Archives Intern Completes CJC Collections

ShirleyCohen004 1000 pxAs a graduate student from Simmons College in the Library and Information Sciences program, I completed a semester long internship at the Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections. As part of my internship I processed two collections; the Shirley Cohen Family papers and the Senior Citizens of New Bedford records, both part of the Archives of the Center for Jewish Culture. Both of these collections document the family’s focus on working with and improving lives within their community.

Shirley Cohen, daughter of Mrs. A. J. “Bertha” Cohen, was a reference librarian at the New Bedford Public Library. Shirley was an active member of the Junior Hadassah and the Jewish Youth Society. Shirley, as part of the Junior Hadassah, raised money for the Children’s Village of Meier Shfeyah in Palestine. These efforts helped build schools and allowed the village operate in order to protect and educate at risk children. Mrs. A. J. Cohen was ShirleyCohen005 1000 pxextraordinarily active in her community from a young age. She participated in Young Women’s Hebrew Association during WWI and from there was very invested in her community. She became a dedicated member of the New Bedford Chapter of the Senior Hadassah, Hebrew Ladies’ Helping Hand Society, Council of Women’s Organizations of Greater New Bedford, New Bedford Convalescent home, the Jewish Welfare Board, and the USO during World War II. These programs provided ass

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istance and awareness to many important features surrounding the community including health, poverty, education, international events, and social events.ShirleyCohen003 1000 px

 

 

 

 

 

 

Selling raffle tickets and providing refreshments for meetings, Mrs. A. J. Cohen also participated in the Jewish Senior Citizens of New Bedford. The Jewish Senior Citizens of New Bedford was founded in 1972 with the intent to improve the lives of the elderly by decreasing loneliness and caring for their welfare. The Jewish Senior Citizens of New Bedford organized trips, classes, shows, lectures, luncheons, and dinner. Along with that there were lectures on how to keep healthy, blood pressure checks, discount information, and letter writing campaigns to politicians.

Michelle Bergeron, Simmons College

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The American Views on Madeira Wine

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On November 23rd 2015, the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives co-hosted with the Clube Madeirense S.S. Sacramento Madeira historian Duarte Mendonça as he presented, to a large audience, his new book titled “American Views on Madeira Wine.” He shared some interesting bits of history related to the relationship between the United States and Madeira wine, including that the founding fathers were lovers of Madeira wine. Apparently during a dinner party hosted by John Quincy Adams, it is reported that the had 11 decanters of Madeira wine on the table, all unlabeled and otherwise indistinguishable to the naked eye, and through sipping and tasting, he was able to correctly identify them all.

Madeira wine has also been called the “independence wine” as it was the beverage drunk” to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Mendonça, in fact, believes that there may actually have been 13 toasts made and drunk to celebrate the original 13 colonies. He reached this conclusion through a number of subsequent events that he was able to identify and research using primary source materials.

-Sonia Pacheco, Archives Librarian for the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives

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Origins of “Black Friday”

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‘Black Friday’ the term used to describe the day after Thanksgiving, nowadays characterized by crowds ascending upon retailers to buy consumer products at large discounts. Yet, the origins of both the term are unclear, and it only began to be commonly used by advertisers in specific reference to the day after Thanksgiving in the 1980s.

Historically, the term was used to describe financial panics of 1869 and 1873 (as referenced in the Diario de Noticias article) and retail clearance sales that occurred at any point in the year (see the 1891 and 1901 ads).

A common explanation for event is that it is the first day (in preparation foDiariodeNoticias_Nov1971r the shopping that occurs for Christmas) that stores turn a profit during the year as they were operating ‘in the black’ previously. However, this account has no precise source and was not regularly used by merchants in print ads that are searchable via newspaper digitization projects such as Chronicling America and the Portuguese-American Digital Newspaper Collections.

Of interest, was the disdain expressed in 1971 at how early stores ‘enticed’ the public to begin doing their Christmas shopping on the front page of the ‘Diario de Noticias’ (see “Our Viewpoint). This particular opinion piece was published yearly starting as far back as 1966.

