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[Page 181]

Baking Matzas

by S.M.T.[1]

Translated from the Yiddish by Hannah B. Fischthal, PhD

Edited by Howard I. Schwartz, PhD


Before the great tragedy, matzas were baked in Mlynov. There was a machine which was always used, from Passover to Passover, for that purpose. All the Jews from Mlynov and Mervits and the surrounding villages bought their matzas from Mlynov. The profits were used to support the surrounding villages with matzas for Passover. At the same time, several unemployed artisans earned enough for their own Passover expenses from their work with the matzas. For a few of them, these were their first earnings in the spring; most of them probably sat through the entire winter without earning anything, which was quite usual for a part of the population.

They baked matzas and shmura-matzas![2] The Vaynshtok family and a few others also made a few egg matzas for Passover. All these preparations were an annual celebration for the entire Jewish population in all houses.

When the matzas were brought into the Jewish home, cheer was brought inside with them. People kept wishing for each other: “May we live until next year with happy hearts, with, with, with …”

And when the first seder night approached, one could feel everyone's joy, which reigned in every house without difference. And so stretched an entire eight-day holiday with happiness. We investigated whose matzas were more successful, thinner, fresher, tastier, not burned, and not raw. We even discussed the wine used in the four cups at the seders–who received wine from the land of Israel for Passover, and who had raisin wine. The main points were the taste and color. We talked about prospective brides and grooms, and who was going to the bride-to-be after the first two days of the holiday. There was never any talk about a man riding to visit his fiancée in another town on the first two days; that was simply a sin.

[Page 182]

I do not remember that ever happened.

There was talk about preparing for Passover in general, how difficult it was. Firstly, whitewashing the houses, which was a tradition from ancient times. Being kosher for Passover had many difficulties, especially if it was a late spring and the snow was still an obstacle, or if there were large mud puddles. So the whitewashing came with bitterness, and therefore the joy after that was large.

Then dressing up for Passover! That is an entirely separate chapter. Not all Jewish families could afford this luxury. It happened quite often that the tailors could not afford new clothes for the holiday for themselves, unfortunately. Those, though, who could have special clothes made for the holiday, talked about the quality and beauty of the clothing in various meetings, at the synagogue, or visiting. It was this way with shoes and other small things. We had quite a lot of laughter in celebrating the seder, which was different in all Jewish homes. In more than one Jewish house entire histories were related, and very often happy ones.

The dear, warm summer would be approaching, and everything would blossom and grow, and the hard winter with its cold difficulties would leave. The livelihood of many toiling Jews would, with the coming of summer, improve. Bricklayers and carpenters would revive with the coming of summer, because their jobs were unsteady in the winter because of the cold. The young people would walk out a little freer from the narrow streets of the shtetl. And so, all areas would improve with the arrival of summer.

Also our shtetele Mervits, both separately and often together with Mlynov, made all the above-mentioned preparations with small exceptions. Until the First World War, for quite a few years, matzas were baked in the so-called “meadow”: girls and women from the shtetl gathered, and from early in the morning until the evening, they kneaded and rolled out the dough for matzas. The men were more active in carrying the matzas to everyone's home. Shoveling and measuring meal was done by the young. I do not remember exactly how much a matza worker earned in 3-4 weeks, working 12-13 hours a day, but in the shtetl people talked that this one and that one would already earn enough for Passover.

[Page 183]

That is how it was until about three years before the First World War. There were no other ways of baking matzas outside of a “meadow” until Peysakh Rimer brought a machine, paid the rabbi to certify it was kosher, and baked matzas with it. And usually, who provided the power to turn the wheels of the machine? People. We, pranksters, kept running out of the cheder to at least look through the window, to see how the new wonder makes matzas, which used to be the job of 20 women. And when Peysakh Rimer could not drive away the curious cheder-boys, he teased his little dogs. His was the only Jewish house with dogs. That stopped us from leaning on his windows to see the miracle machine.

After The First World War, people in Mervits did not bake any more matzas. They bought them in Mlynov.

* * *

I will mention mainly how we baked matzas that first year when the Hitlerite criminals, may their names be blotted out, were already in our shtetl, in 1942; and how we baked them one time before we left Mlynov in 1945 after the winter.

There could not be any talk about baking matzas in 1942, because that was simply life endangering, if it would, God forbid, be discovered. As we know, people strive to do what is forbidden, and so it was also in this instance. We kind of thought that the honor of the good deed, and maybe also good wishes, would maybe help, and our wishes would be realized. We baked and we wished, but our good wishes did not come true. To cover up our baking, we, not yet being in the ghetto, gathered in a house which was not on the main road from Mlynov-Lutzk. That was at my brother-in-law Note Gruber,[3] may he rest in peace. His house was slightly hidden by trees on Mikhalovske's land. Several of my relatives baked matzas there, like my Uncle Chaim-Meir z”l,[4] with his family; my brother Yankev-Yoysef z”l, with his family; and my Uncle Yankev Gruber z”l; and my brother-in-law Yankev and Khayke[5] z”l with their families.

[Page 184]

And so it was in other houses. Several people got together–and they baked. I acquired meal from the mill where I worked. Also we were able to trade with a “better” Christian. We would exchange a dress or a shoe for meal. The baking took place during the day, so that the night shine would not, God forbid, ever interest our enemies who would ask, “What is shining over there?”

While rolling out the dough and baking, everybody wished each other well. Yet in truth bloody tears poured out of our eyes by themselves, as though everyone had a premonition: God knows if next year I will still bake matzas…

Despite all the difficulties, somebody would get an egg, somebody a piece of meat, we wiped away the tears, and we held a seder.

I cannot describe what took place at the seder tables. This could only have taken place in Spain during the Inquisition, and in other similar circumstances. Tears poured out like water. We all had the feeling that we were celebrating the last seder in our lives. Old and young, everyone had the same premonitions.

The sad days of Passover went by as usual. There could not be any talk about observing Passover as a holiday. Everybody who had what to do worked, because the enemy's hand did not drop its baton on Passover. Right after Passover, they [the Nazis] started to demand that people go to work in Rovne. Work was bitter enough at home, but we survived Rovne with only a few victims, among whom were Gershon Peysi's two sons, twins. They did not return from the hands of the murderers. Others, though, managed to run back home, like, for example, Asher–Nokhum's [son],[6] Avrohom–Khayke's [son], and others. That was a great victory.

* * *

We who survived the great fire returned to spend about 15 months in Mlynov. We decided we would bake matzas with the consciousness that even though we had been freed, and we could bake the matzas freely, we knew that in Mlynov matzas were being baked for the last time, and nobody, nobody, would ever bake matzas here again.

