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Oral history interview with Isaak Il'ich Man'kovetskii, Nina Viktorovna Man'kovetskaia, Nikolai Dmitrievich Smal', Efim Hershkovich Shvartsman, and Feiga Naumovna Shvartsman

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 2009.103.9 | RG Number: RG-50.632.0009

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    Oral history interview with Isaak Il'ich Man'kovetskii, Nina Viktorovna Man'kovetskaia, Nikolai Dmitrievich Smal', Efim Hershkovich Shvartsman, and Feiga Naumovna Shvartsman


    Interview Summary
    Isaak Il’ich Mankovetskii, born in 1933 in village of Merventsy in Podolsk region, describes having lived in Tulchin since 1958; being able to speak Yiddish; being a teacher by profession, and having taught English, German, and Latin; his father, who worked at a mill; being the only Jewish family in the village of Merventsy (four kilometers from Yaruga, where there are no Jews left); life before the war, including speaking Yiddish at home and Klezmer bands playing at Jewish weddings; his niece being matched in marriage by a paid matchmaker (“shotkhente” in Yiddish) in Soroki (Soroca, Moldova); and how his niece and her husband now live in Israel.
    Nina Viktorovna Mankovetskaia, born in 1930 in Gaisin (Haĭsyn), Ukraine, discusses having been a teacher in a technical school; the numerous Jews living in Gaisin; how several streets where Jews lived became a ghetto during the war; her family living in the center of town among Jews and Ukrainians; being a non-Jewish Ukrainian and how Jews and Ukrainians were on friendly terms; Jewish school in town; and her thoughts on how Jews make good fish, cutlets, and strudel.
    Nikolai Dmitrievich Smal’, born in 1946 in Tulchin, Ukraine, describe being a driver by profession; serving for three years in Vladivostok, Russia; his mother, who was born in Odessa, Ukraine and evacuated to the Ural region and worked the entire war years as a master in a Chelyabinsk tractor factory; his mother meeting his father in Chelyabinsk and moving to Tulchin, where she has lived ever since; how before the 1950s a large part of the Tulchin population was Jewish; Jews living mostly in the eastern part of the city and Central street being almost all Jewish; how Jews strolled and socialized on the streets together and many were in trade; his mother’s work in a store; the synagogue; knowing some Yiddish; how many Jews have left for Israel and now there are only about 200 Jewish families in Tulchin; how Jewish weddings always had violin music; the numerous mixed marriages; and the burial of mixed-marriage couples at a common cemetery.
    Mikhail Hershkovich Shvartsman, born in 1930 in Tulchin, describes his parents and grandparents who were also from Tulchin; working at a factory; speaking very little Yiddish; his father, who was a “Stelmach” (he made and repaired wheels and wheel vehicles) and had his own state workshop at a kolkhoz Mazolovka; his father’s death at the front during the war; his mother , who was a homemaker; his brother and sister; being in the Pechora camp; his mother being killed by the Germans in 1943; beginning to work at age 14; how before the war there were 15,000 Jews in Tulchin, about 10,000 died at Pechora camp, and now there are around 250 left and mostly from mixed marriages; the large synagogue on “shilgos” (synagogue street) before the war and the destruction of the synagogue after the war; the metal factory built in its place; another synagogue that was replaced by a technical school; people praying in groups at home in secret, as it was forbidden; an apartment at Lukhovitsy, where they gathered to pray; There was a minyan of old people; how young people did not pray; and most of the Jews leaving the city.
    Feiga Naumovna Shvartsman, born in 1938 in Tulchin (and married for fifty years to Mikhail Hershkovich Shvartsman), discusses how all her relatives are also from Tulchin; working at a powder coating metal factory; speaking very little Yiddish; her father returning from the war an invalid and dying young; her mother, who was a homemaker with four children; her older sister’s death at the Pechora camp; being in the Pechora camp and leaving when she was six years old; her two daughters, one of whom lives in Tulchin and the other in Israel; their three grandchildren and one great-grand daughter; Kaptsonivka district in Tulchin, which extended to the Jewish cemetery and was home to the poor; the central street, which was called Lenin street, and was considered more prestigious; people dressing up and strolling on its streets, mostly on Sundays; a park with a fountain; the matchmaker (“shothhente”), who would make a match (“knosemul”) for a fee; the bride and groom, who were seated side by side and a plate was broken usually by the fathers to mark the engagement; how after the engagement she went to work at a candy factory; breaking the engagement later on; and how there were people who cooked and made biscuits (“lekah”) for weddings.
    Feiga N. Shvartsman
    Efim H. Shvartsman
    Nikolai D. Smal'
    Nina V. Man'kovetskaia
    Isaak I. Man'kovetskii
    interview:  2005 July 20

    Physical Details

    2 digital files : MP3.

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    Administrative Notes

    The European University at St. Petersburg contributed the St. Petersburg Judaica Project to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives via the United States Holocaust Museum International Archives Project in June 2009.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 09:19:10
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