- Interview with Peter Wick, April 4, 1975, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Wisconsin Jewish Archives Oral Histories
- Wisconsin Historical Society
summary Peter Gordy interviews Peter Wick and his wife on April 4, 1975 in Milwaukee , Wisconsin. Mr. Wick discusses his youth in Russia, the Jewish communities in Marinette, Green Bay and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, changes in University life between 1915 and 1920, running an electrical supplies and sporting goods business, Zionism, World War II, and his involvement in Reform Judaism....moreDescription:summary Peter Gordy interviews Peter Wick and his wife on April 4, 1975 in Milwaukee , Wisconsin. Mr. Wick discusses his youth in Russia, the Jewish communities in Marinette, Green Bay and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, changes in University life between 1915 and 1920, running an electrical supplies and sporting goods business, Zionism, World War II, and his involvement in Reform Judaism.
accession number WSA0138
summary Peter Gordy interviews Peter Wick and his wife on April 4, 1975 in Milwaukee , Wisconsin. Mr. Wick discusses his youth in Russia, the Jewish communities in Marinette, Green Bay and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, changes in University life between 1915 and 1920, running an electrical supplies and sporting goods business, Zionism, World War II, and his involvement in Reform Judaism.
Interviewee Wick, Peter
Interviewer Gordy, Peter
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Partial Transcript: Date and place of birth, length of stay in Russia, father's occupation and economic circumstances, description of small town.
Partial Transcript: Streets, weather, long trip to grandparents.
Partial Transcript: Number, age, mother's role in the home, servant.
Partial Transcript: Long hours, definition of cheder, courses.
Partial Transcript: Pogroms and their reputation, mood in the villages.
Partial Transcript: Port of departure, intermediate stops, recollection of arrival in New York, circuitous trip to Marinette, family members accompanying Wicks.
Partial Transcript: Relatives in Marinette and their reasons for settling.
Partial Transcript: Number of families, countries of origin, community institutions, synagogue (shul), location, description of shul building, size of Marinette (“The Queen City. We Do Things Here!”).
Partial Transcript: Lumbering and paper mills, other businesses, Jews in economic life.
Partial Transcript: Kosher butchering, qualifications, learning the trade, keeping a kosher home, renting a house.
Partial Transcript: Hiring of a Russian rabbi as tutor, cheder after public school, public school, difficulties in learning English, age differential between PW and first grade classmates, sympathetic fourth grade teacher, using the public library to learn English, mastery of the language, loss of accent.
Partial Transcript: Closeness among Jewish children, clubs, close family ties.
Partial Transcript: Differences between Jewish newcomer community in Marinette and “Americanized” Jewish community in Green Bay, high school in Green Bay, father's job, Norman Abram's father as the first Green Bay schochet, reasons for returning to Marinette, death of father's Green Bay partner.
Partial Transcript: Size of high school, number of Jewish students.
Partial Transcript: Status as one of the first Russian Jews at U.W., Harry Hirsch, engineering, World War I and university life, job in engineering department at Allis Chalmers.
Partial Transcript: Rejection for military service on physical grounds, work on war projects at Allis Chalmers, service in the National Guard, return to college after the Armistice.
Partial Transcript: Increase in the number of Eastern European Jews, Menorah Society, early Zionist activity, Zionism in Marinette, Milwaukee friends.
Partial Transcript: Job with The Milwaukee Electric Railroad and Light Company, limited possibilities for advancement, handicaps for Jews, striking out on his own.
Partial Transcript: Went into business with two others, lack of business experience.
Partial Transcript: Training of partners in business, manufacturer's representation, initial difficulties, a stroke of luck in the form of a technological innovation in the electrical equipment field, description of the innovation, success in marketing this development, widening of the line into automobile electrical products, jobbing, name of the business.
Partial Transcript: Buying out one married partner, living on a shoestring with relatives, travelling for the business, economic fortunes seen against personal developments such as marriage (1923) and birth of first child (1924), saving and prudence as defense against the Great Depression.
Partial Transcript: Earliest residences in Milwaukee, Jews in the circle of friends, relatives in Milwaukee, Gentile friends, more on locations, birth of children, Zionism (Z.O.A.?), B'nai B'rith Gilead Lodge, business limitation of time for Zionist activity, extent of PW's activities.
Partial Transcript: Interest in Palestinian developments, explanation of lack of consciousness of developing tragedy, intimation of semi-clandestine solicitation of funds for the Haganah and even the Stern Gang by others, increase in Hadassah activity in response to emergency in Germany in the mid to late 1930s, description of Hadassah fund-raising activities, increasing awareness.
Partial Transcript: Supply hardships due to war and effect upon business, expansion into sporting goods field and its cancellation by the war, wartime toys and toy business, other ways of keeping business going during the war, returning to the sporting goods field in 1947, present state of the business, reasons for leaving the automotive supply business.
Partial Transcript: Reasons for membership, children's religious training and education at Congregation Emanu-El B'ne Jeshurun, Bar Mitzvah training of son by PW's father, later Hebrew training of son, Rabbi Swarsensky.
Partial Transcript: Mother died in 1938, father died in 1957, father remarried.
Partial Transcript: Men's Club and Board of Trustees of congregation, membership of Wisconsin Society for Jewish Learning, activities in the American Jewish Committee (board membership), friendship with the late Rabbi Jos. L. Baron.