[Page 185]

We baked in my home, where my wife Sonia and I and the three children of my cousin resided,[7] at the house of Yankev Tesler z”l.[8] We had the remaining survivors of Mlynov, and a few outside of Mlynov who had come there for various reasons after their liberation, and a few Jewish officers in the Russian army. We were not short of anything then, like meal, wood, and all necessary things which were needed for baking matzas. But missing were the best and the most beloved Jews!

When we baked the matzas, we sang whatever came into our mouths, to jab our enemies who were around us. Previously, when they were important people at the top, they did us much harm, not less than the Germans.

Our only form of revenge was to bake matzas freely, to pretend our hearts were okay, and to sing a song, even though bloody tears were still covering our faces. And in addition, we knew that in a few weeks we would leave Mlynov altogether.

The second of Tamuz 5705 [13 June 1945] we left Mlynov for ever.


Rovno Street


Translator's and editor's footnotes:
  1. Acronym for Sonia and Mendel Teitelman --HS Return
  2. Matzas made with extreme strictness and supervision--HBF Return
  3. Brother of Mendel's wife, Sonia. Return
  4. Mendel's uncle Chaim-Meir Teitelman. Return
  5. Mendel is referring to his wife, Sonia's, siblings: Yitzhak Gruber (later Hofri) and Chaika (Gruber) Schichman. Return
  6. Referring to Asher Teitelman son of Nahum. See his story of survival in https://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/Mlyniv/documents/The_Asher_Teitelman_Story.pdf --HS Return
  7. Probably referring to his cousin Nahum Teitelman and their children Asher, Shifra and Yosef. Nahum was married to Rachel (Gruber), the sister of Mendel's wife, Sonia (Gruber) Teitelman. All of them were first cousins.--HS Return
  8. A photo of Jacob Tesler appears on p. 478 in the current volume. His children Golda, Hinda, Itzhak, and Peretz all died in the Shoah. His daughter, Liba Tesler, escaped and survived and her story is told in David Sokolsky, Monument: One Woman's Courageous Escape From the Holocaust. A photo of Liba and her sisters appears on page 469 standing center behind Yetta Schwartz, great grandmother of Howard Schwartz. --HS Return

[Page 186]

The Military Recruits

by Aaron (Berger) Harari[1]

Edited and translated by Howard I. Schwartz, PhD with Hanina Epstein


From time immemorial, Jews avoided serving in a foreign military: they would bribe the enlistment officials to obtain a certificate of release, and a person who did not obtain one tried to produce a bodily deformity. They would amputate the trigger finger from the right hand, burrow an iron wire in the ear to deafen it, or jump from a height in order to create a fracture in the foot. Shika Shechman,[2] for example, adapted a cough that sounded frightful to the ear, and when he stood before the medical military committee and he produced his fake cough — they were all afraid and thought him to be sick with tuberculosis. Shika received an exemption immediately, even though he was entirely healthy and didn't have a cough at all...

During my time, when people my age had to present themselves, abstentions from physical pleasure were routine. Two weeks before their appearance they would abstain from sleep and food, walk around at night and “make merry,” and during the day ride a great deal on bicycles until physical depletion. The essential food was sunflower seeds and biscuits baked from dough with castor oil as a means of getting diarrhea, all of these caused weight loss and organic pains. But actually these activities didn't have an influence during the military medical exam. Apparently, the doctors knew that the Jews prepared themselves for their appearance, and this only caused confusion with the medical findings.


Winter — against the background of the Count's garden

[Page 187]

And even those whose health was deficient for real, didn't receive an exemption but only a postponement for a year. Only a few received exemptions, in exceptional circumstances, after another return examination.

Moving about at night and making merry was like an obligation. If one of the recruits was absent, they would gather by his house and sing by his window [in Yiddish] “When a man is called, one must go, it does not help to laugh or cry” [translated in Hebrew:] (when they call you must go, it does not help to laugh or cry) until he was willing to get up from his bed and join us. More than once, we encountered cursing and swearing from the parents and neighbors whose rest we had disturbed. But none of this intimidated us, inasmuch as they were [done] with a military exam that was pending.

There was a specific group of youth that was unorganized, did nothing and were bored, who would gather in the evenings in the central square and invent all kinds of practical pranks. For example, they took a thin, long string and tied it to the window of one of the houses and the group hid in the bushes at a distance from the house and plucked the string with their fingers like stringed instruments. This would make a humming sound in the house which the residents couldn't explain it. Occasionally, when they went outside to explore the reason, the [pranksters] would stop what they were doing, and when the inhabitants went back inside, they would renew the plucking ...Afterwards they would shift to another house. Or another “prank”: they would introduce confusion into business signs. The sign of the barbershop they hung on the butcher shop, and vice versa ...And they would do this on several streets. Or, for example, they would gather all kinds of junk, furniture and ladders and build a tower out of them in the center of the town.


Boating on the River Ikva[3]
Original photo courtesy of Zeev Harari


All this activity was done Sabbath night without interference, and on Sabbath morning, when the congregation was going to the synagogue, they couldn't believe their eyes ...there were some who thought it was the work of demons and spirits. It was never revealed whose hands were involved in these deeds, lest revenge be taken against all of them. And if suspicion fell on someone, they were afraid to pay him back for fear of revenge. The police did not get involved in this, because they didn't regard the deed to be criminal.


Translator's and editor's footnotes:
  1. For Harari's background, see footnote 1 in his prior essay.--HS Return
  2. Possibly referring to Shiman Schechman, son of Noach Moshe Schechman. In an earlier essay, “Visit to Mlynov, 1938,” Harari mentions Shiman Schechman who had a club house for the Zionist Youth Group where they played billiards.--HS Return
  3. Aaron (Berger) Harari, the author of this essay, is standing on the right. --HS Return

[Page 188]

An Event in the Shtetl

Boruch Meren[1], Baltimore

Translated from the Yiddish by Hannah B. Fischthal, PhD

Edited by Howard I. Schwartz, PhD.


Whoever was born and raised in a small shtetl in Volhynia, like my little shtetl Mlynov, will never forget the childhood years: the cheder, even the slaps from the teacher; the school; the bathhouse, pardon the comparison; the happy and beautiful holidays, like the spring holiday Passover, and Shavuot; all of which gave so much meaning to our lives. And of course, we cannot forget the beautiful countryside around the shtetl with its wonderful, fresh air in the summer.

