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The immigrant experience : personal recollections of Jewish garment workers in Canada, 1900-1930 Berson, Seemah Cathline, 1980

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THE IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE: PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS OF JEWISH GARMENT WORKERS IN CANADA, 1900-1930 by SEEMAH CATHLINE BERSON B.A., The University of British Columbia, 1975  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER  OF ARTS in  THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Anthropology)  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April 1980 <g) Seemah Cathline Berson,1980  In p r e s e n t i n g  t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r  an advanced d e g r e e a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I a g r e e t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and I f u r t h e r agree that permission f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s .  for extensive  study.  copying of this thesis  be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r It i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n  o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my written  permission.  Department o f The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e V a n c o u v e r , Canada V6T 1W5  E-6  BP  75-51  1E  ABSTRACT This thesis is concerned with the lives of East European Jews who came to Canada in search of better living and working conditions.  The period under review is 1900-1930.  The  study i s based on the personal recollections of over f i f t y informants ranging in age from 65 to 90 years.  The i n i t i a l purpose was to  discover why so many Jewish immigrants had chosen to work in the clothing factories of Montreal and Toronto.  As the research  progressed the reasons for choice of occupation faded into the background and their experiences in surmounting new problems became of paramount importance.  In order to fully understand the motivations  and actions of these people, this thesis investigates, through the media of taped interviews, the lives of Jewish immigrants in the Pale of Settlement.  The Jews had been confined to the Pale for many years  hence they were not only isolated but insulated from the wider politica happenings of the last two centuries.  Their awakening, at the end  of the 19th and early 20th century, through wars and consequent occupations, set their sights beyond the villages and towns in which they lived toward cities across borders and oceans. This thesis explores some of the historical roots and traditions of a people, why they tenaciously clung to their identity and their ability to start l i f e a l l over again.  The purpose is to  convey a sense of living which a few people experienced even though millions emigrated to Canada and the United States at the turn  of the century.  The focus is on revealing the lives of workers in  the Old Country, their journeying to the New World, and their experiences in Canada adjusting to a new setting. Utilizing the words of informants wherever possible the concern is not only to convey what their lives were like but also to show how they themselves reflect upon their past:  the  need to give meaning to one's actions i s always unconsciously present in the recounting. Photographs are used throughout in order to give a further dimension to the words of these  immigrants.  A Glossary is appended giving meanings of Yiddish and other language x^ords used. is also appended.  A Bibliography of references cited  \  -iv>  TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgements  V1  List of Maps CHAPTER I  :  . •/ i  -A x  INTRODUCTION  Background to Research  1.  Purpose of Paper  7  Photographs CHAPTER II  ;  9  LIFE IN EASTERN EUROPE: THE PALE OF SETTLEMENT  Introduction  12  Short History of the Jews Prior to Mass Migration to North America  12  Conception of the Pale of Settlement: Overview of Russian History as i t applied to Jews  21  CHAPTER III  THE SHTETL IN THE PALE OF SETTLEMENT  Introduction  28  j  What i s meant by'Shtetl' Life in the Shtetl  30 '•  40  Mothers' dreams for their Sons (and their Daughters)  42  The Impact of Poverty  54  Economic and Work Setting  68  CHAPTER IV  86  IDEOLOGIES OF SOCIAL CHANGE  CHAPTER V  PUSH/PULL FACTORS: THOSE WHICH PUSHED THEM OUT OF EASTERN EUROPE AND THOSE WHICH PULLED THEM TOWARD 'AMERICA'  Introduction:  Why I Came To 'America'  96  Motives and Desires for Migration  100  Reasons for Emigrating as given by informants  101  The Journey from the Shtetl to Canada  111  CHAPTER VI  TRANSFORMATION OF BEING: A SENSE OF PE0PLEH00D  Introduction  116  Brief Account of Mass Migration & Census Figures  117  Historical Setting - Montreal  121  Toronto Transformation of Being:  125  A Sense of Peoplehood  128  Demographic Studies of Montreal & Toronto  143  Summary  147  CHAPTER VII  THE NEEDLE TRADES: A SHORT HISTORY  Introduction  164  The Early Days  166  Working Conditions  177  Profile on Sidney Sarkin: His Early Days and How He Became A Cutter  179  Point of a Needle  182".  You remember the poverty: The Woman's World  189  The Role of the Union:  Organizing the Unorganized  205  Union Struggles Summary  219 •  230  CHAPTER IX  CONCLUSION  ;  APPENDIX GLOSSARY BIBLIOGRAPHY  232 243  •  246 249  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Research on the Needle Trades was made possible through grants from the Institute of Industrial Relations, University of British Columbia in 1974 and again in 1976.  The research on Life  in the Shtetl was funded by Youth Employment Programmes, through the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of British Columbia in the summer of 1978. I wish to acknowledge with gratitude those whose time and efforts have contributed to this work. Amongst them are Professor Kenneth Stoddart who willingly accepted the challenge to s i t on my Committee at i t s penultimate stage.  Professor Martin Silverman  has been available whenever I needed to discuss an idea or two. His moments of excitement were contagious and gave me the impetus to carry on.  I wish to thank Henry Rosenthal for reading and commenting on  parts of this essay. To Professor Martin Meissner my gratitude for not only being instrumental in turning my vision toward this research but for his criticism and understanding when most needed. There are many who have contributed their time and expertise.  I am sorry I cannot acknowledge them a l l .  I wish to thank  Professor Marjorie Halpin for drawing out of me those feelings which might otherwise have remained submerged. Professor Michael Ames has been my mentor for many years. He has unstintingly given of his time and has with longstanding patience encouraged me over the d i f f i c u l t periods. this.  I most gratefully acknowledge  Without the patience, understanding and love of my husband, Harold, and our children David, Joshua, Saul and Adam, this research would not have been undertaken.  Harold has spent  many hours transcribing a l l the tapes for this study.  I would like to thank my family for  without their help this thesis would not have been completed in time.  Thank you very much.  ix  LIST OF MAPS MAP I  Expulsions 1000-1500  17  MAP II  The Emancipation of European Jewry 1789-1918  19  MAP III  Partitioned Poland, 1815-1918 showing Pale of Settlement  22  The Second Polish Republic 1921-1939 showing The Shtetlach i n the Pale of Settlement  23  MAP V  Tishevits - A Shtetl  66  MAP VI  Early Jewish Settlement i n Montreal 1900  123  MAP VII  First Area of Jewish Settlement in Montreal 1901 -  124  MAP VIII  Toronto 1921  127  MAP IX  First Area of Jewish Settlement in Montreal 1939 -  144  MAP X  Second Area of Jewish Settlement in Montreal 1939  145  MAP XI  Third Area of Jewish Settlement in Montreal 1939 - 146  MAP IV  (  For Thomas Robertson 1929-1975 wise and gentle friend; my teacher too.  xi  frontispiece  1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION  Background t o Research. I t happened a few y e a r s ago when I heard him speak a t a banquet about the t h i n g s he had  done as a young man:  came to Canada and the s o r t of l i f e he had I was  an undergraduate  The man  then, though  i t was  first  l i v e d the p a s t f i f t y y e a r s .  a t the time and I had  speaking a t the banquet was  .when he  a r e s e a r c h paper  Jewish and what he  a p a r t of h i s l i f e , was  t o do.  talked  about  a l s o a r e f l e c t i o n of a  l a r g e r p i c t u r e i n v o l v i n g more than the one Jewish immigrant  to North  America.  European  It reflected  the t r a n s i t i o n of a p e o p l e , the E a s t  Jewish p e o p l e . F i v e or s i x y e a r s ago I had immigrants  who  l i t t l e knowledge about  came t o Canada, even though  antecedents are not E a s t European. been l i k e i n the O l d Country:  the Jewish  I am Jewish m y s e l f .  My  I had vague i d e a s about what l i f e  had  the a n t i - S e m i t i s m , the pogroms, the  p o v e r t y , the s t r u g g l e s , the heroes  and h e r o i n e s and t h e i r  achievements.  L i s t e n i n g t o Sidney S a r k i n a t the banquet I became i n t e r e s t e d i n f i n d i n g out more about At  these p e o p l e .  t h a t time S a r k i n was  memoirs i n Y i d d i s h . life  and we  stories  i n the p r o c e s s of w r i t i n g h i s  He g e n e r o u s l y agreed to t a l k t o me  s u b s e q u e n t l y spent many hours  about  life  about h i s  at h i s home t a p i n g the  i n L i t h u a n i a , about h i s l e a v i n g home, h i s e v e n t f u l  j o u r n e y to Canada and the y e a r s he spent working  i n the garment i n d u s t r y ,  the t r a d e u n i o n and the Communist P a r t y of Canada. spent t o g e t h e r r e s u l t e d i n a paper.  The many hours  However, the major outcome  t h a t i t c r y s t a l i z e d a d e s i r e to t a l k t o many more people and  was  listen  2  to  t h e i r l i f e s t o r i e s about coming to Canada and working i n the  needle  trades. I began t o look a t secondary s o u r c e s :  books on  Canadian  Jewish h i s t o r y , w o r k i n g - c l a s s s t r u g g l e s i n Canada, t r a d e u n i o n h i s t o r y , census r e p o r t s , and o t h e r r e l a t e d e v i d e n c e , and what s t r u c k me and a g a i n were the f a c t s (1)  again  that:  60% of the Jewish immigrants  i n Montreal, Toronto  and  Winnipeg were employed i n the c l o t h i n g m a n u f a c t u r i n g i n d u s t r y i n the e a r l y decades  of t h i s c e n t u r y ;  (2)  i n any h i s t o r y of the Jews i n Canada l i t t l e was  about the i n d u s t r y i t s e l f working  said  (e.g. the sweat shops, the s t r u g g l e s , the  conditions); (3)  the h i s t o r i e s  and r e p o r t s of the p e r i o d under  review  were more concerned w i t h q u a n t i t a t i v e documentation  r a t h e r than a  r e c o n s t r u c t i o n of what l i f e was  immigrant  l i k e f o r the Jewish  worker. F u r t h e r , S a r k i n was and I wanted to speak  a c u t t e r , an ' a r i s t o c r a t ' of the t r a d e ,  to o r d i n a r y  workers.  The h i s t o r i c a l r e c o r d was was  missing.  impersonal. who  What was  further research.  in  The p e r s o n a l dimension  References to i n s t i t u t i o n a l c o n t e x t s were o n e - s i d e d and  had l i v e d i t ?  European  incomplete.  t h i s h i s t o r y l i k e from the p o i n t of view of those  The i n t e r v i e w w i t h S a r k i n suggested a format f o r I w i l l attempt  Jewish immigrants  t o r e c o n s t r u c t the h i s t o r y of E a s t  from the p e r s p e c t i v e of t h e i r own  memories  o r d e r to add a p e r s o n a l dimension t o the i m p e r s o n a l r e c o r d s . I d e c i d e d t o focus on the p e r i o d 1900  pragmatic reasons:  t o 1930 f o r  3  (1)  It was d i f f i c u l t to find anyone who worked in the  trades prior to this time; (2)  census reports giving dates, numbers of immigrants,  religion, language, occupation, etc. begin i n 1911; (3)  secondary sources dealing with Jewish communities i n  Canada are sketchy before the 20th century because of insignificant numbers of Jews prior to 1900; and (4)  the early 1930s was chosen as a cut-off point because  of World War II. The immigrants who came after the mid-30s pose different sets of problems which w i l l not be dealt with i n this paper. Before my final year as an undergraduate I was fortunate to have received a grant from the Institute of Industrial Relations, University of British Columbia, to travel to eastern Canada in order to do my fieldwork. Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg had been the centres of the clothing manufacturing industry and the people who were employed in the needle trades were to be found there. An impetus to hasten my work was the age group toward which the research was focussed: the immigrants were from 65 years old and over and not too many of them were s t i l l around. In the summer of 1974 I went to Toronto and Montreal. decided I would only do two of the three cities. recorder and dozens of blank tapes.  I  I went with my tape-  I was armed with enough names of  immigrants in both cities to get me started.  However, having a tape-  recorder and being introduced to someone willing to talk does not necessarily mean that you are going to come out of an interview with 'good data' or 'a sufficient amount of raw material'.  I had grown  accustomed to interviewing Sarkin and f e l t comfortable talking to him.  4 In T o r o n t o and M o n t r e a l I was a s t r a n g e r . of  i n i t i a l t e r r o r , made f o r a c e r t a i n amount o f time wasted,  made i n r e c o r d i n g , i n a b i l i t y the  T h i s , coupled w i t h a degree  to f i e l d  mistakes  a p p r o p r i a t e q u e s t i o n s , o r to keep  respondent from s t r a y i n g i n t o areas of no i n t e r e s t t o me.  There  were o c c a s i o n s when a respondent had been t a l k i n g f o r about f i v e  minutes  b e f o r e I r e a l i z e d t h a t the o u t l e t i n t o which my t a p e r e c o r d e r was plugged was dead. get  Needless t o s a y , when we s t a r t e d a l l over a g a i n I d i d n o t  a d e t a i l e d s t o r y b u t a resume of those f i r s t B e f o r e g o i n g i n t o the f i e l d  language.  minutes.  I was a l i t t l e concerned about the  My Y i d d i s h i s n e x t t o n o n - e x i s t e n t which means I c o u l d  s t a n d the g e n e r a l d r i f t the  five  o f what i s b e i n g s a i d b u t the f i n e r nuances of  language would pass me by.  I was w o r r i e d t h a t people might l a p s e  i n t o Y i d d i s h which would then c o n s t i t u t e a t r a n s l a t i o n problem. all  under-  the p e o p l e i n t e r v i e w e d spoke good E n g l i s h .  However,  There were a few who  c h a t t e d away i n Y i d d i s h when they were e x c i t e d about something b u t f o r t u n a t e l y i t was b a s i c enough f o r me t o understand and t r a n s l a t e . The p e o p l e I wished filling  out forms  t o i n t e r v i e w d i d n o t l e n d themselves t o  or q u e s t i o n n a i r e s .  Some o f them c o u l d n o t r e a d o r  w r i t e i n E n g l i s h , and even i f they c o u l d the type o f q u e s t i o n s I wished to  ask c o u l d n o t be answered i n one or two words. My i n i t i a l f o r c u s was t o d i s c o v e r why Jewish immigrants  i n t o the n e e d l e t r a d e s .  I began w i t h the f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n s which I  f e l t would a l l o w people the room t o u n f o l d t h e i r l i f e 1.  stories:  Where d i d you come from and when d i d you a r r i v e i n Canada? (from t h i s was t o be l e a r n e d why they had l e f t t h e i r homeland).  2.  went  With whom d i d you l i v e when y o u a r r i v e d ? ( t h i s I f e l t was a c r u c i a l q u e s t i o n :  d i d the  5  person with whom they lived influence the type of occupation? A rich uncle; a revolutionary brother; a poor but religious family? Was the type of occupation, and the position within that occupation, determined by the answer to this question?) 3.  What was your f i r s t job?  In dealing with these basic questions I felt I would be able to discover their reasons for choosing occupations.  I wanted to  know how various factors \influenced their choice of occupation, such as religion, language, s k i l l s , kinship, friendship, membership i n organizations, time of arrival i n this country, etc.  '  Though I was interested primarily in people who had worked in the needle trades,  I interviewed immigrants i n other trades as well.  I also visited public and private libraries and archives i n Toronto and Montreal.  In Ottawa I spent time in the Federal Government  archives and Canadian Labour Congress offices gathering data on labour and union activities. I would like to say at this point that some sort of direction before going into the f i e l d would have been helpful.  I knew what I was  looking for: why Jewish immigrants had gone into the needle trades. where to find these immigrants. secondary sources.  I knew  However, I had difficulty pursuing  I did have a publication:  Primary Sources i n  Canadian Working Class History 1860-1930,. (Hann, et a l , 1973), but when I followed some leads they proved f r u i t f u l whilst others were non-existent, unavailable or useless for my purposes.  My major focus was the Jews  in the needle trades. But when you begin to know names and names have faces and struggles and fascinating experiences then how do you s i t for  6 hours pouring over papers in the Attorney General's files deciding what is relevant and what is not?  I f , for example, one of your names with a  face has been i n the needle trades, has been an active union worker,;, a communist party member, has been arrested - can you just overlook a letter he or she wrote from j a i l ? parameter of interest.  I found i t very d i f f i c u l t to set an arbitrary  The files i n front of me did not contain facts  and figures of how many people lived in a certain city at a given time, doing a particular job for a specific wage. They did not contain tables of figures and numbers and percentages.  The files contained original letters,  personal papers, creative writings, of young children, of men and women, some s t i l l around, others long dead.  In other words there were pieces  of peoples' lives written i n their own hand, i n their own words, on various kinds of stationery.  At that point I asked myself:  what could  I do with a l i s t of names written very meticulously showing the five and ten cent contributions people made to a strike fund, or a sick benefit society?  I realized I did not have a framework to f i t this kind of  material. Consequently what evolved for me out of my research was a shift i n focus.  Instead of being concerned with gathering facts and  figures to support what informants said to me and bolster the conceptual framework with which I went into the f i e l d , I began to see myself as a funnel or channel through which their lives and struggles could be written down. Further, two years of illness had also distanced me from my research and academic l i f e to the extent that I do not consider my priorities as being paramount in this study.  My priority has been to  find adequate answers to the phenomenon: why had so many Jewish immigrants gone into the needle trades. Now the 'why' i s no longer  7  important to me.  Perhaps someone else later on can be concerned with  that aspect. The concern of this paper is to portray the panorama of Jewish l i f e at the turn of the century, both in the Old Country and here in Canada. I was born, I have lived, and I have been made over. Is i t not time to write my life's story? (Mary Antin, Russian Jewish immigrant in her book, The Promised Land) In reviewing the oral histories of the immigrants I had interviewed in Toronto and,Montreal, I felt I had somehow asked them to talk about their lives in Canada as though the years lived in Eastern Europe did not exist or have any bearing on their lives here in Canada. I f e l t I had to know about the towns and villages and cities from which these people came. What sort of lives they had lived there. Had they exchanged one set of problems for another?  But mostly, I think the real  reason for wanting to know about l i f e in the Old Country was because there i s no more a "Pale of Settlement" in Eastern Europe or anywhere else in the world for that matter. Consequently I spent last summer recording the recollections of Jewish immigrants in the "shtetlach", villages, of Eastern Europe. Some came from cities and would be resentful i f they were referred to as a "shtetl".  However, the majority of those 'interviewed came from towns  and villages.  Purpose Of The Paper By u t i l i z i n g personal recollections, I w i l l attempt to describe, in a l l their richness, the experiences of Jewish immigrants, as reported tc me.  These experiences are not the milestones in the lives of these  8  people so much as the everyday, o r d i n a r y events which c o n f r o n t e d people in  t h e i r s t r u g g l e t o l i v e from day  to day.  These e x p e r i e n c e s w i l l span  three spheres of i n t e r e s t :  1.  The S h t e t l . The Push F a c t o r s . Those which pushed the Jews out of E a s t e r n Europe.  2.  "America". The P u l l F a c t o r s . Those which beckoned them t o the North American s h o r e s .  3.  The Needle T r a d e s . The c o n t r i b u t i o n s . m a d e by these .immigrants i n f i g h t i n g f o r Canadian l a b o u r laws, such as the e i g h t hour working day, unemployment i n s u r a n c e , e t c .  These spheres were chosen because be viewed  f i r s t i n o r d e r to understand how  p a r t i n p u s h i n g the Jews out, how how  each i n i t s own way  should  the O l d Country p l a y e d i t s  'America'  attracted  them h e r e ,  and  these two f a c t o r s i n f l u e n c e d t h e i r l i v e s i n the o c c u p a t i o n s they  u l t i m a t e l y chose f o r themselves. f i g h t f o r b e t t e r working  One  cannot, I f e e l , a p p r e c i a t e t h e i r  c o n d i t i o n s w i t h o u t u n d e r s t a n d i n g the i d e o l o g y  w i t h which these Jews were r a i s e d and w i t h o u t b e i n g c o g n i z a n t of the t h a t they brought  t h i s i d e o l o g y w i t h them to t h i s  country as p a r t  fact  and  p a r c e l of t h e i r c u l t u r a l baggage. In r e v i e w i n g the o r a l h i s t o r i e s are mostly concerned w i t h t a l k i n g about  of over f i f t y people I f i n d  themselves, which i s to be  However, male i n f o r m a n t s o f t e n j u x t a p o s e d t h e i r l i v e s w i t h  they  expected.  'political'  e v e n t s , w h i l s t female i n f o r m a n t s s t r e a m l i n e d t h e i r s w i t h events  closer  to t h e i r p e r s o n s .  'actors',  Male i n f o r m a n t s were always  the makers of h i s t o r y ;  the 'doers', the  w h i l s t female i n f o r m a n t s were most  i n t e r e s t e d i n t e l l i n g me  about what happened around  often  them even though  they  might have been as i n s t r u m e n t a l as the n e x t person i n 'making h i s t o r y ' . L i f e was  always h a r d .  Each day was  a struggle;  b u t no one ever l e f t i t  9  as being a struggle and nothing more.  There were benefits, there were  small rewards, there was the fight i t s e l f .  Our 'givens' and 'taken-for-  granteds' are the things they fought for and in most cases did without. On several occasions men and women went to where they kept their l i t t l e private things - letters, papers, photographs - and very proudly pulled out their union card and showed i t to me.  "See, I've been a member for  a long time and I s t i l l get a pension, not very much, i t ' s only $25 a month, but I get a pension!"  Some cried as they told me about "longing  to go to school to get an education:  to be able to read and write just  a few words even".  Photographs Though the camera does not l i e , the photograph is neither value free nor does i t provide more than a desituated fragment, accidentally preserved through time, of a larger picture. (Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 1977:xiii) Photographs w i l l be used in this study bearing in mind the above words. As John Szarkowski has remarked: is the essence of the photographer's  "To quote out of context  craft" ( i b i d : x i i i ) .  In doing this  research, some time was spent in finding, collecting and reproducing photographs.  Not a l l of them were finally used.  Those used were taken  from a number of books and personal collections. I have chosen photographs showing people working, children studying, street and shop scenes in the Old Country, sweat shops and factories in Canada. Photographs were also chosen with a concern for showing how people dressed f i f t y to seventy years ago both in Eastern Europe and i n Canada.  In seeing a photograph, for example, of someone  10  carrying water in the shtetl i t may help create a 'tableau' of some aspect of unknown or forgotten l i f e .  Hopefully photographs w i l l be  viewed as serving the purposes of eliminating useless words and stirring the imagination to perceive on a wider canvas what these immigrants f e l t and experienced.  Far from detracting or intruding upon the flow and  purpose of this paper, photographs w i l l be used to give a further dimension to the stories of informants.  However, I would strongly urge  that they be placed in the correct frame of reference:  somewhere  between history and ethnography. This study would not have been possible without the generosity of each and every one of the Jewish immigrants who gave not only of their time but of themselves in the hope that some part of their story w i l l survive them. Today some of them live in their own homes or apartments;  some in Old Folks' Homes, others in hospitals too old to  do anything for themselves;  and some have died.  Those who were able,  graciously invited me to their homes and talked to me over tea or lunch, even whilst baby-sitting grandchildren.  Others met me at cultural  institutions where they spent a part of their day.  Those in Old Folks' Homes  and hospitals gave of their endless time to talk to me: ful to have someone to talk to about themselves.  they were so grate-  Most people enjoyed the  experience of recounting their past although in one or two instances I felt ashamed of myself and wondered what moral right I had to be there questioning them. When a man does not remember his wife's name, have 1 a right to ask him to remember his experiences in the garment industry? I withdrew as gently as I could.  