Dr. Julius G. Mendel was born on August 17, 1931 to a Jewish family in Germany. His father, Dr. Herbert Mendel, served in the German military during WWI and later became a doctor. Herbert ran a successful medical practice, where Julius’ mother Ilse worked as a laboratory technician. In October 1938, Herbert was forced to close the practice and the family fled to Cuba a month later. The Mendels spent two years in Cuba and immigrated to the United States in 1940. Julius went on to become a psychiatrist and has donated over twenty objects to the Museum related to his family’s experiences in WWI and their escape from the Nazis.