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 (09-007.04-F) -  Shelf Number: MDV 155

No streaming derivative is available.

Date: May 22, 2006

Participants: Sherman, Semen Markovich. Interviewed by Dov-Ber Kerler, Jeffrey Veidlinger, Moisei Lemster.

Location recorded: Chișinău, Chișinău Municipality, Moldova

Language: Yiddish, Russian

Culture Group: Jews, Yiddish-speakers, Moldovans

 Recording Content:   

This recording is a formal interview with Semen (Shome) Markovich Sherman, born 1916 in Telenes?ti. (Part 1 of 2. See MDV 156)

00:00:00 Sherman provides personal information and talks about his family. He attended secondary school in Orhei (Yiddish: Uriv). Sherman's father owned a leather shop. Sherman grew up with two sisters and two brothers. Sherman also addresses his family's fate during World War II.
00:03:27 Sherman discusses his childhood memories of Telenești, particularly his education. He attended a religious school (cheder) from the age of five. Sherman describes the classroom. After his cheder education, Sherman attended a Moldovan primary school for four years before moving to Orhei for secondary education. Sherman graduated in 1938.
00:05:42 Sherman speaks about his family. His grandmother owned a hardware shop. He then speaks about his life during World War II. Sherman describes his family's evacuation on a cart to Sineşti in 1941. They continued their journey on foot to the Grigoriopol district. Sherman explains that they crossed the Dniester river with the help of a Christian carter on a boot in order to get to Grigoriopol. Sherman eventually reached Stalingrad and evacuated further on a barge across to the Caspian Sea to Fort-Shevchenko, Kazakhstan. In Fort-Shevchenko, Sherman worked at a fish factory, before being drafted for his military service. In the Red Army, he moved to Almaty, Kazakhstan, where he repaired train cars. Sherman then moved from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, to Moscow, where he helped building a bridge. He then describes his daily life and work. From Moscow, Sherman moved to the Sverdlovsk district and then Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. In both places, he was working in bridge construction.
00:13:00 Sherman speaks about his life after the war. He moved from Dnepropetrovsk to Bălţi, Moldova, where he worked as teacher. His family then moved to Chernivtsi and worked as chief accountant. In 1956, Sherman was married and moved to Chişinău. In Chişinău, he worked as chief accountant and then contract engineer. Sherman then speaks about his education. After graduation from high school, Sherman completed accountant courses and then studied at an institute in Moscow.
00:15:58 Sherman speaks about his life during World War II. He recalls how his hometown Telenești was set on fire by the Red Army. Sherman then addresses his religious school (cheder) education.
00:18:42 Sherman shows his copy of a machzor (prayer book used on the High Holidays). He then reads excerpts from the prayer book.
00:20:39 Sherman speaks about his life before the war. He explains how he frequently checked out books from the Yiddish public library and recalls discussion groups among the younger generation.
00:22:23 Sherman reads "Unetanneh Tokef" (a liturgical poem part of the Rosh Hashanahh and Yom Kippur liturgy) from the machzor. He then returns to discussing the public Yiddish library.
00:24:48 Sherman speaks about his childhood memories. He recalls how his older sister read from Sholem Aleichem's books at home. Sherman then discusses Bessarabian Yiddish writers.
00:27:30 Sherman addresses prewar Yiddish cultural life, particularly local drama circles. He also recalls performances by Sidi Tal. Sherman then talks about prewar religious life, particularly the synagogue structure in Telenești. Sherman also describes how he went to see a cantor in Orhei during his secondary education.
00:31:34 Sherman speaks about prewar religious life, specifically Hasidism. He recalls how his mother went to see a rebbe to get blessing for her home. He
00:33:19 Sherman talks about prewar holiday celebration, particularly Yom Kippur. He recalls how shopowners closed their stores to attend Kol Nidre services. Sherman then talks about Passover celebrations at home.
00:35:10 Sherman addresses his father's observance and prayer customs.
00:37:25 Sherman speaks about food customs, including Sabbath and Purim dishes, at home. He then speaks about prewar Purim celebrations.
00:40:38 Sherman speaks about life before the war. He then speaks about prewar Zionist organizations, specifically meetings organized by Gordonia. Sherman recalls chalutzim. Sherman explains how chalutzim from Eretz Yisrael spoke at these meetings.
00:44:00 Sherman speaks about his life before the war. He also speaks about his family. His parents were born near Telenești. Sherman then mentions how he met his wife in Orhei and was married before the war.
00:46:20 Sherman talks about prewar traditional weddings in Telenești. He recalls Moldovan musicians. Sherman then answers questions about cultural terminology.
00:48:17 Sherman shares a Hasidic anecdote about visiting a rebbe. He then continues to answer questions about cultural terminology and adresses Yiddish dialects.
00:53:35 Sherman speaks about prewar Yiddish cultural life. He recalls performances of "The Dybbuk" in the local drama circle. Sherman then discusses prewar Yiddish press and talks about the Yiddish poet Itzik Manger.
00:57:53 Sherman addresses prewar Yiddish cultural life and mentions a proverb by Herz Rivkin (Herzl Heisiner). He then returns to answering questions about cultural terminology.
01:00:39 End of recording.