Browse Interviews

  • Subject is exactly "World War II"
44 total

Barbara Hermes and Erika Wagner interview, 02 December 2020

This interview details the lives of two sisters, Barbara Hermes and Erika Wagner, from their time spent in Niedersachsen, Germany, at the end of World War II to their immigration to the United States in 1954. Their story continues with a transatlantic journey and travels across the American Midwest to Cleveland, where they both live today.

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Ernest Biebel interview, 07 November 2019

Ernest Biebel was born in 1941 in Uivar, Romania, and immigrated to the United States in 1955 to pursue a new life after World War II. In this interview, Biebel discusses his childhood experiences in Europe, his family's move to the U.S., and his life as a native German speaker.

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Thomas Sherman interview, 12 June 2013

Tom Sherman wraps up his World War II Marine career and covers his civilian career of 50 plus years work in the electrical transmission industry during this followup interview.

Thomas Sherman interview, 10 June 2013

Tom Sherman relates his experiences as a Marine paratrooper during World War II. He fought in the battle of Iwo Jima and occupied Japan following the surrender.

Zeta Swaggard interview, 2006

Zeta Swaggard was born in 1914 and migrated to Cleveland from southern Ohio during World War II. She quickly found work in a factory and found a place to live in a rooming house. Swaggard vividly describes riding the streetcars and notes their importance. She describes the atmosphere and the culture of Downtown Cleveland, including the shops, department stores, restaurants, and theatres. Swaggard notes the change in downtown as the department stores moved to the suburbs and they started to…

George Havens interview, 12 August 2011

George Havens was born in 1924 in Cleveland and grew up in East Cleveland. He graduated from Case College, served in World War II and eventually ended up in the advertising business. The University Circle area was integral to his life, which in the 1930s and 1940s was referred to as the 105th Street area. He frequently ate at Wade Park Manor, attended programs at Severance Hall, and even took a dip in Wade Lagoon. The 105th Street area was very active and Havens shares multiple stories of his…

Alexander B. Cook interview, 25 October 2016

Alexander Cook was an editorial cartoonist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He also taught art in Cleveland Public Schools for approximately 25 years. By focusing on his teaching career, he mentions busing desegregation and the noticeable change in students' work ethic and discipline. Cook also makes a distinction between suburban schools and city schools. He served in World War II and describes the experience of being one of the first troops in Japan after the dropping of the atomic bombs.

Beth Hoffman interview, 27 October 2016

Beth Hoffman, a native Clevelander, was born to Hungarian immigrant parents. Her father was a pharmacist and owned two drug stores in the Buckeye and East Boulevard Area. She describes this neighborhood in detail and the Hungarian traditions and culture that was practiced and celebrated. Creative writing, especially poetry writing for elementary students, was a passion of hers. Hoffman became very successful in her profession and eventually earned a PhD. Even at Judson she is still educating…

George Havens interview, 27 October 2016

George Havens grew up in East Cleveland. He wrote a book about living in the area so much of this interview focuses on his childhood. The YMCA, Big Band era music, dancing and dating were important to Havens. He grew up during the Depression era and he explains how his family was affected. He highlights how fads that many thought would be around forever always seemed to fade like talkies, streetcars and Big Band dance music. He served in World War II and had his own advertising firm. Later in…

Allan Peskin interview, 25 October 2016

Allan Peskin describes his early childhood in Cumberland, Maryland, and his family's arrival in Cleveland and eventual settlement in Cleveland Heights. The interview offers a colorful insight into the life of a young Jewish man living in a suburb of Cleveland. Peskin vividly describes growing up in Cleveland Heights. The interview also highlights Peskin's relationship to Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University.

Robert Arnold interview, 25 October 2016

Originally from Massachusetts, Robert Arnold discusses growing up during the Depression. He moved to Cleveland to be closer to his wife's family, who were longtime Clevelanders. Arnold actively served in World War II and explains in detail his involvement in the war. After the war Arnold became involved in the real estate business. He speaks to the integration of Cleveland neighborhoods. He enjoyed being involved in the local government and was elected Mayor of Cleveland Heights.