To tell the truth, the air in the shtetl was not so clear and fresh, because Moyshe the teacher's green puddle attracted ducks which flocked there, spoiling the air. In addition, whenever a Jewish woman wanted, she would open the door from her kitchen and pour the dirty water out into the street in front of the door. So when we wanted to revive ourselves with truly good, fresh air, we would take a walk outside of town where fragrant green fields and lawns were spread out in front of our eyes.

As in all small villages, the shopkeepers were standing in their stores looking out for customers. The shopkeepers would often fight over a customer. But when it came to Yom Kippur, they would all make up. Right after Yom Kippur they started the old business again, exactly like before. Even among the artisans there was competition.

The number of rich people in the shtetl could be counted on one's fingers. Most of the Jews were respectable paupers who praised the Lord of the Universe for the little they were given. Shabbes brought rest for the body and the soul. Every Jewish man during Shabbes was like a king in his home. The house was spotless, the wife and the children dressed in clean, nice clothes in honor of Shabbes. The poorest woman baked challas for Shabbes, cooked fish and put up cholent.

[Page 189]

During the day, after napping, a well-to-do Jew would sit comfortably at his table, his greasy yarmulke on his head and the arbe-kanfes[2] over his white undershirt, and enjoy drinking a hot glass of tea while looking into his prayerbook. On the other hand, the artisans and plain people were not so scrupulously devoted to observing Shabbes. They took their wives and children and walked out of the shtetl, lay down on the grass, and breathed in the wonderful air of field and forest.

The fields during the month of Tamuz[3] were wonderful when the high ears of corn with their golden color shook in the wind like ocean waves, their heads bent due to the weight of the ripe grains. The Jews from the shtetl, especially the grain merchants, used to walk here, think about the field, tear off several ears, rub them, think about them, and make a prediction that soon the grains will be ready for harvesting. The shopkeepers and the artisans waited with impatience for when the farmers would harvest the grains from the fields, and then they would be able to buy things and pay off their debts. We, the Jews, furnished salt, sugar, and manufactured items for them, and they made the beautiful wide fields grow. I was always jealous of them. Why do they live like a normal people on their land? And we, Jews, live from the wind? As a small boy it occurred to me, not from cheder, that we Jews also once had a land with our own farmers. Even today I feel the tragedy of the saying: “Because we sinned, we were exiled from our land, and we moved far away from it.”[4]

The attraction of the shtetl was the Count's manor, although nobody was permitted to go inside. The proverb, “What comes out of my speaking Polish, if I am not permitted in the manor,” was correct in our case. Of all the Jews in the shtetl, only my grandfather[5] had the honor to go inside the manor, because Hershko was a useful Zhid (Jew). He was a contractor and he worked for the Count. When Jews needed a favor from the Count, my grandfather, Hirsh Goldseker, was the intermediary. Everyone knew that he found favor in the eyes of the Count and the Countess. Everyone in the shtetl talked about how Hirsh Goldseker kisses the Countess's hand when he says hello. My grandfather used to tell us grandchildren wonderful histories of life on the estate.

[Page 190]

As the summer used to end and fall would start, the shtetl looked sad. Because of the rains and the deep mud, we had to sit home, and it gnawed at our souls. Nature became unrecognizable. Sadder and more naked, the trees shook in the wind. The gardens were already empty. The last to go were the potatoes, which we dug out of the ground and put into the cellars for the long winter, since the earth would soon freeze, and a white snow would cover the fields for the entire season. Poor families would be frightened. The expenses became larger because wood had to be prepared for heating, and people had to buy warm clothes, mainly boots, which were very necessary.

The Jews in the shtetl spent more time in the synagogue in the winter, sitting on chairs around a long table near the warm oven, studying well in the long evenings. Even the plain Jews used to sit on the side and listen to a word of Torah.

In the synagogue people could also find out the prices of wheat, which was the main business; they rented wagon drivers to drive the grain into the city. In the synagogue we used to also talk about world events, and in general find out the news of the world. An argument would often break out in the synagogue regarding community matters. In such conflicts there were always two sides, and the shtetl went into battle. Young and old took part in the arguments. If not for that, life would be too boring in the shtetl.

* * *

And now I want to relate an episode that excited the entire shtetl.

In Mlynov, when boys turned 21 and needed to enroll in the military, their parents would be extremely worried. What parents wanted their son to be a soldier and eat non-kosher food from the soldiers' kitchen?

[Page 191]

Fathers would groan quietly, and mothers wrung their hands. But not us, the boys, the recruits, because when one is young, one can make a comedy out of a tragedy. We did not take it so much to heart. To get out of serving there was one way: not to eat and not to drink enough, to live only on dry crackers and drink tea without sugar. Then one could hope to be completely freed from duty. The self -torture went on for four weeks. To help pass the time, the recruits got together every night and worked out a plan on how to spend the night. That usually consisted of going around singing under windows, especially where there were girls. Or pranking certain bosses. Recruits could do it and be forgiven because they were almost soldiers.

One night, when we recruits did not have anything planned but we wanted to do a special prank so the shtetl would remember us, we went to Shmuel, the joker of the shtetl.[6] (A brother-in-law of Yitzhak Lamdan) Shmuel was then a young man old enough to get married. He was known as being versed in books; he brought Zionism into the shtetl; he founded a library; in general, he tried to modernize the shtetl. He was respected. He loved to play tricks on the big shots and that is why we called him Shmuel the joker. (He now lives in Israel). We went, as I said, to Shmuel. We woke him up from sleep, got him out of bed. He rubbed his always red eyes, put on his glasses, and he said in a sleepy voice:

“Nu, friends, you don't have to tell me what you want. I see in your inflamed cheeks and shiny eyes that you want to do something tonight, and certainly you want my advice?”

“You got it,” we all answered at the same time.

“I have a plan for you,” Shmuel the joker said. “Today is Thursday night and tomorrow is Friday before Shabbes. And Jews have to go Friday to the bath to steam their bones and to wash in honor of Shabbes. I want you to heat up the community bath, and to let all the craftsmen and the poor to come in for free, without money.

[Page 192]

They also deserve a little happiness in this world. They should enjoy the steam and then wash in honor of Shabbes to spite all the fancy bosses, because even in the bathhouse the wealthy Jews take up the highest benches. Such social injustice!” Shmuel screamed out with wrath.[7]

“Correct!” we all say, “but where will we get wood to heat up the bath?”

“There will be wood,” Shmuel said. “You yourselves will go through the streets and yards (in front of every house was a piece of land) and gather together everything that you can: chairs, tables, blocks, old boards which are lying around near the houses, old doors, everything that can burn. I tell you, comrades, it is for a good purpose! 'The fearful and tender-hearted will go and return home.'”

