ðH geocities.com /candlemaker_kaprov/chapter01.html geocities.com/candlemaker_kaprov/chapter01.html delayed x zÕJ ÿÿÿÿ ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÈ ê¢ • OK text/html P“ŒÑç • ÿÿÿÿ b‰.H Sun, 24 Aug 2008 16:00:54 GMT ± Mozilla/4.5 (compatible; HTTrack 3.0x; Windows 98) en, * zÕJ •
Chapter 1 Sokolivka- Yustingrad In the early 1800's two dwellings stood on "this side" of a bridge which connected the Ukrainian village of Sokolovka south and east with open fields north and west. One of these dwellings was a hostelry: the other was occupied by the candlemaker family, Kaprov. (1) A son of this family was the progenitor of the B'nai Khaim of this book. The bridge also connected two counties in the province of Kiev. Sokolovka lay in County Uman; the hostelry and the candlemaker's home lay in County Lipovetz. The city of Uman lies almost on a straight line, except for a slight dent westward, between Kiev, 120 miles to the north, and Odessa 163 miles to the south. Lipovetz lies some 60 miles due west, and Sokolovka, some 20 miles due north of Uman. (See map) The bridge, if 60-year-old memories may be trusted, (2) was a quarter of a mile or so long. It was a brushwood, dirt-impacted dam built to form a lake from the flow of a stream that passed through the village of Popovka some two miles to the south-west. At the Sokolovka end of the bridge a sluice channeled the flow over the water-wheels of a flour mill. In the middle of the bridge a larger sluice. about 30 feet wide, cleared the overflow of the lake in a waterfall 20 feet or so high, a delight for summer bathers. The fall splashed onto a wooden platform some 30 feet square. From here it slithered down three or four feet into a treacherous ravine. A couple of hundred yards ahead of the platform the flow disappeared, between two rows of birch trees, into an old channel toward the village of Konella about three miles north. A few peasant huts hugged the northward stream and disappearcd from view with it. The lake was a bowl, shaped in the form of an open oyster shell. It was narrowest at the bridge and widest on the east-west stretch a mile or so away. A small, tree-covered island at the southeast corner of the lake was an enticing goal for "long-distance" swimmers. It lay about a thousand feet from the Jewish cemetery. Except for the hostelry and the candlemaker's home, "this side" of the bridge was largely pasture land. Twisters and dust blasts were frequent there, even years later when the area had become inhabited. From the bridge level the land rose sharply for a distance of about 500 feet and then flattened out toward the horizon. This is the way it was when Nicholas I became Tsar of all the Russias in 1825. At that time, in one of his early anti-Jewish edicts, a legend went, he declared that Jews who lived in villages but did not own or cultivate land must be expelled to live in towns of their own.(3) Most of the Jews, perhaps as many as 35 families, then living in Sokolovka were subject to that edict. They had been the local shopkeepers, traders and craftsmen and did not own or cultivate land. So, expelled they were, to "this side" of the bridge. Here they squatted in the Kaprov backyard until, during the ensuing months, they built themselves permanent habitations of a sort on the upland, west of the bridge. The land they acquired, by purchase or lease, had belonged to an absentee Polish landlord whose wife's name, it is said, was Justina. The town that these families built was accordingly named Yustingrad in Ukrainian, or Justingrad in Polish, as seen in the town marker. There it stood for a hundred years until, in the Civil War after the Bolshevik Revolution, it was razed in the course of several pogroms. It was in one of these pogroms, in August 1918, that White Guardists lined up and shot to death 138 Yustingrad Jews from 5 to 88 years of age. Older B'nai Khaim in America to this day hold a memorial service every year to mourn these tragic deaths. (4) The land on which Yustingrad stood is now part of the farm collective just noted. All that is left of the town is the marker and four blackened huts perched on the bluff overlooking what once had been the l ake. This is now a weedy pond, visibly 30 feet lower than the earlier water level. The "island" at the deep end has risen and stretches nearly across the horizon. The bridge, the sluice, the flour mill are gone. The cemetery is gone. What once was the bridge is now a small stretch of the four-lane concrete Kiev-Odessa highway. The ravine of my day and the stream which then flowed toward Konella have been filled in. The white clapboard church that faced you as you crossed the bridge toward Sokolievka is gone. So is the well at the end of the bridge where you began ascent into Yustingrad. The village Sokolovka can be traced back at least as far as the 17th century when it figured, along with Uman, in the peasant rebellions led by Bogdan Khmeimitzky and the Hetman, Gonta, against the oppressing Polish shlyakhta. Two hundred years later the Jews of Yustingrad still recalled with horror the slaughter of