Today was our long awaited visit to the archive.  Breakfast this morning was some left-over cheese cake.  It was just as good the 2nd day.  Ella spoke to the archivist early this morning, and found out that we couldn’t gain access to the reading room until after 1, so we headed back to Eugene’s apartment and looked through the rest of the photos and papers.  Ella kindly gave me duplicates of some of the photos and documents.  We now have a photo of Diana’s brother’s grave in Glasgow!  I want to contact the man in Scotland who is affiliated with the Jewish Genealogy group

Isaac and Bluma Landsman

Isaac and Bluma Landsman

there and see if he can tell us where the cemetery is.  We also took some postcards from his widow, Bluma, to scan – they are in Polish (I think) and were sent to Samuel & Diana in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.   We left the apartment a little after  11 AM to get back home for a lunch of schav – yes, you read that right – I have also now had borscht and I seem to have survived both experiences.  Following lunch Sasha drove us to the archive which is too far to walk.

For a foreigner to have archival access requires forms to be filled out in advance, which we didn’t do.  The really wonderful Lyuba had done a lot of research for us, taking notes on cards with the documentation of the volumes and pages that held records we were interested in.  I was able to plug my computer in but she asked that it be hidden if others walked in and that I not speak if anyone else was around since we didn’t have special permission for me to be there.  Copies are 40 hrvny each (about $5) whether they make the copies or we take photos.  We will have to order a couple of copies just to give Lyuba’s superiors assuredness that  Lyuba was working productively.  We have worked out a fairly substantial amount also to give Lyuba as a gift, and she  invited us, on the strength of that, back on Monday morning.  She asked us to give her the payment on Monday since it is a more auspicious way to begin a week!

So, the first thing we found, had Ella’s mouth drop open – it was a photo that is on the wall of Eugene’s apt – Samuel’s

Rechel Grass

Rechel Grass

sister Rachel (Rechel)!  It was a record of her birth, registered many years later.  We were looking in a book filled with the registration papers of what appeared to be many (not all) the Jews in Stanislawow, in the 1930’s.  There are probably other books with the rest of the Jewish population, since we didn’t find registrations of her brothers and sisters. I am struck with such waves of sadness seeing the beautiful young girl in this picture who I feel I know, but of course never did, and all the photos of all the other people like her, victims of senseless murder.  120,000 of them in this city alone.

Next, in another volume, we found the 1920 passport application from Sara Lea Zweifler to leave with her children – all of their birthdates and names were included in that application.

Yesterday, Ella had translated Sara Lea’s marriage certificate and daughter Paula’s birth certificate for me!  The archive closed today at 4 and we had to leave at 3:45.  We will be back there at 8 AM on Monday.  Before we left, I gave the archivist one of the magnifiers I had brought with me that has a light – she seemed very excited by the gift.

Of course the more answers, the more questions – Sara Lea’s papers that we worked on yesterday clearly identified her mother as Perl Pfeffer and her father as Schulim Schuster and yet today, in her documents as the wife of Samuel Kreisler, it indicates that she is also known as Zweifler.  Where do the answers come from?  When do the questions cease?

Rabbi Kolesnik told us that the Kreislers had a stationary story in a corner building – they owned the building.  The building was destroyed sometime around 1917 and rebuilt with the Kreislers still owning it and running the business.

Stationary store

Stationary store

Today it is still a stationary store!  The building it is in is the one that had been rebuilt and it is beautiful!

