The Schauders

 

The Schauders

Many years ago, in National City, California, just on the edge of where 805 and Sweetwater Road are now; was one of the best egg farms, South Bay Egg Ranch. Fanny, with her beautiful smile, would greet customers selling the freshest eggs, even allowing children to play with the baby chicks. South Bay was growing and was the perfect location for a freeway to be built. Due to this the Schauder family relocated to San Diego, as the government took over their egg ranch by eminent domain. They continued their visits to South Bay to visit and join in on Jewish activities.

After the family lost their egg ranch, they pulled together just enough money to purchase a property in Kearny Mesa. The initial plan was to start a furniture store, just like the one they had in Europe before the Nazis invaded the night of Kristallnacht, November 10, 1938. On that horrific night Markus Schauder, Paul’s father got arrested and sent to jail. Paul was just seven years old. In 1969, Paul and his brother Jack, along with their mother Fanny, decided that it was best to open a liquor store. Numerous members from the Jewish community shopped at this store because of the variety, convenience and friendliness.

Paul and his mother, Fanny, were very gentle, soft-spoken people and his brother, Jack, had a smile that warmed your heart. It is difficult to think that this family suffered so much during the war with all of Fanny’s boys being placed in a children’s orphanage. By August 1943, both Jack and Paul escaped but their middle brother Hermann refused to leave. Hermann was killed in Auschwitz.

Through all this darkness a beam of light by the name of Otto Hoerner arranged for the two brothers to hide in his barn with other Jews. As the war was coming to an end in 1945, the brothers reunited with their mother. In September 1946 the brothers and mother set sail to New York. Paul knew he had found freedom when he laid eyes on the Statue of Liberty.

Paul graduated from San Diego High and he received his accounting degree from San Diego State University. Through a mutual friend, Paul met his bride to be, Joan, and they got married in July 1962.

Joan knew of Paul’s past from hearing stories, but Paul opened up most to his granddaughter, Talia.  Joan and their son Mark mentioned that Paul never wanted to go to Germany again but in 1995 he and his wife returned hoping to find the place where he hid.  He took the old familiar trains and recognized so many things but when it came to finding the place where he hid, he was unsuccessful. He was disappointed that he could not find the place that kept him alive.  Two years later he returned with his family, hoping to show them something that meant so much to him.  He retraced his steps only to discover that there were two fences where there once was only one and at last, he found the property.  He approached the people living there and asked if this was the home of Otto Hoerner. The barn where he and his brother hid was gone but the current residents, knowing its history, had saved a piece of wood from the barn. They wanted Paul to take this memento, which was impossible.

Paul and Joan were blessed with three children along with beautiful grandchildren that continue to keep his legacy alive. His granddaughter, Talia, spent numerous hours interviewing her grandfather as she learned about his past and discovered Paul’s history. Just when Paul and his family thought they had seen the worst of the wars; he and his wife Joan faced their home burning in 2007 in Rancho Bernardo.  As he had built his life from nothing before, he rebuilt the home.

Paul was a kosher vegan and understood the healthy choices that needed to be made when it came to food, perhaps because there was such a lack of it when he was growing up. Cancer took Paul’s life in January 2019. His beautiful wife said that Paul felt very passionate about Israel and education.  He had the philosophy that we need to support the ones who are in need and always give willingly. He made sure that his kids got an education and could stand on their own two feet.  He is blessed that his legacy will continue to be told so that we never forget.

L’Chaim Paul