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Guide to the Harry Bernard Glazer Papers, 1929-1972

Summary

Collection includes correspondence, diaries, and assorted papers from Harry Bernard Glazer, a Jewish American serviceman who served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.11267
Title
Harry Bernard Glazer papers
Date
1929-1972
Creator
Glazer, Harry Bernard (Harrison Bernard), 1923-2014
Extent
8.0 Linear Feet
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Materials in English

Collection Overview

The collection consists of Harry Glazer's diaries and correspondence, as well as some personal materials from both Harry and his brother David Glazer, dating from the early 1930s but extending through the 1970s. The majority of the material dates from the 1940s, while Harry was a student and enlisted soldier in World War II; additional materials date from the 1970s while Harry was serving in the Foreign Service during the Vietnam War. Harry kept thorough and legible diaries; the collection contains diaries from both the World War II-era and the Vietnam War-era. The early diaries (1941-1944) document his last year of high school at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C., his repeated rejection by the Selective Service, his eventual successful enlistment in the army in 1943, and his early days of training at North Camp Hood and Camp Bowie in Texas. There is also a diary from 1971 kept by Harry while he was stationed in Vietnam as part of the Foreign Service, describing his activities, his feelings about his work and the broader activities of the U.S. soldiers, his homesickness and love for his family, and the conditions he witnessed in Vietnam.

There are several periods represented in the collection's correspondence. The bulk of the World War II-era correspondence consists of letters between Harry, David, and their parents, but there are also letters between Harry, his fellow soldiers, and his friends, including girlfriends. There is also a large amount of outgoing correspondence (including love notes, family news, and reports on Vietnam) from 1970-1972 from Harry to his wife, Carol, written while he was stationed in Vietnam. Incoming letters from Harry's children, Debbie and David, also date from that period. Finally, there is a series of letters from Harry's father, Morris, to his mother, Dorothy, dating from 1932-1933, written while Morris was traveling for business.

The collection has a significant amount of material, including correspondence and medical logs, relating to Harry's brother David Glazer's illnesses and his death in 1945. The other materials in the collection relate to Harry's participation and leadership in local Wendell Willkie clubs for the 1940 election; Harry's army service during World War II, including some printed materials from his attendance at Jewish services while in the U.S. Army in Europe after the war ended in 1945. The collection's content documents Harry Glazer's ongoing interest in international affairs, especially the treatment of Jews in Europe; America's role in the war, including detailed news accounts; his pre-Army daily activities, including school, jobs, friends, and hobbies; his personal feelings over his struggle to enlist; his tumultuous relationships with his parents (including his diary entries documenting abuse by his father); his concern and love for his brother, David, a bright student and Boy Scout who suffered from ongoing medical problems; his attendance at Jewish services and observances of Jewish holidays; his various relationships, courtships, and communications with several women; his marriage to Carol and his relationship with his children; his work and service in the Army, including his training exercises and troop movements; his desires and career aspirations following the war; and a set of color Kodachrome slides taken while he was serving in Vietnam.

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How to Cite

[Identification of item], Harry Bernard Glazer Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

1. Correspondence, 1938-1972

Letters to and from Harry Glazer, arranged alphabetically by correspondent and chronologically within each file.

There are two batches of letters in this series: correspondence from his U.S. Army service in World War II (1940s), and correspondence from his U.S. Foreign Service placement during the Vietnam War era (1970-1972).

The 1940s correspondence largely consists of letters between Harry and his immediate family: his father, Morris H. Glazer, his mother, Dorothy Glazer, and his brother, David Glazer. Some of the letters overlap with Harry's diaries from the 1940s, which offers an interesting complement to his feelings versus his interactions with each family member. Harry's notes and reactions to his incoming mail are often noted on the letters' envelopes. David's letters to Harry during his training and deployment number about one per day, and include clippings and comics as well as updates on his medical condition and ailments.

There are also examples of V-Mail in this series, dating to Harry's Army service in Europe in late 1944 and early 1945. Portions of the correspondence have been censored by the Army.

Letters to and from Harry's friends, girlfriends, and extended family make up the rest of the World War II-era materials. Girlfriends (or female acquaintances) include Joyce Sherrod, Hazel Hutton, and L. Loyce Lovett. This series includes a small amount of correspondence from Madison Cooper, Jr., a philanthropist and author that Harry met during basic training in Texas; letters from Bea Bezell, who served in the Women's Army Corps and later wrote about her life in California; and letters from Aino Lauri, a refugee Harry met at a displaced persons camp in Europe. Lauri eventually immigrated to the United States and wrote Harry about her mixed feelings towards American culture.