Jews in those rebellions. (Sienkiewicz tells this gruesome story in "With Fire and Sword".) An especially vicious person was called a "Gonta." In the 100 years of its existence Yustingrad greW to have a population of over 3000. Yet so ingrained was this memory of their Sokolievka origins that they have always referred to themselves as "Sokolievker," the Ukrainian spelling of the name. Even in America Yustingrader worship in "Sokolievker" shulen, hold fraternal membership in "Sokolievker" associations and bury their dead in "Sokolievker" cemeteries. But of the village itself little is left today. It is a part of the collective with Yustingrad. When I visited there in May, 1965, I counted no more than two or three dozen scattered huts. The contour of Yustingrad had the shape of a horseshoe. Peasant huts made up the rim: the Jews filled the interior. A broad avenue running east-west cut the town in half. Side streets made up the rest. There were, of course, no sidewalks in Yustingrad, and there were few trees in the interior of this horseshoe. You could see orchards where the peasants lived and, if you ventured behind their orchards, you could see their farms. The roads were mud tracks in summer, frozen ruts in winter, and bogs in the autumn and spring. Many a wagon got stuck in the mud on the way up from the bridge into Yustingrad after the autumn rains and the spring thaws. The homes of both the Jews and the peasants were built of mud caked around matted straw and sun-dried into brick. The roofs were straw-thatched. Inside, the floors were crudely stained clay, cold in the winter and clammy in the rainy season. In autumn and spring the roofs leaked and the walls became sodden. In winter the interiors were heated by burning cow dung and horse manure in a hollow wall which partitioned off the living quarters. The dung and manure were gathered by the women with rake and besom after the weekly trading day. The kitchen was kept warm by a Dutch oven, on which people often slept. For the most part, the rooms were bare of furniture, except for a bed and one or two narrow wooden cots in the bedroom, and a table, benches and a bare sofa alongside the heated wall in the living room. Matted straw served to cushion the bed. A "perina" -a feather quilt-kept the bodies warm. Body lice and bedbugs were constant companions. Cooking was done in unglazed earthen pots. At the table, only Father used knife and fork. Soup was eaten with wooden spoons from a common wooden bowl. Chinaware was used only on special occasions. The table was always bare, except on Saturdays and holidays when it was covered with a cloth. On the Sabbath eve and on holidays Father blessed the Almighty over a Kiddush cup for having created "the fruit of the vine." Candlesticks with candles lit and blessed by Mother decorated the table. Not until the end of the 19th century could Yustingrad boast one two-story house and one kiln-baked brick mansion, both of these slate-roofed. A few were now tin-roofed and three or four had board floorings. Illuminating gas was unknown and electricity a hearsay. The kerosene lamp had only recently replaced the tallow candle. The home conditions of these "Sokolievker" were characteristic of their whole economic and cultural life-the cultural and economic life of all ghetto shtetlakh.(5) For the most part, everybody was poor, Jew and gentile alike. Culturally, they can be said to have been living in the 17th rather than the 19th century - illiterate, or semi-illiterate, superstitious, ignorant of their own biological and physiological processes-ignorant, for that matter of their anatomical structure; ignorant of geography; ignorant of history, even of their own history. What they knew of history was what they had learned in kheder, which took them back to the Creation, the Flood, the Exodus, the conquests of Canaan, the wars with their ancient enemies, the destruction of the Temple by the Romans - a world of miracles, of myths, of heroes and martyrs. The real world was the world of the God-ordained Tsar, the dreaded Cossacks, and the faraway towns where their sons served in the Tsar's armies. America was a land of strange people who changed their King every four years! Yet, compared with the goyim, the ghetto Jews were enlightened people. For most of the goyim the world ended with the white-frame church in Sokolievka across the bridge. The peasantry was almost wholly illiterate, except for the ouradnik or peace officer, the village priest, the town clerk, and a few church elders. On the other hand. all the Jewish menfolk could read the Hebrew prayers. and some even learned to read the Hebrew Bible. Few knew the full meaning of what they read. Hebrew, indeed, was the Loshen Koidush, the Holy Tongue that should not be used in daily conversation except as an aside remark to make a subtle point in an argument. Few could read even Yiddish, the mother tongue. This was especially true of the women. Few could write Yiddish; a handful, Hebrew. Only Jewish boys attended kheder, from the age of four until Bar Mitzvah, or so long as they could absorb "learning," unless they were needed earlier as family breadwinners. Girls received their "education" from their elders at home. All adults could speak goyish, the Ukrainian jargon of the muzhik. But very few could either read or write Russian. Most everybody could "figure," mentally, but not many could write the figures down. In this respect Yustingrad was a small sampling of the Russia of the day. In the country as a whole, only 20 percent of the people were literate as late as 1897, when the first all-Russian population census was taken. Of the Jews, however, 39 percent were literate, nearly twice the national average. Yet only 13 percent of the Jewish women could read or write, even Yiddish. The higher literacy among the Jews gave rise to the legend that every minister in the Tsar's cabinet had an utchennyi yevrei - a learned Jew - at his side to do his reading and writing for him. At the outbreak of the First World War, we find shtetl Jews writing letters to soldier husbands and sons for peasant wives and parents. A B'nai Khaim who lived there at the time recalls that "being semi-illiterate. . . themselves, these Jewish 'writers' would not always follow the dictation verbatim but blandly proceeded to use the words and phrases they knew how to spell." They charged 10 to 15 kopeks a letter, including the address.(6) At the beginning of the 20th century, few "Yustingraders" had seen a railroad train; still fewer had travelled on one. The telephone was a distant mystery; the telegraph was familiar by hearsay; the nearest post office was in Uman. In the late 1890's an itinerant entertainer introduced the phonograph to Yustingrad. For five kopecks he would let you stick two rubber tubes into your ears through which you could hear words and music coming out of a contraption on the table in front of you. Few, however, were convinced that the whole thing was not a money-making fake. The very idea of a turning metal disk singing the Kol Nidre! Photography was taboo. To permit yourself to be photographed would be to flout the First Commandment - Ye shall not fashion an image of God. We therefore have few photographs of early B'nai Khaim. There was no permanently settled physician in Yustingrad, or in Sokolievka. A feldsher - a male nurse trained in an army hospital - gave enemas, "cupped" to reduce a fever, set a dislocated arm. Old women cast out the Evil Eye. A child seared with scarlet fever was given a new name to fool the Angel of Death. To the minds of these people. a baby was conceived in its anatomical entirety. The nine-months gestation was simply a period in which it grew in size to be expelled "when the time came." Parent cells were unknown to them. A miscarriage was a blessing-in-disguise. It rid the woman of a potential monstrosity -- as anyone could judge for herself from the appearance of the undeveloped fetal lump. A child born with teeth could not live. A newborn babe knew the Mystery of Mysteries - the day of the Coming of the Messiah. A child born with teeth could talk. and might divulge The Day. God does not want His Children to know. A child born with teeth would not live. Twice as many babie teeth or no teeth, it seems, were born than survived infancy. In my own family nine were born, and four survived. My brother's mother-in-law bore 17 and buried 13. Midwives. with the assistance of neighbor - women, delivered the babies. Infants were swaddled until they were nine to ten months old. The children were breast-fed 24 months before they were "weaned." In rare cases a doctor was fetched from Uman, or a patient was rushed there. This would happen, for instance, in the case of an attack of appendicitis. Later toward the end of the century, a medical student would be induced upon graduation to get his first practical experience in our town. Usually he stayed no more than a year or two, and then a doctorless hiatus for another year or so would ensue. Public sanitation was non-existent in Yustingrad as late as 1902 when I left to seek learning in the "Big City" - Uman. Only two homes had outside privies. The rest of the people eased themselves in the open - back of their huts, or in the exposed communal latrine. The communal cesspool was an especial abomination. The bees and flies that in fested it spread contagion. All communicable diseases were epidemic. Water was supplied by water carriers from the well near the bridge at the bottom of the hill and stored in open vats in the kitchens. Standing in the darkest corner, the vats always emitted a musty smell. Only on Christmas Eve was special attention accorded them. Iron nails were driven in them to ward off the evil spirits believed to be infesting the air that night. In the spring these vats, together with the barrels in which cucumber,. cabbage, and watermelon had been pickled for the winter. were soaked in the lake and sunned on the shore. Once a week, on Friday afternoon, and also on the eve of a holiday, every Jew cleansed himself in the communal steam bath. The women had their monthly cleansing in a mikvah (ritual immersion). Poverty was endemic, for the Jew and gentile