Compilation of Memories (Memoirs)
First Purchase of Crates for Oranges from Poland
After the holidays, the pine wood arrived from Poland. I did not find any buyers. I arranged with the firm “Chaykin and Giladi” to take the wood on commission. This time I did not succeed to sell crates to “Pardess” as I did last year. Their clerk Saltzman, who was getting good crates from a mill in Poland, slandered me. When my shipment of crates arrived, the Pardess firm was happy and agreed to buy again. In spite of their satisfaction, I could not come to an agreement with my opponent Saltzman. After many efforts, with the manager Rokach and the help of Dr. Hausner, I managed to get a contract in the name of the firm “Glasinger” as their agent. The order was for 50,000 to 100,000 crates on condition that I leave on June 1, and the firm accepts the contract. On May 20, I boarded the ship “Adria” that sailed to Trieste. The sea was quiet and I found friends on the ship. On the days of Shavuot and Shabbat we prayed in a Minyan and read the Torah. On May 26, the ship anchored in Trieste, and on the 29th I came home.
In Eretz Israel I applied for citizenship since I lost my documents from 1924 which had then been cancelled. I was rejected. The reason given by the government was that I had to have a witness to swear that I had 1,000 lei in the country. The profits for last year were $2,000 and were in Aaron’s hands in some business venture. I felt frustrated.
The firm Glasinger confirmed the contract that I negotiated with the firm Pardess. In addition I bought about 50,000 crates from them on my account. I determined to remain in the best of business connections with this big firm Glasinger. This is the way other firms operated, to be an agent and to buy and negotiate.
In order to carry out this task, after a few months I tried to settle in Eretz Israel. During the period I spent at home, I made connections to buy wood and crates. In the town of Klavan in the district of Vallin, I bought 30 cubic meters of pine wood and I brought a certain amount of crates in Dalatin. I decided to return to Eretz by way of Vienna, because I wanted to do business with a firm that was there.
On Succot תרצב' 1931, I went to Tatarav to celebrate in the house of my daughter Taube and also to take my leave before going to Eretz Israel. During the days of Succot, September 9, 1931, I left Stanislau and arrived in Vienna. I stayed in the house of Golda, the daughter of my dead brother-in-law Feibush and her brother Menachim. I bought 21,000 crates from the firm “Altzindustria” at a very good price and hoped to make a profit. We celebrated the holiday in Golda’s house.
On October 6, I left Vienna and the following day bordered the ship “Karnda” that sailed to Eretz Israel. The sea was quiet and the passengers and foods were as usual, not to starve and not to thirst. The passengers were Jews and they argued about politics and science. On the morning of the 12th, the ship anchored in Jaffa and this time we were saved from quarantine. I rented a barracks room through an agent Petrushka which was was expensive at two lei a month.
Dr. Hausner with my agreement sold to the firm “Hachaklie Petah Tikvah” 12,000 crates from the firm of Glasinger. Since the value of the lei went down by a third, I lost in this sale about $400. I did not succeed in the business with the pine wood and cabinets that I left with Chaykin and Giladi. I had arguments with them and lost about $200. I sold through A.M.Hausdorf to the Arab, Yosef Abdinur, the crates from Dalatin and Glasinger with a profit of about $1,000. There is hope for the success of the deal with Glasinger. From Pardess, the amount of profit will be $500-600.
From the barracks room of Petrushka, I moved to a room in the apartment of Itzchak Kazanrabski. It was a large room on 18 Rechov Lilienblum and I paid one lei a month.
My son Aaron appealed to me for help for him and his sister Taube because of their terrible situation. There was not even a piece of bread to sate their hunger. Aaron found the opportunity to be a partner in the mill of the brothers Freifertig in Dalatin. He could buy 6,000 planks from the government, to cut, with easy terms and a good price. He needed at least $1,000 for him and Benjamin, Taube’s husband, to make a living. He promised me with all his heart that he would return this sum as well as the previous debt as soon as possible.In spite of the fact that I failed several times, I fulfilled his request and sent him the money.
