Love and Marriage

The German Jews of Brooklyn

"When my dad met my mother, he sort of-- you know-- became overwhelmed by her."

"My aunt got married in ‘45-- to my uncle, and they went to a synagogue that was a German refugee synagogue, and there was a man that kept staring at them during the service-- and this was my Aunt Hiddie and my mother-- and eventually he approached them and asked them if they were the Simon girls from Cloppenburg.

And they said, 'Yes.' And they hadn’t recognized him until they got a full view of him. And he was a very good friend of their dad’s. He used to also deal in cattle, and he would come with his son, and normally people would just come and deal with them and then go back to their towns, but because they were such good friends, they had stayed actually at their house, and he was so delighted to see them, and they were so surprised. And he had met some other people that were also from Germany, and they had a son that was in the Army. And they wanted this particular man-- Solly Gernzheimer-- to meet Aunt Hiddie. And he fell in love with her, and they got married eventually.

And my dad was the president of the youth group there-- the young adult group in the synagogue, and he met my mother-- I believe-- through the synagogue, and also because my mother had-- after my Aunt Hiddie got married-- she had to find a place to stay herself. And she found a German family that lived in Brooklyn that had an extra room, and they had a daughter that was about her age, so she rented a room from them. And the daughter, apparently, had a crush on my dad. But when my dad met my mother, he sort of-- you know-- became overwhelmed by her. And so the daughter wasn’t too happy. But eventually they got married on March 23, 1947. And I came along a little over a year later, in September '48."