Paul Tenenbaum was born in July 1928 in Luxembourg. He had no siblings and spoke German at home. Paul attended Hebrew classes and belonged to an Orthodox synagogue. He experienced anti-Semitism in his childhood in Luxembourg. Paul recalled the other students calling him a murderer of Chris and was referred to as “a horrible Jew.”
When the Germans entered Luxembourg in 1940, Paul’s life changed completely. New edicts prohibited Jews from owning businesses and attending secular schools. Eventually, all Jews were told to leave Luxembourg. The family relocated themselves to Brussels. After a few months, the family received a postcard telling them they had to report to a work camp in two weeks.
Instead of reporting to the camp, they hid in Paul’s violin teacher’s apartment. The Tenenbaums paid the family’s rent and did not leave the apartment for three and a half years. They had a few close calls, but they were able to stay hidden until liberation in 1944. Paul’s family returned to Luxembourg. They were the only Jews who returned. School resumed and Paul learned English. A business acquaintance of Phil’s father who had taken possession of his business refused to return it to Mr. Tenenbaum.
When the Berlin Wall went up, the Tenenbaums decided to move to the United States. After waiting two years, they immigrated. Paul registered for the Army and went to Korea. After, Paul and his wife moved to Montreal and he became a credit manager. They had two children.