Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date



Copyright Steve Hochstadt. This transcript is provided for individual research purposes only; for all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: Steve Hochstadt, c/o The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College, 70 Campus Avenue, Lewiston, Maine 04240-6018.

Scope and Content Note

Ilse Greening, née Braunsberg, was born in Hannover July 11, 1919. She began working for a lawyer at age 16. Herbert Grünberger was born in Königshütte on December 13, 1912, and moved with his family to Hindenburg in 1922. He studied medicine in Bonn, Berlin and Breslau, and graduated in 1936. He became an intern in a hospital in Hannover. Ilse and Herbert were married in December 1938, and took the freighter “Oldenburg” to Shanghai in April 1939, with Ilse’s mother Erna and sister Eva.

In Shanghai, Ilse’s uncle, Bruno Italiener, helped them rent an apartment in the French Concession, but they soon moved to Hongkou, where Herbert set up a medical practice in Kung Ping Road. Ilse worked in the Chartered Bank of India and China. After Pearl Harbor, the Bank was taken over by the Japanese authorities. Both Ilse and Herbert attended to the Chinese wounded by the American bombing of Hongkou in July 1945. Their son was born in December 1945.

They left Shanghai for Australia in January 1949, changing their name to Greening, and arrived in the US in August 1950. Herbert joined a medical practice in New York, and their daughter was born. After retirement, they moved to Florida. Herbert Greening died on April 30, 2004, and Ilse Greening died on November 18, 2008.