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

 (09-010.14-F) -  Shelf Number: MDV 427

No streaming derivative is available.

Date: May 12, 2003

Participants: Weiss, Mosei Leonovich; Leibel, Volf Tsalevich. Interviewed by Dov-Ber Kerler, Jeffrey Veidlinger.

Location recorded: Drohobych; L'viv, L'vivs'ka Oblast', Ukraine

Language: Yiddish, Russian, German

Culture Group: Jews, Yiddish-speakers, Ukrainians

 Recording Content:   

The first part of the recording is a continuation of a formal interview with Volf Tsalevich Leibel (b. 1921), recorded in Lviv. (Part 3 of 3. See Accession # 09-010.29-F MDV 561 and MDV 562) [00:00 – 23:05]

The second part of the recording includes a formal interview, conducted in Yiddish, Russian, and German with Mosei (Moyshe, Mauritze) Leonovich Weiss, born 1915 in Vienna, Austria. (Part 1 of 2. See MDV 428) [23:06 – 01:00:14]

00:00:00 The first part of the tape is a continuation of a formal interview with Volf Tsalevich Leibel, recorded in Lviv. Leibel, born 1921 in Rivne, answers a number of dialectological questions from the AHEYM Yiddish questionnaire.
00:22:53 The team concludes the interview with Leibel.
00:23:06 The second part of the tape includes a formal interview, conducted in Yiddish, Russian, and German with Mosei (Moyshe, Mauritze) Leonovich Weiss, born 1915 in Vienna, Austria. Weiss provides personal information and talks about his life during World War I. His father served in the Austro-Hungarian army and his mother evacuated to Vienna. He then talks about his family, who lived in Vienna for ten years and moved to Drohobych 1925. His mother was born in Drohobych and his father in Boryslav. He grew up with two brothers.
00:29:41 Weiss talks about his life before World War II, in particular his education. He attended a Polish school and studied with the Polish-Jewish writer Bruno Schulz there. Weiss studied at the polytechnic institute in Lviv in the field of manufacturing systems engineering. Weiss could not find work in his field of studies. He explains how his uncle from America came to visit him and made arrangements for Weiss to continue his studies in America. His uncle sent Weiss’ papers to the consulate in Warsaw in 1939, but the papers were lost because of the outbreak of World War II. Weiss continues that he could not leave Drohobych during the war when the town came under Soviet occupation. He worked as the assistant accountant at the regional bank until 1941.
00:35:01 Weiss talks about his life during the war. He was drafted into the Red Army early 1941. His parents perished in the Broniza Woods near Drohobych, along with 12,500 fellow Jews during a mass execution. Weiss’ youngest brother died in the Plaszow Concentration Camp in Poland. Weiss describes the memorialization of the mass grave in the Broniza Woods. Weiss then talks about his military service when he served in the artillery division. 38:38 – 43:00 description (moving toward Urals and worked as ?) Weiss moved with his division to the Urals and there he became sick. In his battalion, Weiss worked financial assignments and explains the difficult conditions due to great hunger. Weiss continues that the commander-in-chief allowed him to leave after a few months. Weiss then worked in a factory, which produced military goods under the leadership of a Jewish director. He worked there until 1946. He explains how difficult it was to leave his position because he knew about the internal matters of the factory.
00:47:16 Weiss talks about his after the war, when he returned to Drohobych in 1946. Weiss studied at the technical institute in Kyiv and worked as an engineering economist. He then worked as the deputy director of the ceramics plant in Drohobych for twenty-four years. After his retirement, Weiss worked at the truck crane (avtokran) factory as the deputy head for sales for eleven years.
00:49:26 Weiss talks about Jewish life after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, when the Jewish community was officially re-established. Weiss was elected three times as the head of the community and also serves as an assistant rabbi. He then talks about how the community got back and fixed up their 160 year-old synagogue, which was used as a furniture store during the Soviet period.
00:51:57 Weiss shows a couple of photographs of his school class and the synagogue, taken before the war. He then talks about contemporary Jewish life and antisemitism. In particular, he mentions the second local synagogue, which functioned until 1995. It was closed down that year due to four antisemitic attacks, according to Weiss. It was set on fire in 1998. Weiss explains the efforts of the community to rebuild the synagogue. Weiss continues talking about contemporary Jewish life and Yiddish-speakers of the region.
01:00:14 Weiss talks about prewar Jewish life in Drohobych with approximately 19,500 people. According to Weiss, there were two synagogues and twenty prayer houses.
01:01:33 End of Recording.