Industrial Engineer and Former Tennis President
BY FRED CHERNOW
Photos courtesy of Werner Nass
HOW DID YOU GET TO THE UNITED STATES?
My parents realized there was no future
for us in Germany. They contacted relatives
in the United States and were able to get a
sought-after visa for the three of us. Fortunately,
a relative vouched for us and we arrived in New
York in late 1938. Ironically, we set foot on
American soil on November 10, the same day
as the horrendous Krystalnacht in Germany,
known as “The Night of Broken Glass.”
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
We stayed with relatives in Brooklyn, where I
was enrolled in the local public school. It was
a difficult adjustment for all of us. I spoke no
English and my parents couldn’t find work
because of the economic recession which
gripped the city. Fortunately, a relative owned
a farm upstate in Binghamton, New York. They
invited us to come live with them until my
parents could find work. Soon, they found jobs
in retail stores. Eventually, my father found
a good job at the local Sears. He became a
department manager and worked for Sears
for more than 23 years.
WHERE DID YOU GO TO SCHOOL?
I started public school in Binghamton and
graduated from high school in1952. I attended
Clarkson College for one year and transferred
to NYU School of Engineering. In 1956, with
my degree in Industrial Engineering, I started
my career at IBM in nearby Endicott, New
York. I received a graduate degree in Industrial
Engineering from Brooklyn Polytechnic
Institute (now part of NYU) in 1964.
WHERE AND WHEN DID YOU MEET DAISY?
Daisy and her twin sister, Vera, were born in
Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, and they were able
to get to the United States in February, 1941,
by way of Lisbon,
Portugal, with their
parents. But first
they had to stay with
while their parents
looked for a place
to live in France.
Hitler had occupied
in 1939. The girls
were saved by Red
Cross nurses and
with their parents
in France. Soon
after, they found
asylum in Portugal
and departed for the
United States. (See
During the summer of 1954 my parents had
a small summer resort in Green, New York,
(near Binghamton). Daisy and Vera (who
now also lives at NST) answered an ad in a
German language newspaper published in
NYC. The resort was looking for a children’s
counselor and a waitress. The good-looking
twins were both hired and I worked there as
well. Thus started a romance between Daisy
and myself and is still a romance after 61 years
of marriage. We have two daughters, Valerie
and Karen, and are blessed with five wonderful
grandchildren, all grown and college graduates.
WHAT WERE YOUR CAREERS?
I worked for 44 years as an Industrial
Engineer at Grumman, Western Electric,
Recognition Equipment and Boeing. Later in
my career, I was in Information Technology.
I loved my work and was grateful or the
fine education I received. Daisy worked at
Bloomingdales and later was an assistant
manager at a boutique on Madison Avenue.
WHERE DID YOU LIVE BEFORE
COMING TO NST?
We left Binghamton in 1959 and moved to
Long Island. In 1960, we bought a house in
Baldwin and lived there for 40 years raising
our two daughters. We became empty nesters
and decided we wanted a more active lifestyle.
We heard about NST, and in 2000, bought an
apartment in Building Three and have loved
living there ever since.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE AMENITIES
AT NST THAT YOU ENJOY?
We are here 17 years now. I was involved in
golf and tennis and served as President of the
Tennis Association, as well as being an active
member of the Country Club and NST Men’s
Club. My volunteer work extended outside
NST as a volunteer at LIJ Hospital for more
than ten years. I was selected to be on the
Patient Advisory Council for two years. Daisy
is active, playing Bridge, Canasta and Mah-
Jongg and has volunteered as well.
They are one of North Shore Towers’ most
admired and respected couples. Their young
lives were filled with danger. Not only have
they survived and flourished, but also they
give back to their community.
Werner Nass was born in Bavaria,
Germany. This was dairy country and his
grandfather was a successful cattle dealer.
His parents owned a popular clothing store in
the village of Lichtenfels. It was a wonderful
life, but by the time Werner was 5-years-old,
war clouds were gathering and Hitler came
into power. Their idyllic life came to and end.
Jews were being persecuted.
Werner and Daisy Nass
Gertrude Schwartz with twin daughters
Daisy and Vera arrive in New York from
Lisbon 4 NORTH SHORE TOWERS COURIER ¢ February 2018