Berman’s Branches
Barbara Hacker Berman
Interviews - Tanya Schlam and Martha Berman

Interview with Tanya Schlam/Martha Berman
April 26, 1997

Joe & Bertha Schlam were more educated, had more money and generally traveled in a different class than the rest of the family. Bertha did not get along well with her mother-in-law. She was a volunteer at Beth Israel Hospital in NYC for many years (Bertha). Bertha was a bit of a snob.

Martha remembers that one summer he mother rented a house on Coney Island for the summer. She rented out rooms. Martha got very sick with a cold, fever, headaches. Finally she got so sick that she was taken into the hospital. Ma would never go into hospitals. Martha had meningitis and was very ill. Bertha came every day to the hospital to help care for her. Martha remembers that in the hospital was the first time she tasted tapioca pudding. When she came home, Bertha continued to call her daily. She would not come to the house as the Schlam family thought Ma (Helen) a “bad woman”.

Martha was about 12 at the time. Around the same time Helen and Leon were divorced.