New York: Dressing the President
Maximilian Grunfeld Made a Long Journey From Learning How to Use a Needle in Auschwitz to Owning His Own Business and Making Suits for American Presidents, Basketball Players and Movie Stars
"In April, 1944, the Germans surrounded the Jewish quarter of the village of Pavlovo in Czechoslovakia (now in Ukraine), rounded up the Jews and loaded them into cattle wagons on trains bound for Auschwitz.
In order to save his 14-year-old son, Maximilian’s father said to Mengele, “Prisoner A4406 is a skilled mechanic.” Actually, Maximilian received his mechanical training at a brothel in Budapest. Grunfeld was then transferred to the Buna forced labour camp. Later he was forced to join a death march to Gleiwitz, where the prisoners were loaded on to a train to Buchenwald, where he was liberated by the Americans. Immediately following his liberation, Grunfeld joined the Aliyah Bet, the then “illegal” Jewish underground organization for immigration to Palestine. He aided in transferring 12 shipments of refugees to Italy on their way to Palestine and was going to go there himself. But a letter from Baltimore had changed his path – the letter was from Irving Berger, his dead mother’s wealthy uncle, who Grunfeld has never heard of. His uncle urged him to come to the United States and said he would send him a ticket. In September 1947 he made his journey to New York. His uncle bought him a suit from GGG, a well-known outfitter, so he would look respectable in job interviews. The tailoring company of William, Manny and Morris Goldman was considered a leading label in men’s wear. Maximilian Grunfeld then became Martin Greenfield and got a job at GGG, where he slowly learned all the tasks in the tailoring profession. In the mid-1970s, like many other firms in Brooklyn, the Goldman brothers decided to close down. Martin took a loan at a crazy interest and reopened the business. At the beginning he would make suits for other outfitters and only then begin to market his own brand. His business grew and grew and ended up employing 120 people in Brooklyn, making everything by hand, and selling stylish clothes, at an average of 2,000-3,000$ a suit, dressing American presidents and politicians, movie stars, basketball players, television anchors, and many more well-known public figures."
About Martin Greenfield
A Holocaust Survivor and a Master Tailor
Martin Greenfield (born Maxmilian Grunfeld on August 9, 1928 in Pavlovo, Czechoslovakia) is an American master tailor, based in Brooklyn, New York, specializing in men's suits.
He has been described as the best men’s tailor in the United States.
His list of clients includes six U.S. Presidents, as well as other notable politicians and celebrities. His company, Martin Greenfield Clothiers, has also fashioned men's suits for clothing lines DKNY and Rag & Bone, and the television show Boardwalk Empire.
Greenfield is a Holocaust survivor, having been imprisoned as a teenager at Auschwitz, where the rest of his immediate family were murdered.