“I wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for your planes.”
Rudolf Grossmann was born on the 25th of June, 1924 as the second child of a Jewish family in Žilina. His father had a shop that sold fashion wear while his mother kept the home. Rudolf attended a Jewish folk school and then a grammar school, from which he was expelled in 1939 for being Jewish. His older sister Aliza (1920-1993) moved to Palestine in 1938, where she studied at the Hebrew University and later found employment. His father died in summer 1943. After his death in autumn 1943 and until the end of the war, Rudolf and his mother hid in Slovakia to avoid deportation, they were liberated in Nitra in May 1945. After the war, Rudolf and his mother returned to Žilina. Rudolf passed his graduation exam, and in autumn 1945 he began studying civil engineering at the Czech Technical University in Prague. He discontinued his studies after two years because he planned to move to Israel. In 1947, he began his compulsory military service, in February 1948 he volunteered into the Israeli army, the Haganah. He underwent training as an aircraft mechanic at the Military Vocational School of Aircraft Mechanics in Liberec, and in April 1949, he legally immigrated to Israel. He was demobilised in August 1950 and later that year he married. He took part in the wars of 1956 and 1973 as an aircraft mechanic. He worked as a technician at Mekorot, which builds waterworks; in 1961-1964, he worked in Nigeria and later in Niger. After returning to Israel, he worked as a technician where he started his own company in 1985. Rudolf Grossmann is retired and lives with his wife in Kfar Shmaryahu, Israel near Tel Aviv.