Photo taken in:UzhgorodYear when photo was taken:1929Country name at time of photo:Czechoslovakia, 1918-1938Country name today:Ukraine
This is me, photographed at the embankment of the Uzh River during a school trip to the town of Uzhgorod. The picture was taken in Uzhgorod in 1929. This is one of the pictures that my sister, Helena Zinger, put underneath the floor in our house before the Nazi invasion in 1940. We found this photo during repairs of the house in 1948. I finished school at the age of 14. My parents offered to send me to study at a garment factory in Czechoslovakia. There was a Zionist organization that organized training for teenagers helping them to get a profession and then go to Palestine. The Zborovitz garment factory belonged to this organization. I don't remember in what town this factory was located. There were other children from Velikiy Berezny and from other towns of Subcarpathia in the factory. We lived in a big building, ten to twelve tenants in one room. There was a canteen downstairs where we had kosher food. We had festive meals on Sabbath and Jewish holidays. We celebrated Sabbath on Friday evening and on Saturday we had a day off. We observed Jewish traditions and laws. We were trained to operate equipment at the factory and studied Hebrew and Yiddish. I worked for two years at the factory. I enjoyed my life there very much. I returned from Czechoslovakia in 1930 and my father sent me for training with a tailor. I studied there for three years. Of course, the training itself didn't take that long, but apprentices used to help their master's wife about the house, too. They fetched water, looked after the children and did what they were told to do. After finishing my training I began to work at my master's shop. I was a fabric-cutter. I lived with my parents and brother. My best friend was a barber in the village. He wasn't a Jew. He was a very nice person. We didn't care about nationality then. What mattered was whether a person was decent and honest.