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[Last name, First name], Oral history interview conducted by [Interviewer’s First name Last name], [Month DD, YYYY], [Title of Collection], [Call #]; Brooklyn Historical Society.

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Leo Reitman

Oral history interview conducted by Benjamin Filene

August 07, 1987

Call number: 1995.005.007

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Interview Description

Oral History Interview with Leo Reitman

Leo Reitman (ca. 1910s) grew up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. He moved to Brooklyn after he began working at the Navy Yard. After leaving the Navy Yard, Reitman opened a grocery in Brooklyn.

In his interview, Leo Reitman (ca. 1910s) discusses his work issuing stationary and hardware supplies to naval ships and shops at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He also talks about his supervisors, wages, and gender relations and camaraderie within the Yard. Interview conducted by Benjamin Filene.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard oral history collection is comprised of over fifty interviews of men and women who worked in or around the Brooklyn Navy Yard, primarily during World War II. The narrators discuss growing up in New York, their work at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, their relationships with others at the Yard, gender relations and transportation to and from work. Many narrators bring up issues of ethnicity, race, and religion at the Yard or in their neighborhoods. Several people describe the launching of the USS Missouri battleship and recall in detail their daily tasks at the Yard (as welders, office workers and ship fitters). While the interviews focus primarily on experiences in and around the Yard, many narrators go on to discuss their lives after the Navy Yard, relating stories about their careers, dating and marriage, children, social activities, living conditions and the changes that took place in Manhattan and Brooklyn during their lifetimes.


Reitman, Leo, Oral history interview conducted by Benjamin Filene, August 07, 1987, Brooklyn Navy Yard oral history collection, 1995.005.007; Brooklyn Historical Society.


  • New York Naval Shipyard
  • Reitman, Leo


  • Grocers
  • Naval ships
  • Navy yards
  • Sexes, Relations between the
  • Shipbuilding
  • Shipyards
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations, American


  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)


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Finding Aid

Brooklyn Navy Yard oral history collection