Ernest Lowe (original family name Löwy) was born in 1917 at his grandparents’ home in the village of VoleniceBohemia. He grew up and attended school in Vienna, where his father managed a lumber business.

He was studying engineering at the Technical University in Vienna, when conditions for Jewish residents became increasingly difficult and he was forced to leave school. Following the Kristallnacht riots, his family decided to leave for the United States. They were able to secure visas through the assistance of relatives in the US and escaped shortly before the borders closed to emigration. The rest of their extended family who remained in Europe were killed during the Holocaust.

Ernest, along with his parents and sister, settled initially in New York, where Ernest worked for an electronics firm making radios for the military. During that time, he met and married Valerie Ernei, a Jewish refugee from Slovakia who had survived the war in hiding and lost most of her family during the Holocaust.

In 1943, Ernest was inducted into the US Army. He served in a field artillery unit in Europe under famed General George Patton, and was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge near the end of the war. Shortly after being discharged at the end of the war in 1945, he was recruited to work as a translator and investigator for the prosecution in the second round of the Nuremberg war crimes trials. That was based on his European background and his fluency in several languages.

When his work in Nuremberg concluded in 1948, Ernest was recruited by the US Army Counterintelligence Corps to work in the post-war occupation of Austria. His first assignment was in Braunau, where he was part of a unit that interrogated refugees, former military officers, and others who had information of military value. The unit later relocated to the US Army base in Linz, and then disbanded at the end of the occupation in 1955. During those years, his two sons were born.

Ernest transferred to an intelligence position at US Air Force Europe Headquarters in Wiesbaden, Germany. During the height of the Cold War, his unit briefly transferred to the Air Force base in Ramstein and then back to Wiesbaden. In 1961, wishing to have his children grow up in the United States, Ernest transferred to an Air Force intelligence unit at a base near Boston, Massachusetts, where he analyzed technical information of military value from foreign sources. Finally, near the end of his career, he was assigned to work with the Boeing Aircraft Company on the development of a military surveillance aircraft known as AWACS.

After retiring, Ernest and his wife lived in Southern California until his death in 1987.