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 (09-010.21-F) -  Shelf Number: MDV 482

No streaming derivative is available.

Date: June 6, 2009

Participants: Kaviner, Aba Davidovich. Interviewed by Dov-Ber Kerler, Jeffrey Veidlinger.

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

Language: Yiddish, Russian

Culture Group: Jews, Yiddish-speakers, Ukrainians

 Recording Content:   

This recording consists of a formal interview with Aba Davidovich Kaviner (b. 1921, Derazhnya). (Part 1 of 2. See MDV 483)

Cities and towns mentioned on this tape: Khmel'nyts'kyy (Proskurov), Derazhnya, Odesa, Starokostyantyniv, Kupel’, Berdychiv.

00:00:00 This tape consists of a formal interview with Aba Davidovich Kaviner (b. 1921, Derazhnya). The research team searches for Kaviner’s apartment.
00:01:31 The formal interview begins. Kaviner discusses contemporary Ukrainian politics of memory as well as his own health issues.
00:06:29 Kaviner talks about the types of people who lived in his hometown of Derazhnya. He tells a story about a village madman named Shmil-Leyb and how he once cured a dying young woman from tuberculosis.
00:14:59 Kaviner discusses the yeshiva where he studied in his youth, describing the curriculum, its teacher and its status as an “open secret” to Soviet authorities. He also mentions that he studied in a “kheyder” (elementary boys’ religious school) and a Talmud Torah (religious school for older boys) before entering the yeshiva.
00:20:10 Kaviner talks about how Purim was celebrated in his shtetl before the war, and also discusses Yiddish theater before and after the revolution.
00:25:40 Kaviner speaks about the Yiddish theater troupes who visited the area in the years before the war. He also delves into the history of Avrom Goldfaden’s life and works, the career of Khayim Beyder and Soviet Yiddish literary history in general.
00:33:27 Kaviner then turns to poetry, speaking in particular about Shmuel Halkin and his work. He also comments on the careers of Hershl Polyanker, Itsik Fefer and other literary figures, focusing on their relations with the Soviet system and sentences in the Gulag.
00:47:17 Kaviner tells several stories about Hershele Ostropolyer.
00:52:50 He speaks in further detail about “Yinge yurn/Gody molodye,” the Yiddish/Ukrainian song he sang in past AHEYM interviews. He heard several recordings of the song, but says that he learned it by hearing it sung live. He comments on the life, career and deaths of many singers, including Epelboym, a performer who died on stage. Kaviner relates a story about how Epelboym’s life was spared during a Petliura pogrom on account of his beautiful singing voice.
00:58:13 Professor Kerler asks Kaviner about a particular idiomatic expression he uses.
00:59:49 End of Recording.