His warm words worked strongly on us, and we started, with the flame of youth, to heat up the bath. We collected everything, whatever came into our hands, and threw it on a mountain near the bath. We woke up the bath attendant, who was also a shammes in the Stolin synagogue as well as the gravedigger in the shtetl; after receiving all his salaries, we still had to send him something for Shabbes. We ordered him to get right to work and heat up a hot bath. We helped him fill up the mikveh with water, threw in the wood in the two large ovens. The attendant frightfully obeyed our order, and he promised us he would fulfill our orders: to positively let all the artisans and poor Jews into the bath for free.

Before daybreak, the tired recruits each went home to take a nap.

The next day, Friday morning, the shtetl learned what the recruits had done. One told the other. People were missing a chair, a table, a piece of wood that was lying for years near the door. They cursed. The children in the cheders, who were dismissed, as usual, a half day Friday, also learned the news, so they ran around the streets and screamed:

“Jews, go into the bath for free!”

Craftsmen, who had just arrived all muddy from the villages, quickly grabbed their white, clean laundry and hurried to the bath. The Jews had pleasure from the hot steam, sitting on the uppermost bench of the sauna, and screamed:

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“Give it! Give it!” That meant to pour more hot water on the hot stones and increase the heat.

“Thrash yourselves, Jews, to spite Reb[8] Yosel Berger,” screamed Shloyme the lame shoemaker.[9]

“Ay, ay, it is good,” screamed red Shaye. “It has been a long time since I had such a wonderful bath! Moyshe, thrash me again on the right side.”

“A blessing on the group of recruits; for this good deed may they be freed and be Jews at home,” all screamed.

The wealthy bosses from the shtetl boycotted and did not go to the bath that Friday. From that we understood that it would be “jolly”[10] in our Trisk synagogue. And so it was.

Saturday morning, right after the morning prayers, the Shammes went up to the platform and announced that Mr. (Reb) Yosel Lemel's [son], the trustee, had something important to say, therefore be quiet, and he gave the lectern a slap. Soon three Yosels came up onto the platform: Yosel Mayer's [son], Yosel Lemel's [son] and Yosel Lipekh's [son]. They were the committee that took care of the congregation's needs.

The first to speak was Yosel Lemel's, the biggest and devoted advisor, a handsome, tall Jew, with quite a stomach, which garnered respect from the Jews. Angrily, he banged the lectern, and his deep bossy voice let out a sound like thunder.

“Gentlemen, Jews! Be informed, that the 'heathens,' the recruits, practically burned down our bathhouse. We had toiled so much for it; have you heard of such unruliness? I would send them to prison for stealing wood.”

Immediately voices and wildness were heard; it was deafening. The parents of the recruits felt guilty, and it was maintained that they should take the blame, because we, the “guilty,” had immediately left. In short, it came to slaps. The artisans and the healthy boys stayed together in the small room, ready to apply their healthy fists. But then Mr. (Reb) Yehuda Leyb Lamdan (father of the famous Hebrew writer Yitzhak Lamdan) mixed in. This Jew, whose name was appropriate, was a big scholar and a God-fearing man.

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Everyone respected him. He interrupted his learning, straightened out his tallis over his head so that only a piece of face looked out, spread out his arms, and started to beg the crowd for mercy:

“Gentlemen, I beg you, be quiet! It is a desecration of God's name for Jews to fight like this, especially in a holy place.


A group of friends


Brothers, if they already did it, then it's too late! After all, they are still Jewish children, and they accomplished an important thing: poor Jews washed themselves in honor of Shabbes, and that is a very good deed. For that honor, God will help and free them from service, and they will become devout young men in their parents' homes.”

The well-to-do Jews immediately quieted down, and they forgave the recruits for their “heathenish” piece of work. If Mr. (Reb) Yehude Leyb Lamdan orders, one must obey.


Translator's and editor's footnotes:
  1. For Boruch Meren's bio, see footnote 1 in his essay “A Good Deed,” p. 149 this volume --HS Return
  2. Fringed ritual garment worn by boys and men --HBF Return
  3. June-July on the Gregorian Calendar --HBF Return
  4. The Hebrew verse apparently is from the prayer tradition of Mizrachi (“Oriental”) Jews. It is part of the Amidah prayer during the Musaf service on the three festivals. --HS Return
  5. Boruch's mother was Miriam (Goldseker) and her father was Hirsch Goldseker. --HS Return
  6. Apparently referring to Shmuel (Samuel) Mandelkern, who married Yitzhak Lamdan's sister, Malcah Lamdan. This same Samuel Mandelkern is the one who helped organize the Zionist Youth Groups and who made aliyah in the 1920s. In other essays in this volume, he is remembered as a serious organizer among the youth. On Mandelkern's role in establishing The Young Guard, see Yosef Litvak's essay, “The Town of Mlynov,” p. 58, and Aaron Harari's essay, “Culture, Education, and Social Life in the Small Town,” p. 67. Mandelkern also contributed an essay to this volume on “Self-Defense in the Shtetl” below. --HS Return
  7. The viewpoint expressed here reflects the socialist world view embraced by The Young Guard youth group (Hashomer Hatzair) that Mandelkern helped establish in town. Return
  8. Reb typically is used like “Mr.” in English. Return
  9. The statement here seems to reflect the class tensions in Mlynov, between the poor lame shoemaker and a wealthier man, Yosel Berger, and may also reflect the impact of socialist ideas on the town's residents. The young men appear to be stoking class tensions in town through their prank pitting the poor against the well-to-do. “Thrashing” seems to refer to therapeutic thrashings of the body with soaked branches a practice still found in some bathhouses today. Return
  10. In other words, that the situation would be serious during the Sabbath services. Return

[Page 195]

Bread and Wood

Sonia and Mendel Teitelman

Translated from the Yiddish by Hannah B. Fischthal, PhD

Edited by Howard I. Schwartz, PhD.


Our brothers and sisters were constantly plagued their entire lives trying to obtain the bare necessities of life. In this regard, there was not even a big difference between the richer people and the poorer ones. Even for those who were better off, buying four or five wagons full of wood to enable cooking in the winter was a big expense. It could not be ignored. Without wood, nobody could survive the very cold winters. To be unable to provide heat was life endangering. People could simply freeze to death. For children, as usual, it was much more dangerous.