-Sonia Pacheco,  Archives Librarian for the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives

Here are pages from two newspapers form Omaha and Iola, Kansas:

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Lee Friedlander’s “The American Monument” Book Rediscovered in Library

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Acquisitions Librarian Susan Raidy-Klein made a surprising discovery recently among a stash of books separated from the general stacks and designated for review:  a copy of photographer Lee Friedlander’s book “The American Monument,” published by Eakins Press in 1976.   This publication, which is a first edition, was issued in a limited edition of 2,000 copies, plus smaller editions of special, deluxe, signed and artist-reserve copies.   It was supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and is made up of 77  12 x 17 inch pages containing  213 black-and-white reproductions printed by The Meriden Gravure Company on heavy cream paper stock.   Covered by a special blue binding, it  was designed so that individual sheets could be removed and exhibited.  The photograph above is plate number 4, “Father Duffy. Times Square. New York, New York.”

Lee Friedlander was born on July 14, 1934 in Aberdeen, Washington.   He owned his first camera at an early age, and by age sixteen also owned an enlarger, picking up local photography work when he could.  He graduated from high school in 1952, and set out to study photography at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.  In 1956 he moved to New York City, where he photographed jazz musicians for album covers.  In the 1960s and 1970s Friedlander evolved “an influential and often imitated visual language of urban ‘social landscape,’ with many of his photographs including fragments of store-front reflections, structures framed by fences, posters and street signs.”  A description by the publisher of The American Monument states that: “in an environment dominated by menacing speed, instability, advertising and television, the American monument plays a meditative role. A grace of intention shines through the oft times awkward alliance of efforts that produced them. They are redeemed by the confidence they express in the worth of the act memorialized. In this album the viewer and the viewed hold each other in balance. A world buried alive in our midst is unearthed to us. The photographer has brought it to us to see.”

The American Monument will be on view with other photography  books in the Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections exhibit case on the first floor of the main library during the month of December, 2015.  Before and after that time it may be viewed in the Archives and Special Collection’s Prince Henry Society of Massachusetts Reading Room on the quad side of the library, by requesting call number E159 .F74 1976.

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In Honor of Veteran’s Day, from the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives

MC0094075Manuel “Manny” J. Carvalho Jr. (1916-1998) was the son of Manuel J. and Rose Carvalho, who were Azorean immigrants; he was a long-term resident of Tiverton, RI. His story is kept alive in the Dennis Rezendes Azorean Ancestral and Personal Life Collection (MC 148) where a number of photographs and records document his military experience. Dennis Rezendes, his nephew, spoke fondly of Mr. Carvalho, expressed a great amount of respect for him, and considered ‘Manny’ to be a second-father.

Mr. Carvalho was an army veteran of World War II, served in the South Pacific (as seen in the photographs in this blog) and took part in the Iwo Jima invasion and was the recipient of several medals and commendations.  For the complete finding aid of the Rezendes collection, see http://lib.umassd.edu/archives/finding-aids/paa

 

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The Portuguese Aviators Parade in Fall River

Aviators1 img099 800pxThe Fall River Globe reported on July 10, 1922 that:

“The Portuguese residents of Fall River celebrated the aerial achievements of Admiral Gago Coutinho and Rear Admiral Sacadura Cabral yesterday by a monster parade consisting of ten thousand people, scores of clubs and societies, countless bands, floats, and privately decorated machines. Main Street from the South Park to the North Park was gaily and patriotically adorned with the national colors of the United States and Portugal. The colors of these two nations floated from the stores and private residences by the scores. The elaborate line of march lay from the South Park where it formed to the North Park.sac_gago-300x215 Three distinguished Portuguese gentlemen addressed the twenty-five thousand citizens who gathered there. Despite the terrible heat the streets were thronged with thousands of patriotic residents. It was without a doubt the largest celebration of its kind that has been held in this city for many a day. The array of floats was the best and most varied that ever took part in a parade in Fall River. They showed much thought, genius and skill on the part of their inventors and they were a pride to the Portuguese creators.”

The parade, of which the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives owns two post-card photographs, was celebrating the 5,100 mile, 62 hour, 80 day voyage that img097 Aviators 2Sacadura Cabral and Gago Coutinho accomplished in 1922. Theirs was the first flight across the southern Atlantic, from Lisbon to Recife, Brazil. While they were ultimately successful in their mission, as seen in the New York Times article, they did so with plenty of down time for repairs and waiting on replacement aircraft.  In fact, they lost two airplanes—their original Fairey III D hydroplane, “Lusitania,” which sank in the ocean off the tiny rocks of St. Peter and St. Paul, and a second Fairey, “Portugal” which didn’t get much farther before it, too, ditched in the sea. The final leg of the trip, from the islands of Fernando Noronha to Brazil, was in a Fairey 17 named “Santa Cruz.”

