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Jewish Heritage: The Oral Histories - Cuba Family Archives

MEMOIRIST:                        GARY MARCUS

INTERVIEWER:                     JANE LEAVEY

DATE:                                   DECEMBER 5, 2008

LOCATION:                           ATLANTA, GEORGIA

Transcript (PDF)

Biography:

Gary Marcus was born in Florida.  Gary’s father, Alan Marcus, was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1911.  Lucille Selig Frank was Alan’s aunt and the wife of Leo Frank.  Sarah Selig Marcus was Gary’s grandmother.  Gary’s father moved from Atlanta and relocated to New Jersey after the Leo Frank incident when he was a child of four or five years.  He later moved to Florida.  Gary learned of the Leo Frank case and his family relation to him when he was in high school.  The Marcus family had owned Marcus Clothing Company, a prominent business in downtown Atlanta, and several clothing stores in Buckhead.

 Scope:

Gary Marcus talks about his father, Alan Marcus, and the impact the Leo Frank case had on him his entire life.  He talks about his father living with fear of it happening again and the fear that people might know who he was.  He mentions that when his father was a child, he was afraid to go to school in fear of getting beaten up. 

Gary talks about his father not wanting to discuss the case publicly and that he wanted the case to be forgotten.  Gary mentions that his father felt safer living in Florida where no one knew of the case.  He reflects on his father’s response when he read of Alonzo Mann’s confession in the newspaper decades later in 1982. 

Gary vividly recalls his Aunt Lucille’s funeral in 1957.  He remembers the police being there and threats being made to the funeral home.  Gary describes Lucille as being a very quiet individual and discusses how he later would understood and appreciate her.  Gary talks about his father burying her ashes in Atlanta.  

Gary talks about discussing the case with his grown children and how they received it.  He reflects on how future generations will have a greater separation from this incident and that they will no longer identify or feel the connection to the case.  He talks about wanting the incident to remain in the family as part of their heritage.

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