The cover of Ihil Shraibman’s first book 'Meine Heftn'

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This is the cover of my first book, 'Meine Heftn' (My notebooks). The book was published in Bucharest in 1939. 

When my army service was over, I moved to Bucharest from Iasi. I stayed a while in a dormitory. Its director was my acquaintance from Rashkov. Then I went to work as a prompter at the Jewish theater. This was when I heard the name of Avrom Goldfaden. Avrom Goldfaden arrived in Iasi from Russia and was going to publish a magazine. He met the ‘Broder zinger’ [Brody singers’] group and created the first Jewish theater in Romania on the basis of this choir. Our theater staged Jewish plays: Sholem Aleichem’s, Mendele Moykher-Sforim’s  plays, Rappoport’s play ‘Gadibuk’ staged by Yevgeniy Vachtangov at the ‘Gabima’ Moscow Jewish theater, the play was translated by Bialik for the theater. There were also numerous rag plays in Yiddish. I wasn’t that interested in working for the theater. I started writing.

I had my stories published in newspapers in Warsaw and America. My first book of short stories and essays, ‘Meine Heftn’ [My notebooks], was published in Bucharest in 1939. This was an edition of 1000 copies and I paid for the publication. I was planning to have ten such notebooks with general page numbering and later have them bound to have one thick book and I left 500 brochures of 1000 for this purpose, but it didn’t work. I only managed three notebooks, when in 1940 repatriation to Bessarabia began. I didn’t consider staying in Romania since nobody stayed. Firstly, there were already German officers in Romania. Germans had one foot in Bucharest already. And, secondly, the Iron Guard already persecuted Jews. The Iron Guards pinned swastikas on Jews if they bumped into them in the streets. They beat Jews brutally, if they resisted.

Interview details

Interviewee: Ihil Shraibman
Nathalia Fomina
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Kishinev, Moldova


Ihil Shraibman
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Russia pre 1917
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