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"I'd never heard of the Manhattan Project. It didn't mean anything to me." (Video Interview, 13:50)

   Louis L. Weinstein
Image of Louis L. Weinstein
Louis Weinstein [2003]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: Security Intelligence Agency
Rank: Technical Sergeant
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Louis Weinstein didn't see action abroad during World War II. But in his role as a plainclothes investigator for the Army, he got around plenty, from Chicago, where he interviewed scientists for a top-secret government project, to Detroit, where the German Bund was alive and active, to San Francisco, where he debriefed POWs and performed security for the first meetings of the United Nations.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (13 clips)
»Complete Interview  
Download: video (57 min.)
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 Video (Interview Excerpts) (13 items)
Following the tragic death of his wife and the attack on Pearl Harbor, Weinstein was determined to serve his country. (00:35) As a lawyer, he was chosen to lecture on the Articles of War. (00:49) His captain told him to volunteer for secret service. (00:59)
In Chicago, taken for outfitting in civilian clothes. (01:25) Cooling his heels in the Chicago office while his background was investigated. (00:24) Work largely consisting of background checks of scientists chosen to work on the Manhattan Project. (01:13)
Found work interesting and enjoyed the opportunities to meet new people. (00:22) Knew nothing about the Manhattan Project, and investigators kept their work secret, even from each other. (01:57) Run-ins with people he knew were awkward, since he couldn't discuss his work, and why he wasn't in uniform. (00:28)
In Detroit to investigate people working in industries important to the war effort. (00:26) Did not experience close cooperation with other intelligence and investigative agencies. (01:19) Training included many facets, but gun training was the most memorable. (01:05)
After the war, to San Francisco to interview returning American POWs. (01:05)  
  
 
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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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