Once people were able to get a wagonful of wood, there was still the problem of sawing and chopping. Finding a place to put the wood was another problem. Also the ovens were a problem. Everything in the shtetl was primitive. Well-constructed cooking ovens were very rare here. We had to be satisfied with the Khrube[1] that stood in the middle of the room to warm up as much as possible around it. It was used for heating and for cooking. It had a small built-in area to keep the food warm. A Christian woman heated up the stove on Shabbes. The cholent was put inside to keep warm. As usual, every family made a cholent in their baking ovens which were in every house for baking bread and challah.

The baking took place, as a rule, on Friday–Challah for Shabbes and bread for the whole week. The bread was the main food in the house. According to the folk saying, “If bread and water are here, there is no hunger here.” Everything was baked Friday so the holiness of Shabbes would be more noticeable. Nobody needed tasty foods during the week, when it was enough to just be able to drive away the hunger, but for Shabbes, that was already something else. Everything good was in honor of Shabbes.

This conduct more than once aroused the jealousy and hatred of the Christian neighbors. Why? Where does the poor neighbor, who has many children, get a white challah?


Translator's footnote:
  1. Probably some kind of cast-iron. pot-bellied stove--HBF Return

[Page 196]

A True Event in Mlynov from 96 Years Ago

Shirley Jacobs[1], Bronx

Translated from the Yiddish by Hannah B. Fischthal, PhD

Edited by Howard I. Schwartz, PhD.


My mother, Itse Starosta's[2] oldest daughter, Basye,[3] told me:

In Mlynov there was the Ahreles family, very respected people. There was a Henye Ahreles,[4] Khaye Ahreles, Zelde Ahreles, Moyshe Ahreles.[5] The oldest son was called Daniel. He had an iron store; later, Moyshe Ahreles took his place.

This Daniel used to loan material to the Czechs, who lived in the nearby villages. In the winter they would buy on credit and pay the debt after harvest-time. One day a Czech came to Daniel and asked him for a cash loan. The Czech was not a poor man, and Daniel loaned him the money.

Not long after that, the Czech came on a cold winter day to Daniel and said to him: “If you want your debt repaid, come with me to my house, and I will pay you everything I owe you.” Daniel's mother Libe[6] begged him to not go; his wife Dvoyra, pregnant, fell on his chest and tried to stop him from going.

“It is terribly cold.”

But Daniel wrapped himself up, put on his fur cap, and set out. The Czech had promised he would bring him home the same day.

There was a dead silence in the house. Both the women were uneasy. They kept looking at the door… The day was over. It was night and Daniel was not there. In the morning–still not there…

So they took a horse and sled and left to find the Czech. On the highway, they found Daniel, murdered.

The entire shtetl was in mourning. They performed the necessary rites for the body; they had to bury him in his clothes. The fur hat, however, was missing.

A few days later, an alarm spread through the shtetl that Daniel had been seen in the street. Daniel was wandering around in the world of ghosts. Later another person said that Daniel came to him in his dream, and he told him to go to a certain place where his hat was lying.

[Page 197]

Daniel told him to take the cap and put it into his grave.

For a while, people were afraid to go out at night; my grandfather was led to the synagogue. It was decided to take the Rabbi with a minyan of important householders to the place Daniel had mentioned in the dream. And the hat was found there!

They did what Daniel had told them to do. After that, Daniel no longer appeared on the street or in dreams.

(His wife Dvoyra gave birth to a son. He was called “brother.”[7]


Savka, tree cutter


Later, she married Motye-Mayer. Everybody from Mlynov knows him. They had children. One son is here–he is called “Zun” (son). And a brother died not long ago in America.)


Editor's footnotes:
  1. Shirley (Barditch) Jacobs, originally Sura Borodacz, (1905-1983) is one of four children of Isidore Barditch (originally Borodacz) from Lutsk and Bessie (Teitelbaum originally Bassa Ferteybaum ) from Mlynov. Shirley's sister is Sylvia (Barditch) Goldberg, an editor of this volume and another contributor. Both Shirley and Sylvia were born in Lutsk. Their grandfather from Mlynov was Samuel Yitzchak Ferteybaum, whom the family recalls as “Itse Starota” in this essay. Sylvia also wrote fondly about their grandfather in “Stoliner Hasidism in Mlynov,” pp. 80-82, and indicates that their grandfather got their father involved in Stoliner Hasidism. Sylvia also discusses visiting their Mlynov grandparents in “A Wedding in Mlynov,” p. 27. The Barditch (Borodacz) family came to the US in October 1921 and settled in Baltimore before a family tragedy led the family to move to New York in a story told in the “Mystery of Sylvia (Barditch) Goldberg” at https://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/Mlyniv/Ravings_of_a_genealogist.html#SylviaGoldberg . Shirley married Benjamin Jacobs and they had three children. A photo of Shirley's eldest daughter, Marilyn (Jacobs) Israel, appears as a young girl on page 500 of the original volume with Shirley's sister Sylvia (right) and their mother Bassa (left).--HS Return
  2. A Staroste was a government official–HBF See also the essay about Itse Starosta written by granddaughter Sylvia Barditch-Goldberg in this volume, pp. 80-82.--HS Return
  3. A photo of Basye Barditch appears on page 500 of this volume.--HS Return
  4. Henye Ahreles appears in the photo on page 500 and is also called “Aleph Katz's mother” there, which provided the clue as to her identity and those of her siblings mentioned here.--HS Return
  5. The name “Ahreles” is a diminutive for “Aaron” and thus refers to Aaron Hirsch, patriarch of the Hirsch family. Anna (Hirsch) Katz is called “Henie Ahreles” in a photo in this volume with the author's mother, sister and daughter. The Hirsch members referred to here are Henye Ahreles [=Anna (Hirsch) Katz], Khaye Ahreles [=Clara (Hirsch) Newman), Zelde Ahreles [=Zelda (Hirsch) Berger] and Moyshe Ahreles (Moishe Hirsch) and Daniel refers to Daniel Hirsch. The majority of these Hirsch individuals came to America. On the Hirsch family saga see, https://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/Mlyniv/families.html#Hirsch.--HS Return
  6. Liebe Hirsch, matriarch of the Hirsch family, wife of Aaron.--HS Return
  7. I suspect that Dvoya's son referred to here was the young man named Daniel Hirz/Hirsch from Mlynov who arrived in New York in November 1926 and is listed as a cousin of the other Hirschs. On this Daniel's manifest, his mother is listed as Dwoira. If this interpretation is correct, he was given the name of his father Daniel who passed away before he was born. I suspect he was called “brother” by his father's siblings who saw their brother in his son.--HS Return

[Page 198]

In the Shtetl

David Fishman[1], Baltimore

Translated from the Yiddish by Hannah B. Fischthal, PhD

Edited by Howard I. Schwartz, PhD.


