[…] The Comet Tempel-Tuttle and the Leonid asteroid showers were visible from earth in 1866. They appeared just after writing my ‘Prophecy’ which was also the time people were fighting and dying in the Austro – Prussian war. But war sagas are not relevant to describing this city. This city is called Czernowitz and the year is 2010. What will Czernowitz look like in the next Millennium? If my views have any truth, we must move forward, not backwards and imagine that our city of the future will have water mains, good drainage, electric lighting and will look like as follows in the year 2010. Join me with my prophetic thoughts.
It is 10 May 2010 and 5 clock in the morning. The Graubart House and Beck’s Real Estates have gone. The Town Hall next to it now has an empty space on one side. It is springtime and a gorgeous fountain splashes its crystal clear water onto highly decorated metallic bowls, surrounded by beautiful fragrant gardens. Peace and tranquility prevail, the streets are much wider, the old buildings on the main square have disappeared, and well-appointed new structures fill the spaces where there were once narrow streets. Trams travel up and down these widened thoroughfares. This is a busy place, the streets are filled with people and there are many fabulous large new buildings, but I go further. In the main square, Elisabeth Square, buildings are made entirely out of glass. One of them contains a huge pool, where live fish swirl. Plantings of beautiful fragrant gardens are laid out in between. Gleaming roof tops are covered in bronze and shine Zen like in the May sunshine. Always lively is the bustle of people in our city. School children from the local school run fast because it is nearly 8 clock in the morning. This is happening in of all places, Austria! What a glorious sight! In the middle of all this, is a park, with another fountain, an example of splendid contemporary art, as well as modern houses built in modern-day designs, elegant and beautifully finished in glistening bronze. One historic monument standing silently and respectfully is the old courthouse, remembering that Law and Justice at all times should be the foundation of humanity.
For me the best part of any future construction in the next Millenium, is the Cecina Gasse which consists of a small bridge with a road reaching to the summit of Mount Cecina in the nearby Carpathians. Electrified railways go backwards and forwards carrying thousands of people. The route is only 5 kilometers long. I get into a car and within a few minutes reach the summit. Beautiful villas sit side by side, built in rustic style. An energy is found up here, fabulous restaurants and bands are playing, making everyone happy all breathing the freshest forest and mountain air, with wonderful wide vistas far into the distance. Life here is full of excitement and anticipation. Cecina now a city, is a splendid sight with its sunlit buildings and tall tower blocks. One brand new invention of the new millennium delights many admirers. There is a small cottage which has cameras and telephone devices so the inhabitants can use these between towns. People are able to see and speak to each other at the same time. I am lost in this world of the future! […]
General Eduard von Böhm-Ermolli at his command post; briefing with Austrian officers at the map table [00:10]; destroyed bridges over the Pruth before Czernowitz [02:11]; Austrian troops bivouac on the banks of the Pruth [03:04]; horsepond [03:49]; Czernowitz after being taken on 3rd August 1917: burning railway station building and burning crossties [04:37]; destroyed dome of the railway station [05:50]; ruins of houses [06:23]; the fire brigade extinguishing flames [07:14]; children in the city streets [07:25]; Austrian troops march past Archduke Franz Joseph on 4th August 1917 in Czernowitz [07:42].
Happy days of youth. Unusual “arrangement” and setting – Edy Wagner, head of the Balalaika orchestra, who died too young, top left, my husband’s mother Alma Wagner in the middle, on the right her sister Ruzia Wagner with her famous pigtails, the rest are friends. Both Alma and Ruzia, were very gifted, played the guitar and the balalaika, accompanying themselves to a multitude of Yddish songs. Alma had a beautiful voice and had had some lessons with Joseph Schmidt when he was still a cantor. Alma had a great repertoire and sang and played often for her friends. She passed on her singing gift to our daughter Nadine.