alike. The latter was perhaps a little better off so far as basic food went, since he raised most of it on his farm. The Jew had no such resources, except for goat's milk and cheese - (every Jewish family, it seems, kept one or two goats: a few kept a cow). The Jews earned their livelihood as small shopkeepers and as artisans - blacksmiths. wainwrights, carpenters, tailors, shoemakers, etc. The remainder were teachers (melamdim), cantors and other employees of the synagogue-grave-diggers, Talmudists and the Rabbi's retainers. There were musicians and even two or three moneylenders, an egg and poultry dealer, and such casuals as day laborers. teamsters (bal agalas). etc. (7) At all times most of these occuptions afforded but a scant and precarious living, varying according to the means available to local peasants and the peasants of the surrounding villages. Most of the week's business was done on the one market day which, in Yustingrad, fell on Monday. On that day several thousand villagers would come to town to trade amongst themselves and buy home supplies from the local stores and open stands. For the Jewish youngsters the weekly market day was a gala occasion: an opportunity to mix among the peasants, open the vodka bottles for them and lend them glasses from which to drink. In payment, the peasants would give them a little glass of vodka which the youngsters would pour into a bottle carried for the occasion. In a couple of hours they would have a bottle full of vodka to take home for family use. Black bread, herring, cabbage soups, occasionally fish or beef, and potatoes were the staple week-day diet. In the summer there would be the fresh fruits and vegetables; in the winter some of these would be eaten pickled. On the Sabbath and holidays there was the khalah, the twisted loaf of white bread; gefilte fish; chicken soup and boiled chicken. Prunes boiled with raisins and diced beets made an especially succulent dessert. For the children, the Passover was the favorite holiday, with its special foods, its festive air, and the new spring outfits in which to "show off." Simkhas Torah, "Rejoicing in the Law," provided another gala occasion. After the morning prayers in shule, neighbors and relatives called in groups at one another's homes, chewed nuts, drank vodka, ate honey cake and special holiday pastries, sang songs and played at being tipsy. "How goes it'?" asked one Jew of another, an apocryphal story went the rounds. "Quite well," said the other. "If I didn't fast on Mondays and Thursdays. I'd starve on the Sabbath day." Health permitting, all Jews above age 13 observed the two major fast days. Tishah B 'ar (the 9th day of Av)-the Day of Lamentations over the destruction of the Temple by the Romans - and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Few had more than one full shift of clothing besides the daily work clothes. For men there was the clean kaftan for the Sabbath: for the women a clean, solid-color dress and the colorful headkerchief or shawl. All the male Jews had beards; not a few wore yarmulkas even when asleep. Married Jewish women all wore sheitels (wigs) - their own hair having been shorn off on the wedding day. All girls had their ear lobes pierced when very young, and most wore "gold" earrings. Except for the wedding band and an occasional string of colored glass beads, women wore little jewelry. A few men sported pocket watches with chains across their middle. A few homes had clocks. Besides holidays and the Sabbath, the occasional family simkhas or festivities compensated for the drabness of everyday life. Engagements, weddings. Bar Mitztvahs, circumcision rites were occasions to throw off daily cares. Even funerals brought moments of relief, giving the women an occasion for a good cry. Once a year a fraternal organization, Bikur KhoUm ("visitors of the sick"), would hold a banquet for the poor, and these were a goodly proportion of shtetl Jews. Late Saturday afternoons the youth of the town went shpatzieren, promenading on the main street, girls with girls and boys with boys. If there was any flirting I was too young to notice. Most of the B'nai Khaim were tradespeople and poorer than the Jews who worked with their hands. Hand labor was for the people of a "lesser" breed than the B'nai Khaim! - although Zeide Khaim used his hands to make candles, and one of his brothers was a glazier. Even the artisans considered themselves at the bottom of the ghetto totem pole. The shoemaker, the tailor, the carpenter preferred to have himself inscribed in his passport or other legal documents as a prostak, literally a simpleton, a handyman, rather than be identified by his skill. The B'nai Khaim were the "learned" people of Yustingrad. Not until the end of the century did hand labor intrude on the mishpokhah, when two of Zeide Khaim's grandsons had become ropespinners, two blacksmiths, and one a carpenter. One of his granddaughters did sewing for a living. Several B'nai Khaim families earned most of their annual income selling dried, smoked and salted fish to the peasants in the winter months. The Greek