The Manhattan Project

European Refugees

Dieter Gruen's Interview (2018)

Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, it is Tuesday, February 6, 2018. I’m in Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida, and I have with me Dieter Gruen. I want him first to say his name and then spell it.

Dieter Gruen: My name is Dieter Gruen, D-i-e-t-e-r G-r-u-e-n. 

Kelly: Thank you very much. Now, I want to start back to your childhood. Maybe you can tell us when you were born, and where. 

Robert S. Norris's Interview (2002)

Robert S. Norris: By the late 30s, physicists, in Europe primarily, but some in America too, were making great discoveries about the atom. The key date here was January 1939, when European scientists had discovered fission. News of that was brought to the United States by Niels Bohr. Actually, it was brought to Washington, DC, at a conference at George Washington University.

Krik Krikorian's Interview

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

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.

Philippe Halban's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I am Cindy Kelly, and this is Thursday, December 14, 2017. I’m in Geneva, Switzerland, with Philippe Halban. My first question is for you to tell us your full name and spell it.

Philippe Halban: My name is Philippe Halban. I usually pronounce it the English way. It’s spelled the French way, with two p’s and an e at the end. My mother was French. That explains my first name. I’m delighted to be able to speak with you today about my father.

Kelly: Just one thing. Could you spell Halban?

Rebecca Erbelding's Interview

Alexandra Levy: We’re here in Washington, D.C. on December 22, 2017, with Dr. Rebecca Erbelding. My first question for you is to please say your name and spell it.

Rebecca Erbelding: My name is Rebecca Erbelding. R-E-B-E-C-C-A E-R-B-E-L-D-I-N-G.

Levy: Great. If you could just tell us a little bit about yourself and your career, including your current work at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and your forthcoming book.

Elspeth Bobbs's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I am Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is October 12, 2017, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I am with Elspeth Bobbs, who has some very interesting stories. But first, I want Elspeth to say her name and spell it.

Elspeth Bobbs: Elspeth. It's Scottish. E-L-S-P-E-T-H.

Kelly: Your married name, last name, Bobbs? 

John Attanas's Interview

Lauren Attanas: My name is Lauren Attanas, that’s A-T-T-A-N-A-S. I am the granddaughter of John Attanas, who we are interviewing for the Atomic Heritage Foundation today. Can you say your name and spell it for the camera?

John Attanas: John George Attanas.

Lauren: Tell us the story of your origins. Where did your family come to the United States from?

William Ginell

William Ginell is a physical chemist who worked on the Manhattan Project. In this interview he describes how he became interested in chemistry and his experiences working at Columbia University and Oak Ridge, TN on the gaseous diffusion process. He reflects on the Army, living conditions, and the intense secrecy and security during the project. He also discusses his life after the war, especially his work at Brookhaven, Atomics International, and Douglas Aircraft.

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