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[Page 493]

Over the Ocean

[Page 494]

  Sylvia [Barditch] Goldberg[1]
[With George Goldberg]

The Yizkor Book for Mlynov-Mervits

Translated from the Yiddish by Hannah B. Fischthal, PhD

Edited by Howard I. Schwartz, PhD.


This is a monument for the murdered martyrs from both shtetls. Destroyed: The respected Jews, the scholars, the enlightened intelligentsia, famous writers, cantors. They are no longer there.

The important world of famous people that the small shtetl Mlynov produced floats in front of my eyes: Dr. Solomon Mandelkern,[2] who became eternal through his Concordance of the Bible, Hekhal ha-kodesh, and also with his creative work in Hebrew poetry; Yitzhak Lamdan,[3] the Hebrew poet who earned praise for his “Masada” ; Aleph Katz,[4] the renowned poet; Berele the Blacksmith's [son], famous singer in the T³omackie Synagogue[5] in Warsaw; Moyshe Ahrele's [son],[6] artist.

I hear the voice of my grandfather Itse the Staroste.[7] He says to me: “My child, record this for the coming generations; may they know that Mlynov-Mervits was a holy community (kehilla) in beautiful, rich Volhyn. And may they know that the shtetls of Mlynov-Mervits no longer exist, but they will be included in the pantheon of eternity, under the wings of the Divine Presence.”

We, the remaining sparks of the great fire, will never forget the precious martyrs. We will extend the golden chain of former Mlynov-Mervits.

[Page 495]

We will continue to further their ideals for the existence of our people in our holy land of Israel. We pay tribute to their memories with great honor and respect.


Translator's and editor's footnotes:

  1. Sylvia (Barditch) Goldberg was the only woman on the Book Committee of Eight responsible for bringing out the Memorial Book. She was born Silka Borodacz in the town of Lutzk, one of five children. She always had a soft spot in her heart for Mlynov, which is where her grandparents Itcik and Malia Ferteybaum lived. Sylvia would visit her grandparents in Mlynov on holidays and summer vacations and she wrote about her sweet memories of those times in her essays in this volume including “Visiting My Grandparents,” an essay about her grandfather Icek Statorste, called “Stoliner Hasidism,” and a “ Wedding in Mlynov.” Sylvia arrived with her mother and siblings in Baltimore in 1921. The family subsequently moved to New York after her brother was killed in a hit and run accident in Baltimore. In New York, she subsequently married George/Gershon Goldberg from Mlynov. Sylvia also appears in a photo on page 500 in this volume.--HS Return
  2. For background on Solomon Mandelkern, see p. 484.--HS Return
  3. For background on Yitzhak Lamdan, see 487.--HS Return
  4. For background on Aleph Katz, see p. 489.--HS Return
  5. The Great Synagogue on Tłomackie Street in Warsaw was one of the grandest synagogues constructed in Poland, built in 1878 and became a site of cultural flourishing. It was one of the few “reform” or “German” synagogues in Poland. During the important services and festive holidays, the Grand Synagogue was frequented by prominent Polish musicians, singers, clergy, and government officials. The Mlynov born singer mentioned here has not been identified.--HS Return
  6. Referring to Moshe Hirsch son of Aaron. See the Hirsch family story.--HS Return
  7. See Sylvia's essay about her grandfather, called “Stoliner Hasidism.” --HS Return


Jews from Baltimore Assisted
their Home Shtetl Mlynov

by Eta [Goldseker] Fishman[1], Baltimore

Translated from the Yiddish by Hannah B. Fischthal, PhD

Edited by Howard I. Schwartz, PhD.


After the First World War, many from our shtetl Mlynov went to America.[2] They mostly were the unhappy women and children who had been dying of starvation in eastern Europe during wartime, when their husbands and fathers slaved in the American factories but were unable to send any money to their families. When the happy day of peace arrived in the world, these were the first families to leave their former homes.

All the new arrivals labored very hard the first few years. They stood in small businesses (their workday was 17-18 hours) and in the factories (10 hours), and yet they did not forget their sisters, brothers, and relatives back in Mlynov. They saved as much as they could from their hard work so that they could send something back home.