ums-1922-07-25-0-001 Aviators paperFor more information please see:

Smithsonian article on the event: http://www.airspacemag.com/daily-planet/across-the-south-atlantic-in-1922-56283476/#rJwksWfyvA8gOJZm.99

Original report on the event: http://www.unesco-ci.org/photos/showphoto.php/photo/6149/cat/1026/title/reports-from-first-flight-across-the-south-atlantic-ocean-in-1922

The Alvorada Diaria, at left, has been digitized and is available for viewing at http://www.lib.umassd.edu/paa/portuguese-american-digital-newspaper-collections

-Sonia Pacheco, Archives Librarian for the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese American Archives

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Evidence of Historic Native American Habitation at Cedar Dell Pond

October is Massachusetts Archaeology Month, and for this reason we highlight a UMass Dartmouth connection to an historic archaeological investigation that took place on campus grounds in the 1970s. Current students and staff may not be aware that the land surrounding Cedar Dell Pond, on the Eastern side of the campus outside of Ring Road, was a site used by Native Americans as long ago as 9,000-8,000 B.C.  Soon after construction began on the campus in the 1960s, Native American artifacts were exposed near Cedar Dell Pond, unearthed by bulldozers removing trees and vegetation.   Unfortunately, the initial finds were not identified or preserved, but several years later, in 1977, an archaeological investigation began, supervised  by Debra Frank of UMass Amherst.  The project was continued in 1978 and 1979, with the addition of another director, Kathleen Bragdon of Brown University, and the assistance of a small group of Southeastern Massachusetts University students.  A number of chipped stone artifacts (projectiles- or arrow heads) were uncovered and found to date, possibly, as far back as 9,000 BC.  A formal preliminary report by Bragdon and Frank is available for consultation in the Archives and Special Collections (F74.D25 B72 1978).  Additionally, an article was published in the Bulletin of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society, Volume 44, no. 2 (October, 1983), which is available online through Bridgewater State University’s Maxwell Library at  http://library.bridgew.edu/exhibits/BMAS/browse.html

Artifacts, final reports and field notes are preserved by the Office of the Massachusetts Historical Commission in Boston (project 19BR218).

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SMU Club Football Started in 1985

URC083001The SMU, or Southeastern Massachusetts University* Board of Trustees voted on February 28, 1985 to approve a proposal to develop for the first time, a Club Football Program at the university.  The New England Club Football Conference operated outside of the NCAA and included, at that time, teams from Merrimack College, MIT, Roger Williams College, UMass Boston, Stonehill College, Bentley College, Providence College, Worcester State College, and Assumption College.  URC083004The proposal was put forward to SMU President John Brazil in January of that year by the Dean of Students, Celestino Macedo, on behalf of the SMU student body, who originally initiated the idea.   In December of 1984, SMU Student Senate had voted unanimously to establish Club Football as a student organization funded by student fees; and by January 1985 they had gathered over 2,600 signatures on a petition in support of the proposal.

URC083002With approval gained, ads went out in and in April 1985 the university hired a coaching staff.  Coach Paul Harrison, who had enjoyed great success as an assistant coach of the Middleboro High School from 1970-1983 and defensive coordinator for the Dennis-Yarmouth High school football program from 1983-1984, was hired as head coach, with assistants Steve Popielarz, Charles Connell, Vin Mello and Ray Cabral.

Their first game was against Providence College, which they won 14-12.  The Corsairs went on to have a winning season – six wins and two losses.  Their third game, against Roger Williams, was cancelled due to Hurricane Gloria.  It was rescheduled for the end of the season, but ended up negating their chances to play in the National playoffs because of the schedule conflict.  They did, however, defeat Roger Williams, and shared the conference title with Providence College.  The Homecoming game was October 19 against MIT, one of their two losses.  At this year’s homecoming festivities, the Athletics Department and Corsairs Hall of Fame is hosting a reunion of the 1985 team, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the football program at UMD/SMU.

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The Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections preserve a series of memoranda from SMU President John Brazil’s records, from 1985, with details about the proposal and early formation of the football program.   The archives also maintain a souvenir program from the 1985 season, as well as several other souvenir programs, which contains a wealth of information.  For questions, contact archivist Judy Farrar at jfarrar@umassd.edu.

* Southeastern Massachusetts University is the former institutional name for UMass Dartmouth, which was used from 1969-1991.

