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 (09-010.21-F) -  Shelf Number: MDV 466

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Date: May 29, 2007

Participants: Gaiviker, Naum Samoilovich; Gaiviker, Sonya Volkovna. Interviewed by Dov-Ber Kerler, Moisei Lemster.

Location recorded: Khmel'nyts'kyy, Khmel’nyts’ka Oblast', Ukraine

Language: Yiddish, Russian

Culture Group: Jews, Yiddish-speakers, Ukrainians

 Recording Content:   

This recording is a continuation of a formal interview with Naum Samoilovich Gaiviker and his wife Sonya Volkovna. (Part 2 of 2. See MDV 465)

00:00:00 This tape is a continuation of a formal interview with Naum Samoilovich Gaiviker and his wife Sonya Volkovna.
00:01:04 Gaiviker shares his memories of Yiddish theater in Khmel’nyts’kyy and Moscow. He also talks about other performances he attended of Polish-Jewish jazz and other performances, and his youth of dancing, playing, gambling and sneaking into events for which he could not pay.
00:03:25 Gaiviker speaks of his service and hardships in the army and during the war years.
00:04:27 He describes the prewar synagogues in Khmel’nyts’kyy. He prayed everywhere and learned well, but also misbehaved. [00:06:03] Gaiviker briefly describes prewar celebrations of Purim.
00:09:42 The interviewee describes the streets where he lived and the typical professions held by Jews in the town. He also discusses the pogrom in the town in 1919 (“a shver shtikl tsayt”) in which many of his friends & family were killed.
00:11:26 Gaiviker relates how many of his family died in evacuation during the war, and also details how he met his wife after the war. He thanks her for being such a good partner from 1945 onwards (“a yidishe neshume iz zi”).
00:13:48 The interviewees report that they did not have a wedding with a chuppah because of economic difficulties, but they did have a small party after they registered.
00:14:39 Gaiviker returns to the subject of prewar Khmel’nyts’kyy, describing the barbershop where he worked and the various gambling and card games he used to play.
00:17:11 Both interviewees comment on how they have known many non-Jews who spoke Yiddish. Sonya Gaiviker spoke to her daughter in Russian, but she reports that she does understand a bit of Yiddish.
00:19:12 Naum comments on being the only one of his generation left in the town and shares some of his war stories. He again thanks his wife for everything and she discusses contemporary political instability in Ukraine.
00:22:16 Gaiviker remembers that there were Hasidim in prewar Khmel’nyts’kyy, but cannot recall them in detail.
00:22:47 Gaiviker describes Jewish theaters and cinemas in the prewar period, and remembers one Russian-language film, Iskateli schast’ia (Seekers of Happiness), that was particularly popular.
00:23:43 Gaiviker compares the demographics of Berdychiv to Khmel’nyts’kyy, and also discusses his contemporary health problems.
00:25:26 Gaiviker briefly describes prewar Khmel’nyts’kyy’s rabbis and distinctive characters and types.
00:26:46 Gaiviker discusses his childhood poverty, the hardships of war and certain Jewish holidays and occasions that were marked in his youth.
00:31:01 Sonya Gaiviker reports that both her daughter and granddaughter married ethnic Russians, but that her granddaughter is somewhat observant of Jewish religious law as she now lives in Israel.
00:32:31 Naum Gaiviker knew prayers and liturgy well in his youth, but also played pranks on the teacher. He further describes the town’s prewar Jewish atmosphere with its bakeries, artisans etc.
00:34:46 Sonya Gaiviker worked several jobs after the war, but as soon as she married she decided to stay at home.
00:35:23 The Gaivikers comment on Yiddish school curriculum, as well as contemporary community politics. Naum is regularly honored on Victory Day for his war service.
00:38:04 Naum describes the games he played when he was younger, including card games and other games, such as “beltenish” (hide and seek).
00:43:28 Naum recites the lyrics to the song “Ot azoy neyt a shnayder,” describing how young people would come together to sing and spend time together in his youth.
00:44:43 The rest of the tape consists of the research team asking questions from their linguistic and dialectological survey, interspersed with brief discussion of the interviewees’ views on Israel and their memories of military service, the war and the Baltic republics.
00:62:17 End of Recording.