of the St Louis would become infamous as Roosevelt and other leaders refused to let the refugees in. 

In the end, it was the pull of the World’s Fair that saved my grandparents’ life. 

Place(s): New York. Budapest
Year: 1939

– Jesse Kohn

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant