Berg was reared in Brooklyn, New York, where he attended elementary and secondary school. His parents had come to the US from Russia. Berg's father attended trade school and worked as a plumber in New York. Harold came to Louisville to attend the University of Louisville for his pre-medical and medical education. Berg recieved his MD and completed his internship before being drafted in the US Army during World War II. He served in the Pacific Theater as a surgeon and after the war retuened to the US to complete his residency in surgery. Since 1951 he has practiced in Louisville. Berg is also known for his work in mosaics, examples of which were on display at the Jewish Community Center and the School of Medicine at the University of Louisville at the time of the interview.
Tape 1: Berman, a Louisville native, recalls family immigration, reasons for immigration, and European conditions. His parents were Meyer Berman of Covna and Esther Spindler of Grodna, Poland. He discusses associated families such as Goldsmith, Fink, Schuster, Sher Askenaz, Frehling, Mandel, Banshek (St. Louis), Goldberg, Bornstein, Goc, Arthur Kling, Israel and Zehavi Naamani. He describes Louisville merchants in 1912; family life; traditions; the University of Louisville in 1929; Market Street; 4th and Hill Streets; neighborhood stables; Ali Bornstein, builder; Ohio River's importance; Young Men's Hebrew Association; Jewish Hospital; Louis Hebrew School; Jewish Professionals; the Haymarket; Demolay for Boys; Congregations. Tape 2: Discusses Rabbi Zarchy; Rabbi Madlebaum 1940 - as president Kennesseth; World War II; B'nai B'rith; the 1937 flood; shabbat; Four Courts.
Berman discusses how and why his parents came to the United States from Poland; his father's work as a peddler and in other businesses; the early Orthodox Jewish community in Louisville; the effects of the Depression on this father's business; his decision to attend the University of Louisville School of Law, from which he graduated in 1928; his early law practice; and activities in Keneseth Israel congregation. Berman concludes with reflections on changes in the local Jewish community during his memory.
Trudy Briner discusses her life in Austria during the 1920s and 1930s until her departure after Kristallnacht, November 1938. There are numerous descriptions of family life, Vienna society after World War I, and a self-portrait. Information relating to the change in political climate from 1933 to 1938 with the rise of Hitler in Germany and its impact on her and her family is detailed. Subsequently, she discusses her circuitous route to America and ultimately to Louisville. Early occupations in Louisvlle and first impressions of America and Louisville are noted. Finally she mentions her feelings upon returning to Vienna for the first time since 1938. Partial transcript available.
The Diamonds discuss their parents who came to the United States from Latvia; Mrs. Diamond's education at the Louisville Normal School, a two-year teacher's college run by the city; Dr. Diamond's education at the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville School of Medicine; recollections of World War II and its impact on the local Jewish community; anti-Semitism in Louisville; and impressions of the nation of Israel, Zionism, and involvement in the local Zionist movement.
Lydia Haas discusses family and town life in Heibrun, Germany during the 1920s and 1930s. The ramifications of her marriage to a Jewish man are noted at length. Her interaction with members of the Nazi party are detailed as well. Her family's reaction to Hitler are mentioned. Early experiences in Lousiville, including an episode in which the FBI are brought forth. A reunion of Heilbrun emigres is also discussed, and her views on neo-Nazis and the folly of the war are enumerated.
The narrators discuss their parents, Rachel Franel Waldman and Abraham Jacob Waldman. The Waldmans and their four oldest children left Tuckin, Russia, and moved to Louisville, Kentucky, in 1904. Recollections include their businesses at 520 and 500 South Preston Street; the correlation between business and religious life; and the orthodox Jewish community.
Werner Herz details his early childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood in Dusseldorf, Germany. He provides a portrait of his family and a life of culture and the arts. His career aspirations were crushed in 1933, and he notes his turn toward business. He discusses his immigration to the United States with his brothers. One of his brothers was a noted jurist, and the other was Gerhard Herz of the University of Louisville School of Music. His first recollections of America and Louisville are mentioned with much care. An FBI encounter is also noted. He discusses at length his painful return to Germany for a visit and the attitude of the German people to the war. Index available.
Abe Hoffman was born 1906 in Rumania. In 1909, he, his mother and sisters joined his father in Louisville. His father worked in a clothing factory, and opened grocery with the help of his synagogue. Hoffman discusses education, his bar mitzvah, courtship, marriage, and his wife, Yetta Berman Hoffman. Yetta Hoffman was a native of Louisville, born in 1907. Her father was Harry Berman. She discusses school, her class at Girls High, entertainment, transportation, their grocery store, and the prices in 1929. Opened first Kosher meat market, 1945. Associated people and families: Brownstein family, Feitleson, Sol Weinberg, Gertie Fox, Libby Berman, Stanley Goldverg, Milton Berman.