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 (09-008.09-F) -  Shelf Number: MDV 286

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Date: June 5, 2007

Participants: Shwartz, Gershun. Interviewed by Dov-Ber Kerler.

Location recorded: Oradea, Bihor County, Romania

Language: Yiddish, Hungarian

Culture Group: Jews, Yiddish-speakers, Romanians

 Recording Content:   

The recording is a formal interview with Gershun Shwartz, born 1913 in Valumihei.

00:00:00 Shwartz provides personal information and talks about his life before the war. He lived in Valumihei until 1960 and worked as tombstone engraver.
00:03:51 Shwartz discusses his childhood memories, including his education at a religious school (cheder) and prewar religious life in his hometown. Shwartz's father passed away when he was thirteen years old. He states that he entered a yeshiva at thirteen in Mikhailvolva 6:13.
00:07:45 Shwartz talks about his family. His father was a grain and food merchant and studied at the Pressburg yeshiva. Shwartz's father was born in Vác, Hungary.
00:13:58 Shwartz speaks about his life before the war. He recalls his private tutor Mordkhe. He also addresses his memories of World War I.
00:19:18 Shwartz talks about prewar Jewish life, in particular prayer houses and occupational structure, in Valumihei. According to Shwartz, approximately two thousand Jews lived there. He then talks about the Kaliver rebbe.
00:25:41 Shwartz speaks about his yeshiva education, which he graduated after three years at the age of sixteen. He then addresses Purim celebrations and Purim shpiels before the war. Shwartz states that he participated in a Purim shpiel.
00:30:43 Shwartz speaks about his work as ovenman on Passover when he was seventeen years old. Beforehand, Shwartz explains, he worked as matzo carrier.
00:32:06 Shwartz speaks about his life in the 1970s and encounter with a priest before the war. He explains how he organized his visit of his brother in Canada. Shwartz then talks about his work as tombstone engraver. He learned the profession from his uncle.
00:35:12 Shwartz speaks about his yeshiva education and life during World War II. He got married in 1939 and his wife and three year-old child did not survive Auschwitz. Shwartz served in the army and was assigned forced labor in the Mauthausen concentration camp.
00:38:27 Shwartz speaks about his life after the war. He returned home in 1945. He married again in 1950 and did not have any children.
00:41:44 Shwartz describes the Purim shpiel he participated in before the war. Shwartz then provides personal information and the team concludes the interview with him.
00:46:05 End of recording.