Interview with Bea Weinberg and Freeda Kottler


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      1   Transcription of Audiocassette tape 

      2   labeled "Recollectons of Freeda Hurwitz and Bea 

      3   Weinberg - March 1980."  On the tape are sisters 

      4   Bea Weinberg, Freeda Hurwitz and Sylvia and 

      5   Burton Levinson.


      7             *          *          *          *          

      8   *


     10         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  This is Sylvia Levinson.  

     11   Burt and I are recording reminiscences of my 

     12   mom, Freeda Hurwitz, 91, and Aunt Bea Weinberg, 

     13   85, at their home at 3825 Columbine in Dayton, 

     14   Ohio.

     15         FREEDA HURWITZ:  (In background) 

     16   Shevanovik was a farm.  We lived on a farm.

     17         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  We are recording some 

     18   reminiscences on Sunday, March the 10th, 1980, 

     19   some of Mom's and Aunt Bea's reminiscences of 

     20   what life was like when they lived in Europe.

     21         BEA WEINBERG:  Seventy-six years ago.

     22         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Where did you live in 

     23   Europe and when did you live there?

     24         BEA WEINBERG:  Well, I lived all my 

     25   childhood on an estate which belonged to a 


      1   Polish count.  His name was Shizdevski (phonetic 

      2   spelling).  It was a beautiful surroundings; 

      3   hills, wood-covered, nuts that we used to go in 

      4   the summer and gather them, dry them and have 

      5   them for the winter. 

      6         There were lakes where my brothers used to 

      7   get up at four o'clock in the morning and go 

      8   fishing and were always successful.  There was a 

      9   beautiful stream that ran right through the 

     10   estate; clear water, not like what you see here.  

     11   Wildflowers on the hills and meadows, an orchard 

     12   full of pears and plums and apples within a few 

     13   steps of our kitchen door.

     14         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Well, now, you rented 

     15   this land; why did you have to rent it?

     16         BEA WEINBERG:  Jews in Russia were not 

     17   permitted to hold any kind of land.

     18         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Did you pay the count 

     19   money, or did you give them part of the --

     20         FREEDA HURWITZ:  No.  We paid him. 

     21         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  You paid him money?

     22         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes, for rent.  And on 

     23   the farm, we raised cows.

     24         BEA WEINBERG:  We had a dairy.

     25         FREEDA HURWITZ:  We had a dairy.  And we 


      1   had chickens.  We had geese.  And we had ducks 

      2   and our own --- the chickens laid, we had our 

      3   own eggs and our own vegetables.  We had a 

      4   garden.  We had all kinds of vegetables for 

      5   making pickles and sauerkraut and all the edible 

      6   vegetables; potatoes, carrots.

      7         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Who worked the farm and 

      8   raised the vegetables and took care of the cows 

      9   and chickens and everything?

     10         BEA WEINBERG:  We had the mujiks, what 

     11   were known as the mujiks, the Russian peasants 

     12   who lived right in little houses on the 

     13   farmland. 

     14         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  What would they be 

     15   equivalent to what we know?  Is there anything 

     16   equivalent to that in this country?

     17         BEA WEINBERG:  I don't think so.

     18         BURTON LEVINSON:  We have tenant farmers.

     19         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Would that be like that?

     20         FREEDA HURWITZ:  No.  We used to give them 

     21   shares of the -- 

     22         BEA WEINBERG:  They were paid and they 

     23   were given enough of the vegetables, the fruits 

     24   and all.

     25         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Did you supply their 


      1   houses, or did they --

      2         BEA WEINBERG:  They supplied the houses, 

      3   if you called them houses.  Right in the back of 

      4   us, the back of our house, there was really one 

      5   room.  And the farmer lived -- the peasant lived 

      6   there with his wife and his children in cold 

      7   weather.  It was a sort of a, they cooked in a 

      8   built-in stove, oven.

      9         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Ovens.

     10         BEA WEINBERG:  And for cooking things that 

     11   have to be cooked like on top, you had a tripod.  

     12   And you would set the pot with the soup, or 

     13   whatever it is, and make a fire out of wood.  We 

     14   didn't have coal there.  And that's the way it 

     15   was.

     16         FREEDA HURWITZ:  For baking, you know, you 

     17   had ovens.

     18         BEA WEINBERG:  Baking you had an oven, 

     19   see.

     20         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Um-hmm. 

     21         BEA WEINBERG:  And what's more, the oven 

     22   was built in, and it was so built that at the 

     23   side, sort of on top, it was warm there, see.

     24         FREEDA HURWITZ:  It was warm.

     25         BEA WEINBERG:   And they would put their 


      1   coats and their skins that they had if they had 

      2   skinned animals and cured them, and sleep there.  

      3   It was a warm place.  Because Russia is a very 

      4   cold country. 

      5         And as I started to say, in winter, they 

      6   would often bring in a sheep or small animals to 

      7   protect them from the cold.  And right under the 

      8   stove -- I can't describe the stove.  

      9         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Now, this is in the 

     10   mujiks' house?

     11         BEA WEINBERG:  Yes.  And it was under the 

     12   stove, there was an area that was warm.  And 

     13   they would crawl in there and keep warm.

     14         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  About how many of these 

     15   mujiks worked your farm at one time, do you 

     16   think?

     17         BEA WEINBERG:  Well, there were families.

     18         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Quite a few of them.

     19         BEA WEINBERG:  See, there were families.  

     20   There were their children, and the children 

     21   would run around barefoot in little shammies.  

     22   In the winter, they would get out there and go 

     23   down in the snow. 

     24         FREEDA HURWITZ:  They couldn't do that.

     25         BEA WEINBERG:  (Inaudible) They certainly 


      1   did. 

      2         FREEDA HURWITZ:  All right.

      3         BEA WEINBERG:  Then, of course, you know, 

      4   they had -- they made their own clothes.  They 

      5   wove, they spun their flax into linen, and they 

      6   made their little shammies out of it.  And they 

      7   knew how to color them for their skirts and 

      8   their blouses.  They did all that themselves.

      9         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  And this was like in the 

     10   1890s? 

     11         BEA WEINBERG:  We came to this country in 

     12   1904. 

     13         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  So this was in the 

     14   1890s?

     15         BEA WEINBERG:  Yes, in the last quarter of 

     16   the 19th century. 

     17         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  And what was your house 

     18   like, the house that you lived in? 

     19         BEA WEINBERG:  Our house was really, it 

     20   was a long house.  We had a very nice, what was 

     21   called, the parlor.  And my father, who did all 

     22   his business in the large cities like Riga, he 

     23   bought furniture and sent it home.  So it was 

     24   very comfortably furnished.  I wouldn't say it 

     25   was according to today's standards, but it was 


      1   nice. 

      2         FREEDA HURWITZ:  We had a large dining 

      3   room.  Each one, the girls had bedrooms for 

      4   themselves and the boys had bedrooms for 

      5   themselves.  And Papa and Mama had a bedroom.

      6         BEA WEINBERG:  And don't forget the cheder 

      7   was the bedroom for the boys. 

      8         FREEDA HURWITZ:  All right.  We had rooms 

      9   for ourselves.  The boys and girls didn't sleep 

     10   together. 

     11         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  So about how many 

     12   bedrooms were up there?  Was it a second floor?

     13         FREEDA HURWITZ:  No, no.

     14         BEA WEINBERG:   It was a one-floor, and 

     15   there were no carpets on the floor.  The floors 

     16   were always clean.  You hired a maid by the 

     17   year.  We had a Jewish girl.  You paid her fifty 

     18   or sixty rubles a year and her board.  And we 

     19   also had a shikse that used to come in and do 

     20   the washing, wash the clothes and do other work. 

     21         Now, we had a dairy, as was mentioned 

     22   before.  And the milk would be sent over.  There 

     23   was a boy that was also, probably, a Jewish boy 

     24   that would get fifty or sixty dollars a year.  

     25   And the milk would be loaded in tremendous vats, 


      1   like, see, and he would take it to the market. 

      2         There was a market on certain days in the 

      3   little town; what was it?

      4         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Danilovich.

      5         BEA WEINBERG:  Danilovich it was called.

      6         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  And that was the closest 

      7   little town to you?

      8         BEA WEINBERG:   Yes.  Yes. 

      9         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.

