I read with interest your article on the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire (“‘Gov’t regulation protects people from greed,’” Feb. 17). I was always interested in what transpired as I am the grandniece of Lena Yaller (or Jaller), who was one of the survivors. My grandmother Frederica Jaller Mendelsohn was her sister and they were very close. My aunt testified at the trial after the fire and her testimony is referred to in law school curricula and mentioned in the key books on the subject.
My aunt had bad lung problems, as I recall, which my mother attributes in part to the fire. Many of the friends of my Aunt Lena, her other sister Millie, and my grandmother died in the fire. My Aunt Lena came from Rumania and had barely been in the United States a year when the fire broke out. When I was a child, my mother was very careful that we wore clothes with the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union label. I thought it was because that ensured they were American. Now I see another reason for it as well.
Rebecca Greene, Esq.