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 (09-010.09-F) -  Shelf Number: MDV 395

No streaming derivative is available.

Date: June 27, 2005

Participants: Geller, Sofia Abramovna; Geller, David Grigoryevich. Interviewed by Dov-Ber Kerler, Dovid Katz and Jeffrey Veidlinger.

Location recorded: Bratslav, Vinnyts'ka Oblast', Ukraine

Language: Yiddish, Russian

Culture Group: Jews, Yiddish-speakers, Ukrainians

 Recording Content:   

This tape is a continuation of an interview with Sofia and David Geller. (Part 2 of 3. See MDV 394 and MDV 396) David Geller talks about how he met his wife and about their wedding. He then elaborates upon how he fled Zhmerynka during World War II and ended up in evacuation in Central Asia. He discusses how he was drafted into the Red Army. He discusses anti-semitism after the war. Sofia Geller then talks about her childhood in Bratslav. She recalls celebrating Jewish holidays and talks about her father's work as a drayman. Before the Germans came, she and her family left for the Donbas region and then when the Germans came, they fled to Tashkent and eventually to Kamashi, near the Iranian border. She discusses Jewish life in Bratslav before and after the war. She talks about the celebration of Jewish holidays, Hasidic life, and food customs.

00:05:26 David talks about his family. They raised two daughters, who live in Moscow. David then addresses his life during World War II, particularly how his family evacuated.
00:07:45 David speaks about the moment when he volunteered for military draft. He then describes the work tasks in the army, as well as in his profession as turner.
00:10:35 David and Sofia discuss postwar antisemitism, before addressing the contemporary Jewish press. They then address the period of the Doctor's Plot in 1952-53.
00:15:14 Sofia speaks about her life today and the relationship with her non-Jewish neighbors. She discusses her childhood memories of Jewish Bratslav and her family. Sofia's father was a coachman. She also mentions her mother's observance.
00:17:23 Sofia talks about her life during World War II and describes her family's evacuation toward Lugansk, as well as settling down at a kolkhoz. Sofial then addresses her life and work on the kolkhoz until December 1941. They then evacuated further to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, from where they moved to a kolkhoz at the Kamashi station in Kaskadarya Province, Uzbekistan. Sofia explains how her mother arranged transportation for her children to a nearby town to escape the hunger on the kolkhoz.
00:21:21 Sofia speaks about her family, before she addresses prewar Jewish life and religion in Bratslav. She also speaks about the fate of the local Jews during the war. Sofia then recalls her mother's praying customs.
00:23:53 Sofia addresses her family's return to Bratslav in 1944 and their life after the war. She grew up with five siblings. Sofia then returns to prewar Jewish life and culture. She recalls traditional weddings.
00:25:51 Sofia talks about her family. She also recalls snippets of the well-known Yiddish song "Itsik hot shoyn khasene gehat" (Itsik was already married).
00:30:31 Sofia speaks about postwar Jewish life in the region. She returns to her wedding in 1953, as well as addresses her life today. Sofia then speaks about her family.
00:33:02 Sofia and David speak about contemporary Hasidic visitors to Bratslav.
00:35:50 Sofia addresses prewar holiday food customs, particularly on Passover. They also discuss Passover, as well as the contemporary community. Sofia and David also speak about Yiddish dialects and Hasidism.
00:45:49 Sofia speaks about traditional dancing customs. They then sing "Lomir zikh iberbetn" (Let's make up).
00:48:43 Sofia speaks about her life today and family. Her sister lives in Israel. They then answer dialectological questions from the AHEYM Yiddish linguistic questionnaire.
00:51:31 Sofia and David speak about Sabbath food customs at home before the war. Sofia also describes other holiday dishes and shares baking recipes (e.g. strudel).
00:57:10 Sofia talks about her family, specifically her grandmother. David then explains how he learned Yiddish after the war. Sofia then speaks about the beginning of the war, the day her family evacuated. Sofia describes how her parents had to let go of their animals.
01:02:31 End of recording.