Los Alamos, NM
Intro to Recording:
Narrator: Today is the 15th of May, 2012. This recording is of Victor Kumin, and it is being made at his home in Warner, New Hampshire.
Early Years at Harvard and Woods Hole:
Victor Kumin was a young scientist when he was drafted to the U.S. Army in 1944. In September of that year, he was transferred to Los Alamos. Here he was part of the Special Engineer Detachment (SED).
Nerses Krikorian: My name is Nerses Krikorian, N-E-R-S-E-S K-R-I-K-O-R-I-A-N. I was born in Harput, Turkey in 1921, January of 1921, to Hachig and Lucy Krikorian. Somehow or another they extricated me from the genocide which was prevailing and in a four-year period managed to get me from Turkey, where I was born, through Aleppo, where my brother was born.
Nerses “Krik” Krikorian was born in Turkey in 1921. He was brought to North America at the age of four, escaping the aftermath of the Armenian genocide. After graduating from college, Krikorian worked for Union Carbide in Niagara Falls, NY during World War II. In 1946, he was approached to work at Los Alamos to build polonium initiators for one year. He ended up staying in Los Alamos, where he still resides today, and even helped to write the charter to govern the town. In this interview, he remembers his childhood and experiences as the eldest son in an immigrant family.
Nate Weisenberg: My name is Nate Weisenberg. It is Tuesday, October 17, 2017. I’m here in Albuquerque, New Mexico with D. Ellett. My first question for you is if you could please say your name and spell it.
D.M. Ellett: It’s D, initial only, M, Ellett, E-l-l-e-t-t.
Weisenberg: Tell us a little bit about your childhood and early life. When and where were you born?
D. M. Ellett is a mechanical engineer who joined the Manhattan Project after the end of World War II. He was a member of Z Division, which was assigned to Sandia Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1945.
Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is Tuesday, October 17, 2017. I am in Santa Fe with Mary Brennan. My first question for Mary is to say her full name and spell it.
Mary Brennan: I’m Mary Brennan, that’s B-R-E-N-N-A-N.
Kelly: Great, do you have a middle name?
Brennan: I use Godschalx, G-O-D-S-C-H-A-L-X. Mary Godschalx Brennan.
Peter Malmgren: Okay. My name is Peter Malmgren. It’s spelled M-a-l-m-g-r-e-n. My Spanish neighbors find it impossible to pronounce, but that in fact is my Norwegian family name.
Nate Weisenberg: Where did you grow up?
Malmgren: Newark, New Jersey.
Weisenberg: When you were growing up, did you have a particular interest in oral history?
Peter Malmgren, an oral historian and cabinet maker, is the author of Los Alamos Revisited: A Workers’ History, which uses oral histories to tell the story of Los Alamos National Laboratory from the perspectives of the people who helped build and maintain it. Malmgren has been a resident of Chimayó, New Mexico since 1971. In this interview, he discusses some of the oral histories from his book and what he has learned about Los Alamos in the process. Malmgren describes interviewees’ perspectives on discrimination, health and safety, and working conditions.