Category Archives: 1900 – 1950

Jennie Mehtala Shank Newman and Her Sisters

In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s life could be difficult in Northern Finland. I was told that my grandfather Mehtala made tar, and charcoal from the wood the tar was extracted from. That was a thriving business in Finland; wooden ships built in England needed tar to caulk seams. Finland sent what was needed via a vast network of ... Read More »

George H. Northcott

George H. Northcott was my grandfather. He came to Detroit, Michigan in 1919 from London, Ontario, Canada. He was a mechanical engineer and led a group of engineers who designed and built the London Port Stanley Railroad. He also worked on the great fleet of the ore boats that plied the Great Lakes. (My father was born in Duluth, Minnesota.) ... Read More »

Doris Stoddart McDonald

Doris Stoddart McDonald was born in 1907 in the small town of Colchester, Ontario, just outside of London. Her maternal grandparents were from Devon and her father was the first in his family to emigrate from England to Canada. She always – from the time she was a little girl – wanted to be a nurse. After high school she ... Read More »

Alfred Kuhn

Scroll down for the video story told by Alfred in front of an audience. The women and children were released. When they got home they witnessed a fire in the street in front of their home where locals had piled all the contents from the nearby synagogue and set them aflame. Alfred Kuhn was only four years old when his ... Read More »

Sophie and Eli Katz

The Austro-Hungarian Empire seems like a historic place in a very distant past, but for Irene Abrams, its presence is ingrained in her vivid memory of her beloved grandparents and their journey to America. “My grandfather was a rope maker. He was very tall and strong. My “Zaida” was six feet tall. My “Bubba” was tiny, she was five feet ... Read More »

Herb Neuwalder

After being imprisoned by Nazis in Austria, Herb Neuwalders family was split apart throughout the war. Neuwalder, a Jewish dentist, moved to Italy.  His wife (not Jewish) stayed in Vienna. His son and daughter through Kinder Transport, went to separate foster families in England. Herb  was eventually imprisoned again in an Italian Concentration Camp. The family was reunited in Italy ... Read More »

Rivka Lifschitz – the odyssey

Bob Rosenzweig shared with me the story of his grandma’s harrowing journey from Bobroisk, Russia, to Osaka, Japan, to Seattle, WA, and finally to Detroit, MI. His grandma’s name was Rivka Lifschitz. Rivka was born around 1896 in Russia. Her husband, oldest daughter, and oldest son had gone first from Russia to Detroit, MI in 1911. It was around 1914 ... Read More »

Phillip & Bessie Espar

Bessie and Phillip Espar were born in a small Yiddish town of Olizarka, Russia. They married young and had three children; Meyer, Ruth, and Sadie (the interviewee). Meyer and Ruth were born in Russia and Sadie was born in the U.S. Phillip was known to be spoiled and high-spirited, and was always ready for a fistfight. He was apprenticed by ... Read More »

Lottie Burger

Lottie Burger left Stuttgart, Germany because of anti-semitism in April 1938 at the age of eight with her mother, father, and grandmother. As there was no port in Germany they traveled first to France to depart, where her grandmother took her underground to see the subway for the first time. They arrived in New York on the Queen Mary and ... Read More »

Fritz Weinberg

Fritz Weinberg originally lived in Norden, but moved to Hamburg with his Jewish family, as it was a bigger, safer city to live in. They considered themselves very poor, as they only had two servants, but in fact had enough money to escape later on in life. Fritz had an older brother who was six years older than he, named ... Read More »

Close
loading...