In these cases  I felt they had earned the right to be  left in ,peace: no need to dredge up pleasant as well as very better-forgotten times.  j  unpleasant,  A Rabbi in the shtetl of Vilkomir, Lithuania. Courtesy:  Sidney Sarkin.  Photographic reproduction: Harold Berson.  CHAPTER II LIFE IN EASTERN EUROPE: THE PALE OF SETTLEMENT  Introduction In this- chapter I w i l l give a short: history of the Jews prior t o mass migration to North America. which covered an area  These Jews lived in the Pale of Settlement  of about 1,000,000 sq. km. from the Baltic Sea to the  Black Sea. According to the census of 1897, 4,899,300 Jews lived there, forming 94% of the total population of Russia and accounting for 11.6% of the general population of the area (Slutsky 1971:27). The Jews were an homogenous group and yet they were not. They had their similarities, their differences, their idiosyncrasies.  For example,  there existed a 'Gefilte Fish' line which separated those who seasoned their Sabbath Fish with sugar from those who did not (Rosk'ies .and Roskies 1975:37).  They spoke the same language, Yiddish, but pronunciation of  certain words differed.  For example, depending on where they eame' from,  some either said 'shul' or 'sheel' for synagogue.  ;  They believed in the  same God but followed different schools of rabbinical thought:  the  followers of the Rabbi of Ger had nothing to do with the followers of the Lublin Rabbi.  Short History of the Jews Prior to Mass Migration to North America The existence of the Jewish people as a continuous historic entity from the days of the Father of the Jews, Abraham, i n ancient Mesopotamia, to the Jews living i n Israel and the Diaspora (those living outside of Israel), plays an important part in the understanding and explanation of their survival prior to and during the period under review.  The contribution of the Jews to Western thought may. be considered more than the belief of ethical monotheism-  That a group of nomadic tribes  were eventually able to forge such a document as the Bible stems, in great measure, from the fact that they were able to codify into written language their 1000 to 1500 years of wanderings, into a total unified structure.  The  very nature of these people trying to comprehend their secular world was imbedded in the necessity to understand the totality of their environment. The logical conclusion of the conditions of the day and age had to suggest a unity that was codified and ritualized into the Bible.  That other people  at that particular juncture of history were also able to detect in their own indigenous way the same comprehension of universality, i s not denied. The accomplishment of the Israelites of that day was that they had evolved a method of recording - both written and oral - what one might consider to be the "First Whole Earth Catalogue".  This 'catalogue' consisted of the  Torah, which i s the Five Books of Moses, plus the Talmud, which was i n i t i a l l y transmitted orally from generation to generation and eventually transcribed into another set of sacred texts. The languages used were Hebrew and Aramaic.  The people who were  landless and nomadic for the greater part of their early existence, were admonished in both languages to instruct a l l their children - the poor, the rich and the orphaned - in the teachings of the Sacred Books. This tradition was maintained throughout Jewish history.  The Talmud insisted  on this feature and the education of children became part of the ritual of Judaism.  The ancient Hebrew sages are purported to have said:  The world i s kept alive by the breath of school children; and, A town without a school ought to be demolished.  A scribe in Poland. Source: Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett Photographic reproduction: Harold Berson.  (1977:68).  Even though i t may be argued that the Hellenic influence on the earlier Jews was limited to only the upper echelons of Jewish society, the culture of an evolving, benign, tolerant and conquering Greek civilization could not but influence the Jewish scribes who were in the process of writing the Bible.  The pattern of civilized tolerance for minority groups  within the Greek empire provided a great cultural leveller.  Greek was  established as a common tongue for the people of the Mediterranean world. The equality of opportunity that the Greeks fostered, siphoned off a large portion of the Jewish people from their homeland.  The mobility of the  Jewish people during this period was such that Alexandria with i t s cosmopolitan setting attracted a Jewish population of 250,000; Egypt had 1,000,000 Jews.  Statistically, i t i s indicated that there were three to  four million Jews living in Palestine at that time but a greater number of them were living outside (Ausubel 1955:77). The Sacred Books carried instructions on how to live a good l i f e in the eyes of God;  what health foods to eat;  oneself within the community.  how one should conduct  The sanctioning by religious edict of the  Sabbath as a day of rest has been considered as being the f i r s t recorded piece of labour legislation.  The wide variety of everyday activities  which the Sacred Books implored the Jewish populace to follow in the name of God, covered a wide range of both spiritual and secular matters. The rise of Islam coincided with the dispersion of the Jews from Israel.  The Arabs conquered Palestine in 638 and Babylonia in 642 C.E.  They conquered the south of Spain i n 711 and with this conquest began the Golden Age of the Jews (ibid:105).  Judaism outside of Israel and in the  Moslem world continued to flourish.  This era, known as the Golden Age,  took place under Arab rule mainly in Spain from approximately 900 to 1200 C.E.  The forward thrust of Christianity eventually forced the Arabs  out o f Spain and subsequently the Jews, who  were e x p e l l e d i n  1492.  Small e n c l a v e s o f Jews were s e t t l i n g i n the Rhine V a l l e y f o r s e v e r a l hundred  y e a r s and t h e i r numbers were i n c r e a s e d w i t h the m i g r a t i o n from the  Iberian peninsula. Europe, of  As C h r i s t i a n i t y  c o n t i n u e d to r e l e n t l e s s l y march a c r o s s  the Jews m i g r a t e d to those pagan areas where a more t o l e r a n t  t h e i r presence was  E a s t e r n Europe.  accepted.  The b u l k o f w o r l d Jewry f i n a l l y s e t t l e d i n  W i t h i n the c o n f i n e s o f t h i s a r e a , t h e i r s t a y was  p e r s e c u t i o n s and t e r r i t o r i a l  marked by  confinement.  D u r i n g t h e i r s t a y i n the Rhine V a l l e y , the Jews developed language known as Y i d d i s h . M i d d l e German but was  view  T h i s language  another  came to l i f e a t the same time as  w r i t t e n i n Hebrew c h a r a c t e r s and possessed much o f the  morphology o f the Hebrew language. Why  d i d the Jews i n the Rhine V a l l e y i n the m e d i e v a l c i t i e s o f  Worms, Mayence, Cologne Max of  and Speyer, need a language o f t h e i r own?  W e i n r e i c h , a well-known h i s t o r i a n  The  late  o f Y i d d i s h , e x p l a i n e d t h a t the Jews  these c i t i e s chose to l i v e a p a r t from the g e n t i l e s .  c l o s e to the conveniences n e c e s s a r y f o r a Jew  They wanted to be  to observe h i s r e l i g i o n ; the  synagogue, the r i t u a l b a t h , the kosher s l a u g h t e r h o u s e , and Jewish  burial  ground. S e t t l i n g i n groups was the n a t u r a l t h i n g to do i n the M i d d l e Ages. What Jews wanted i n p a r t i c u l a r was, not i s o l a t i o n from the C h r i s t i a n s , but i n s u l a t i o n from C h r i s t i a n i t y (Roskies and R o s k i e s 1975:34). Y i d d i s h f o l l o w e d the Jews to E a s t e r n Europe and t h i s became the everyday  tongue of the Jewish masses.  In o r d e r to t e a c h the  c h i l d r e n Judaism, p r a y e r s were w r i t t e n i n t h i s language. poems and s t o r i e s , v e r y much t y p i c a l o f non-Jewish M i d d l e Ages, were a l s o w r i t t e n i n Y i d d i s h . Y i d d i s h works were c i r c u l a t e d  language  Popular epic  l i t e r a t u r e of the  Handwritten  oopies o f these  amongst the people u n t i l the paper  they  style  17  EXPULSIONS 1000-1500  jr  200  [ WALES,  "0 God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; 0 turn thyself to us againr PSALM 60  Trebizond  ®  Damascus —  (§) Safed (•) Jerusalem .  \ fcv Source:  Gilbert 1969:44  oft- '  °"  18 were written on l i t e r a l l y f e l l apart. A continuation of the linear tradition and a multilingual approach was part and parcel of the mental luggage that the vast majority of Jewish people carried with them. Ausubel says that the Jews of Europe had to wait some fifteen hundred years before they were o f f i c i a l l y accorded equality as human beings (ibid: 152). Revolution.  The 18th century saw the French Revolution and the Industrial People were being freed not only from their physical bonds but  also from spiritual ones:  equality of human beings, reason above dogma,  conscience above subservience to church, etc. The Jews also began to share in this freedom.  But i t came slowly.  It was not until the 19th century  that Jews were 'emancipated' and the walls of the ghettos crumbled. To those Jews of Western and Central Europe who had managed to physically survive the onslaught of Christianity and the Crusaders and who had not migrated to Eastern Europe, Judaism developed in such a manner as to easily accomodate and adapt to the evolving territorial nationalist ambitions of their host cultures.  The Jews readily adapted to the cultural l i f e  of this part of the world where German became the secular language. For  the Eastern European Jew this was not a period of emancipation.  Poverty was the common lot of the vast majority of the people. dark l i f e , Judaism encountered Hassidism;  a  Into this  Jewish interpretation of God  in a highly personalized and individualistic way which created a folk type religion.  Hassidism addressed i t s e l f to personal and intimate dialogues  with the Creator and infused Judaism with a spiritually uplifting, joyful experience. The spirit of Emancipation attempted to force i t s e l f into the ghettos of Eastern Europe.  Its success was somewhat limited, due in part  to the fact that the advocates of Haskalah, Jewish Enlightenment movement, deemed Yiddish to be an i l l i t e r a t e and common jargon despite i t s use as  j T H E EMANCIPATION ! OF EUROPEAN JEWRY I 1789-1918 GREAT„BRITAIN  /  d&  Jews could be elected to Parliament CO  o C H  Jews could enter University  "And if.in the course of many centuries, the oppressed descendants of warriors and sages have degenerated from the qualities of their fathers; if while excluded from the blessings of law, and bowed down under theyoke of slavery, they have contracted some of the vices of outlaws and slaves, shall we consider this as a matter of reproach to them?Shall we not rather consider it as a matter of shame and remorse to ourselves ? Let us open to them every career in which ability and energy can be displayed. Till we have done this, let us not presume to say that there is no genius among the countrymen of Isaiah, no heroism among the descendants of the Maccabees' MACAULAY IN 1S33  O o a  4  ro  Emancipation gave the Jews full civil equality  Ui  i  l>  Only European country not granting civil equality to Jews by 1919 PORTUGAL  tEHl  Miles  the mother tongue of the Jewish masses of Eastern Europe.  The leaders of  the Haskalah were also concerned that the Hassidic movement was drawing the Jewish people closer to the womb of an obscure and isolated brand of Judaism and that in so doing was further isolating the Jewish people from the advantages of cultural enlightenment that was sweeping Europe. (Haskalah was a movement toward breaking down the destructive and imprisoning barriers of ignorance, backwardness and strangulation which the ghetto symbolized.) Throughout Judaic literature runs the theme of return to 'Zion', to Israel.  With nowhere to turn and hemmed in between Poland and Russia,  the desire to return to Zion became very much more eloquent and plaintive. The Hassidic scholars would only use Hebrew for prayers because i t was the holy language,.  Yiddish was their everyday vehicle of verbal expression.  To this language they they injected their Messianic verve for Zion. Haskalah wanted to make Hebrew the spoken language of the Jews.  They said  that until the Jewish people had a homeland of their own with their own Hebrew language, there could be no saving the Jews from the obscure, bleak l i f e of.the ghettos. Out of Haskalah, Zionism began to emerge, even though not yet formed into an ideology. Zionism felt that anti-Semitism would disappear once the Jews were settled in Israel under a mild form of socialism. The growing momentum of socialism could not miss attracting wide segments of the Jewish masses:  the promise of a better l i f e here and now;  a world of equal opportunity for a l l people no matter what their origin; the eradication of anti-Semitism. A l l these items were on the minds of the people.  The Yiddish language was eloquently used by the socialists in  describing the new and better world to come.  Throughout this entire period of time, the Jewish community accepted i t s responsibility of providing education for their children. Basically, the vast majority of male children were enrolled in kheyders, Jewish schools, where they learned some of the rudiments of Hebrew, at the very least for liturgical purposes.  The respect of the community was  bestowed upon the scholarship of a student.  The'very best catch that  parents could wish for their daughter was an aspiring young scholar or one who had already attained scholarship in his Talmudic studies. A l l this despite the fact that the father would probably have to support his son-in-law because scholarship was not very profitable.  'If the family was  well-to-do, a g i r l learned to read and say her prayers.  The f i r s t priority  for a young g i r l was to know how to look after and manage a kosher home. Yiddish started to transform i t s e l f into a viable crucible for the cultural expression of.the Jews. Its literary endeavors came of age "f around the 1850's and continued to find a tremendous response amongst the Jewish people..  It was the start of a folk culture of considerable literary  as well as cultural merit. The seething unrest of Eastern Europe at the time created conditions whereby the monarchical rulers found i t most convenient to use Jews as scapegoats.  This resulted in mass migrations of Eastern Europeans to North  America.  Conception of the Pale of Settlement: An Overview of Russian History As It Applied to the Jews, from Catherine II (1762-1825) Until Alexandra III (1881-1917) In 1764 about one million Jews lived in the commonwealth of Poland. (Maps III and IV.) From Courland in the north on the Baltic Sea, Poland extended as far south as the Dniester, across which lay Moldavia in the Turkish Empire. Poland's northern tier stretched from the  22 MAP III THE PALE OF SETTLEMENT  PRUSSIA  AUSTRIA Source:  PARTITIONED POLAND, 1815-1918 Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:xvi  23 MAP IV THE SHTETLACH IN THE PALE OF SETTLEMENT LATVIA  ^^^^^^^  Poznah  » Zbaszyn ^  Warta  G E R M A N Y  CZECHOSLOVAKIA  '•.•..'MANIA Source:  THE SECOND POLISH REPUBLIC 1921-1939 Dobroszychi & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:xvii  North German plains east of the Oder toward the Warta River, across the Central Polish flatlands beribboned with lakes and rivers - the Bug, the Vistula, the Nieman. Thence i t extended across ten thousand square miles of the Pripet Marshes northward to the Russian lowlands, eastward through great coniferous forests a l l the way to the Dnieper, which marked the Russian border. The central Polish belt swept from Upper Silesia over the loess plains of Galicia across the Ukraine (frontier) where the Zaporogian Cossacks lived. Its southern tier rose and f e l l in the peaks and foothills of the Beskids and the High Tatras, extending southward toward the Carpathians, eastward toward the Black Earth of Russia, and westward toward the Sudenten Mountains. (Davidowicz 1967:6-7) Jews lived in Poland from the 11th century on and i t was after the 15th century that they began to flourish: They lived mostly in towns, controlled the kingdom's export trade (mostly agricultural produce), the import trade, and the domestic trade through fairs. The Jews sometimes leased the royal lands and sometimes lands of the nobility, tax farming their meadows, woodlands, and fish ponds. The Jews planted crops, bred livestock, fished, lumbered, and manufactured flour and spirits. The Jews.handled money, extended credit, and held mortgages. They developed their own crafts in competition with the Christian craft guilds, pioneering in that most characteristic form of early capitalism - the ready-made clothing industry. (ibid 1967:7) In Russia the pattern was different.  Since the 15th century Jews  had been excluded from living within i t s borders.  After the First Partition  of Poland (1791) when Poland became part of Russia, Russia and Catherine II had to contend with a large Jewish population within i t s borders. At that time the government began to impose limits on the areas in which Jews were permitted settlement.  "These limitations were  consonant with the general conception of freedom of movement of persons which then applied" (Slutsky 1971:24). In the years following, various other provinces were added to Russia and included in the area permitting.Jewish settlement:  a)  Kherson, Dnepropetrovsk (now Ekaterinoslav) and Taurida (Crimea).  b)  In 1793 the Second Partition of Poland took place and in 1794 the above decree was ratified and further regions ; were added: the provinces of Minsk, Volhynia and Podolia, and the region east of the River Dnieper (the provinces of Chernigov and Poltava).  c)  1795 saw the Third Partition of Poland and the decree added the provinces of Vilna and Grodno. :  d)  In 1799 Courland was added.  e)  In 1804 the "Jewish Statute" was passed and added the province of Astrakhan and the whole of the northern Caucasus. The "Kingdom of Poland" which was incorporated into Russia in 1815  and which included the provinces (later called the Vistula Region) was o f f i c i a l l y not included and until 1868, during the reign of Alexander II (1855-1881) Jews were not permitted to pass through this area to the Lithuanian and Ukrainian provinces although in actual practice they did so. There was a twofold purpose to a l l this:  Russia, through the  offices of Catherine II and Alexander I, hoped to open up and colonize her desolate steppes to the south and to curtail Jewish merchants, who were flourishing i n Poland, thereby protecting the economic interests of her own people.  It should be remembered that the Jews in these newly acquired  lands were of the merchant and guild classes. It was not.until the reign of Czar Nicholas I (1825-1855) that the term "Pale of Settlement" was coined. yevreyskoy) osedlosti;  (In Russian:  cherta (postoyannoy  meaning territory within the borders of Czarist  Russia wherein the residence of Jews was legally authorized (Slutsky 1971:24). Under Czar Alexander II (1855-1881) Russian law began to ease up and permission to live beyond the Pale of Settlement began to be granted to various classes of people:  In 1859 to merchants able to pay registration fees of the First Guild. In 1861 to university graduates as well as those in medical professions. In 1865 to various craftsmen. In 1879 to dentists, male and female nurses, midwives, prostitutes, etc. The right of residence throughout Russia was also granted to Cantonists (Jewish children who were kidnapped and forcibly converted to Christianity. They were made to serve in the army of the Czar) who  remained  Jews, and to their offsprings, the so-called Nicholas soldiers. The Jews hoped the above easing up.of restrictions would lead to the final abolition of the Pale of Settlement.  However, in 1881 the  Temporary (May) Laws came into being and prohibited any new settlement of Jews outside towns and townlets in the Pale of Settlement. Those who had been living in villages before were authorized to reside in those same villages only. The peasants were granted the right of demanding the expulsion of the Jews who lived amongst them. (ibid:26) Occasionally new places were excluded from the Pale: In 1887 (under Alexander III) Rostov and Taganrog. In 1893 the Spa town of Yalta. During 1891 and 1892 thousands of Jewish craftsmen were expelled from Moscow. (ibid:26) Under Czar Nicholas II (1894-1917) events took a different swing. Serfdom had been abolished and there was an upsurge of industry which produced an urban working class, who repeated the history of workers in n  the early stages of industrial capitalism in Western countries:  ...they were unskilled, badly paid, overworked and miserably housed. Uprooted from the village communities they suffered physical and moral privation. (Seton-Watson 1974:64) The early stages of the 20th century brought changes for the Jewish settlements.  Russia's economy was growing, p o l i t i c a l pressures  and tensions increased, and various alleviations in the Temporary Laws occured. 1. From 1903 those village settlements which had assumed urban characteristics were given the status of townlets. and Jews were thus permitted to reside.  Up to the outbreak of World War I some three  hundred settlements were thus opened up to Jewish residence. 2.  In 1904 a l l Jews permitted to live outside the Pale of  Settlement were also allowed to settle in rural areas. 3.  In 1910 Jewish members of the Duma proposed a b i l l to  abolish the Pale of Settlement which was voted upon but subsequently f e l l into oblivion. 4.  In 1915 August, many thousands of expelled and refugee Jews  from the battle zones streamed into the interior of Russia and the government was compelled t° permit residence of these Jews in the towns with the exception of St. Petersbutg and Moscow. In practice then, the Pale of Settlement was brought to an end. However, i t was not until the Revolution of February 1917 when, amongst other anti-Jewish restrictions, the Temporary Government abolished the Pale of Settlement.  CHAPTER III THE SHTETL IN THE PALE OF SETTLEMENT Introduction Since this thesis does not concern i t s e l f with the wider panorama of historical events which occurred at the turn of the century, the focus and thrust of this chapter w i l l be to draw from personal recollections what l i f e was like in some of the shtetlach of Eastern Europe.  In order to understand why Jewish garment workers in Montreal  and Toronto did the things they did and f e l t the way they f e l t , i t is necessary to understand the cultural baggage they brought with them when they travelled to this country:  their language, their literature, and  their traditions played a v i t a l role in shaping their lives in the New Land. What they ate, where they slept, how they were taught, their daily triumphs and failures, their one-room houses with plaster walls and floors and their apartments with wooden floors, the dreams of mothers, family and community l i f e , the struggle to feed themselves, their involvement in p o l i t i c a l activities, j a i l terms, escape from one country to another a l l these aspects of l i f e w i l l be looked at here in order to show how some of the Jews lived in the Pale. This chapter w i l l present a people not by quoting texts out of history books but by culling passages from the memories of a few dozen individuals. The memory of the Jew i s long.  It spans two thousand years  and even though informants spoke to me about their lives and their experiences, when they talked about pain and hunger, joy and marriage, they were recounting two thousand years of putting down roots and pulling up stakes;  fleeing from one enemy to another;  resting, multiplying  and moving on again. By talking about dreams of mothers for their  "...doesn't matter where you go, you have to cross a bridge." Source:  Roskies and Roskies 1975:10  sons (and their daughters), about ideologies and philosophies, of how these pushed a vast group of people to question, debate, argue, accept, reject, reshape their lives so drastically in so short a time, by recounting these things, l i f e as i t was for the Jew in Eastern Europe should emerge, in some small measure, as a concrete entity, a reality. Before proceeding to talk about shtetl l i f e I would like to say that different perspectives w i l l be brought together to show what l i f e was like for the Jew in the cities and villages of Eastern Europe. How the shtetl was perceived depended largely on one's distance or proximity to l i f e within i t . There are accounts by Jewish historical writers like Salo Baron, Arcadius Kahan and others, who never went near a shtetl.  There are stories by folk writers who lived in or near a  shtetl, like I.L. Peretz and Sholem Aleichem. hand accounts of immigrants from the shtetl.  And there are the f i r s t (There are the children  and grandchildren of shtetl dwellers who would have yet another accounting of what l i f e was like there.  However, we are not here concerned with that.).  Each one, depending on his or her knowledge and level of articulation, can give us a 'description' of l i f e in the shtetl.  The task at hand is  to convey a sense of living which these Jews had in the shtetlach of Eastern Europe.  What Is Meant By  .• '  'Shtetl'  ... doesn't matter where you go, you have to cross a bridge. An"d the bridge was where a l l the soldiers were. I remember when I was a child, ... we were six in the family, brothers and sisters, and I'm the third one. My sister she was an older one and we were living in a tiny place with our grandparents and i t was a big, big h i l l and a small, l i t t l e house; and underneath was sand and clay. And the yard, i t was a big, big yard and water was running a l l the time. I don't know. There was like a waterfall. And there was also  31  Market Day in the Shtetl. Source:  Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:56  a well and the whole l i t t l e town used to come and take from us the water. The water was so beautiful, so clean. (Nina Ullman) I can remember when the 1st World War started. That was in 1914. And you know, when you live in a small town, a shtetl, the Jewish children didn't have any education there because they didn't take Jewish children into the public schools. We lived in a village and we were cut off from the rest of the world. We didn't know anybody in the immediate vicinity. But when the war broke out and you started to listen: cities here and cities there! To me i t was - - well I couldn't visualize i t because this was my world. (Bertha Dolgby Guberman) 'Shtetl' i s a Yiddish word for a town, a village, or a small city.  