Ernest Heppner

Born in Breslau (now Wrocław, Poland) to matzo factory owner Isidor Heppner and Hilde Heppner, Ernest G. Heppner (1921-2004) fled Germany in February 1939 with his mother to Shanghai, China, while Heppner’s father and sister Else stayed behind and were later murdered in the Holocaust. Heppner’s brother Henry (Heinz) escaped to England with his wife and son. Ernest Heppner joined the Shanghai Volunteer Corps and his mother became a social worker for the Committee for the Assistance of European Jewish Refugees. Heppner married Ilse-Lore (“Illo”) Koratkowski in 1945 in Shanghai and both worked for the US Army Advisory Group in Shanghai and Nanking.

They immigrated to the United States in 1947 and settled in Indiana where Heppner worked for Monroe-Litton Corp. as a systems manager, and for RANAC Computer Corp. as Vice President and General Manager until his retirement in 1986. The author of Shanghai Refuge: A Memoir of the World War II Jewish Ghetto, Heppner received in 1997 the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Indiana University. A documentary, “Victory Heppner”, describing his life has been televised on PBS.

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