I moved to a room in the apartment of Chaim Abrinsky, 10 Gdud HaIvri and paid 1.550 lei a month.
On July 1, 1932, I received a certificate for permanent residence in Eretz Israel. I spent six months trying to get this document. On the basis of the wood and crates that were stored in the warehouse of the brothers Brightman in Jaffa, the government accepted that the value in the warehouse came to more than 1,000 lei. On the basis of this, I requested that my wife come and be approved for settlement. On August 8, my son David came to the country as a tourist. I will try to get the right for him to stay in the country permanently. I received him warmly in my room and tried to find him a source of income.
I went to the firm Pardess as an agent of Glasinger to arrange 15,000 crates for 1932/33. I sold an additional 15,000 crates on my account to the firm “Yachin” from the firm of Krener Nadvorna. Thank God there is a good chance that we will make a profit.
During Succoth I moved to an apartment with two rooms and all the facilities at 40 Rechov Elia. On December 20, my wife came to Eretz Israel through Trieste and after a month my young son came having received the proper papers through the Jewish Agency.
The land of Kfar Metzer was a lose for the buyers of Stanislau and those friends that signed their names. The Arabs used and abused the situation and did not pay rent. There is no one to ask what to do? The payment from the yield of the first year was taken advantage of by a Jew from Kfar Metzer. He got the produce from the Arabs and promised to pay 75 lei with a note. This note was passed to Margolit. This note was not cashed as I wrote previously. It was also not cashed by Schechterman. I have the shame and the debt of his land. It cost me 60 lei in order to get the money from him. I bought 20 dunam that looked good for agriculture in Kfar Givat Chaim, today Kfar Yavitz, in the area of Tulkarem. I received a deed for 17 dunam for which I paid 100 lei. Schechterman promised that after six months, he would give me the additional three dunam. Who knows if I didn’t fall into another trap with this purchase? (Note* this section dealing with land is not clear. DK)
At Rosh Hashanah, Nissan, 1932, I bought two plots of land of 1,000 amot (cubit = half a meter) from the company “Baale Melacha”. This was in the neighborhood Schunat Daled on the road that goes up to Kfar Ezer with the price including expenses of 50 lei per plot.
I found real work for my son David, thank God.. He was accepted as a member, one of six, in the cooperative “HaArgaz”. They built a factory to cut wood and to manufacture orange crates. There are good possibilities to earn a good living and profits. The Histadrut helped them. The membership fee for the cooperative cost 150 lei that I paid in cash. Each member would be paid 30 grush for a day’s work. (There were 1,000 grush (mille) to a Lira Eretz Israel (lei = a British pound)). For my young son Jacob I have not yet found a job as clerk or as an accountant in a business.
I left the country again on June 8, 1933 in order to arrange a contract with Glasinger for several purchasers of crates. I also went to buy an amount of pine wood. There was an exhibition in Lvov and fifty passengers got a discount on the price for the round trip for the ship and train. The ship “Datziah” sailed from Haifa the same day, the sea was quiet and there were stops in Alexandria, Athens and Kushta. The ship anchored for the day and the passengers were able to visit the city. On the 19th the ship docked in Constanta and on the 20th I arrived at the house of my son Aaron in Stanislau and from there to my daughter Taube in Tatarov.
After a few days of rest, I went to the firm Glasinger to arrange the contract to buy crates for Eretz Israel. I called upon a friend, Zanvil Schindler, to come to the town of Dambrova in the district Vallin. He had a job in a big lumber and sawmill company. There were good chances to make profitable purchases. I went into partnership with Abraham Schneidmill who was the owner of another firm. We bought several hundred cubic meters pine wood from the “Las Krasava” company. I invested 300 lei nto the account of the partnership. The necessary papers were prepared and the wood was immediately sent to Eretz Israel.
The partner Schneidmill was going to settle in Eretz Israel after receiving the neccesary papers for Alyiah. I went to Danzig with one of the owners of the firm, in order to arrange for the first shipment of 230 cubic meters. That was where the wood was stored. I arranged to return home by night train.
