Interview with Avrom Mlotek from Proshevitz, 1949

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Segment of an Interview with Avrom Mlotek.

Originally from: town of Proshevitz (Proszowice), in the Kielce region

Yiddish pronunication: Kielce region

Date of Interview: 1949

Place of Interview: New York, exact location not mentioned in interview. The interviews took place in refugee hotels on the Upper West Side, at the HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) headquarters, and in the Bronx.

Interviewer: Beatrice (Bina) Weinreich, on behalf of the YIVO.

The YIVO Yiddish Dialects Project was carried out in the late 1940s. Survivors who arrived in New York from Easter Europe during the late 1940s were interviewed in Yiddish about their life experiences. The interviews are an original resource for the study of the Yiddish language spoken by East European Jews and also throw light to some extent on Jewish life before the war in Poland as well as expereinces during World War II. In some instances inteviewee were questioned abuot customs and traditions observed in Eastern European, including Jewish holiday customs.


.........This part of the [neighborhood] was called ? [indecipherable] . Another part led from Zamenhoff until Lubetskiego....... [this part] was called the ‘new Mila’. The ‘new Mila’ was a little wider; mostly working class people lived there. On that street there was a Yiddish secular school at number 51. From Lubetskiego till Shm[indecipherable] in a part of the street which was [?] there were factories. Mila 63 was a Talmud Torah [pronounced ‘’Toyre”]. At Mila 61 there was once a Yiddish secular people’s school but later on it was no longer there. In those houses where there were no factories, the population was Jewish, mostly consisting of working class. In one of these houses, Mila 61, I lived from 1924 until 1938. I moved away from there but my parents continued living there and there was also the factory. I learned in the Prozhevitzer kheyder where my father taught. My father had a kheder [pronounced: khider, as in ‘cider’]. My father always had many students, children, in the kheder. At first he taught only gemara [Talmud[, but then he also taught [word indecipherable]. He was also the only teacher in the city who taught the students how to read Yiddish, Polish and German. While my father was teaching the boys, my oldest sister taught the girls... in the next room to read and write Yiddish, Polish and also Hebrew.

[In response to question from the interviewer as to whether girls studied exactly the same as the boy]:Girls didn’t learn exactly the same as the boys. The main thing was to be able to write a letter, to write Polish, [last word indecipherable].