Manuscripts

Klein Family Papers

ca. 1941-1988 (bulk 1942-1946). 1½ boxes (57 folders), ca. 220 items. MSS. COLL. #103

NOTE:  The numbers cited in parentheses, e.g. 1:5, refer the researcher to the Series#:Folder# in which that name/topic will be found.

INTRODUCTION

This collection consists of materials relating to Min and Al Klein, the Overseas Replacement Depot (O.R.D.), and servicemen who were friends of the Klein family. It illustrates Min and Al Klein’s support of the armed forces in Greensboro through awards, newsletters, newspapers and correspondence received. The collection contains personal accounts from soldiers in correspondence, phonograph messages, and photographs sent to the Kleins. Min and Al knew many of these soldiers through their work for the O.R.D.

Arrangement: The Klein Family Papers are arranged into five series: Correspondence, Miscellaneous, Printed Material, Photographs, and Recordings.

Provenance: This collection was donated by Min Klein in 1991 and assigned accession number 1991.158.1.

Processing: This collection was processed by intern Alice Culclasure and the finding aid completed in July 2012.


BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Min and Al Klein were prominent in both the Jewish and military communities in Greensboro during World War II. Albert F. Klein was born on January 4, 1900, to Serena Fireman and Joseph Klein in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Al lived in Greensboro for 55 years and worked as a sales representative for Aerochem Corp. of High Point. He belonged to several Jewish organizations including B’nai Brith, Brotherhood of Temple Emanuel and N.C. Association of Jewish Men.

Minnie Munich was born to Marie and Sam Munich in Russia around 1906. By 1914 her family had moved to the United States. Min attended Woman’s College and on March 30, 1930, she and Al married in Oxford, North Carolina. They had a daughter, Harry, and a son, S. Paul. During World War II, they volunteered to help servicemen and in the Jewish community. Together they were coordinators for the soldiers’ lounge at Temple Emanuel and were two of the founders of the Greensboro USO. They also hosted Jewish young adults at their house for dinner every Sunday night. Min also volunteered for the Jewish chaplains at O.R.D.

Min was the recipient of several awards including the Hannah G. Soloman Award of the National Council of Jewish Women and the Human Services Award of the North Carolina Association of Jewish Women. She also served as president of the Temple Emanuel Sisterhood and of the mid-Atlantic region of Temple Sisterhoods. Al died December 2, 1972, and Min died February 21, 2000.

On March 1, 1943, the U.S. Army Air Force opened Basic Training Camp Number 10 near the intersection of Summit and East Bessemer Avenues in Greensboro. The camp encompassed 652 acres, making it the largest military base in America within the boundaries of a city. By 1944, the Air Force had reached it projected capacity and so the base became the Overseas Replacement Depot (O.R.D). The O.R.D. prepared and processed servicemen for overseas duty. In February of 1945 it took on the function of Redistribution Station Number 5, placing over 30,000 men in the Far East. After V-J Day, in September of 1945, the base began assisting in the separation of personnel as they became eligible for discharge.

During its existence, as many as 40,000 soldiers were stationed at the Greensboro base. It consisted of 964 buildings that included five hundred barracks, fifty-five recreation rooms, fourteen mess halls, ten post exchanges (PXs), five chapels, four movie theaters, three libraries, two service clubs, and a hospital. The base printed its own newspaper, the BTC 10-Shun, which was renamed ORD News and then The Rotator. The base closed on September 15, 1946.

Biographical Sources: The biographical information was gathered from the News & Record, Ancestry.com, and Greensboro ORD: Its Past and Present, 1946 (Mss. Collection #95, 3:2). Other information was obtained from materials in the collection. Copies of the obituaries of Al and Min Klein can be found in the folder at beginning of the collection.


SCOPE & CONTENT NOTE

This collection spans the period from the beginning of World War II to just after the war with one anomaly. The types of materials in this collection include letters, phonograph records, printed material such as awards, newsletters and newspapers, and photographs. Materials pertain to Al and Min Klein. Much of the correspondence is personal in nature and gives insight into a soldier’s life during World War II.

Collection Weaknesses: While this collection gives great insight into the soldiers’ lives, it does not contain any letters that Al and Min sent to the soldiers. Thus the collection contains little information about Greensboro during World War II.


SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

1. Correspondence. 47 folders (ca. 185 items). 1941-1947, 1988.

This series consists of correspondence to Al and Min Klein. Most of the letters come from servicemen who were stationed in North Carolina and the States as well as abroad. Many of the soldiers write about daily occurrences as well as their appreciation of the Klein family. The men often mention their past visits to Greensboro as well as future visits. Among these are Aaron Braveman (1:2), Ted Gorn (1:10), Wesley Hershkowitz (1:14), Gregg Paris (1:25), Amenon Rubenstein (1:33), Melvin Sakolsky (1:34), Fred Shulman (1:36), Albert Simpson (1:37), and Marion (1:47).