My passport was stolen or lost. I sent a telegram to Dr. Haunser, who was now the Polish counsel in Tel Aviv. He answered that there was no way to appeal and receive a replacement from the Polish government. Through the efforts of a friend, Jacob Margshis, I received a replacement. I still needed to get a new British visa. I reached Warsaw in the morning. Two Jews from the underworld pickpocketed me and stole 150 gold pieces. I received a visa with the agreement by telegram from the English Jerusalem government .It was with great difficulty and cost 200 gold pieces.
The situation of my son Aaron and my son-in-law Benjamin was very bad. I did manage to earn some money and I added 500 lei to the first sum. All of it was lost. It was due to the betrayal by the partners, management, clerks and the gentiles who brought wood from Aslav to the sawmill in Dalatin.
Because of the loss of my passport, I was delayed a month in returning to Eretz Israel. In the mean time, the first shipment of 230 cubic meters of pine wood from Danzig arrived. My partner, Schneidmill, did not come. According to the partnership and purchase agreement, there was an obligation to send the wood to someone who would receive the shipment. I gave my son David the Power of Attorney. The port authorities charged a processing fee of 800 lei on the wood, more than I paid for it, which was 50 to 100 lei. I saw that I fell into a ring of cheats. The man, who received the wood on his name, demanded that my son make a payment of these 800 lei. My son, a beginner in business, had no money, went to the owners of the warehouse that were buying the wood and advised them of the problem. They paid in cash and instead of making 150, we lost 50 lei. (Note* The numbers do not collate but this is what is written. RDK)
The remainder of the wood from the above partnership came several days together with the partner, A. Schneidmill. This time without paying for processing, we released the wood. This was poor quality wood that had no market. I had to store it for five months in a warehouse. Several months passed and there were no buyers and Schneidmill was pressuring for money even though he had invested only a small sum. He saw the thievery and swindling of his sons in the amount of wood and the amount of money that we had to pay for the processing. There were arguments and fights about the wood that was in my warehouse. We finally went to arbitration. The decision came in June 1934. I got a small amount and I was blessed that the partnership ended. After fifteen months of hard work and many expenses, I sold most of the wood and left this disastrous business with only a little loss. The empty partnership was a blow and my friend Zanvil Schindler who got us together caused damage without intention. He just followed his boss’ orders.
The business of the selling of crates as an agent of the firm Glasinger provided me with a good living and savings.
In July 1934, my son Aaron came unexpectedly to the country as a tourist. I lost a large sum of money in the business that Aaron managed in Dalatin. Over a period of time, I tried to get him and his family the right to settle in Eretz Israel.
Aaron came empty-handed. In order to find him a living we decided to open a wood business in Eretz Israel. In October, he went to bring his family and to make contacts to purchase wood. The family came in March 1935 and moved into an apartment that was rented in Rechov Nachmani. Most of the purchases of wood were in Vallin. Aaron got the contact through the agent Aaron Rappoport from Ravina. In order to choose good quality wood, we sent my son-in-law Benjamin Bloch from Dalatin. They both failed in their tasks; one in picking the wrong area and the other in choosing the wrong quality of wood. When the wood came, it was late, the wood was inferior and there were no buyers. In order to pay for the wood, the bank process was about 2,000 lei and there was a loan to pay of 1,200 lei. The rent for a warehouse and the expenses came to 10-12 lei a month. In order to correct this failure, I sent my son Jacob to the same places abroad together with Bloch to choose a good quality of wood to fill the balance of what Aaron bought.
In June my son David was seriously hurt by a cutting machine even though he had worked with this machine for a long time. The specialist in Kupat Cholim took care of him for several months. One of his fingers was in danger of being removed. The doctor succeeded in just cutting off the first joint of a finger on his right hand. It healed and he went back to work.
At the end of August, my son David went abroad for 45 days vacation to the Carpathian Mountains to visit his sister. He returned after two months and got engaged to Rachel, the daughter of Moshe Astarov of Stanislau. She brought a dowry of $1,500. My son Jacob returned from abroad in the beginning of 1936 as did my son David. The marriage to Rachel was set for Lag B’Omer in Stanislau. He would get the dowry in cash on the wedding day. After Pessah David left for his wedding.
