Recording from Max Herzog to family at home during World War II
Max Herzog was born on February 11, 1915 in Joliet, Illinois. When he graduated from high school in Joliet in 1932, Depression conditions led him to pursue his future in Texas where he had relatives. In Houston he met Mayme Bergson on a blind date, and the two later married on March 8, 1942. In October of that year Max was drafted into military service. During the year he spent time in Hawaii where he recorded photographs of island scenes, as well as of his fellow soldiers. His discharge papers list him as a searchlight crewman in the Asiatic Pacific theater of operations. He received a Philippine Liberation ribbon while in the service and was honorably discharged in October 1945. While Max was serving overseas, he received a telegram that his wife had given birth to his son in May 1943. It was not until his discharge in 1945 that he first saw his son, Robert. The young boy died at age 8 in 1951. A second son, Alan, had been born in 1947. Returning to civilian life in Houston, Max worked in the grocery business and owned his own store on Lyons Avenue. He later worked for Bert Wheeler Liquors and remained in Houston until his death on Oct. 20, 1999. It is noteworthy that Max Herzog's wartime service is memorialized on a banner created at his Houston synagogue, Congregation Beth Jacob. His is one of about 220 names of congregation members or affiliates that are embroidered on the banner begun in 1942 and dedicated in 1945.