Walter Loebenberg was born in Wachterbacht, Germany. There his parents owned a paint manufacturing company. He had one sister.
When his family’s business deteriorated in the early 1930s due to rising antisemitism, they moved to Frankfurt in 1936. At age 14, Walter became an apprentice in a bakery.
On November 9, 1938, he arrived at the bakery for work, only to find it demolished. He was later arrested and brought by the police to the town-square where many Jews were being deported. He was fortunately released the following day.
His family immediately made plans to leave Germany and had booked passage on the fated ship, the St. Louis. In 1939 he reached Ellis Island and remained there for four months. Walter was drafted in the United States Army and became a U.S. citizen.