I have never seen a shtetl and I never w i l l .  The shtetl dates  back to the early 18th century and its inhabitants could number anywhere from three hundred Jews in a small shtetl to close to one thousand Jews in one of the larger towns. Albert Abramovitz' shtetl... ... was almost a Jewish l i t t l e town, mostly 90% Jewish. The non-Jewish population lived around the fringes of i t . Most of them were sort of in the countryside, farmers and so on. But they were a l l inter-connected with the city l i f e because they had the goods, the produce and they brought i t in. We were the customers. The settlements dotted twenty-five provinces i n Czarist Russia, in Poland, Lithuania, White Russia, Bessarabia and Crimea^ (Wigoder 1977:1490). This was known as the Pale of Settlement where Jews were legally authorized to live. Russia i n the 19-th century was both a multi-lingual and multi-religious empire.  Only about half the population were at the  same time Russian by language and Orthodox by religion. The Orthodox were to some extent privileged in comparison with the other Christians; a l l Christians enjoyed a higher status than Muslims; and the latter were not so disadvantaged as the Jews. (Seton-Watson 1974:60).  How did a Jewish child view her world: Settlement?  the Pale of  Mary Antin says:  Then there came a time when I knew that Polotzk and Vitebsk and Vilna and some other places were grouped together as the "Pale of Settlement", and within this area the Czar commanded me to stay with my father and mother and friends, and a l l other people like us. We must not be found outside the Pale, because we were Jews. (1969:5) Permission to live outside the Pale was granted only to certain groups.  For example, "members of the liberal profession with a high  school diploma, big businessmen, skilled artisans, and ex-Cantonists" (Wigoder 1977:1490). But this did not always apply: Artisans had the right to reside outside the Pale, on fulfilment of certain conditions. This sounded easy to me, when I was a l i t t l e g i r l , t i l l I realized how i t worked. There was a capmaker who had duly qualified by passing an examination and paying for his trade papers, to live i n a certain city. The chief of police suddenly took i t into his head to impeach the genuineness of his papers. The capmaker was obliged to travel to St.Petersburg where he had qualified in the f i r s t place, to repeat the examination. He spent his savings of years in petty bribes, trying to hasten the process, but was detained ten months by bureaucratic red tape. When at length he returned to his home town, he found a new chief of police, installed during his absence, who discovered a new flaw in' the papers he had just obtained, and expelled him from the city. If he came to Polotzk, there were then eleven capmakers where only one could make a living. (Antin;1969:22) The fate of the Jews found outside the Pale without permission depended on the arbitrary decision of.the local governor, or "they could purchase 'protection' from the local police" (Baron 1954:56).  The cap-  maker did not have much luck i n either direction. Fanny Osipov recalls how her father and family were able to live i n the city:  /  I am coming from, i t s a city, a big city, Nikolayev, right near Odessa. ... My father was a driver. You know i n Russia they have this water i n bottles which you push, like Seltzer water. He was selling a l l kinds of pop just to the stores. He had a wagon with a horse.and he made a living. He was born i n a l i t t l e shtetl but i n this city, Nikolayev, Jews were not allowed to live. Those Jews who were citizens were allowed there. But my father was from a l i t t l e shtetl and he made a living there in Nikolayev and so he thought he'll stay. The police came - everybody had to have a passport, papers, and you must register with the police ... ... the thing i s , you give the police five cents, ten cents, he says, O.K. Stay. Now every month he came and my father paid him up. There were lots of people like that. Rose Smith's oldest sister lived in Lenningrad.  She had  received a Gold Medal in university and therefore she was permitted.to live in the city.  When she got married, Rose said:  ... father went. He went to a whorehouse to sleep over otherwise they wouldn't let him stay there. He had no choice. And he slept over because he wanted to go to the wedding and he went. The rest of us stayed home. So poor guy, you know^ he had a beating. But my sister and brotherin-law finished university. They were good students, good engineers. Polotzk and Vitebsk and Vilna were big cities at the turn of the century. a shtetl.  People born i n such places would never say they come from  t  Such cities have payed roads, running water, train stations.  Rose Kaplan Barkusky said: It was different in Vilna, in the city. The house we lived in was like an apartment house.' First when I was small we lived i n a place which had three or four rooms. But the last house, after my mother remarried, we lived in a place where we had six rooms plus the kitchen. The kitchen was not counted as a room there. It was a big apartment, two. buildings, one i n the front and one i n the back. Between was a garden. We lived i n the back on the fourth floor and eighty-two steps to go up. And my mother, bless her, she'd send me down to the store for salt. I ' l l come with the salt. She forgot the pepper. I ' l l go down for the pepper. She'll forget something else. I used to go about five or six times a day. But then I learned to go down on the bannisters - slide down a l l the way. But up was marble steps. Eighty-two steps to go up four floors.  Young and old at the town well. Kozhenits, Kelts province.  Source:  Roskies & Roskies 1975:152  Rose Gordon, right with mother, father, sisters and brothers in Kozhenits. Courtesy:  Rose Gordon  Photographic reproduction: Harold Berson  Most of the people I interviewed came from^shtetlach. The village that Rose Gordon came from and the situations she recounts give a good idea of the hardships and deprivations^with which people contended: I was born i n 1906 i n a small village and there were very few Jewish people there - there was maybe half a dozen Jewish families - a very small place. It was right on the water. Very small place. My father's father, and mother lived there and my father was born there. But my mother was born in.^a big city. My father worked in a m i l l . The name of the village was Kozhehits, Ukraine, near Odessa someplace, and was on the border of Bessarabia. I remember every family in the village. We had a Jewish butcher. I don't know: how the heck he made a living out of i t ! We had a store where you could go in and buy Jewish things - things like kasha and stuff which they used to bring in from Odessa and then the few families would buy that. We didn't have a synagogue and not much activities because i t was a small village and small Jewish population. Far, and yet not too far, from the 'big city' were most of the shtetlach in which the Jews lived.  They were not a l l quite as small as  the one which Rose Gordon comes from.  As she said:  Who had a doctor? Who seen a doctor? My mother never had a doctor for children. The lady next door - i f she made i t in time, alright - and i f she didn't make i t i n time, my mother did i t herself. Nonetheless, geographically the Jews found themselves, when the need arose, far from wherever they wanted or needed to be.  "I never  stepped out of a small town, except in Dwinska I was once" said Harry Ullman who was born in Dagda, Latvia and who had to escape the draft. In this case time was of the essence and he was twentyseven miles from the nearest railroad station and f i f t y miles from a horse and buggy in which to travel.  Source:  Houses in the Shtetl Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:47  Source:  A Well in Rural Area of Volhynia Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:43  38 Viewed in retrospect today, the shtetl does not carry the same weight for the immigrant as i t did for the Yiddish writers of the period.  1  How can i t ? The immigrant is reviewing situations and events which occurred half a century ago whereas the Yiddish writers lived and worked and wrote about l i f e around them. Even though Sholem Aleichem and I.L. Peretz  and others have written about very real and very sad situations i n  shtetl l i f e , their stories leave you sometimes with a smile, for some a more understanding smile, but nonetheless as Roskies and Roskies state: Folklore and literature alone cannot provide an accurate picture of the inner workings of the shtetl. For i f they were our only source, i t would seem that each town was made up of a mindless mob of Jews who dutifully followed their leader - the rabbi. (1975:181). These writers never make a point of telling us that l i f e i n the shtetl was without i t s sorrows and pain, or that the inhabitants never worried about the next day and what i t might bring.  Perhaps this is because the  Jews in the Pale of Settlement looked upon their afflictions as something external and apart from them, suffered by them, but somehow sustained through no fault of their own. Social existence was complicated  and given  the circumstances of the times (history books are replete with details of p o l i t i c a l happenings in Eastern Europe), l i f e was anything but placid. Each family had i t s own problems and each person had his or her daily confrontations.  Sholem Aleichem tells us about a man in a horse-drawn  street car who does not have enough for his fare.  The man tells the  conductor: I'm afraid you'll have to give me a l i t t l e b i t off the price. I ' l l give you a l i t t l e of my troubles, that's what I ' l l give you! said the conductor. Thanks, said the shivering man. I have troubles enough of my own. You can keep yours, enjoy them in the best of health. (From On The KasrileVke Street Car,Goldberg 1966:47)  39 The reader's immediate reaction i s laughter. What Sholem Aleichen i s saying here goes deeper than the balanced reparte. not  It says so much more,  only to the shtetl dweller but also to me who has never been near a  shtetl.  Sholem Aleichem; with his inimical economy of words and use of  folk language, i s telling us that no matter how bad i t was, no matter how desperate and bleak the future looked, there was always room for laughter. The immigrant, on the other hand, has no such writing abilities nor has he qualms about economising words.  In some instances the accounts  given here were articulated for the f i r s t time. There are many stories and many accounts depicting the various aspects of l i f e in the shtetl.  Today those of us who never lived in a  shtetl can laugh with the Yiddish writers who deftly capture what l i f e was like i n the towns and cities of the Pale. Even those who lived and suffered in Eastern Europe continue to be regaled by such stories.  Suffice i t to  say that the shtetl viewed the universe ... ... as a planned whole, designed and governed by the Almighty, who created i t from original chaos. (This i s not to be interpreted as the theology of the shtetl but rather the culture of a people). ... In such a universe behaviour, human and divine - must also be rooted in reason, order and purpose. (Zabrowsky & Herzog 1962:409) In this light one can understand Tevye the Milkman's arguments with God in Fiddler On The Roof (from the original story Tevye the Milkman by Sholem Aleichem).  It underscores the notion that the Jews possess a  Covenant or Contract with God: not  anyone can talk to Him; one does  need an appointment or place. Nevertheless l i f e was d i f f i c u l t .  If there is one word I can  extract from a l l the interviews to describe what l i f e was like in the Old  Country, i t i s the word 'hard'.  Rose Smith said to me at the  beginning of her interview: Oh, it's horrible. I hate to t e l l you. We went through so many pogroms and my childhood was terrible. Running a l l the time. And I didn't understand what i t was a l l about. They used to raid father's house. They used to put a bomb - and i t was always on our street. They want to k i l l an enemy - an enemy of the Czar! And so l i f e was very complicated and very tough. A very • bad childhood. A very bad taste left in me. It was cruel, you know. And nothing to talk about. I never want to discuss those things. It is better to forget about i t . But I had i t very bad, very hard.  Life In The Shtetl The East European Jew i s no more. We w i l l not find him or her on the Lower East Side of New York City, or Spadina Avenue, Toronto, or St. Urbains Street in Montreal.  He has vanished along with his shtetl.  However, some traits of the East European Jew s t i l l survive and quite vigorously in the Jews who were born in Europe and came here to settle. She may s t i l l drink her tea black with a piece of sugar between her teeth even though she may be wearing nylon stockings. He may not cut his beard even though he has given up wearing the tallis-kotn, sacred garment, next to his body.  But these are characteristics some would toss aside as being  inconsequential or lacking relevance. What distinguishes the East European Jew from the Western European Jew, distinctions made by the people themselves?  Essentially i t is what  the Western European Jews call 'kultur' in German. They had i t but the Eastern Jews did not! eristics.  Now  'culture' covers a gamut of traits and charact-  For example, the Western Jews had higher education, more money,  worldly knowledge;  they knew how to dress, what to eat;  they attended  Jewish and non-Jewish plays and went to symphonies.  The Eastern Jew, on  the other hand, admired and envied the Western Jew.  Depending on where  you came from in Europe, you either looked down upon or up at your fellow Jews. Western Jews in places like Austria, France, Germany helped their fellow Eastern Jews to obtain tickets, papers, passports to continue on their way to the New Land,lest God forbid, these penniless, cultureless travellers might decide to stay. Many Jews who lived in Austria and Germany at the time of Hitler' rise to power did not know they were Jews.  They had assimilated and  integrated into the lifestyle of the host country to the extent that they did not consider themselves Jews but Austrians or Germans, and their children grew up not knowing they were Jews. The world for the Eastern European Jew on the other hand was where he was born, where he lived and where he travelled in his daily work which was not very far. After a l l , how far can you travel on foot, carrying  or pushing your wares?  Or how much further can you go in a horse-  drawn wagon? How do we, who were not part of the shtetl l i f e , visualize the East European Jew? Warm, friendly, bearded men, babushkaed women, holes in their shoes?  Somehow they aire always pictured as being just a l i t t l e  bit worse off than the folks of today: I came to Canada in 1913. My name i s Max Dolgoy. In the Old Country, where we were born, we were a family of six children. Father in 1904, during the Russian Japanese War, left for Canada leaving mother with the six children without any earnings whatever. We had to live from day to day. At times we had no bread to eat. T i l l I came to Canada I haven't slept in a bed. The three boys used to be put to bed by pulling chairs together. No covers, no bedding. The three sisters used to be on the stove - there we used to have the brick stoves, they used to sleep on that. The entire home was just on one floor. The windows sagged into the ground - there was no foundation.  42  Now this is the l i f e ! I remember my grandmother. In fact I have a picture of my mother's mother yet. And my father's mother was blind. In those years she had cataracts. They had no cure for i t . She was blind totally. But she loved a l l the children. She used to knit socks for us - blind - and gloves and what not. And we lived like one family on my father's side. (Max Dolgoy)  Mothers' Dreams For Their Sons (Arid Their Daughters) I cannot overly stress the poverty of the Jews who lived within the confines of the Pale.  Aside from a very small upper class, ...  ... the majority lived in the direst poverty. The daily l i f e was forever under the pall of insecurity, persecution, humiliation, and general cultural isolation from the outside world. (Rubin 1963:29) Although parents and children suffered these hardships, the weight of eking out each day f e l l upon the shoulders of mothers. Mendele Moycher Sforim, the father of Yiddish literature, writes: My mother always lived in want and simply never had enough to pull through the day. She would knit socks, pluck hens, assist at childbirth, and help with the baking of the matses before Passover. She worked day arid night, poor soul, and, out of i t a l l , we barely had a mouthful to eat. (as quoted by Rubin 1963:31) And yet, Albert Abramovitz said: I had a very religious upbringing. It was the usual case with a l l the Jewish boys who in those days their mothers always had dreams for them. And the thing was, for some they at least developed into a rabbi. That was a great sort of thing in the family. And since I was the youngest and that time we had eight children, I had a special sort of privileged position in the family. A l l of them liked me extra. They treated me nicely and mother had extra plans for me. I was thrown very early into a synagogue choir. My father was a very good singer and didn't sing for money but when the cantor was away from the city he  was asked to officiate and he did the best of i t . My brothers sang in the synagogue and when I was about six years of age they drew me in too. When the Jews were dispersed from their homeland, Palestine, as a stateless people they became a nationality as well as a religious group and in order to maintain their identity as a group they adopted a theocratic state.  The ethics and morals of their religion as set down  in the Torah were carried with them. The Torah guided their efforts to cope with and solve the problems of l i f e whether legal, economic, moral, religious, social or ethical.  Therefore a Jewish community, a shtetl,  no matter how small, always had a centre of learning.  This centre should  not be pictured as being a building or house separate and apart. Most often i t was part of the synagogue or the synagogue i t s e l f :  when prayers  were over studies began and when i t was time for prayers the studies ended.  "Study is the duty and joy of a man reared in the shtetl tradition.  As a duty i t i s twice prescribed."  (Zborowski & Herzog 1952:71).  Thus in  order to possess this theocratic state one had to obey the commandments of the scripture (and this was incumbent upon being a good Jew).  However,  in order to obey these commandments one had to know them, and the necessity in terms of state was increased by the fact that the state was an integral part of their religious experience. Therefore to obey one had to know and one coiild not know without studying. Therefore education became the goal of every Jewish group for without i t a l l identity.was lost.  Further,  i t i s a mitzva, a deed commanded by God. Now there are 613 mitzvos and not a l l of them are observed even by the most religious of Jews, but those "... which constitute the main base of Jewish behavior - ethical rules, social duties, religious beliefs, dietary regulations - remain in force" (ibid:71).- "Thus", states Fauman, " i t i s apparent that the nature of Jewish l i f e determined the very high  s t a t u s of the educated  man"  (1952:13).  Mothers dreamed t h a t t h e i r sons w i l l s i t a l l day or a synagogue, and  l e a r n and read and pray  become a s c h o l a r , a r e b , a l e a r n e d man. she hoped and man  a l l day.  And  A son  should  i f a mother had  a daughter  dreamed t h a t h e r daughter w i l l be b l e s s e d w i t h  catching a  of l e a r n i n g , a t a l m u d i c s c h o l a r , a r a b b i ' s son.  c i r c l e of dreams spun round and entering  in a shtibl  the p i c t u r e .  head spends a l l day  How  round w i t h o u t  should a family feed i t s e l f  or w e l l - t o - d o p a r e n t s - i n - l a w , he moved i n w i t h and h i s . w i f e and  children.  was  the w i f e , pregnant,  And  t h i s was  so the v i c i o u s  an ounce of p r a c t i c a l i t y  and n i g h t i n a house of p r a y e r ?  him  And  i f the f a t h e r and  I f a boy had  them and  a mitzva.  they  t h a t i s , making some commodity f o r s a l e on market days, or  and above a l l , h e r s c h o l a r l y husband.  I t was  supported  But most times i t  c a r i n g f o r l i t t l e c h i l d r e n , running  and dressmaking, i n order to earn a few pennies  a rich,  a  'business',  tailoring  to f e e d everyone, i n c l u d i n g  c o n s i d e r e d not o n l y a m o r a l  o b l i g a t i o n b u t an a c t which would s e c u r e f o r one  a b e t t e r p l a c e i n heaven.  As Rubin s t a t e s : t  The a s p i r a t i o n f o r Talmudic l e a r n i n g becomes bound up w i t h the c o n v i c t i o n t h a t such an achievement would b r i n g not o n l y economic s e c u r i t y on e a r t h but a l s o c e l e s t i a l a p p r o v a l i n heaven,(1963:31). Hence the e d u c a t i o n of the boy took d i f f e r e n t p a t h s :  and  the e d u c a t i o n of "the  study and s c h o l a r s h i p f o r the boy  keep house and a good marriage  f o r the  and  girl  l e a r n i n g to  girl.  R i c h e s , b o d i l y advantages, and t a l e n t s of every k i n d have i n d e e d a c e r t a i n worth ... b u t ... no m e r i t i s s u p e r i o r to t h a t of a good T a l m u d i s t . He has the f i r s t c l a i m upon a l l o f f i c e s and p o s i t i o n s of honor i n the community. ... The most honorable p l a c e i s a s s i g n e d to him. (Maimon,.as quoted by Rubin 1963:31)  Beginning at the cradle a mother sings to her boy: Buttered biscuits h e ' l l be fed And then to Heder h e ' l l be led, New Books h e ' l l write too, And always be a pious Jew. Study, children, do not fear The many hardships which appear Torah learning brings much joy To every Jewish man or boy.  Yankele w i l l study the Torah. He w i l l study the Torah, He w i l l write learned volumes, And a good and pious man He w i l l always be. In the shtetlach of Eastern Europe "there was always a poor student taking meals at our house ...  Grandmother had told us that he  was a lamden, and we saw something holy in the way he ate his cabbage" (Antin 1969:32). Not every man could hope to be a lamden, a scholar, but no Jewish boy was allowed to grow up without at least a rudimentary knowledge of Hebrew. The scantiest income had to be divided so as to provide for the boys' tuition. To leave a boy without a teacher was a disgrace upon the whole family, to the remotest relative. For the children of the destitute there was a free school, supported by the charity of the pious (op.cit.) And so when a boy.entered kheyder, Jewish school, at five years old, he became the hero of the family! In the following pages we w i l l see how the education of the Jewish boy differed from that of a Jewish g i r l . One of my informants, Shaya Kirman, was sent to religious school at the age of three and thereafter spent many years studying iii shtiblach. Fortunately his memory was excellent and he loved to talk, a combination which produced some interesting ethnography.  Kirman's young l i f e in  religious studies i s not typical of a l l my informants and this for various  reasons;  however, i t i s typical for those whose parents set a course of  religious studies for them. "I came from Wlodawa. Now Wlodawa is by the River Bug, between Lublin, Khelm, Zamostsh, Goray," said Kirman and then he showed me the Yiskor Book (Memorial to the Dead), from Wlodawa and Sobibor gas chambers which was recently published. There he showed me photographs of his father and himself in a play. He said: My father was a hand worker. A hand worker i s not a worker which works by somebody. He i s self-employed and somebody could work for him. And my father belonged to the hand workers' union. You see, i f a boy wants to apprentice, and after he finishes his apprenticeship, he goes to this Board, the zect, and they examine him i f he could be a hand worker, a self-employed worker. And there you w i l l find different kinds of professions. Pointing to another photograph, Kirman said: This i s not a shoemaker but he makes the top part of the shoe. And here's a tailor and there's another tailor. My father was a painter. Here's a capmaker. Most of them were tailors. Some were for men - men's tailors, and some were for women - a dameskey, a ladies' tailor - he couldn't make a costume for men. This was Shaya Kirman's brief introduction to telling me about the years he spent in various forms of religious study.  He went on to  say: My f i r s t memory is that they took me to the kheyder. The belfer - you know what a belfer means? A helper to the melamed, the teacher. The belfer used to bring the kids home and took them to the kheyder. You see, like you used to do with our kids. Kirman here reminded me of the years I used to pick up his children and take them to Jewish school along with my  own.  