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Bernard M. Halbstein

Bernard M. Halbstein[1]

Male 1910 - 1991

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  • Born  13 Jul 1910  Lynn, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender  Male 
    Residence  1920  Lynn Ward 5, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Military Service  1942  Ft Bragg, NC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Military Service  7 Nov 1943  Camp Kilmer, NJ Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Military Service  15 Nov 1943  New York, NY Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Military Service  20 Nov 1943  Gourock, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Military Service  22 Nov 1943  Dursley, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Military Service  9 Jun 1944  Falmouth, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Military Service  14 Jun 1944  Le Molay, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Military Service  19 Jul 1944  Airel, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Military Service  4 Mar 1945  Rheydt, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Military Service  4 Apr 1945  Dorsten, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Military Service  12 May 1945  Iserlohn, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Military Service  15 Jun 1945  Bad Nauheim, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Military Service  08 1945  Marburg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died  21 Nov 1991  Oceanport, NJ Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried  23 Nov 1991  Neptune, NJ Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 

    • Written by David Halbstein, 12/2004

      Bernard Mark Halbstein was born in July, 1910, the second son of David Lawrence Halbstein and Edna Hershoff. His parents were immigrants from Poland, Latvia or Russia; they spoke Yiddish in their household. His father was a laborer in a shoe factory in Lynn, when they moved to Chelsea he opened a bakery where he sold cakes, cookies and other confections.

      During this time, Edna would use the large bakery ovens to bake Challah, the ceremonial Jewish bread used on Shabbat and other occasions. Because she used her hands instead of measuring cups and her eyes and other senses to judge if the dough was "just right", she often had leftover loaves which were put in the bakery window. Family legend has it that her bread was so popular that she was soon baking more than 100 loaves per week for the local community.

      As a young man he played the saxophone in an orchestra, playing at local weddings and bar-mitzvahs in and around the Lynn, Ma. area.

      He graduated from Boston University School of Medicine, and completed his residency in Cincinnatti, Ohio, with a specialty in Orthopedic Surgery.

      His sisters all agree that, even though Bernie was not the eldest, he was the one to be respected in the family. They recount stories of growing up and being taught that Bernie was a very special person, and that they should listen to him, respect him, and seek his advice and counsel.

      He enlisted in the Army at the outset of WWII; he said that his eyesight should have excluded him but he convinced the medical examiner to allow him to join. He was a surgeon with the 41st Evacuation Hospital which landed at Omaha Beach, France on June 13, 1944. He served in the Army in Europe for four years

      In 1949 he married Anna Jean Alcorn at the home of his sister, Madeline, in Manchester, MA., they settled in Long Branch, NJ and later moved to Oceanport, NJ.

      During the 1950's and early 1960's his work was primarily focused on the national polio epidemic. People would travel from great distances to be seen by Dr. Halbstein and his partner, Dr. Nick Ransahoff. Each day he would shower and disinfect his hands before leaving the office, taking no chances that he might bring the disease home to his own family.

      In the late 1960's or early 1970's, he went to London to study total hip replacement; bringing this knowledge back to the US and making joint replacement a focal point of his practice. Dr. Ransahoff had long since died, and Dr. Halbstein had a very well known orthopedic practice in Long Branch with Dr. Otto Lehman and Dr. Edwin Otis.

      He was interested in boating and fishing, and later took up golf, which he played every chance he could get. He was also an avid gardener; tending to his vegetable garden every summer and producing bushels of tomatoes, cucumbers, and other salad greens.

      Shortly after the death of his wife, Anna Jean, in 1976, Bernie moved from Oceanport to Interlaken, NJ, where he lived out his days. He travelled often, enjoying his sem-retirement in places like San Francisco, Paris, Tokyo and Israel.

      He retired from surgery in the mid 1980's but remained active as a physician and a consultant for his existing patients. In the early 1990's he was stricken with cancer which he battled successfully for several years. He remained noble and dignified as the disease slowly gained on him, and when he knew there was no more hope for a meaningful recovery elected to discontinue treatment and go home. Because he was so ill, he went instead to the home of his daughter, Amy, where he lived for only a few weeks. His family was with him until his death in November, 1991; everyone was glad to have the opportunity to say good-bye to such a quiet, distinguished and honorable man. He was completely devoted to his family, his sisters, his patients and to the art of healing.