Aaron, his wife, Naomi and their two sons, Menachem and Joseph (Shimshon), left Eretz Israel due to the Arab riots המארעות that had begun. There were difficulties of supporting a big family in this period of declining business. There were no buyers for the wood. The wood sold was paid by notes that were non-collectible and the expenses continued.
In the month of Sivan 1936, my son David married Rachel. The marriage was celebrated in the house of his father-in-law in a rich area of Stanislau. In the month of Tamuz he returned from abroad and his wife stayed behind until they got government permission for Aliyah. He also settled the terms of the dowry. He returned to his work in the HaArgaz factory and earned a good living.
The Arab riots that began in April 1936 continued with many killings and with the destruction of Jewish property in many places which cost hundreds of thousands of lei.
In my warehouse, I had a large amount of wood, and because of the situation I was compelled to get fire insurance which was not inexpensive. After a few days, a fire burned a hundred cubic meters of wood in my neighbor’s warehouse which was only a few meters away from my mine. Thank God the fire did not touch my warehouse.
There was not enough income to provide for two families, my own and Aaron’s. Aaron’s wife was terrified by what was happening in the country. They decided to return to Stanislau in the month of Av 1936. Aaron became an agent for the brothers Bienstock from Holland, buying wood for them and being assured of a good living.
Bank Mizrachi forced me to bring the remaining wood from Danzig to Eretz Israel in the month Av 1937. Since there were no buyers I had to take a high interest bank loan in order to take possession of the wood. In the month Tishrei 1937, I found a buyer and sold all the wood in my warehouse after two years of hard work and investment by me and my sons, Aaron and Jacob. Instead of earning the profits for which we hoped and to support two families, I lost 200 lie and was broken physically. Who knows if the notes that I received for the wood would be honored? I blame Aaron Rappoport from Ravna, the agent for the purchase of pine wood in the area of Vallin and my son-in-law Benjamin Bloch. My son Aaron was not there. I blame Rappoport for his negligence in choosing the worst and lowest level of wood. Benjamin in his work was involved in choosing white wood and was not an expert in pine wood and so was dependent on Rappoport. This was the main reason for the losses.
In April 1937, I moved from Rechov Hachaluzim to an apartment of three rooms on 76 Rechov Hakishon. The price was 3.750 lei a month. Although the rooms and kitchen were big, I was not happy because we were too far from the center of town; there was not enough air, too many children and no place to rest.
I received letters with loving requests from my son Aaron and my daughter Taube that I spend several months with them in the Carpathian Mountains. Since I had to take care of certain business dealing with my crate agency, the firm Glasinger, on July 5, 1937, I boarded the ship “King Carol” that left from Haifa to Constanta. The sea was quiet and I changed my room by paying an additional 1.500 lie and rested. On July 11, the ship landed in Constanta.
The following morning I arrived in Dalatin at my daughter Taube’s house. She, her husband and daughters greeted me warmly. Several acquaintances, Rabbi Damta, Rabbi Naphtali Ehrlich came to visit me and we spoke for several hours. I went to my son Aaron’s apartment in Yarmitz and returned to Taube’s house in Dalatin. My acquaintance, H. L. Sabel owner of a big sawmill in the town Mikolitachin, and his sons invited me to visit them at home. It was a very beautiful house with excellent fresh air. The whole family invited me to stay in a special room with all the facilities. They received me with love and respect and I found rest and spiritual satisfaction with them.
I took the opportunity to remind Sabel about his and his son Zalman’s case of $1,000 of wood that we bought from them. The father and son gave me the opportunity to check out the paper work on that deal. They were open with me: Chaim Fogel was a partner in the sale to us. He got the money from the trees as well as a good part of the private money. Sabel was not involved but Fogel was the one to be sued. Sabel and his son Zalman asked Aaron and me to sue Fogel vigorously and get rid of the debt. Chaim Fogel, my son Aaron’s brother-in-law, refused the claim with the reason that Sabel had to pay the $1,000 that we demanded. I had no time to deal with a legal case and Aaron objected to legal action. I stayed in Sabel’s house for a week and he wouldn’t take any payment for my stay.
