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I'm An American -- Konrad Bercovici

Recorded Sound | Digitized | RG Number: RG-91.0035

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    On November 24, 1940 Konrad Bercovici spoke with Bern Berard, Executive Assistant of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, about the necessity of Americanization for all Americans. Ms. Berard suggests all native Americans should take the naturalization test. Bercovici agrees. He recalls a time during WWI where Americanization was taught in Romania. He speculates if it had continued there may not be as many troubles plaguing Europe today. The author claims immigrants resist the melting pot because they cling to their backgrounds, until they find a place in America like their native lands. Bercovici encourages Americans to help new citizens find opportunities for work. He believes machines are helping to free humanity. The episode closes with Bercovici telling the story of his conversation with a Romanian immigrant living in America.

    Konrad Bercovici was born in Romania in 1882 to a Jewish family. His family lived in Galaţi among Greeks, Romanians, Russians, Turks, Jews, and Roma. According to his autobiography, Bercovici developed a deep connection with the Roma culture because of his nursemaid and his father’s business dealings. The family emigrated to Paris after the patriarch died from injuries sustained during antisemitic riots in 1893. Influenced by the 1900 World’s Fair, Bercovici attended the Université Populaire to become an organist. He met his wife, sculptor Naomi Librescu, while living in Paris. The couple emigrated to Montreal and later settled in Manhattan. Bercovici worked in sweatshops, gave piano lessons and began writing. He went on to write for Harper’s Bazaar and literary fiction that explored Roma themes.
    Broadcast:  1940 November 24

    Physical Details

    Radio broadcasts.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    This archival media can only be accessed in a Museum reading room or other on-campus viewing stations.
    NBC Universal
    Conditions on Use
    Contact NBC Universal at for permission to duplicate and use this film or sound recording.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    United States.

    Administrative Notes

    Recorded Sound Provenance
    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum purchased digital copies of these sound recordings from the Library of Congress in March 2018.
    Recorded Sound Notes
    More information about Konrad Bercovici:

    More information about I’M AN AMERICAN:
    Recorded Sound Source
    Library of Congress - Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division (MBRS)
    File Number
    Source Archive Number: RGB 1260
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 07:27:19
    This page:

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