Translation by Anita Frishman Gabbay
This is a little shtetl of 150 families, only 10 were Christian. In other words, this was a Jewish shtetl. Mior used to be the major center for the flax trade. In those days, Mior was a lively town where many came for trade and the folk made a good living.
In 1930, events turned around and the center for the flax trade moved to Poland. Many families suffered. Also, the cooperative Rolnick opened up and conditions worsened. To add to these problems, the cooperative received the monopoly for gasoline and salt. Most of the women of the shtetl went to shop there. Things are going well, and they decide to build a new building in the center of the market. Even the other Jewish shopkeepers must shop in the cooperative, for such products as salt, gasoline, flour and seeds.
The Rolnick gives the products on credit, and even allows the people to pay 3 zlotas a week. With these measures alone, they won over the poor folk. Besides the Rolnick there were 2 other Christian cooperatives in our shtetl. One for the rich, one for the peasants. Besides this, another Christian opened another shop and sold very cheap products
The Christian didn't need the shop to exist, he was a rich peasant, and had lots of land.
Market day was on Monday, but few goods came here for the townsfolk. Other shopkeepers came to sell their wares at cheaper prices: bakers, manufacturers, leather merchants and others.
This brought misery to the existing shopkeepers. The taxes were so high that it wasn't worth the effort.
Our warehouses and other business were in a terrible state, barely providing us with support.
The peasants prefer to sell their produce and deal with the cooperatives.
Some of the Jewish families made a good living from selling baked goods. Even they were taxed, and we are hindered from all sides to prevent us from competing. We don't want to get sick from this. All kinds of tricks are used, they even use them on our butchers. These shops were also heavily taxed and in the end, it was not worthwhile to keep them open.
Finally, the city council confronted our wood and forestry industry. They started to exploit this industry for themselves and eventually drove out the Jewish interests. This affected the agents, foremen and others.
All the industries started to fall apart, and the Jewish folk could not see any way to make a living. They were able to work but they didn't know what to do.
This is how the economic situation in our little town of Mior unfolded.
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