Jewish Heritage Collection: Oral history interview with George Chaplin

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Jewish Heritage Collection: Oral history interview with George Chaplin
Rosengarten, Dale, 1948-
Chaplin, George, 1914-2003
George Chaplin talks about growing up in Columbia, South Carolina, the son of Netty Brown (Bojarski) and Morris Chaplin (Tschaplinsky). Morris emigrated from Bialystok to the United States around 1906 and worked in shoe factories in Massachusetts. He followed his friend and landsman, Max Citron, to Columbia, South Carolina, where he peddled before running a retail, and later, a wholesale shoe business with his brother. Netty came to the United States from Lithuania, and worked in New York and then Boston, where she met Morris. The two were married in Columbia by Rabbi David Karesh. George names a number of Jewish residents who lived in Columbia during his childhood, and recalls that there wasn't much "mingling" between the Orthodox and the Reform Jews. When he was a sophomore in high school, the Chaplin family moved to Greenville, South Carolina, where Morris opened a pawnshop. George briefly outlines his career as a journalist, which included working alongside Charlestonian Earl Mazo in Greenville. He reflects on differences between American-born fathers and fathers like his, who were born in Europe, and he makes note of antisemitism he experienced in the South. About being Jewish, he says, "In the South, in those days, you were not permitted to forget it." George's wife, Esta Solomon Chaplin, a Charleston, South Carolina, native, joins him for a short time during the interview. They married in 1937 and raised two children. See Mss 1035-041 for a follow-up interview on October 3, 1995.
Jewish Heritage Collection Oral Histories
Contributing Institution:
College of Charleston Libraries
Media Type:
Oral Histories
Topical Subject:
Jews--South Carolina--Columbia--Interviews, Jewish merchants--South Carolina--Columbia--History, Immigrants--United States--History, Antisemitism--South Carolina--History
English, Yiddish
Shelving Locator:
Mss 1035-040
S.C. County:
Richland County (S.C.), Greenville County (S.C.)
Internet Media Type:
Digitization Specifications:
Mp3 derivative audio created with Audacity software. Archival masters are wav files.
Preferred Citation:
George Chaplin, audio interview by Dale Rosengarten, 27 September 1995, Mss 1035-040, Special Collections, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA.
Copyright Status Statement:
Copyright © College of Charleston Libraries.
Access Information:
For more information contact Special Collections, Addlestone Library, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC 29424.