Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date



Copyright Steve Hochstadt. This transcript is provided for individual research purposes only; for all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: Steve Hochstadt, c/o The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College, 70 Campus Avenue, Lewiston, Maine 04240-6018.

Scope and Content Note

Les Salter was born as Ludwig Salzer on December 31, 1920, in Vienna. His family had a transportation company which was hurt by the Depression. Salter studied at the government school for textiles. After the Anschluß in March 1938, Salter was fired from his job. His father was sent to Dachau in the wake of Kristallnacht. After he was released he constructed containers, called Lifts, for people to ship their belongings overseas. Salter sought in vain to get a visa to leave the country, but was able to get a ticket to Shanghai. He left Vienna for Trieste in February 1939, and sailed on the “Conte Rosso” of the Lloyd Triestino line.

In Shanghai, Salter earned money through his knowledge of textile manufacture, and also worked at one of the Heime. He joined the Boy Scouts. After 1945, he worked for the US Army as a “coolie pusher”, and did some driving. He flew to Australia, and eventually settled in Bremerton, Washington. He died in 2004.