There was no car. You had to take, when they were small, you had to carry them on your shoulders. The first, time they took me with a shawl. So I was about three years Three years old they took me f i r s t And then I learned for a few years  t a l l i s , a prayer old. Not like today. time to the kheyder. and they called this  I  zman. Zman is six months from Pesach to Succoth and then from Succoth to pesach i s another zman. An agreement was made with the father of the child: I ' l l give you my child for zman. The melamed used to come after zman and the father paid him for the zman. And i f my father liked the melamed then he gives me to the same melamed for another zman; i f not, he sent me to another melamed. Now the melamed used to come every month, every two months, to examine the child. And the father used to s i t this side (indicating beside the child) whilst the child i s being examined. So I was with the f i r s t melamed maybe three zmans and this was called Dardika melamed: the f i r s t or primary grade. Then the primary melamed hasn't got more to give me so we went to another level melamed and start to learn Homesh. You see with the Dardika you learn the alphabet: aleph, bet, gimel; and then you learn to put together words. And then with the higher melamed we used to learn to davin, to pray, already. After Homesh then Rashesh and I was learning another few months with this melamed. So this melamed hasn't got more to give me. At this time I was maybe about five, six years old. By now I've had two melameds:already. Now I go to the third melamed and I start to learn Gemora. This is Talmud. So my father doesn't like this melamed. So I learned there zman and my father says to the melamed:"Moishe, ,1 see I don't like the way you are teaching my Shaya. He is able to know better. He has a good kepi, head". So my father looked around for a better melamed. And this melamed"' was a good one. I started to learn Tanach. Most melamden don't want to teach Tanach. Tanach was more progressive, you know. But a l l the orthodox melamden don't want to teach i t . The same with the Rambam (Maimonides). They don't want to teach i t and they don't want to learn i t . So I learned with this melamed. I was learning already Talmud, Tanach. You see, every Thursday you have to know the whole shir; shir means lesson. You had to know the whole lesson. I used to learn good, mostly by heart. So I had to work. It. was not like today. The pupil had to work, i f not, some-melamed used to p u l l the peyes, and to shmays, h i t with a konchik! You know what a konchik means? A leather whip! There was a konchik on the table. Some had a foot from an animal, the leg from a - how do you c a l l i t ? - a rabbit, instead of a wooden handle.' The konchik was on the table a l l the time, with a pointer made from bone,' ivory, but flexible you see. They used to take i t from a corset, you know, a corset? A bone - they called i t a fishbone. And they used to point with i t and i t i s called a t e i t l . The f i r s t time, with a small child you say: "What's that? That's an aleph. Here take this, (and the' child i s given the t e i t l ) give a mestok, a poke, at the aleph." So the child was to take a poke at the aleph, bet. Then-'the melamed would take a groshen, a penny, and say:  4 7  48  "Dem malekh v i l l varf1 a groshen as yer gut learnen" (The angel w i l l give you a penny i f you learn good). So the malamed would drop a groshen so the child wants to learn good. When I finished the Gemora with the melamed my father says: "I don't know what to do with you. If you want you can go for higher level school." Near our house, side by side, there was a shtibl, the Misrich shtibl. There were two shtiblach together; i t was one house but divided. One was a Parcheve shtibl and one was Misrich. The Parcheve rebbe and the Misrich rebbe were brothers. TheiT father was the Beyala Rebbe, you see. And our house was wall to wall with the shtibl. So I went to learn i n the shtibl by myself. There were more boys learning. If I didn't know something so I asked my chavre, my comrade, so we used to learn together, without a rabbi, without a melamed. We used to learn the whole day. But in the morning and in the afternoon the Hassidim used to come to davin. But in the middle :of the day we used to learn and sometimes at night too. This is called mishmoren. Mishma means at night, after midnight. Mishma means the night i s divided into three mishmoren, in three parts. So many hours is the f i r s t mishma, so many the second and so many the third. Let us say I learn the f i r s t mishma. Then I go home. Around the second mishma some others . would come. So there was learning the whole night. So in each session we would have around five to ten people. We used to learn by candle. In the meantime my father was working for a long time in Warsaw and he took us to Warsaw: my mother, me, and I had another brother. I was s t i l l a l i t t l e boy. When I learned in the shtibl I was maybe ten years old. I wasJ.learning by myself already. I went to Warsaw. It was before the First War. In Warsaw I went back to a Talmud Torah to learn and I went to yeshiva also. I had long peyes and when I went to the barber I used to hold them so he would not touch i t . And my father told me: "Shaya, whatever you want - you want to be a rabbi, i t ' s O.K. with me. But you have to learn. You have to know everything. Now I was completing Talmud Torah and then yeshiva. Kirman i s a well-read and learned man today. He can discourse length on any subject pertaining to Jewish l i f e and religion.  However,  Source:  Kheyder: A tableau vivant Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:12  B o y s  a t  y melamed Source: Unknown  k h e  d e r  w i t h  Source:  Yeshiva students Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:78  he never became a rabbi. But that does not matter.  The obligation of  teaching the child had been f u l f i l l e d : Sleep, sleep my son, I w i l l buy l i t t l e boots for you; • • •  * • •  You w i l l run to cheder, And study regularly . . . A good reputation and fine virtues, At eighteen you'll solve rabbinical problems; Problems you w i l l solve, Speeches you w i l l make. (Rubin 1963:32) If the baby in the cradle was a g i r l the song a mother sang was quite different: To pray and write and read Yiddish. To read Yiddish out of the books, To sew and embroider headbands . . . So as not to aggravate the parents; Not to worry them, but be of good cheer, Then the matchmakers begin to come ... Sorele's groom w i l l be a wise scholar, / A wise scholar with fine virtues, Sorele's groom w i l l know how to solve problems. (ibid:32-33) "As far as an education was concerned", said Bertha Guberman, who was born i n 1908 in Dagda, Latvia, "my mother used to s i t nights and pluck feathers you know for the teacher for cushions so that she should give me private lessons I should be able to at least write an address because my father, my two brothers and my sister were in Canada".  So  Bertha used to go to the pharmacist so he could address an envelope for the family to send to Canada. Bertha said: And the main dream was that the children should at least be able to read and write - well Jewish too. So the few, the rich people i n the town - there was always poor and rich - so they had the learning; they would go to the gymnasium in another city and they were exceptionally  52  Source:  Chicken plucker Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:95  53  Girls studying Yiddish from tattered pages Source:  Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:156  good because they only took 4%. The ones they did take into high school had to be top notch, and top notch financially and bright. They would come back to the shtetl and be the private teachers for the other children. Women in First World countries today take education for granted.  It was not so f i f t y to sixty years ago for those who lived i n  Eastern Europe.  Thus i t becomes d i f f i c u l t to imagine young g i r l children  learning the rudiments of Yiddish, Yiddish the everyday language and not Hebrew the sacred language, from itinerent scholars who may happen to be staying at their home for a while, or from the melamed's wife who got paid i n feathers. When I asked Fanny Osipov about her education i n Nikolayev, a settlement near Odessa, she said very excitedly: Oy I was i n school! Oy I went to school! It was a Jewish school but the language was the Russian language and I remember there was a Jewish teacher. He was from Palestine. I passed. I was good at school. And I went to school and I could write. Now I have a niece in Israel and I s t i l l write her letters in the Russian language and she answers me. But when I came to Winnipeg, right away I thought I must to learn a l i t t l e b i t to read in English. I go on a bus - I must read. I go to buy something - I must read. Others were less fortunate and talk about staying home to help their mothers whilst their brothers attended Jewish school.  Others like Rose  Gordon took a long time to walk to school: ... I walked two miles there and two miles back. And then after school I went to kheyder. I went to learn how to read and write Yiddish. And then by the time I come home the day i s oyer. You know two miles to walk down there and then you go and learn your Yiddish and by the time you come home it's time to go to bed. The Impact Of Poverty Mothers' dreams aside, not every Jewish boy i n the shtetlach and cities of Eastern Europe spent nine or ten years going to Hebrew  school.  After a l l they had to get on with the business of living.  "I  remember myself and a l l the family, as soon as we were on our feet and able, we had to go out and earn as much as possible" said Max Dolgoy. None of my informants had time for dreams.  Such people were considered  luftmerischen, l i t e r a l l y , man of the air, a rootless person, without.a stable or productive occupation, one who lived on peddling and petty speculation (Wigoder 1977:1243-1244).  Such people had their heads in  the clouds and knew nothing about the struggles of daily living. not to say the Pale did not have i t s quota of dreamers.  This i s  It did. Plus  i t had i t s share of thieves, bunglers, con artists, beggars, orphans and saints. What I want to talk about here i s the suffering and deprivation of some of my informants.  It would be a monumental task to undertake to  discuss the problems of a l l of the people I have spent time with. However, I would like to describe their lives using their own words so as to come closer to reflecting what l i f e was like in the shtetlach and to avoid the two common hazards referred to by Oscar Lewis in the study of the poor: over sentimentalization and brutalization (1963:xi). "Sadness" said Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, " i s a sin".  It is not  that the Baal Shem Tov lived somewhere far from sadness or at a period of time when a l l was well with the Jews. According to Jewish Law i t i s forbidden to grieve or be sad on the Sabbath, for the Sabbath i s the holiest of holy days.  If someone dies, for example, two days before the  Jewish New Year then the relatives of the deceased must only s i t in mourning for the two days prior to the New Year instead of the prescribed seven days of mourning required by the Law.  Not only i s i t incumbent upon  a person not to grieve, i t is sinful. Whether they were allowed to or not, whether i t was a sin or not,  Living conditions in Poland during Source:  W.W.I  Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:113  the Jews'suffered.  The words of the Baal Shem Tov are pronouncements  of the highest order (the highest order on earth,that is)..  But i f Moishe  Greenberg's step-mother knew this she certainly gave no cognizance of i t , as Greenberg said: <&  ... she was a nice woman and she got sick. She wanted to go to the hospital. They didn't take anyone unless they had an, accident. So i n order to have an accident she jumped down from the roof and she k i l l e d herself. She wanted to go to the hospital and we should save her. So she made a mistake and she died. An extreme case, one would say.  Perhaps.  Let us look at how some of my  informants lived and what their experiences were, bearing in mind that these events took place during the German/Russian/Polish of their lands;  the Russian Japanese War (1905);  occupations  the First World War  (1914-1918); and the Russian Revolution from 1905-1917. Hundreds of people were being moved out of their homes and shunted on trains from their villages and cities to strange parts of the country.  Imagine  travelling for days on crowded trains, in some instances parents and children became separated forever; journeying without food, water, change of clothing;  or travelling by horse and wagon and being beaten up even  whilst attempting to escape one horror and confronting another. was not war-torn Europe under Nazi Occupation. between 1900 and 1920.  No, this  This was Eastern Europe  Borders changed overnight.  One went to sleep i n  Russia and woke up in Lithuania and the next week back again i n Russia. Some had to live in army barracks:  "... the rats were so big, mother used  to s i t and watch a l l night that they didn't bite the kids" said Rose Gordon.  Some washed clothes to buy food;  others stood i n line for bread and soup.  many sold food to soldiers; One woman, Murial Grad, worked  on fishing boats far from her homeland. How did they live?  What did they eat?  How did they survive?  So many of them ran from p l a c e to p l a c e .  They r a n , k e e p i n g one  step  ahead of the p o l i c e (those e l i g i b l e f o r c o n s c r i p t i o n i n t o the army), or from ' b a n d i t s ' who  made the pogroms.  F o r Harry Ullman:  ... i n 1916 i n October, f o r the Czar, my c l a s s was mobilized. I had to j o i n the army. What I d i d not t o go i n t o the army! As mentioned b e f o r e , I had a younger b r o t h e r by two y e a r s . We went to a man. He had a small o f f i c e . He used to g i v e out the b i r t h c e r t i f i c a t e s and p a s s p o r t s and so on. But t h e r e ' s c o r r u p t i o n n a t u r a l l y . I remember I p a i d him 40 r u b l e s : The r u b l e wasn't worth as b e f o r e as i n the olden days, but i t sure was a h e l l of a l o t of money. We p a i d him 40 r u b l e s and he gave me the same p a s s p o r t , the same name, but my youngest b r o t h e r ' s age. I d i d n ' t have t o go i n the army b u t I had to leave town. In a s m a l l s h t e t l everybody knew you. So I had to l e a v e town. I s t i l l had the money f o r to t r a v e l b u t where c o u l d I go? I never stepped out of the s m a l l town, except i n Dwinska I was once. So I h i r e d a man - a h o r s e and buggy. He used to come 50 m i l e s away from our v i l l a g e . We had no t r a i n s . We had t r a i n s from one s i d e i t was 27 m i l e s and t h e r e ' s the F r o n t a l r e a d y t h e r e . And the other s i d e i t was 15 m i l e s to another r a i l r o a d . So I don't remember how much I p a i d him. He took me to - 15 m i l e s we t r a v e l l e d there to the r a i l r o a d s t a t i o n . From the f i r s t s t a t i o n t h e r e was a b i g town - not a v e r y b i g town - c a l l e d Shaybish And the war was going no good f o r the R u s s i a n s . The Germans k i l l e d them i n the thousands. A c o u s i n of mine, the f i r s t weeks they shot o f f h i s l e f t arm and they used t o make s l u g s . And the s l u g s used to explode. When i t h i t you i t exploded. So h i s bones were running p i e c e by p i e c e . They kept him f o r c l o s e to a y e a r i n h o s p i t a l . Then he came home and we saw i t .  "Certainly  the l i v e s of the poor are not  Lewis i n h i s I n t r o d u c t i o n to The poor share to  do b u t  C h i l d r e n of Sanchez ( 1 9 6 3 : x i i ) .  a common h e r i t a g e of not of simply  trying  trying desperately  l i v e each day' which makes t h e i r l i v e s  to f i l l  to l i v e . 'not  dull'.  North American mind.  each day w i t h  I t i s the  Lewis entraps h i m s e l f i n the very s i e v e which he t h a t of the m i d d l e - c l a s s  d u l l " says Oscar The things  'trying  Somehow I  t r i e s so h a r d  to  feel to a v o i d  Would the poor d e s c r i b e  their lives as being 'not dull'?  Getting an education or going to school  is a dull part of our middle-class lives.  Being grabbed by the police and  taken into the army was something the Jews feared constantly in Eastern Europe and so they forged papers, ran away, they kept on the move. When there were pogroms people lost what l i t t l e material possession they had; they lived for days in terror until the attackers had sated their lust and boisterous hunger.  There was never a dull moment. To the poor, the lives  of the rich are anything but dull.  How exciting i t would be to v i s i t a  museum or play a game of golf, they must think.  "Going dancing or to an  opera and to beautiful places" was exciting to Fanny Osipov but she was not allowed to do these things because she was a Jew living in Nikolayev where you had to have the proper papers for living there. Any day she and her family could have been ordered back to the tiny shtetl where she was born. What I am endeavouring to say is that l i f e is either 'dull' or 'not dull' depending on your point of reference. I do not think that the lives of any of the people who talked to me can be called 'not dull'. lives were sad, their lives were dismal; sustain their bodies and minds.  Their  they a l l worked very hard to  And the other heritage which they shared  with a l l other poor people was hope. Without hope, without dreams, they would not have been talking to me. Let me go back to Fanny Osipov. by everyone under f i f t y years of age! she and her oldest son came to Canada.  She is called Baba, grandmother,  I asked her to t e l l me about how I expected her to t e l l me about  her journeying from Nikolayev to Winnipeg.  She started to but my question  triggered in her mind so many other things that had happened to her that she began to relate her experiences as does one on awakening from a bad dream.  I w i l l not try to encapsulate her experiences for i t would lose  Baba Fanny Osipov, 1980 Photography:  Joshua Berson  61  its ta'am, i t s flavour. Louie was born later. I had the papers already to come to Canada. Yeh, and then the war stopped already and I had a letter from my father. My father was s t i l l i n Canada. When I was married, Louie was not my f i r s t one. I had another boy. I had another boy and the war was s t i l l bad and my husband they took him again i n the army and I was left with this l i t t l e boy and I became sick. And I have this - it's a rash a l l over and very catchy. It's not measles, not chicken pox. Worse than them. Oy, I forgot the name - they had i t somewhere i n Canada this sickness. But I forgot the name. It's very catchy and you go around with scabs ... I can't remember. I couldn't stay at home and they took me i n the hospital. Meanwhile, the boy what I had, he was two years old and his name was Velvl. He became sick with measles. You are not supposed to take a person from the house. It was chiily already and they took him to the hospital. And he was very sick, very sick. When I came - shall I t e l l you what happened i n the hospital? You want to hear? When I was in the hospital we were two people i n one bed! On one bed. One side one, on the other side another. Was so many sicknesses. I was light but the other one i n the bed was very wild. She nearly killed me. You know how i t is when you are sick. Then just as the temperature is gone, they said: "You go home". They need the bed for someone else. And they came . and I was weak and they said: "You are O.K." and they shave your hair, and: "You go home!" The hospital has a telephone but at home, my husband is i n the army. I had a sister-in-law there. We lived together. I don't have a telephone. How can I t e l l them I'm coming home? I went for my clothes. Somebody took away my shoes; took away my dress. What did they leave? A coat! When I came to the hospital i t was cold, winter, and the time went by and now i t was warm. I haven't got money. The hospital i s far like from Vancouver to Burnaby. I thought, well at the time there was street cars with horses ... I thought I ' l l go inside, I ' l l t e l l him I haven't got the money. I could talk! Nu, see I was with a coat, no clothes, without shoes, shaved my hair - so when I came in the street car the driver thought I was from the crazy home. He was afraid. He said "Giddup!" And I told him I'm coming from the hospital and he was afraid. So... "Giddup! Giddup!" and I went. So I start walking. I start walking home. It was i n the morning 9 o'clock. I walked and I s i t . Where do I sit?  Near someone's house, on the porch. But they-come; they said: "Giddup from here' What are you doing?" So i t was 2 o'clock when I came home. And I came home and my brother-in-law was there and he didn't recognize me. He said: "For who you are looking?" I said, his name was Selma; I said: "Selma, i t ' s Fanny!" Oy, they took me in and - - at least I was home already. And then the time was very bad. Was not enough food. And my baby passed away. I went to look i n the hospital. They said he passed away. I said I could, I want, to see him. He's in a room, you know, for the dead people there. I say, they must put the name, at least I want to see i t with my own eyes. So I start begging. I come to the door and the man said: "You couldn't go there. If you'll go there you'll pass away. It's from the bottom to the ceiling, so many dead people there." They didn't have the time you know to bury everyone because there was no food, so much sicknesses. Nu. I'm sick. If I find my son what can I do? What can I do? But at least I want to see with my eyes. I start begging, crying. So he opens the door. He opens the door and I went inside. You know the smell. And I start looking. So he saw that I'm shaking. He took me out. I didn't find him. I didn't find my son. Until now I remember this: from the floor to the ceiling was men, women, kids. That was l i f e there, yes!  said Fanny Osipov.  The temptation to compare conditions i n the Old Country with those found here in North America was very great amongst informants. Experiences, places, situations were so often.beyond my imagination, they said.  Too often they prefaced their remarks with "It's not like  here ... "  and I would then discover so many things which were not  like here. Informants came from large families, meaning there were at least four to five children who had survived. died at childbirth or very young.  Usually one or two had either  "We were seven, three died.  We had  a boy too. You know in those days they have children, some passed away, some lived", said Fanny Osipov, and "... when my mother had time she was always in bed.  How could she be with us, with so many? One or the other  63  Chicken plucker Source:  Roskies & Roskies 1975:98  Photographic reproduction:  Joshua Berson  Water-carrier and his son at town pump Source:  Roskies & Roskies 1975:118  Photographic reproduction:  Joshua Berson  we looked after each other". The average family of six or seven, i f they were fortunate, lived in two rooms plus a kitchen.  "But things were not very good. My father  was working in the house and I remember distinctly the table where he was working and there were two beds and a sink and a l l - and that was  the whole  business", said Jennie Litvak. Harry Ullman said:  "We were eight, a l l in one room. Two died  when they were small kids and another in 1929 or something like that. were poor as chuchmouse. Absolutely nothing to eat whatsoever." Rose Gordon's accommodation was even less spacious.  She said:  We had only one room - kitchen, sleeping, everything was in one room. From that room there was a l i t t l e other room where you kept your barrels of water. Because you had no water in the house. You had to go down a few blocks to get the water. You carried i t on that wooden - i t brings back memories, for me that picture! Where did you get i t ? Yes, yes, that's the way we carried the water. You see, everyday we used to bring water like that. And in Rose Gordon's family there were three sisters, two brothers, mother, father,all in one room. So us kids used to sleep - two here, three there, one on top of the other. Mother and father used to sleep on a couch. ... But you know, i t was spotless clean. Nobody had any bugs or anything because you see, you take your clothes down to the water, ycu h i t i t on the stones. My mother used to have the tub, the thing we used to take a bath i n , and she used to soak the clothes in there and wash i t out real good and then go down to the water and wash i t again and h i t i t and bring i t back and then put i t on the grass to dry i t , because i t was clean, the grass was clean. We didn't have a line. We didn't know what a line meant. Rose Gordon was not the only one who as shown in the picture.  carried water on her back  So did Murial Grad in Kovne, Lithuania.  also took her clothes to the river bank.  She said:  ... we had water there, but washing - I used to wash in a tub and I used to take the washing to the - we lived near, not far from, the River Niemen, and I used to rinse there my clothes and after bring i t  She  We  66  MAP  V  KEY T O T H E  MAP  OF  TISHEVITS  1. Yitskhok-Khiel's station house JWfcOSH CROSS  OLD BRIDGE FlOOWiATt  , |  2. Tavern 3. Kerosene shop 4. Soda shop 5. Belzer shtibl 6. Government school 7. Stores \^ 8. Iron goods store — ' 9. Trisker shtibl 10. Radziner shtibl 11. Arn-Moyshe's station house 12. The brick building 13. Shul 14. Besmedrcsh 15. Rizhiner shtibl 16. Soup kitchen 17. Zhamcle's house 18. Gershn melamed's beginner's kheyder 19. Yankev Yoshe's translation kheyder 20. Kalmcn Dovid's beginner's kheyder 21. Peysekh melamed's translation kheyder 22. Bathhouse v  o  ROA.D  Q  Q  H O U S E  P E A S A N T  H O U S E  The shtetl Tishevits Source:  Q  a a a _ Q  ARCADES J E W I S H  Q  Roskies & R o s k i e s 1975:2-3  Q  Q  a  Q  ZAMLINYE  Back and put i t on the a t t i c . I t was more than t e n to f i f t e e n minutes walk. I used to c a r r y the c l o t h e s on my s h o u l d e r s l i k e the Chinese do i n baskets. Every week I used to wash everybody's clothes. ( M u r i a l Grad) The  s t o v e on which they cooked was  occupied a w a l l .  I t was  made of c l a y .  a b i g oven which g e n e r a l l y  I  Rose Gordon s a i d :  I guess i n E n g l i s h you would c a l l i t a h e a t e r b u t i t ' s not a h e a t e r , i t was connected to the oven and t o the p l a c e where you used to put corn s t a l k s to heat the house. ... And on the o t h e r s i d e was the oven and between was a p l a c e to s l e e p . ... my mother used to make h e r own p r e s e r v e s , h e r own jams. ... And i n s i d e the house my mother used to have a s p e c i a l s t u f f t h a t she used. I t ' s not p a i n t . I t ' s l i k e whitewash. She put i t on the w a l l s and the f l o o r s . We had an a t t i c and she put a l l the d i s h e s f o r Passover there.' And b e f o r e Passover she used to put ten chickens there and f e e d them; make them good and f a t so t h e r e w i l l be l o t s of c h i c k e n f a t , because f o r Passover you need a l o t of c h i c k e n f a t . And kosher! Oh God! The b i g g e s t r a b b i c o u l d eat i n our house. We c o u l d never do a n y t h i n g wrong. And b e f o r e Passover my mother used to take e v e r y t h i n g o f f from the windows, wash the windows c l e a n , and t u r n our pockets i n s i d e out to see i f there was any b r e a d . I t was l o t s of work. Here i t i s n o t h i n g . In the s m a l l s h t e t l a c h l i f e was  very simple.  