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 (09-007.04-F) -  Shelf Number: MDV 153

No streaming derivative is available.

Date: December 19, 2005

Participants: Gordin, Mikhail Isaakovich. Interviewed by 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 Mikhail (Meyer) Isaakovich Gordin, born 1936 in Florești. He is Klara Peisekhovna Shmid's son-in-law. (Part 1 of 2. See MDV 154)

00:02:18 The formal interview begins. Gordin provides personal information and talks about his family. Gordin's parents were born in Velyka Kisnytsya, Ukraine. His parents escaped the Petliura pogroms in 1919 and moved to Flore?ti. Gordin's father worked as loader at the railway. Gordin grew up with two brothers, although his mother gave birth to five children.
00:08:06 Gordin discusses his childhood memories of Jewish life in prewar Velyka Kisnytsya. He also remembers food customs at a traditional wedding and talks about the local religious school (cheder). Gordin then speaks about prewar holiday celebration and recalls his parents going to services.
00:11:24 Gordin recalls prewar Passover and Purim customs. He then speaks about Passover customs after the war. Gordin then discusses his memories of Simchat Torah, Purim, Rosh Hashanah and Hanukkah celebrations.
00:16:59 Gordin speaks about his life before the war and remembers attending traditional weddings and funerals. He then speaks about the prewar Jewish occupational structure of Florești.
00:18:58 Gordin speaks about life and infrastructure in Florești. He then talks about his family.
00:22:00 Gordin speaks about prewar religious life. He states that the local synagogue was also functioning after the war. Gordin attended a Russian school. He also describes his Yiddish-language education by Itsik Lander, which lasted two weeks. Gordin then addresses prewar religious life, including holiday food customs.
00:26:28 Gordin talks about prewar life, including non-Jews who spoke Yiddish. He also addresses prewar Jewish life and healing customs. Gordin recalls a sick friend that was healed through healing practice.
00:29:42 Gordin answers questions about cultural terminology. He also talks about the Jewish cemetery in Florești.
00:31:16 Gordin talks about his life during World War II. His father was drafted into the Red Army in 1941. Gordin, his mother and brother evacuated on foot to his grandfather's home in Velyka Kisnytsya, Ukraine, via Vertiujeni and Camenca (Moldova). Gordin continues that they evacuated further to Kryzhopil and Zhabokrych, Ukraine. Gordin's father was a forced laborer, a baker, for the Germans. Gordin states that his family evaded a mass execution in Zhabokrych and was then imprisoned in the Merskivka 37:12 ghetto. Gordin then describes daily life in the ghetto and mentions that his father was taken to build a road in Petikhatka 38:50. Gordin continues that Bessarabian Jews were assembled and taken to Kryzhopil. He maintains that his family was able to buy their way out and stayed in the Merskivka 37:12 ghetto until 1944. Gordin recalls the Red Cross giving out clothes during the war.
00:43:33 Gordin addresses his return to Floresti after the liberation by the Red Army. His father was drafted into the Red Army for the second time an died at the front in 1944. He then speaks about his life after the war and recalls the Hunger of 1946. Gordin continues his education at a Russian school and then joined the Red Army for three years, serving in the Russian Far East. Gordin then studied chemistry at the Vladivostok University until 1963. He then worked as chemstry and physics teacher at a village school for one year, before moving to Chi?inau for graduate studies. After his graduation, Gordin worked as chemist at a furniture factory for two years. Gordin also worked at a trade institute, a mirror factory, as well as a window and door factory.
00:52:46 Gordin speaks about his work at a mirror factory and describes how to build a mirror.
00:56:42 Gordin speaks about his life and family today. He was married in 1965 and raised a son, who lives in Israel. Gordin also mentions his visit to Israel. Gordin's two brothers also live in Israel.
00:59:33 End of recording.