     10         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  So when you are talking 

     11   about little, how many people lived there?  Was 

     12   it like a  --

     13         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Like a village.

     14         BEA WEINBERG:   I wouldn't say, because I 

     15   don't know, and I wouldn't want to speak as to 

     16   how many.

     17         FREEDA HURWITZ:  It wasn't as big as 

     18   maybe, maybe as big as Lebanon or those little 

     19   places around.

     20         BEA WEINBERG:   Well, we don't know how 

     21   big Lebanon is.

     22         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  But it was where the 

     23   farmers would bring their --

     24         BEA WEINBERG:   It was small.  It is what 

     25   you call, what is known in Yiddish literature as 


      1   a shtetl. 

      2         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes, a shtetl.  There 

      3   were a lot of Jewish people there, a lot of 

      4   Jewish people.

      5         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  About how far would you 

      6   imagine your --

      7         BEA WEINBERG:   I would say twenty miles.

      8         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  About twenty miles from 

      9   there?

     10         BEA WEINBERG:   Yes.

     11         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  And then he would sell 

     12   the milk?

     13         BEA WEINBERG:   He would sell the milk and 

     14   bring the money.  And we had I don't know how 

     15   many cows, a lot of cows and sheep and geese; 

     16   not ducks much because we didn't have any water 

     17   really. 

     18         FREEDA HURWITZ:  We had ducks at --

     19         BEA WEINBERG:   The ducks were at my 

     20   father's brother's.  He had a mill, see, not too 

     21   far from us, walking distance, where his mother 

     22   lived.

     23         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Now, wait a minute.  

     24   Within walking distance, who lived there then?

     25         BEA WEINBERG:   Within walking distance 


      1   lived --

      2         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Bubbe Esther?

      3         BEA WEINBERG:  You remember Aunt Sonny?

      4         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Yes, I --

      5         BEA WEINBERG:  Her mother, father, and 

      6   their brother, they had a big family, I suppose 

      7   also about seven or eight kids.

      8         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  That was the --

      9         BEA WEINBERG:   Voropayeva, it was called.

     10         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Voropayeva.

     11         BEA WEINBERG:   See, that was just the 

     12   immediate, right around us.

     13         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Yours was called 

     14   Shevanovik.

     15         BEA WEINBERG:   Yes.

     16         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.

     17         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  And theirs was 

     18   Voropayeva?

     19         BEA WEINBERG:   Yes.

     20         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.

     21         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  And who lived there?

     22         BEA WEINBERG:   Aunt Sonny.

     23         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Sonya.

     24         BEA WEINBERG:  Sonya's people.  And in the 

     25   middle --


      1         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  And those were the 

      2   Alberts, then.

      3         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.  Alperovich was 

      4   their name in --

      5         BURTON LEVINSON:  You see, these places 

      6   where they lived was what was known as the Pale 

      7   of Settlement.  And that was the land that was 

      8   set aside where only Jews could live and where 

      9   only Jews could trade.  That was the Pale of 

     10   Settlement in Russia. 

     11         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  So that was where Aunt 

     12   Sonny and what, the Fettershimmin (phonetic 

     13   spelling).

     14         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes, the Fettershimmin. 

     15         BEA WEINBERG:   When we lived --

     16         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Whose brother was that, 

     17   Grandma's brother?

     18         FREEDA HURWITZ: It --

     19         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Papa's sister.

     20         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Papa's sister.

     21         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Oh, she was grandpa's 

     22   sister. 

     23         BEA WEINBERG:  Yes.

     24         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  I see.

     25         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.


      1         BEA WEINBERG:   Yes.

      2         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Well, I never knew her.

      3         BEA WEINBERG:  You didn't know her.

      4         FREEDA HURWITZ:  No, she lived in Canada. 

      5         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  But I remember you 

      6   always talking about the Fettershimmin.  And I 

      7   remembered Dad, he brought back that silver box 

      8   that I have that he gave me.

      9         BEA WEINBERG:  Right.  That's right; sure.

     10         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.

     11         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Okay.  So they lived 

     12   there.  And you said something about --

     13         BEA WEINBERG:  Well, in between --

     14         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Whose mother lived 

     15   there? 

     16         BEA WEINBERG:   Who? 

     17         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Bubbe Esther.  She 

     18   lived --

     19         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Who was Bubbe Esther?

     20         BEA WEINBERG:   Father's mother.

     21         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Father's mother, she 

     22   lived there.

     23         BEA WEINBERG:   It was your great 

     24   grandmother.

     25         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  So she lived there.


      1         FREEDA HURWITZ:  She lived not in 

      2   Voropayeva; she lived near us.

      3         BEA WEINBERG:   In between.  You see, 

      4   there was a mill there.

      5         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  A mill on where?

      6         BEA WEINBERG:  A mill, and she lived in 

      7   the mill, this grandmother, because they 

      8   operated the mill.  They would bring, the 

      9   peasants would bring, their grain and it would 

     10   be ground for them.

     11         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Who ran the mill?

     12         BEA WEINBERG:   She did.  Her son lived 

     13   there too.

     14         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  But who was that?

     15         BEA WEINBERG:   Uncle Laybe (phonetic, or 

     16   Laybk), Uncle Laybe.

     17         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Did he have any 

     18   children?

     19         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Sure.  He had Sayl and 

     20   Vayda (phonetic spellings), I think.

     21         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  But they never came 

     22   here?

     23         BEA WEINBERG:   No.

     24         FREEDA HURWITZ:  No.

     25         BEA WEINBERG:   They were afraid to come 


      1   to this country.

      2         FREEDA HURWITZ:  They settled in Moscow, 

      3   and I don't know what happened to them.

      4         BEA WEINBERG:  During the revolution, you 

      5   know, some of them were wiped out. 

      6         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  And how long, for 

      7   example, had Bubbe Esther lived at that mill 

      8   before?

      9         FREEDA HURWITZ:  That was, that was their 

     10   place that they were all born there.

     11         BEA WEINBERG:   She lived there all her 

     12   life.  I think she --

     13         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Our father and Uncle 

     14   Laybe and Itzhak, they were -- and Uncle Laybe 

     15   lived there and he ran the mill.

     16         BEA WEINBERG:   And she ran the mill.  She 

     17   was no patsy.

     18         FREEDA HURWITZ:  No.  Her name was Esther, 

     19   your name, Sylvia.

     20         BEA WEINBERG:   And her husband was called 

     21   Chaim Zalman. 

     22         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.  Chaim Zalmen.

     23         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  And that was your 

     24   grandfather?

     25         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes, my father's father.


      1         BEA WEINBERG:  Yes, my father's father.  

      2   And he engaged in business, see.  They would 

      3   buy; a lot of the Jewish people had, they had a 

      4   certain right were granted them to buy a piece 

      5   of land, see, and work it; get, hire men. 

      6         Papa used to do that too.  Clear the piece 

      7   of wood and make logs out of it, trim it, and 

      8   bring it to the, it was called a dvinne, see, 

      9   and they would chip the logs in different parts.

     10         FREEDA HURWITZ:  They used to buy a piece 

     11   of wood --

     12         BEA WEINBERG:   They wouldn't buy it.

     13         FREEDA HURWITZ:  What are you talking 

     14   about? 

     15         BEA WEINBERG:   No.  It was rented. 

     16         FREEDA HURWITZ:  They used to buy it. 

     17         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  They bought the wood.

     18         BEA WEINBERG:   Yes.

     19         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.

     20         BEA WEINBERG:   Well, not the land.

     21         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Not the land; buy the 

     22   wood.

     23         FREEDA LEVINSON:  I said the wood.

     24         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Yes, you bought the 

     25   wood, yes.


      1         BEA WEINBERG:   Well, I told her that. 

      2         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  That was evidently 

      3   something that many Jews did.

      4         BEA WEINBERG:   Yes.

      5         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.

      6         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  That they were allowed 

      7   to do.

      8         BEA WEINBERG:  But they also had to have 

      9   the right.

     10         FREEDA HURWITZ:  My father did it.  Laybe 

     11   didn't, see.  And Yitzhak did it.

     12         BEA WEINBERG:   Yitzhak didn't live -- he 

     13   lived in Postov.

     14         FREEDA HURWITZ:  In Postov. 

     15         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Where was Postov.

     16         BEA WEINBERG:   Postov was, I suppose, 

     17   about forty miles away.

