Return to ATM Online Collections  > AHEYM: The Archive of Historical and Ethnographic Yiddish Memories  > Chişinău

 (09-007.04-F) -  Shelf Number: MDV 142

No streaming derivative is available.

Date: December 20, 2005

Participants: Shpitalnik, Sara Solomonovna. Interviewed by Dov-Ber Kerler, Moisei Lemster, Dovid Katz.

Location recorded: Chișinău, Chișinău Municipality, Moldova

Language: Yiddish, Russian

Culture Group: Jews, Yiddish-speakers, Moldovans

 Recording Content:   

This recording is the continuation of a formal interview with Sara Solomonovna Shpitalnik. (Part 2 of 2. See MDV 141)

00:00:00 Shpitalnik discusses Yiddish poetry, before she speaks about prewar Yiddish cultural life, including libraries and theater. Shpitalnik recalls Yiddish plays, performed by the Vilna Troupe, as well as performances by Sidi Tal, Gina Zlotaya and Adolf Tefner. She also went to an author reading by Itzik Fefer.
00:03:26 Shpitalnik talks about her family, especially her grandmother.
00:05:10 Shpitalnik addresses life before the war in Chişinău, specifically the relationship between Jews and non-Jews. She also recalls the persecution of Communists during Romanian rule, as well as of Zionists under early Soviet rule. In particular, Shpitalnik mentions the persecution of Zalmen Rosenthal, editor of "Undzer tsayt" (our time).
00:07:39 Shpitalnik speaks about a Moldovan family, who rescued Jews during anti-Jewish pogroms and then continues addressing Jewish and non-Jewish relations. She then speaks about her life before the war, including childhood friends. Shpitalnik states that she learned how to speak Yiddish from her grandmother during the war.
00:12:43 Shpitalnik speaks about Jewish life in Chişinău before the war. She mentions Judah Leib Zirelson, the chief rabbi of Chişinău.
00:15:43 Shpitalnik speaks about her school education at a Romanian school before the war. She remembers how Jewish students were given lessons by a religious teacher. She then speaks about prewar religious life and local rebbes, before answering questions about cultural terminology.
00:18:43 Shpitalnik recalls Jewish refugees in 1940. Her family received a Hungarian-speaking family from the Transylvanian region. She also addresses different regional Yiddish dialects.
00:21:52 Shpitalnik talks about prewar Jewish life, including traditional weddings, in Chişinău. She was married in 1951 and states that there was no wedding canopy at her wedding because she considered it old-fashioned.
00:24:26 Shpitalnik answers questions about cultural terminology.
00:27:40 Shpitalnik addresses prewar ethnic Jewish geography in Chişinău, as well as cultural life.
00:31:23 Shpitalnik speaks about the Yiddish cultural organization "Kultur-lige," including activists and activities before the war. She then speaks about the contemporary situation of the organization and activities.
00:36:15 Shpitalnik speaks about her life and work after World War II, as well as her return to Chişinău. She moved to Chernivtsi for university studies soon after her return. Shpitalnik then speaks about her husband's work.
00:38:59 Shpitalnik talks about postwar religious life. She states that the only synagogue was closed down in the 1960s. She also addresses traditional weddings with performers. Shpitalnik then speaks about prewar Jewish occupational structure in Chişinău, particularly doctors and teachers.
00:43:50 Shpitalnik addresses the history and poverty of Jewish Chişinău. She then addresses Yiddish theater performances in the 1960s.
00:48:45 Shpitalnik speaks about contemporary Yiddish cultural life and her work. She then speaks about her life today.
00:51:19 End of recording.