Established by the Corets Family in loving memory of their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, the Bertha V. Corets Memorial Fellowship will enable students and scholars to spend one-month intensively researching the courageous actions of Mrs. Corets and the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League to Champion Human Rights in their efforts to boycott American businesses—particularly retailers—that continued the importation and sale of goods from Nazi Germany before World War II.
Bertha V. Corets (1897-1973) was a wife, mother, businesswoman, store-owner and advocate for social justice. Her many accomplishments include working to ensure the rights of women to vote, helping found a synagogue in her home community, forming Bronx Post 64, Ladies Auxiliary of the Jewish War Veterans of the U.S., and tirelessly advocating for the rights of Jews at home and in Nazi Europe.
In early 1933, Bertha and her husband Mark (a veteran of World War I and soon to serve in the Navy in World War II) joined the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League to Champion Human Rights. The League worked to identify goods made in Nazi Germany available for sale in American stores. Businesses that refused to stop selling these items, by League request, were then placed on a widely published boycott list. The list raised great awareness of the prevalence of Nazi-made goods for sale in the United States and had an impact on decreasing sales and imports of merchandise from Nazi Germany from the rise of Adolf Hitler until the U.S. entered World War II.
Mrs. Corets immediately served as Secretary of the League under Chairman Samuel Untermyer, the celebrated Jewish patriot who rose to prominence as leader in the campaign to defend Jews in Germany. She also served as Boycott Chairman for the Jewish War Veterans.
The purpose of the Corets Fellowship is to encourage research in this instrumental yet little-known effort and to highlight the courage and conviction of persons such as Bertha V. Corets, who faced personal danger in their work. Her extensive papers consist of her personal file of over 1,000 pages and publications recording the day-by-day activities of the boycott.
Following the war, Mrs. Corets' social work continued by helping raise money for hospitals and institutions in Israel, including service in the Women's Division of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) and the Israel Maritime League.
Today, the papers of Bertha V. Corets reside at the American Jewish Archives. The Bertha V. Corets Memorial Fellowship will allow students of the anti-Nazi movement, women's studies and related subjects to examine the Corets papers together with other related holdings in the collections of the AJA to learn not only about this remarkable woman, but study this important era in American history.
Senior Archivist for Research and Collections
American Jewish Archives
3101 Clifton Avenue
Cincinnati OH 45220
Send comments and questions to H-Net
Webstaff. H-Net reproduces announcements that have been submitted to us as a
free service to the academic community. If you are interested in an announcement
listed here, please contact the organizers or patrons directly. Though we strive
to provide accurate information, H-Net cannot accept responsibility for the text of
announcements appearing in this service. (Administration)