Guide to the Harry Bernard Glazer Papers, 1929-1972
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 Number
- Harry Bernard Glazer papers
- Glazer, Harry Bernard (Harrison Bernard), 1923-2014
- 8.0 Linear Feet
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Materials in English
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.
Access to the Collection
Collection is open for research.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
Use & Permissions
The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], Harry Bernard Glazer Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
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.
Harry Glazer's younger brother.
Harry Glazer's mother. Includes sample Army ration packaging in Feb. 1944.
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.
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.
Harry's father. Worked as an editor of the American Trucking Association Inc. newsletter.
Harry's father. Worked as an editor of the American Trucking Association Inc. newsletter.
Letter rejecting Harry from joining the FBI because he was underweight.
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).
Letter from Willkie to Harry Glazer thanking him for supporting Willkie's presidential campaign.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Informal notes kept by Glazer of his daily activities, contacts, letters received, etc.
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.
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.
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.
Includes "Off to a Good Start" Army pamphlet, distributed to newly enlisted male soldiers to warn them about sexually transmitted diseases.
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.
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.
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.
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Glazer, David, 1929-1945
- Glazer family
- United States. Army. Tank Destroyer Division, 824th
- United States. Foreign Service
- Woodrow Wilson High School (Washington, DC)
- Basic training (Military education) -- United States
- Family Violence -- 20th century
- Jewish soldiers -- United States -- 20th century
- Jewish soldiers -- Religious life
- Soldiers -- Family relationships -- United States
- Soldiers -- Diaries
- Tank crews
- Vietnam War, 1961-1975
- World War, 1939-1945
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Participation, Jewish
The Harry Bernard Glazer Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 2016.
Processed by Meghan Lyon, August 2016 and October 2016
Accessions described in this collection guide: 2016-0076, 2016-0237