Media Files
Title:
Interview with Barbara Lorman, June 26, 2003, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin
Collection:
Wisconsin Jewish Archives Oral Histories
Organization:
Wisconsin Historical Society
Description:
summary Andy Muchin interviews Barbara Lorman on June 26, 2003 in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. Barbara talks about her career in the Wisconsin State Legislature, the family scrap business, and bringing family members to the United States from Russia. She also talks about the Fort Atkinson Jewish community, traveling to Madison for Jewish activities, and antisemitism.
Identifier:
accession number WSA0160
Format:
audio
Description:
summary Andy Muchin interviews Barbara Lorman on June 26, 2003 in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. Barbara talks about her career in the Wisconsin State Legislature, the family scrap business, and bringing family members to the United States from Russia. She also talks about the Fort Atkinson Jewish community, traveling to Madison for Jewish activities, and antisemitism.
Language:
English
Date:
created 2003-06-26
Agent:
Interviewee Barbara Lorman
Interviewer Andy Muchin
Rights Statement:
Copyright to this audio belongs to the Wisconsin Historical Society or, in certain cases, either to the individuals who created them or the organizations for which they worked. We share them here strictly for non-profit educational purposes. If you have questions related to the copyright status of material included here, please contact us at asklibrary@wisconsinhistory.org.
Publisher:
Wisconsin Historical Society
Duration:
00:55:32
Source Metadata URI:
00053536
Type:
Sound
Partial Transcript: Barbara was elected to the state senate on a special election in 1980 and served until 1994. She was in the Health and Human Services Committee, the Education Committee, and many other committees. Barbara discusses two laws that she wrote that she is very proud of, one in which allowed imprisoned pregnant women to be apart of their child's life, and the another that allowed courts to impound the vehicles of drunk drivers. She also took an interest in issues related to immigration because she has family members who are immigrants.
Partial Transcript: Barbara talks about other Jewish legislators, including Russ Feingold. She talks about how she only really clashed with legislators of opposing parties during campaigns.
Partial Transcript: The hate crimes law was debated while Barbara served in office. She was opposed to the bill, because she does not believe that someone should be prosecuted for their thoughts.
Partial Transcript: Barbara's late husband served in the assembly for three years as a Republican. She talks about how she got involved in politics. Her late husband was a businessman and active in the Jewish community.
Partial Transcript: The Lorman Iron and Metal Company has been sold. The scrap business was started by Barbara's father-in-law.
Partial Transcript: Barbara's father-in-law was married and had a child in Kiev. The couple divorced and Barbara's father-in-law remarried and had another child. Barbara helped her father-in-law's family in Russia come to the United States.
Partial Transcript: Barbara helped her father-in-law's family leave Russia during the Gorbachev era, which was very difficult. They were stuck in Rome for three months, and stayed with Barbara for a few weeks after arriving in the United States.
Partial Transcript: Barbara's father-in-law met his second wife in Chicago. Her late husband had a Jewish education from an orthodox rabbi who lived with the family for a summer. Her father-in-law and his family did not keep kosher.
Partial Transcript: Her husband's family celebrated high holy days and visited relatives in Milwaukee and Chicago.
Partial Transcript: There was another Jewish family in Fort Atkinson, but they moved to Chicago because they wanted their children to grow up in a larger Jewish community. Barbara also discusses other Jewish families in the area.
Partial Transcript: Barbara and her husband often drove to Madison to attend temple and take their children to religious school.
Partial Transcript: Barbara has two sons and a daughter. Her sons spent a summer in Israel and her daughter married a rabbi. One of her sons married a Muslim and the other married a gentile.
Partial Transcript: Barbara would often drive an hour each way to attend temple or shabbat in Madison. She used to carpool to Madison with another Jewish family.
Partial Transcript: Barbara's children did not remain in Fort Atkinson once they graduated high school.
Partial Transcript: Barbara's oldest son would occasionally work in the family scrap yard. She describes how a scrap yard operates. There were other Jews in Wisconsin who were in the scrap business as well.
Partial Transcript: Barbara says her experience in Fort Atkinson as a Jew has been mainly positive. There have been a few instances of antisemitism, but she does her best to have a good relationship with the gentile community. Barbara talks about how people are often surprised to find out that she is Jewish. She discusses how the Madison Masonic Lodge would not allow her father-in-law to become a member.
Partial Transcript: Barbara talks about how her and her husband have suffered from antisemitism in business. She discusses how she was not really affect by antisemitism during her political career.

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