* * *

In 1925 the Mlynov Verein [Society] was founded with the purposes of meeting every month and also of doing something for the community in Mlynov.[3]

When my dear husband David Fishman z”l and I came to Baltimore in 1927, my sister Ida, who is no longer among the living, said to us: “Children, we have a gathering of the Mlynov Society this Sunday. Come with me. I am certain that you will be able to help with something.”

We did not disappoint her. After residing a little while in Baltimore, I accepted the position of Secretary of the Society, and I held this office until the end.

[Page 496]

I always used to write letters to the Mlynov Committee; we still have, thank God, a living witness, Nakhum Teitelboym,[4] who was on the Committee. Here in Baltimore we came together every month. We used to pay a fee and we also made a lot of additional money.

In 1929 bad times came to America. Our Mlynovers here were burdened from the waves of Depression, like everyone else. But nobody gave up Society work. All members united to do their duty to help those in Mlynov.

We used to send out quite meaningful sums of money, because the number of poor in Mlynov kept increasing. Yesterday's rich man was today a poor man. We also sent money for necessary expenses, like erecting fences for the cemetery, the bath, and the mikvah, which everyone in the kehilla needed. We also sent money to buy a machine that bakes matzas.[5] We used to get a list indicating how the money was distributed.

With tears in our eyes, every one of us mourned the situation of our Mlynovers. Nobody could imagine that a terrible fog was rushing over our poor Jews, and that they all would be killed. (My own loss: three sisters and their families, Perel, Baila, Charna,[6] and practically the entire large Goldseker family). From 1939-1944 European Jewry was torn from us.[7] We learned the real truth of our general Jewish tragedy from the few remaining Jews from Mlynov and Mervits.

[Page 497]

Then our assistance renewed. We sent some money directly to everyone in the camps.[8] We also sent packages to people who were in Poland and Italy. At the same time, we also, as the Mlynov Society, supported Palestine with quite large sums.

With that, the chapter of the Mlynov Society ended,[9] because the majority of the Mlynovers were already in their eternal resting place. Very few survived. The children, the grandchildren, were no longer from Mlynov.

Mlynov-Mervits Landsmen
Who Died in the United States

Translated and edited by Howard I. Schwartz, PhD.


Aleph Katz [the Yiddish poet, born Moshe Avraham Katz, 1898–1969]
Efraim Gitelman
Gedaliah and Rikel Gelman
[became Joseph and Rebecca Alman in Springfield, MA]
Simha Zutelman
Efraim Zutelman
[became Frank Settleman in Baltimore, 1901–1967]
Rivka Yamshtok
Shmuel Katz
[brother of Yiddish poet, 1895–1969]
Mollie Roskes [born Mollie Demb, arrived in Baltimore in about 1908, left Baltimore for aliyah later in life and died in Israel, 1876–1963]
Shlomo Schechman [survivor, son of Noach MosheSchechman, eventually settled in Baltimore, 1910–1969]
Hertz Shulman [son of Tsodik and Pearl (Demb) Shulman, became Harry Shulman in Baltimore, 1894–1964]
Pesach Steinberg [married Beatrice, daughter of Gedaliah and Rikel Gelman/Alman, became Harry Steinberg in Springfield, MA, 1895–1964)
Sheindel Iskiewicz

[Page 498]

Photos of Mlynov Immigrants and Survivors in the US

Sylvia [Barditch] Goldberg's brother,
  Sylvia [Barditch] Goldberg's parents
[Isadore and Bessie Barditch]
Usher [Harry] Tatelbaum[12] (the Staroste's son)
with wife Feiga [Fanny Hornstein]
  Baila [Karla/Clara]
Marder (Sarah Gitla's mother)

[Page 499]

Gershon (George / Joe) Goldberg[14]
with his sister Sorke [Sarah Spector]
  Chaya Goldberg [Ida Gevantman],[15]
Gershon's sister [with Gershon]
Chultzia,[16] with her man Leazar
with Bassa Barditch
  Shimon [Samuel][17] with
wife Sophie Berger