If you would ask me what I had for supper yesterday, I definitely would not remember–but I do exactly remember our shtetele Mlynov of more than 40 years ago, especially the entire winter until Purim time: the mud, the snow with the cold, the market people, the shopkeepers wearing kaftans and fur coats, boots on their feet, with their fire pots and wool gloves without fingers. The two-week long fairs, including the drunken Christians after the fair–that is a separate chapter. The others in the shtetl kept inside near the hot grease that was cooking, where potatoes and herring were being prepared.

In the evenings, after the Minchah-Maariv prayers, the shtetl was practically empty, sleepy, and dreaming. But nobody felt as good as we boys who used to go to cheder at night carrying lanterns. While walking, we sang to drive away our fears of coming across a Christian or an angry dog.

Years later, more grown up, Yitzhak Lamdan, z”l, and I studied together under Motl Chizik.[2] We told each other scary, fantastic, and superstitious stories about insane people, clowns, and evil people. We talked about corpses that rise up out of their graves exactly after 12:00 at night and fill up the House of Prayer. Sometimes a dead body would be found in the mikveh, exactly when a young wife was going to immerse herself.

I see it in front of my eyes: Yitzhak Lamdan would sit, leaning over to hear every word, and then he would say: “I do not believe any of those silly tales.”

The more frightening the story, the more we moved closer together to hear about thieves, robbers, Gypsies, forest-robbers, wolves, wild boars, angry dogs, and the black cats and witches who controlled women in childbirth.


Translator's footnotes:
  1. David “Dudek” Fishman, born in Mlynov in 1899, was the eldest of three children of Moishe Fishman (1873–1968) and Chaya Gilden (1880–1927). His father Moishe is also a contributor to this volume. The Fishmans made a significant stir in 1921 when they became the first Mlynov family to make aliyah to Palestine where they settled soon settled in Balfouria. That story is told below by Boruch Meren in “The First Immigrant to the Land of Israel,” 220. In 1924, David was joined in Palestine by his first cousin from Mlynov, Eta Goldseker, and the two were married in July of that year. Eta and David had their first daughter, Selma Ann, in Palestine in 1926. In 1927 they made the difficult decision to leave Palestine and settle in Baltimore. Their second daughter, Irene Siegel, was born in Baltimore in 1929. Return
  2. The surname is also spelled Tzizik. Return

[Page 199]

Khaykl Shnayder's Gramophone

Boruch Meren[1], Baltimore

Translated from the Yiddish by Hannah B. Fischthal, PhD

Edited by Howard I. Schwartz, PhD.


People said my grandfather, Hersh Slobadar,[2] had a gramophone before the First World War, and that made sense. He had been a rich Jew. He had been a postman; he managed the alcohol, the slaughterhouse, the river, and he had a prestigious place by the eastern wall of the Trisk synagogue. But how did Khaykl, the ladies' tailor with many children, get a gramophone? He inherited the gramophone from his father Shloyme Shnayder.[3] So again the question: How does a gramophone come to Shloyme the tailor? What tailor could afford such a luxury?

You should know that the gramophone was old. How the gramophone survived the First World War was simply a miracle. Maybe the Lord of the universe wanted a poor tailor to have something to be proud of, something to spite all the rich Jews? Apart from that, Khaykl wanted his poor neighbors to have the pleasure of enjoying a piece sung by Yossele Rosenblatt,[4] even if only on vinyl; not too many good cantors who gave concerts dropped into Mlynov.

Khaykl Shnayder's house, you need to remember, stood on Skolner[5] Street, namely Church Street, three houses away from the Trisk synagogue. The right wall of Mr. (Reb) Khaykl's house was leaning on Leyb Stoler's[6] house. Maybe that is why Khaykl Shnayder's house did not fall down. Going through the First World War left it weak. On the other hand, Leyb Stoler's house was stronger. A carpenter himself, with a board here and a piece of wood there, and not being thrifty with nails, he made it sturdier and thus lengthened the years of both huts. But a tailor, who could hold only a needle in his hand, what could he add to strengthen his house?

Between his house and Mr. (Reb) Shimon Slobadar's (Goldseker)[7] house was a small and muddy street; the shtetl in general consisted almost entirely of little streets.

[Page 200]

The Rabbi's Street, the Shochet's Street, Nasele's Street, Moyshe Toybe's[8] Street, Chaim Leml's Street–all little streets led to the marketplace-- if you were able to cross the street without leaving a boot in the deep mud. On Khaykl's street there was much traffic. His street was known in the shtetl. Getting to the market was not so easy. Firstly, we had to go through a long, little street very carefully; it was the width of one person. On one side there was a wall from Mr (Reb) Volf, Nute-Ber's [son's][9] stable, and on the other side was a kind of separation with barbed wire fencing in Ishtekhe's garden; if you finally made it out of the shtetl okay, you could recite goyml.[10]

The little street had another good point: when you were busy making right turns, you quickly ended up in the Stolin synagogue where you could catch a prayer service, even if you had never been a Stoliner Chassid. But if you had to go out to the market, you needed to turn left. The street, which led to the market across from the Polish church, was called Tuvye, Nute-Ber's [son's] Street.[11] In that street you needed a special strategy: namely, you had to hold onto the walls of the house–if not, you would fall, you should excuse me, into a mud of a different sort since there was always a mountain of manure in that street. As Tuvye, Nute-Ber's [son's] house was low, the windows reached to your feet, and you could see what was cooking in the fireplace. If you made it out of that street, there were cages. Again, you had to be careful and hold your body straight. More than once a heavy Jewish woman slipped into the mud with one foot; she would curse quietly to herself: “Whoever thought this up should not get a taste of the other world!”

Yes, where are we with Khaykl Shnayder's gramophone? Saturday nights during the summer, when it was hot and humid and the flies were tearing you to pieces, the entire household would gather outside under the free sky. The parents used to sit on a bench, and the children would lie on the ground and listen to the choir of frogs.

[Page 201]

On such an evening, Khaykl Shnayder would open his windows and turn on the gramophone. The sweet voice of a cantor carried through the yards and streets. Little by little, people started to come to his windows. The harm was only that the gramophone became old and the records were worn out. The gramophone began to just groan and the voices of the cantors became weaker and weaker. It was a pity on Khaykele.

One Saturday night, a group started to clown around and make fun of the worn-out records, and they called out assorted insults, like: “Reb Khaykl gave the cantor a gogl-mogl,[12] so unfortunately he is hoarse.”

This made Mr. (Reb) Khaykl very sad.