     18         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  At the time you lived 

     19   there, was that Poland?  Was it Russia; what was 

     20   it?

     21         BEA WEINBERG:   I think it was Latvia.

     22         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Latvia.  I looked on the 

     23   map and I found Riga which you said was a big 

     24   town.  That's Latvia.

     25         BEA WEINBERG:  In Latvia, sure. 


      1         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Where was Vilna?  Vilna 

      2   gubernia, our place was Vilna gubernia.  That's 

      3   like a state, like a state and that was called 

      4   gubernia at that time.

      5         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  That's Latvia?

      6         FREEDA HURWITZ:  But it was under the 

      7   czar.

      8         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Yes.  But it was part of 

      9   Russia at that time.

     10         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.  And we had another 

     11   aunt, Teibe.

     12         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Yes, I remember you 

     13   talking about her.  Who is her family.

     14         FREEDA HURWITZ:  She was father's sister.  

     15   She was a Kuttler, one of the Kuttlers.  And she 

     16   had a store.

     17         BEA WEINBERG:   A general store, what we 

     18   call now.

     19         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Where was her store?

     20         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Right where she lived.

     21         BEA WEINBERG:   You know, there was a 

     22   railroad running through there.

     23         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  And was it a town at 

     24   all?  It was not in Danilovich?

     25         BEA WEINBERG:  No, no.  That was not far 


      1   from where we were.  It was walking distance.  

      2   And she had a sort of a general store.  And she 

      3   had coffee in there, tea and sugar and maybe 

      4   small apparel(??) and stuff like that. 

      5         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  And what did her husband 

      6   do?

      7         BEA WEINBERG:   He also was -- he traded 

      8   in lumber. 

      9         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  So all the men, really, 

     10   traded in lumber.

     11         BEA WEINBERG:   Not all of them.

     12         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Most of them in the 

     13   family.

     14         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.  Yes.  And then when 

     15   the war broke out -- 

     16         BEA WEINBERG:   Which war?

     17         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  That was the Boer War.

     18         BEA WEINBERG:   The Boer War.

     19         FREEDA HURWITZ:  That's when we packed up 

     20   and we went to Postov, what war was that?

     21         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  The Sino-Japanese War?

     22         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.  Absolutely.  And we 

     23   got frightened because the soldiers, you see, 

     24   the (inaudible) was not far from us so we were 

     25   very frightened.  You know how they mujiks, the 


      1   soldiers and we were girls so some of us went to 

      2   Postov.  Our grandma, my mother's mother, lived 

      3   in Postov.  What was her name?  Sarah Bashe?

      4         BEA WEINBERG:  Yes.

      5         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Her name was Sarah Bashe.

      6         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  I must be named after 

      7   her.

      8         FREEDA HURWITZ:  You were named Sylvia, 

      9   Sarah --

     10         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Sarah Esther.

     11         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Esther. So you were 

     12   named after --

     13         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  After both grandmothers.

     14         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.  So I went, I think 

     15   you went, to Postov.  And I remember we were all 

     16   frightened.  Some of them were hiding, you know.  

     17   And after the soldiers passed, we all came home.  

     18   And that's when we made up our minds that we 

     19   were going to leave and we were going to 

     20   America.

     21         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Didn't also I remember 

     22   you saying something about Grandpa had reverses 

     23   because of the Boer War in South Africa?

     24         BEA WEINBERG:   Yes.  There was no way to 

     25   ship, you know, the logs, and everything, the 


      1   wood that they handled.  They did a lot of 

      2   business with South Africa.  And that was cut 

      3   off.  And the farm that we lived on didn't yield 

      4   enough to make a living.  And the girls, the 

      5   children, were growing up.  They had to have an 

      6   education.

      7         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Well, Ray went to Vilna. 

      8         BEA WEINBERG:  So we had private tutors.  

      9   We had private tutors.  Of course, a tutor in 

     10   those days would get -- a Hebrew teacher, what 

     11   would he get, fifty or sixty dollars a term?

     12         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  What did they call it, 

     13   kesst (phonetic) or something?

     14         BEA WEINBERG:   A what? 

     15         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  What did they call it?  

     16   Didn't he live in other people's --

     17         BEA WEINBERG:   Kesst, that's something 

     18   else.  They used to -- he stayed a certain 

     19   length of time with us.  And the Alberts would 

     20   have him for a while.  You know, that's how we 

     21   did it.  His family would live somewhere else.

     22         FREEDA HURWITZ:  But Ray and Julius, Ray 

     23   went to Vilna.  She went to gymnasia, like here 

     24   high school.

     25         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Well, but was it a 


      1   public high school? 

      2         FREEDA HURWITZ:  No.  No.  You had to pay 

      3   for it.

      4         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  But it was not a 

      5   Jewish --

      6         FREEDA HURWITZ:  No.  It was --

      7         BEA WEINBERG:   It was like you go here to 

      8   high school.

      9         FREEDA HURWITZ:  I think maybe it was more 

     10   than high school, wasn't it,    Bea?

     11         BEA WEINBERG:   I don't know. 

     12         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  But she was prepared to 

     13   go there by the tutors that you had.

     14         BEA WEINBERG:  Right. 

     15         FREEDA HURWITZ:  And Julius went too, for 

     16   a while, but he didn't stay.  He wasn't much of 

     17   a student.  And the time came when they had to 

     18   be drafted to go to the czar -- he went to this 

     19   country.

     20         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  All right.  Well, I 

     21   don't want to hear about that yet.  I want to 

     22   know what did you do for -- did you have Friday 

     23   night services, Saturday morning services?  Did 

     24   you celebrate the holidays?  How did you do 

     25   that? 


      1         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Listen, Bubbe Esther, her 

      2   house, she had the big room that we -- the shul 

      3   was there.  We had the Torahs.  We had the -- at 

      4   Grandma Esther's house.

      5         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  She was the one that 

      6   lived in the mill?

      7         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes, near the mill, is 

      8   there.  And all the services would take place 

      9   there and Dad used to go for, not Friday night, 

     10   Saturday morning, he would go to services.  And 

     11   Mama would too. 

     12         And on the holidays, we all used to go on 

     13   the high holidays like Rosh Hashanah and Yom 

     14   Kippur.  We used to go there and spend the day.  

     15   We used to fast and we would have a couple of 

     16   poorer boys, you know, they would start the fast 

     17   with us.  And that's how we observed the 

     18   holidays.  Sure, we observed all the holidays. 

     19         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  The people that came, 

     20   were they mostly family or people from --

     21         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Some strangers too would 

     22   come, that lived near.  And Simchas Torah we 

     23   used to dance, the men, you know, used to dance 

     24   around with the Torah and we had our kuffes(?).  

     25   Do you remember, Bea? 


      1         BEA WEINBERG:  Sure, I'm listening.  Go 

      2   ahead. 

      3         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Well, all right.  Go on.  

      4   Maybe you will describe it a little better.  I'm 

      5   sure you would.

      6         BEA WEINBERG:  No, I can't describe it any 

      7   better.

      8         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Well, and I remember the 

      9   boys used to take beets, great big beets, you 

     10   know that?

     11         BEA WEINBERG:  Hollow them out.

     12         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Hollow them out and make 

     13   like a pumpkin, make like a lantern.  They would 

     14   put candles in them.  They would light them on 

     15   the river because the river was a --

     16         BEA WEINBERG:  Not the river, Freeda, the 

     17   lake. 

     18         FREEDA HURWITZ:  The lake and let them 

     19   sail away.  You know the beets that you eat?

     20         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Yes.

     21         FREEDA HURWITZ:  The great big ones.  And 

     22   they used to hollow them out and that was done, 

     23   you know, between the holidays, you know, when 

     24   it wasn't -- and they had a lot of fun with it. 

     25         And Uncle Laybl's wife used to prepare for 


      1   Succos, you know, she used to prepare tzimmes 

      2   and helplach(??) and all of that stuff.  And 

      3   they would go to her house and take it and eat 

      4   it, the men.  And they had a lot of fun.  You 

      5   know, they would take a drink and get a little 

      6   bit under the influence of it.  And that's how 

      7   we did. 

      8         And we used to have a big dinner, Bea, you 

      9   remember?

     10         BEA WEINBERG:  Freeda, I'm listening.  Go 

     11   ahead. 

