My grandmother Etel Reich Lindenbaum was born in 1869 in Uscie Biskupie, a small village about 10 miles south of Borszczow (Borschev). Etel and my grandfather, Selig Lindenbaum, were married in the mid 1890s. As a wedding gift from her father, Etel received an inn and tavern on the market place in Uscie Biskupie. It served as home and a source of income for the young couple. Etel took charge of the inn and tavern while Selig studied Torah and tried to earn a living as a grain trader. Joe, their first child, was born in 1897, Regina in 1900, and my father Sam in 1908.
While Etel managed to earn a decent income from the inn, it was rough going for Selig and he left for America in 1909. Etel didnt want to leave the security of her home and income and stayed behind with Regina and Sam when Joe left to join his father in the spring of 1914.
My father Sam recalls that the Russians came across the border at the Dniester River on the first day of World War I in August, 1914. They looted and then burned the Jewish homes. My family fled to Lindenbaum relatives in the nearby town of Mielnica. Just a few months later, a cholera epidemic led them to flee again, this time to my grandmothers Reich family in Lanowce (Lanovitz in Yiddish), a small village near Borszczow and Ozeryany.
Life there was relatively good while the Germans were in control but dangerous and hard when the Russians were in control. The family experienced at least one period of famine, during which they were reduced to eating the leaves from the trees. Nevertheless, they survived both the War and the influenza epidemic of 1918.
In the spring of 1919, a typhus epidemic struck the area. Regina became ill but recovered. Then Etel became ill, and she died. The photo of Regina was probably taken at Etels unveiling in the spring of 1920. Sam recalls a man with a camera who earned his living partly by taking pictures at the cemetery. Next Sam was stricken. He recalls being wrapped in wet sheets in an effort to bring down the fever. Sam survived.
In late June or maybe early July of 1920, Selig was finally able to send enough money for Regina and Sams passage to America. They left Lanowce and traveled by wagon to Chortkov and from there by train to Lemberg (now Lviv), Warsaw, Vienna, Basel, Paris, and Boulogne. It was a brutal journey with many misadventures, but they finally arrived on Ellis Island on August 5, 1920.
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