You  travelled  g r e a t d i s t a n c e s to get t o anywhere l i k e the synagogue, r a i l r o a d your r e l a t i v e s , to farmers One  always had  were two  and  And  there was  to c r o s s a b r i d g e to l e a v e the s h t e t l .  three b r i d g e s .  S h t e t l T i s h e v i t s we Bridge.  to get work.  In Roskies  station,  always a b r i d g e . Sometimes there  and R o s k i e s ' account  of  f i n d the Long B r i d g e , the Short B r i d g e and  There i s a l s o the P a s t u r e B r i d g e and the Y a t k e B r i d g e .  the the Old The  Long  B r i d g e i s not so named because i t i s long b u t "because the road l e a d i n g from i t through  meadows and  f i e l d s i n t o town - i s l o n g " (Roskies & Roskies  • 1975:4). Every s h t e t l had  a mill,  "My  f a t h e r was  a foreman i n the m i l l ,  a  flour mill.  They used t o b r i n g the wheat and  t h e r e used t o be a m i l l  w i t h a g r e a t b i g wheel t h a t used t o c a r r y the water and run t h a t  mill",  s a i d Rose Gordon. In  the l a r g e r c i t i e s  l i f e was  a little  different.  out of an evening b u t t h a t depended on where you l i v e d .  One  c o u l d go  In N i k o l a y e v f o r  instance, ... most people were i n the houses. The t h i n g i s , N i k o l a y e v was a c i t y f o r the Jewish people v e r y h a r d . They c o u l d n ' t go ... There were b e a u t i f u l p l a c e s , you know. ... dancing, operas, b u t the Jewish people c o u l d n ' t go t h e r e . We were not a l l o w e d . At n i g h t today a t my house, tomorrow another house. We have a p i a n o , t h e r e ' s dancing, e n j o y i n g , s i n g i n g . We made our own e n t e r t a i n m e n t . (Fanny  Osipov)  Economic And Work S e t t i n g To use the word 'economic' i n r e l a t i o n  to the l a b o u r s o f the  Jews w i t h i n the P a l e of Settlement i s to g i v e the i m p r e s s i o n , i f not make the c l a i m , t h a t they were a p a r t of the 'work f o r c e ' of the c o u n t r y , as though w i t h o u t them the economy would slump or i f seven t a i l o r s d e c i d e d t o l e a v e a p a r t i c u l a r s h t e t l , l i k e Zamoshtshe, the i n d u s t r y i n t h a t would f a l l  a p a r t at the seams.  To b e g i n w i t h seven t a i l o r s c o n s t i t u t e a burden busy sewing  on the community.  ( o r capmakers, b a k e r s , e t c . ) would Seven t a i l o r s would not be kept  f o r the i n h a b i t a n t s of a s h t e t l .  seven and more t a i l o r s had named a f t e r t h e i r t r a d e . did  village  not mean t h a t i t was  to l i v e . The  Not  at a l l .  i n some s h t e t l a c h  They might even have l i v e d on a s t r e e t  f a c t t h a t so many t a i l o r s  lived i n a shtetl  a prosperous one o r t h a t t h e r e was  demand f o r c l o t h i n g as f o r b a l l s , banquets, coronations.  Nonetheless  First  parties,  a constant  celebrations,  of a l l , not a l l the t a i l o r s i n that  shtetl  69  Source:  Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett  1977:90,91  70  Source:  Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett  1977:92-93  71 made a living from tailoring i n that village.  Some had to leave their  shtetl every Sunday morning and look for work amongst the farmers and peasants i n the countryside and would not return until Friday afternoon to spend the Sabbath with their families.  Others who stayed in the shtetl  worked only on old clothes (sometimes from the dead), rags, repairs and such.  The cream of the tailoring crop, an exclusive few, worked on  clothes f or the well—to-do. On a Tailors' Street the entire family could be engaged i n tailoring:  father, mother, daughters, sons (Roskies and Roskies 1975:127-130).  In other cases sons and daughters were 'given out to be tailors', that i s , they were apprenticed for so many years to someone else a l i t t l e b i t better off.  This, however, did not mean that the boy or g i r l turned out to be a  good tailor or even a passable tailor.  So much of their apprenticeship time  was spent i n doing household chores, getting cuffed, being abused, that sometimes they ended up being bunglers i n their trade. Aside from tailors one found capmakers, shoemakers, carpenters, clockmakers, builders, chicken sellers and butchers;  m i l l workers;  people employed i n and around the synagogue and i t s daily rituals; and there were the drawers of water. the water themselves.  Women who went to the well did not draw  A man did the work of drawing the water. "We had to  buy water", said Murial Grad, "five pails for a penny.  So I used to take  the barrel and f i l l i t up. Some would come around to s e l l the water but there was a well there and I would buy from a man at the well and carry i t home on my shoulders like in the picture". There were the melameds, the teachers, the rabbi, the scholars, and always around were the peasants. peasant and Jew got along fine.  In the small towns and shtetlach  In the larger villages and cities i t  was another story. Pogroms were mounted and organized by cossaks and  Source:  Water carrier Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:74  Source:  Town pump Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 1977:49  73  ' b a n d i t s ' who  lived  o u t s i d e the p a r t i c u l a r v i l l a g e they sacked and  Sometimes l o c a l peasants  looked a f t e r t h e i r Jewish n e i g h b o u r s .  times they i n s t i g a t e d and p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the  of  a "low grade of i n d u s t r y " s a i d Sidney S a r k i n . t r a d e s and t o produce  a trade s c h o o l at great cost. t o sew.  to  to  taught  Or you c o u l d be s e n t out to someone e l s e i n the s h t e t l  learn. i s t o c l o s e one's eyes  the r e a l s i t u a t i o n and i t s consequent h a r d s h i p s and s u f f e r i n g .  l i k e s a y i n g they were r o t t e n t a i l o r s because for  they  a shoemaker the chances were you  However, t o make the above statements to  a  That i s , one d i d n o t have to be s e n t  I f your p a r e n t s were t a i l o r s  I f your f a t h e r was  l e a r n e d the t r a d e .  To work i n the above-  goods f o r the v i l l a g e p e o p l e r e q u i r e d  minimum of s c h o o l i n g and e d u c a t i o n .  you how  For various  the type of t r a d e s found i n the s h t e t l a c h of E a s t e r n Europe were  mentioned  to  At other  riots.  What s o r t of work were the Jews i n v o l v e d i n ? reasons  robbed.  b e t t e r ones. the few,  But supposing e d u c a t i o n was  t h e r e was  It is  no need or demand  h o t l a c k i n g or r e s t r i c t e d  and Jewish c h i l d r e n were a b l e to be w e l l - t r a i n e d i n p r o p e r  t r a d e s c h o o l s , then they would have been a b l e t o get p e r m i s s i o n t o r e s i d e in  c i t i e s where they c o u l d make a decent l i v i n g and where c o m p e t i t i o n was  not that great.  One major reason why  d r i b s and drabs i n i t i a l l y ,  the Jews l e f t E a s t e r n Europe, i n  and f i n a l l y i n masses, was  of  employment o p p o r t u n i t i e s .  it  to say that the s h t e t l d i d not t u r n out poor  demand f o r good t a i l o r s was As i t was, cities at  because  T h i s f a c t w i l l be d i s c u s s e d l a t e r ; t a i l o r s because  l i k e Kiev, Lenningrad, o f my  suffice the  scarce.  a v e r y s m a l l percentage of Jewish c h i l d r e n  the t r a d e a b i l i t i e s  of the l a c k  ?  Odessa, Warsaw, V i l n a , e t c .  reached  A brief  look  i n f o r m a n t s w i l l show t h a t twice as many grew  up and came t o t h i s c o u n t r y w i t h o u t h a v i n g gone to a p r o p e r t r a d e s c h o o l . Those who  d i d were e i t h e r w e l l - t o - d o o r v e r y b r i g h t . Rose Smith  said:  You see they used to take j u s t a percentage of Jewish c h i l d r e n . Then i r i our town, Homel i n R u s s i a , they d e c i d e d they w i l l open a Jewish s c h o o l . There was a Jewish woman and they opened a Jewish s c h o o l . I t wasn't j u s t f o r Jews; Jews and g e n t i l e s b o t h went to s c h o o l . But a t l e a s t we went t o school a f t e r that. ... and i n u n i v e r s i t y when you f i n i s h w i t h a g o l d medal you can go i n a c i t y l i k e P e t e r s b e r g where Jews were not allowed t h e r e , u n l e s s you are a worker, meaning someone who has s p e c i a l p e r m i s s i o n t o work i n the c i t y . A worker was a l l o w e d t o go-there and then those who f i n i s h e d w i t h a g o l d medal. So my b r o t h e r - i n - l a w got a g o l d medal and he went to L e n n i n g r a d and my s i s t e r got a g o l d medal too. S a l o Baron, A r c a d i u s Kahan, and o t h e r s , i n t h e i r I n t r o d u c t i o n to Economic H i s t o r y of the Jews, speak of major p i t f a l l s historians:  f o r the economic  that o f d e v i a t i n g i n t o an a p o l o g e t i c l i n e of r e a s o n i n g , such m  as a s i m p l i s t i c  ' e x p l a n a t i o n ' of Jewish o c c u p a t i o n s , or a l a u d a t o r y expos-  i t i o n of Jewish  ' c o n t r i b u t i o n s ' t o an economy"  (1975:x).  I do not p r e t e n d to be an economic h i s t o r i a n and my i s not t o attempt  an  here  ' e x p l a n a t i o n ' , s i m p l i s t i c or o t h e r w i s e , as to why  Jews l a b o u r e d f r u i t l e s s l y i n c e r t a i n t r a d e s . laboured and h o t why.  purpose  I t i s r a t h e r t o show how  As t o the q u e s t i o n of c o n t r i b u t i n g  of the c o u n t r y , I w i l l d i s c u s s t h a t a t the end of t h i s  they  to the economy  section.  To speak of an economy of a s o c i e t y or of a p e r i o d one's focus must encompass a wider f i e l d  than t h i s .  the worker i n the s h t e t l and not about  My  concern here i s the s t o r y of  the wheelers  f i n a n c i a l and i n d u s t r i a l p a r t s of E a s t e r n Europe.  and d e a l e r s i n the Some of my  informants  were c o m p a r a t i v e l y w e l l o f f ( I would n o t go so f a r as t o c a l l them w e l l - t o do) and they e n j o y e d a modicum of comfort. came from f a m i l i e s where income was  However, the m a j o r i t y of them  not a s s u r e d , where n o t h i n g was  put  away - or where n o t h i n g c o u l d he put away - f o r a r a i n y day, where i f the breadwinner took o f f f o r another f a m i l y was  left  c i t y o r went t o 'America'  to s u r v i v e on i t s own  resources;  the  i f the breadwinner d i e d  the f a m i l y c o u l d s i n k f u r t h e r , i f such were p o s s i b l e , i n t o the morass of deprivation. Jewish called  l a b o u r d u r i n g the p e r i o d under review  'skilled'  labour.  c o u l d v e r y w e l l be  Even though the m a j o r i t y of them d i d not go  a t r a d e s c h o o l , and when they were 'given out to become . . . " or a t a i l o r , p a r t of t h e i r chores  a shoemaker..  always i n c l u d e d d o i n g a number o f other  t h i n g s on the s i d e f o r the household  where they  those who  s h a l l see l a t e r , by simply  l e a r n e d t h e i r t r a d e , as we  out on the road w i t h an o l d e r man The  c o l l e c t o r of f a c t s  looking f o r facts.  My  a l r e a d y i n the  can g i v e you  'apprenticed'.  a chance to t a l k about t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s  c o n s i d e r e d glamorous by  Certainly them.  and  There were setting  trade.  f a c t s - t h a t i s i f you  i n t e n t , when i n t e r v i e w i n g p e o p l e , was  meaning to t h e i r l i v e s .  to  f e e l i n g s and  to g i v e them  thereby  the k i n d of work they d i d was  Those who  are  g i v e some not  succeeded e d u c a t i o n a l l y and  p r o f e s s i o n a l l y s t a n d out i n the memories of these p e o p l e , e.g. Smith's o l d e s t s i s t e r and b r o t h e r - i n - l a w , mentioned above.  Rose  The  restrictions  which were imposed by the government r e g a r d i n g r i g h t s of r e s i d e n c e o u t s i d e the P a l e c u r t a i l e d young man was  who  the c h o i c e s a v a i l a b l e t o , f o r example, an  would wish to t r a v e l to a c i t y  a watchmaker, so you  fortunate.  l i k e K i e v to f i n d a j o b .  are a tradesman, so I c o u l d l i v e i n any  R u s s i a where nobody e l s e can l i v e . He was  ambitious  Kiev., was  So I l i v e d i n K i e v ...",  a p r o v i n c i a l c a p i t a l and he  "I  city in  s a i d Abe  Smith.  came from a p l a c e  c a l l e d Homel. Although  / every Jewish boy  r e c e i v e d some e d u c a t i o n i n the rudiments  of Hebrew and r e l i g i o u s t r a i n i n g , the m a j o r i t y of them l i k e Max P o v i t z and H a r r y Ullman, t o g e t h e r w i t h o t h e r s whom I had i n t e r v i e w e d , were 'given away f o r a t a i l o r ' father could a f f o r d alternative own.  to being  * (one can here  read any o t h e r worker)',  i f one's  t o have one spend the time i n a p p r e n t i c e s h i p .  One,  'given away t o l e a r n ' was to t r y and make i t on your  "When y o u have n o t h i n g t o pay t o t e a c h y o u - s o y o u went t o the farms.  Not t o l e a r n t o farm b u t t o l e a r n from an o l d e r t a i l o r " s a i d Harry I will briefly  Ullman.  look a t P o v i t z (born 1897) and Ullman (born 1898)  from d i f f e r e n t p a r t s of L a t v i a , t o show how the above systems worked i n the s h t e t l a c h i n the n o r t h e r n r e g i o n s of R u s s i a .  I w i l l a l s o look a t  James Blugerman ( b o m 1887) i n Kherson, one o f the c o l o n i e s s e t t l e d by Jews i n the d e s o l a t e southern tha^  I will  steppes  i n the l a t e 18th c e n t u r y .  After  look a t J e n n i e L i t v a k ' s f a t h e r who l i v e d and worked i n Warsaw  i n the l a t e 19th c e n t u r y . P a r t o f Max P o v i t z ' s t o r y i s as f o l l o w s : When I was n i n e y e a r s o l d my f a t h e r gave me away f o r a tailor. ... I had three b r o t h e r s and one s i s t e r and I was j u s t a s c h o o l boy. My b r o t h e r s worked i n a matches f a c t o r y . My f a t h e r was a t a i l o r , t h a t i s , i n the w i n t e r he was a t a i l o r . I n the summer he was j u s t a peddler. He bought chickens and sometimes a p p l e s , o r t h i s and t h a t , a t the market and he p e d d l e d . He made a poor l i v i n g , you know. My mother h e l p e d him a l i t t l e bit. But she passed away young, when she was about 50 or 51 and I was a very young boy a t t h a t time and I g o t to h e l p my f a t h e r . My b r o t h e r s they were working i n a f a c t o r y s o they d e c i d e d me t o be a worker - to. be a tailor. I t ' s a b i g t h i n g i n the o l d country. So I was to g i v e me f o r a t a i l o r f o r three y e a r s . I worked f o r three y e a r s f o r f o r t y r u b l e s . I n the o l d country t h e r e wasn't f a c t o r i e s . I t was a s m a l l p l a c e where I worked - a t t h a t time only f o u r p e o p l e . We d i d n ' t have f a c t o r i e s l i k e i n America. I n the o l d . country t h e r e wasn't f a c t o r i e s l i k e t h a t . I am now 77 y e a r s o l d , I'm n o t a y o u n g s t e r . I am r e t i r e d 7 • y e a r s , What I want t o say i s , so they d e c i d e d t o g i v e me f o r a t a i l o r . So I have a v e r y , very h a r d l i v i n g , you know. I t was a t t h a t time v e r y bad. I h e l p e d my  father a l i t t l e b i t . What c o u l d I h e l p him? He was a t a i l o r o n l y i n the w i n t e r . He maybe made at that time a d o l l a r i n a good week - that was v e r y good. So what do I do? I work i n a shop;. I t was v e r y bad at t h a t time, v e r y bad. Even they - they, the people I work f o r - they d i d n ' t even g i v e a p i e c e of b r e a d at t h a t time. They gave me a p a i r o f shoes because I d i d n ' t have a good shoes. With t o r n shoes I went to work. . L e a r n i n g the t r a d e turned out to be q u i t e d i f f e r e n t from u s u a l a p p r e n t i c e s h i p which we f a t h e r may  have 'given you  understand i t t o be these days.  to be a t a i l o r ' , however, you might  end of n i n e y e a r s f i n d y o u r s e l f It to  circumstances he might was  not because  spend  One's a t the  to be an e x c e l l e n t nurse maid!  c o u l d take a budding  t h i r t e e n y e a r s t o l e a r n how  the  or a s p i r i n g  tailor  anywhere from ten  t o make a p a i r of p a n t s .  In h a p p i e r  o n l y n i n e y e a r s on the same garment.  the boys were s t u p i d b u t because  This  an a p p r e n t i c e , another  mouth to f e e d , i n the m a j o r i t y of cases ended up b e i n g a s l a v e t o the boss  and h i s w i f e .  Said Povitz:  The b o s s ' w i f e , she was v e r y bad! She h o l l e r e d at me for being l a t e . She had f o u r c h i l d r e n , f o u r s m a l l g i r l s . I have to nurse them and look a f t e r them and went w i t h them i n the park and t h i s and t h a t . And they scream at me about what I s h o u l d l e a r n ! That was my l i f e . And f o r t y r u b l e s I have t o take f o r the t h r e e y e a r s . The boss h i m s e l f was a poor man. He was Jewish and he was i n the army. But, you know, i t was a poor l i f e . Anyway, I was t e n , e l e v e n , twelve y e a r s o l d when my mother passed away. I was s t i l l young. I remember j u s t l i k e now and what I want to say i s that I went up f o r three y e a r s and I don't t h i n k he gave me a l l the f o r t y r u b l e s even. And I went away from t h a t boss and I went t o another to l e a r n the t r a d e . I was now t h i r t e e n or f o u r t e e n y e a r s of age. The  outbreak of the F i r s t World War  l e d to an aftermath of  confusion: A l l of a sudden i t ' s coming - i n 1914 came' over the War. And a l l the Jewish people they mustn't be f o r t y m i l e s from the F r o n t . A l l the Jews i n our s h t e t l from Dwinska i n L a t v i a had t o go away. N i c k o l a i l e t i n Jews to s t a y t h e r e . But they sent us out. The Russians  78 sent us. out. Where are we going? They don't know. They didn't k i l l us . They just put us on trains and said: "Alright go. Go where you want!" ;  So they sent us away to Siberia. They sent us away to Katherinesberg and I was at that time 17 or 18 years old. It was Yom Kippur (solemn Jewish Holiday) in 1914, between 1914 and 1915, and I couldn't see and the bombs there were. I had left my family and I went by myself. A l l of a sudden I see my father and my sister and my brother (my brother was in the army, my older brother), and I see my brother-in-law. Everybody you see in there in the trains - in the middle of nowhere! So I go with them to Siberia. I was in Siberia for seven years. And I was a tailor at that time and I married there. In Siberia there was no Jewish tailors altogether and I had a job. (Max Povitz) Harry Ullman's experience was slightly different.  Coming from  a family of eight children, learning a trade, finding a job, earning wages, was an imperative he could not run away from.  He went to "learn the  trade over in the farms for about two years" he said. an older tailor with whom he lived.  He learned from  Ullman said:  In those days, in those days we used to work for nothing for three years in order to learn and we had to do housework and everything. But I was fortunate. I never had to do housework at a l l because we were more progressive already. I asked Harry Ullman to explain how he learned the trade on the farms.  Before he could reply his wife, Nina, interjected:  You see there was tailors who used to take young people into the trade. So whenever they went to a farm and they got work, they settled down. In the meantime, you know, the young boys got a l i t t l e experience. You see they were practically like slaves, they worked for nothing. Tailors used to carry the machine on the shoulders, so the young boy helps him. So the tailor used to come to the farmer, and the farmer used to give him material and they used to sew for the whole family. But the boys who wanted to learn were from the small towns, the shtetlach. But in the small towns there wasn't enough work so they used to go to the farmers from one town to  another, and s t a y f o r a week, two weeks, t h r e e weeks depending on how b i g the f a m i l y i s . And the farmers used to make the m a t e r i a l a l l by themselves - woven material. Very seldom they had m a t e r i a l which they used to buy i n the c i t y . And then the young s m a l l b o y s , you know, l i k e mind you about 8 y e a r s o l d , f o r the mother i t was a b l e s s i n g . She doesn't have to f e e d them a whole day - a whole week! So they g i v e him t o the t a i l o r : Do w i t h him whatever you want. Learn him! Don't l e a r n him! So long as he doesn't have to be f e d ! So t h a t ' s what i t i s . So he ( r e f e r r i n g to her husband) went to a man l i k e t h a t and I don't know how l o n g - two y e a r s , three years - i n the meantime he l e a r n e d i n between the t r a d e . You see you are a l s o doing o t h e r t h i n g s . James (Jimmy) Blugerman came from a f a m i l y who send him  and h i s b r o t h e r s n o t only t o s c h o o l but  school.  T h i s man  took great p r i d e i n t e l l i n g  could a f f o r d  a l s o t o a proper  to  trade  me:  My name i s James Blugerman. I was b o r n on June 22 1887 i n the U k r a i n e on the R i v e r D n i e p e r , i n a s m a l l v i l l a g e c l o s e to a b i g g e r c i t y c a l l e d Kherson. At that time Kherson was the c a p i t a l c i t y of one of the p r o v i n c e s or as we c a l l e d i t i n the U k r a i n e , i t was the c a p i t a l of the g u b e r n i y a , that i s , the p r o v i n c e . Around the c i t y of Kherson t h e r e was at the time of my b i r t h a Jewish colony w i t h about 100 f a m i l i e s s p r e a d on the farmland, r a i s i n g v e g e t a b l e s , wheat, c h i c k e n s , cows, horses and so on and so f o r t h . Blugerman graduated from p u b l i c s c h o o l and s c h o o l i n Odessa. he s a i d .  " J u s t l i k e our T e c h n i c a l S c h o o l  Blugerman was  87 when I t a l k e d to him.  and never appeared confused a slow, m e t i c u l o u s  about what he was  pace to expound on  entered  a technical  i n the c i t y of T o r o n t o " He was  t e l l i n g me,  very s p r y , proceeding  the events of h i s l i f e .  He  alert at  said:  Now i n t h a t colony near Kherson were two f a m i l i e s - we c a l l them p i o n e e r s on l a n d s : c o l o n i s t e we c a l l e d them i n the U k r a i n e . One f a m i l y , q u i t e a l a r g e f a m i l y , by the name of Blugerman, and another f a m i l y that e v e n t u a l l y m i g r a t e d to Canada ... by the name of C h a i k o f f . Now these two f a m i l i e s , w i t h t h e i r c h i l d r e n and g r a n d c h i l d r e n , l i v e d q u i t e p e a c e f u l l y surrounded by v i l l a g e s a f t e r v i l l a g e s along the Dnieper R i v e r where today, i n the S o v i e t Union, i s the b i g power s t a t i o n near P r o s t r o y , which s u p p l i e s the e n t i r e a r e a w i t h e l e c t r i c i t y and power.  80  I t i s the h a b i t amongst Jews t h a t when a number of f a m i l i e s s e t t l e i n an a r e a they go about e n s u r i n g the r e l i g i o u s e d u c a t i o n of children.  I f a r a b b i or teacher d i d not happen t o l i v e i n the  they had  to "import  the language and  one  the  vicinity  i n t o the c o l o n i e s t o teach us c h i l d r e n ,  youngsters,  the p r a y e r i n p r e p a r a t i o n f o r the 13th C o n f i r m a t i o n ,  the  Bar M i t z v a h " , s a i d Blugerman. The  Jewish  c o l o n i s t s i n the U k r a i n e , going back t o Blugerman's  f a t h e r and g r a n d f a t h e r , spoke U k r a i n i a n and R u s s i a n . " i t was  R u s s i a n because  the R u s s i a n s c h o o l s a t the time.which predominantly  body whoever managed t o a t t e n d the p u b l i c s c h o o l s " , and t h e i r r e l i g i o u s e d u c a t i o n "we by  the age  every-  together with  c h i l d r e n grew up i n t h a t atmosphere  of t e n , twelve, knowing p r a c t i c a l l y  languages"  taught  until  the elements of t h r e e  s a i d Blugerman.  We  f i n d i n Blugerman's case again a c o n f i r m a t i o n of the dreams  I of Jewish  mothers.  I t was  because of h i s mother's " s t r o n g a m b i t i o n "  the f a m i l y , c o n s i s t i n g of f i v e boys and to l i v e w i t h an u n c l e who,  two  that  g i r l s , was:; moved to Odessa  a c c o r d i n g to Blugerman, "managed to l i v e i n  the b i g c i t y of Odessa" which was  b u t a seven or e i g h t hour f e r r y boat  ride  from Kherson. Jimmy f i n i s h e d p u b l i c s c h o o l . they l i v e d where he them.  H i s f a t h e r was  a shoemaker and  c o u l d make a l i v i n g e i t h e r making shoes or  repairing  A f t e r p u b l i c s c h o o l he went t o t e c h n i c a l s c h o o l where the e n t i r e  a f t e r n o o n s were spent  i n 'workshops'.  Blugerman s a i d :  There were c a r p e n t e r s , cabinet-makers and mechanical t r a d e s , and so by the time I and hundreds of o t h e r Jewish boys and Russians had graduated, we had p r a c t i c a l l y the e d u c a t i o n of our h i g h s c h o o l p l u s b e i n g a b l e t o b u i l d t a b l e s , c h a i r s , f i x t u r e s , e t c . e t c . So we were ready, so to speak, to take employment i n s m a l l shops. Blugerman graduated  so  from the t e c h n i c a l s c h o o l as a c a b i n e t -  81  Going to buy Source:  and  sell  Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett  1977:12  maker.  He  came t o Toronto i n ,1908  and i n s t e a d of c a r r y i n g on the same  t r a d e he went i n t o the t a i l o r i n g i n d u s t r y :  he  l e a r n e d to become a seam  p r e s s e r , an u n d e r - p r e s s e r w i t h a hand i r o n . J e n n i e L i t v a k was f a t h e r had buggy.  born i n Warsaw where h e r f a t h e r and h e r  l i v e d before her.  