So he went to the window, stuck his head out, and screamed: “Barefoot swindlers! What do you think–I need to get you cantors?! What did you want, I should travel to Lemberg to buy new records for you? You would not live so long!”

And with terrible anger he shut his window. That was the last gramophone concert in the shtetl; Khaykl Shnayder's gramophone disappeared forever---


Synagogue Street. Khaykl Shnayder's residence
From the photos of A. Harari
Original courtesy of Audrey Goldseker Polt


Translator's and editor's footnotes:
  1. For Boruch Meren's background, see his earlier essay, “A Good Deed (Mitzvah)”, p. 149, footnote 1. Return
  2. Hersh Slobodar is the nickname of Hersh Goldseker. Slobadar was a nickname for the Goldseker family who was named after the town from which they came before Mlynov. For a discussion, see Moshe Fishman's essay, “Mlynov in the Past,” and particularly footnote 4. Regarding the Goldsekers being called “Slobodar,” see Sonia and Mendel Teitelman's essay in this volume, 256-258.--HS Return
  3. A shnayder is a tailor. The martyr list (p. 436) indicates that the actual family name of Khaykl Shnayder was Nudler and from this essay we know his father was Shlome. Based on Yad Vashem records, it appears that Shloyme Nudler and his wife Leah were also parents of Aaron/ Arke Nudler (1888–1948) who survived the Shoah in the Smordva forest with his daughter, Helen (Nudler) Fixler and whose two sons, Morris and Harold, survived in the Russian Army. The martyr list indicates Khaykl and his wife Bat Sheva, and his children, Avraham, Yaakov, Alta and Faiga, all perished. --HSReturn
  4. Josef “Yossele” Rosenblatt (May 9, 1882 – June 19, 1933) was a Russian-born chazzan (cantor) and composer. He was regarded as the greatest cantor of his time.--HS Return
  5. Pronounced Skolna in the Hebrew essays.--HS Return
  6. A stolyer is a carpenter--HBF Return
  7. Shimon Goldseker married Anna Fishman and had eight children, among whom were several who migrated to Baltimore including Ida (Goldseker) Fishman/Gresser, Eta (Goldseker) Fishman, Morris Goldseker, and Samuel Goldseker. Later in life, Shimon's son, Samuel, in an interview with his daughter in Baltimore, recalled one of his fondest memories as listening on weekends to the music from his uncle's gramophone. For more on this family of Goldsekers, see https://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/Mlyniv/families.html#Goldseker Return
  8. Moyshe Toybe is Moshe Fishman, a contributor to this volume. His mother's name was Toba and he was called “Toybe's” meaning her son.--HS Return
  9. Referring to Wolf Berger, son of Note-Ber. Wolf is the father of Aaron (Berger) Harari who wrote in this volume about his father and uncle as farmers in Mlynov in “Jewish Farmers in Mlynov,” 75-76. The Berger family saga is available here: https://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/Mlyniv/families.html#Bergers --HS. Return
  10. Birkat hagomel is recited by people who have survived a life-threatening trauma. --HBF Return
  11. Tuvya Berger was the son of Nuta-Ber Berger and a brother of Wolf Berger.--HS Return
  12. A cure-all drink usually made with hot milk and honey--HBF Return

[Page 202]

A Young Man Writes
to His Brother in the Land [of Israel]

Avraham Halperin[[1]

Edited and translated by Howard I. Schwartz, PhD. with Hanina Epstein


To my dear, brother, Lipa,[2]

Lipa, you made a mistake. You wrote that I am a 14-year-old boy; that's not true because father says that the 18th of Tamuz I will have reached 16 years old.[3]

And thus, I took an account [of myself] and I realized that the best of my years are gone with nothing [to show]. Because my teachers they cut off my head without knives.[4] All they want is for the month to pass by quickly so they can get their salary ...true, Mordechai Chizik[5] still knows how to teach, but the one who is teaching me lately is completely killing me. He teaches with no organization, with no vitality. He plugs up the spirit of poets that crouches inside me. I stopped hanging with my friends because they are among the Hasids of Mlynov and only Moshe Shalyn is my friend.[6] He is also a good Hasid, but is at least with us. Strong but shy, as the verse says, “the arrogant is headed to Hell and the blushing to the Garden of Eden” (Pirkei Avot 5.20). Since I am fed up with my friends, I'm fed up with Mlynov, because I know that I am sinking in Mlynov and the best years of my life will amount to nothing.

Then a month ago, I went to sleep in the first hour and got up in the third hour.[7] And during the night while the whole town was already asleep, I sat by myself opposite the moon on a bench next to our house and took a personal reckoning. When I realized I was almost 16 years old and that the best years of my life were lost here in this accursed Mlynov, emotions stormed inside me and I thought: the world is wide and I want to flee to a place that will sustain the spirit ...Then suddenly I'm reminded: yes, the world is wide, but not for you, small loathsome Jew, Jew among the Jews of the Diaspora (golah). For sure you read about how the eternal Jew who goes knocking on all the doors of the nations, [asking] that they give 4 cubits of space, which is needed for a corpse, and then they give him the same answer in every place: “There is no space for the loathsome and inferior Jew, be on your way.” Then I awaken in my place and want to run in all the streets and shouting for help (“shouting hamas”[8]): Where is the justice? How can one who moves about in a forest with animals of prey, protest or sing, afraid that he will arouse the wild animals who will prey on him? Then I go to bed, but I am unable to sleep. The thoughts penetrate my mind. I'm reminded of our ancestors, who died sanctifying God's name (kiddush hashem) in Spain and Portugal[9] and who went like calves to the slaughter, is this the sanctification of God's name? Sampson, the hero, who said, “Let me die with the Philistines,” [when he was about to topple the pillars of the building] (Judges 16.30), died for the sanctification of God's name, and sanctification of his people and his homeland. And our ancestors (it is forbidden to say this) died sanctifying the disgrace of the Jew.

In my future, I will remember that this [the land of Israel] is [my] homeland. I decided — when I go there, during the day I will do hard work, with the sweat of the brow[10] I will build our homeland, and at night I will stand guard, and I will not fear death.[11] But if death [is my fate], three hundred Arabs will first die, and I will be a parable for my people, so they will not say, in poems he said he would die for his homeland but when alone he hid in the attic of the roof.

[Page 203]

And even here, where I am a despised Jew, and when I stroll with Moshe in the middle of the night, we walk strongly, like military men, and when a murderer walks [towards us], we don't flee but instead walk towards him with fists at the ready, and he doesn't dare touch us, but instead turns aside. Only when light appears outside in the third hour do I get up. First of all I open the windows, put on tefillin, because the tefillin are my weapons. Is a military man who stands guard going to throw away his weapon? Thus I am not able to abandon the tefillin. Afterwards I go outside and begin collecting the trash and everything that needs to be done, I do. Thus the day pointlessly goes by. Day follows day, the wheel of the world keeps turning, and these are [the passing days] of life.