In August I came to the Glasinger factory in Brashniav. From there I went to the head of “Peer” in Warsaw. I had to take care of a dispute between the firm “H’Chaklai Petach Tikvah” about the amount of crates sent from Glasinger to H’Chaklai that did not arrive. In Warsaw I met with the manager of H’Chaklai, Mordechai Hefetz, and the Power of Attorney from Glasinger, Dr. Berman. After five days of arguments, we settled the dispute in favor of H’Chaklei.
From Warsaw I traveled by electric train to Kelse. I was received warmly by the agent, I. Yakabovitz. I ate and slept there that night. The purpose of my visit was to check out the orange crates bought by S. Bienstock with whom I had joined in partnership. Yakabovitz brought us to the mill “Spalum” which was an anti-Semitic company. We were received politely with a “thank you” for the comments I made on the good quality of the crates which had to be fixed. The following day I returned to Warsaw and from there to Dalatin. I stayed there until after Yom Kippur. I prayed during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, in the Beit Knesset of the Rav Naftali Ehrlich where I was received with honor. I was honored by a call for an aliyah to the Torah on the first day of Rosh Hashanah. I found great pleasure and spiritual satisfaction. I was invited to the Kiddush, a cup of tea and sweets.
The day after Yom Kippur I came to my son’s house in Stanislavu and found that he had traveled to Holland to take care of business. I took on the task to fill his job. We really enjoyed the days of Succoth. I barely fulfilled the Mitzvoth of the Succah. The temporary apartment of my son on Shepana Street was far from the Fogel Succah. The worst was that my daughter-in-law Naomi prepared my meals in her step-mother’s house near the Succah. On the holiday of שמע' the Easterners from their Beit Knesset organized a party in honor of the holiday and for me where the president R. Pahan spoke in my honor. The Nagid Shusheim and the writer N. Stockhammer also spoke. I replied by giving a talk about Eretz Israel. There were 150 people who sat and celebrated from three in the afternoon until ten at night with drink and nuts and circling around the Torah. The places I visited in East Galicia were very depressing, both politically and economically. In Stantislau and similar towns, the majority of the inhabitants were Jews and there was a general feeling of impending danger. It happened in the afternoon, in the evening, stealing and hitting by young non-Jews many of whom came from intellectual families. This had happened to me on the streets after the war. Generally, most of the merchants and small stores were not earning a living. The heavy taxes were sucking their blood and were forcing them to go out of business. There were hard and stringent new laws being imposed day by day by the anti-Semitic government which closed stores and caused hunger.
It seems that Aaron was in connection with an important company where he would become their agent with a good salary. His expenses are high and I think they waste and squander money. My son-in-law Benjamin and my daughter and their children are in a bad situation. Benjamin buys and sells wood and barely makes a living. He is like his father, Yeshuah, who lost all his property of thousands of dollars by bad deals and bad partners and clerks that stole from him. Benjamin is small, physically weak and lacks business skills. My daughter is delicate and educated. She has no help in the house, takes care of three children and a house of three rooms and facilities. Her work is unending from sun rise to late at night. She has to educate her children and correct errors taught in the Polish school and help teach the young son who is starting his studies. It would help if her bother Aaron would try to help them with money and help find work for his brother-in-law. Who knows?
Before leaving Stanislau, I visited R’Israel Hager, son of Admor R’Chaim זצל. I found him in his room studying Torah. He received me with love and we had a warm conversation for several hours. He showed me several commentaries that he wrote and planned to print. I visited some friends, R. Pahan and Rabbi Damta דמתא R’Moshe Horvitz in their homes. My learned friend Dov Stendig joined us with a glass of wine; we sat and talked until midnight.
Early in the morning, on October 6, 1937, before I left Stanislau, my friend R. Pahan and his wife came to say “goodbye”. Some of my other friends also came to see me at my son Aaron’s new apartment on 35 Paratskaga St. and gave me a farewell blessing. I left that night and Aaron accompanied me to the border Zalutza-Snatyn.