     12         FREEDA HURWITZ:  All right.  Well, I don't 

     13   exactly --

     14         BEA WEINBERG:  You remember, so.

     15         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  What was the big dinner?

     16         FREEDA HURWITZ:  We used to have a dinner, 

     17   you know.  Mama used to make dinner on the 

     18   dishes, the holiday dishes.  And the family 

     19   would come together and we would eat together.

     20         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Like for Rosh Hashanah 

     21   or --

     22         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Not Rosh Hashanah; that 

     23   was, you know at Succos time.

     24         BEA WEINBERG:  Simchas Torah. 

     25         FREEDA HURWITZ:  And Simchas Torah time.  


      1   And we would have a good time.  And that's all. 

      2         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  And what about 

      3   Danilovich, did they have a synagogue of any 

      4   kind there?

      5         FREEDA HURWITZ:  They had, but we never 

      6   went there for that.  I told you the synagogue 

      7   was ours in the Bubbe Esther's house, and that's 

      8   where we observed our holidays.

      9         BEA WEINBERG:  It was too far.  You 

     10   couldn't go there; you couldn't ride on the 

     11   holidays.

     12         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  So this was in walking 

     13   distance?

     14         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.  Sure.

     15         BEA WEINBERG:  Yes.  We lived within 

     16   walking distance of each other.  The Alberts and 

     17   Papa's brother.  And it  was also Kottler, of 

     18   course, and the grandmother and we.

     19         FREEDA HURWITZ:  And the Bubbe ??Feivitz.

     20         BEA WEINBERG:  She was there.

     21         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.  So there were 

     22   several families.  And strangers from other 

     23   little places would come in, you know, that were 

     24   close.  And they would come in and that's what 

     25   we had our holidays. 


      1         And for recreation, I don't know, what did 

      2   we do?  Just get together with the cousins and, 

      3   you know.

      4         BEA WEINBERG:  And you had in the 

      5   winter -- in the winter we had sleds and horses 

      6   and we would tie them to the sleds and go 

      7   riding.  It was beautiful.  You had -- you would 

      8   put the sleighbells on the horses.  You would 

      9   cover up with heavy blankets and you would go 

     10   riding.  It was wonderful fun.  And in the 

     11   summertime, the boys went fishing, I think you 

     12   mentioned.

     13         FREEDA HURWITZ:  We went swimming too.

     14         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Did you go swimming?

     15         BEA WEINBERG:  Oh, yes, I was almost 

     16   drowned.  I have to tell you that experience.

     17         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Yes.  I have a vague 

     18   memory of you telling me. 

     19         BEA WEINBERG:  You see, there was a little 

     20   brook that you had to cross when we went nutting 

     21   or when we went, you know, romping in the 

     22   fields.  And there was a small brook that ran 

     23   right through that territory where we were.  And 

     24   they didn't have a bridge.  They had what they 

     25   called a klopke.  So it was a piece of lumber, 


      1   see, stretched across that brook. 

      2         And I was, I guess I was about seven or 

      3   six years old or something, and I was with the 

      4   older kids.  And I started to cross that brook 

      5   and I fell in.  And I think Sammy it was that 

      6   pulled me out.  That was quite an experience.

      7         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  I have a vague 

      8   recollection of somebody hiding under the stove.  

      9   What was that?  

     10         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Was that you, or was it 

     11   Sam or one of the boys?

     12         BEA WEINBERG:  What? 

     13         FREEDA HURWITZ:  You crawled --

     14         BEA WEINBERG:  You see, we used to have, 

     15   they would come, the players, klezmer, they used 

     16   to be called.  See, they went around, a fiddle 

     17   and a harmonica, and they used to travel around, 

     18   go around house to house and little village to 

     19   village.  And I used to --

     20         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Were these Jewish?

     21         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.

     22         BEA WEINBERG:  Yes.  And I was always very 

     23   scared as a child when they would come.  I don't 

     24   know why.  It was probably that they made up 

     25   little stories where the children were kidnapped 


      1   by them or some such bizarre tale.  So I used to 

      2   be very frightened. 

      3         And I would run in the house and crawl 

      4   under the bed or somewhere and stay until they 

      5   went away.  So I think at one time they didn't 

      6   know where I was, and they looked for me and it 

      7   was a whole business. 

      8         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  So your recreation, 

      9   then -- 

     10         BEA WEINBERG:  The recreation in the 

     11   wintertime was nil except as I told you perhaps 

     12   go sleigh riding.  But you know, when the 

     13   lake -- there was a lake there.  When it was 

     14   frozen, we would go sledding. 

     15         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Did you ice skate?

     16         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.

     17         BEA WEINBERG:  Yes.

     18         FREEDA HURWITZ:  We didn't have any 

     19   skates, just with our shoes.

     20         BEA WEINBERG:  Not with skates; with our 

     21   galoshes.

     22         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Galoshes on the shoes, we 

     23   used to go ice skating.  And you know, after 

     24   all, they, some of that I was sixteen years old 

     25   when I came to this country.  And Ray and 


      1   Julius, the boys, they were big.  And the 

      2   Fettershimmin had some grown children; we used 

      3   to get together and have good times, you know, 

      4   read or dance, whatever we did.

      5         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Did they dance?

      6         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Sure.  Why not? 

      7         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  And stand around and 

      8   talk?

      9         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes, just get together.

     10         BEA WEINBERG:  In the summertime, we went 

     11   berry picking, all kinds of berries, wild 

     12   strawberries.

     13         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Tisha B'Av, that's when 

     14   all the berries would get ripe.

     15         BEA WEINBERG:  Tisha B'Av, the new 

     16   potatoes used to come.

     17         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes, and the new potatoes 

     18   used to come.  We used to dig the little 

     19   potatoes and we fasted, you know.  It was a half 

     20   a day, I think.  So to break the fast, mother 

     21   used to cook these potatoes.

     22         BEA WEINBERG:  New potatoes.

     23         FREEDA HURWITZ:  New potatoes, and had, 

     24   you know, country fun.

     25         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  I have a recollection of 


      1   you telling about how grandmother used to bake 

      2   the bread.  Can you tell us about that?

      3         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Sure, yes.  Ray used to 

      4   get -- Ray was a very good -- she used to make 

      5   very good bread.

      6         BEA WEINBERG:  You know, we had a maid in 

      7   the house, and she used to make us the breads.  

      8   You know how they have sourdough here? 

      9         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Yes.

     10         BEA WEINBERG:  Well, you see, we had a 

     11   sort of a, like if you would cut off the half of 

     12   a barrel, it would look.  But it wasn't that.  

     13   It was a specially made wooden tub, like, a tub 

     14   like.  It was called in those days, it was a tub 

     15   that you would make the bread in.  Only on 

     16   Friday was the white bread.  This was something 

     17   else.  But during the week was the coarse, 

     18   coarse rye bread. 

     19         And that container, that tub -- you see, 

     20   some would remain.  It would never be cleaned 

     21   out thoroughly.  When the dough was taken out, 

     22   the DAIZ is what it was called, it was covered 

     23   over.

     24         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  And so like a starter 

     25   was left there?

      1         BEA WEINBERG:  Yes.  To put it away for 

      2   the next time.  But we did have HAYDN; we had 

      3   yeast too.

      4         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes, that was for the 

      5   white bread.

      6         BEA WEINBERG:  But that's the way that it 

      7   was kept, see.

      8         FREEDA HURWITZ:  And we had an oven, you 

      9   know, that was burned by wood.  And the oven 

     10   used to, you would make it a certain -- I 

     11   remember my mother used to sprinkle flour to see 

     12   if it gets brown.  Then it was hot enough.

     13         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Was that in the kitchen?

     14         BEA WEINBERG:  Yes.

     15         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.  That was in the 

     16   kitchen.  And then she would put the bread in.  

     17   They had big -- to put the bread on, you see, 

     18   they had a big wooden, like a shovel, but it was 

     19   made wooden.

     20         BEA WEINBERG:  Flat.

     21         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Shove it in the oven.  

     22   And they baked a certain time until they were 

     23   done.  We used to do it like we --

     24         BEA WEINBERG:  We knew how to do it and 

     25   the loaves are great, big loaves.

      1         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes, round loaves, like 

      2   you have round loaf pumpernickels.

      3         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Yes.

      4         BEA WEINBERG:  But big ones; not like 

      5   that.