      Dr. Halbstein left an indelible mark on everyone he came in contact with. Years after his death, I still encounter people who, upon hearing my name, ask if I am related to him. "I am walking today because of your father", they tell me, or something similar. I have never met anyone who has had less than a kind word or deep admiration for Bernard M. Halbstein.

      From a eulogy written by his brother-in-law, Richard Vallon, 1991:

      Everything you've heard about Bernie is true. He was indeed a giant in his profession and a tower of strength, comfort and support to his loving family, Jean, Amy, and David. He was devoted to his parents, brother, and four sisters. If I were not his brother-in-law, I would like to have been his brother.

      Some of our most memorable summers were those spent with the Halbstein family. Can you imagine anyone inviting his sister, brother-in-law, and five children to spend an entire week at your home every year? Bernie could and did. In retrospect, we ecame an integral part of this beautiful, cohesive family.

      Bernie brought new meaning to the word "mensch".

      My greatest joy was connecting to that spark of humor in his dignified nature and make him laugh.

      Bernie would not want us to mourn him, but to remember him. Goodbye, Bernie, you will live in our hearts forever.

      REMINISCENCE OF THE 41ST:
      Dr. Bernard M. Halbstein

      I was transferred to the 41st in Ft. Bragg from the 11th Airborne at Camp McCall, N.C. Made many friends among the officers, some of whom have left this world—Arthur Post, Frank Pittman, Harry Alpert, Lester Shapiro, George Bush, Van Hammett, Tommy Williams, Wetchler, Nenner, McCook, Abe Friedman. I could go on and on. I still have a vivid picture of each of these fine guys before me. Tommy Williams and Nick Alfano were close friends throughout Tennessee maneuvers and in the E.T.O.

      We didn't know which theater we were bound for, but I had a Smith and Wesson with me just in case. The trip on the Queen Mary was smooth, and we were blessedly unaware of the dangers which lurked in the Atlantic. We made the crossing in 3 ½ days.

      Dursley was a pleasant interlude and has nostalgic memories. I had a very enjoyable ten days leave and visited Edinburgh with Jim Bogle. I'll not forget it. I was billeted in Dursley in a home with George Nenner. We slept in a feather bed and had hot bricks for foot warmth – and we shared the same bed!

      We hardly knew what we were going to meet when we embarked on the James I McKay from Lands' End. Wading off an LCI to Omaha Beach on 13 June was an experience, although we were still oblivious at the time of the carnage of the previous few days.

      We got busy in LeMolay and our surgical volume was tremendous. I recall trying to speak French to the visiting kids, and was so tongue-tied that I gave it up, although I had three years of high school French. I did better when we were in Paris later. The Falaise Gap was a worry to us – many of our group dug foxholes. I was a fatalist and couldn't be bothered. It is a helpful philosophy in a war. That's when our hospital was bombed, and it was the only time.

      Promoted to Major in August '44. Can't forget Grauel and McDuff – two superb assistants at surgery.

      Paris, the day after its recapture, was fascinating. Then, how can we forget Hanmut, Belgium, and the reception of the townspeople? They invited some of us to their homes, and had printed dinner menus.

      The winter in Maastricht was uneventful. Much surgery and lots of bridge – some pretty sharp players. Christmas in Maastricht. We were close to Bastogne and the German breakthrough, but were not called upon to function.

      Crossed the Roer River in February, 1945, and experience Aachen, Muenchen-Gladbach, Rheidt and finally crossed the Rhine over a pontoon bridge. Our activity in Germany, in Dorsten, etc. is vague in my memory, except when we were poised south of Hamburg to become part of the 18th Airborne Corps to invade Denmark and Norway. We celebrated V.E. Day there on May 9. We ate venison, courtesy of our own sharpshooters.

      Then came the long wait. We became a temporary hospital occupation force in Westphalia until we camped more permanently in Bad Nauheim with a short transfer of our unit to Marburg where we again were put to work, with plenty of waiting time back in Bad Nauheim until our homeward-bound numbers were reached.

      We did a lot of traveling. Nick Alfano and I visited Rome, Naples, and Capri. We got along fine with his knowledge of the language. (Flying low thru the Alps in a DC-3 was scary). I was sent on a two-week course to Stockholm, by recommendation of Col. Harrell, where a group of officers from various outfits were treated royally. My orders read: “By order of General Eisenhower”. Here, we learned to drink Aquavit – noted for absence of hangover. A side trip to Copenhagen, where I was the only American (British Occupation).