I arrived in Chernovitz at noon and from there went to my widowed sister Tova, after her husband Israel Stadler זל died. I spent a few hours with her. At the time I was there I acted as an arbitrator in a serious disagreement between my sister and her brother-in-law.
(My friend from Cheder from Zablotov.) The disagreement was over the partnership of her house and the wood warehouse. They accepted the compromise I presented and peace was made between my sister and the house of “Frieda” the wife of Aaron Lindenbaum. Tova was an educated woman and there was an ongoing hatred between them. My sister was a religious, Charadi woman and fulfilled the mitzvoth. She was not happy with her daughter’s education but had no choice. With my efforts I made peace but had doubts that it would continue. I hoped that Frieda would shortly leave to America to join her brother.
I was invited for Shabbat to the house of Mordechai Shatner in Chernovitz on Rikenstrasse and arrived there in the afternoon. He and his wife received me warmly. Shatner was an expert on wood and the accounting skills that belonged to that business. As a young man he was somewhat wild and lazy in his father’s house in Kuti. I made a business exchange with his father Shalom זל. Shalom took my daughter Taube into his house to educate her in Hebrew by his brother Jacob, who was a teacher. I took his son Mordechai to my house in Atania to teach him the wood and sawmill business where I was the manager. My daughter came home but Mordechai stayed and ate at my table for several years. When he left my house, I recommended that he be a clerk in the pine forest with my friend, young Sternberg. He succeeded, married and established a wood and warehouse business in Chernovitz which grew and made him rich. On Shabbat and the following day, I found rest and good food. There was a party with friends and a glass of wine.
In Chernovitz I met friends from the past and from places where I had lived. I was overjoyed to see them all. I met the head of the sawmill from Ruska, in the province Radavitch. He invited me to come to his mill and examine his crates and make a business deal. I also met A. Klear who asked me to visit his father, Israel Klear, for that reason I went to Radavitch. We had not seen each other for twenty years and the joy was overwhelming. The following day toward evening I traveled to Ruska by train with thirty people. It was a difficult journey that took about five hours. I didn’t sleep or rest that night. We ate in the cold in the hotel with the same comfort as on the train. The trip was a waste since the crates were in terrible condition, the price was high and a large deposit was demanded.
I visited Maltzi. She was the daughter of my aunt Leah Yurgroi זל. I met an old acquaintance Menachim Bittiter from Mihava. He worked under my orders when I worked for the firm Shucher and Bittiter in Lukovitz. As a youth he was a pauper. He started to work for the Romanian government in the province of Radavitch taking care of the wood business and became rich.
On October 14, 1937, I boarded the ship “Har HaCarmel” at Constanta that sailed that night to Eretz Israel. In the second class most of the passengers were Jews, acquaintances and friends, like Dr. Hausner and his wife, Mrs. Edel Shieber, her daughter and son-in-law Greenfeld and A. Klear. The sea became stormy just as we left and we stayed in bed and vomiting for the next day and a half. The sea calmed down in the evening and the rest of the journey was satisfactory. This trip gave me more pleasure than any other trip going back and forth to Eretz Israel. It was a Jewish ship: the captain, the sailors, the workers were all Jewish. The passengers were all Jewish, friends and acquaintances. I was satisfied with everything including the food and the songs. On October 19, the ship docked at Haifa and we were quarantined (2nd class). My son David met me by car, we traveled on a new road and by eleven o’clock we were at my house in Tel Aviv, 76 Rechov HaKishon.
On the 5th day of Tamuz תרצז before I went abroad I requested citizenship for my wife and son. On the 6th of Kislev, I received the document #24084 and we are citizens of Eretz Israel with its rights and obligations.
The notes worth 130 lei that I gave my son David to collect from those who owed me in Tel Aviv and Petah Tikvah were not paid. To my sorrow, I had to collect them through the government courts, which is a disaster. The expenses are extreme with lots of bureaucracy. In order to get a judgement, get official collection or a lien, etc. is not easy. In order to get part of what is due, you have lay out a lot of money, waste time and energy.