Ruth V. Thompson interview, 25 October 2016

Ruth Thompson, originally from Pennsylvania, is an avid baseball fan. She discusses how important the Cleveland Indians have been in her life. The evolution of gender roles in the healthcare field and in general are expressed throughout the interview. A proponent of racial diversity, Thompson describes the integration of baseball teams and her neighborhood of Shaker Heights. Thompson describes the advances in healthcare especially in the genital biology field and women's health.

George M. Rose interview, 25 October 2016

George Rose, originally from the Bronx in New York City, explains what it was like to live in a working-class neighborhood growing up. He vividly describes marches on Union Square and unionization. He was drafted in World War II, but he still completed college. He entered the oil industry and worked for decades at Standard Oil of Ohio in the Midland Building. He lived with his family in Shaker Heights. During the interview, the changes he observed in the neighborhood were detailed. Although born…

Robert H. Arnold Interview, 25 March 2014

Robert H. Arnold born in Massachusetts, but made his mark in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Arnold begins his story by discussing his time during World War Two, and he mentions several harrowing experiences he had abroad, and challenging experiences he had once he came back state-side. After his time in the war, Arnold had several offers. He could have studied law at Yale or became part of an executive training program at General Electric, a program that he had begun before the war. instead of these…

Marilyn B. Bialosky Interview, 21 March 2014

Marilyn B. Bialosky, Shaker Heights native, describes her well traveled life. She recalls what it was like growing up during the Great Depression and World War 2. She met her husband at Forest Hills Park, and at 16 years old she knew she was going to marry him. After 65 years of marriage, her feelings for him are still strong. Living in Shaker Heights around Shaker Square, Bialosky describes what it was like growing up with anti-semitism, and then what it was like teaching at Ludlow during…

Dorothy Kuhn Interview, 25 March 2014

Dorothy Kuhn, while not born in Cleveland, has spent nearly fifty years in Cleveland. She was born in Pennsylvania and describes what it was like picking up cans for the war effort during World War 2. She came to Cleveland after stints in California and St. Louis to become a nurse. She got her degree from the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and was immediately hired to be on the faculty of the school. She mentions her husband and how they were active members at Grace Lutheran Church until…

Ursula Korniechouk Interview, 28 March 2014

Ursula Korniechouk, a native of Germany, describes her life in Germany and the experiences she had in Cleveland. Growing up during World War Two had a tremendous affect on Korniechouk. Her father was outspoken against the Hitler regime, and her mother was concerned that he would be apprehended by the authorities. She came to Cleveland because of her husband, and she quickly became acquainted with the racial divide in Cleveland. She was shocked at how people could be so racist in a country that…

Paul Goldman Interview, 20 September 2013

Paul Goldman was the son of immigrants and a Cleveland native. He discusses his life's experiences with regards to World War II, the Great Depression, and growing up in an ethnic neighborhood. He begins by describing that neighborhood and the schools that were available to the kids. He moves into a discussion about his experiences during World War II. He especially focuses on his time working with a medical corps treating transcontinental truckers. He goes back to talking about growing up in an…

Zelda Segal Interview, 25 March 2014

Massachusetts native, Zelda Segal discusses what it was like teaching at Boulevard School in Cleveland Heights for over thirty years. Segal gives a background of her life growing up during the Great Depression and attending college during World War 2. She then gives the reasons why she came to Cleveland; along with teling the story about how she got a master's in education. She worked for the Cleveland Heights school district for thirty years and relates many of those experiences. Integration…