In addition to the servicemen’s letters, this series includes several letters from organizations about the Klein’s help for the armed forces. In 1943 Min received a letter from the director of Service Club Number One coordinating a visit to Greensboro by a group of 150 soldiers (1:5). Min was responsible for finding housing for about 120 of the soldiers who would be attending a dance at Woman’s College among other activities. Shortly after the soldiers’ visit in 1943, Adele Rosenberg at the Council Sisterhood of Temple Emanuel wrote to thank the Kleins for their work organizing housing and entertainment for the visiting soldiers (1:42). Min also received letters from the O.R.D. in response to a request for a band for different events (1:24).

Two of the letters that date to after the war in 1946 refer to the Kleins’ involvement. The U.S.O. wrote Min thanking her for her help through the YMCA (1:43). Rabbi Harry Kellman also received a letter from the National Jewish Welfare Board thanking him for bringing the Klein family to their attention (1:23).

2. Miscellaneous. 1 folder (1 item).

This series contains a Kippah.

3. Printed Material. 7 folders (7 items). 1942-1946.

In this series are awards and certificates, a bulletin and program, and a newsletter and newspaper. Min Klein received awards and a certificate for her work and service (3:1, 3:2, and 3:4). The series also includes a Jewish Chapel Notes bulletin (3:3), a Passover Seder Service program (3:7), a copy of The Rebel Yell (3:5), a monthly newsletter for Greensboro U.S.O. members, and a copy of The Rotator, the Overseas Replacement Depot newspaper (3:6).

4. Photographs. 1 folder (20 items).

The photographs include two street scenes of the V-J Day parade in Greensboro on August 15, 1945, as well as photographs of soldiers and young adults ranging from 1942 to 1946. The series also contains a photo of Thelma Hurwitz, who was the only Jewish nurse at O.R.D. according to Min Klein. Two photos include Rabbi Leo Geiger.

5. Recordings. 1 folder (7 items).

This series contains phonograph records with personalized messages from soldiers during World War II. Several are GEM records.


FOLDER LISTING

SeriesFolderContents
11Correspondence-- Bokolor, Marke (1946)
2-- Braveman, Aaron (1946)
3-- Dietz, Sollie (1943-1944)
4-- Ed___, Richard "Dick" (1946)
5Correspondence-- Fort Bragg (1943)
6-- Ganderson, Harry (1946)
7-- Geiger, Leo (1946)
8-- Goldberg, Herbert "Herb" (1944)
9Correspondence-- Goldhill, Walter A. "Wally" (1947)
10-- Gorn, Theodore "Ted" (1943-1944, 1946, n.d.)
11-- Ham___, Lewis "Lee" (1943)
12-- Hayes, Sol (1943-1945)
13Correspondence-- Herbst, Mac (1943)
14-- Hershkowitz, Wesley (1945-1946)
15-- Karesh, M.W. (1945)
16-- Klein, Bette & Miller (1945)
17Correspondence-- Klein, Min (1988?)
18-- Leving, Alvin S. (1947)
19-- Lihn, Harry (1946)
20-- Miller, Ruttie G. (1941-1942)
21Correspondence-- Miscellaneous (1942, 1946-1947, n.d.)
22-- Munich, Samuel (1942)
23-- National Jewish Welfare Board (Aryeh Lev, 1946)
24-- O.R.D (George H. Fitch and Converse R. Lewis, 1944-1945)
25Correspondence-- Pais, Gregg (1946)
26-- Potter, Bertram L. "Bert" (1941-1944)
27-- Resnick, Lawrence "Larry" (1942-1943)
28-- Richman, Shirley (1944)
29Correspondence-- Rogosa, Jay (1943)
30-- Romoff, C.W. "Woody" (1942)
31-- Rose, Lawrence 'Larry' (1941)
32-- Rosenberg, Sidney and Schein, Al (1942)
33Correspondence-- Rubenstein, Amenon (1945)
34-- Sakolsky, Melvin (1942-1943)
35-- Saudle, Saul (1942-1943)
36-- Shulman, Fred. E. (1942-1943)
37Correspondence-- Simpson, Albert L. "Al Jr." (1942)
38-- Simpson, Rose (1942-1943)
39-- St. Pierre, Edward (1941-1944)
40-- St. Pierre, Marguerite (1942)
41Correspondence-- Stein, Sidney "Sid" (1942-1943)
42-- Temple Emanuel-Council Sisterhood (Adele Rosenberg, 1943)
43-- United Service Organizations, Inc. (Kenneth S. Dale)
44-- Waxman, Jack (1946)
45Correspondence-- Wellish, Gerald J. "Jerry" (1946)
46-- Winters, J.L. "Jerry" (1942, n.d.)
47-- ___, Marion (1943)
21Miscellaneous-- Kippah
31Printed Material-- Bulletin -- Jewish Chapel Notes (1945)
2-- Certificate -- United States Citizen Service Corps (Min Klein, 1942)
3-- Certificate -- USO War Work (Min Klein, 1946)
4-- Certificate -- YMCA service recognition (Min Klein, n.d.)
5Printed Material-- Newsletter -- The Rebel Yell (September 28, 1946)
6-- Newspaper -- The Rotator (March 29, 1946)
7-- Program -- Passover Seder Service (National Jewish Welfare Board and B'Nai B'rith Hadassah Council Sisterhood, 1946)
41Photographs-- Miscellaneous
51Recordings-- Phonograph message records from soldiers