Daniel Nussbaum II
My mother, aleha hashalom, Bella
Yapha Teplitzky Nussbaum, was born in the Ukraine in the early part of
the twentieth century. After living through the Russian Revolution,
considered the worst thing to ever happen to the Jewish people
prior to the Holocaust, my mother escaped with her parents and sisters
by walking across the frozen Dniester River.
After many adventures, which
included spending a night in a Bucharest, Rumanian jail, my mother arrived
in Brooklyn where she worked in a sweat shop. Later, she
decided to go to nursing school and applied to Mount Sinai Hospital.
However, that hospital did not take immigrant girls, especially from Eastern Europe;
the staff recommended that she apply to Beth Israel. This she did and was accepted
as a student; in due course my mother became a Registered Nurse.
For a long time it looked like
Mom was fated to be a spinster, until she was introduced to my father,
a Yekkey. At that time Yekkeys were known as "refugees". Within a month of being introduced,
they were married and remained together until she died.
Because my father
had been a cattle merchant, a common occupation among the Jews of southern
Germany, my mother's brother-in-law, manager of a New Jersey dairy farm,
offered my father a job. Dad took it and he and his bride moved to New Jersey
where they remained for the rest of their lives.
Though my mother did not cook much, among her best recipes was "zhakoya", which
others have told me is a Ukrainian pot roast.
My son, who is a Hollywood director, has videotaped my father, allow hashalom, telling his story.
A copy of it is now in the Jewish museum in Berlin.
Unfortunately, my mother died before my son was born and,
consequently, there is no record of my mother's experiences in Russia.
I think her story would be as interesting as that of my father.