Epelbaum Project: Boxing Photographer Edition

So here I am, doing a bit of spring cleaning among the file folders on the computer (it’s surprising to see how many copies of the same interview transcription can exist over the course of a project) and I start reading a transcription that my supervisor, Shannon, started writing. Yesterday, Shannon interviewed Merle and Liz Epelbaum over the phone and it was interesting to see a different perspective about the same individual. Did Norman work with Malak or Yosef Karsh when he immigrated to Ottawa? We also learn more about Norman’s family when they lived in Kobryn, Poland; he was the second to last youngest of eight children, some of his siblings who lived in Warsaw were murdered by Nazis and that Norman was also in a labour camp in Siberia. I started to question that maybe I did not know that much about Norman as I initially thought. And then something truly fascinating happened:

Shortly before leaving Israel, Norman and his brother planned to move to Canada and become boxers. Boxers!

Here’s the excerpt from the interview.

Shannon: Your father first went to Israel, correct?

Liz and Merle: Yes.

S: And he only stayed there for several months?

M: I think it was very short because I don’t think he liked it there.

L: Actually, my father told me a few years ago that him and his brother decided to come to Canada and become boxers.

S: [interrupting] Really?

L: Yeah, they were very tough dudes and they were coming here to be boxers.

S: [interrupting] That’s very interesting. So, they, I guess they had boxed before? This was not something completely out of the blue?

L: I guess so, I guess so, they thought they were tough.

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