      6         FREEDA HURWITZ:  And they would put some 

      7   kind of seed on top of it.  And when they try 

      8   it, if the bread sounds hollow -- I see that 

      9   they tell you that the same here.  If the bread 

     10   sounds hollow, then it is done.

     11         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  It was done.

     12         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Done.  So that's the way 

     13   we used to do with this bread.  But the challah 

     14   and the white bread, Ray used to make wonderful 

     15   bread.  She used to make the twists.  And she 

     16   didn't (inaudible, sounds like STUDY) but she 

     17   always used to take care of the (inaudible).

     18         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  That was made just on 

     19   Friday?

     20         FREEDA HURWITZ:  On Friday.  That was made 

     21   for Shabbes.

     22         BEA WEINBERG:  It was challah.

     23         FREEDA HURWITZ:  So we always had the 

     24   kifkes(phonetic spelling), our plain bread, you 

     25   know, white bread.  And that's the way we used 

      1   to make it.  And I remember the before Pesach, 

      2   like today would be the Seder in the morning, 

      3   the first thing in the morning, we bake bread, 

      4   round loaves.

      5         BEA WEINBERG:  White bread.

      6         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes, white bread.  And 

      7   that, we used to we used to eat that, and that 

      8   was for fastenlach (spelling), you know, that 

      9   was the end of the chametz.  But we used to 

     10   bake, I can't understand why, it was the morning 

     11   before the Seder, before the first Seder and 

     12   then Papa would --

     13         BEA WEINBERG:  Ten o'clock, you are not 

     14   supposed to eat chametz anymore.

     15         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes, and father used to 

     16   go around on every windowsill.

     17         BURTON LEVINSON:  With a feather.

     18         FREEDA HURWITZ:  With a feather, and see 

     19   if there was any chametz.  And the house used to 

     20   get the best spring cleaning that you can ever 

     21   imagine.  Everything was scrubbed and washed.  

     22   And if you had to whitewash the walls, it was 

     23   done before Pesach, and the house looked very 

     24   nice.  We had a nice home there, you know, for a 

     25   country home. 

      1         And the seder, Bea will tell you about the 

      2   Seder. 

      3         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Tell me about the matzo.  

      4   How did you bake the matzo?

      5         FREEDA HURWITZ:  The matzo, in Danilovich. 

      6         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  You didn't bake that?

      7         FREEDA HURWITZ:  No.  Father had a --

      8         BEA WEINBERG:  No, we had a 

      9   tremendous chest.  I bet that chest was as big 

     10   as this couch.

     11         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Like a trunk.  Like a 

     12   trunk.

     13         BEA WEINBERG:  It was wide.  And the matzo 

     14   wasn't baked like it is here, even, you know.  

     15   It was done by hand.  And it wasn't in boxes or 

     16   anything.  We would send this chest with white 

     17   sheets.

     18         FREEDA HURWITZ:  I think mother used to 

     19   go.  Somebody had to go to see that it's kosher.

     20         BEA WEINBERG:  And it was packed loose.  

     21   Every matzo was -- like you see the round matzos 

     22   here from Israel, well, they were like that only 

     23   they weren't quite as even because it wasn't 

     24   machine-made.

     25         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  It was made by hand.

      1         BEA WEINBERG:  And they were packed loose 

      2   in that chest and then brought in the house and 

      3   put in the boys' bedroom.  And that's where it 

      4   stayed.

      5         FREEDA HURWITZ:  It was a trunk.  It was a 

      6   chest kind of a trunk.

      7         BEA WEINBERG:  As big as this couch, only 

      8   wider.  That's where the matzo was kept for the 

      9   week.

     10         FREEDA HURWITZ:  But later on, Bea, you 

     11   remember they used to ship there.  They didn't 

     12   make it by hand anymore.  We used to get 

     13   ready-made matzo.  We used to get it shiped in 

     14   from where, Vilna or somewhere, that they made.  

     15   It was already different.   

     16         BEA WEINBERG:  It was a very primitive 

     17   existence.

     18         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  It doesn't sound -- it 

     19   sounds very similar to what life was like in the 

     20   country areas right here.

     21         BEA WEINBERG:  Sure.

     22         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.

     23         BEA WEINBERG:  Because of the tradition of 

     24   the, what was it, ritual murder?

     25         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Oh, yes.  I want to hear 

      1   about that too.

      2         BEA WEINBERG:  Seder night was the night 

      3   of fear, you see, because we were the only 

      4   Jewish people who lived right there, see, in the 

      5   community.  We lived quite a distance from the 

      6   others. 

      7         So we had, I think they have shudders like 

      8   that here.  And all the windows were covered 

      9   with solid, wooden shudders and with the bars 

     10   across, see, and this is how we had our Seder.  

     11   In quiet, but it was a regular Seder.

     12         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Beautiful Seder.

     13         BEA WEINBERG:  The smaller children like 

     14   me, we had to take a nap so that we wouldn't 

     15   fall asleep because the seder lasted until 

     16   midnight.  It didn't like here it lasts an hour.  

     17   We don't feel like saying that, but --

     18         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Well, listen, I remember 

     19   the seders that Grandpa had in Nashville that 

     20   lasted pretty long too. 

     21         BEA WEINBERG:  Sure.

     22         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  And so for the Seder, 

     23   was it just your family, or did some of the 

     24   other --

     25         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes, it was our family.  

      1   Listen, there were nine of us and the maid.

      2         BEA WEINBERG:  And the youngest child 

      3   asked the questions, and they really asked the 

      4   questions and they study them and Papa would 

      5   answer any questions.  And it was a regular -- 

      6   with the kiddush and candlelighting, and 

      7   afterward saying the concluding prayer, 

      8   everything.

      9         FREEDA HURWITZ:  The whole Haggadah was 

     10   read.

     11         BEA WEINBERG:  Nothing was cut.

     12         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  I'm sure.

     13         FREEDA HURWITZ:  And before the Seder, I 

     14   remember we, the girls, used to clean the 

     15   silverware.  And mother had pretty candlesticks, 

     16   and she had those spice boxes.  They were all 

     17   for the Seder.  It was all decorated and the 

     18   table looked beautiful with the beautiful white 

     19   cloth and napkins with everything.  And Dad used 

     20   to put on a high hat.

     21         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  A kittell?

     22         FREEDA HURWITZ:  A what?

     23         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  A kittell?

     24         BEA WEINBERG:  No, a kittell is a white --

     25         FREEDA HURWITZ:  No.  No.  He would dress 

      1   up with the stovepipe hat, a satin one.  He used 

      2   to put that on, and the children would dress up 

      3   in the best clothes.

      4         BEA WEINBERG:  Well, you would all have 

      5   new dresses made for Pesach.

      6         FREEDA HURWITZ:  For Pesach everybody had 

      7   a new dress on.

      8         BEA WEINBERG:  And new shoes. 

      9         FREEDA HURWITZ:  And everything new.  And 

     10   Mother was dressed in the best clothes and Dad 

     11   was dressed; he had a pipe hat, and he had I 

     12   think a tuxedo coat, a long coat.

     13         BEA WEINBERG:  But that was already long 

     14   ago.

     15         FREEDA HURWITZ:  But that was in Europe.  

     16   As long as we were in Europe, that's what it 

     17   was.  And our table was beautiful.  And, gosh, 

     18   we had gefilte fish and knaidlach and all the 

     19   good things that go with it. 

     20         And the silverware, you know, you had to 

     21   make them ready for Pesach, so I remember we 

     22   used to string them up, you know, all the forks 

     23   and knives and spoons, and dip them in boiling 

     24   water.  The water was boiled outside, you know, 

     25   made bricks and we all, we used to, mother used 

      1   to dip them to make them kosher for Pesach.

      2         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  I have a vague 

      3   recollection of doing something like that on 

      4   Clinton(?) Avenue, didn't we?

      5         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Well, maybe.  I don't 

      6   know.

      7         BEA WEINBERG:  Probably to put kettle and 

      8   put the silverware into.

      9         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  I remember a brick and 

     10   pouring the boiling water over the --

     11         FREEDA HURWITZ:  I'm sure I did it.

     12         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  I think you did it.

     13         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.  And we had separate 

     14   dishes for Pesach.  I had separate dishes and 

     15   separate pots, and for Pesach we always changed 

     16   our dishes.