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Winthrop C. Durfee Personal and Business Papers, 1890-1930

durfee1The Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections at UMass Dartmouth would like to announce a recently opened collection, MC 166, the Winthrop C. Durfee Personal and Business Papers, 1890-1930. This collection documents the history of Winthrop C. Durfee and his self-named business, The Durfee Dye Business, which was located in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. The collection was purchased in 2008 with private funds provided by the Osborne Fund, a Textile Science Foundation account.

Winthrop C. Durfee was born on April 23, 1858 in Fall River, MA. Durfee attended Fall River Public Schools and later completed his education at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Durfee graduated from college in 1878 and returned to Fall River where he became employed at a local cotton mill. In 1881, Durfee married Sylvie Whitney of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. They had three children together; Walter Chaloner Durfee, Philip Sherwood Durfee, and Pauline Elizabeth Durfee. Durfee was also able to trace his ancestry back to the first settlement of Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts Bay. Winthrop C. Durfee died on September 19, 1929 at 71 years old in his home located on 1 Dane Street, Jamaica Plain.

durfee2The collection pertains to Durfee’s career as an independent chemist and consultant who advised his clients in the mills and local textile industry about the purchase of dyewoods, dyes, waxes, and dextrin which he would procure for his contacts. The collection contains letters, reports, extensive correspondence, invoices from suppliers, invoices to clients, orders from clients, tests and samples of dyed materials, Durfee’s personal chemistry notes and calculations as well as product catalogs and miscellaneous artifacts. The Durfee Dye Business, was one of the last members of the Guild of Drysalters which had been founded in the Middle Ages. Durfee and his employees performed a number of dyeing’s under controlled circumstances in order to learn and demonstrate the effects of his chromate mordant with wool dyeing. Durfee promoted his chromate mordant throughout WWI and its consistent use and color results was demonstrated on military uniforms.

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Due to Durfee’s success in his field he was nicknamed the “Tartar King” by his associates. Durfee was very involved with professional organizations regarding the dye business. His professional associations included the Drysalters Club, an association of chemical and dye dealers in New England and of whom Durfee served as President in 1921. Others included the Engineers Club of Boston, The American Chemical Society, of which he was a councilor of the Northeastern section between 1919 and 1929, and he was a founding member and treasurer of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists in 1921. Durfee’s offices were located at 516 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA.

Rachel Breen, Graduate Student Intern, Simmons College School of Library and Information Science

The collection sheds light on business practice in the early 20th century, as well the history of allied fields in the textile industry.   For more information or to access the collection please contact Judy Farrar at the Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections at jfarrar@umassd.edu.  The finding aid is available online at http://www.lib.umassd.edu/sites/default/files/archives/findaids/MC166.pdf

Rachel is pursuing her master’s degree in Library and Information Science through the school’s new online MLIS program.  She lives in Bourne, Massachusetts and works part time at the Elizabeth Taber Library in Marion, MA.  She tackled the processing of this large and complex collection to fulfill a 130-hour field study for Archives Management.

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70th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Concentration Camps

