Jonas, Hans
Interview Date
October 27, 1995
Respondent. Photographer, born 1926.
[T1S1] Respondent describes family background in Vienna; father Herman photographer. Respondent mentions his daughters. Respondent elaborates on father's career in Vienna, named "Purveyor to Emperor Franz Joseph," meaning photographer for royal family. Respondent talks about father's photographic education; apprenticed in Hazelwood after WWI; moved back to Vienna in 1924. Respondent reminisces about childhood. Respondent describes in detail life under Hitler, Kristallnacht, father's imprisonment, release from Dachau, encounter with SS officer, move to Pittsburgh from Austria. Respondent recalls why family traveled first class from Austria. Respondent details family's beginnings in America. Respondent describes father's photographic career; mentions father and partner bought studio with loan from Hebrew Free Loan Association.
[T1S2] Respondent reminisces about family's involvement in father's career; Respondent's education. Respondent mentions being drafted for WWII, stationed in Korea; photographer who documented Japan's occupation. Respondent describes family's religious background in Austria and America. Respondent recalls meeting wife; mentions parent's families. Respondent recalls photographer's in Pittsburgh. Respondent gives wife's family background. Respondent details family economic situation in Austria and America. Respondent discusses children's education.
[T2S3] Respondent mentions marriage to June; talks about married life, family life; describes Jewish traditions. Respondent describes father's studio in Austria. Respondent elaborates on early life in America; mentions father's work with Burleigh Studio; details how photographer's learn trade; mentions clients. Respondent recalls social life.
[T2S4] Respondent discusses anti-Semitism, clients did not know he was Jewish, photographed society's elite; lists Pittsburgh clubs that excluded Jews. Respondent recalls moving studio to Craig Street. Respondent mentions Friendship Club, community involvement with B'nai Brith. Respondent talks of loss of B'nai Israel from his neighborhood. Respondent elaborates on Korea; mentions encounter with Russians. Respondent mentions failed recruitment by photographer Paul Giddings.
[T3S5] Respondent describes father's studio and business; mentions photographing various Pittsburgh balls. Respondent gives views on intermarriage between Jews and Gentiles. Respondent mentions parent's death, taking over father's studio; lists businesses near studio on Craig St. Respondent outlines significant career achievements. Respondent talks about daughter Marla's involvement in studio. Respondent elaborates on business; marriage.
[T3S6] Respondent discusses changes in corporate management in Pittsburgh and how exclusive clubs are changing. Respondent discusses changes in raising children; mentions childhood in Austria and America; mentions changes in community. Respondent states that Jews need to learn about their history. Respondent lists his awards and publications. Respondent talks about father's influence on his work; mentoring his daughter.
Austria; Friendship Club (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Franz Joseph I, Emperor of Austria, 1830-1916; Korea; Kristallnacht, 1938; Photography; World War, 1939-1945
Birth Date
Occupation (father)
Length (hours)
Menlowe, Mildred
Winer, Ruth
Collateral Materials
Box 102 FF 42
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