Pomrenze, Seymour J.

Sholom (Seymour) Jacob Pomrenze (1916-2011) was born in Brusilov, Ukraine to Jacob Pomrenze and Eva née Malaretsky. His father was killed during the 1919 pogroms, after which Pomrenze, his mother, and his older brother Chaim undertook a three-year journey to the United States. In 1922, they arrived in Chicago, where many extended family members had settled. The family decided that Pomrenze was to be raised by his father’s sister Dina and her husband, Shalom Zeldich. Chicago had a very concentrated Jewish population on the West Side, and Pomrenze grew up attending a Hasidic synagogue and attending both secular and Hebrew school. After high school, he attended the Lewis Institute and the University of Chicago, earning a Masters degree and working toward a doctorate in Jewish history. While doing research in Washington, DC, in 1939, his money ran out, and he took job at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

In April 1942, Pomrenze joined the United States Army. After basic training, he attended officer school and was commissioned a second lieutenant in April 1943. During the war he was stationed in Columbus, Ohio and Leavenworth, Kansas, and also traveled to Burma, China, and India for the OSS.


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