     17         BEA WEINBERG:  So (inaudible).

     18         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Those blue and white 

     19   pots.

     20         BEA WEINBERG:  They had not been used in 

     21   years and years.

     22         FREEDA HURWITZ:  We just got rid of one 

     23   because it was too heavy to handle.  Sure.  That 

     24   was the Pesadike dishes.  And I had green, you 

     25   know, green plates, like.

      1         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  What about Chanukah?  

      2   Did you do anything special for Chanukah?

      3         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Don't you remember I had 

      4   a --

      5         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  I'm talking about 

      6   Europe.

      7         FREEDA HURWITZ:  No.  Just play cards and 

      8   give a --

      9         BEA WEINBERG:  We sure did.

     10         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Tell us about it. 

     11         BEA WEINBERG:  The boys used to make the 

     12   cards.  It was a custom to play cards Chanukah.  

     13   So what do you play it,  a penny or just like 

     14   that.  But we didn't have any store-bought 

     15   cards, so the boys used to make the cards.  We 

     16   had paper, cardboard and the ink, the red ink 

     17   the black, and they used to make the cards. 

     18         FREEDA HURWITZ:  And what about the girls, 

     19   the girdn we used to call it? 

     20         BEA WEINBERG:  The dreidels. 

     21         FREEDA HURWITZ:  The dreidels, sure.  We 

     22   used to pour them, remember?  They used to pour 

     23   them?

     24         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  You mean you made them?

     25         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.  They had a form.

      1         BEA WEINBERG:  They had the wooden form, 

      2   and you bought this lead and melted it and 

      3   poured it into the form, and it would come out.

      4         FREEDA HURWITZ:  And we used to play.

      5         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Made your own dreidlach?

      6         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.

      7         BEA WEINBERG:  Yes.  It was primitive.

      8         FREEDA HURWITZ:  At Pesach, you know it 

      9   was a minhag to play with nuts.  So I remember 

     10   that Mother used to buy those walnuts like here.  

     11   And the boys used to, you know, on the floor 

     12   like --

     13         BEA WEINBERG:  You used to put -- there 

     14   were several kinds of games.  The little nuts 

     15   like the hazel(?sounds like haidl) nuts, you 

     16   take them in your hands, several.  And you have 

     17   some in one hand and nothing in the other.  You 

     18   try to guess now which hand.  If you guess 

     19   right, the nuts were yours. 

     20         FREEDA HURWITZ:  And --

     21         BEA WEINBERG:  Wait a minute.  They had 

     22   another game.  You would put a board like at the 

     23   wall here, like you take the board, the cutting 

     24   board, that I have.  You have several nuts 

     25   arranged here on the floor.  You would run one 

      1   of your nuts down the board.  If it hit those 

      2   nuts, they were yours.  That was one game and 

      3   there were others. 

      4         You know, they used to have the caps, like 

      5   an overseas soldier's cap.  You would put some 

      6   nuts in there, and then you would fling it 

      7   across the table.  Whatever nuts fell out of 

      8   there, were yours.  There were various games of 

      9   nuts.

     10         FREEDA HURWITZ:  You know, they played 

     11   with nuts like they play here with --

     12         BEA WEINBERG:  Marbles.

     13         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Marbles.  You know, kind 

     14   of shoot them.  And if you got it, you won the 

     15   nuts.

     16         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Did you exchange gifts?

     17         FREEDA HURWITZ:  No.  No. 

     18         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  I mean Chanukah.

     19         FREEDA HURWITZ:  No, no.  Papa used to 

     20   give us a nickel, a dime, a penny.

     21         BURTON LEVINSON:  Chanukah money.  Gifts 

     22   weren't --

     23         BEA WEINBERG:  It was Chanukah gelt.  It 

     24   became a big business with the gifts.

     25         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Chanukah gelt. 

      1         BEA WEINBERG:  And it was Purim.  You know 

      2   grandmother that lived in the mill?

      3         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Esther?

      4         BEA WEINBERG:  Yes.  She sometimes with 

      5   the boys, with the sons, would be in the big 

      6   city where you could get oranges, you know.

      7         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Yes.

      8         BEA WEINBERG:  Because we didn't have 

      9   oranges where we lived.  So Purim she would send 

     10   us an orange.

     11         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Shaloch manos.

     12         BEA WEINBERG:  You know, and we would 

     13   divide them out, each into its little sections, 

     14   and that would be our treat.

     15         FREEDA HURWITZ:  And we made hamentashen 

     16   naturally; not cookies hamentashen, but the big 

     17   bread hamentashen.  And if they had a seudah 

     18   (?Sounds like soo-da, maybe seudah meaning 

     19   meal), Mother would make a very nice dinner of 

     20   Purim, you know, you know a Purim seudah.

     21         BEA WEINBERG:  We would have a twist, a 

     22   big twist that mother used to -- each piece, you 

     23   know how you bake a twist, would be filled with 

     24   munn, see, and then twisted.

     25         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Oh, I see.

      1         BEA WEINBERG:  It was something unusual.

      2         FREEDA HURWITZ:  And she used to make 

      3   great big kreplach I remember, and she would 

      4   boil them, and then I don't know what she did 

      5   with them.  That was also for Purim.

      6         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  What were they filled 

      7   with?

      8         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Meat, I guess, because it 

      9   was a meat dish.

     10         BEA WEINBERG:  You know Hassel?

     11         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Yes.

     12         BEA WEINBERG:  He got sick.  Harry, you 

     13   know, before he had that brain sickness that he 

     14   had.

     15         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Sleeping sickness.

     16         BEA WEINBERG:  It happened to be that on 

     17   that weekend she had kreplach.  Freeda?

     18         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  In Europe?

     19         BEA WEINBERG:  No.  He was sick here.  And 

     20   she became superstitious about the kreplach, 

     21   that the kreplach made him sick.

     22         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Oh.  So she never served 

     23   it again?

     24         BEA WEINBERG:  Never served kreplach after 

     25   that. 

      1         FREEDA HURWITZ:  That was -- and the 

      2   challahs on Rosh Hashanah and naturally we went 

      3   to shul, like always, and Yom Kippur.  On Yom 

      4   Kippur, Father used to fast all day, all that 

      5   were of age used to fast all day.  And we would 

      6   have, and we used to break our fast with chicken 

      7   and soup.  But later on we cut it out, even in 

      8   this country, we had a dairy meal after. 

      9         MR. LEVINSON:  Did you slaughter your own 

     10   cattle for meat?

     11         BEA WEINBERG:  That was all sent, from 

     12   Danilovich

     13         FREEDA HURWITZ:  From Danilovich.

     14         BEA WEINBERG:  We used to shlubn kappores.

     15         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Tell about that.

     16         FREEDA HURWITZ:  We used to take the 

     17   chicken, every one of us. 

     18         BEA WEINBERG:  The girls had a chicken; 

     19   the boys had a rooster.  And you twisted them 

     20   three times.

     21         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Did you do it?

     22         BEA WEINBERG:  Sure.  And there is a 

     23   special prayer about shlubn kappores.  Zet 

     24   hamegewe hazeh.  Do you remember? 

     25         MR. LEVINSON:  Yes.

      1         BEA WEINBERG:  The girls would take a 

      2   chicken and you would twist it three times that 

      3   this should be an offering for you --

      4         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Of course it was dead.

      5         FREEDA HURWITZ:  No, it was alive.

      6         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  A live chicken? 

      7         BEA WEINBERG:  Yes.

      8         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Oh my gosh.

      9         FREEDA HURWITZ:  And we had the shochet to 

     10   come that night and kill them, kill all the 

     11   chickens.

     12         BEA WEINBERG:  Yes.  And when it was erev 

     13   Yom Kippur, we were flicking the chicken, and 

     14   Newman came and that was the night he met Ray.  

     15   He saw her, see, and he fell in love with her.  

     16   But that was the night.

     17         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Absolutely, every one of 

     18   us had a chicken.

     19         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  You did this when, 

     20   before Yom Kippur?

     21         BEA WEINBERG:  Yes.

     22         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Erev Yom Kippur, you 

     23   know, the day before Yom Kippur.  The day before 

     24   Yom Kippur, we used to get up real early in the 

     25   morning, two o'clock.

      1         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Did you have to catch 

      2   your own chicken?

