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Staff Favorites

A showcase of our most treasured collections selected by VHP staff members. The written descriptions of these veterans’ stories highlight the diversity and dramatic content of our holdings. View additional staff favorites.

Geraldine Fisher Litvak

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After World War II broke out in Europe in 1939, Indiana teenager Geri Fisher never questioned her grandmother as the woman severed ties with her relatives back in Germany, fearful that some may have been sympathetic to the Nazi cause. It was common for her grandmother to provide shelter and clothes on her farm to European Jewish refugees, whom Geri called “Aunt” and “Uncle,” as they passed through on their way to permanent relocation in America. At 18, attending a business college in San Antonio, Texas, Geri started to understand the personal impact of the war on December 8, 1941, when she heard President Roosevelt’s words, “We are at war.” She felt obligated to participate in the war effort and worked for a time at the Servel Refrigerators plant, which had converted to manufacturing B-47 wings. From the personnel office to the manufacturing floor, everyone in the company struggled to make the transition. At college, Geri participated in USO-sponsored “invitation only Tea Dances” attended by military personnel from Randolph Field and other installations. The head of a group of Turkish Army cadets based at Randolph courted her, but she was wary of his intentions. He showed her a postcard and a codebook to impress her, and she managed to slip them away and pass them on to an officer friend at the base. Later, she obtained a high security clearance to be able to enter the base and entertain veterans returning from Europe suffering from battle fatigue. During WWII, she claims in her interview, treatment for returning servicemen was better than it is today.

Chosen by Yvonne Brown, Processing Technician. Yvonne received her B.S. degree in Business Administration from Columbia Union College. She came to the Veterans History Project in November 2006.

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  The Library of Congress >> American Folklife Center
  April 3, 2009
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