Dobre Rozenbergene

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This is me, Dobre Rozenbergene, on my cot at home in Jurbarkas in 1933.

When I turned five, my parents decided that I should get ready for school. A Jew called Fruma came to teach me. She had graduated from the Froebel Institute. Fruma gathered a group of four-five people, took us for walks and taught us the rudiments of reading. Before going to school I knew how to read in Yiddish very well. Though, when I turned seven, I was sent to study in the Hebrew school talmud torah. The teaching was in Hebrew there. First it was hard to study Hebrew, but when I finished the first grade, I was good at it. All other subjects like Mathematics, Natural Science and Literature were also taught in Hebrew. I had friends at school – Jewish girls, daughters of middle-class merchants like my father – Rivka, Chaike, Toybele. We parted. I don’t know what happened to them during the war. I don’t know if any of them survived.

During the first two years of school I wasn’t allowed to play in the yard with the girls. When I grew older, my mother gave me some money. My friends and I went for strolls in the park, located in the downtown area. It was a very scenic place. Sometimes we just sauntered there, arm in arm. At times we went to the cafes to eat ice-cream. Sometimes I went for walks with my brother. He was three years older than me. He treated me kindly, but still he wanted to get rid of his young sister when we went out. My brother also went to the talmud torah. He entered a Lithuanian lyceum afterwards. Isroel’s dream was to become a lawyer and Father understood that he had to be fluent in Lithuanian in order to pursue this dream.

On Saturdays our whole family went out. My parents were dressed up. My brother and I walked around the town, greeting our acquaintances and relatives every minute, who also got out for a walk on Saturdays. Sometimes we drove to the outskirts. It was great.

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Dobre Rozenbergene