A group of educated ones,[12] next to the waterfall on the Count's property:

Sitting [front], from the right, Moshe Grinshpan,[13] Meir Grinshpan, Pesach Zutelman,[14] David Apithoker[15] the teacher Eisenberg-Ashed,[16] Shmuel Mandelkern.[17]
Standing from the right, Ephraim Zutelman,[18] Yitzhak Grinshpan, Bat-Sheva Grinshpan,[19] Malcah Lamdan.[20]


Translator's and editor's footnotes:
  1. Avraham Halperin (1924–1942) was the younger brother of Lipa Halperin. HS Return
  2. Lipa Halperin (1907-1969) was on the book committee for this volume. Lipa made aliyah to Mandate Palestine in 1937 and his brother Avraham wrote to him there. Avraham perished in the Mlynov ghetto liquidation.--HS Return
  3. The letter, written by Lipa's brother, Avraham, who was born in 1924 is note dated. He would have turned 16 in 1940.--HS Return
  4. Figuratively cut off his head by not teaching him anything.--HS Return
  5. A photo of the teacher Motel Chizik (or Tzizik) and his family appears on page 457 below. David Fishman and Yitzhak Lamdan studied with Chizik. Gershon Goldberg recalls him as a “murderously strict disciplinarian” and Moshe Moshe Iskiewicz (Isakovich) describes him as one of “the teachers with whom the students felt enjoyment studying” and that he “excelled in teaching Tanach, and he was the first who implanted the yearning and love for our land in us through his interesting explanations. I would say, we were 'like dreamers' for all knowledge that came out of his mouth about our great past and all its manifestations. I remember him – his short stature, with a cigarette in his mouth, he would smoke, and smoke and…cough.”--HS
    Chizik perished with his wife and daughter in 1942. His sons, Moshe and Meir, made aliyah in the 1930s. Moshe married Rosa Berger (Aaron Harari's sister) in Mandate Palestine and died of a snake bite in 1959. Meir married and had five children.--HS Return
  6. Moshe Shlayen is included in the list of Mlynov matyrs along with his family. He was the son of Yaakov and Sara Shlayen. He had a sister Henia.--HS Return
  7. He is using the rabbinic concept of a relative hour which broke daylight and nighttime into 12 fixed periods. He went to bed early in the night at, for example, 8 pm and arose at 11 pm.--HS Return
  8. An expression that is used in Job 19:7.--HS Return
  9. Referring to the Inquisition.--HS Return
  10. Using the language from God's punishment in Genesis 3:19 that man will get his food “by the sweat of your brow” as a result of Eve eating the fruit.--HS Return
  11. Alluding to Psalm 23:4 and not fearing to walk in valley of the shadow of death.--HS Return
  12. The term maskilim alludes to those educated in secular studies who embrace enlightenment (Haskalah). The photo was taken before 1921 since Pesach Zutelman in the photo left with the Shulman family for Baltimore in that year.--HS Return
  13. Also spelled Grenspun and Greenspun. There were several Grinsphan families listed among the Mlynov martyrs (p. 434), and one in nearby villages (p. 446). The woman called “Bat Sheva” Grinshpan in this photo is listed among the martyrs from one of “the nearby villages.” Her father is listed as “Yoel-Leib Grinshpan from Parmilovka,” (possibly Peremylivka, Ukraine today). Her mother had already passed away. Two of her siblings, Yitzhak and Riva, were also martyred. The list indicates that “a son is in Israel, a daughter Tovah is in Israel, their son Micael is in France and a daughter Mania is in Canada.” It thus seems likely that the other Grinsphans are family or related. The Yitzhak is in this photo is probably her brother. The man named Moshe Grinsphan in this photo is probably the one recalled by Shmuel Mandelkern in “Self-Defense in Mlynov,” who recalls a “Moshe Grenspun z“l, from Parmilovka,” who oversaw the production of fake military badges for the uniforms of the self-defense in Mlynov. Mandelkern comments that Moshe “encountered his tragic death in Russia.” No other mention is made of Meir Grinsphan and it seems likely he may be the “Micael” who is mentioned in the martyr list as living in France. --HSReturn
  14. Pesach Zutelman (1895–1988) from Mervits traveled with the Shulman family in 1921 to Baltimore as the son Hertz Shulman. He subsequently married Sarah (Sura) Shulman. He retained the name Paul Shulman, the surname he used on his passenger manifest.--HS Return
  15. Alternative spellings Apoteiker, Apotheker, Apteykar. A woman by the name of Sonia Apteiker is listed in Yad Vashem records for Mlynov matyrs but no other information is known about this family. Return
  16. Jacob Eisenberg-Ashed is mentioned as a teacher brought in from Rovno in the essay by Aaron Harari, “Culture, Education, and Social Life in the Small Town.” Return
  17. Shmuel Mandelkern (or Mandelkorn) is one of the other contributors to this volume. For his background see footnote 1 in his essay, “Self-Defense in Mlynov.” Mandelkern married Malcah Lamdan also in this photo. They both also appear in the photo on page 66.--HS Return
  18. Efraim Zutelman became Frank Settleman in Baltimore. He migrated to the US via Buenos Aires in 1923 and used his brother's name (Pejsach Zutelman) on his manifest since his brother had snuck in using a Shulman name. He subsequently married Chaja Blomenkranz (Helen Blum) and they had two sons. Return
  19. See note 7.--HS Return
  20. Malcah Lamdan (?–~1980) was the sister of the poet Yitzhak Lamdan. She married Shmuel Mandelkern (also in this photo) and they made aliyah in 1924. She is recalled as a teacher and appears in a photo on page 66 and was part of a troupe of amateur actors in Mlynov before 1921.--HS Return

[Page 204]


Dr. Shlomo Mandelkern

Edited and translated by Howard I. Schwartz, PhD. with Hanina Epstein



This is your portion, poet, because you cleaved to your people
To [your people] you dedicated your heart and also sacrificed your soul
Your spirit is for its sanctity and your life for its future.
Its trouble is your enemy, on a bad day you will weep bitterly
Your poor daughter will flow by a bursting stream of an alien people
Where is the captain of song, thus his tears were shed!

From “Hebrew Poems,” 1901


[The Youth Group] Hashomer Hatzair — on a fieldtrip in the area of Demydivka


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