She  Her g r a n d f a t h e r had  grand-  a druslika, a h o r s e  and  said:  ... and he had a number. They were f o r c e d t o have a p a s s p o r t and a photograph and I t h i n k i t was the f i r s t time i n h i s l i f e t h a t he took a photograph. He was what you would c a l l a p r o g r e s s i v e r e l i g i o u s man i n Warsaw. And I have a photograph of t h a t number on h i s h a t w i t h the peak. ... and my f a t h e r had a dream. He always used t o t e l l me h i s dream. He wanted to be a d o c t o r . He used t o s i n g v e r y b e a u t i f u l l y and so at s i x y e a r s o l d they brought him to a s c h o o l and they put him i n t o a c h o i r . But i t o n l y l a s t e d t i l l n i n e y e a r s o l d . He was n i n e y e a r s o l d when they gave him to be an a p p r e n t i c e i n a home i n leathergoods i n Warsaw, Now, not o n l y d i d he have to - he a c t u a l l y wasn't l e a r n i n g a n y t h i n g - he was l i k e , w e l l , he rocked the c r a d l e , he used to go f o r a l l the messages f o r the l a d y of the house. They p r o b a b l y o n l y had one room and t h i s i s how h i s e d u c a t i o n stopped then. But he was a s e l f - e d u c a t e d man and s i n c e h i s dream wasn't f u l f i l l e d he always had a dream f o r his children. Now when he m a r r i e d he.was a l r e a d y an e f f i c i e n t and a l s o a v e r y c r e a t i v e person i n the l e a t h e r g o o d s . Because t o him to handle a p i e c e of l e a t h e r was l i k e somebody handles a b e a u t i f u l p i e c e of brocade or a diamond. J e n n i e L i t v a k ' s f a t h e r , l i k e so many o t h e r s who Poland  to Canada and  even w i t h o u t of  the U n i t e d S t a t e s , brought h i s dreams w i t h  to f o l l o w because the Jews who  from  him;  r e a l i z i n g i t , these immigrants brought w i t h them the  generations  after  emigrated  lives  remained i n Poland p e r i s h e d  1939.  The l a t t e r p a r t of the 19th century 1894-1917), saw f o r e s t r y and  (Czar Alexander  the r i s e of c e r t a i n i n d u s t r i e s :  lumber.  o i l , sugar,  O i l and sugar beet r e f i n i n g were two  III textile  areas i n  and  83  which J e w i s h l a b o u r was  not  represented.  these i n d u s t r i e s were l o c a t e d o u t s i d e because Jewish workers c o u l d not peasants nor paid jobs.  There were some Jews who  In the  t h i s was  case of the  The  of Settlement but  also  the  or t r a i n i n g f o r s p e c i a l i z e d h i g h e r worked i n the o i l i n d u s t r y along  i n the  with  towns of Austro-Hungary.  e n t e r p r i s e s but  same s i t u a t i o n o b t a i n e d  Jews were employed i n s m a l l  only because  t e x t i l e i n d u s t r y , Jewish l a b o u r was  used i n the l a r g e r f a c t o r i e s and operations.  the P a l e  not  compete w i t h the low wages of  d i d they have the s k i l l s  non-Jewish l a b o u r e r s b u t  T h i s was  not  only i n s m a l l - s c a l e  i n the m a n u f a c t u r i n g end where  ' f a c t o r i e s ' l i k e Max  Povitz.  There were  many such s m a l l f a c t o r i e s at the time, s a i d A l b e r t Abramovitz: Every f a m i l y , i n the k i t c h e n , had a l i t t l e f a c t o r y . E i t h e r i t was the f a t h e r or the son t h a t was the head of i t . And they h i r e d two or three hands ... ( t h e r e were) ... s i x , seven or e i g h t hundred l i t t l e t h i n g s l i k e t h i s , w i t h sons, w i t h s i s t e r s and b r o t h e r s , i n every f a m i l y . According and  to Baron, e t a l (1975:87-88), there were c e r t a i n ' c o n s t r a i n t s '  ' o b s t a c l e s ' which would have had  labour first  to have been overcome f o r the  f o r c e to have reached a ' s i g n i f i c a n t c o n s t r a i n t was  s a n c t i o n of o b s e r v i n g  the  the t e x t i l e and  'assumed or r e a l s t r e n g t h '  the Sabbath.  of non-Jewish workers and  l e v e l ' i n Eastern  The  second was  Jewish  Europe.  The  of the r e l i g i o u s the  'assumed  animosity'  foremen a g a i n s t t h e i r Jewish f e l l o w workers.  lumber i n d u s t r i e s there were Jewish e n t r e p r e n e u r s  who  played: ... an i m p o r t a n t r o l e i n p r o v i d i n g g a i n f u l employment f o r l a r g e numbers of Jews. I t may be assumed that f o r a Jewi s h e n t r e p r e n e u r there e x i s t e d a " p s y c h o l o g i c a l income" i n p r o v i d i n g employment f o r other Jews, whether he d i d so f o r reasons of g r e a t e r f a m i l i a r i t y and c u l t u r a l a f f i n i t y or because i t was c o n s i d e r e d a "good deed" i n cases when d i s c r i m i n a t i o n i n f a v o r of Jewish employees i n c r e a s e d his o p e r a t i o n a l costs (ibid:88).  In  84  Source:  Unemployed seamstress Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett  1977:162  Source:  A c l o t h i n g f a c t o r y i n Poland Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett  1977:161  I t d i d not i n c r e a s e t h e i r o p e r a t i o n a l costs.  In most cases  Jews worked f o r l e s s wages and brought more e x p e r t i s e t o the j o b . Even i f t h e r e were more than the one one some twenty was  town' as the  odd m i l e s from Lodz, P o l a n d , which one informant c l a i m s  "known throughout Poland and throughout  even i f we  'tailoring  lumped t o g e t h e r a l l the l i t t l e  shoemakers, t i n s m i t h s , one  the R u s s i a n Empire",  f a c t o r i e s , whether  and  tailors,  c o u l d h a r d l y be moved to say t h a t there was  a  Jewish l a b o u r f o r c e of a " s i g n i f i c a n t l e v e l " or t h a t the Jews c o n t r i b u t e d critically  to the economy of the P a l e .  Most of the people I t a l k e d to e i t h e r worked f o r themselves, as d i d t h e i r f a t h e r s and mothers, or they were employed l i k e P o v i t z Ullman i n v e r y s m a l l o p e r a t i o n s where n e i t h e r the employee n o r the made enough to f e e d themselves How  c o u l d they?  and  their  and employer  families.  Working i n home i n d u s t r i e s and s m a l l f a c t o r i e s  they outnumbered the employment o p p o r t u n i t i e s i n the congested P a l e of Settlement: ... i n 1898 t h e r e were over 500,000 Jewish a r t i s a n s , 100,000 Jewish d a y - l a b o u r e r s , and at l e a s t 50,000 Jewish f a c t o r y workers. D e s p i t e the enormous e m i g r a t i o n to America, Jewish a r t i s a n s had i n c r e a s e d about 20% s i n c e 1887, (Davidowicz 1967:58). T h i s emergent p r o l e t a r i a t n u r t u r e d and gave b i r t h i d e o l o g i e s and p r o v i d e d the impetus followed.  to revolutionary  f o r the r a d i c a l s o c i a l changes which  CHAPTER. IV IDEOLOGIES OF SOCIAL CHANGE Changes a r e brought about by p e o p l e ; mind o f an i n d i v i d u a l o r sometimes  more s p e c i f i c a l l y i n the  i n the minds o f more than one  individual.  When one speaks of change, one i s n o t r e f e r r i n g to r e l i g i o n , or customs, or i n s t i t u t i o n s f o r i n s t a n c e , b r i n g i n g about the change. change;  T h i n g s do n o t make  people make change, and the o n l y "...adequate and  realistic  e x p l a n a t i o n o f human b e h a v i o u r i s to be found i n the f u n c t i o n s o f the human mind" ( B a r n e t t  1953:9).  T h i s c h a p t e r t h e r e f o r e w i l l be a b r i e f attempt to show how h e l d i n common p e r c i p i t a t e d changes.  I t i s not enough to g i v e a  c h r o n o l o g i c a l account o f s o c i a l f a c t s . behaviour, motivations, f e e l i n g s .  ideas  Behind such f a c t s a r e i d e a s ,  Because these l a t t e r a r e not always  e a s i l y o b t a i n a b l e or f o r t h c o m i n g , the f i r s t h a n d s t u d i e s which a r e done a r e the  more important i n i l l u m i n a t i n g the background o f s o c i a l  change.  Every human b e i n g i s b o r n i n t o some form of o r g a n i z a t i o n which p r e d a t e s him.  He as an i n d i v i d u a l may  i n a number o f ways. of  h i s group  group).  The chances a r e t h a t he w i l l  conditions  c a r r y on the t r a d i t i o n s  ( b a r r i n g any major e x t e r n a l f o r c e which would a l s o a f f e c t h i s  However, even w h i l s t he i s c a r r y i n g on the t r a d i t i o n s o f h i s group  he w i l l n o t do so i n t o t o s i n c e he w i l l add some, and t o g e t h e r w i t h h i s own I t s h o u l d be borne i n mind speak, i n a vacuum. of  respond to these e x t e r n a l  r e j e c t some a s p e c t s , s u b t r a c t some,  i d e a s he w i l l produce some new  t h a t no one p e r s o n can produce a new  forms.  i d e a , so to  I t i s the coming t o g e t h e r of the p a s t , and the impetus  the p r e s e n t , which c r e a t e s i n the human mind a n o v e l i d e a . I t i s the coming t o g e t h e r o f the p a s t  (traditions,  religion,  y e a r s o f p e r s e c u t i o n ) and the impetus, the i m p e r a t i v e o f the p r e s e n t (the  demands o f the times, the r e b e l l i o n o f y o u t h ) : "and you hear a  little  bit  here and a l i t t l e  b i t t h e r e , and suddenly you s t a r t to t h i n k :  does not have to be t h a t way, It in  and, why  s h o u l d t h i s be?  i s n o t so sudden, t h i s i d e a , t h i s thought.  the mental  c h a i n which produces  life  (Abramovitz) I t i s the l a s t  the answer f o r a p e r s o n .  C l a r i t y i s sudd-  en but the road sometimes i s l o n g and e l u s i v e , beclouded w i t h thoughts it  i s God's w i l l  t h a t I must s u f f e r t h i s  Utilizing  link  like:  way.  the words o f i n f o r m a n t s I w i l l show how  i d e a s developed  amongst the Jews o f the P a l e and what r a d i c a l p h i l o s o p h i e s m o t i v a t e d  and  c o n s p i r e d to b r i n g about what a l l ofjthem p r e f e r to c a l l p r o g r e s s i v e s o c i a l changes. Ideas and i d e o l o g i e s were r i f e i n Western Europe d u r i n g the I 8 t h and  19th c e n t u r i e s n o t o n l y amongst such non-Jewish  V o l t a i r e , Samual Johnson,  B o s w e l l but a l s o amongst Jewish t h i n k e r s  w r i t e r s such as Moses Mendelssohn, E l i j a h of V i l n a Gaon), and o t h e r s .  t h i n k e r s as Rousseau, and  (known as the V i l n a  W i t h i n the P a l e were w r i t e r s and t h i n k e r s l i k e Mendele  Mokhar S f o r i m , Sholem Aleichem,  I. L. P e r e t z to name o n l y a few.  people d i d not move as s w i f t l y nor as f a r a f i e l d  and  Travelling  was  t e d i o u s and l o n g , and even though  was  a p o s t a l s e r v i c e , n o n e t h e l e s s people c a r r i e d r a d i c a l i d e a s w i t h them and  by word o f mouth enflamed  t h e r e was  i n those days.  Ideas  t h e w r i t t e n word and t h e r e  and i n f l u e n c e d the minds and thoughts o f o t h e r s -  p a r t i c u l a r l y those o f the youth. Occurrences i n E a s t e r n Europe i n the l a t e 19th c e n t u r y began to affect  the t h i n k i n g s o f young Jewish minds.  b e i n g God's w i l l was  one  S u f f e r i n g and  deprivation  t h i n g , but when young boys were b e i n g taken away  from t h e i r f a m i l i e s by the R u s s i a n government and put i n t o the army f o r y e a r s and y e a r s i n an attempt In  1827  to ' r u s s i f y ' them then people began to r e b e l .  the R u s s i a n government demanded t h a t numerous areas w i t h i n the P a l e  s u p p l y t h e i r armies w i t h what was  known as C a n t o n i s t s .  These young boys  88 would be taken a t the age of anywhere from 9 - 1 3 ' r u s s i f i c a t i o n ' programme would f o l l o w . several years.  The boys were kept i n the army f o r  Those who  r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s came back broken men.  brought about a s p l i t  s t e a d f a s t l y h e l d to t h e i r  The aim o f the R u s s i a n government  to c o n v e r t these Jewish boys to R u s s i a n s .  to-do c o u l d buy  intensive  By the time they were ' d i s c h a r g e d ' they were too o l d to  remember t h e i r f a m i l i e s and community.  was  and an  T h i s s u p p l y i n g o f boys  i n the Jewish communities because  the r i c h and  t h e i r boys out o f the army and have boys from poor  well-  families  sent i n t h e i r s t e a d . T h i s p o l i c y was  l a t e r abandoned.  N e v e r t h e l e s s t h e r e were numerous  o t h e r c r u e l and a n t i - S e m i t i c p o l i c i e s which were c a r r i e d on sometimes under the a u s p i c e s o f the government and sometimes o n l y w i t h t h e i r  unofficial  blessings. However, because  o f the numerous wars which R u s s i a c o n t i n u e d to  f i g h t on v a r i o u s f r o n t s t h e r e was  a continuous demand f o r Jewish  In 1916 i n October, f o r the Czar I had to j o i n army. What I d i d not do to go i n t o the army!  soldiers:  the (Harry Ullman)  When Romania s t a r t e d to f i g h t w i t h B u l g a r i a and Hungary I was o n l y 18 y e a r s o l d and they took me to the army f o r t r a i n i n g i n the boat. That was 1914 when they gave me my p r i v i l e g e s to go home (on l e a v e ) and I went to the Romanian b o r d e r and I passed to C h e r n o v i t z - w i t h o u t papers, no p a s s p o r t , n o t h i n g . Only the u n i f o r m from the army. That's a l l I had. I d i d n ' t have a penny i n my pocket. (Hyman L e i b o v i t c h ) At twenty y e a r s o l d everybody i s c a l l e d to the army t h e r e . I made my o u t f i t and was ready. I d i d n ' t mind to go anywhere i n R u s s i a . But S i b e r i a I d i d n ' t want! (Sam Nemetz) So Sam  Nemetz a l s o r a n away.  Away from the s h t e t l a c h and s m a l l towns one became exposed d i f f e r e n t k i n d s o f people and new,  exciting ideas.  "At t h a t t i m e " , s a i d  A r t Browner, " i n Lodz, I mean i n e s p e c i a l l y the b i g c i t i e s , interested i n p o l i t i c s .  So n a t u r a l l y I was  to  everybody  one o f them a l s o ! "  was  May Day R a l l y o f Labour Z i o n i s t s i n Khelm Source: Roskies & Roskies 1975:287  P o l i s h and R u s s i a n S o c i a l Democrats and Members o f Bund Honouring V i c t i m s o f 1905 Pogrom i n V i l n a Source: D o b r o s z y c k i & K i r s h e n b l a t t - G i m l e t t 1977:110  People were not r e j e c t i n g r e l i g i o n o r t h e i r Jewishness. they t u r n i n g t h e i r backs on t h e i r t r a d i t i o n s i n t h e i r e n t i r e t y . they were a s k i n g "why" have to s u f f e r ? bow  t h e i r heads?  Why  f o r the f i r s t  time i n t h e i r l i v e s .  d i d they have to do without?  For too l o n g had  they had done.  t a l k to one Abramovitz  another.  Rather d i d they  d i d they have t o  the Jews accepted the dictum t h a t somehow  they were to blame f o r t h e i r m i s e r i e s , t h a t God was something  Why  Why  Nor were  p u n i s h i n g them f o r  Young boys and g i r l s were b e g i n n i n g to r e a d  I t was  and  l i k e a f i r e which spread s l o w l y . A l b e r t  said:  When I was a l r e a d y a t a i l o r , l a b o u r c o n d i t i o n s i n those days were v e r y h a r s h . Very d i f f i c u l t . I j u s t c o u l d n ' t take i t . You had t o get up i n the morning about f i v e o ' c l o c k o r h a l f p a s t f i v e and be on your way to work. And sometimes work to twelve, one o ' c l o c k i n the morning. E i g h t e e n and twenty hours a t a s t r e t c h was the o r d e r o f the day. I must have been i n f l u e n c e d by some r a d i c a l s by then: t h a t l i f e doesn't have to be t h a t way. That i f you keep - I f o r g e t the name - e s t a b l i s h i n g a c o l l e c t i v e s o r t of group, we can e x e r t p r e s s u r e and win b e t t e r c o n d i t i o n s and thus reduce the hours and r a i s e wages. That brought me t o g e t h e r w i t h a number of people who thought t h a t way. We d i s c u s s e d these t h i n g s . I remember, I b e l i e v e t h a t I was, t o g e t h e r w i t h o t h e r s , i n the l e a d e r s h i p o f e s t a b l i s h i n g a union i n t h a t c i t y i n 1926. We e s t a b l i s h e d a branch o f what we c a l l e d the " B e g l a g i n C e n t r a l l e " . The Jews were e i t h e r i n s t r u m e n t a l i n f o r m i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n s and groups,  such as the Bund, the P o a l e Z i o n i s t s , Communist r e v o l u t i o n a r y  groups a t u n i v e r s i t i e s , or t r a d e u n i o n s ; May  Day  (May  o r they j o i n e d e x i s t i n g ones.  1 s t ) became a f o c a l p o i n t f o r r e v o l u t i o n a r y and underground  movements to p a r t i c i p a t e and communicate w i t h the g e n e r a l p u b l i c p r i n t i n g and d i s t r i b u t i n g l e a f l e t s and pamphlets about and i n j u s t i c e s .  by  current s o c i a l  ills  S a i d Blugerman:  May Day was i n t r o d u c e d to us i n the parks and suburbs o f the c i t y of Odessa i n 1905 under the p r e s s u r e o f g e n e r a l s t r i k e s ofQthe r a i l r o a d s , s t e e l works and o t h e r p l a c e s ; under the p r e s s u r e o f demonstrations and mass d e m o n s t r a t i o n s , when thousands and thousands o f students i n the c i t y o f Odessa  and i n o t h e r c i t i e s throughout R u s s i a and the U k r a i n e came out and l e a r n e d about these t h i n g s . And our t e a c h e r s i n v i t e d us to t h e i r p l a c e . We understood t h a t we were b e i n g s e c r e t l y assembled. We knew t h a t a l r e a d y t h a t t h e r e were ' s p i e s t h a t would watch our movement.  c I remember t h a t the most r e v o l u t i o n a r y upsurge happened a f t e r 1904 when we (the R u s s i a n s ) l o s t the war a g a i n s t the Japanese and the s o l d i e r s were coming w i t h t h e i r t a i l s behind s u r r e n d e r i n g a good p o r t i o n i n the F a r E a s t l i k e VTadyvostok and so on and so f o r t h . I t i s c l e a r today, a c c o r d i n g to Blugerman, t h a t i t was under the p r e s s u r e o f the r e v o l u t i o n a r y movement t h a t the Czar and h i s a d v i s o r s i n P e t r o g r a d i s s u e d a p r o c l a m a t i o n i n October  1905 g r a n t i n g the people a  c o n s t i t u t i o n by p r o m i s i n g to a l l o w p r o p e r t y owners to e l e c t members to the P a r l i a m e n t o r Duma, and f u r t h e r p r o m i s i n g the p e o p l e freedom o f t h e p r e s s and freedom o f assembly. country".  T h i s spread " l i k e w i l d f i r e through  The p r o c l a m a t i o n s  the e n t i r e  a p p e a r i n g on s t r e e t c o r n e r s i n the c i t y  encouraged the s t u d e n t s and workers and every r a d i c a l and l i b e r a l - m i n d e d young and middle-aged  person, b u t "mainly  the educated  young g e n e r a t i o n "  s a i d Blugerman. What topped  o f f the. r e v o l u t i o n a r y f e r v o u r w i t h i n the c i t y o f  Odessa was the r e v o l t on t h e b a t t l e s h i p Ptomkin because o f worms i n t h e i r r o t t e n food. in  I t was to the c i t y o f Odessa t h a t the remaining  s a i l o r s came  t h e i r boats a f t e r so many o f t h e i r comrades had been shot by the  authorities.  " A l l the workers o f the c i t y came to the p o r t t o pay  t r i b u t e and honour to the dead s a i l o r s o f the Ptomkin and t h i s was the b a s i s f o r a t e r r i f i c upsurge and demonstration  throughout  the c i t y " ,  s a i d Blugerman. However, the c e l e b r a t i o n s were s h o r t l i v e d . by s t u d e n t speakers to Cossacks  S t r e e t c o r n e r meetings  and Red F l a g waving came to a h a l t when o r d e r s went out  to d i s p e r s e the crowds.  Thousands were a r r e s t e d and l o c k e d up  i n j a i l . j S h o t n y a Z o t n a i s , The B l a c k Hundred, was an o r g a n i z a t i o n which  o p e r a t e d throughout R u s s i a and the U k r a i n e . shoot the demonstrators  A f t e r the Cossacks began to  and a r r e s t o t h e r s , Shotriya Zotriias o r g a n i z e d a  pogrom i n the Jewish neighbourhood  " i n the c i t y of Odessa w i t h i n two weeks  a f t e r the p r o c l a m a t i o n and an a b s o l u t e t e r r o r , a c l o u d o f t e r r o r , came i n t o b e i n g over the s k i e s . f  then  And hundreds and hundreds o f Jewish  men  and women and c h i l d r e n were murdered i n f r o n t o f us", s a i d Blugerman. What were the p o l i t i c a l l e a n i n g s o f the m a j o r i t y o f the Jews then when they l e f t come to America? nineteen,  the s h t e t l a c h f or the c i t i e s o f E a s t e r n Europe to  Sidney S a r k i n , a p o l i t i c a l  ' j a i l b i r d ' by the age o f  said: I t would be, w i t h o u t e x a g g e r a t i o n t h a t a t t h a t time i n the e a r l y 1920's, the b u l k o f our p e o p l e , except o f c o u r s e the top upper l a y e r , were i n sympathy w i t h the R u s s i a n R e v o l u t i o n and were a f f e c t e d by i t . And i t was n a t u r a l from the p o i n t of view t h a t they had a background o f o p p r e s s i o n by C z a r i s m for centuries. A l o t o f them p a r t i c i p a t e d i n those s t r u g g l e s a g a i n s t o p p r e s s i o n . A l o t o f them were founders o f the g r e a t Jewish s o c i a l i s t o r g a n i z a t i o n known as the Bund, which i s one of the l a r g e s t i n comparison you see w i t h s o c i a l democracy even i n those days. I t e x e r t e d a tremendous i n f l u e n c e on our p e o p l e . I t even, d i r e c t e d our whole c u l t u r e , Jewish l i t e r a t u r e and our c l a s s i c s toward s o c i a l j u s t i c e and s o c i a l i s m . The rumblings and s t i r r i n g s i n the P a l e o f Settlement  v a r i o u s forms. left  took  The young ones j o i n e d o r g a n i z a t i o n s and groups.  to seek t h e i r f o r t u n e s i n o t h e r l a n d s .  Some  Circumstances were such  that  f o r c e d some to t r a v e l f a r d i s t a n c e s b e f o r e they a c t u a l l y embarked upon the road to North  America.  Whether they were f o r c e d out o f t h e i r homes, as a.number o f them were, o r whether they l e f t because or whether they l e f t because  they were wanted- by the a u t h o r i t i e s ,  they c o u l d not t o l e r a t e the l i f e  any l o n g e r ,  they brought w i t h them a sense o f s o c i a l j u s t i c e not o n l y f o r themselves and t h e i r f a m i l i e s but a l s o f o r g e n e r a t i o n s to come.  93  Kramer and Masur state the following in reference to Jewish grandmothers, but i t can also be said of Jewish grandfathers: Those least which life  V  most likely to immigrate were often the traditional and most rebellious, qualities enabled them to break with their Old World (1976:152).  94  Daguerreotype  o f Baba & Z a i d a Grandma & Grandpa i n 19th c e n t u r y Poland.  Source:  D o b r o s z y c k i & K i r s h e n b l a t t - G i m l e t t 1977:9  95  Z a i d a i n 20th c e n t u r y Toronto Courtesy:  Claire Klein  Osipov  Photographic r e p r o d u c t i o n :  Joshua  Berson  CHAPTER V PUSH/PULL FACTORS:  Introduction: The  THOSE WHICH PUSHED THEM OUT OF EASTERN EUROPE AND THOSE WHICH PULLED THEM TOWARD 'AMERICA'  Why I Came t o 'America' l a s t c h a p t e r b r i e f l y d e a l t w i t h i d e a s which brought  about  s o c i a l change i n t h e people o f t h e s h t e t l a c h o f R u s s i a , Poland, L i t h u a n i a , Romania and o t h e r p a r t s o f the P a l e . sameUpeople transformed  into  I n Chapter V I I I , we w i l l  see these  'worker b e e s ' i n t h e c l o t h i n g f a c t o r i e s o f  M o n t r e a l and T o r o n t o . T h i s chapter w i l l s e r v e as more than a l i n k i n t h e c h r o n o l o g i c a l a c c o u n t i n g o f the movements o f a p e o p l e . e s t a b l i s h the space/time  I t must s e r v e n o t o n l y t o  c o - o r d i n a t e s b u t a l s o t h e many l i v e d  of Jews who emigrated, from the O l d Country.  experiences  F u r t h e r , i n so d o i n g , i t i s  my hope t h a t i t w i l l r e f l e c t what o t h e r immigrants encountered  i n their  early e f f o r t s of transformation. I w i l l b e g i n by l o o k i n g more c l o s e l y a t why people  left  their  homelands; what h e l p e d push'them out, why they t r a v e l l e d f o r months t o some f a r d i s t a n t l a n d where they might have had a r e l a t i v e , a c l o s e f r i e n d , or perhaps someone, j u s t someone whom they had n o t seen i n y e a r s b u t who would n o n e t h e l e s s be t h e r e to g r e e t them. a t t r a c t e d them to t h i s c o u n t r y streets'  I w i l l a l s o l o o k a t what  'America , where g o l d i s l i k e mud i n t h e  (Harry Ullman) and 'where the sky's  the l i m i t '  (Bertha Guberman).  ...while r i s i n g e x p e c t a t i o n s , demography, m i s e r i a , and e t h n o - r e l i g i o u s p e r s e c u t i o n p r o v i d e d the push f a c t o r s , a v a i l a b l e work - t h e hunger o f l a b o u r - i n t e n s i v e North American b u s i n e s s - p r o v i d e d t h e p u l l f a c t o r . (Harney & T r o p e r "Why I came here i s a l o t t o t e l l " ,  1975:4)  s a i d P a u l i n e Chudnovsky. "We  went out o f R u s s i a because o f the pogrom o f the p r e - r e v o l u t i o n . • People  were v e r y m i l i t a r i s t i c . " Yes, t h e r e i s a ' l o t t o t e l l ' pages.  o n l y i t cannot a l l be t o l d i n these  In the l a t t e r p a r t o f the 19th c e n t u r y decades o f d e p r i v a t i o n and  s u f f e r i n g reached a b o i l i n g p o i n t .  Not so much was i t due t o the f a c t  that  those who s u f f e r e d had f i n a l l y reached a stage when they c o u l d take i t no l o n g e r b u t r a t h e r i t was due i n the main t o the pogroms o f t h e 1880's which brought  the y e a r s o f m i s e r y t o i t s f i n a l c l o s e .  S t a t i s t i c s show how many  towns and v i l l a g e s were a t t a c k e d and the numbers o f people k i l l e d .  Women  and c h i l d r e n were raped, p r o p e r t y and b e l o n g i n g s d e s t r o y e d , and those who were l e f t p i c k e d up the p i e c e s and t r i e d t o s t a r t a g a i n .  