Wednesday March 20, 2019
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Martin Greenfield, A Holocaust Survivor Now Dresses Celebs

While washing and scrubbing one of the Nazi’s uniforms, I ripped the collar of the shirt

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Holocaust Survivor Becomes America’s Tailor
Holocaust Survivor Becomes America’s Tailor, VOA

But Greenfield did not arrive at his career in a usual way. He didn’t dream of growing up to sew clothes, or learn the business as an apprentice. Instead, Greenfield’s first encounter with a needle and thread happened when he was a prisoner at the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944. He was 15 years old.

​“While washing and scrubbing one of the Nazi’s uniforms, I ripped the collar of the shirt. The guard became angry and beat me with his baton. A nice man working in the laundry taught me how to sew a simple stitch,” says Greenfield.

The kapo having no more use for the shirt, Greenfield kept the shirt for himself.

“I eventually took the shirt and wore it all through the concentration camp, until I got to another camp (Buchenwald) and they made me take it off.”

Martin Greenfield
Martin Greenfield, VOA

For Greenfield, the shirt had much value.

“The day I first wore the shirt was the day I learned clothes possess power. Clothes don’t just ‘make the man,’ they can save the man. The kapos treated me a little better. Even some of the prisoners did the same. Wearing the shirt, the kapos didn’t mess with me and they thought I was somebody.”

Greenfield’s parents and siblings were also at the concentration camp. The family was forced by the Nazis to leave their small hometown of Pavlovo, Czechoslovakia. Once at the camp, Greenfield never saw his family again. His father, mother, sisters, brother, and grandparents were killed. His life was spared.

“My father said no matter what job they give you, you do it and you will always survive. And I did survive,” he says.

After World War II, Greenfield immigrated to the United States.

Martin Greenfield holding the suit he stitched
Martin Greenfield holding the suit he stitched, VOA

He landed a job at GGG Clothing Company as a “floor boy” – someone who ran errands and did odd jobs. But he worked his way up, and in 1977 he bought the company and give it his name: Martin Greenfield Clothiers.

Greenfield is 89 years old now. His two sons, Jay and Tod, along with more than 100 other people, work at his company. But Greenfield still comes to the shop every day and walks the floor, managing workflow production and paying close attention to detail. When asked about his success, Greenfield gives credit to the talent and hard work of his employees. He also notes the importance of a satisfied customer.

Also read: Yazidi Woman who Survived Genocide Equates the Current Situation to Jewish Holocausts

“When I deliver a suit and they put it on and say, ‘My God, this is beautiful’, they know it is the quality we produce,” he says. “We satisfy our customers so they could come back again because we have the best suits ever!”  (VOA)

Next Story

Indian President Launches Pulse Polio Programme for 2019

He applauded the efforts of thousands of volunteers, frontline workers and health officials for tireless work for keeping the country polio-free

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Polio
A health worker gives polio vaccine to a girl in Lahore, Pakistan. VOA

President Ram Nath Kovind, here on Saturday, launched the 2019 pulse polio programme by administering polio drops to children below five years at the Rahstrapati Bhawan.

The launch was organised on the eve of the National Immunisation Day, which will be observed on Sunday.

“Over 17 crore children below five years will be administered polio drops as part of the government drive to support polio eradication programme,” said a release.

Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda, also present on the occasion, said the Universal Immunisation Programme was focusing on protecting children from diseases and has introduced several new vaccines, like pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, rotavirus vaccine and measles-rubella vaccine.

“To provide additional protection to the children, the government has also introduced the injectable inactivated polio vaccine in the routine immunisation programme,” Nadda said.

Polio, afghanistan
A boy receives polio vaccination drops during an anti-polio campaign in Kabul, Afghanistan. VOA

Pointing out that the government was making all efforts to protect children from diseases, he said the vaccines under the programme must reach the last child of the country.

“Along with the Universal Immunisation Programme, we have also launched the Mission Indradhanush to achieve more than 90 per cent immunisation coverage. Over 3.39 crore children and 87 lakh pregnant women have been vaccinated through the Mission Indradhanush drives,” Nadda said.

Strengthening of the immunisation programme has contributed to the decline of infant mortality from 39 per 1,000 live births in 2014 to 32 in 2017, he added.

Also Read- Researchers Identify Key Gene Behind Breast Cancer

Nadda also appreciated the efforts of state governments and supporting organisations, like the WHO, UNICEF and Rotary International, for strengthening the polio programme as well as other immunisation initiatives.

He applauded the efforts of thousands of volunteers, frontline workers and health officials for tireless work for keeping the country polio-free. (IANS)