Moric Schvalb with his family

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  • Photo taken in:
    Raslavice
    Country name at time of photo:
    Austria-Hungary, pre 1918
    Country name today:
    Slovakia

This photo was taken at the beginning of the 1920s in Raslavice, and for me is one of the most valuable photographs that I own. In the center of the photo is my great-grandfather, Michael Schvalb. His wife is on his left. Sitting on his right are his daughters. Immediately behind him standing is my grandfather Moric Schvalb. On Moric’s left is his brother, most likely with his wife. I didn't know my grandfather Moric’s brother either, because before I was born (1925) he left for America.

I don't remember my great-grandparents, because they died almost as soon as I was born. I only remember my grandparents. Grandfather Moric was born in 1859. He worked as a merchant in the town of Presov. He owned a mixed-goods store. He sold flour, sugar and similar things. My grandfather was an Orthodox Jew. Because they kept Sabbath, they weren't allowed to work on Friday evening and on Saturday. They wouldn't even turn on the lights, usually I did that. I wasn't as religious as my grandparents. During my childhood, we couldn't play in the courtyard during Sabbath, because my grandfather would yell at us.

My grandfather wore clothing normal for the times. Because in those days he lived in the modern world, so he also dressed like every other person. If he had lived 300 years ago, he would have dressed according to the times. He would have had a yellow belt and dressed like all Jews. I can't remember very well whether he wore tallit under his clothing, but I think so. He never forgot his hat before leaving the house.

Interview details

Interviewee: Otto Schvalb
Interviewer:
Martin Korcok
Month of interview:
February
Year of interview:
2005
Presov, Slovakia

KEY PERSON

Michael Schvalb

Other Person

Moric Schvalb
Year of birth:
1859
City of birth:
Raslavice
Country name at time of birth:
Austria-Hungary pre 1918
Year of death:
1942
City of death:
Presov
Country of death:
Independent State of Slovakia 1938-45
Occupation
before WW II:
Businessman, Retail merchant

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