Thursday, June 23, 2011

George Rosen, historian of medicine: birthday 6-23-1910

I came across a photocopy of George Rosen's birth certificate in a box and was delighted by the information that it contained. His name on the certificate is Joseph, not George. Joseph or the Yiddish Yussel was changed when he entered the New York Public system. Either because of a misunderstanding or a preference for George, my father miraculously became known as George Rosen. Once so named, he never changed it. His mother Rose Engelman and his father Morris Rosen had emigrated from Russia. Rose was 22, Morris 23. My grandfather's occupation is given as a laundryman. The birth, my grandmother's first, was at home, at 365 Osborn Street in Brooklyn. A nearby family member L. Rosenson signed as a witness. Rosenson was obviously shortened to Rosen. I do not know the relationship between Morris and "L." This document corrects an error in Saul Benison's fine biographical essay on his friend George. That essay appeared in the Festschrift which my father was never able to enjoy, since he died in the summer of 1977, before its publication. Benison wrote that my father grew up on the Lower East Side. Clearly that was not the case. But what was this area of Brooklyn like in 1910?

No comments: