Harry Adler - Founder
Harry Adler was born in Berlin, Germany in 1924.
His family was harassed by the Nazi Brown Shirts and decided to move to France in late 1932, right before Hitler came to power. At the time Harry was seven (7) years old.
The family spent nine(9) years in Paris, where Harry began his education. On the run again in1940 after the German occupation of Northern France, the family escaped through Casablanca Morocco and Lisbon Portugal and arrived in the USA in November, 1941, one month before Pearl Harbor.
Harry and his family settled in New York City, where Harry graduated from George Washington High School. He was drafted immediately thereafter into the US Army.
After basic training, he reported to a MASH unit in Yuma, Arizona in the summer of 1943. Upon learning of Harry’s fluency in three (3) languages, he was transferred to the Fifth Corps Headquarters as an Interpreter.
Shipped to England, the corps participated in preparing for operation Overlord during which, Harry was interpreting messages from the French underground.
Harry landed on Omaha Beach on D Day +3, June 9, 1944. Two days after the liberation of Buchenwald Concentration Camp, June 13, 1945, Harry was there.
Discharged with a Bronze Star and a Croix deGuerre by the Belgian government, he settled in New York City again, reunited with his family.
Harry met Ella Elbinger, who was a Holocaust Survivor. They were married in 1952. With two young children, the couple arrived in Phoenix in 1964. Harry went into the furniture business and Ella graduated from Arizona State University with a Master’s degree in Social Work. She obtained a position as Director of Social Services at Mesa Lutheran Hospital, which she held for 12 years.
Harry became involved in the Jewish Community in Phoenix in 1970, becoming President of “Lewkowitz” B’Nai Brith Lodge, then V ice-President of District 4 of the organization. He serves the Board of the Jewish Free Loan Association of Phoenix to this day. Ella and Harry were founders of the Phoenix Holocaust Survivors’ Association in 1982. Harry was also instrumental in the founding of the International Association of Hebrew Free Loans in 1982.