Dobre Rozenbergene with her cousins Doba and Pesya Figlyar

Dobre Rozenbergene with her cousins Doba and Pesya Figlyar

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This is me, Dobre Rozenbergene, in the center. My cousins, daughters of Mother's brother Michl Figlyar are standing next to me. They came to Jurbarkas from Kaunas in 1936 - on the right is the elder, Doba Figlyar, her younger sister, Pesya Figlyar, is on the left.

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.

Mother’s brother Michl lived in Kaunas. His wife’s name was Anna, his daughters were called Doba and Pesya. Doba and Pesya were my favorite friends. They often came to Jurbarkas to see Grandmother and us, and we also went to see them on Jewish holidays. Michl perished during one of the first actions in the Kaunas ghetto. Anna and her daughters were burnt alive when the ghetto was destroyed.

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Interviewee

Dobre Rozenbergene