Orthodox Church called for 14 meatless weeks before Christmas and six before Easter. The believers then ate fish. The B'nai Khaim helped supply the fish. As endemic as illiteracy and disease was the general ignorance and superstition of Yustingrad Jews. Some even believed in the transmigration of the soul. There was the case, whispered about under bated breath, of Shloime the money lender and his faithful dog Dushenka ("little soul"). Dushenka appeared at Shloime's front door from nowhere, it seemed, and for a year would not let him out of her sight. At night she would snuggle up on the porch. with ears cocked. One night Shloime had a dream - a troubled dream. Shmeal-Aba, the baal agala, to whom he had lent money to buy a new horse when his old nag had died. stood before him pleading: "I paid you all your money back except the last interest installment before I died last year, but you still hold the note I gave you. Please, tear it up. I cannot rest in my grave until you do that. I have watched over you all this time. This should balance my account with you. Please, tear up the note so I can rest in peace." Shloime the usurer woke in a daze. Rummaging among his files he found the baal agala's note. Taking the note with him, he walked out on the porch to relieve his bladder in the dear morning air, slowly tearing the note into small bits. As the last bit of paper fluttered to the ground, Dushenka came up to him, licked his bare feet, stretched out and lay dead! To probably all Yustingrad Jews before the end of the century, the Earth was flat and the center of the Universe. The Moon, the Sun and the Stars were "up there" as God had put them all at the time of the Creation to serve His people on earth. The worthy Jew might even turn to God for special favors. So a Khaim Kaprov granddaughter claimed, late in the century, that her father had been endowed by the Holy One with the power to create a golem to serve him on the Sabbath day. On that holy day the Jews were not allowed to perform any week-day labors, except to pray, eat and procreate - not even to make a fire to warm them in the winter or to light or blow out the lamps or candles. These menial chores were performed for them by gentile boys and girls for a few kopeks or a hunk of white bread per Sabbath. However, you were not allowed to give them instructions concerning their duties on the Sabbath day; these had to be given on a week day. The golem got his instructions before sunset on Fridays. An apocryphal story circulating among the awakening younger generation illustrates this point: It seems that a gust of wind blew out the candles on a Friday evening in Yankel's home before he had done with all the reading he had assigned himself for that evening. Perplexed, he stepped out into the dark street, when his friend Ivan happened to be passing by. "Friend Ivan!" said Yankel, "I'd invite you for a glass of vodka if there were light in the house." "Why, thanks!" said Ivan, "that can be remedied." He walked into the darkened house, lit a candle and drank his glass of vodka. Then, after exchanging a few pleasantries with his friend Yankel, Ivan blew out the candle and walked out into the dark street. The "Sokolievker" were God-fearing people. The men would tend to their daily prayers, if not in the shule with a minyon (the minimum of ten adults necessary to form a praying congregation), then at home. As far as I knew or have been able to a scertain since, no Jew of Yustingrad was ever guilty of a serious crime, although petty cheating in trade was a common practice. Drunkenness was a rarity. Venereal disease was unknown among them. The women were virtuous homemakers - cooking, washing, knitting, sewing, mending, bearing and rearing children, and at the same time often also tending to the store or a market stall. It did happen that, in the 1890's, a pretty young wife underwent two abortions while her husband was away in the army in a distant city. Also, a couple of Jewish girls came back "disgraced" from Uman where they had been hired out as housemaids. At the turn of the century a red-headed man from out-of-town set up a shop for cosmetics and sickroom supplies. Within a year, four women. induding his wife, gave birth to four red-headed children. It wasn't long after, that he was sent packing to seek new pastures. In 1901, when I was 13. I "took a census" of Yustingrad with the help of a chum a half-year older. The year before, I had learned to read Russian and came upon the concept "classification." Why not, then, "classify" our own people, first of all on the basis of "cultural levels",? Besides, the task was evidently simplicity itself! We "knew," or thought we knew, the members of every Jewish household in Yustingrad, by age, sex and education, and occupation. We also knew that the five synagogues in town each had a family membership of about 100. Every family, we figured, consisted of six persons, as our own two families did. Multiplying 5 by 100 by 6, we came up with a total population of Yustingrad Jews in 1901 of 3000. The first official Russian census of 1897, published