Herbert Gorfinkle Papers
Scope and Content Note
This collection contains photographs, ephemera and letters from Herbert Gorfinkle to his parents and younger sisters, Ruth and Sara, about his experiences in World War II. Most of the letters were re-typed by Bernard Gorfinkle's secretary, although a few handwritten, original letters remain. Gorfinkle captured his experiences as both a photographer and soldier. Unfortunately, not all the photographs are labeled, which makes identification difficult. Gorfinkle was also an amateur artist and sent humorous sketches home to his family. In addition to the materials documenting World War II, there are also yearbooks, photographs and a diploma from the University of New Hampshire documenting Gorfinkle's education. Gorfinkle also inherited family photograph albums consisting primarily of cabinet card and carte de visite photographs of the Milontaler and Gorfinkle families, although there are also a few tintypes included, as well. The Milontalers and Gorfinkles were related through marriage (Herbert Gorfinkle's father, Bernard's, mother was Sarah Milonthaler, who married Harris Gorfinkle.) The majority of these photographs are not identified.
- undated, circa 1850s-2000
- Gorfinkle, Herbert (Person)
Language of Materials
The collection is in English.
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Herbert Gorfinkle was the eldest child and only son of Colonel Bernard and Frieda Gorfinkle of Newton, Massachusetts. Born in 1923, Gorfinkle came of age during World War II and entered the U.S. Army while an undergraduate at the University of New Hampshire. As a Tech 5 combat engineer, Gorfinkle was responsible for clearing landmines ahead of his advancing unit. He was also a trained army photographer, and aside from his letters home, he documented his years in the War with photographs. A soldier under General Dwight Eisenhower, Gorfinkle participated in the Normandy Invasion and was among the troops that liberated Buchenwald in 1945.
Gorfinkle graduated from the University of New Hampshire, but during the war he attended Cornell University in New York for engineering training and University of Oxford in England. He received his Masters in Business Administration from New York University's School of Retailing in 1948.
Following the war, Gorfinkle married Constance Golub. They had three daughters, Jeanne, Anne and Elisabeth. Gorfinkle was President and Founder of Edwards Stores of Boston. An active boater, he was Chairman of the Harbor Development Committee in Hingham, a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Coast Guard Auxiliary and Commodore of the Metropolitan Yacht Club.
Gorfinkle died on June 11, 2000 at the age of 77.
- Herbert Gorfinkle born to Bernard and Frieda Gorfinkle.
- Enters World War II and through training becomes a Tech 5 and army photographer.
- Graduates from the University of New Hampshire.
- Graduates from New York University's School of Retailing.
- Marries Constance Golub
- June 11, 2000
- Herbert Gorfinkle dies at age 77.
2 linear feet (2 document boxes, 1 OS box)
Herbert Gorfinkle was the eldest child and only son of Colonel Bernard and Frieda Gorfinkle of Newton, Massachusetts. Born in 1923, Gorfinkle came of age during World War II and entered the U.S. Army while an undergraduate at the University of New Hampshire. As a Tech 5 combat engineer, Gorfinkle was responsible for clearing landmines ahead of his advancing unit. He was also a trained army photographer, and aside from his letters home, he documented his years in the war with photographs. A soldier under General Dwight Eisenhower, Gorfinkle participated in the Normandy Invasion and was among the troops that liberated Buchenwald in 1945. This collection includes correspondence and photographs from Gorfinkle’s service in World War II, photographs of Bernard Gorfinkle’s service during World War I, and a collection of family carte de visites, cabinet cards and tintypes.
Located in Boston, Mass.
Donated by Constance Gorfinkle and Jeanne Gorfinkle Wiley, January 2011.
Processed by Stephanie Call, 2011. Updated by Henry Treadwell, 2023.
- Boston (Mass.)
- Buchenwald (Concentration camp)
- Clippings (information artifacts)
- Cornell University
- Gorfinkle, Bernard
- Publications (documents)
- United States--Army--Reserve Officer Training Corps
- University of Oxford
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Europe.
- Guide to the Herbert Gorfinkle Papers, P-904
- Processed by Stephanie Call in 2011. Updated by Henry Treadwell in 2023.
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script