Text by Cynthia Yoken; Layout by Judy Farrar

Seventy years ago, while the Germans were in retreat, American soldiers liberated the Nazi concentration camps. It was April, 1945, one month before the end of the war in Europe. A number of local veterans took part in the liberation. Their stories are preserved in the Archives of the Center for Jewish Culture at the Claire T. Carney Library, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Dachau-1945_3-5x8The first camp to be liberated was the concentration camp of Buchenwald, located near Weimar, Germany. The camp was liberated on April 11, 1945 by the soldiers in the Sixth Armored Division of the US Third Army, commanded by George S. Patton. There were about 21,000 prisoners at Buchenwald on the day it was liberated, including approximately 4,000 Jewish prisoners who were survivors from the death camps in Poland. There were also 904 children under the age of 17, many of whom were orphans. The most famous survivor from Buchenwald is the acclaimed author, Elie Wiesel.Rego-group_4x5crop
Some of the local liberators of Buchenwald from our area were Judge Milton Silva, Lucien Rego, and Martin Damgaard.
Milton Silva was born in Fall River in 1923 and was drafted while he was attending the Boston School of Anatomy Embalming. He was in the medical battalion as part of the 8th armored division, and then ended up with the 104th Infantry Division. He arrived in Europe in March 1945 and was the truck driver for his outfit. As he approached Buchenwald, there was a stench of death that the soldiers could smell. It was a shock for him upon entering the gates at Buchenwald and seeing people practically naked with the little clothes they wore, torn and dirty, looking like skeletons. Also there were stacks of bodes outside the crematoria and not fully consumed bodies in the ovens. There were people walking around sort of like walking skeletons, not saying much and some were crying. Milton Silva was a Medic in the field Milton-Silva-2004_3x3-5cropwith the 120th Evacuation hospital. He helped those who needed medical help. As a truck driver, he went to get food and clothing. He was sent out to help the 150th evacuation hospital move into Nordhausen Concentration Camp, a sub-camp to Buchenwald. He finally ended up in Cham taking care of displaced people. He didn’t stay in Buchenwald very long because the primary illness there was tuberculosis and they needed doctors trained in that disease.
Lucien Rego was born in Fall River on April 15, 1925. Mr. Rego was drafted into the army on August 6, 1943. He spent most of the war overseas as a Private, PFC, seeing combat with the 5th armored division as a Demolition Man. From January to June 1944 he was responsible for packing parachutes on the planes with ammunition in front for the underground in England. He was with a tank force and also fought in the Battle of the Bulge from theLucien-Rego-2005_3x3-5crop 16th of December until January. As he approached Buchenwald in late March 1945, he remarked about the odor all around. His group was there long enough to take pictures. This was a camp of all men.
Lt. Col. Martin Jens Damgaard, the father of Neil Damgaard, Protestant chaplain at UMass Dartmouth was a camouflage engineer with the 602nd Camouflage Battalion of General Hodges’ First Army. He went ashore on Omaha Beach with his unit and was in and out of the Bunker in Berlin. Captain Damgaard was also one of the liberators of the Buchenwald Liberator_Addition_3x3-5cropConcentration Camp arriving there on day one of the liberation of the camp. After the war, Martin Damgaard worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers for the rest of his career until his retirement in 1973.

The Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp was voluntarily turned over to the Allied 21st army group, a combined British-Canadian unit on April 15, 1945 by Heinrich Himmler who was in charge of all the camps. Abe and Freida Landau who came to New Bedford in 1950 were prisoners in this camp.
The liberation of Dachau by the US Seventh Army occurred on April 29, 1945 one week before the end of World War II in Europe. Two divisions of the Seventh Army, the 42nd Rainbow Division and the 45th Thunderbird Division, participated in the liberation, while the 20th Armored Division provided support. The 101st Tank Battalion was attached to the 45th Thunderbird Division. The 101st Tank Battalion arrived in Dachau at 9:30 am on April 29th. The local liberators of Dachau were Eli Heimberg (with the Rainbow Division), Nate Barry, Walter Lalor, Col. John Richmond Kinney, Jr., and Norman Chartier.
Eli-Heimberg-2004_3x3-5cropEli Heimberg was born in Chelsea , Ma and his family moved to Yonkers, NY from where he was drafted. He entered the camp with Chaplain Eli Bohnen and the first thing they saw were mounds, 10, 15 feet high of clothing, and shoes. They went into the Jewish barracks and saw people who were gaunt. Captain Bohnen introduced himself to the prisoners who had been liberated that morning. He took names and addresses of people they wanted to contact. It was April 29, 1945. Before going into the barracks, they saw railroad cars with the prisoners dressed in ill-clad, striped pajama. Mr. Heimberg recalled a picture in his mind of a man sitting dead with his eyes opened . Eli Heimberg was with the 42nd infantry division and his job was as an aide and assistant to the chaplain.
Nate Barry was born in Quincy, Massachusetts on April 7, 1925. Nate was drafted into the army along with the entire graduating class from Quincy High school in1943. In the army Nate-&-Judy-Barry-2003_3x3-5crophe was in the Armored Infantry Patrol. Nate was on an open-top tank with a 105 Harronson Locomotive and in the right corner of the tank was a turret. Mounted on that turret was a 50-caliber machine which Nate operated. Nate’s outfit landed on Omaha Beach in July 1944. He fought in the battle of Ramangan Bridge, on the Arno Rive and their last big fight was an SS outfit outside of Munich. Nate’s outfit arrived at Dachau about an hour after the first troops. They were on a 2-lane road and as they were going along, they suddenly saw ghost-like figures in the striped uniform, in striped outfits, screaming on both sides of the road. They were Polish. They were alive, hardly healthy, but as soon as the gates were opened, they just got out, and they wanted to get out. When they approached the camp, Nate saw a little boy standing at the fence and gave him his chocolate from the sea ration. Then the Medics came by and said not to feed them. Nate explained that the camp itself was unbelievable; he was looking at carloads of skeletons and pits full of bodies and he didn’t know the extent of what they had done. Dachau was only 12 miles out of Munich so they went there to get dignitaries to show them. The same name on the gate as in the other concentration camps was here, “Arbeit Mach Frei,” and Nate said the camp was terrible to see.
Walter-Lalor-2011Walter Lalor was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts on March 20, 1916. He was living in Framingham when he was drafted into the medical service branch. Walter was a bacteriologist in the medical corps. He was in the Battle of the Bulge and arrived in Dachau a week after it was liberated by the Third Army. Mr. Lalor was in the Sixth Army. He found the experience in Dachau very shocking and the chaos was out of this world, from his prospective, humanity destroying other humanity the way it did.
John Richmond Kinney Jr. was born on May 15, 1915. After graduating from Holy Family High School in 1932, he enlisted in the Battery “D”, Second Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment, Massachusetts National Guard. When America entered World War II at the end of 194l, Mr. Kinney was selected to attend Officer Candidate School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma where he received his commission as Second Lieutenant. He served stateside for several years, then in January 1945, he was deployed to France as a forward air observer in the 20th Armored Division. Kinney survived 3 airplane crashes while on reconnaissance missions. The 20th Armored Division was credited with the liberation of Dachau where Kinney witnessed firsthand the horrors of the Nazi regime. After the war, John Kinney returned to New Bedford and continued his military career in the National Guard. He was promoted to Colonel in 1965 and in 1969 he retired with the honorary rank of brigadier general. His grandson, Jonathan Mitchell, is the current mayor of New Bedford.
Norman Chartier was born in New Bedford in 1922 and was an active communicant and volunteer at Holy Name of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish. Mr. Chartier was a dedicated soldier who served as a medic in the U.S. Army during World II. Norm was in the 4th Infantry Division which landed at Utah Beach in July 1944. His unit fought the Germans in France throughout 1944 and in 1945. His unit arrived in Dachau in May of 1945 just after it was liberated, but he saw the horrors of the Nazi atrocities and the after effects. As a docent at the Fort Taber Fort Rodman Military Museum, he enjoyed speaking to visitors about his war experiences. He was the Grand Marshall in the Veterans Parade in November 2014. He died on January 5, 2015.