      There was a return visit to Paris and London, which looked much different. The children were back in London. Paris was like nothing had ever happened to it.

      We embarked for home from LeHavre on a Liberty Ship with no ballast, and I was seasick most of the time. I had lost weight and looked pale, and was really worried how I would look to my parents. We were deviated from debarking in New York because of Navy Day and had to head for Norfolk. Well, what the heck; it was the U.S.A. and that was all that mattered!

      After the war, I corresponded with Rene Slater Ward and Jim Bogle. I visited Bogle in Littleton, N.H. I went back to Omaha Beach and London twice.

      The cemetery in Normandy was a heartbreaking sight.

      In Lemolay, I visited the Mayor and showed him our 41st book. He remembered us, and he gave me a present. St. Lo was a thriving city and completely restored from the ravages of the war.

      My four years in the Service was like an unreal dream and memories keep cropping up, but it's wonderful to have someone like Jay Schwartz to keep them alive.








    Person ID  I0131  Halbstein_Parrish Family Tree
    Last Modified  25 Mar 2012 

    Father  David Halbstein,   b. 10 Apr 1881, Cholom, Russia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 May 1948, Chelsea, Ma Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  Judith Edna Hershoff,   b. 1883, Witebsk, Russia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Apr 1952, Chelsea, Ma Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID  F192  Group Sheet

    Family  Anna Jean Alcorn,   b. 16 Apr 1918, Greensburg, PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Dec 1976, Long Branch, NJ Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  19 Jun 1949  Manchester, MA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
    >1. Living
    >2. Living
    Family ID  F028  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 13 Jul 1910 - Lynn, MA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1920 - Lynn Ward 5, Essex, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary Service - 1942 - Ft Bragg, NC Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary Service - 7 Nov 1943 - Camp Kilmer, NJ Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary Service - 15 Nov 1943 - New York, NY Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary Service - 20 Nov 1943 - Gourock, Scotland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary Service - 22 Nov 1943 - Dursley, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary Service - 9 Jun 1944 - Falmouth, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary Service - 14 Jun 1944 - Le Molay, France Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary Service - 19 Jul 1944 - Airel, France Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary Service - 4 Mar 1945 - Rheydt, Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary Service - 4 Apr 1945 - Dorsten, Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary Service - 12 May 1945 - Iserlohn, Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary Service - 15 Jun 1945 - Bad Nauheim, Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary Service - 08 1945 - Marburg, Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 19 Jun 1949 - Manchester, MA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 21 Nov 1991 - Oceanport, NJ Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 23 Nov 1991 - Neptune, NJ Link to Google Earth
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  • Photos

    » Slide Show
    Bernard Halbstein at 66
    Bernard Halbstein at 66
    Surgeons of the 41st Evacuation Hospital
    Surgeons of the 41st Evacuation Hospital
    ETO 1943-1945. This picture was scanned from the yearbook of the 41st Evacuation Hospital, produced after World War II
    'The Night Shift' of the 41st Evac. Hosptal
Bernard M. Halbstein on Left
    "The Night Shift" of the 41st Evac. Hosptal Bernard M. Halbstein on Left
    Scanned from the yearbook of the 41st Evacuation Hospital
    Cutting the Wedding Cake
Bernard Halbstein, Anna Jean Alcorn Halbstein
June, 1949
    Cutting the Wedding Cake Bernard Halbstein, Anna Jean Alcorn Halbstein June, 1949
    Bernie and Jean Halbstein, June 19, 1949, cutting the wedding cake at the home of Madeline (Halbstein) Froman. Pictured in the background is Bernie's mother, Judith Edna (Hershoff) Halbstein. In the foreground is (probably) Bernie's sister Sally.
    Bernard Halbstein in Chelsea, Ma, before the war
    Bernard Halbstein in Chelsea, Ma, before the war
    Bernard M. Halbstein (1910-1981)
    Bernard M. Halbstein (1910-1981)

    Headstones



  • Sources 
    1. [S002727] 1920 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com, (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005).
      Online publication - Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA. Note: Enumeration Districts 819-839 on roll 323 (Chicago City.Original data - United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1920.T625, 2,076 rolls. Lynn Ward 5, Essex, Massachusetts, ED , roll , page , image 584.