in 1905, gave the town a total population of almost 3200. The difference, we figured, was accounted for in part by the spread of four years between the census dates, and in part by the goyim whose huts rimmed the Jewish settlement. I t was from this" census" that the "sociological" data recounted earlier were derived, including the extent of the prevailing illiteracy. My father was one of the very few Jews in Yustingrad who could speak Russian - he had been raised in a city (Gaicin, 60 miles due west of Uman), where Russian was more commonly spoken than goyish. It was for this reason that he was chosen to travel to university cities - Zhitomir, Kiev, Odessa - to find and induce medical graduates to begin their medical practice in Yustingrad. At the end of every two or three years, when the novice had decided he had enough of Yustingrad and left for a bigger city, the community once again raised fare money and sent my father to seek a new recruit. In this way my father became a "man - of - the - world" in the eyes of his fellow - townsmen. Comparatively, he was also an "enlightened" man, a maskel, questioning the occult powers of the tsadik, the holy man. Once, on his return home from one of his "recruiting" trips to Kiev, when I had just learned to read Russian, he brought me a tattered copy of a Russian history book which must have been of interest to himself as well. He would sometimes take me along 0n his business trips to Uman and would delight in pointing out the Big Dipper, the North Star and the Constellations. One early morning when we had returned from such a trip and had gone to bed, my father remarked to me: "Some people think that the world [earth] is round and the sun revolves around it. That is why, they say, the sun shines on different parts of the earth at different times of the day. So, for instance." he explained, "here it is 4 o'dock in the morning and still dark. In London [!] it is already light." Despite all his groping for knowledge and his repeated hobnobbing with physicians, my father had but the vaguest ideas of man's physiological processes. When he was 64 I showed him the stages of development of the human fetus preserved in a series of jars in the biological laboratory at Western Reserve University, where I was a senior. He stood transfixed, his lips moving as if in silent prayer. He died Cleveland in 1923 at age 77. It should not be concluded, however, that the primitivism prevailing in Yustingrad at the end of the 19th century was an isolated phenomenon in Russia. Nor should it be thought of as a uniquely Jewish phenomenon, except that the Jews then labored under the handicap of repressive anti-Jewish laws of tsarist Russia. The ignorance was, first of all, Russia's. That country lagged 100 years behind Western Europe in enlightenment. Belief in the supernatural - in the supernatural power of the tsar, for example - was common. Why this was so can be learned from any good college textbook on "Modern European History." The fact is that Russia remained feudal generations after feudalism had been abolished in most of Western Europe. A revolution in St. Petersburg in December, 1825, staged by Russians of the highest rank in the military and nobility to bring their country in line with the enlightenment of, say, France and England, met with utter defeat. The revolutionaries were shot, strung up or exiled to hard labor in Siberia for life. (8) In the middle of the century, an active segment of the Russian intelligentsia, the Slavophils, fought against any Westernizing tendencies. They even opposed the building of railroads in their country, arguing that such a move would stimulate industrialization and create a proletariat and much unrest, as in England and France. There were others, of course - most of the great novelists and poets, and the publicists Herzen, Bakounin and Chernishevsky - who labored, at the risk of their very lives to bring modern civilization to Russia. But it was not until the last quarter of the 19th century that light finally began to stream into darkest Russia: and then it came with a bang. When Newton came to Russia he came arm - in - arm with Marx and Darwin. And these, as we know, brought with them precisely enlightenment, industrialization, a proletariat and the Revolution. For the Jews in Yustingrad, the arrival of industrialization meant the beginning of the end of a petty - trade, handicraft economy. Furthermore, as an industrial - capitalist economy, Russia quickly contracted the capitalist disease known as the business cycle-the alternations between prosperity and depression. For reasons which need not be developed here, during the years 1899 - 1909 Russia was in an almost continuous depresson. (9) For the handicraft industries and for small traders, both the rise of capitalist production and the effects of business depressions proved calamitous. The rise of capitalist production meant the progressive displacement of the handicraft means of livelihood for most people in small towns, such as the inhabitants of Yustingrad. It was a repetition of the experience in