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They All Stand Before My Eyes (cont.)

 

 
Miryam's [Mehlman-Chatzkel] daughters, Michal and Shlomit
in front of Kagan's house, on Maskevitcher Gass

(Courtesy Arthur Aires, Dusiat 2007)

 

The next house on the right is of my aunt Chana (nee Chatzkel) and Avraham Aires. Extreme right is the house of Zeif and Yoffe.

And now I can see my father and my mother before my eyes...

Father – I remember him coming home for a furlough, wearing a uniform. That was during WWI. At the end of the furlough, when he was about to leave and go back to the army, we all cried. The economic situation in our home at that time was tough. Soldiers wandered the streets and threw packages of brown sugar, and the sugar had a special flavor, and I thought it was the most delicious taste.

One day Father returned home, and I never again saw him in uniform.

We had a small business. My father apparently was not a successful merchant in the shtetl, and went to South Africa to try his luck. From my mother I know that he used to send a little money from there. In the end he returned to Dusiat.

My father was religious, went to the synagogue three times a day, and I remember Mother more engaged in matters of earning a living than Father. Apparently she was better at it than he.

Mother was especially busy with the flour warehouses. The bulk of the work was just before market day, because that was when the goods were prepared and distributed to the shops.

We used to buy sacks of seeds from the Gentiles and grind them at the flourmill. The bakers used to come to us and order flour; among them I clearly remember Malka Feldman's grandfather, Wolfe. I also remember that the Orlins , who had a shop, used to buy sacks of flour from us.

We had a house large enough to store the sacks of flour, and when my aunt Chana married Avraham Aires and went to South Africa, we also used their house. Until my aunt left, they lived with my grandfather and their situation was bad. I remember that my mother used to cook gefillte fish for them too, and every Friday morning she would bring them the fish.

 

 
Arthur Aires (son of David-Kehat) in front of his
grandparents' house, Avraham and Chana Aires

(Courtesy Arthur Aires, Dusiat 2007)

 

 
The original stove still exists in the kitchen
(Courtesy Arthur Aires, Dusiat 2007)

 

I loved Friday evenings very much, when the smell of the fish and the baking was everywhere. I also loved the festiveness of lighting the candles, when all the children stood around Mother; and the Kiddush, and especially the lokshen [noodles].

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