Harry Zeitlin was born on October 13, 1921, to Sarah and Max Zeitlin, Jewish immigrants from Russia. He grew up in Bronx, New York, with his sister Lil and his brother Bill. He met Bernice Bernstein there and they married during Harry’s three-day leave from the army before he was shipped overseas. She became his inspiration and guiding light to survive three years of war (1942-1945).

When he returned, he began a career in sales to support his growing family. He and Bernice raised four children, Ken, Dawn, Jody and April. Harry— “Hal” to his family and friends— spent many years working with the Disabled American Veterans and other organizations, tirelessly helping our coun-try’s veterans get the benefits that are due them. He passed away at age 85, two months after his beloved Bernice.


This is Dad’s chronicle, from his World War II diary to recent entries. It gives a rare view of 50 years of the effects of war on one man’s life and on his family. I, the eldest daughter, have come to understand through him the intoxicating stim-ulant of wartime and the intensely painful mem-ories that live on long after the times of battefield adrenalin are over. The soldier has come home, and is expected to re-emerge as a civilian as if nothing out of the ordinary has happened to him. I love this kind, gentle, blustery man; he has won my heart for many years now, and I am thankful to be his daughter.

Dawn Aura

Dad, I love you so much for you are and always will be a good, sensitive, caring and compassionate person. I feel blessed to have a father with such beautiful qualities. Love, your last “little mouse,”

April Horowitz

When Hal entered the army in World War II, he, like many others, returned home a completely different individual. He had participated in many, many major campaigns and hardships and fortunately survived. Yes, he left as a boy and returned as a veteran with permanent scars . . . My brother paid quite a price for what we all continue to enjoy today. Namely, our freedom and our beliefs in family, God and country. Hal can be summarized in a single statement: he’s a giver, not a taker.

Bill Zeitlin


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