[Page 500]

Hirsh [Holtzeker] Slobadar's grandchildren:[18]
[Kalman Carl Gaynor (center) and two sisters (either side) and a cousin (back)]
Moishe Goldberg[19] with his brother
[Gershon Joe Goldberg]
  Bassa [Barditch],[20] the Starosta's daughter (left)
with Henia Ahrelas [née Hirsch] (Aleph Katz's mother)
[center] right: Sylvia Goldberg [Marilyn (Jacobs) Israel front center]

[Page 501]

Simha [Samuel] Spector family
with his wife Sorke [Sarah],
(Gershon Goldberg's youngest sister)
  Chaya [Ida Gevantman] with
her husband Benjamin
(daughter of Labish [Gelberg])
Mamtze [Teitelman] Genut[23] with her husband [Israel] and child

[Page 502]

Yussel and Esther Malar [née Gelberg][24] and their children [David and Gissie]
The father Yosel [Joseph] Schuchman[25] ,
husband of Chissa [née Klepatch]
  Chissa Schuchman [née Kleptach],
[with nephew] Moshe Goldberg
[26] ,
of blessed memory

[Page 503]

Chaim with [his wife]
Yenta [née Demb] Schwartz
  Pinchus Gelberg[28] [seated]
(lived in Klevan)
[Gershon Joe Goldberg
his brother stands back left]
The Rabbi [Yisrael] Feldman [right]
with his wife Sarah (Teitelman)
[29] and her brother Herzl Teitelman

Translator's and editor's footnotes:

  1. Eta Goldseker (1896–1989) was born in Mlynov to Shimon Goldseker (1867–1926) and Anna (Fishman). Three of her siblings migrated to Baltimore between 1912 and 1923: Ida (Goldseker) Fishman Gresser, Morris Goldseker, and Samuel Goldseker.
    Eta is remembered in the family as traveling deep into Russia and smuggling goods back to Mlynov in a teapot which she carried with her on the train following the custom of the day. An allusion to Eta's travels to Kursk appears in this volume in a humorous story told my Shmuel Mandelkern, “Self-Defense in Mlynov,” p. 134. In 1926, Eta left Mlynov for Mandate Palestine to marry her first cousin, Mlynov-born, David Fishman, son of Moshe Fishman, both contributors to this volume. Their daughter “Shimonette Anna” (Selma Ann) was born in Palestine in 1926. Life was dangerous and difficult in Palestine at the time and they left for the United States in 1927. Their daughter Irene (Fishman) Siegel, who was a family historian, was born in 1929 in Baltimore. Return
  2. See the detailed record of those Mlynov families coming to America. A number of husbands had arrived in Baltimore before WWI and when the War intervened their families had been stranded in Mlynov. In 1920-1921, arriving in Baltimore were the family of Aaron Demb, Isaac Marder, Joseph Lerner, the Shulman family, Pesach Zutelman (Paul Shulman) among others. See the Aftermath of War for a discussion. Return
  3. Records from the Mlynov Verein are available online at the Jewish Museum of Maryland in Baltimore.--HS Return
  4. Nahum Teitelman is intended.--HS Return
  5. On making of matza in Mlynov and Mervits, see Sonia and Mendel Teitelman's essay, “Baking Matzas.” The matza machine sent from America is recalled in the book length narrative about Asher Teitelman's life. Return
  6. Siblings and their families who did not survive were: Perl Goldseker (1893–1942) married Meyer Ben Zion Pressman. They had two children: Hanoch (1921–1942) and Moishe (1926–1945). Baila Goldseker (1897–1942) married Peisach Collidge (or Kulisz) and their children: Ben-Zion (1923–1942), Moishe (1925–1942), Shimon (1927–1942), Gilda (?–1942) and Henya (?–1942). Charna Goldseker (1898–1942) who married Shmuel Gruber and their sons Shimon 1930-1942 and Yisrael (1934–1942).--HS Return
  7. Jews in Europe were being slaughtered until 8 May 1945--HBF Return
  8. DP [Displaced persons] camps--HBF Return
  9. The Mlynov Verein morphed into the Maryland Free Loan Society.--HS Return
  10. Chaim-Meyer Barditch (originally Borodacz) was tragically killed in a hit and run automobile accident in Baltimore in 1922 at the age of 15. He had arrived in America only six months earlier with his mother in November 1921. This photo of the young Meir shown here was cut from the original photo which appears below with his mother, Bessie Barditch (Bassa Teitelbaum). Chaim-Meir's sister, Sylvia (“Silke”) Barditch Goldberg, later became the only woman on the Book Committee for this volume to which she contributed a number of essays about her mother's hometown of Mlynov and her grandparents who lived there. Her sister, Shirley (Barditch) Jacobs contributed “A True Event In Mlynov,” page 196-197. The Barditch parents appear in the next photo. Out of grief over Chaim-Meyer's death, the Barditch parents moved with three of their children to New York where Sylvia later married George Goldberg, also from Mlynov (see their photo on p. 494 ), who is a contributor to this volume and whose photo appears below. A longer version of Sylvia's story appears on the Mlynov Website. Return
  11. Mly499e.jpg
    Courtesy of Andrea Kerker Zanzuri

