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Jewish Heritage: The Oral Histories - Cuba Family Archives

MEMOIRIST:           GERTRUDE DIAMOND

INTERVIEWER:      MERNA ALPERT

LOCATION:             ATLANTA, GEORGIA

DATE(S):                  SEPTEMBER 30, 1994; OCTOBER 4, 1994

Transcript (PDF)

BIOGRAPHY

Gertrude Tontak Diamond was born in Atlanta, Georgia to Isaac and and Mollie Meltzer Tontak. She went to public schools but received a religious education at Ahavath Achim. Her family was in the grocery business, and she would later follow in their footsteps.

She went to work for the Jewish Educational Alliance after high school. She met her future husband, Alex Diamond, in the Arbeiter Ring to which her family belonged. She participated in the Yiddish activities, including a dramatic group, at the Arbeiter Ring and attended their school briefly. She and her husband ran a grocery store for many years but they sold out in 1972 after they had been robbed 5 times in one year.

Gertrude was always very active in the Jewish community including the National Council of Jewish Women, Na'Amat, Yiddish cultural and language activities, Hadassah, Jewish War Veterans of the United States (Women's Auxiliary), and Jewish Educational Alliance. She also volunteered at the William Breman Jewish Home where her husband Alex lived for five years until his death in 1990.

Scope of Interview

In this interview Gertrude discusses her childhood, Jewish education, the grocery trade, antisemitism, her activities in Jewish institutions throughout her life, and family history, both her own and her late husband’s. She also discusses this history of Atlanta as she’s witnessed it, having lived her whole life in the city, and she focuses particularly on the evolution of the Jewish community in the Atlanta area.

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