Yankopolos-1944_4x4cropMauthausen was a concentration camp located in Austria for communist, political prisoners and German criminals. It was also an “end destination” for Jews from the death camps in Poland. On May 5, 1945, the official date of the liberation of this camp, a platoon of 23 men from the 11th Armored Division of the U.S. Third Army, led by staff sergeant Albert J. Kosieki, arrived at the main camp near the town of Mauthausen. The local liberator from New Bedford was Dr. Konstantine Yankopoulos.
Konstantine Yankopoulos was born in Votanion, Macedonia, Greece on April 15, 1916. He lived in Greece until he was 6 years old and then came to New Bedford. Dr. Yankopoulos was drafted in the army in 1942 after he finished medical school at BU. He was in the medical corps, serving as an anesthetist for anesthesia instead of a battalion aid surgeon. He landed in Normandy and he helped to set up the first field hospital there. After traveling through Northern Europe, he went into the camp of Ebensee in Southern Germany near the border of Austria and then one camp that he saw in detail, Mauthausen in Oberneubirchen, Austria at the end of the war in Europe. In Mauthausen he saw bodies piled up like cord wood alongside of the camp there. One of the victims was playing his hand organ, a little music box, way up on the tower and Dr. Yankopoulos cried because he was playing it so plaintively. Yankopoulos ran into people that survived who told him the hell they had gone through for the past 4 years and how they were either slave laborers or forced laborers and that they were treated badly. Some of these prisoners he saw were Jews and even Greek Jews from Salonika. When the war was over on May 9, 1945, he was in Austria at the Mauthausen camp.

For access to the transcripts of the interviews conducted with these liberators, or for information on the Archives of the Center for Jewish Culture’s oral history project, contact Judy Farrar at the Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections at jfarrar@umassd.edu.  For more information on the Archives of the Center for Jewish Culture, please consult the web site at http://www.lib.umassd.edu/archives/center-jewish-culture-ohp

Cynthia Yoken’s text was also published in the Standard Times on April 19, 2015 at:

http://www.southcoasttoday.com/article/20150419/OPINION/150419405

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