  12. Sylvia's (Barditch) Goldberg, as noted in the previous note, was on the Book Committee that put together this volume. Her photo with her husband George Goldberg appears on page 494. She was the daughter of Isadore (Yechiel) Barditch (Jechiel Borudocz) (1873-1953), who was born in Lutzk, and Bassa Ferteybaum (aka Bessie Teitelbaum) (1876–1960) who was born in Mlynov. Bassa's photo appears in a group photo below. Isidore arrived in Baltimore in 1910. He was joined by his wife and children only in 1921 after WWI. Sylvia's maternal grandfather who lived in Mlynov was “Icik Staroste,” “starosta” being a term of Slavic origin denoting a community elder who had an administrative role. Sylvia describes him as a Stolin Hasid in her essay, “Stoliner Hasidism in Mlynov,” pp. 80-82. She also describes both her maternal grandmother, Malia, and grandfather in her essay “Visiting My Grandparents,” pp. 266-271. Sylvia later married George Goldberg from Mlynov after the family moved to New York. Return
  13. Usher (later Harry) Teitelbaum/ Tatelbaum (1888–1955 ) was the uncle of Sylvia Barditch Goldberg and the brother of her mother, Bessie (see prior photos and notes). Usher arrived in Baltimore in 1911 traveling with two other Mlynov men, Israel Schwartz and Nathan Chaim Fishman. He is here in a photo with his wife Fannie (Hornstein) who was born in Maryland to Rumanian parents. Return
  14. The woman labelled here as “Baila” Marder was in fact Mlynov born, Klara (Clara) Marder, born in Mlynov as Klara Tesler, sister of Yankel (Jacob) Tesler (photo and notes on page 478). Clara married Isaac Marder and had three children in Mlynov before she traveled to join her husband in Baltimore with two other Mlynov families in June 1920. Her daughter Sarah (“Sore Gitlas”) married David Mutter in Baltimore. A daughter of theirs, (Sheila [Mutter] Mandelberg), recalls that they were relatives of the Barditch family who appear in the prior photos, probably explaining why these photos are together on the same page. The exact relationship is no longer recalled. Return
  15. In 1927, Gershon (George/Joe) Gelberg/Goldberg married Sylvia Barditch whose family is in the previous photos. Gershon was born in Mlynov (1896–1984), son of Labish Gelberg and Eta Leah (Schuchman). In 1921, he arrived in New York with his sister-in-law and her children. He contributed the essay in this volume “Our Former Way of life in Mlynov,” 156-158. See more about the Goldberg Family Story. Return
  16. Ida (Gelberg) Gevantman (1893–1949), with her brother Gershon (Joe) Goldberg, children of of Labish Gelberg and Eta Leah (Schuchman). She and her husband arrived in New York in June 1921 headed to the home of her sister Sarah Spector. Before leaving they had been living in Trovits, her husband's hometown. They soon settled in Baltimore. See more about the Goldberg Family Story. Return
  17. Chultzie Gelberg (1903–1989), later called Helen Dishowitz and Helen Lederer, was the eldest daughter of Moshe Goldberg (1875–1967) and Gitel (Weitzer). Her father Moshe arrived in New York in December 1911. Chultzie and her family were refugees from Mlynov during WWI and she wrote about the experience in the essay, “In Pain From the First World War,” pp. 147–148. She arrived in New York to join her father with her mother and siblings in April 1921 as well as her uncle Gershon (Joe) Gelberg. She subsequently married Louis Dishowitz and later remarried and became Helen Lederer. Return