My means of earning a living after returning from abroad were slim. There was terrible pessimism everywhere. The murdering hand of the Arabs was spilling blood of the Jews, British and Arabs. There were victims every day, the roads were dangerous, and there was no going and coming. Business was stopped. There was no Aliyah. There was no work and people went hungry. There was no way to earn a pruta and the prices were high.
The income from the Glasinger Agency is no longer adequate. Up until now, I sold a large number of orange crates for them and my commission was 150-170 lei a year. In 1937/1938 I sold less and the commission was 137 lei. My traveling back and forth cost me about 50 lei. I ended the year with 90 lei. There is no record of this with Glasinger in Warsaw. To take 90 lei out of Poland did not fill my needs. My son Jacob came back from abroad in January 1938 after spending six months there with Aaron. He chose and selected wood on Aaron’s account with the help of the brothers Bienstock and sent the wood to Danzig. He made a full income and now he is without a job. He eats by me but it aggravates me. In addition I had to pay a higher rent of three lei a month for the apartment on Rechov Kishon. I was warned by the doctor that my wife who had asthma needed a place to live where the air was purer. I rented an apartment on 72 Rechov Melach George. I moved there in March 1938. This cost 4.000 lie a month. This was a lovely big apartment and I really found pleasure living there.
There were two rooms with all the facilities and hot water. We were not far from the sea, there was a west wind and the street was wide, about three meters. Opposite the house was a small rose garden which gave out a lovely scent and the area was quiet. On Rechov Kishon, the houses were close to each other, no clean air, filled with children, screeching noise of cars and wagons all day until late evening. Not far away were orange groves that gave out a pleasant aroma, especially in the spring. Close by was the Beit HaKnesset Yeshurim where many people prayed. The Rabbi Trop teaches several students the daily Talmud page in the evening and I pray and am also one of the students.
The holiday of Pesach, also my 72nd birthday, we celebrated as we did my 70th birthday without any simchah but with a feeling of depression. It was a difficult time inside and outside the house in these frenzied times. This was no time for joyous celebrations while the bloody riots in the country did not stop with their daily casualties. Every day there were black bordered death notices on the wall posters, on the homes in the city and in the newspapers. There was an economic crisis, government emergencies and the world was standing on the abyss of a bloody world war. The “Sword of Damocles” hung over the heads of our brothers, especially in Germany and Austria. The Middle Ages are renewed, the darkness grows and who knows what follows? What will pleasure give us?
My fee from the agency Glasinger for the year 1938/39 was about 120 lei, which I received from HaChaklai Petach Tikvah. At the same time my son Aaron informed me after several disagreements, he left the brothers Bienstock. He contacted a large important firm of gentiles in Holland, to buy Polish wood and send it there. He needed 100 lei and with this money he would take Jacob and give him a job. I agreed, sent him the money and my son Jacob was to travel there in the beginning of October.
At the beginning of September 1938, my daughter-in-law Rachel came to the country after remaining in her father’s house in Stanislau for a year and a half. After the marriage to my son David, there was a delay due to disagreements about the dowry money. Rachel’s father M. Astarov had cut the dowry payment in half. My son David got very little money due to the bankruptcy of the company that held the money in security for Astarov. The delay of Rachel’s arrival was also due to the difficulty of getting an entrance permit to Eretz Israel from the government, which took about a year. David received her with all the signs of love, as a husband of the wife of his youth. They took a room in the apartment of his friend, Streicher. He made a living from his job as a member of the cooperative HaArgaz. He was surrounded by friends with chances for a bright future.
In November I made a partnership with I. Pecker in a grocery store on the basis that this man owned his apartment. I invested 250 lei and got a small salary for my investment and kept the books. If all goes well, there are chances that I will increase my earnings.
During the days of Pesah 1939, we celebrated with my son David and his wife Rachel and the grandson of my sister Elka זל, Aaron David Flintenstein, a refugee who entered the country illegally and stayed with me. This holiday was like the previous one in the time of emergency with no glimmer of joy.
