Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zwi Steiger - March 27, 1982

Receiving Grandfather's Record Book

You came in possession recently of a record book from a moyel?

Yeah, that was from my great grandfather from my mother's side, from her father's side who was--who lived, who lived in Berezný, or they called Velký Berezný. And he was in the, in the, in the second half of the last century or the nineteenth century, he was the moyel in town and he kept the record of the circumcisions that he made there. And there he mentions uh, some of the people that I knew and some of the people that they were born and he circumcised them. In addition, this book apparently was for awhile in the hands of his uh, older son, who was my mother's father and he had an entry there of the birth of, of my mother. This um, notebook and prayer book--it wasn't a prayer--it was eventually taken to the States by another son of his, which was a uncle to my mother. And his children gave that, gave that book to me a few years back. They didn't realize what it was all about until I read it and reread it and studied it for, for days to figure out. I had a hard time reading his, his handwriting, which is very nice, but uh, with an individual twist to the, to, to the writing. But eventually I figured out and I realized that I had--my father had two brothers that apparently died in childhood because I was never aware that they existed from that time. So, but uh, apparently he had--and then I called and my brother told me and some other cousin told me that we had another book at home where the family history dates back much further to uh, through my mother's side to uh, to uh, to the Spanish Inquisition. Not to, to the--after they fled to Holland. So they--but that, that is destroyed. So that existed.

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