  18. Samuel Symon Berger (1894–1986) with his wife Sophie (Selkoff). Born in Mlynov, he was the son of Ben Zion Berger (1865–1912) and Zelda (Hirsch) (1865–1938). On the Berger side, he was first cousin with Aaron Harari (born Berger) who is a contributor of several essays to this volume. Through his mother, he was related to the Hirsch family that migrated to Jersey City. Symon arrived in Baltimore in June 1913 and then headed to Chicago to join his brother Nathan Berger who had arrived in 1912. Read more about the Berger and the Hirsch families. Return
  19. Four grandchildren of Hirsh (Holtzeker) nicknamed Slobadar, the eldest of the five Holtzeker brothers who came to Mlynov from the nearby town of Sloboda. Sloboda, which appears on old maps slightly northeast of Mlynov, is now incorporated into today's town of Uhzynets'. Kalman (aka Carl) Gaynor and his two sisters in the front row were children of Hirsch's daughter, Leah. She married Elia Aron Gaynor (whose mother may have been a sister of Labish Gelberg, according to handwritten notes recorded by Edith Geller in the Goldberg family). The cousin in the back row has not been identified. A photo of Carl's mother, Leah, and his larger family appears below on page 504 below. Carl came to America via Trieste, Italy in September 1913 and settled in New York. Another of Hirsh's grandsons, Boruch Meren, is a contributor of several essays to this volume. Return
  20. Moishe Goldberg, born in Mlynov (1875–1967), son of Labish Gelberg and Eta Leah (Schuchman), was the first of their children to arrive in the US in 1911, where he settled in New York City. He was joined in New York by his sister, Sarah, before WWI. His wife Gitel and their children arrived in 1921. His siblings Gershon (Joe) and Sarah Spector appear in a photo the previous page (p. 499) with additional notes there. Return
  21. Bassa (Bessie) Barditch (née Teitelbaum) (left) is with her daughter of Sylvia (Barditch) Goldberg (right). Sylvia was a contributor to this volume and the only woman on the Book Committee who put together this volume. See Bessie's photo also on page 498 with additional notes. Bessie's granddaughter Marilyn (Jacobs) Israel is the foreground. She is the daughter of Shirley (Barditch) Jacobs. They are with the Anna Katz (née Hirsch) (center), the mother of Aleph Katz. Anna came with her children to the US in 1913. Read more of the Hirsch family story. Return
  22. Sarah also appears with her brother Gershon (Joe) on p. 499 with notes. Sarah arrived in the US in around 1914 and married Samuel Spector, a distant cousin, whom she had met back in Dubno. He had fallen in love with her there at first sight. After he migrated to the New York in 1912, he had worked to bring her to the US. After Sarah arrived, she fell in love with and became engaged to another man. But then she had a dream in which her father appeared and told her to marry Sam. Being a provincial, superstitious girl, she did. They were married New Year's Eve 1918. In the photo are their two eldest daughters, Frances (standing) (later Frances Goldberg / Rosen) and Edith (later Edith Geller). Read more of the Goldberg family story. Return
  23. Ida (Gelberg) Gevantman appears in a photo on p. 499 with additional notes there. Return
  24. Mamtze Teitelman (1917–1985) was a survivor and the sister of Mendel Teitelman, the prolific contributor to this volume, who mentions her in one of his essays, p. 325. She met her husband Israel Genut in the Foehrenwald displaced persons camp. The Asher Teitelman Survival Story includes information about Mamtze's survival ordeal as well. Mamtze appears in the photo of survivors on page 313. Return
