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.
Los Alamos, NM
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.
Cindy Kelly: I am Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is December 7, 2017, in Las Cruces, New Mexico. I am with Jim Eckles. I would like to start by asking him to say his full name and spelling it.
Jim Eckles: Jim Eckles, E-C-K-L-E-S.
Kelly: Terrific. Jim, why don’t you just tell us a little bit about your background and how you became so familiar with the Trinity site?
Jim Eckles worked for decades for the White Sands Missile Range Public Affairs Office, managing open houses and tours of the Trinity site, where the world’s first nuclear test took place. In this interview, Eckles describes the history of Trinity site. He discusses the ranchers who lived on it before the Manhattan Project took over, the buildings used by the scientists, and what it was like to live on the site before and during the war.
Nancy Bartlit: My name is Nancy R. Bartlit, B-A-R-T-L-I-T.
Cindy Kelly: Thank you. Why don’t we start with you telling us what is your role?
Bartlit: I’m president of the Los Alamos Historical Society, and I formerly was on the County Council. I have been in Los Alamos for more than forty years as a volunteer activist and environmentalist. I also was on the National Lung Association, so I’m kind of interested in many things.