We stopped at a supermarket on the way to Nathalie’s to pick up a bottle of wine and a cake.  Sasha joined us as we were leaving   Once again, the decision of which wine, which cake, left me almost paralyzed – how to choose, what to choose!  The selection of wines was huge.  Many of them were from Georgia, but there were French, Italian, Spanish and Australian wines as well – I don’t remember seeing any from the US.  The cakes were beautiful but Ella wanted me to choose one that didn’t have cream (whipped I imagine) as its base since the weather was so warm that it ight spoil quickly. It probably took me 5 times longer to make the decision than it would anyone else, but there were so many choices, so many factors!  We chose a cake but the clerk told us it had been there for 2 days already, and guided us to those that had been delivered earlier today.  After paying for these and a small toy for David, we continued our walk to Nathalie’s home and Sasha picked up a bunch of daisies to bring with us.  The flower stall has such a huge array of flowers, and there are smaller stands right by it.  Sasha chose a stand and started sweet talking the women there, and of course, made a bargain with them – he was surprised that we don’t bargain with shopkeepers!  Nathalie and her husband, Heine rent a beautiful apartment in a pretty new building – lots of color in it on the wall paint and floor tiles – dark wood floors outside the kitchen area and the furniture (part of the rental) looks very similar to Arielle’s Ikea shelving.  The room with the toilet, unlike the other apartments I have been in since my arrival, also had a small sink.  The others have a sink in the room with the tub and shower.  Nathalie and Heine said they want to rent a house next – they need another bedroom for David and would like a space for her office.   This is unusual – many people from what I understand have two rooms – if there are children, one is their bedroom, if there are not children, that room will be the parlor.  Heine is also very uncomfortable without air conditioning, and they said they need to move in the winter to make sure that the heating and insulation are adequate.  I had to share the story of our apartment on Norton Drive in Far Rockaway in the house we rented from the Israelis which was so uncomfortable – it even had icicles hanging from the ceiling in the kitchen in the middle of winter – yes, this is the absolute unvarnished truth – I have photos to prove it.

Nathalie is originally from Kyiv but lived in Israel with her family for 16 years – her parents still live in Holon.  Her husband is from Denmark and is a farmer.  He works for a company that raises and markets pigs.  They met on his first day in Lviv where she was working after returning to Ukraine.  They have a beautiful baby, David, who is 7 months old.  Nathalie told us of some difficulties she has been having finding good pediatric health care in Ukraine – traveling to Denmark (and 18 hour drive) or to Israel really aren’t good alternatives when she needs medical care for him!  Nathalie and Heine were encouraging us to visit Lviv but I don’t think this will be able to be fit in during the few days that remain.  Sasha has some excursion planned for Saturday, on Sunday I hope we will be at Julia’s for a while before Sasha’s daughter Ira, granddaughter Anya and son-in-law, Valera join us.  Monday we will be back to the archives.  There still remains a trip to Kolomyya and time with Asya to tape her stories.  Lviv sounds wonderful, but unless Misha can arrange to go with us, I don’t think it will occur, and although Nathalie encouraged me to go by bus, there is no way, speaking as few Ukrainian words as I do that I will go off by myself.

Nathalie and Heine were married by a minister who is from Nashville, TN of all places – their wedding was under a Huppah and was comprised of 3 ceremonies – a Jewish one (I thought from Nathalie’s description that this minister who has been living in Ukraine for 15 years was part of the Messianic movement but Nathalie says he is not looking to convert people who aren’t already Christian, rather he is looking to educate Christians in their roots and expose them to Jewish practices in order to get them to understand and practice what he considers proper Christianity), a Ukrainian one and a Danish one!

Dinner was delicious – we had red wine from a monastery in Israel, salmon with a sauce from a Wolfgang Puck recipe, manicotti, smoked salmon, and a delicious roasted vegetable mixture.  The conversation in Ukrainian, English, Danish and Hebrew was wonderful and covered many subjects.  We mentioned the production of Fiddler to Nathalie and Heine groaned – he had seen the movie for the first time at Nathalie’s urging and he found it long and cumbersome although he enjoyed the music.

We stayed too late and left there at 11:30 PM.  Walking through the dark streets back home (there are few street lights) made me think that we were perhaps actually walking the streets, following the paths that our ancestors did – cobblestones, brick streets, dirt paths that are unpaved.  It could not differ greatly.  Of course by the time we got home,

I-F street

I-F street

I was wide awake and didn’t get to sleep until almost 2:30 – there are many wild dogs in the streets and they were barking, there were loud cars and trucks and some man outside yelling “Misha, Misha” – I have no idea if he was calling for a person or a dog!  I just wished he could have been doing it a lot quieter.

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