Amy-Diana Colin’s (PhD, Yale) much-anticipated book “Czernowitz – Stadt der Dichter [City of Poets]”, the “History of a Jewish Family from Bukovina (1900-1948)” is now at the bookseller’s!
What a literary delectation, something for winter’s eve, but not only! From the blurb we learn: “The report of an exceptional contemporary witness: Edith Silbermann, nee Horowitz, from Czernowitz (Bukovina), actress, reciter, translator, Germanist, publicist, mediator between German and Jewish cultural traditions, narrates her turbulent family history and reports on her youth in Czernowitz before and during WW2. One chapter of this book is dedicated to Paul Antschel (Celan), Edith Silbermann’s friend from the early Czernowitz years until his death. It was for both, Paul and Edith, the first love of their youth. […]”
It is not just a literary delectation, it’s also a listening pleasure, since this precious book comes with two audio CDs including recordings from Edith Silbermann’s sophisticated recitation program. Read, listen and enjoy! It’s a special publication for Czernowitz lovers!
I found in my photo/archive a picture of an “Davidea, and Hasmonea ” party in Czernowitz from year 1935. May be some list members will findtheir grandmothers or grandfathers on it…in the first row, sitting I from left is Burschi Abeles, he died 2 years ago in Duesseldorf, the other 2, O do not remember..row 2: Lotte Hirsch/Gottfrie, mother of Marianne, may be Drimmer and Langhaus/Brenner. , Erna Grauthammer/Fluessig,Tussia Baltinester,Herbert Gabor, the dancing teacher,Ms. Boris, , Lulu Hornsteinn, Kaethe Krauthammer/Zallik, my classmate for 8 years, , living in T.A. and many others, ASidi Kassner, Hanny Beiser, Resi Gottesmann , Ferry Kardos, Jili Tsimand, and the young Paul Celan, a small boy in the 4.row, the only boy with a “Schlips”
Edgar Hauster: This is the obituary for my great-grandfather Mechel (Michael) Fleischer, deceased on October 16, 1908 in Czernowitz, subsequently to a diabetic coma. He was the co-founder of the Men’s Tailor Store Binderer & Fleischer as early as 1858. In 1881 Mechel became sole owner of the well-established business on Herrengasse; his customers came mainly from the middle class and the civil service. Mechel’s colleagues from the Tailor’s Association carried him to his grave while his family was in mourning for him, i. e. his wife [Fanny Fleischer, née Ehrlich], his son [Emil Fleischer, Deputy Station Master in Czernowitz] and his two daughters, the first one [Gusta Bardach] married with the postmaster Bardach in Stanislau and the other one [Marjem Hauster, my grandmother] with the engineer Hauslich [correct, Elias Hauster, my grandfather] in Czernowitz.
On behalf of Joanna Liss: “This is a photo of the original group that worked in the cemetery in 2008, organized by Mimi Taylor and Christian Hermann. I’m the one in the black and white Escher t-shirt. The reason I am posting it now is because a few days ago I met up with Clare Fester, the redheaded woman next to me, in Boston. We hadn’t seen each other since the project. Clare is Australian. She became interested in learning Yiddish after we had the wonderful opportunity to attend a part of the Yiddish conference in Czernowitz while we were there. It was on the 100th anniversary of the original Czernowitz Yiddish conference in 1908.
Since then, Clare has become proficient in Yiddish, created her own major in Yiddish studies, has studied in Belarus and Lithuania, and also at the Yiddish Book Center in Massachusetts. She works for a Jewish organization that organizes Yiddish culture trips. She was in Boston attending a Jewish culture conference (and then meeting her mom and sister in New York, where they plan to visit Ellis Island, see Fiddler on the Roof, etc.).
What makes this all the more remarkable is that Clare isn’t Jewish, nor were any of the other participants in the group, other than me. One of the other group members, Katharina from Germany, wound up doing her thesis on Czernowitz. Another, Sophie from France, has worked for the UN. I am proud to have been a part of this remarkable and diverse group, and so glad that the cemetery project continues on.”