      3         BEA WEINBERG:  No.

      4         FREEDA HURWITZ:  No.  We had the chickens.  

      5   We had our own chickens.

      6         BEA WEINBERG:  And tie it up.  The legs 

      7   were tied up and sometimes the wings would flop.

      8         FREEDA HURWITZ:  And then we had the 

      9   shochet who used to come.

     10         BEA WEINBERG:  It was primitive.  It was 

     11   savage.

     12         FREEDA HURWITZ:  And kill the chickens and 

     13   we would flick them.

     14         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  You had to flick your 

     15   own?

     16         BEA WEINBERG:  Oh, sure.

     17         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes, you had to flick the 

     18   chicken.

     19         BEA WEINBERG:  You had to flick them dry.  

     20   You didn't put them in a kettle of water; they 

     21   wouldn't be kosher.

     22         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Ray and Bea and I. 

     23         BEA WEINBERG:  They had to be salted.  If 

     24   you put them in a kettle of water, you know, the 

     25   blood sort of cooks in.

      1         FREEDA HURWITZ:  In this country, the 

      2   shochet used to come and kill the chickens.

      3         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  I remember that.  And so 

      4   that's just about all the holidays.  Well, where 

      5   did Dad live, Dad's family?  Did they live far 

      6   away?

      7         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Sure.  Dad lived in, was 

      8   it Usla?

      9         BEA WEINBERG:  Usla.

     10         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Had the mill.  It was 

     11   Soreh and her husband had the mill.

     12         BEA WEINBERG:  I think you had to drive 

     13   there in a buggy or something.

     14         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.  They got their 

     15   education in Postov, you see.  They went to 

     16   cheder.

     17         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  This was close to 

     18   Postov? 

     19         BEA WEINBERG:  (Inaudible, sounds like 

     20   Vreela) some of them, but Dvinsk(?) they went.

     21         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Well, I don't know.  Sam 

     22   went to Postov.

     23         BEA WEINBERG:  Studied in Postov.

     24         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes, Sam studied in 

     25   Postov because he went to cheder there, and 

      1   whatever Russian he learned, he learned there in 

      2   Postov.  And they had a mill in Usla.  Her 

      3   husband and Soreh, and what was the name of her 

      4   husband?

      5         BEA WEINBERG:  Sasha maybe.

      6         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  It must have been, was 

      7   it Nachum or Nachman?  Maybe Norman was named 

      8   after him.

      9         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Norman was not.

     10         BEA WEINBERG:  Sure. 

     11         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Maybe, yes.  And then he 

     12   died.  Then Soreh still lived there in Usla.  

     13   She had a mill.  They had the mill. 

     14         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  And she was Grandpa's 

     15   sister? 

     16         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Sister. 

     17         BEA WEINBERG:  Yes. 

     18         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Did you ever get 

     19   together?   Did you see them?

     20         BEA WEINBERG:  No.  It was too far.  Very 

     21   rarely we would come together.

     22         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Did you know Dad?

     23         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Oh, sure.  They used to 

     24   come to Postov to visit Grandma, and though I 

     25   met Dad in this country.

      1         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Oh, I see.  Oh, yes, but 

      2   you had -- one of your grandmas lived in Postov.

      3         FREEDA HURWITZ:  One of the grand -- Soreh 

      4   lived here.  She came to this country.

      5         BEA WEINBERG:  Sarah Bashe she is talking 

      6   about.

      7         FREEDA HURWITZ:  No, no.  She lived in 

      8   Postov; she died in Postov.

      9         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  You said where they 

     10   lived was close to Postov?

     11         BEA WEINBERG:  Where who lived?

     12         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Where Dad lived.

     13         BEA WEINBERG:  No.

     14         FREEDA HURWITZ:  No, it was a distance 

     15   away.  I think we lived to Postov closer than 

     16   them.  And when Sorah came -- Max, who was it 

     17   came?  

     18         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Dad came first.

     19         BEA WEINBERG:  Sam came first, don't you 

     20   know, they wait for Esther "Slayden".

     21         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Okay.  So tell us about 

     22   how you got to this country.  Who came first?

     23         FREEDA HURWITZ:  We all came together.

     24         BEA WEINBERG:  No.  No. 

     25         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Somebody came first.

      1         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Julius.

      2         BEA WEINBERG:  Julius came first, and he 

      3   went -- you see, Uncle Louis was Mama's brother. 

      4         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Louis Kisber.

      5         BEA WEINBERG:  He lived in Arkansas.  He 

      6   had a store.

      7         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Jackson, 

      8   Tennessee, wasn't it?

      9         BEA WEINBERG:  Later, Freeda.

     10         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Where did he live in 

     11   Arkansas; do you remember?

     12         BEA WEINBERG:  Osceola.

     13         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Osceola,  Arkansas.

     14         BEA WEINBERG:  And they had a store.  And 

     15   Julius went there first.

     16         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  And had they been there 

     17   for a while?

     18         BEA WEINBERG:  Oh, yes, they had a store 

     19   there.

     20         FREEDA HURWITZ:  They were already 

     21   Americanized.

     22         BEA WEINBERG:  Julius went first.  He came 

     23   to this country first.

     24         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  When was that?  What 

     25   year do you think?

      1         BEA WEINBERG:  Well, we came in 

      2   nineteen four, so it would have been a couple of 

      3   years before that.

      4         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Maybe 1900?

      5         BEA WEINBERG:  Yes. 

      6         FREEDA HURWITZ:  To escape the service.

      7         BEA WEINBERG:  And they had a store, and 

      8   what do you do with a boy that comes over and 

      9   doesn't know how to talk or anything?  You make 

     10   a peddler out of him, so he peddled dry goods. 

     11         See, they would cut lengths from a bolt of 

     12   cloth, enough to make a dress, three yards, four 

     13   yards.  And that's how they would pack, make a 

     14   pack on his shoulder and he carried lengths of 

     15   calico, thread, needles, you know, the stuff 

     16   that a farm woman would need.  You see, and they 

     17   peddled that way.  And of course Uncle Louis got 

     18   something out of it because he sold them and 

     19   they boarded at his house.

     20         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Well, who else?

     21         BEA WEINBERG:  Then Ike came later.  Ike 

     22   went -- after we came to this country, Ike was 

     23   also sent off over there.

     24         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  But first Uncle Julius.

     25         BEA WEINBERG:  Julius was the first one 

      1   that came to this country.

      2         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  He came, and then you 

      3   said --

      4         BEA WEINBERG:  And all the rest came.

      5         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Then you said that they 

      6   got sick of having him around.

      7         BEA WEINBERG:  Well, that was already in 

      8   Nashville when they -- Uncle Louis was in 

      9   Nashville.

     10         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  So then he peddled and 

     11   then you came a couple of years later?

     12         BEA WEINBERG:  Yes.  But we didn't go 

     13   to -- we went to Nashville.

     14         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Why did you go to 

     15   Nashville?

     16         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Because Uncle Joseph was 

     17   there.

     18         BEA WEINBERG:  Joseph.  Joe Kisber.

     19         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Joe Kisber.

     20         BEA WEINBERG:  Joe Kisber, mother's 

     21   brother, her -- not her oldest, her oldest 

     22   brother was in Africa, Chaim Saul(?).  So we 

     23   came to Nashville because of him.

     24         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  And what did you do in 

     25   Nashville; what did Grandpa do?

      1         BEA WEINBERG:  Grandpa didn't do anything 

      2   until after the boys came back from this 

      3   peddling business, they had accumulated a few 

      4   dollars, and they opened a store.

      5         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  So Uncle Ike went there 

      6   and peddled too? 

      7         BEA WEINBERG:  Yes.

      8         FREEDA HURWITZ:  And Newman too.

      9         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  And Uncle Newman and 

     10   Aunt Ray were already married?

     11         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.

     12         BEA WEINBERG:  Yes.  And Ray Kisber, that 

     13   was Louis Kisber's wife, Ray, after a while she 

     14   got sick of the peddlers.  She wanted to get rid 

     15   of them.  And they came back to Nashville.  And 

     16   after a while they opened a store, you see, the 

     17   store on Broad Street.  That was the big store.

     18         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Yes, but that wasn't the 

     19   first store they opened, was it?

     20         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes, I think so.

     21         BEA WEINBERG:  I don't remember about a 

     22   store in East Nashville.