The majority of letters from the Vietnam War-era are from Harry to his wife, Carol Glazer, as well as some incoming correspondence from his children Deborah (nickname Debbie) and David. The letters from Harry to Carol discuss personal and family news as well as relevant events from Vietnam, including Harry's role as a civilian amongst military officers and serviceman. He writes from Cao Lanh, Kien Phong, and Saigon.

Other materials in the Correspondence series are a set of letters from Harry's father, Morris, to his mother, Dorothy, dating from 1932 and 1933, while Morris was away from the family on business.

The Answer (magazine), 1945
Box 1
Adamson, Florence, 1970
Box 5
American Financial and Development Corporation for Israel, 1953
Box 5
Assorted invitations and postcards, 1945-1949
Box 1
Bazell, Bea, 1945-1947

In the Women's Army Corps.

Box 1
Beaman, Chester and Mary, 1971
Box 5
Blazer, Jeanne (nickname Smokey), 1946
Box 1
Campbell, Larry M., 1945-1952
Box 1
Cooper, Madison A., Jr., 1944-1947
Box 1
Community War Fund, 1942
Box 1
Cramer, Maurice, to Dorothy Glazer, 1949 June 9
Box 5
Cramer, Shirley, 1948
Box 1
Edelstein, Nadine (nickname Nash), 1947
Box 1
Fraser, Charles R. (nickname Charlie), 1944
Box 1
Gambino, Emile (nickname Frenchie), 1944-1952
(2 folders)
Box 1
Gaskin, E., 1944
Box 1
George Washington University, 1949-1951
Box 5
Glazer, Betty, 1944

Harry Glazer's cousin.

Box 1
To: Glazer, Carol, 1970 Nov.-1971 Sept. 4
(10 folders)

Harry Glazer's wife.

Box 5
To: Glazer, Carol, 1971 Nov. 25-1972 June 15 and undated
(8 folders)
Box 5
To: Glazer, David, 1942 June, 1943 July, 1943 Nov.-1945 Oct.
(22 folders)

Harry Glazer's younger brother.

Box 1
From: Glazer, David (brother), 1942 July-Aug, 1943 May-Sept.
(4 folders)
Box 1
From: Glazer, David (brother), 1943 Dec.-1945 Oct.
(19 folders)
Box 2
From: Glazer, David (son), 1970 Dec. 4-1971 Mar. 11

Harry Glazer's son.

Box 5
From: Glazer, Deborah (nickname Debbie), 1970 Nov. 29-1971 Mar. 22

Harry Glazer's daughter.

Box 5
To: Glazer, Dorothy, 1942 July-1944 Aug.
(11 folders)

Harry Glazer's mother. Includes sample Army ration packaging in Feb. 1944.

Box 2
To: Glazer, Dorothy, 1944 Sept.-1945 Oct.
(11 folders)

Harry Glazer's mother. The 29 March 1945 letter includes a description of a Pesach seder celebrated by Jewish Army soldiers in France. The 31 May 1945 letter contains 12 snapshots of Harry and his fellow soldiers, including Emile Gambino (Frenchie), Jackson, and George Schmidt, taken in Pfaffenhofen, Austria in May 1945.

Box 3
From: Glazer, Dorothy, 1938, 1942 June-1945 Oct.
(8 folders)

Harry Glazer's mother.

Box 3
From: Glazer, Lou to Harry, 1944

Harry's uncle.

Box 3
From: Glazer, Lou to David, 1944-1945

David's uncle.

Box 3
To: Glazer, Melvin, 1945 May

Harry's cousin; served in the U.S. Merchant Marines. Letter from Harry on 9 May 1945 contains description of liberated Polish Jews in Austria.

Box 3
From: Glazer, Melvin, 1944-1945

Harry's cousin; served in the U.S. Merchant Marines.

Box 3
To: Glazer, Morris, 1944 Jan.-1945 June
(7 folders)

Harry's father. Worked as an editor of the American Trucking Association Inc. newsletter.

Box 3
From: Glazer, Morris, to Dorothy Glazer, 1932 Oct.-1933 Apr.
(2 folders)
Box 5
From: Glazer, Morris, 1944 Jan.-1945
(3 folders)

Harry's father. Worked as an editor of the American Trucking Association Inc. newsletter.

Box 3
Glazer, Suzanne, 1944-1945

Harry's cousin.

