Refugees

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Interview with Tien Tran, a Vietnamese immigrant to the United States, about his experience in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. He discusses the death of his mother when he was a young boy, his father's decision to not remarry and raise the three children himself while working in the rice fields, and the family leaving North Vietnam to settle in Saigon, South Vietnam, when the countries were divided in 1954. He also describes his enlistment in the military in 1962, his training and service, and medals and ranks he achieved. He later left Vietnamese by boat and lived at a Malaysian refugee camp before immigrating to the United States in 1980, ending up in Kansas City, where he was later joined by his wife and children, and all became citizens. He discusses being involved in several local Vietnamese organizations.

Video Recording

Interview with Eugene Lebowitz in which he discusses his childhood in Czechoslovakia, surviving the Holocaust in a labor camp and later as a tailor for Nazi officers in Budapest, living as a refugee in Austria and Italy, and coming to the United States as part of the Displaced Persons Act. He discusses working as a tailor for garment companies in New York City, and later being hired by Kansas City garment companies Youthcraft and Fashionbilt as a designer. He also talks about his work as a Holocaust educator with a speakers bureau, the decline of the Kansas City garment industry in the face of Asian manufacturing, and he and his wife Kate share family photographs and additional stories.

Video Recording

Interview with Arthur Brand about the history of the Jewish community and his family in the Kansas City area. He describes that he and his extended family came to Kansas City from New York City in June 1928, starting Brand and Puritz garment company, and the development and decline of Kansas City's garment industry from the 1930s through the 1970s. He also discusses at length the evolution of the Jewish community from its beginning in the urban core to its eventual shift south Kansas City and later to Johnson County; issues such as assimilation and intermarriage; and the development of institutions including Menorah Hospital, the Jewish Federation of Kansas City, Jewish Vocational Services, and Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy, named for his father; and his involvement with a Judaic Studies program at University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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Audio Recording