One of my grandfather's favorite
memories was that my great, great, great uncle was Max Westheimer (of Westheimer Street in
Houston, Texas). Max Westheimer was concerned about persecution and mistreatment of the
Jews before the war. But he wasn't concerned about this happening in Russia or somewhere
far away... he was concerned about it happening in America. He was afraid the Jews would
be kicked out of American schools, children fighting children, persecution, and other
mistreatments to Jews. He wrote many letters to Allen C. Bartlett the editor of the
Houston Press on that topic. He collected these articles and letters in a scrapbook that he kept until his death. Max Westheimer died
before the war began in 1938.
Once the war began, my family
helped support war efforts on the homefront. The photograph at the top of this page was
taken during World War II around the time Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. The man in the white
suit, Rudolf Leon (my great grandfather), was the air warden for the neighborhood during
the war. An air warden's job was to lead people to a safe place in the event of an air
raid. He also owned his own metal shop so it was chosen as a drop off point for the scrap
metal that was to be used to build more weaponry for the war. My grandfather (see if you
can pick him out in the picture above...hint, look at the navigation bar) and great uncle
were only boys at the time, but helped collect scrap metal for the war efforts. As a
result, they won the city-wide contest and got their picture taken atop the great scrap
pile along with an article in the local paper. The greatest prize for the kids
was..."all the ice cream they could eat!"
(802K) to my grandpa's story about this contest.