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 (09-007.04-F) -  Shelf Number: MDV 177

No streaming derivative is available.

Date: June 8, 2006

Participants: Fershtman, Mikhail Osipovich. Interviewed by Dov-Ber Kerler, 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 Mikhail (Meyer, Muni) Osipovich Fershtman, born 1925 in Pishchanka, Ukraine.

00:00:00 Fershtman provides personal information and talks about his family. They moved to Odesa when Fershtman was thirteen years old. Fershtman's father was also born in Pishchanka and worked as accountant in an artel. His mother was born in Kodema, Ukraine, and was already married once before. Fershtman grew up with two half-brothers and two brothers.
00:07:30 Fershtman speaks about his life before the war. He recalls great poverty in his family during the Great Hunger in 1932/33. Fershtman attended a Yiddish school for six years. He then addresses his life in Odesa, where he also studied at a Yiddish professional school and graduated in 1940. He states that the school was run in Yiddish until 1938, before the official language was switched to Russian (38:00). Fershtman learned at the turnery department.
00:12:37 Fershtman addresses his Yiddish school education in Pishchanka. He also mentions a Yiddish proverb and lists Yiddish literature he read.
00:18:20 Fershtman speaks about Jewish life in Pishchanka before the war. He also remembers his childhood friends and languages of communication. Fershtman then talks about his family.
00:23:42 Fershtman addresses life before the war and recalls non-Jews who spoke Yiddish. He then describes childhood games.
00:25:23 Fershtman speaks about prewar holiday celebration at home. He again addresses his education at the Yiddish school and also talks about prewar religious life. Fershtman mentions his relative Berl Fershtman, a local Yiddish writer.
00:33:07 Fershtman speaks about prewar cultural life, including Yiddish press and library. He then returns to prewar holiday celebration, including Sukkot and Purim.
00:36:24 Fershtman speaks about his family and recalls songs from his childhood. He then speaks about his life in Odesa, including school education.
00:38:47 Fershtman speaks about prewar cultural life in Odesa, including the Yiddish theater, where his cousin worked.
00:40:33 Fershtman talks about his life in prewar Odesa. He worked at a 44:44 factory. Fershtman then talks about his life during World War II. He evacuated to Central Asia in 1941.
00:42:22 Fershtman talks about his life during the war in Khujand (formerly: Leninabad, Tajikistan). He worked as electrician at a theater until his military draft in December 1942. Fershtman was trained as tanker until 1944 and went with a tank battalion to the front in 1945. He then describes his battles and mentions his military awards. Fershtman finished the war in Kumbino.
00:44:46 Fershtman talks about his life after the war. He continued his military training in Odesa and Floreşti. Fershtman moved to Chișinău in 1956 after his military service. He then worked at a factory from 1958 until his retirement in 1991. Fershtman also mentions traveling abroad.
00:49:57 Fershtman speaks about his life today.
00:54:42 Fershtman talks about his life before the war.
00:56:13 The camera records Fershtman's military awards.
00:56:19 End of recording.