Julian Bussgang b. 1925
Julian Bussgang was born in Lwow, Poland in 1925. His parents were financially well to do and were able to pave the way for his whole family to get out of Poland as soon as they realized the looming threat to their family. In Poland, Julian’s family belonged to the “Great Synagogue,” which at the time was considered Progressive. His parents always stressed education when he was a boy. He had to go to private school because he started school a year earlier than he was supposed to. In 1938 he became a Bar Mitzvah in Lwow, Poland.
In 1939 Julian’s parents made the decision to pack up and leave Poland. They used their savings and decided that instead of going toward Russia they would go South towards Romania. In Romania Julian continued to take classes at a French Boys school. His French was less than average but he traded other kids help for his expertise in Math. Later in 1940, there were enough Polish immigrants in Romania that they opened up a school for the Polish kids. He then transferred to that school. While in Romania his parents frequently visited the consulates in hopes of getting visas to any country that was safer than Romania because it began to fall under the Nazi rule. Julian’s father still had four bars of gold with him, so he convinced the British Mandate of Palestine that he was a capitalist instead of a refugee. This worked and they were granted capitalist visas. On March 20,1940 Julian Bussgang’s family boarded a train that would take them to a boat which took them to Haifa.
They arrived in Haifa on March 25 which was a day before Julian’s 15th Birthday. The British Government was giving small stipends for Polish refugee families. Shortly after Julian Bussgang turned 18 he enlisted in the Army. On August 10, 1943 he was inducted into the Polish Second Corps known as, “Anders’ Army” due to the General’s last name. This became part of the British Eighth Army. He learned to drive an armored tank before he learned to drive a car.
His unit landed in Italy in 1944 where he fought in the battle of Monte Cassino. Because Julian was one of the few Polish Officers that spoke English he was very helpful to the British. Right after the war, he was sent to Northern Italy to help British soldiers sort concentration camp victims who had been liberated. It was here that he saw the horrors that his parents had saved him and his sister from had they stayed in Poland or Romania any longer.
After the war, he stayed in Italy to pursue engineering studies. In 1946 he transferred to finish his B.Sc. studies at the University of London where he reconnected with his Parents who had moved there. Once in London the Bussgang family had to wait until 1949 for their visas to the United States of America to be approved. After they got their visas, they left for New York.
Once in America, Julian went to MIT where he worked in the cafeteria in exchange for food. For his master’s thesis he discovered the “Bussgang Theorem,” which helps with signal processing. He then received his PhD from Harvard in 1955.
In 1960 Julian married Fay Vogel. In 1966 Julian started Signatron, Inc. in Lexington. He retired in 1987.
His first trip back to his hometown of Lwow was in 1989 when he brought his wife and three children to Poland and to Lwow, now in Ukraine.
In 2009 Julian and Fay moved to NewBridge on the Charles in Dedham, MA. They joined TBE because it was close and two of their children belonged there.
Julian’s two messages to the generations to come are:
“Study hard – and never give up.”