Compilation of Memories (Memoirs)
1929 – Beginning of Sending Orange Crates from Poland
My business relationship with this company began in 1929, the day I met Dr. Dov Hausner זל when I came to enjoy the Carpathian air. He encouraged me to start a business connection of sending orange crates from Poland to our country. The day I arrived, I was accompanied by an agent from the firm Glasinger to the Brashnov sawmill who introduced me to the manager. I gave him the measurements and description of the crates and bought a train car load as a sample shipment. I delivered about 3,000 orange crates to the Eretz Israel market. Hausner, as the Polish commercial representative in Eretz Israel, immediately advised the Warsaw office of this business. He asked for information as to how this shipment should be sent. The answer was to send via Romania, and they sent an order to the manager of the Lvov-Chernovitz line to send the shipment of crates immediately by express to Constanta and so it was.
The shipment was sent under the name of Dr. Hausner who returned to Eretz Israel after several days. Hausner gave an order to the treasurer to pay me any losses. In order to make a profit, he sold me an amount of crates at a lower price. I remained abroad for a longer period. The buyers of the crates were very satisfied with the sample, the quality of the wood and the exact measurements. Due to this, the crates of the firm received positive advertisement. After a number of months, I came to Brashnov and was received by the manager with respect and honor. I got a special room and was invited to dinner, which I did not eat except for the tea. I then bought 20,000 crates to be paid in dollars. The crates were sent by way of Danzig where the firm had an agent and warehouse. The shipment went to the port of Eretz Israel.
Payment was made for these crates with Lirot Eretz Israel (lie) which were equal to British Pounds. When the crates came, there a devaluation of the lie by one third and I lost money on this shipment.
The following year the companies in our country like Pardess, Haklai Petah Tikvah, etc agreed to buy a large amount of Glasinger crates with the condition that they buy directly from Glasinger. I came to Brashnov again, they agreed and the contract was signed. I was to receive a permanent payment of a ½% of sales. At this opportunity I asked the manager what my profits were from the last sale. I gave him full accounts of how much I lost. He asked me to give him a written report of my losses and how much I thought was the value of 100 British Pounds. On the spot, he gave an order to the accountant, Sapir, to pay me the 100 lie in dollars that I thought that I had lost.
Until the end of 1939, I remained in business contact with the firm Glasinger. Every year I sold a large amount of their orange crates. During those ten years, I visited Brashnov five or six times. The manager and workers always greeted me with open arms. I was given a special room and food. In a large room, the clerks and other guests organized a celebration with food and drink on the day I arrived. They were all interested in hearing of what was happening in Eretz Israel. Everyone sat around until late at night listening to every word I said about our country. In 1939 there arose a dispute between the firm Glasinger and the manager Mr. Chefetz of Haklai Petach Tikvah, who had bought 50,000 orange crates. In order to settle the dispute, it was decided between Glasinger and Haklai that I and Mr. Chefetz would go to Warsaw. Earlier, the main office of Glasinger was in Tshishin, Czechoslovakia but in 1935, the office was moved to Warsaw. The director Paar of Glasinger came to Warsaw. Dr. Berman, the head of the office, received us. The owner, Dr. Zielstein was not in Warsaw. The dispute was solved after a few hours with a compromise in favor of Haklai. Dr. Berman, an important man in the Polish government, invited us to eat in a kosher restaurant. We sat until late at night telling stories about Eretz Israel.
My meeting with the clerks of Glasinger and the stories I told about the building and development of Eretz Israel made a big impression on them. One of the young clerks had finished studying in one of the Hebrew schools in Stanislau. He suggested that instead of me writing letters to the firm in German, I should write them in Hebrew and he would translate them into German. Both copies would remain in my file and it was done.
At that time, the high management, the manager, the treasurer and others, decided to send the treasurer Mr. Sapir to Eretz Israel and to bring along a large sum of money to buy a piece of land. This was in order to build a large, modern wood factory for high class furniture and orange crates. Sapir came by plane in 1939 to Eretz Israel and brought about $15,000. He chose an appropriate piece of land in Rishon Lezion and decided to return home. He hoped to arrange all the money matters so that they could start building. Sapir gave the money to his friend N. Oppenzeller as a deposit to buy a big house on the corner of Beit Hashoevat. From what I heard, Oppenzeller gave the money $15,000 to “APEC” on Sapir’s name. After about a month, Sapir flew back to his town Brashnov and started to pack in order to settle in Eretz Israel. To our sorrow, the Holocaust was on the way and the war started in August 1939 and they did not finish what they began. In 1940, the Russians occupied Poland and came to Brashnov.
This was the beginning of the end of these people. All of Glasinger’s property was confiscated. The first thing the Russians did was to put one of their officers in charge with several of their own clerks, leaving most of the original clerks and a manager. The clerks remained in their apartments with a salary that allowed them to live.
From what we heard, when the Hitler murderers were on the way, the Russians destroyed and burned the entire expensive complex. Some of the clerks ran away with the Russians but most of them remained. The murderers found them all together with all the other inhabitants of the town. No one remained. תנצבה
This is a chance to remember and give credit and blessings to the memory of Dr. Dov Hausner זל. He performed a great Mitzvah for me in his efforts to develop the business of Polish orange crates to Eretz Israel. I met Rabbi Dr. Hausner for the first time in 1900 at the Vaad Hapoel Mizrachi in Lvov. We were both members of the committee. When it came time to choose the president of Mizrachi in East Galicia there were two candidates, Rabbi Vitalis and Dr. Hausner. My friend R’Yonah Ashkenazi זל and I were in charge of the publicity for the Lvov Mizrachi Committee and Dr. Hausner was chosen as President. We remained friends since that time.
Dr. Hausner came to give a speech during Chanukah to a large meeting in one of the big halls in Stanislau and stayed for a second day for lunch with several invited friends.
After WWI, the Polish government established an elected house of parliament called Sejm and Jews in the entire country were given the right to have a certain number of representatives. I was chosen along with four chaverim to be the nominating committee. The five chaverim were: Rabbi Hager, Mr. Tzvi Nagelburg, the writer Abraham Eliezer Kupferstein, R’Chaim Perlmutter, all of them from Lvov and me from Stanislau. The candidates were: Dr. Hausner, Dr. Shimon Federbush from Lvov and Rabbi Hager from Pedetcha. On my vote, Dr. Hausner and Shimon Federbush were chosen. Rabbi Hager was not chosen.
In 1929 when Dr. Hausner lived in Tel Aviv with his family, he had the title of Commerce Minister of Poland in Eretz Israel. I was alone without a family in the country. I was invited for the Pessach Seder in his house along with twenty friends; Dr. Efraim Vashitz from Haifa, Mr. Lehrer the manager of the Polish Immigrant bank and others. Dr. Hausner sat wrapped in his white smock (kittel) leaning on the bed with the pillow and everything was according to Jewish custom and law. While telling the story of leaving Egypt, we drank and ate Pesach dishes and were there until two in the morning when we said “goodbye”.
His help was instrumental in developing trade between Poland and our country. After the first shipment of orange crates from Poland, we went by car to visit the biggest orange packing companies. There was a fierce competition, with low prices and easy payment, for the sale of crates of all sizes from Romania, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. It was Dr.Hausner who helped me get contracts with the biggest and most important packers, like Pardess Haklai, Schlush, etc.
For ten years, I was in this business with these packers, making an honorable living and good profits to save for the difficult coming days. The last shipment from Poland was in 1939. A certain amount of my money was left with Glasinger that I could not retrieve.
Who knows if any of them remained alive? תנצבה
Content last updated Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 07:16 PM Mountain Standard Time