     23         FREEDA HURWITZ:  I don't think we had it.

     24         BEA WEINBERG:  It wasn't too much -- they 

     25   didn't last there very long or something.

      1         FREEDA HURWITZ:  But it was Papa and 

      2   Newman and Julius.

      3         BEA WEINBERG:  And that was the store.

      4         FREEDA HURWITZ:  They were all partners.

      5         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  And Uncle Ike too.

      6         BEA WEINBERG:  Ike worked at first.  There 

      7   was a lot of, Papa wanted him to become a 

      8   partner.

      9         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Ike worked at Abrams(?)

     10         BEA WEINBERG:  That was in the tire store. 

     11         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  That was later.

     12         BEA WEINBERG:  That was in the tire store.

     13         FREEDA HURWITZ:  That was much later.

     14         FREEDA HURWITZ:  But didn't Ike work 

     15   there?

     16         BEA WEINBERG:  Yes, he did.  And Ike was 

     17   in that dry goods store that they opened first 

     18   that they failed at.

     19         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  And you did something 

     20   too.

     21         FREEDA HURWITZ:  I worked at Lebeck's.  I 

     22   went to night school, and we went to school 

     23   here, and Ray I think was trying to.  Also she 

     24   went to the first grade or something.

     25         SYLVIA LEVINSON:   Who?

      1         BEA WEINBERG:  Ray.  When we first came 

      2   here to Nashville.

      3         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Well, Ray was older than 

      4   you.  How come you didn't go to school?

      5         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Well, I don't know.  I 

      6   was 16 years old.

      7         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  But Aunt Ray would have 

      8   to be older.

      9         FREEDA HURWITZ:  I went to night school.  

     10   She was married already.  Newman made -- and I 

     11   went to night school.

     12         BEA WEINBERG:  She didn't go long.  They 

     13   put her in the third grade, I think, and the 

     14   kids used to run after her and yell "Rachel, 

     15   Rachel, come from Russia" and all that kind of 

     16   stuff and she couldn't take it.

     17         FREEDA HURWITZ:  But she had a good 

     18   education, and she was very well educated in 

     19   Hebrew.

     20         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  She was trying to learn 

     21   English

     22         BEA WEINBERG:  Yes, and she was trying to 

     23   learn English.

     24         FREEDA HURWITZ:  And she was trying to 

     25   learn English.  And worked at Lebeck's.  I used 

      1   to make hats. 

      2         BEA WEINBERG:  And Jennie too. 

      3         FREEDA HURWITZ:  And Jennie too.  Jennie 

      4   worked in Jonas', do you remember?

      5         SYLVIA LEVINSON: Jonas?  I remember going 

      6   to Jonas'.

      7         FREEDA HURWITZ:  A wholesale house.

      8         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  I remember that.

      9         FREEDA HURWITZ:  And that's how we made, I 

     10   guess, what did I make, seven dollars?

     11         BEA WEINBERG:  You started on two dollars 

     12   a week.

     13         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Two dollars a week or 

     14   something like that.

     15         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  And how old were you 

     16   when you came here?

     17         FREEDA HURWITZ:  She was the youngest.

     18         BEA WEINBERG:  Ten or eleven.

     19         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  And you started right in 

     20   school?

     21         BEA WEINBERG:  Sure.

     22         FREEDA HURWITZ:  And Sam went to school 

     23   too, but he got tired working.  He used to 

     24   peddle shoestrings.  He used to peddle 

     25   shoestrings in Nashville and he made a little -- 

      1   did you go to high school?

      2         BEA WEINBERG:  I think one year or 

      3   something.  I don't remember.

      4         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Mama wanted him to go to 

      5   school, to college in Postov.

      6         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  So who was the -- Aunt 

      7   Ray was the oldest?

      8         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes, and Julius was next.

      9         BEA WEINBERG:  Julius was next, and then 

     10   Ike -- then Jennie and Ike.

     11         FREEDA HURWITZ:  And I was next to Ike, 

     12   and Bea was the youngest.

     13         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Where did Uncle Sam fit 

     14   in?

     15         BEA WEINBERG:  He was the youngest of the 

     16   boys, and I was next to him.  And there were two 

     17   girls after me, but they died in infancy.

     18         FREEDA HURWITZ:  But they died in infancy.  

     19   Maybe they were weak.

     20         BEA WEINBERG:  Well, Jennie had smallpox 

     21   and the baby contracted it and died.

     22         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  I see.  

     23         FREEDA HURWITZ:  I was next to Ike.

     24         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Uncle Ike was older than 

     25   you?

      1         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.  And then I and then 

      2   Sam, and Bea was the youngest.

      3         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  And so when you first 

      4   came there, where did you live in Nashville?

      5         FREEDA HURWITZ:  We had a little house.

      6         BEA WEINBERG:  East Nashville.

      7         FREEDA HURWITZ:  In East Nashville.  It 

      8   was a new house.  It was just built but it was a 

      9   little house.

     10         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Grandpa must have had 

     11   some money when he came over, didn't he?

     12         BEA WEINBERG:  Some money, yes.

     13         FREEDA HURWITZ:  No.  And I remember we 

     14   used to have, a cistern, what do you call it?

     15         BEA WEINBERG:  We had no running water. 

     16         FREEDA HURWITZ:  No running water.

     17         BEA WEINBERG:  It was terrible.

     18         FREEDA HURWITZ:  And from that we didn't 

     19   stay there very long.

     20         BEA WEINBERG:  Sure, from that we went to 

     21   Market Street which is worse.

     22         FREEDA HURWITZ:  But it was already a big 

     23   house and it had running water.

     24         BEA WEINBERG:  It was a terrible house.

     25         FREEDA HURWITZ:  It had coal, I guess 

      1   coal. 

      2         BEA WEINBERG:  Not furnaces but open 

      3   grates and a coal stove that you cooked on, an 

      4   iron stove that you did your cooking on.  And 

      5   you had to build the fires.  We had wood.  I 

      6   don't think we had coal then.

      7         FREEDA HURWITZ:  And then --

      8         BEA WEINBERG:  Then we moved to Cherry 

      9   Street.  That was already a brick house.

     10         FREEDA HURWITZ:  We had a big house.  And 

     11   that's where we got married.

     12         BEA WEINBERG:  It was a nice house, a 

     13   neighborhood, the little grocery right across 

     14   the street and a streetcar ran through it.  And 

     15   from there I think we moved to Division Street 

     16   and then South Street.  South was the last one.

     17         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Well, I was married on 

     18   Cherry Street, I think.

     19         BEA WEINBERG:  Yes, sure, you and Ike and 

     20   Belle had a double wedding.

     21         SYLVIA LEVINSON:   -- 15th avenue South; I 

     22   remember that address.

     23         FREEDA HURWITZ:  That's where Ray used to 

     24   live there.

     25         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  What do you mean Ray 

      1   lived there?

      2         BEA WEINBERG:  She lived there when she 

      3   was married.  South Street was Papa's house.

      4         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  I know.  That's where 

      5   Grandpa lived, and Uncle Sam and Aunt Madeleine 

      6   lived next door.

      7         FREEDA HURWITZ:  Yes.  I used to visit 

      8   there.

      9         BEA WEINBERG:  A bungalow it was called.

     10         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Yes.  I remember that.

     11         FREEDA HURWITZ:  It was a nice little 

     12   house.

     13         BEA WEINBERG:  Stucco.  That was a nice 

     14   house.  It had an upstairs.

     15         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Yes.  I remember the 

     16   coattree in the hall; remember? 

     17         BEA WEINBERG:  Yes.

     18         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Remember you had all 

     19   your books from college in that little sort of 

     20   octagonal shaped stool with a thing that opened 

     21   up?

     22         BEA WEINBERG:  Sam made that taboret, you 

     23   know.  He made it in manual training.

     24         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  And you kept all of your 

     25   college books in there.

      1         BEA WEINBERG:  You know how they used to 

      2   burn wood with alcohol, a needle and it had a 

      3   beautiful -- he had a design of roses on it.

      4         SYLVIA LEVINSON:  Yes.  I didn't realize 

      5   that.

      6         BEA WEINBERG:  I think that Madeleine took 

      7   that and I don't know what became of it.  She 

      8   wanted it.  I wonder if she had it or if Sylvia 

      9   got it.

     10         FREEDA HURWITZ:  That's the story of our 

     11   lives.