Harry L. Katz
Papers, 1941-1994, bulk 1942-1943


Quantity: 1 box (0.25 cubic ft.)
Access: Open to research
Acquisition: Gift of David Mesick, Slingerlands, N.Y., June 2015
Processed By: Regina Berry, Student Assistant, State University of New York at Albany, August 2015

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Biographical Note:

Little is known about the background of Dr. Harry Leon Katz.  It is likely that he is the Harry Katz, age 21, who appears in the 1930 federal census living in Cleveland, Ohio, with his parents Maurice and Bessie Katz, all immigrants from Poland in 1922.  The 1940 federal census finds a Harry L. Katz living in Richmond County, New York, as an intern at Sea View Hospital, Staten Island, which at the time was a tuberculosis sanatorium.  This census lists him with a birthdate of 1910 in Poland, and previous residence in Cleveland.  There is evidence in the collection that he took biology courses at Adelbert College, which is in Cleveland, and a photograph of him marked Sea View Hospital, which seems to corroborate this information.  The Social Security Death Index lists a Harry L. Katz with a birthdate of January 27, 1910, and death date of January 2, 1991. This data also seems to match up with items in the collection.

In 1942, Harry was selected to become part of the Canadian-American Military Board.  This effort involved a train trip to visit thirty-three Canadian cities between May 5 and June 3, 1942. The board effected the transfer of 2,058 of the approximately 5,000 Americans stationed in Canada of the total of 16,000 Americans in the Canadian forces.

Harry married Sarah R. Lamport in Cleveland on June 14, 1942.  She was born in 1919 to Solomon Lamport (1875-1936) and Anna Lamport (1880-1957?), both Russian immigrants.  The Lamports lived in New York City, where Solomon was in the cloth trade.  Sarah had an older sister, named Silvia (1910-1989), who married Ezra Shipiro (1903-1977), a Cleveland lawyer, and together they were leaders of the Cleveland Jewish community.  In 1970, the Shapiros immigrated to Israel. 

Harry continued his medical work at Tilton General Hospital, Fort Dix, New Jersey, during 1943.  It appears Harry had a medical practice in Forest Hills, New York, at some point.  Harry died on January 2, 1991, at the age of 80, and is buried in Temple Israel Cemetery, Guilderland, New York.  Following Harry's death, Sarah appears to have lived in Albany, New York. However, her whereabouts after 1994 are unknown.

Scope and Content Note:

The collection consists mainly of letters between Harry L. Katz and his bride-to-be, Sarah R. Lamport, who was living with her mother on Central Park West in New York City.  Harry was, at the time, traveling through Canada with the Canadian-American Military Board.  His letters to Sarah are full of details about the cities he is visiting, the work of the board and how welcoming the Canadians are to the American officials. Harry also included the daily bulletins issued by Brigadier General Guy V. Henry.  Sarah's letters to Harry contain family news and details about the preparations for their upcoming wedding.  Portions of the letters are written in Hebrew.

There are several sweet and loving letters that Harry wrote to his young bride from the Tilton General Hospital at Fort Dix, New Jersey, where he may have been finishing out his military service.  These letters contain a small amount of writing in Hebrew.

The collection also includes telegrams, several photographs of Harry and other unidentified individuals, newspaper clippings that are evidence of the couple's wartime interest and concern over the fate of Europe's Jews and the creation of a Jewish homeland, and two items written entirely in Hebrew of unknown origin and date.

Box and Folder List:

Box Folder Description
1 1 Letters: Sarah Lamport, New York City, N.Y., to Harry Katz, March 17-June 1, 1942 (15 letters)
1 2 Letters: Harry Katz, [Canada] to Sarah Lamport, May 6-October 4, 1942; includes Canadian American Military Board Daily Bulletins (27 letters)
1 3 Telegrams: Harry Katz to Sarah Lamport, May 5-June 4, 1942 (11 items)
1 4 Telegrams: Wedding congratulations, June 14-29, 1942 (6 items)
1 5 Letters: Harry Katz, Tilton General Hospital, Fort Dix, New Jersey, to Sarah Katz, May 5-August 20, 1943 (5 items)
1 6 Correspondence to Sarah and Harry Katz, n.d. (6 items)
1 7 Items related Harry Katz's career, 1941, 1942, n.d. (5 items)
1 8 Photographs: Harry L. Katz and others, n.d. (8 items)
1 9 Newspaper clippings relating to Jewish rights and Zionist affairs, ca. 1942
(6 items)
1 10 Writings in Hebrew and envelopes from Camp Modin (a Jewish summer camp for children), n.d. (8 items)
1 11 Items showing Albany addresses for Sarah Katz, 1991, 1994 (2 items)
1 12 Miscellaneous items with unknown names, n.d. (3 items)
Last Updated: May 21, 2021