IOWA WOMEN’S ARCHIVES

UNIVERSITY OF IOWA LIBRARIES

IOWA CITY, IOWA

 

TITLE:»ELIZABETH ANNA GERNES (1907-  )

 

SUBTITLE:»»DATES:»ORAL HISTORY AND TRANSCRIPT, 1996

»QUANTITY:.25 linear inch and audiovisual material

 

 

 

 

 

ACQUISITION:

The »oral history and transcript (donor no. ) was donated by »Elizabeth Anna Gernes in 1996.

ACCESS:

The »oral history and transcript is open for research.

AUDIOVISUAL:

»One audiocassette shelved in audiocassette collection (AC341).

COPYRIGHT:

»Copyright has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

PROCESSED BY:

Your name, year»Rachel Bohlmann, 1996.

 


»Biography

 

            Begin text here:»Elizabeth Anna Gernes, educator and Red Cross leader, was born in 1907 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  When a child, she moved with her parents, William H. Gernes and Anna Philomina Deutscher Gernes, to Winona, Minnesota.  Gernes graduated from the College of St. Teresa, a Catholic women's college in Winona, where she majored in physics and mathematics.  After college she taught science and math in high schools in northern and southeastern Minnesota. 

 

            During the 1930s Gernes worked briefly for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in Iowa as a Director of Training.  She helped people develop skills needed to become trained health care workers.

 

By 1943 Gernes had earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in secondary education at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.  Around this time, Gernes also began work with the Red Cross as a General Field Representative in the Midwest.  By the spring of 1955 Gernes had been named Director of the American Junior Red Cross in Western Europe and was based in Stuttgart, West Germany.  She traveled extensively in Western Europe and North Africa to promote youth participation in Junior Red Cross programs.  Two and a half years later, Gernes returned to the United States and worked as Director of Training for the American Red Cross in San Francisco, coordinating chapters in twelve western states.

 

Gernes retired from the Red Cross in 1972 but remained active in relief and other volunteer work.  In the late 1970s the Shah requested Gernes by name to organize Junior Red Crosses in Iran.  The International Red Cross subsequently requested a report from Gernes on humanitarian conditions there.  In 1983 Gernes returned to Iowa and moved to Johnston, Iowa.

 

 

Scope and Content Note

 

            Begin text here:The» Elizabeth Anna Gernes oral history was taped on July 10, 1996 with Rachel Bohlmann in Gernes's hospice room at Kavanaugh House in Des Moines, Iowa.  The history was recorded on audiocassette and is less than one hour in length. 

 

            The Gernes history provides an oral record of one woman's life and work and her reflections upon them.  Gernes discusses her education, including her graduate work at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, her brief WPA tenure, and her long career with the Red Cross in the United States and Europe.

 

 

 

 

Scope and Content Note (cont.)

 

            Note to researchers:  Gernes was very ill at the time of the taping.  Because the interview is difficult to hear in places and includes long pauses, we suggest you use the typewritten transcript as opposed to the audiotape.

 

 

Oral History Transcript Table of Contents:

 

                                                                                                                                        Page

Introduction, personal information and early life.....……………………………………..  1

Undergraduate education and teaching..................………………………………………  2

Graduate work.........................................………………………………………………..  3

WPA in Iowa...........................................………………………………………………..  5

Red Cross (general)...................................………………………………………………  7

Red Cross in Europe...................................…………………………………………….. 11

Red Cross in San Francisco............................………………………………………….. 14

Conclusion............................................………………………………………………… 14

 

 

 

Begin text here:»

 


Folder no.   Description

Folder 1

»Oral history, 1996 [shelved in audiocassette collection: AC341]

Transcript of oral history, 1996