I n a number o f  cases the drama would r e p e a t i t s e l f perhaps w i t h i n c r e a s e d i n t e n s i t y . TABLE ' I  DISTRIBUTION  District Kiev Podolia Volhynia Kherson Poltava Chernigov Kharkov Ekaterinoslav Tver Central Russia TOTAL  OF AFFECTED PLACES, POGROMS A N D EXCESSES B Y PROVINCES  Number of Number of Affected Places Pogroms  Number of Excesses  Absolute Total  Average per Place 2.9 2.4 2.2 1.5 1.8 1.6 1.2 2.3 1.0 1.3 2.3  175 121 90 54 36 29 11 4 4 7  384 213 122 66 41 32 9 9 4 7  132 80 80 15 22 14 4  2  516 293 202 81 63 46 13 9 4 9  531  887  349  1,236  — —  Table I shows the geographical distribution of the pogroms and excesses, according to provinces. At the head of the list is the province of Kiev, in which 516 (41.7 percent) pogroms and excesses occurred. Then follows the province of Podolia, with 293 (23.7 percent) and the province of Volhynia with 202 (16.3 percent) pogroms and excesses. The other provinces suffered less, and the provinces of Kharkov, Ekaterinoslav and Tver had less than ten pogroms and excesses each. The main center of the pogroms was on the right bank of the Dnieper, where civil war and nationalist passions raged in full fury. The Petlura movement, which accounted for the largest number of Jewish victims in the Ukraine, had its roots here. Here too a number of atamans and partisan leaders stirred up the peasants that were dissatisfied with the Communist experiment against the Jewish population. Denikin's army raged on the left bank of the Dnieper, in the province of Kiev and partly also in the province of Podolia. Source:  N. G e r g e l , i n YIVO Annual Jewish S o c i a l S c i e n c e , V o l . V I 1951:239  98 TABLE I I P O G R O M S I N T H E U K R A I N E , 1918-21, B Y M O N T H Month and Year To Dec. 12,1918  Pogroms  Excesses  Total  21  25  46  Dec. 31,1918 January 1919  9 24  25  34 '  February 1919  27  30  51  March 1919  25  36  55  25  61  39 120  23 28 24  148  Dec. 12,1918—  April 1919 May 1919 June 1919 July 1919 August 1919 September 1919 October 1919 November 1919 December 1919 January 1920 February 1920 March 1920 April 1920  71 109 127 68 20 8  May 1920 June 1920  11  August 1920 September 1920 October 1920 November 1920 December 1920 Jan. 1,1921—  17 7 2 10 4  33 8 15 11 16 12  July 1920  29 32  2 4  1  9 23 25 6  95  138  159  85 27 10  43 12  15  13 20  4  16  9 2  20  5  28 28  3 1 2  5  62  3  9 7 7  April 1,1921  15  Date undetermined  1  15  13  16 28  887  349  1,236  TOTAL  ine close relationship"'between political developments ana the pogroms is clearly reflected in Table II, showing the chronological distribution of pogroms and excesses in the years 1918-21. This table is a kind of calendar of political events in the Ukraine in so far as they were reflected in pogroms against the Jews. Source:  N. G e r g e l , "Pogroms i n the U k r a i n e 1918-1921" i n YIVO Annual Jewish S o c i a l S c i e n c e , V o l . V I 1951:240.  Rose Smith comes "...from Homel which i s not f a r from Minsk which i s n o t f a r away from Moscow".  She was born i n 1899 and l i v e d w i t h her  f a t h e r , mother and brothers and s i s t e r s . to  come t o Canada.  I asked Rose why she l e f t R u s s i a  T h i s i s what she s a i d :  I d i d n ' t know where Canada was because nobody here. I had no f a m i l y h e r e .  I d i d n ' t have  ...Perhaps y o u have heard o r read about the B e i l i s s case. Things were so r o t t e n t h a t they used t o t h i n k we put C h r i s t i a n b l o o d i n our matzos (unleavened bread eaten by Jews d u r i n g P a s s o v e r ) .  So b e f o r e E a s t e r some h o o l i g a n s k i l l e d a boy and B e i l i s s was blamed. T h i s was done j u s t t o make p r o v o c a t i o n s a g a i n s t the Jewish p e o p l e . ... i n the end a t r i a l was h e l d , a r a b b i and lawyers from a l l over the w o r l d had a meeting and they s t u d i e d the case so much u n t i l they found out t h a t i t was a l l p r o v o c a t i o n , and t h i s B e i l i s s was l e t go. ... Where I was l i v i n g i n a house w i t h f a t h e r , mother and my b r o t h e r s and s i s t e r s , I was a l r e a d y m a r r i e d a t t h i s time. There was a C a t h o l i c f a m i l y next door. The C a t h o l i c s i n our c i t y were v e r y r e l i g i o u s . And we were v e r y good f r i e n d s w i t h them. So the d a u g h t e r - i n - l a w says to me, and t h i s i s a f t e r the R e v o l u t i o n a l r e a d y , "Mrs. Smith t h e r e a r e rumours what they say about b l o o d i n the matzos". "Look", I s a i d , and I had my baby, a son Leo who was k i l l e d i n the Second World War, so I t e l l h e r , "Look, I'm going to swear w i t h my Leo's l i f e , t h e r e i s no b l o o d ! " And they know how much I l o v e him and they l o v e d him v e r y much t o o . My neighbour's son was working a l r e a d y i n the P o s t O f f i c e and he understood. He s a i d , "Don't t a l k nonsense. I t ' s f u l l o f nonsense" to h i s w i f e . He u n d e r s t o o d . Anyway, i n g e n e r a l , i t d i d n ' t work t h a t way because by the time thjey found o u t what's what t h e r e were so many pogroms a l l over the p l a c e , you know. And l i f e was v e r y hard, v e r y h a r d . Rose's f a t h e r had a s t o r e " t h a t was the o n l y s t o r e " which was l i k e a delicatessen store. different countries. burned  Her f a t h e r used t o buy f i s h from many  " I t was j u s t b e a u t i f u l , b e a u t i f u l .  So when they  i t down - what do you do a f t e r ? " s a i d . Rose. The n i g h t the s t o r e was burned h e r f a m i l y h i d i n a h o s p i t a l .  The  next day: ... t h e r e was no t r a i n to take, t h e r e was a wagon, a buggy. We were a l l t r a v e l l i n g i n the wagon from Homel t o g r a n d f a t h e r ' s to h i d o u r s e l v e s . So on the way t h e r e we got a good b e a t i n g ! One o f my c o u s i n s was b e a t up t e r r i b l y , you know, because he was a younger man and they thought he was a r e v o l u t i o n a r y . These people came l e a v i n g n o t h i n g behind and t a k i n g n o t h i n g w i t h them, t h a t i s , n o t h i n g o f m a t e r i a l v a l u e . p o s s e s s i o n s on t h e i r t r a v e l s t o t h i s c o u n t r y .  No one was burdened  with  What c o u l d they take from  t h e i r one and two room homes, some w i t h straw r o o f s , which they c o u l d n o t f i n d b i g g e r and b e t t e r i n 'America, where the s t r e e t s were paved gold?'  with  So b e f o r e E a s t e r some h o o l i g a n s k i l l e d a boy and B e i l i s s was blamed. T h i s was done j u s t t o make p r o v o c a t i o n s a g a i n s t the Jewish p e o p l e . ... i n the end a t r i a l was h e l d , a r a b b i and lawyers from a l l over the world had a meeting and they s t u d i e d the case so much u n t i l they found out t h a t i t was a l l p r o v o c a t i o n , and t h i s B e i l i s s was l e t go. ... Where I was l i v i n g i n a house w i t h f a t h e r , mother and my b r o t h e r s and s i s t e r s , I was a l r e a d y m a r r i e d a t t h i s time. There was a C a t h o l i c f a m i l y next door. The C a t h o l i c s i n our c i t y were v e r y r e l i g i o u s . And we were v e r y good f r i e n d s w i t h them. So the d a u g h t e r - i n - l a w says to me, and t h i s i s a f t e r the R e v o l u t i o n a l r e a d y , "Mrs. Smith t h e r e a r e rumours what they say about b l o o d i n the matzos". "Look", I s a i d , and I had my baby, a son Leo who was k i l l e d i n the Second World War, so I t e l l her, "Look, I'm going to swear w i t h my Leo's l i f e , there i s no b l o o d ! " And they know how much I l o v e him and they l o v e d him v e r y much t o o . My neighbour's son was working a l r e a d y i n the Post O f f i c e and he understood. He s a i d , "Don't t a l k nonsense. I t ' s f u l l o f nonsense" to h i s w i f e . _He u n d e r s t o o d . Anyway, i n g e n e r a l , i t d i d n ' t work t h a t way because by the time they found out what's what t h e r e were so many pogroms a l l over the p l a c e , you know. And l i f e was v e r y hard, v e r y hard. Rose's f a t h e r had a s t o r e " t h a t was the o n l y s t o r e " which was l i k e a delicatessen store. different countries. burned  Her f a t h e r used to buy f i s h from many  " I t was j u s t b e a u t i f u l , b e a u t i f u l .  i t down - what do you do a f t e r ? "  So when they  s a i d Rose.  The n i g h t the s t o r e was burned h e r f a m i l y h i d i n a h o s p i t a l .  The  next day: ... t h e r e was no t r a i n to take, t h e r e was a wagon, a buggy. We were a l l t r a v e l l i n g i n the wagon from Homel to g r a n d f a t h e r ' s to h i d o u r s e l v e s . So on the way t h e r e we got a good b e a t i n g ! One o f my c o u s i n s was beat up t e r r i b l y , you know, because he was a younger man and they thought he was a r e v o l u t i o n a r y . These people came l e a v i n g n o t h i n g behind and t a k i n g n o t h i n g w i t h them, that i s , n o t h i n g o f m a t e r i a l v a l u e . p o s s e s s i o n s on t h e i r t r a v e l s to t h i s c o u n t r y .  No one was burdened  with  What c o u l d they take from  t h e i r one and two room homes, some w i t h straw r o o f s , which they c o u l d n o t f i n d b i g g e r and b e t t e r i n 'America, where the s t r e e t s were paved gold?'  with  Motives & D e s i r e s f o r M i g r a t i o n I have o f t e n heard o l d e r p e o p l e say t h a t the p a s t i s so v e r y to  them, t h a t they can p i c t u r e p l a c e s and events as though  through them o n l y y e s t e r d a y . said:  Very e a r l y i n my  t a l k w i t h Max  "There's l o t s t h a t I can t e l l you because  today than a t any o t h e r time." t a l k e d to him.  was  it's  lived  Dolgoy  he  more i n my memory  i n h i s s e v e n t i e s a t the time I  And y e t Rose Barkusky, younger by a few y e a r s o n l y , began  her s t o r y by s a y i n g to me: childhood..."  Max  they had  clear  "Now  I don't remember n o t h i n g about  However, she proceeded  my  to t e l l me numerous i n t e r e s t i n g  t h i n g s which had happened to h e r and o t h e r s g o i n g back to age s i x . Alma W i t t l i n , i n , In Search o f a Usable F u t u r e , s a y s : People c o n c u r r e n t l y l i v e i n t h r e e environments, the one t h a t i s , o r c o u l d be, a c c e s s i b l e t o t h e i r senses, another i n t h e i r memory, which houses t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l p a s t and i n h e r i t e d t r a d i t i o n s , and another s t i l l i n the i m a g i n a t i o n . (1970: Ch. In  examining  2:3)  the reasons g i v e n by i n f o r m a n t s f o r e m i g r a t i n g , i t  would be a d v i s a b l e to bear i n mind t h a t f o r some o f these people the t a s k of  meshing these t h r e e environments  the i m a g i n a t i o n dominated  was  not v e r y d i f f i c u l t .  For others  and c o n s e q u e n t l y some o f t h e i r p a s t a c t i o n s  and  events loomed d i s p r o p o r t i o n a t e l y l a r g e i n t h e i r minds. When one i s asked to t a l k about o n e s e l f the o v e r - r i d i n g i m p e r a t i v e , c o n s c i o u s l y o r u n c o n s c i o u s l y , i s always: events o f my  life?  One  How  to g i v e meaning to the  c o n s t a n t l y searches f o r words and events which  w i l l g i v e meaning to t h a t l i f e .  Barbara Myerhoff  i n a recently published  study o f an e l d e r l y Jewish community l i v i n g i n a s m a l l C a l i f o r n i a  city,  says i n r e f e r e n c e to one o f h e r i n f o r m a n t s : And he i n c o r p o r a t e d e x t e r n a l h i s t o r i c a l events i n t o h i s l i f e account, thus e s t a b l i s h i n g c o n t i n u i t y between h i m s e l f and the times i n which he l i v e d , meshing i n n e r and o u t e r h i s t o r y i n t o a u n i f i e d t a l e (1978:221).  101 Even though  she i s r e f e r r i n g  to a person's a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l w r i t i n g s i t  can have meaning w i t h i n the framework o f v e r b a l For  recollections.  a number o f i n f o r m a n t s i t was v e r y d i f f i c u l t  o r d i n a r y , everyday happenings.  " I t ' s n o t important what I d i d " o r "What  s h o u l d I t e l l you t h a t i s so w o n d e r f u l ? "  The s h o r t e s t i n t e r v i e w I had  was w i t h a woman I have known f o r a v e r y l o n g time, a l b e i t her o f t e n .  I felt  t o t a l k about the  I do n o t see  c o n f i d e n t she would f e e l c o m f o r t a b l e c h a t t i n g to me as  she would have under any o t h e r c i r c u m s t a n c e .  She d i s p a t c h e d p a r t s o f h e r  l i f e w i t h q u i c k s h o r t sentences l i k e " I was sent back to P o l a n d I didn't.look l i k e a t a i l o r e s s " . "Yes, c o u l d I t e l l you t h i s ? "  were happy and sad because  When I asked h e r to e l a b o r a t e she asked  F o r so many o f them b e i n g asked t o make  sense o f t h e i r l i v e s f o r the f i r s t t h i n k and r e f l e c t t h a t perhaps  because  time i n 50 o r 60 y e a r s made them  a l l o f t h e i r l i v e s were n o t a waste.  f o r some o f them i t was the f i r s t  They  time t h a t a l l  the threads i n t h e i r p a s t were b e i n g p u l l e d t o g e t h e r and through  their  own words.  Reasons f o r E m i g r a t i n g as Given by Informants To say people l e f t  the O l d Country because  times were bad and  they had s e t o u t t o seek t h e i r f o r t u n e i s t o say f i r s t  o f a l l that  these  people were aware o f o p t i o n s and second t h a t they had the w h e r e w i t h a l l t o pursue  these o p t i o n s .  No.  L i f e was n o t so s i m p l i s t i c  t h a t one c o u l d  ' d i s c o v e r ' M o n t r e a l a d v e r t i s e d i n the l o c a l paper one day and make p l a n s to l e a v e the n e x t .  An u p r o o t i n g o f thousandsof p e o p l e , w i t h no  f i x e d p l a n s f o r t r a v e l , accommodation,food, c l o t h i n g , p a s s p o r t s , papers, money taxed the c o u n t r i e s through which these people t r a v e l l e d put a burden  upon r e c e i v i n g communities.  was t h e most e x c i t i n g  time o f t h e i r l i v e s :  and i t  F o r the young and c a r e f r e e i t s e e i n g another p l a c e , any  p l a c e o u t s i d e t h e i r s h t e t l ; e a t i n g a banana, p e e l and a l l ; to c l e a n t h e t o i l e t ; it  p u l l i n g a chain  'stealing' a small piece of chocolate only to discover  i s a laxative. Some o f the reasons f o r e m i g r a t i n g which s u r f a c e d i n my  were e s s e n t i a l l y o f the f o l l o w i n g nature:  interviews  (See c h a r t ) :  a) the s t r o n g e s t p u l l f a c t o r was a c l o s e r e l a t i v e i n t h i s "country. b)  the s t r o n g e s t push f a c t o r was the pogroms o f E a s t e r n Europe.  c) t h e i r involvement i n underground p o l i t i c a l / r e v o l u t i o n a r y a c t i v i t i e s , a r r e s t s , i n c a r c e r a t i o n , need t o escape. d) d r a f t - d o d g i n g Czar's army.  - a t 20 a l l men had to s e r v e i n the  e) p e r v a s i v e hunger due t o l a c k o f employment o p p o r t u n i t i e s . Whatever the reasons g i v e n f o r coming, the Jews who came to Canada and  the U n i t e d  S t a t e s never came as t r a n s i e n t s o r h a r b o u r i n g  ever r e t u r n i n g to t h e i r n a t a l c o u n t r y . behind  them and sometimes o t h e r s burnt  maintained and  i t f o r them.  their  bridges  The o n l y t i e s  they  w i t h t h e O l d Country were f o r purposes o f b r i n g i n g f r i e n d s  relatives The  and  They had burnt  any hopes o f  to 'America'. immigrants who came ranged i n age from i n f a n t s to grandmothers  grandfathers.  migration.  C h i l d r e n d i d n o t p a r t i c i p a t e i n the d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g  Old parents  had a c h o i c e : to f o l l o w t h e i r c h i l d r e n o r to spend  the r e s t o f t h e i r l i v e s a l o n e . Depression,  of  Of c o u r s e ,  a t t h a t time, p r i o r t o t h e  no one had any i d e a t h a t H i t l e r would come a l o n g soon and  t h e r e would be no o p t i o n b u t death f o r those  l e f t behind.  who t r i e d  c o u n t r i e s r e f u s e d to accept  them.  to f l e e from E a s t e r n Europe, o t h e r  And f o r those  To our e t e r n a l shame, Canada, under Prime M i n i s t e r MacKenzie  must go on r e c o r d as b e i n g  King,  c h i e f amongst those c o u n t r i e s who r e f u s e d  entry to a p a r t i c u l a r boatload  o f Jews, m o s t l y women and c h i l d r e n , , which  THE SHTETL  GEOGRAPHIC CONFINEMENT  LITTLE OR NO EDUCATION  LIMITED OCCUPATION  POGROMS, WARS, DRAFT  POLITICAL ACTIVITIES, JAIL TERMS  'AMERICA'  PULL FACTORS  RELATIVE OR FRIEND  GOVERNMENT ADVERTISING  NO POGROMS, NO WARS. NO DRAFT  LAND OF OPPORTUNITYi . e . OCCUPATION  a f t e r a b o r t i v e attempts t o l a n d somewhere, anywhere, f i n a l l y r e t u r n e d to. die  i n Europe a t the hands.of the N a z i s "I'll  (Wyman 1968:38 and Crowe 1980: ,2).  t e l l you a s t o r y " s a i d Abe Smith.  So many s t o r i e s would  come out a f t e r we had f i n i s h e d the f o r m a l p a r t o f the i n t e r v i e w and were s i t t i n g down e n j o y i n g a cup o f t e a .  H i s s t o r y went:  One day Abe was going  on a boat i n the s p r i n g to K i e v and t h e r e was a woman d r e s s e d  i n b l a c k who  was s i t t i n g by him and she was moaning, '0y! Oy!' as though she were having  .nightmares.  something?  So Abe woke h e r up a n d . s a i d ,  You a r e c r y i n g t h a t i s why I am waking you up'.  know Abe and Abe d i d n o t know h e r . about the b a n d i t s : did  'Are you t r o u b l e d by  She proceeded t o t e l l him a s t o r y  'You know the b a n d i t s ? '  n o t know the ' b a n d i t s ' ?  She d i d n o t  A r h e t o r i c a l q u e s t i o n f o r who  'Well', she went on 'we were on a boat and  they took my f a t h e r and mother and t i e d down t h e i r hands on the back and they  threw them i n the water.  they d i d n ' t make the c o n n e c t i o n  And because I l o o k l i k e a g e n t i l e and l e t me go'.  girl,  "And t h i s i s what she  t h i n k s about", s a i d Abe. "About what happened to h e r f a t h e r and mother and  she c r i e s and has nightmares". So why d i d you l e a v e the O l d Country? Oh I can t e l l you ( s a i d Samuel Nemetz). I d i d n ' t have no i n t e n t i o n to go away to America. No. I was a f i g h t e r there. I n Nepapetrovsk i n the U k r a i n e . A t t h a t time i t was E k a t e r i n e s l a v . I wanted to j o i n the army. I had my o u t f i t a l l ready. A t the age o f twenty the boys were c a l l e d up. So everyday I went down t o the army b a r r a c k s and w a i t e d . There were Jews and U k r a i n i a n s and R u s s i a n s . And these boys would w a i t t o be p i c k e d and sent t o f i g h t i n d i f f e r e n t parts of Russia. I was s t r o n g and I was sure I would be chosen. I wanted to go anywhere i n R u s s i a . I d i d n ' t c a r e ; anywhere I wanted to go. But S i b e r i a I d i d n ' t want. And  mother?  t h a t was where he was p i c k e d to go.  She was busy s e l l i n g l i v e c h i c k e n s  How was he t o t e l l h i s  i n the market t h a t day.  F i n a l l y Sam went t o see h e r and "she looked a t me i n the eye and s a i d 'Are you  c r y i n g ? ' , something l i k e t h a t , because she n o t i c e s .  Mothers can  notice quicker".  B e f o r e too much time had e l a p s e d , Sam's mother, had  arranged f o r him to l e a v e Nepapetrovsk t h e r e to 'America'.  and t r a v e l to Warsaw and  from  He d i d not want to come to 'America' but then  a g a i n he d i d not want to go to S i b e r i a  either.  Another i n f o r m a n t , L i l Abramovitz, wanted to go to P a r i s . had s t u d i e d French i n h i g h s c h o o l and had l e a r n e d dressmaking.  She  And  ...because a few o f my g i r l f r i e n d s ' s i s t e r s were d r e s s d e s i g n e r s i n P a r i s and they wrote such romantic l e t t e r s about P a r i s and a l l t h a t . So a l l o f us g i r l s .decided t h a t we w i l l go t h e r e . However, her mother and f a m i l y had o t h e r i d e a s f o r h e r and L i l came to T o r o n t o i n October  1928.  Her f i r s t j o b was  as a s a l e s l a d y i n a  d r e s s s t o r e where she worked from n i n e i n the morning  u n t i l midnight f o r  $8 a week. The m a j o r i t y o f immigrants who run It  came here were those who  had  away from v i o l e n c e , p e r s e c u t i o n , death and d e s t r u c t i o n o f the pogroms. would not f u r t h e r the purpose o f t h i s t h e s i s to e n t e r i n t o a d e f i n i t i v e  study o f pogroms which plagued the Jewish communities Ukraine.  The d i f f i c u l t y l i e s  have on r e c o r d .  My  selection i s arbitrary.  were t y p i c a l to so many communities  the same  Some e x p e r i e n c e s  and some were more h o r r i b l e  Always, what came through was  knowledge t h a t one had  the  i n s e l e c t i n g from the many e x p e r i e n c e s I  Everyone d i d not e x p e r i e n c e the same c r u e l t i e s ,  h o r r o r , the same l o s s e s .  others.  o f R u s s i a and  than  the f e a r coupled w i t h the  to keep one's mouth shut.  Rose Gordon s a i d :  And the r e v o l u t i o n broke out and they s t a r t e d to k i l l us; s t a r t e d to k i l l the Jewish p e o p l e . But my dad was so c l o s e w i t h a l l the p e o p l e i n t h i s l i t t l e v i l l a g e t h a t they d i d a n y t h i n g to save us. They dug a h o l e - j u s t l i k e a grave - and f o r two weeks we were t h e r e . For two weeks they used to b r i n g us food every day. They had boards over i t and straw so i f o t h e r s came they d i d n ' t know we were h i d i n g t h e r e . T h i s was i n 1919-1920. We were a l l s m a l l k i d s but everybody knew they had to keep t h e i r mouths shut. We used to go out a t n i g h t to s l e e p wherever we c o u l d f i n d a p l a c e . We c o u l d n ' t go back to the house because they would have k i l l e d us.  That was d u r i n g the time o f P e t l u r a and the N i c k o n i t s and a l l those b a n d i t s . I t wasn't the o r d i n a r y person; the o r d i n a r y person had n o t h i n g to do w i t h i t . The o r d i n a r y person t r i e d to h e l p us. . And  then i t got to a point.when we had to l e a v e home ...  Baba Fanny Osipov s t a r t e d her s t o r y by t e l l i n g me pogrom she l i v e d she was  about  ... the  through i n N i k o l a y e v , a s e t t l e m e n t near Odessa, when  only four years o l d : When I was  f o u r y e a r s o l d we had a pogrom.  They know  what a pogrom means? ('they' r e f e r r i n g to who-ever would r e a d my r e p o r t ) . And the pogrom what s t a r t e d f o r t h r e e days they come and they k i l l and they take away j u s t from the Jews. And next door to us was a l i t t l e g r o c e r y s t o r e . Jews were t h e r e . And they made a mess. The o i l and the f l o u r and the sugar they put e v e r y t h i n g on the f l o o r . And I s t a r t t a l k i n g to my f a t h e r : 'What are we s i t t i n g i n the house, t h e y ' l l come h e r e . L e t us h i d e under the bed.' I was f o u r y e a r s o l d and they a r e a l l these y e a r s l a u g h i n g a t me about h i d i n g under the bed! And next door we had a neighbour. He was R u s s i a n . He was a f i n e man. He s a i d i f something happens h e ' l l put a s t e p - l a d d e r and we s h o u l d come and h e ' l l take us i n . You see, they d i d n ' t go to the R u s s i a n p e o p l e , j u s t to the Jewish p e o p l e . And we were t h e r e h i d i n g f o r t h r e e days i n the c e l l a r . And he brought us m i l k and b r e a d and when we came back home a f t e r t h r e e days what a mess t h e r e was i n the house. A l l .of; the windows were smashed, l o t s o f t h i n g s , l i n e n and a l l , they took away. The good t h i n g s they took away. They n o t j u s t took away, they break e v e r y t h i n g . They were drunk. T h i s was i n 1905 a t the s t a r t o f the r e v o l u t i o n . The Czar s a i d i t was s t a r t e d by the Jews and t h a t i s why they made the pogrom. A f t e r t h r e e days everybody came to t h e i r home and s t a r t again l i v i n g . And t h a t ' s what l i f e was l i k e u n t i l something happened a g a i n . Dave Ship came from a s h t e t l i n White R u s s i a n o t f a r from Minsk. Dave has been a p o l i t i c a l b e i n g a l l h i s l i f e . to  t a l k i n g about what l i f e was  Consequently when i t came  l i k e i n the Old Country he c o u l d not r e f r a i r i i  from g i v i n g i t p o l i t i c a l overtones and shadings i n an attempt of  events which took p l a c e when he was  t h a t he was  born d u r i n g the War  a child.  which was  to make sense  He s t a r t e d by t e l l i n g  me  f o l l o w e d by the R e v o l u t i o n and  107  Casualties of the Bloody Pogrom i n B i a l y s t o c k 1905 Source:  Sabbath  Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimblett  1977:108  108 "life to was  i n my  e a r l y y e a r s was  v e r y i n t e r e s t i n g and i t was  of great  R u s s i a because those were the f o r m a t i v e y e a r s o f the New a f t e r the F i r s t World War  importance  Republic.  It  t h a t the White Guards and b a n d i t groups  began the pogroms where he l i v e d .  He  said:  They t r i e d to take advantage of the weakness o f the Communist government and they robbed and p i l l a g e d the p o p u l a t i o n . And a s m a l l s h t e t l o r town where I l i v e d went through a pogrom where e i g h t e e n or n i n e t e e n people were a c t u a l l y murdured. That was about 1919 or so. I remember i t v e r y d i s t i n c t l y . I was c a r r i e d on my f a t h e r ' s s h o u l d e r s to run away, you know. I t i s v i v i d l y i m p r i n t e d in.my memory. I w i l l never forget that occasion. Dave Ship would have remained i n R u s s i a and  continued h i s education there  had h i s mother not d e c i d e d to come to N o r t h America because her younger b r o t h e r s were i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s . younger b r o t h e r s who  She  "had  to be a mother to her  had e s t a b l i s h e d themselves  b u s i n e s s i n the U.S.", s a i d Ship.  i n the d r e s s  However, immigration  manufacturing  to the S t a t e s  was  c l o s e d by t h a t time and Dave and h i s p a r e n t s came to Canada i n s t e a d i n in  the middle of June.  