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 (09-007.04-F) -  Shelf Number: MDV 143

No streaming derivative is available.

Date: December 20, 2005

Participants: Mester, Manya Moiseevna; Ancel, Paulina. Interviewed by Dov-Ber Kerler, Dovid Katz.

Location recorded: Chișinău, Chișinău Municipality, Moldova

Language: Yiddish, Russian

Culture Group: Jews, Yiddish-speakers, Moldovans

 Recording Content:   

This recording is a formal interview with Manya (Margule) Moiseevna Mester and her daughter Paulina Ancel. (Part 1 of 2. See MDV 144) (see also: MDV 816)

00:00:00 Mester provides personal information and discusses her childhood memories, including friends. She also addresses her education. Between the ages of six and thirteen, Mester received religious education with a private tutor during winter and at a religious school (cheder) during summer. Mester states that the teacher (melamed) would not allow the pupils to speak Yiddish. Mester also attended a Romanian school for four years in Stolniceni, from the age of six.
00:04:42 Mester speaks about childhood games. She returns to her cheder education and speaks about the melamdim, who came from Zăbriceni and Varotik 5:52.
00:06:40 Mester speaks about prewar traditional weddings in her home village. In particular, she describes a wedding in 1937, where the village inhabitants watched. Mester also remembers the food at the wedding.
00:11:39 Mester speaks about prewar religious life. She describes how her mother visited the Rîbnița rebbe regularly.
00:14:32 Mester speaks about religious customs in her family. She also describes how her mother koshered meat, as well as threw a piece of challah into the oven.
00:16:48 Mester shares an anecdote about a Christian maid who threw a piece of challah into the oven. She then speaks about her family's life before the war.
00:21:13 Mester talks about prewar religious life Stolniceni and recalls her father's prayer books at home. She mentions how men would rent a house to hold services once a week. She then speaks about holiday celebration, including Simchat Torah and Purim. Mester recalls music performances on Purim.
00:23:25 Mester addresses Sabbath food customs, including her mother's receipe for gefilte fish. She then speaks about her family, as well as prayer customs.
00:25:16 Mester speaks about prewar Hanukkah celebrations, including candle lighting. She then talks about folk and healing customs and states that her mother practiced them. According to Mester, her mother borrowed the texts to avert the evil eye from Moldovan women.
00:29:19 Mester answers dialectological questions from the AHEYM Yiddish linguistic questionnaire. She then speaks about her family. Mester's father was a tailor. She grew up with three sisters. Mester also addresses prewar Jewish life in Stolniceni and discusses songs.
00:32:21 Mester addresses prewar Passover celebrations and describes how she stole the afikoman. She then speaks about prewar Jewish life, including occupational structure, in her home village. According to Mester, seven families lived in Stolniceni.
00:37:03 Mester speaks about prewar drinking customs. She then speaks about her family's life before the war, particularly travling to Edineț. Mester then answers questions about cultural terminology.
00:40:22 Mester speaks about her life during World War II. She was imprisoned in the Berlivka camp for three years and then in the Vertiujeni camp for a couple of months. She describes the forced labor life and beatings under Romanian occupation in Vertiujeni. Mester then speaks about how the prisoners had to stay in the Cosăuţi woods for a few days. Mester returns to her life in the Berlivka camp, which was set up in cow barns. Her mother sewed items for Christians in exchange for food. The prisoners were taken to forced labor to rebuilt a bath house. Mester also recalls dancing and singing of the youth. Mester recalls the liberation of the camp by partisans, dressed in German uniforms.
00:52:43 Mester talks about her family and her life after the war. She then speaks about food customs after the war.
00:56:16 End of recording.