- Helen Mazursky Berger, audio interview by Elizabeth Moses, 9 June 2000, Mss 1035-242, Special Collections, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA., Helen Mazursky Berger, born in 1919 in Mayesville, South Carolina, was raised from the time she was four years old in nearby Sumter. In this interview conducted by Sumter native Elizabeth Moses, Helen discusses her family history and provides details about her grandparents, aunts, and uncles on both sides. Her mother, Mary Blatt, was born in Philadelphia to Austrian immigrants who followed family south to Charleston, South Carolina. Mary married Abe Mazursky, a Russian immigrant and dry goods merchant who had settled in Mayesville. Shortly after Helen’s brother, Morris, was born in 1923, the family moved to Sumter, where they became members of the Reform congregation, Temple Sinai, and Abe opened a dry goods store called The Hub. Helen met Harry Berger in 1940 when he came to town to manage the Polly Prentiss factory, a local enterprise that had been sold to a New York firm. The couple married the following year, before Harry enlisted in the navy. When he was discharged in late 1945, Harry accepted Abe’s invitation to join him in the business. In 1969 Abe remodeled, changed his inventory line, and renamed the store Berger’s. Helen also talks about her children and grandchildren, and addresses the issue of antisemitism.
- Morris Mazursky, audio interview by Dale Rosengarten and Robert A. Moses, 9 February 1995, Mss-1035-006, Special Collections, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA., Morris Mazursky, who grew up in Sumter, South Carolina, recounts his father Abe Mazursky’s emigration in 1909 from Kobrin, Russia. Abe lived briefly in New York City before moving to Barnwell, South Carolina, home of his uncle Barney Mazursky, who hired him to work in his store. Abe soon moved to Mayesville, South Carolina, to help out in his cousin’s store, and later operated a dry goods business there with the help of wealthy lien merchant Henry Weinberg. When Abe and Henry’s partnership ended, Abe established his own store, The Beehive, also in Mayesville. Rabbi David Karesh of Columbia introduced Abe to his future wife, Mary Blatt, the daughter of Austrian immigrants Morris and Mamie Blatt, who had settled in Charleston in the late 1800s. Abe and Mary married in 1919 and moved with their two children, Helen and Morris, to Sumter four years later, where Abe had just opened another store called The Hub. Morris received his law degree from the University of South Carolina and worked with the firm Lee & Moise before starting his own practice in his hometown. He was elected to Sumter City Council in 1958 and served for twenty-eight years. With input from interviewer Robert Moses, also a Sumter native, Morris discusses the impact that segregation and poverty had on African Americans in the community, the effects of integration on the school system, and how the city upheld the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In addition, the two men recall Sumter’s efforts to improve its economic base by attracting industry and note the decline of Temple Sinai’s congregation as the area’s Jewish population dwindled. Morris describes how he met his wife Marcia Weisbond Mazursky—they, like his parents, were married by Rabbi Karesh—and talks about their three children.