Box 3
Grant, Roderick and Marianne, 1970
Box 6
Grinnell, Rene Margaret, 1945
Box 3
Hager, Al, 1944
Box 3
Hoover, J. Edgar, 1941 Jul. 26

Letter rejecting Harry from joining the FBI because he was underweight.

Box 3
Hope, Clifford R., 1941-1946
Box 3
Horowitz, Eileen, 1944-1946

Harry's cousin.

Box 3
Horowitz, Mina, 1944-1945

Harry's aunt.

Box 3
Hovsha, Shirley, 1947
Box 3
Hulsey, Yvonne, 1945
Box 3
Hutton, Hazel, 1944-1946
Box 3
"Jack", 1945
Box 3
Langerman, Elaine, 1949-1952
Box 3
Lauri, Aino, 1945-1949

Friend from Estonia who Harry while in the Army. Her letters include descriptions of her life in a displaced persons camp in Germany, and then her subsequent immigration and adjustment to life in the United States (Iowa and New York).

Box 3
Kind, Harold, 1946
Box 4
Kirby, F., 1970
Box 6
Lavin, Melvin, 1945
Box 4
Lovett, L. Loyce (nickname Chili), 1945-1951
(3 folders)
Box 4
Marin, Paul, 1952
Box 4
Mattingly, Phyllis Jean, 1950
Box 4
O'Neil, Phyllis, 1950
Box 4
Pi Gamma Mu, 1951-1952
Box 6
Pritzlaff, John C., undated
Box 6
Reinold family, 1971
Box 6
Sellner, Dorothy (nickname Dottie), 1946
Box 4
Sherrod, Joyce, 1944-1945
Box 4
Sloan, Richard (nickname Dick), 1949-1950
Box 4
U.S. Civil Service Commission, 1950-1951
Box 6
Willkie, Wendell, 1940

Letter from Willkie to Harry Glazer thanking him for supporting Willkie's presidential campaign.

Box 6
Miscellaneous assorted letters, 1944-1953
Box 4
Miscellaneous assorted letters, 1929-1970
Box 6

2. Diaries, 1941-1944, 1971

4 bound volumes and accompanying inserts kept by Harry Glazer between 1941 and 1944, and one bound volume from 1971. Harry's diaries tend to include both personal feelings and activities as well as records of and reactions to international and political news.

Diary, 1941 Jan. 1-Dec. 31

Kept by Glazer during his senior year of high school at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C. Subjects include: studies and extracurricular activities (such as the Social Studies Club and a school play); attending Roosevelt's 1941 inauguration; commencement/graduation exercises; Germany's declaration of war on Russia (June 22); job applications to the F.B.I. and local newspapers; employment at his father's office and a Western Union office; caring for his mother (at her insistance he left his job at Western Union); the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the U.S. entering World War II (Dec. 7).

Box 4
Diary inserts/inlaid clippings, 1941
Box 4
Diary, 1942 Jan. 1-Dec. 31

Comprises daily entries recalling Harry's activities along with reports of world news, largely war-related, from 1942. Includes discussion of his employment at the Washington Star newspaper and the War Production Board; his ongoing relationship troubles with his parents, including descriptions of physical abuse by his father; his attendance at synagogue, Adas Israel; and his plans and preparations to join the Army.

Box 4
Diary, 1943

Includes near-daily reports and updates regarding the war's progress, as well as Harry's daily activities, much of which centers on his efforts to enlist in the U.S. Army. He writes of being rejected by the Selective Service psychiatrist for having "a nervous turn of mind" after he refused to answer questions about "conditions here at home" (March 10); of his subsequent attenpts to join other branches of the armed forces; of his attempts to appeal the decision to various authorities; and finally, of moving to New York to register with a different draft board. This strategy was successful and he was inducted into the Army on Dec. 13.

Box 4
Diary inserts/inlaid clippings, 1943
Box 4
Diary, 1944 Jan. 1-Mar. 14

Diary describes induction into the Army at Fort Dix and early months of training at North Camp Hood, Texas. Includes description of barracks, training exercises, his fellow recruits, and general adjustment to Army life. Majority of the diary is blank, but there is a list of contacts, including complete names and some addresses for frequently-referred to friends and girlfriends, at the end of the volume.

Box 4
Loose pages and notes, 1944 and undated

Informal notes kept by Glazer of his daily activities, contacts, letters received, etc.

Box 4
Diary, 1971 Jan. 1-Aug. 24

Diary kept by Harry Glazer about his feelings, movements, and activities while stationed in Cao Lanh, Kien Phong, Vietnam and serving as an Acting Province Senior Advisor.

Box 6
Diary inserts/inlaid items, 1945-1971

Initially laid in to the 1971 diary: includes a photograph, letter, and some miscellany.

Box 6

3. David Glazer Materials, 1929-1945

Assorted materials relating to David Glazer, Harry Glazer's younger brother. This series largely consists of medical notes, correspondence, and condolences to the Glazer family relating to David's many illnesses and eventual death in Oct. 1945. Also included here are miscellaneous letters to and from David; his notes for a valedictorian speech, prepared in 1944; and his birth certificate.

Birth certificate, 1929
Box 4
Valedictorian speech notes, 1944 May
Box 4
Miscellaneous letters to David, 1940-1945
Box 4
Letters to David re: his illness/hospitalization, 1944-1945
Box 4
Medical reports kept by David, 1944 Oct.-1945 Jan.
Box 4
Funeral/burial for David, 1945
Box 4
Condolences re: David's death, 1945
Box 4

4. Harry Glazer Materials, 1932-1972

Assorted materials collected and saved by Harry Glazer, largely relating to his attempts to enlist in the Army and his subsequent Army service during World War II. This series also includes some pre-Army materials from Harry's employment at the War Production Board; clippings and poems saved by Harry; and discharge papers along with veterans services materials.

Expense ledger, finances, 1932-1948

Includes 1942 income tax return.

Box 4
Shepherd School Health Habits inspection record sheet, Washington D.C., 1930s
Box 6
Copied poems, printed materials, and clippings, undated
Box 4
Ration books, 1940s

Two ration books from World War II.

Box 4
War Production Board employment, 1942-1943
Box 4
Selective Service applications and rejections, 1943
Box 4
Marine Corps enlistment attempts, 1943
Box 4
Army induction papers, 1943

Includes "Off to a Good Start" Army pamphlet, distributed to newly enlisted male soldiers to warn them about sexually transmitted diseases.

Box 4
Transfer papers to Camp Bowie, Texas, 1944 May
Box 4
Harry Glazer's will, 1944
Box 4
Turret Topics shipboard newsletter, 1944

Vol I, numbers 1-11.

Box 4
Century Sentinel, 1945

Vol III, number 8.

Box 4
Army passes to attend Jewish services, 1944-1945
Box 4
Army Seder Service for the Eve of Passover, 1945

Program from Glazer's attendance at an Army-organized Passover Seder, likely the first freely-celebrated seder in Germany since the 1930s. His description of the seder can be found in a letter to his mother, Dorothy Glazer, dated 1945 Mar. 29.

Box 4
Army Jewish Service for Memorial Day, 1945

Program originally included in Harry Glazer's letter to his brother David, dated 1945 May 30. A description of the service is included in his letter.

Box 4
Discharge/Veterans services materials, 1945-1950
Box 4
Wendell Willkie stickers, ephemera, metal sign, and button, 1940
Box 6
"The Independent" newsletter, for Young Willkie Clubs (H. Glazer, ed.), 1940 Aug. 9-Oct. 21
Box 6
Wendell Willkie clippings, 1940
Box 6
Republican National Committee: Willkie literature and flyers, 1940
Box 6
Associated Willkie Clubs of America bulletins, printed literature, 1940
Box 6
Republican National Committee Willkie and McNary paper printing plates, 1940
Box 6
Kodachrome color slides, Saigon, 1972 Jan.
Box 6
Kodachrome color slides, Vietnam, 1970-1972
(3 folders)
Box 6
Kodachrome color slides, untitled (Vietnam), 1970-1972
Box 6
 

Historical Note

Harry Glazer (1923-2014) was a Jewish American soldier during World War II, originally from Washington, D.C. He enlisted in the army in 1943 and served in the 824th Tank Destroyer Battalion in France and Germany in 1944 and 1945. Following his honorable discharge in 1946, Glazer attended the University of Maryland and George Washington University, and served in the U.S. Foreign Service Office with appointments in Munich, Geneva, Vietnam, and Malta.

Harry Glazer was the oldest son of Morris H. and Dorothy Cramer Glazer, of Washington, D.C.; he had one brother, David. David died in 1945 at age 16 of a rare illness. Harry was married to Carol Paula Glazer, and the couple had two children: Deborah and David.


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Provenance

The Harry Bernard Glazer Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 2016.

Processing Information

Processed by Meghan Lyon, August 2016 and October 2016

Accessions described in this collection guide: 2016-0076, 2016-0237