Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zoltan Rubin - January 12, 1983


You mentioned you had an older brother. How, how large was your immediate family?

Immediate family, we had...We were eleven children, we were eight brothers and three sisters. And, uh...

Were you the youngest?

I was the youngest. And uh, you met my brother, who was here uh, he was the oldest. Then as a matter of fact, and I mentioned...Like I mentioned before, that my father was sending the sons to the yeshiva after school, and uh, my brother, the oldest brother, when he was, he was studying in the yeshiva in Bratislava, this time, Pressburg. So instead of going um, to a yeshiva, he decided he's going to go in medicine and he went to Vienna. Vienna and Bratislava is only a few miles away, so he became a doctor against uh, I would say, it was against the wishes of my parents. And uh, in spite of my father...My father was a religious man but um, he knew, he seen it, that we are not going to be the same like he was. He knew that we are going to be more modern, we are not going to have beards, we are not going to have peyes. We never... As a matter of fact, when we were in the yeshiva, when I went to the yeshiva, he never insisted that I should have long peyes. All I had is a little bit. But never he insisted because he felt it uh, that, that, that the trend is towards being more modernized. So uh, like going back to my brother, he became a doctor and he had quite difficulties with my parents, especially my father that he wouldn't support him at all. As a matter of fact, when he became a doctor uh, he opened an office not far from, right in Prešov, he opened an office in 1928, if I recall, and since there was, I think there was lots of doctors in this little, in this city, more than it was necessary, he couldn't make a living and my father, should he rest in peace, wouldn't give him any money to pay his rent. For the rent, for uh, for the, for his office because he was so much against it. But eventually, he found out that this is the trend and he, he got uh, he, he, he uh, how do you say it? That he uh, no uh, his, not that he was satisfied but he gave in to this idea that...

You mean he's resigned?

He's resigned, that's it. That's right. He's resigned to the idea that uh, and, and this is how it was. My other brother was a banker. My third brother had a, a, a mill in, in Romania. He became, he married to a Romanian, and there he had a corn mill. And uh, the third brother was in business as a grocery business store. And the fourth, the fourth brother had uh, was managing the mill in our village. And so, my sisters got married. They were, uh...They had children, as a matter of fact. And one thing I should remember, I remember very well, it was the Seders, when all the people, all the families, we, we got together and it was a big house but we were sleeping on the floor and we were sleeping all over because there was no room. And especially, I...is, is memorable the last Seder. It was, I call it my last Seder.

Seder, 1937?

Yeah, it was in 1937. Somehow...

How many people were in your house?

Uh, there must have been at least thirty-five, forty people. Somehow everybody came. We had, it was, it was just beautiful. Kids running around, small children, big children. We had... I had one sister living in Oradea Mare, which is in Romania. The other one, the other sister lived in Halmeu, my brother lived in Halmeu, also Romania. My brother lived in Prešov, my sister lived in Prešov. My brother came back from Persia, the doctor, he was in Persia a doctor because he couldn't make any money in, in Prešov, so he went away with a friend of his. They were looking for doctors in... Maybe I shouldn't, uh...

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