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Oral history interview with Al Jaffee

Oral History | Accession Number: 2016.106.1 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0878

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Al Jaffee, born March 13, 1921 in Savannah, Georgia, describes his parents who were both from Zarasai, Lithuania; his father Morris, who moved to Savannah to run a pawnshop; his mother Mildred, who moved to Savannah after his father; his three brothers Harry, Bernard, and David; his mother’s desire to return to Lithuania; his father losing his job; moving to Lithuania; the great contrast between life in Savannah and life in a rural Lithuania; how he found life exciting in Savannah but enjoyed the fishing, swimming, and other activities in Lithuania; not liking the cheder (Jewish school) as the teacher was a strict disciplinarian with a ruler; his mother getting him a tutor who he liked; his father taking the boys on trips to amusement parks where they obtained non-kosher food that they kept secret from his observant mother; his father teaching him to draw cartoons and how Al made it his profession later; his mother reading them English books when they were in Lithuania so they would not forget English; returning to the United States circa 1926 and living in Rockaway Beach, NY for a year; going back to Lithuania; leaving Lithuania in May 1933 along with his brothers and father; his father supporting them by working for the post office; how May 1933 was the last time he saw his mother; his brother Bernard, who attended the New York School for the Deaf during the week and came home on weekends; not knowing his mother’s fate but learning of the massacre of Zarasai Jews after the war; and a letter he has from his mother.

Interviewee
Al Jaffee
Interviewer
Ina Navazelskis
Date
2016 May 21  (interview)
Geography
creation : New York (N.Y.)
Language
English
Extent
1 digital file : MPEG-4.
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Record last modified: 2018-08-09 10:32:50
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn539330