Ivan L. Otto Interview, 18 March 2014

Ivan L. Otto, an immigrant to Cleveland, recalls traveling from Hungary as a refugee after World War Two. He describes the schools he went to throughout his life, and how he befriended an African American in the sixth grade who taught him English. According to Otto, they were two outsiders who stuck together. He mentions the different areas and neighborhoods that he lived in as a Clevelander. He also describes the big cases that he worked on as a lawyer. The biggest being the Doan Brook Dam. As…

Elizabeth Twaddell Interview, 9 July 2013

Elizabeth Twaddell describes her life. She begins by sharing her birthday and home. She then describes moving to Philadelphia due to her father's job. She recalls a story of being in France during the start of World War II and having to come home. Once home, after a few unsuccessful attempts at jobs, Twaddell joined the Navy and became a cypher decoding secret messages.Once she left the war she went to work for the Quakers in Philadelphia. Three-quarters of the way through the interview she…

Paul Martin interview, 09 August 2006

Paul Martin describes growing up in Lakewood and changes in both Lakewood and Cleveland since the 1940s, his experiences during World War II, working for the Illuminating Company, and his feelings about the mayoral administration of Dennis Kucinich.

Joseph O'Sickey interview, 21 June 2006

This oral history with artist Joseph O'Sickey covers a number of topics, including recollections of events in 20th century local and national history, personal experiences as a soldier (World War II), artist, and educator.

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Maria Minko Interview, 10 April 2005

Maria Minko, a first generation Ukrainian immigrant, recollects on her life in Ukraine and the United States. There is a detailed conversation regarding life in Ukraine during World War II. Other topics include World War II, family history, coming to the United States, and establishing a life in Cleveland.

Elizabeth Szabolcs Interview, 31 March 2005

Elizabeth Szabolcs, a first generation immigrant from Hungary, discusses her life in Hungary and the United States. Ms. Szabolcs discusses her experience during World War I and World War II, her family history, coming the United States, and living in Cleveland.

Allen Ford Interview, 31 March 2008

Allen Ford, current resident of Judson Manor, relates his experiences growing up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, during the 1930's and 40's. Topics covered include the effects of World War II on daily life, the importance of the Rapid Transit system, and downtown shopping. Ford recalls the opening of the Colony Movie Theater at Shaker Square and describes its Art Deco interior. He describes the operations and function of Pickands Mather Company, and the decline of the steel industry in the United…

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John and Betty Ochi Interview, 25 Aug 2006

Betty and John Ochi discuss their stories of life in California following the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Each recounts the paths their lives took as they were forced to leave their homes, take what they could, and relocate to internment camps. Life within these camps is discussed in detail as well as the process of readjusting to life on the outside. They paths and stories finally joined after separately coming to Cleveland.

Sadie Tami Yamane and Eva Hasheguchi interview, 25 Aug 2006

Sadie and Eva discuss their experiences being Japanese Americans in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Taking turns answering the questions posed to them, they discuss their removal from California for life in the internment camps, what childhood was like there, and how they finally were permitted to leave. They later discuss the compensation approved by the government for their wrongdoing. The 442nd Volunteer Combat Unit of mostly Japanese American soldiers is covered near the end.

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Ed Ezaki Interview, 31 July 2006

Ed Ezaki, a Japanese American who spent his early childhood on the west coast, discusses how the events of December 7, 1941 shaped his life, that of his family, and all Japanese Americans in the U.S. after the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Forced to leave the world he knew, his family was removed from their farm in California, his grandfather was sent away to a camp, and they began to run from the law. Ed then recalls how they were found, sent to a camp in Arizona, and how his time there was spent.…

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Dargan Burns Interview, 17 July 2006

Dargan Burns talks about coming to Cleveland to find work in the emerging field of Public Relations. He discusses his educational background and the desegregation of Boston University. Other topics include segregation, World War II and Civil Rights. He talks about Carl and Louis Stokes and meeting a young Martin Luther King, Jr. Other topics of interest include confronting segregation at Cleveland YMCA and “targeting” institutions in need of civil rights reform such as the Cleveland Clinic,…

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Walter Allen Interview, 2008

Walter Allen, an artist and active participant in West Creek preservation, details his life and work as a designer for the organization. Born in the 1920s, Allen's story highlights not only his work with West Creek and carreer as an artist, it highlights the historical impact of national events on the city of Cleveland. Allen, a product of the GI bill and graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art, details this and other elements of history in relation to the greater Cleveland area.

