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Bohdan Oppenheim

Bohdan Oppenheim
 

Bohdan Oppenheim’s father was a professor of physics at the Rzeszów University of Technology and fought in the Warsaw Uprising. His mother had a PhD degree in architecture. Bohdan’s foster father, Wiktor Oppenheim, came from a wealthy merchant family from Warsaw.

Bohdan Oppenheim fell into conflict with the authorities after actively participating in the events of March 1968. When he was thrown out of the ROTC, which resulted in him being expelled from the Warsaw University of Technology and being forcibly inducted into the military, the Oppenheim family decided to emigrate. Thanks to the bureaucratic mess that was the Polish People’s Republic, they managed to obtain a travel permit to Yugoslavia with a return trip through Italy. From there, they made their way to Austria, and, via the Emigration Department there, to the USA. In the States, Bohdan’s uncle and his wife, Witold and Hanna Sylwestrowicz, took care of the Oppenheim family, enabling Bohdan to continue his studies.

Bohdan Oppenheim is a professor of systems engineering at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and a manager at an Industrial Assessment Center of the U.S. Department of Energy. He is based in Santa Monica, CA. He inherited a collection of Polish modern art – The Sylwestrowicz and Oppenheim Collection of Modern Polish Art, started by his uncles.


He was interviewed by Edi Pyrek in Santa Monica in 2011.



interview excerpts
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Resistance and repression
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The entire world in one car
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Starting out in America
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Emigration then
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Emigration now
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What drives the ambition
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“Paris Culture” in America
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The Urbanowicz house in Bernardsville
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