Bhullar, Bhag Singh

Bhag Singh Bhullar was born May 14, 1924 in the village of Bhullar, in the Punjab region of India.  At least that’s what his official military records say; the reality is that he was born in 1922, and his family had lied about his birthday, hoping that making him two years younger would keep him

Morrow, Jack

Jack Morrow was born December 6, 1925 in Butler, Pennsylvania, though he grew up mainly in the nearby community of Kittanning, on the Allegheny River.  Jack’s father had worked for Pullman, but he lost that job as the Depression took hold, though he did find work with Metropolitan Life.  Jack remembers that the times were

Gutierrez, Eugene

Eugene Gutierrez was born September 14, 1921 in Harlingen, Texas.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, and remembers well the tough times that the family went through.  His parents had a grocery store that went out of business since customers rarely had the money to pay for groceries.  Eugene graduated high

Riesinger, Frank

Frank Riesinger was born August 20, 1926 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  He recalls moving around the American Midwest during the Depression years, as the family went where work was available.  Still, Frank doesn’t remember being poor; he said everyone was, and that’s what they were all used to.  Frank describes his childhood in positive terms, remembering

Brody, Josef

Josef Brody was born April 26, 1936 in Slovakia.  During the Second World War, Slovakia came under the rule of the fascist Josef Tiso, and was a part of the Axis powers, alongside Nazi Germany.  The country’s Jews suffered tremendous hardship because of this arrangement, becoming victims of the Shoah, first through restrictions imposed by

Orosz, Angela

Angi Orosz was born December 21, 1944, in Auschwitz-Birkenau, one of a handful of Jewish babies born in the camp who was able to survive.  Her mother Vera Bein gave birth to Angela in that terrible place, and as Angi says in her testimony she speaks to honour her mother’s determination and fight to survive,

Mesner, Mila

Mila Mesner was born November 22, 1923 in Zalishchyky, Poland (now Ukraine).  She recalls a positive childhood, full of family and good memories.  All of that changed with the beginning of the war:  Mila’s town was in the Soviet zone of occupation, and she remembers that arrests and deprivation began right away.  Mila’s father chose

Black, Judith

Judith Nemes Black was born November 15, 1941 in Budapest, Hungary.  She grew up against the backdrop of the war and the mounting restrictions that Hungarian Jews were forced to endure, including the conscription of her father into forced labour.  In 1944 the situation deteriorated for Hungarian Jews; Nazi Germany invaded and the fascist Arrow

Hacker, Alex

Alex Hacker was born in Budapest, Hungary on May 7, 1926.  His father was a successful businessman in the vegetable oil business, and because of that  – as well as Hungary’s alliance with Nazi Germany – Alex and his family and the Jews of Hungary in general were shielded from the immediate brutality of the

Webb, Betty

Betty Webb was born May 13, 1923, near the town of Ludlow in Shropshire, England.  She grew up in the countryside, where she remembers long walks picking wildflowers, and she was home-schooled – so she also remembers cataloguing those same flowers!  Betty’s mother had had German housekeepers in the 1930s, so Betty learned to speak

Villiger, Ken

Ken Villiger was born October 19, 1930 in Montreal, Quebec.  He joined the Canadian Forces right out of high school, just as the Cold War was heating up.  Ken would see service in Korea, and during his long military career he played on just about every sports team the army had.  Ken was a paratrooper

Fairbrook, Paul

Paul Fairbrook was born into a Jewish family on August 21, 1923 in Berlin, Germany.  His first ten years were spent in that country, but his father saw the writing on the wall and made arrangements for his young family to get out in 1932.  First they made their way to France, and then to

Haley, Frank

Frank Haley was born January 25, 1925 in Cheadle, Alberta. He grew up in that small rural community, going to a one room school and having fun however and whenever he and his friends could. As Cheadle was a farming community, the impacts of the Depression were severe; the price of wheat crashed, and dust

Colhoun, Jack

Jack Colhoun was born in Philadelphia on February 9, 1945, but moved to upstate New York when he was quite young, growing up mainly in the small town of Sacket’s Harbor and experiencing 1950s small town America.  He saw the beginning of the tumultuous changes of the 60s, events which would challenge America – and