Andrew Gross Interview, 24 June 2014

Dr. Andrew Gross, a longtime member of the faculty at Cleveland State University (CSU), describes his various experiences and achievements in his academic career. He touches on growing up in Hungary and surviving World War II along with five years of Soviet occupation. He then describes his education. Gross attended McGill University and Case Institute of Technology as an undergraduate, went on to Western Reserve University to get his MBA, and finally received his PhD from Ohio State University.…

Paul O'Neil Interview, 2006

Paul O'Neil grew up in Cleveland during the Great Depression. In this 2006 interview he discusses growing up in Cleveland and the effect the depression had on his family. He also discusses in detail his experience in the Air Force during WWII

Joanne Blazek Interview, 2005

Joanne Blazek discusses growing up during the Great Depression and WWII in this 2005 interview. She mentions the effects the war had on families and the work force as well as entertainment. She also discusses growing up in Cleveland during that time.

Wilma Witt Interview, 2005

Wilma Witt grew up in the Collinwood neighborhood during the Great Depression and World War II. In this 2005 interview, she describes life during the war and depression. She also discusses the Collinwood neighborhood and the ethnic communities there, and tells stories about her family.

Robert Madison Interview, 01 August 2006

In 1954, Robert Madison started Robert P. Madison International Inc., Ohio's first architectural firm started by an African-American. In this 2006 interview, Madison discusses the challenges he faced as a black man trying to become an architect and the discrimination he faced at various points in his life. He describes serving in World War II and coming back to Cleveland, where he successfully challenged racial discrimination at Case Western Reserve University, graduating with a degree in…

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Nora Skillern Interview, 2006

Nora Skillern, a member of the Shaker Lakes Women's Committee (Friends of Shaker Lakes), discusses her personal experiences and philanthropic roles at the Shaker Lakes Nature Center. Skillern details fundraising campaigns for the Center, and credits her interest in outdoor recreation to her background as a child growing up in England, where she visited metropolitan parks and learned to garden. Skillern also discusses working for the English colonial government in Africa during the era of…

Dawn Mulson Full Interview, 21 July 2010

Dawn Mulson Full became a pilot with the Civilian Pilot Training program during World War II. Dawn was friends with influential female pilots Caro Bayley Bosca and Florence Boswell. She became an air traffic controller after going through training. She worked as an air traffic controller throughout the war and quit after she was married in 1947. Dawn only flew for a short time and participated in only one air race. Dawn is still a member of the 99s and wears a bracelet that her father created…

Pat Stanzel Interview, 2010

Pat Stanzel is a lifelong Cleveland resident. She was a "Rosie the Riveter" during World War II. She discusses her time working as the only female in various research labs after the war. After she married she went on to teach and was a teacher at a number of schools in Cleveland. During the busing program designed to desegregate the Cleveland schools, the teaching staff was desegregated first and she was transferred to a school on the east side where she was the only white teacher. She discusses…

Nadine Nagle Interview, 2010

Nadine Nagle discusses her experiences as a pilot in the WASP program, although it was disbanded while she was still in training at the end of WWII. She gives details of her training and her experience in the program. She also describes here experiences with the Red Cross.

Joyce Pezak Interview, 2010

Cleveland native Joyce Pezak discusses her experiences working for Jack & Heintz Company during WWII. She originally worked on the main floor anodizing parts for airplanes, but was moved after she developed an allergic reaction to a chromic acid. Pezak also discusses her life and experiences in Cleveland.