Correction Hospital nurse (1930 - 1933) Mendel Bass missed 1931 group photo for some unknown reason.
NYC Correction
Mystery Photo 3 --
Welfare Island
Correction Hospital
1931 Staffer: Mendel Bass,
the Man Who Wasn't There
. . . . for the Group Picture.

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ABOVE LEFT: Photo of Bass with his family before they departed Poland for U.S. in 1923. Left is the eldest daughter, Sonia. In front of her is her sister, Esther. The boy is their brother, Joseph. Seated is their mother, Mendel's wife Bella. She is pregnant with the couple's third daughter, Gladys/Mona.

ABOVE RIGHT: Many years later, Bella and Mendel Bass pose on the roof of 783 Beck Street, the Bronx, where they lived with daughters Sonia and Esther and their respective families, all three families in separate apartments. In the top-of-the-page image, Mendel is standing in front of the 783 Beck Street building.

BELOW: The occasion is the wedding of Esther Bass in 1942. Left to right: Joseph Bass, boy in picture of Basses prior to departing Poland; his youngest sister who had not yet been born when the departure photo was taken, Gladys/Mona Bass; their sister, the bride Esther (nee Bass) Heisler; her bridgegroom Leon Heisler; the bride's mother, Bella; Sonia (nee Bass) Ockene, her son Arnold; Mendel, and Mischa/Emanuel Ockene, father of David (not in photo) who submitted the Bass photos to NYCHS along with background information. (See text below wedding photo.)

Dear NYCHS webmaster,

It was wonderful to see the 1931 photo of the staff of the Correction Hospital on then Welfare Island, but I was disappointed that I did not see my grandfather there.

His name was Mendel Bass, father of my mom, Sonia. A nurse, he started there April 22, 1930, and was still employed there at least into the first half of 1933. His salary was $1,320. A NYC 1931 directory shows Mandel (as they spelled his name) Bass as an employee of the Correction Department.

Much of our documented information comes from various Civil Service lists, which by the way spelled his name M"a"ndel but most our other documents spelled it M"e"ndel.

He was born in Svisloch -- then Poland but now Belarus --to Yasheakh Bass and Chai Hodel either Sept. 27, 1880, or Oct. 10, 1881 (different dates on different documents).

Mendel arrived in New York on Oct. 20, 1923. His brothers had come here earlier. His passenger arrival record said "Asst. Surgeon" as regards his prior occupation. Family lore has him as a hospital administrator in "the old country."

He indicated on his citizenship papers that his occupation was "nurse" and was so listed in the 1930 census. All I know is that he worked as a private duty nurse after his civil service.

My family (the Ockenes) lived in the same building in the Bronx (783 Beck Street) with Mendel and Bella (my grandmother). My aunt Esther and her family lived there as well. We all had separate apartments. I don't know the sequence of arrival to the building, but that's where we lived when I was born in 1944.

Mendel died in 1957. He was in his late 70s.

I just wanted to give you this information to add to your records. I am emailing some photos as well.


David Ockene