Spiridigliozzi, Marc

Mark Spiridigliozzi was born May 11, 1948 in Altoona, Pennsylvania.  He grew up in a large family, in a largely rural area, and he remembers well the largely idyllic days of his boyhood, which he experienced against the backdrop of the 1950s-60s postwar boom.  His father was a member of the WW2 US Army National

Purvis, Rob

Rob Purvis was born May 16, 1947 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  He grew up in a working class neighbourhood, against the backdrop of Canada’s postwar boom and the emerging Cold War.  He and 3 of his friends, the sons of World War Two veterans, made the decision to head south to join the American army –

Adams, Morris

Morris Adams was born July 22, 1926 in Toronto, Ontario.  He grew up in downtown Toronto, in the Spadina and Dundas neighbourhood that was home to many new immigrants, including Morris’ parents.  His father was a barber and his mother worked in a garment factory, and the family was able to make it through the

Clack, Tommy

Tommy Clack was born March 9, 1947, and was raised in Decatur, Georgia.  His parents were members of the “Greatest Generation”, and both served their country in World War Two.  Tommy was a 1965 Honor Graduate and Most Outstanding in Track and Field, from Decatur High School. He attended the University of Houston on a

Weber, Rick

Rick Weber was born July 8, 1946, and he grew up in 1950s Pittsburgh, the son of a WW2 veteran.  His childhood was typical of the time, enjoying the abundance of the “Fabulous 50s”.  He played football in high school, where he injured himself, something he aggravated in university.  He consequently failed the army medical

Kelsey, Ann

Ann Kelsey was born June 20, 1946 in Indiana, though she grew up in southern California.  Her father was a World War Two navy veteran, who continued to work with the navy as a civilian contractor in the postwar period.  Because of that Ann grew up in Riverside, California, not too far from Branch AFB,

Larsen, Jake

“Papa” Jake Larsen was born December 20, 1922 in Hope, Minnesota.  He joined the National Guard when he was 15; times were tough, and he needed the money.  By the time Jake graduated high school, the war was underway in Europe and Asia, and the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbour brought the United

Slook, George

George Slook was born August 14, 1946, and he grew up in Darby, Pennsylvania.  From a military family, George attended college and consequently had several draft deferments, but the army caught up with him after he graduated in 1968, and he was inducted.  He went to Fort Bragg and Fort Benning and soon after was

Roberts, Jim

Jim Roberts grew up an air force brat in the 1950s and 60s, when his father was a Master Sergeant in the USAF.  The family was always on the move, as Jim’s father served on many bases in the U.S., and was stationed in Panama as well.  Jim grew up in the Cold War era,

Peterburs, Joe

Joseph Peterburs was born November, 25, 1924 in St. Paul, Minnesota, though he grew up mainly in Wisconsin, against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  He comes from a family with a military tradition; his father emigrated to the United States from Germany in 1906, and joined the army that same year, completing overseas service

Eisenhauer, Harry

Harry Eisenhauer was born on July 9, 1920, at Lower La Have, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, one of the nine children of John and Lillian Eisenhauer.  His family ties to Lunenburg County go back to 1753, when the German immigrants to Halifax in 1751 were moved to the site of Lunenburg to establish a new

Harper, Roly

Roly Harper was born in Toronto on October 16, 1924.  He was the youngest of three children, born to parents who had emigrated from Ireland.  Roly grew up in the city’s east end, in the Danforth and Donlands neighbourhood, and he graduated Riverdale Collegiate in January 1941.  Roly grew up against the backdrop of the

Markow, George

George Markow was born April 14, 1921 in Russia, just outside the city of Leningrad.  He was born just four years after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, and George remembers the impacts it had on his family and early life.  Food especially was in short supply during those years, and the Party’s reach was growing. 

Vertes, Leslie

Leslie Vertes was born February 18, 1924 in the village of Ajak (Hungary). His father was a shoemaker who worked alongside his wife. Leslie was 14 years old when the family moved to Budapest, where he was unable to finish the last year of high school and go to university due to the prevailing anti-Jewish

Stewart, Harry

Harry Stewart was born July 4, 1924 in Newport News, Virginia.  When he was 2 years old his parents relocated to Queens, N.Y.C., not too far from North Beach airport.  Harry grew up in that neighborhood, attending school and having a good time, all against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  Harry understood that the