Harry Bernard Glazer papers, 1929-1972

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Glazer, Harry Bernard (Harrison Bernard), 1923-2014
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.
8.0 Linear Feet
Materials in English
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

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.

Biographical / historical:

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.

Acquisition information:
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

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


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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.

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Preferred citation:

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