Tags: veterans | Buchenwald | concentration camps | liberation | Holocaust

Holocaust Survivor Pens 'Thank You' to Vets and Liberators

By    |   Tuesday, 11 November 2014 09:49 AM

A survivor of the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps who would forge a new life in America as a famed tailor says he owes everything to God and the "soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines of the U.S. Armed Forces" who liberated him.

"Everything I am or will ever be I owe to God and the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines of the U.S. Armed Forces who fought and died to liberate me," writes Martin Greenfield in a New York Post column.

Greenfield, who came to the United States after the war, says that Americans who believe "that America has seen her best days" just need to look to the members of the armed forces to be proven wrong.

"America is bigger and stronger than the vexing problems we now face. Lest one doubt this, simply look at our nation’s 2.4 million Armed Forces members. There you will find the best of us," he says.

Greenfield, whose first job after arriving in America was as a floor boy in a Brooklyn garment factory, would eventually work his way up the ladder and within a decade was making suits for the factory and its famous clients, according to a Washington Post profile.

The author of the new book "Measure of a Man: From Auschwitz Survivor to Presidents' Tailor," Greenfield says of the men and women who liberated the concentration camps, "they rescued me, and America welcomed me here and eventually claimed me as one of her own."

He also praises the families of the veterans.

"I am overwhelmed with gratitude for those brave enough to serve — and for the loving spouses and children who support them. On this Veterans Day — on every day — let us never forget our heroes in uniform and those who gave their all."

Once he had gained employment at the Brooklyn factory, he would eventually earn enough to purchase the factory and turn it into a successful business, making tailored suits for a range of dignitaries, including presidents and cabinet secretaries.

"But none of that would have been possible had 420,000 brave Americans not been willing to die during World War II to free us. They answered a call, and they knew a grateful nation stood shoulder-to-shoulder with them in support," the 84-year-old Greenfield writes in his New York Post dedication to veterans.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Greenfield was in Washington, D.C., for a scheduled appointment with President George W. Bush, just one of several presidents for whom he has made suits. That appointment was later canceled, as other events overtook the day, and Greenfield returned to New York a week later by train.

Greenfield, who still lives and works in New York, was in Auschwitz before being moved to Buchenwald, and it was in the concentration camps where he first learned to sew, the Post reports.

And he maintains the same dedication to quality as the day Martin Greenfield Clothiers opened in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in 1946, according to The New York Times.

"At Greenfield, one worker sews pockets all day long, and another focuses entirely on joining front and back jacket pieces. The labor involved in each suit’s construction is about 10 hours," reports the Times.

Each suit "Greenfield makes typically retail at around $2,000," the Times said.

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A survivor of the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps who would forge a new life in America as a famed tailor says he owes everything to God and the "soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines of the US Armed Forces."
veterans, Buchenwald, concentration camps, liberation, Holocaust
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 09:49 AM
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