With Obama, at first he wanted me to copy a suit. I don't copy other's suits. They copy my suit. So, if he wants me to make something I have to measure. Next day he sends an email, "It will be a pleasure to meet you."
Greenfield was born on August 9, 1928 to a Jewish family in Pavlovo, a small village in what was then Czechoslovakia. At age 14, Greenfield was rounded up along with his father, mother, two sisters, brother and grandparents. All were brought to the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Near the end of World War II, Greenfield was moved along with other Auschwitz prisoners to the Buchenwald concentration camp. In April 1945, the American army stormed the camp, and liberated its prisoners. As the troops passed through the camp, Greenfield stopped a young rabbi who was serving as a U.S. Army chaplain and asked him, "where was God?". The rabbi, Hershel Schaecter, later told Greenfield that he had never forgotten the question. Later, General Dwight D. Eisenhower arrived to supervise the liberation, and Greenfield shook his hand; coincidentally, standing next to Greenfield at the time was Elie Wiesel, who would later become famous writing about his time in the concentration camps.
Soon after the liberation, Greenfield and another teenage survivor set out to kill the wife of the mayor, who had previously had Greenfield beaten for trying to eat food intended for her pet rabbits. When they found her, she was carrying her newborn baby, and Greenfield relented; he has described that moment as when he "became human again".
Greenfield spent the next two years in Europe, looking for his remaining immediate family, who unbeknownst to him had all been killed. His father was killed one week before his camp was liberated. In 1947, at the age of 19, he boarded a ship to the United States, and stayed with wealthy relatives in Baltimore. Soon afterward, he moved to New York City, where an aunt of his lived.
In 1947, a fellow Czech immigrant guided him to GGG Clothing, a clothing manufacturer in the East Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, where he was hired as a "floor boy". Over the next decade, his tailoring skills and reputation grew. His first major client, in the early 1950s, was General Eisenhower, then preparing to run for the presidency.In 1977, Greenfield bought GGG Clothing, and renamed it to Martin Greenfield Clothiers. The company would grow from six employees at the time to 117 by 2010.Posted by gerardvanderleun at January 2, 2017 8:37 AM
Among Greenfield's list of clients are U.S. presidents Eisenhower, Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford and Barack Obama; General Colin Powell, actor Paul Newman, Cardinal Edward Egan, athlete Patrick Ewing and New York City political figures Michael Bloomberg and Ray Kelly. -- - - La Wik