Yakov Bunke and his family

+
  • Photo taken in:
    Plunge
    Year when photo was taken:
    1932
    Country name at time of photo:
    Lithuania
    Country name today:
    Lithuania

This is our family. My mother Taube Bunke is standing to the right, holding my younger sister Genya. Mother's sister Sarah Ril is standing to the left. She is hugging my bruther Abram. My older sister Dina is to the right from her. Sitting from left to right: my friend Itshok and I. The picture was made in Plunge in 1932.

My mother Taube Ril was born in Plunge in 1895. Mother finished elementary Jewish school and was rather literate- she knew written and spoken Yiddish, spoke Russian and Lithuanian. When she was single, she helped parents in their business, often replacing grandma in many house chores as grandmother was busy with sale. Nobody told me how my parents met. I think it was prearranged by shedchans, who organized almost all Jewish marriages. Their wedding took place 1920, in a chuppah in Plunge synagogue.

My parents never had their own house. After wedding they settled in the house of grandpa Mended and had lived here for several years. Here in 1921 my sister was born, who was named after my grandmother Dina. On 13 July 1923 I was born. I was named Iosif after paternal grandfather. There were five more children born after me. One of them- a boy, lived couple of days only. He even was not given a name. In 1925 Abram was born and in 1932 - Genya, in 1936 - Channa , and in 1938 - the youngest Mena.

We lived very moderately. Father was not a gendarme. He received timber at the saw mill. He was a literate man, he calculated the volumes and made the settlements with the suppliers. Mother took care of children and modest household. Our apartment consisted of two rooms and a kitchen. Parents took bedroom, where younger children also slept. The elder ones stayed in a drawing room, where four or five of us slept on a large bed. The kitchen was poky. Russian stove, used for cooking and heating, took most of its part. The water was taken from the well in the yard. We had a small kitchen garden, where mother grew flowers and some herbs.

Our family was of the largest in Plunge. There was one poor man who had 11 kids, who were constantly hungry. We were neither poor nor rich. We were helped a lot by mother's brother Nehemia. My elder sister Dina was raised by grandparents. She lived with them, and it helped to accommodate our large family in two rooms, besides it was easier from the standpoint of expenses.

Of course, Jewish traditions were observed in our family. There were separate dishes for milk and meat. There was no pork. Hens were taken to shochet, whose shichta was in the yard of the synagogue. I often went there as per mother's request.

Interview details

Interviewee: Yakov Bunke
Interviewer:
Zhanna Litinskaya
Month of interview:
June
Year of interview:
2006
Plunge, Lithuania

KEY PERSON

Yakov Bunke
Jewish name:
Iosif
Year of birth:
1923
City of birth:
Plunge
Country name at time of birth:
Lithuania
Occupation
after WW II:
Joiner, wood artist

Other Person

Taube Bunke
Jewish name:
Taube
Year of birth:
1895
City of birth:
Plunge
Country name at time of birth:
Russia pre 1917
Year of death:
1989
City of death:
Tel-Aviv
Country of death:
Israel
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Housewife
after WW II:
Housewife
  • Previous family name: 
    Ril
    Year of changing: 
    1920
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage

More photos from this country

Fania Brantsovskaya and her family
Isroel Glezer with his grandson Rimas and his friends at the place where the Jews of Birzai were shot
glqxz9283 sfy39587stf02 mnesdcuix8
glqxz9283 sfy39587stf03 mnesdcuix8