England and elsewhere centuries earlier in the advance from a feudal - agricultural to a capitalist-industrial society. (10) Before long, factory - made goods began to compete with hand - made goods. Factory - made shoes undersold local hand - made products. Horseshoes made in an iron foundry miles away replaced the workmanship of the local blacksmith. Wheel spokes no longer needed to be planed and chiseled by the local wainwright - they were now shipped from a lumber mill; machine - made harness and reins replaced the hand - made products of Yustingrad ropespinners. Artificial flowers made of fabrics in a factory replaced the more perishable, home - made, paper variety; and so on and on. Even socks were now machine made! The continuing depression added to these woes. The unemployed factory worker ceased to be a customer for the output of the farmers; the impoverished farmers ceased to be customers of the local wagon maker and blacksmith and tailor. A political 'revolutionary' unrest spread through Russia as the people found the Tsarist government unwilling or unable to relieve their distress. To divert the wrath of the people the governing powers unleashed the traditional pogrom tactics against Jews. At the turn of the century, the pogrom that let loose the emigration of Russian Jews in the 1880's recurred again and again with devastating regularity. "Shpola," "Kishiniev," "Mogilev" threw a pall on Jewish communities everywhere in Russia. On top of it all, on the eve of the Revolution of 1905, came the pogroms in Byalostock, St. Petersburg, Tomsk - a hundred pogroms. "Go to America" became the despairing refrain of the persecuted. The First World War, the Bolshevik Revolution, the Civil War that followed it and the pogroms that came with the counter revolution completed the process of devastation. That was when Yustingrad was destroyed and the remnants of its people dispersed. Go to America! Notes to Chapter 1 (1) The name Kaprov derives from the Czech word kapr, meaning karp (generically, fish). The Russian equivalents are Karpov and Karpovich. In the present case it may signify that Khaim Kaprov's family had originally come to Russia from Bohemia, now part of Czechoslovakia. (2) A first draft of this and the next chapter was circulated among the "ancients" for correction and amendment. Both my Uncle Avrom, the Rabbi, and my sister Alta, five years my senior. were of particular help. (3) Actually, expulsion edicts began as far back as 1795, under Katherine the Great, and for many other reasons than those stated in this legend. Various edicts to expel Jews from villages were issued under Alexander I in 1804, 1807, 1823, and 1825. The edict of Nicholas I, which specifically applied to Jews in the Grodno and Kiev Provinces, was issued in 1835. See Israel Friedlander: The Jews of Russia and Poland, G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York and London, 1915. The expulsion from Sokolovka must have occurred at one of these later dates. (4) In 1962. the Jews of Yustingrad origin from Buffalo, New York, erected a commemorative slab for them in the "Sokolievker" cemetery. (5) Shtetlakh is the plural of shtetl, a small - town Jewish community. For shetl life in 19th century Eastern Europe, see Mark Zborowski and Elizabeth Herzog: Life is With People, International Universities Press, Inc., New York, 1952. (6) As late as 1929-30, when education in Russia had become free and universal (it was not until 1930 that a fourth-year education could be made compulsory, as school equipment and teachers became available), 22 of the 125 candidates admitted to the Soviet Academy of Sciences were Jews - almost 18 per cent. (See Vestnik of the Communist Academy, Nos. 35-36, p. 384.) In the total population they accounted for scarcely three percent. This preponderance of higher learning among Jews in Russia continues today. Jews now account for almost ten percent of Soviet scientists and for 19 percent of its Doctors of Science, the highest academic degree granted in the USSR. (Theodore Shabad, in the New York Times, August 5, 1962.) In the total population they account for a little over one percent. I was reliably informed in Moscow that, in 1965, 20 per cent of the economists at the Academy of Science were Jews. (7) The occupational distribution of the Jews in Russia, as revealed by the 1897 census, was: 38.7% Trade 35.4 Industry: principally handicrafts 3.6 Agriculture 5.2 Government and professional 17.1 Miscellaneous, including 1.1 % in the military ------- 100.0% (8) Record of the trials, in Russian, at the Hoover Library in Palo Alto, California. (9) Willard L. Throp: Business Annals, N.B.E.R. 1925, pp. 239-240; and Peter I. Lyashchenko: History of the National Economy of Russia, to the 1917 Revolution. Macmillan. 1949, pp. 528 ff. (10) For an illuminating account of the effects of industrialization on the handicraft industries or Russia in the last decades of the 19th century, see V.I. Lenin: The Development of Capitalism in Russia. Collected Works, Moscow Publishing House, 1941-50. The book is a scholarly study by an eyewitness.