  25. Esther Gelberg (1888–1942) was born in Mlynov, the eldest daughter of Labish Gelberg and Eta Leah (née Schuchman). She was a sibling of the other Gelbergs/ Goldbergs whose photos appear on pages 498-500. She married Yussel (Josef) Malar (1883-1942) who was born in Dubno. They and their daughter Gissie perished. Their son David (1910-2004) survived the Holocaust and came to the US. See more on the Gelberg/Goldberg family story. Return
  26. Joseph Schuchman (1874–1958) was born in Mlynov to Gershon and Shaina Bluma Schuchman. He married Chissa (aka Jessie) Klepatch (1876-1947) (see her in the next photo). Joseph's siblings include Eta Leah (Schuchman) who married Labish Gelberg and was mother of Moshe Gelberg/Goldberg who appears in the next photo as well as Ester (Gelberg) Malar (previous page), who appears above. Her siblings include Noach Moshe Schuchman (the subject of an essay in this volume, p. 246), Hanah (Schuchman) Golisuk, whose photo is on p. 462. Return
  27. Chissa (Klepatch) Schuchman was the daughter of Yitzhak Leib and Chana Yenta (Klepatch) and wife of Joseph Schuchman (photo in the photo to the left). The story of her niece, “Chana Klepatch–A Mlynov Tragedy,” includes additional notes on the family. Chissa is sitting here with her nephew, Moshe Goldberg, who was a son of her husband's sister: Eta Leah Gelberg (née Schuchman). Moishe (1875–1967) was the first of Labish and Eta Leah's children to arrive in New York in 1911. Several of his siblings appear in photos on this and the previous page. He married Gitel (Weitzer) in Mlynov and was joined in New York by her and their four children in 1921. His eldest daughter, Helen Lederer, contributed the essay “In Pain From the First World War,” pp. 147-48. Return
  28. Chaim (later Hyman) Schwartz (1863–1946) married Yenta Demb (1870–1962), daughter of Israel Jacob Demb and Rivka Gruber. They had three sons in Mlynov before coming to Baltimore: Benjamin, Norton and Paul H. Benjamin came to Baltimore in 1910 and was followed by the rest of the family in 1912. Paul H. is the grandfather of Howard Schwartz, the editor and one of the translators of this volume's English version. Read more about the Schwartz and Demb family stories. Return
  29. Pinchus Gelberg (1874–1935) was the eldest child of Labish Gelberg and Eta Leah (Schuchman) and a sibling of the other Gelbergs/Goldbergs whose photos appear on this and the preceding page. According to family memories, Pinchus had become an educated man and married Chaia Rive in Klevan, was well-off with his leather goods store, and had two sons. He died in 1935. His wife and sons were later killed during WWII. Return
  30. Sarah Teitelman (1924–1983) and her brother Herzl (~1912/1915–2002) were born in Mervits, one of seven children of Mordechai Teitelman and Freida (Horowitz), five of whom perished.  Their other brother is remembered in “Mr. Avraham-Shlomo Teitelman,” p. 259. The siblings were first cousins of Nahum and Meir Teitelman, contributors to this volume. Sarah and a brother Moshe Lipa each separately escaped the ghetto. They met later and went to a partisan camp. Moshe Lipa enlisted in the Russian army in 1944 and was killed in Russia in the last week of the war. Sarah's other brother Naftali Hertz Teitelman, known affectionately in the family as Herzl, was taken by the Russians to a work camp and eventually was drafted into the Russian Army. He was wounded and sent to a hospital in the Ural Mountains. His sister only learned that he was alive in the last days of the war. Sarah survived and married Rabbi Yisrael Feldman in the displaced persons camp of Bad Gastein. Sarah and her brother Herzl subsequently settled in Milwaukee in the US. Herzl later moved to Brooklyn and was later buried in Israel. Return


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