The reason for the interest in Mr. Solow's personal life has to do with recurring questions that those on a spiritual path struggle with, such as:
- What kind of a person can have a spiritual experience?
- What is necessary? Are many years of spiritual discipline required?
- Why do some people yearn for a profound experience but remain unsatisfied, while others receive illumination seemingly "by grace" without rhyme or reason?
- Is there hope for me at death if I do not experience my essence during my life?
We will have to let the reader decide in this case. No conclusion is ventured about Victor Solow as there is no mention in the information gleaned so far with regard to his possible spiritual aspirations. He obviously had an active professional and personal life and was certainly not living like a monk in seclusion. But it can be inferred that because of the traumas suffered by his family members in wartime Germany [blog post below], his immigration to the US in 1939 at the age of 18, and his wartime service in Burma as a photographer that Victor had no ordinary life and was acquainted with its transitory nature, having observed the death that surrounded him before and during the war.
Mr. Solow had the death/after-death experience (March 25, 1974) recounted in the newspaper articles at the age of 56. He passed away at the age of 59 according to his obituary, dated January 1977. A family blog post (1st post) about Victor and his father (2nd post) gives his date of birth of October 6th, 1917, confirming the age given in the obit. The family blog say Victor immigrated to the US in 1935 at the age of 18, additional confirmation.
We are specially interested in any information regarding Mr. Solow's spiritual life. It is known is that he was Jewish, the consequences of which led to persecution of his family members in Europe and his subsequent immigration to the US. Please contact us if you have information of this nature.
Obituary, NY Times, January 16, 1977
Source: NY Times Archives
Victor D. Solow, a documentary film maker who headed his own concern, Solo Productions, before becoming associated with Francis Thompson Inc. in New York City, died Sunday morning after a heart attack in his home, 525 Cortlandt Avenue, Mamaroneck, N. Y. He was 59 years old.
Mr. Solow was executive producer of "American Moments," a Bicentennial film made for the City of Philadelphia. His film "Less Is More," made for Duracell Products Company of Tarrytown, won a bronze medal at the 1974 International Film and Television Festival of New York,
During World War II, he made films while serving with the Army Signal Corps. He was cited for bravery while making documentaries in China.
Mr. Solow is survived by his wife, the former Lucy Lauro two daughters, Eva Martin and Laura Solow, and a brother, Anatole.
Solow Family Blog Post
Victor Solow as a young man
Other details of Mr. Solow's life appear in a family blog post, with detailed family information and many photos including this one. A paragraph reproduced below ties him to the other articles. In the family blog post there is no mention of the "after-death" experience or the Readers' Digest article. The family says Victor died in 1976, although the NY Times obit dated Sunday, Jan. 16, 1977 says he died the previous Sunday.
Extracted from "Victor and Lucy Solow", posted September 8, 2018, at blogspot.com:
"When he arrived in the U.S.,  Victor enlisted,  seeking to return to Germany to fight the Nazis. Because he was a German national, the Army sent him instead to China to work in the Signal Corps. There, he discovered a love of photography. He became a documentary and television commercial director, cinematographer and producer. ... Victor worked in the industry in New York until his death from heart failure at age 59."
[1. Date of enlistment not given.]
Victor's father was Natan Soloweychik, who died in misery in Warsaw's ghetto under Nazi occupation as detailed in a related Family Blog Post. The post contains this information about Victor and his father:
Natan and Dora [Victor's parents] lived in Warsaw with Anatole [Victor's brother] and escaped to Russia when the first World War started. Natan extended his business and they lived in Moscow in luxury. Natan traveled a great deal on business. Dora spent most of her summers abroad with Tolya and Natan's niece Janka and her husband, Misch.
Vitya David (Victor) was born in Moscow on October 6th, 1917, with the first signs of the Russian revolution. The family emigrated to Berlin, where they lived in a lovely townhouse, which was later confiscated by the Germans.
In the years preceding the war, the family dispersed. Anatole left for England in XX [apparently a date placeholder] to pursue a master's degree, emigrating to the U.S. in 1939. Eighteen-year-old Victor was sent by his mother to the U.S. in 1935 to live with his uncle Naftal in New York City until he could make his own way. In 1938, Dora left Berlin through France, and once she gained safe passage for herself, in 1942, Dora followed her boys to the U.S.
By some quirk of fate, Natan was cut off from his family and caught by the Nazis and ended his life in utter poverty and hunger of cancer in Warsaw's ghetto.
In the article Brought Back to Life the following quote appears:
In a tape-recorded story he calls his "Death and Resurrection" Solow has related in his own words his strange experience. The story was published in a four-part series by the 10-member Westchester Rockland Newspapers group. *
In The Human Encounter with Death by Joan Halifax and Stanislav Grof, 1977, page 150, the authors mention Victor Solow in passing, and say he gained significant public exposure on the Walter Cronkite Show.
'Beyond and Back' documentary (1977)
Mr. Solow talks about his death experience in a documentary film narrated by Raymond Burr, released in 1977 as announced below. A copy of the film could not be located.
[Not to be confused with a documentary of the same title (1978) narrated by Brad Crandall. Images that can be found on Ebay, and a video on Youtube, are for the Crandall film and not this one. There is also a TV series by this name, also unrelated.]
Announcement of the initial showing follows:
'Beyond and Back' explores topic of life after death
Alamogordo Daily News (Alamogordo, New Mexico)
10 Aug 1977, Wed, Page 6
The question of what happens to the individual after death is the subject explored in "Beyond and Back", opening Wednesday at the Sierra Theater for a limited engagement.
In "Beyond and Back" a man who was declared dead for 28 minutes [23 minutes], Victor Solow of New York City, tells in his own words what he experienced during that time. It was, for him, an altogether pleasant experience.
Reincarnation is another topic explored, and other unexplained mysteries include a demonstration of "incredible" displays of psychic powers.
Narrator of the docu-drama is Raymond Burr, who also is a participant in some of the demonstrations by several of the world s leading psychics.
[ work in process ]
Will Make Movie of Kingsport
Kingsport-Times (Kingsport, TN) 29 March 1949
Howard A. Lesner, left, and Victor Solow, of Knickerbocker Productions, Inc., New York City, have been in Kingsport the last three days conducting a survey of the city with a view to making a movie for distribution to the International Information Division of the State Department. The movie will be a part of "The Voice of America."
Victor Solow's filmography at IMDB.Com
Related articles in this section: