Respondent
Schwarz, Frank
Interview Date
December 11, 1986
Abstract
Frank Schwarz, a German refugee who came to Pittsburgh in 1934 to work for Gimbels Department Store for sixteen years and later opened his own stores in three sections of the city; birth year, 1912;
[T1S1] his birth in Bergvern, Germany; his mother's family that settled in Brookhaven, MS; his maternal grandfather's store in Brookhaven opened in 1860; the story of his parents' meeting and marriage in Germany; early life in Germany; his education in Latin school; recollections of WWI; family life; moves to Frankfurt; discussion of Reform practice in Germany as compared to its practice in the United States;
[T1S2] 1928-29, begins to feel the effects of Nazism; effects of rising anti-Semitism on his family's business; graduation from school and employment in a furniture store; after two years under Hitler's rule, begins arrangements to leave Germany; his family leaves in 1934 to come to Pittsburgh, PA;
[T2S3] arrival in Pittsburgh; employment at Gimbels Department Store; description of Pittsburgh in 1934; affiliation with Rodef Shalom Temple; becomes assistant buyer for Gimbels; remains at Gimbels for sixteen years in Home Furnishings and Linens; leaves Gimbels in 1950 to open a linen shop called Zentlers in the Jenkins Arcade; discussion of Jenkins Arcade and changes in the downtown area; opens a store in Shadyside and Mt. Lebanon areas;
[T2S4] more discussion of his stores; changes in the stores after he sold it; discussion of Shadyside community; courtship and marriage to Ruth Rosenson; discussion of department store executives; buying trips for Shadyside store; his children; their careers and families; political views;
[T3S5] his opinions of the city of Pittsburgh; his feeling about the Jewish community, mixed marriages and Israel; his travels; his work as a SCORE volunteer in business; hopes for the future; feelings about Germany
Subjects
Business; Industries; Downtown District (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Germany; National socialism; Shadyside (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Zentler Shop
Birth Date
1912
City
Bergvern
Country
Germany
Emigration Date
1934
Work
Gimbels
Residence
5th Ave., Shadyside
Length (hours)
3
Interviewer1
Faigen, Ann
Interviewer2
Kimball, Harold
Collateral Materials
Box 106 FF 8
Identifier
ais196440.411
Rights
All rights reserved. University of Pittsburgh