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Sefer Vladimirets

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Vignettes and Remembrances

The writings in the Sefer Vladimirets were formal, done with great care, as a memorial to those who perished. In researching Vladimirets, we ended up with little snippets of things -- a remembrance of a building that no longer exists, a memory of being a child in Vladimirets.  These are usually casual remembrances, little things highlighting that people in pre-WWII Vladimirets were the same as any other time, any other place.  

 The Bath House -- Yosef Leshetz

The Bath-house, it was on the way to "Kobluvka", a region between "Kanonitch" and "Dubivka" villages. This was an old brick house, and was maintained by the family of " Beder". This "Beder" (person in charge of the Bath, and not his family-name, just a nickname) used to live just right to the bath in this house (right), we can't tell his real name. On the other side of the same building was the actual Bath-house (left).

This is a short depiction of the inside of the Bath:

On the entrance was a room to get undressed and keep the cloths for a small amount of money, it was mainly active on Fridays. Jews were washing and also using what is called the " Mikveh", a cold-water basin which was used after the Bath-wash (Jews only did it before the Shabbat entered). In the Bath they were getting a wooden-bucket filled with cold water and also a tied batch of leaves (like a small broom) that was used as a scrub. The Bath was one big room with 3- wide concrete steps, each takes one up to a hotter sauna, the heat was generated out of big rocks heated to a very high temperature in a stove, when there was a need to a hotter steam, the water in the "Sheffalle" (the wooden-bucket) was used to be thrown at the hot rocks. When too hot, the leaf-scrub was soaked in the bucket and splashed to cool one's body. The house was probably closed on Saturdays and Sundays. I was 5-6 years old when I used to go there with my grandfather, usually on Fridays.


The Old Craftsman's Synagogue -- Yosef Leshetz via his son Lior

(this was in response to some questions about the Vladimirets map -- #16 on the map is the old Craftsman's Synagogue, which is now a former church turned molasses factory.  We wondered if the church was the former synagogue. . .)

This is not the craftsman synagogue for sure! We never been to it in our trips. The reason is simple: dad says (without even taking a look at the pictures yet) that there is absolutely no-way that the old craftsmen could was a very shabby and small room made of old woods, on the inside it had a rotten wooden-floor, 1 bench and 1 table. Little kids like my father learnt their first reading lessons there. 15 meters near it, a slaughterer named Avraham Slepak was living. The building in photo was probably built on the very same place - occupying the old craftsmen and Slepak's house.


Arranged marriages?  Feh!  (Terryn Barill Tower)

Most of the Hollywood images of Jewish marriage in the "Old Country" show arranged marriages.  I once asked my Bubbie (Rifka Chizi Barill) if that's how she and my Zeda got married.  "Feh!" she says.  "Arranged marriage!  If anyone had ever told me I was going to marry Louis Barill, I would have spit in their face!"

Once they got married, he was the center of her universe.   


When my Bubbie was younger, she used to wait up for her older sister Droshna to come home from dates.  She would spy on her from a window to see when she came home.  Once, she saw Droshna kiss a boy good-night and ran and told her father, just to get Droshna in trouble. 

I can't remember who told me the story (I think it was my Auntie Doris), but I always thought it was funny. . .anyone who met my Bubbie once they came to America would never have seen a mischievous younger sister in Rifka. 


The House of Beider -- -- Yosef Leshetz via his son Lior

One building that's still standing today is the house of "Beider", one of town richest merchants, it is a two story brick house and is much different of all the other surrounding buildings. I have attached a map, the red circle shows approximately it's place, the blue circle is my father's house. "Beider's" house wasn't too far from the "Gralnia" and the "Shazalka" swamp as you can see. Also my father mentioned the Polish school #19 (which turned to be Jew's school during the Soviet period), it was near the hospital and a new Soviet military base and airport. He remembers jumping out the window of his classroom to see the landing aircrafts there.

Portion of the SV map showing locations of the Beider house and the Leshetz house.  (click to enlarge)

 [Note: Yisrael Beider was a brickmaker, and had a brick factory not far from Vladimirets.]

 Avrom-Aaron's orchards -- -- Abe Brill

Avrom-Aaron Baril (my grandfather), had a very large house, with some land next to it with several fruit trees, mostly plums, I think.  He used to tell us to stay out of the orchard and away from the trees.  When I was very young, my cousins and I would climb the trees to try to steal the fruit.  Avrom-Aaron would get very angry and stand on the ground throwing things at us until we got out of the trees.  We would always get into trouble for stealing his fruit.  But he was such a good man, the only reason he kept the trees was for the fruit.  He would put it all into baskets and before dawn, he would leave it on the doorsteps of those who were too poor to eat.  So they would have food, but they wouldn't have to ask for it.    


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