In the spring before the holiday of Shavuot, I received several letters from my son Aaron in Stanislau. His partnership in the agency in Holland was progressing and there was a good possibility he will prosper. He is returning 100 lei that he borrowed from me some time ago and also sending 50 lei to his brother David. He sent a warm request to pack my bags and come visit him. He wanted me to breathe the fresh of the Carpathian Mountains and celebrate the Bar Mitzvah of his son Menachim on the first of the month of Alul. To his credit, he is working hard in the business, keeping complicated books and writing letters every day. Whatever he does has to be kept secret. The most urgent task was to travel to his partners in Holland several weeks to finish the accounts, and take out 1500 lei. He decided to give me this money to invest in a business in Eretz Israel or to buy something of value. I had to take his place while he was traveling, check the books and take care of the business with his partners. It was obvious that I had mixed feeling when I got this invitation. I was pleased with the news, but had not yet decided to travel. The bloody riots were continuing in our country and there was fear of world war and who knows if Poland will not participate?
I received letters upon letters and telegrams from my son and daughter Taube to come with all speed. My son David encouraged me to fulfill their request. I took care of the books for the grocery store Pecker but our relationship started to fall apart. He was cunning and hid things from me.
I bought tickets for the ship “Har Zion” to Constanta and back for 12 lei. On Sunday July 23, 1939 ז אב תרצט, I was accompanied by my family, my wife, David and his wife and Aaron Flintenstein to the port in Tel Aviv. I boarded the ship at about ten o’clock and in an hour we sailed. From a friend Berlitsky I got a cabin for two passengers upstairs near the doctor of the first class. The sea was calm and the food and passengers were like the previous one operated by Jews. On the 9th of Av, ט' באב, we prayed as a Minyan and read psalms and lamentations. I met the judges, Dr. Kargin, someone I knew from long ago and the veteran Zionist, the judge Azulai. We enjoyed exchanging memories and played the game “Ashkoka”. On the 27th of July, we landed in Constanta and this time I did not travel to Bukovina to meet the family. The following evening, I was in my son’s house in Stanislau. My son Aaron met me in Zaluta and I was happy to see him.
I spent four days at my son Aaron’s house, met my Mizrachi friends at the Beit H’Knesset and we all enjoyed. The following day I met many friends at the funeral of Rabbi Yichual Nebenzahl זל. On Wednesday I visited my daughter Taube and her three children (Note* The son Joseph was born in 1932/3 but Grandfather did not mention the birth. RDK) I rested and took in the clean air in Zalana. On Thursday יח באב I went to the Beit H’Knesset of Zalana to the memorial of my mother’s זל death, yohrzeit (memorial day of death). On Shabbat I rested in the house of Alter Arber and the food was not too good. On Sunday, the 6th of August, I returned to Stanislau. The next day I went to Brashnov to meet with the director Peer of the firm Glasinger. He decided to make Aliyah and leave this important position. He promised not to take away the orange crate agency from me when he went to Eretz Israel. On the contrary, he would try to expand the sales so that I would earn a full salary. Who knows if his desires would be fulfilled? On the 8th, I came to Yarmitz to Aaron’s brother-in-law at the lodgings Kasvina.
The following day, I went to Varachta to see about my 40 cubic meters of wood, to be cut for orange crates, to be sent via Danzig to Eretz Israel. To my sorrow, the shipment never left Danzig. Who knows if the Nazi Hitlerites were not responsible for their loss which was about 90 lei?
On Ausust 15, 1939, רח' אלול, I came with my daughter-in-law Naomi to Mikolitachin. My grandson Menachim had his Bar Mitzvah. He was with his friends and fellow students from the Hebrew Gymnasium. The celebration was with drinks and sweets. In Mikolitachin I visited my friend, H.L. Sabel. The meeting was not particularly warm. On the 21st I came to my daughter Taube’s house in Dalatin, on the 24th returned to Aaron’s house and there arranged my stay in Yarmitz and Stanislau. I made the audit of Aaron’s business and found it correct. Part of the profits from 10,500 cubic meters of wood was sent this year. This amounted to a large sum of money and hopefully would get there.
Content last updated Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 08:10 PM Mountain Standard Time