There were u n i v e r s i t i e s here, h i s p a r e n t s had been  t o l d , f o r the young Ship to a t t e n d . e x a c t l y so. Not  But i n 1930  " t h i n g s d i d n ' t t u r n out  D u r i n g the D e p r e s s i o n p e r i o d times were hard", he everyone went i n t o h i d i n g d u r i n g the pogroms and  persecutions following abortive r e v o l u t i o n a r y a c t i v i t i e s . in  c i t i e s o r near  'political'  and  o r g a n i z a t i o n which brought  l e a r n the t a i l o r i n g  World War  Those who  lived  them i n t o c o n t a c t  b o r n i n a s h t e t l i n 1900,  t r a d e i n Lodz, a c i t y i n Poland.  h i s f a t h e r brought  would be s a f e r ,  the  police.  A r t Browner though he was  x  recalled.  them were more o f t e n than not i n v o l v e d i n some  o r .'progressive'  w i t h the l o c a l  1930,  him back to the l i t t l e  A f t e r a w h i l e he " c o u l d n ' t f i n d  so he went back to Lodz.  He  said:  went t o  D u r i n g the  live First  s h t e t l where he f e l t A r t  the l i t t l e  town i n t e r e s t i n g ,  109  ... in Lodz, I mean in especially the big cities at that time, everybody was interested in politics. So naturally I was one also. So i n the beginning I was a Zionist, I mean a Poale Zionist. Then I became a Left Poale Zionist because they were more progressive. It was in 1922 I remember, or maybe i t was in 1923, I went out on May Day demonstration and I was amongst the Left Poale Zionists. It happened so that the police concentrated on the Jewish people there and they organized a pogrom. Whole groups of people were cut off from each other and not only the police were hitting us but the people, gentile people, came out of their houses with sticks and bars and were also hitting us. I nearly got killed by a policeman. He gave me one on this side of my head with his gun. And I couldn't move my hands anymore. If i t was not for another policeman, a mounted policeman who came over and told him to stop, maybe he would k i l l me. So lie saved me. Then they took me and others to the place where they washed us, we were bleeding. I was in the police j a i l overnight there and then my father took me out. I came home and I was two weeks in bed because I was beaten black. They h i t my head with bars. I had eight bumps. I took the bumps out when I came here. In the meantime my uncle in Toronto found out - i t was written in the Jewish journal - I was in trouble, so they tried to bring me over here. Aside from Browner there were several others who l e f t the Old Country because of their progressive activities there. Amongst my informants at least two revolutionaries stand out and since one of them, Sidney Sarkin, was inspirational in this study, more space w i l l be accorded him. Before I go on to speak about Sarkin I would like to mention others like Joshua (Joe) Gershman, James Blugerman, Norman Massey, Bertha Guberman, to name but a very few, who were active i n the fight for social justice in the Old Country and who were in the leadership in this country.  In Chapter VIII on the working conditions in the Needle Trades,  we w i l l see how these and others spent their nights and days in the cause of their fellow human beings.  110  Immigrants on t h e i r way to America get a f r e e meal i n Warsaw Source: Roskies & Roskies 1975:270  The Journey From The  S h t e t l To Canada  Sidney S a r k i n ' s f a t h e r had b e f o r e he d i e d i n 1914 had become a Canadian and one  i n Lithuania. citizen.  i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s .  seen Sidney's mother because born.  travelled  to Canada a few  On one o f those t r i p s  times  to Canada he  Sidney's mother had two s i s t e r s i n Canada The s i s t e r i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s had  never  she had l e f t L i t h u a n i a b e f o r e h i s mother  Consequently, when Sidney's f a t h e r d i e d the f a m i l y i n Canada  p r e s s e d the f a m i l y i n L i t h u a n i a to l e a v e and come to t h i s c o u n t r y . t h e r e was at  a l s o another more urgent r e a s o n f o r l e a v i n g .  s i x t e e n been i n and out o f j a i l  a troublemaker in j a i l  was  and r e b e l .  I t was  And  so i t came about  Sidney had a l r e a d y  t h r e e times because he was  considered  f e a r e d t h a t the next time he was  i t would c o s t him h i s l i f e ,  uncertain.  But  thrown  times i n L i t h u a n i a b e i n g r a t h e r  t h a t i n January 1921  Sidney a r r i v e d i n  M o n t r e a l a t the age o f 17 a f t e r h a v i n g l e f t V i l n a some t h r e e months e a r l i e r . Sidney had aunts, and u n c l e s who i n e n t businessmen:  one owned a f i s h - p a c k i n g company i n H a l i f a x and  others c l o t h i n g f a c t o r i e s i n Montreal. of  the F i r s t War  were w e l l - t o - d o and were prom-  and d u r i n g the war  H i s f a t h e r had d i e d a t the b e g i n n i n g  y e a r s i t was  about moving the f a m i l y from the Old Country. over t i c k e t s were sent to Sidney's mother. France.  the  i m p o s s i b l e t o do a n y t h i n g  As soon as the war  was  They were to s a i l from Le  Havre,  However, a l l the e f f o r t s o f the B r i t i s h C o n s u l a t e i n V i l n a  were u s e l e s s i n o b t a i n i n g t r a n s i t v i s a s f o r the f a m i l y to t r a v e l France i n o r d e r to s a i l from Le Havre. go to B e r l i n and t r y t h e r e .  they  Sidney, h i s b r o t h e r and mother a r r i v e d i n  K o n i g s b e r g , which i s no more on the map Germany a t the time.  The C o n s u l a t e suggested  through  but which was  a leading c i t y i n  Because o f the P o l i s h c o r r i d o r which was  a f t e r the T r e a t y o f V e r s a i l l e , P o l i s h t r a n s p o r t a t i o n was  established  unavailable.  They t h e r e f o r e took a s h i p from K o n i g s b e r g to get to another German c i t y and then to B e r l i n . as the Kup  i  In B e r l i n they were f a c e d w i t h a g e n e r a l , s t r i k e known  P u t s c h o f the Junkers o f Germany.  Sidney  said:  For the f i r s t time i n my l i f e , you know, what I had l e a r n e d as a y o u n g s t e r t h a t i f the workers want a l l l i f e to s t o p , I saw happen.before my v e r y eyes. E v e r y t h i n g was stopped. T r a n s p o r t a t i o n , water, communication, e l e c t r i c i t y , a l l the s t o r e s , e v e r y t h i n g . I t even became a j o k e about the C h a n c e l l o r - they s a i d he c o u l d n ' t wash h i m s e l f when he got up i n the morning. I t was announced i n our h o t e l t h a t t h e r e w i l l be a t 10 o ' c l o c k a demonstration by the workers o f B e r l i n .  „  And I have seen a m i l l i o n and a h a l f p e o p l e , workers, marching t w e n t y - f i v e a b r e a s t , j u s t l i k e the German army was, you know. A l l t r a i n e d , marching. Have you ever seen them marching? U s i n g a s p e c i a l step t h a t i s how they marched. You c o u l d n ' t see a policeman anywhere ... and t h e r e were about f o r t y mass meetings and speakers a d d r e s s i n g the crowds. ... To make a l o n g s t o r y s h o r t , they f i n i s h e d the P u t s c h o f KupI  The B r i t i s h C o n s u l a t e i n B e r l i n t r i e d to get i n touch w i t h the French Ambassador but to no a v a i l c o u l d v i s a s be o b t a i n e d . was  d i s a p p o i n t e d but the boys enjoyed the chance to see B e r l i n :  museums, the t h e a t r e s , the shows. young boys. to  H i s mother  A l l went far-beyond'the dreams of  A f t e r a month i n B e r l i n the°Cunard L i n e Agents were a b l e  o b t a i n b e r t h s on a s h i p s a i l i n g from Antwerp to L i v e r p o o l .  stopped i n B r u s s e l s on t h e i r way world o f c h o c o l a t e s . f a m i l y met  the  They  to Antwerp and d i s c o v e r e d the w o n d e r f u l  From L i v e r p o o l they s a i l e d to M o n t r e a l where the  them.  i The  s h i p which brought  Sidney and h i s f a m i l y was  a b i g ship.  To  f u r t h e r t h e i r d i s c o m f o r t , they were c o n f i n e d below decks f o r the e n t i r e rocky voyage which took two and a h a l f weeks, because  they were s e a s i c k .  For Rose Barkusky the e x p e r i e n c e was d i f f e r e n t . As i t happened, she s e t out from V i l n a a p p r o x i m a t e l y f o u r y e a r s l a t e r , A p r i l 1925.  113  On  the way  Source:  to the new  Harney & T r o p e r  world 1975:13  Her papers came from Canada, from her p r o s p e c t i v e husband was  a l s o her u n c l e .  a well-to-do family.  who  She came to Canada to be the maid i n the household o f Her s t o r y  goes:  My mother went as f a r as Warsaw w i t h me by t r a i n . Then she put me on another t r a i n w i t h a f a m i l y t h a t was going to Canada - a woman w i t h f i v e c h i l d r e n , the o l d e s t b e i n g my age, the youngest b r e a s t f e e d i n g So my mother asked h e r to keep an eye on me. A l s o she had another g i r l from Warsaw g o i n g to Canada. So :she had to keep an eye on t h a t one too. Her name was a l s o Rose. So we went from t h e r e to Danzig which was the b o r d e r and the B r i t i s h C o n s u l a t e was t h e r e . You had t o go through a l l t h i s washing and c l e a n i n g . We had to go through a l l s o r t s o f baths and d e l o u s i n g . I came to the B r i t i s h C o n s u l a t e , he put a stamp on my p a s s p o r t and we s a i l e d to Southampton. E v e r y t h i n g was by boat i n those days. In Southampton we went through the same t h i n g - d o c t o r s , examination, and a l l s o r t s o f t h i n g s . We were on a c a t t l e boat and everybody was s i c k . But the o t h e r Rose and I were the o n l y ones on deck. We c o u l d n ' t s t a y below because i t was i m p o s s i b l e . Three days i t was v e r y rough. ... ... On deck was the k i t c h e n and a P o l i s h f e l l o w was s i t t i n g and p e e l i n g p o t a t o e s . And we c o u l d n ' t walk on deck because the boat was g o i n g up and down. And when I l o o k e d out on the h o r i z o n t h e r e was a boat g o i n g too. And then you know she went up and she went r i g h t down l i k e this. And I l e t out a scream! So the P o l i s h f e l l o w says, 'What a r e you screaming f o r ? What's the m a t t e r ? ' I says, 'I t h i n k the boat went down.' I showed him and s a i d i n P o l i s h , 'There, t h e r e ' s a boat t h e r e and I t h i n k i t went down'. So he s t a r t e d to l a u g h . He s a i d , ' I f you had been on t h a t boat and l o o k e d a t ours you would t h i n k the same t h i n g . ' I turned to Rose and s a i d , ' L e t ' s go d o w n s t a i r s ' . . The boat was a c a t t l e b o a t . I don't know what i t was h a u l i n g . The food was p o t a t o e s and h e r r i n g and t h a t ' s a l l . Anyways we came to Southampton. From Southampton we came to H u l l , Quebec on a b i g b o a t . I t was an American boat and the s a i l o r s were a l l Norwegian. There were a l o t o f Jewish immigrants and i t was v e r y n i c e . I was stopped i n H u l l . One o f the nurses asked me to w a i t . I see everybody i s going and I'm s i t t i n g t h e r e . I d i d n ' t know and I d i d n ' t speak a word o f E n g l i s h . Anyways she s a i d the d o c t o r wanted to speak to me. I s a i d to m y s e l f : I went through a l l the d o c t o r s i n Europe, I even had a d o c t o r ' s c e r t i f i c a t e from home to say I was a l r i g h t . So i t ended up they thought I had a g o i t e r . But a c o u p l e o f d o c t o r s examined me and s a i d I c o u l d go. ... I came to M o n t r e a l and t h e r e the Jewish Immigration met because I was a g i r l o f 17 y e a r s o l d .  me  115  Joseph Brandes  i n From Sweatshop to S t a b i l i t y  (YIV0:XVI:1)  states: ... i n the h a l f - c e n t u r y from 1880-1930 almost 3 m i l l i o n Jewish newcomers a r r i v e d ( i n A m e r i c a ) . I t was a phenomenon r e p l e t e w i t h the h i s t o r i c t e n s i o n s of t r a n s p l a n t i n g e n t i r e p o p u l a t i o n c e n t r e s , of c i r c u m s t a n c e s p r e s s i n g the migrant away from h i s n a t i v e l a n d and p u l l i n g him toward a new haven.  CHAPTER'VI TRANSFORMATION OF BEING: A SENSE OF PEOPLEHOOD  Introduction In  o r d e r t o understand  the Jewish communities as they e x i s t e d a t  the time the l a s t mass i n f l u x a r r i v e d i n Canada i n 1921, n e c e s s a r y to r e s e a r c h a v a i l a b l e h i s t o r i e s in  M o n t r e a l and T o r o n t o .  as w e l l . who  I found i t  of Jewish communities  Demographic s t u d i e s of the c i t i e s were looked at  The h i s t o r i e s which have been w r i t t e n are t y p i c a l l y of people  took an a c t i v e p a r t i n the l i f e  and times, who  were i n s t r u m e n t a l i n  s t a r t i n g and l e a d i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n s and e r e c t i n g b u i l d i n g s . h i s t o r i e s of Jews who in  early histories  They are the  came to Canada and r o s e t o a number of h i g h p o s i t i o n s  v a r i o u s walks of l i f e :  r e l i g i o n , banking,  commerce, d e n t i s t r y , m e d i c i n e ,  the a r t s , s p o r t s , e d u c a t i o n , e t c .  and s t u d i e s which one must attempt  these s o - c a l l e d h i s t o r i c a l a c c o u n t s , the working  the space o f a f o o t n o t e .  politics,  I t i s from  t o understand  communities as they e x i s t e d p r i o r t o the mass m i g r a t i o n s . in  living  these the  Unfortunately,  c l a s s Jew  i s relegated  F o r example, a r e c e n t p u b l i c a t i o n , The Jews of  T o r o n t o , by Stephen A. Spiesman has been a p t l y renamed "Some Jews of T o r o n t o " by a r e v i e w e r i n The Canadian J e w i s h Outlook, a monthly p u b l i c a t i o n Spiesman f a i l s  to d e a l w i t h and d i s m i s s e s summarily  p o p u l a t i o n of the time. in  He  60% of the Jewish  f o o t n o t e s a remark on the sweatshop phenomenon  Toronto and M o n t r e a l by s t a t i n g :  " F o r sweatshop c o n d i t i o n s i n garment  f a c t o r i e s i n M o n t r e a l see The Jewish Times 1903,  p.73".  was  a newspaper p u b l i s h e d at the t u r n of the c e n t u r y ) .  his  c o n t r i b u t i o n about  clothing  the m a j o r i t y of Jews who  That i s the sum  l i v e d and worked i n  factories. Utilizing  (The Jewish Times  these secondary s o u r c e s I w i l l :  of  1.  g i v e art overview of the h i s t o r i c a l s e t t i n g i n M o n t r e a l and Toronto immediately antecedent t o and a t the time of a r r i v a l o f i n f o r m a n t s , and  2.  u t i l i z i n g demographic s t u d i e s show the movement of these immigrants i n M o n t r e a l and Toronto over a p e r i o d of twenty y e a r s from the time o f  arrival.  In so d o i n g , the network of c r y s t a l i z e d groups, i n s t i t u t i o n s a t i o n s which formed The  first  and o r g a n i z -  the m a t r i x of the Jewish e t h n i c group w i l l  unfold.  t a s k , as F l o r i a n Z n a n i e c k i s t a t e s , i s that of d e s c r i p t i o n  (1968:14).  From d e s c r i b i n g a system we  can go on to e x p l a i n i n g  The p r o c e s s of change, both i n these c i t i e s  change.  and i n the p e o p l e , informs  the ,next c h a p t e r .  B r i e f Account  Of Mass M i g r a t i o n s  The e a r l y h i s t o r y of the Jews i n Canada from the mid-18th c e n t u r y t o the e a r l y 1900s i s documented i n a number of books ( R e f e r t o Bibliography). p e r i o d up  I n s o f a r as i m m i g r a t i o n i n t o Canada was  to 1918-1919 was  restrictions.  not a d i f f i c u l t  concerned,  one, i n t h a t t h e r e were  The b a s i c p r i n c i p l e of Canada's i m m i g r a t i o n p o l i c y  s e l e c t i o n of d e s i r a b l e immigrants N o r t h e r n Europe (Anglo-Saxons United States).  - d e s i r a b l e s were those who  and S c a n d i n a v i a n s and  They took precedence  Europeans and O r i e n t a l s , the l a t t e r  few was  came from  c i t i z e n s of the  over E a s t e r n Europeans,  two  the  Southern  considered undesirables.  d u r i n g the p e r i o d of g r e a t expansion when Canada made an e f f o r t  However,  to  a t t r a c t immigrants, many of the l e s s d e s i r a b l e s were p e r m i t t e d e n t r y . The y e a r 1919  saw  a number o f changes i n immigrant  time of u n r e s t - s o l d i e r s r e t u r n i n g from the war, enough money.  I t was  the time of the Winnipeg  an O r d e r - i n - C o u n c i l was  adopted:  policy.  1919 was  a  n o t enough j o b s , not  General S t r i k e .  In  1919  Freight Source:  train carrying  emigrants  Dobroszycki & Kirshenblatt-Gimlett  1977:138  ...which p r o h i b i t e d the l a n d i n g of s k i l l e d and u n s k i l l e d l a b o r i n B r i t i s h Columbia (PC #1202) and the l a n d i n g of former a l i e n enemies (PC #1203). On June 19, 1919 the government promulgated another O r d e r - i n - C o u n c i l (PC #1204) which p r o h i b i t e d the l a n d i n g of Doukhobors, H u t t e r i t e s and even Mennonites. (Belkin In 1920  1966:102)  a f u r t h e r Order r e q u i r e d the payment of l a n d i n g money,  $250oper p e r s o n , and i n 1923 one had to f u l f i l an o c c u p a t i o n a l t e s t t o e n t e r Canada.  A f u r t h e r r e s t r i c t i o n was  the requirement  of a  continuous  j ourney: I f the immigrant comes d i r e c t from the country of h i s b i r t h , he w i l l be p e r m i t t e d , under c e r t a i n c o n d i t i o n s to l a n d i n t h i s country; but s h o u l d the man and h i s f a m i l y have l e f t the country of h i s b i r t h and gone to England and have l i v e d i n England say f o r f i f t e e n or twenty y e a r s , brought up h i s f a m i l y under E n g l i s h customs and taught them E n g l i s h i d e a s and the language of t h a t country - i f t h a t man attempted to l a n d i n Canada w i t h h i s w i f e and f a m i l y , he would be b a r r e d from e n t e r i n g the Dominion because he d i d n ' t come d i r e c t l y from the country of h i s  birth The  speaker was  in  1921. The  ( i b i d : 102-103).  S.W.Jacobs, K.C.,  F i r s t World War  Russian Revolution.  had  M.P.,  France,  E a s t European Jews, who  1921,  mentioned above, went i n t o e f f e c t . had  number, by  to  i n the  The b u l k of the  Jewish  when v a r i o u s r e s t r i c t i o n s , some  According  immigrants t o Canada had  c i t y , going  spawned the  had begun e m i g r a t i n g  A f t e r the war  to have a c l o s e r e l a t i v e i n Canada.  the number of Jewish  1917  i n Parliament  They went t o P a l e s t i n e , to England,  to the U n i t e d S t a t e s and Canada.  immigrants t o Canada came b e f o r e  i n an address  shaken Europe and  mid-1880s, began to l e a v e i n droves. to  a Jew,  the p r o s p e c t i v e immigrant to Census of Canada  reached  Montreal: Montreal  42,667  Ontario  47,458  Manitoba  16,593  1921,  116,893, the l a r g e s t  120  Saskatchewan  5,328  Alberta  3,186  B.C.  1,654  Yukon & N.W.T. A f t e r 1921  there were no more mass m i g r a t i o n s  7 to Canada.  Some immigrants i n a s h o r t p e r i o d of time were a b l e t o s e t t l e down t o l i v e s which a f f o r d e d them a measure of comfort and the v a s t numbers who privation, in  sick  Canada and  security.  For  disembarked at Canadian p o r t s , a f t e r weeks of  and  t i r e d , frightened, babbling  the U n i t e d S t a t e s was  i n f o r e i g n tongues,  not e x a c t l y  life  placid..  Who, s e e i n g them i n t h e i r o u t l a n d i s h garb as they came i n t o the p o r t s of the A t l a n t i c seaboard, c o u l d have imagined t h a t t h e i r c h i l d r e n and g r a n d c h i l d r e n , and they themselves, would g a i n d i s t i n c t i o n i n a l l the f i e l d s of American l i f e : i n d u s t r y , p h i l o s o p h y , commerce, y e s , and even g a n g s t e r i s m and r a s c a l i t y , the great American game of t a k i n g the p u b l i c f o r an e x p e n s i v e r i d e ? But at t h a t time, c e r t a i n l y , they looked t i r e d , and poor, and t e r r i b l y bewildered (Goodman 1961:14). Even though they little  d i d i t occur  came w i t h  t h e i r e t e r n a l hope,  to them t h a t t h e i r g r a n d c h i l d r e n would be so f a r  removed from t h e i r sweat and beginnings.  t h e i r dreams and  toil  one  day  T h e i r g're'at b e l i e f i n s o c i a l  humankind never allowed of the c h i l d r e n and  as t o be unaware of justice  f o r the f u t u r e of a l l  them to doubt t h e i r g e n e r a t i o n s  so g r a n d i o s e  as t o appear f o r e i g n i n the s i g h t of the humble t a i l o r . her h o s p i t a l  bed,  s e n t an i n v i t a t i o n the  to come.  And  t o l d me w i t h  and  One  spectacular  woman, l y i n g  t e a r s i n h e r eyes t h a t she had not been  to h e r grandson's Bar M i t z v a h  because she would shame  guests. The  first  some  g r a n d c h i l d r e n have f o r g o t t e n t h e i r r o o t s , have d i s -  owned t h e i r g r a n d p a r e n t s , have b u i l t e d i f i c e s  in  their  wave of immigrants a r r i v i n g  i n the mid-19th  century  affected  the s t r u c t u r e of the Canadian Jewish  c u l t u r a l background the s e t t l e d  of the E a s t European  community.  The s o c i a l and  Jew was d i f f e r e n t from those of  community and they were unable and u n w i l l i n g t o mingle w i t h  t h e i r non-Jewish  neighbours  as the e a r l i e r s e t t l e r s had done.  The Jews who came were P o l i s h , L i t h u a n i a n , G a l i c i a n , R u s s i a n , White R u s s i a n , Romanian, A u s t r i a n and Hungarian.  Though the m a j o r i t y of  P o l i s h Jews went to T o r o n t o , by and l a r g e t h e r e was a m i x t u r e of people i n most p a r t s . M o n t r e a l was the only Jewish community o f any s i g n i f i c a n c e i n Quebec although Jews have l i v e d i n Sherbrooke, Three R i v e r s , Quebec C i t y and the E a s t e r n Townships s i n c e the B r i t i s h conquest. (Helfield,1973:26) The m a j o r i t y o f these immigrants  were poor and came c a r r y i n g a l l  t h e i r w o r l d l y p o s s e s s i o n s on t h e i r b a c k s , s o to speak. v i v i d l y d e s c r i b e s the l i f e  Benjamin A. Sack  o f the immigrant:  His l e v e l o f l i v i n g was low, comparable to that o f the contemporary immigrant b e l o n g i n g t o o t h e r e t h n i c groups. Only by u n r e m i t t i n g t o i l c o u l d the f a m i l i e s o f Jewish workers manage t o e x i s t , only by s u f f e r i n g e n d l e s s p r i v a t i o n s c o u l d they eke out d a i l y b r e a d . T h e i r s was a l i f e of u n r e l i e v e d b l e a k n e s s and d r e a r i n e s s (1965:221).  Historical  Setting  Montreal As mentioned  above,'Montreal was the o n l y Jewish community o f  any s i g n i f i c a n c e i n Quebec.  The Jeus c o n c e n t r a t e d i n M o n t r e a l because  they  c o u l d speak e i t h e r Y i d d i s h or E n g l i s h , whereas i n the r e s t of the p r o v i n c e French c r e a t e d a problem. exist by  In other p r o v i n c e s , t h i s d i f f i c u l t y  d i d not  and thus the above f i g u r e s g i v e p o p u l a t i o n by p r o v i n c e s r a t h e r  city. The m a j o r i t y of the working  c l a s s Jews were i n v o l v e d i n  than  122  i n d u s t r y , e s p e c i a l l y the c l o t h e s manufacturing  industry.  Aside  from  these o c c u p a t i o n s , t h e r e were p e d d l e r s , s t o r e k e e p e r s ( b u t c h e r s , bakery owners, f i s h s t o r e owners, e t c . ) who d e f i n i t e l i n e of demarcation c l a s s , on the one hand,  were a v e r y low middle . c l a s s .  e x i s t e d between the workers and t h i s  A middle  and the Jewish upper s t r a t a on the o t h e r .  P r e v i o u s l y the d i v i s i o n s among, f o r example M o n t r e a l Jews, had been d e n o m i n a t i o n a l - S e p h a r d i c , A s h k e n a z i c and Reform; became unimportant  now  religious  differences  i n l i g h t of the acute s o c i a l d i f f e r e n c e s which were  d e v e l o p i n g i n the Jewish  community.  The German and P o l i s h immigrants  of  the e a r l i e r decades had become a c c u l t u r a t e d and C a n a d i a n i z e d , w h i l s t  their  ) E a s t e r n European c o u n t e r p a r t s were c o n s i d e r e d u n a c c l i m a t e d  immigrants.  The e a r l i e r s e t t l e r s were, on the whole, on a much h i g h e r l e v e l i n the e x i s t i n g s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e than the new  immigrants  n o t , s t r u g g l i n g i n p o v e r t y (Kage 1940:42). terms of p r e c i s e s o c i a l demarcation" In 1901 i t was  28,838.  front.  were, more o f t e n than  "Uptown and downtown became  (Sack 1965:212).  the Jewish p o p u l a t i o n i n M o n t r e a l was  6,975 and i n  1911  S h i f t s i n areas of s e t t l e m e n t o f M o n t r e a l Jewry began  taking place. depths  who  As shown on Map  VI the e a r l i e r s e t t l e r s , no l o n g e r i n the  of p o v e r t y , began t o move northward,  away from the M o n t r e a l water-  The newcomers took up r e s i d e n c e i n the d e t e r i o r a t i n g  residential  a r e a s u r r o u n d i n g D u f f e r i n Square ( S e i d e l 1939:51). By 1901,  as shown on Map  V I I , the Jewish  e s t a b l i s h e d w i t h a p o p u l a t i o n of c l o s e to 7,000. s e t t l e m e n t at t h i s  time was  community was  well  The Jewish a r e a of  e n c l o s e d i n the a r e a bounded by D u l u t h on the  n o r t h , S t . Denis  on the e a s t , C r a i g on the s o u t h , and St.Lawrence B o u l e v a r d  on the west.  this  By  M o n t r e a l Jewish  time the f i r s t e x t e n s i v e c u l t u r a l g h e t t o of the  community had  come i n t o e x i s t e n c e , the b u l k of the p o p u l a t i o n  123  MAP  VI  E a r l y Jewish Settlement i n Montreal  Source:  Steven B. P a u l l  1974  1900  124  MAP VII F i r s t Area of Jewish Settlement i n Montreal,  Source:  Steven B. P a u l l  1974  1901  125  b e i n g E a s t European  immigrants  ( P a u l l 1974:10).  Toronto "  The p i c t u r e i n Toronto was n o t much d i f f e r e n t from t h a t of M o n t r e a l ,  except that M o n t r e a l as the p o r t o f e n t r y f o r most immigrants added burden  had the  o f b e i n g a c l e a r i n g h o u s e f o r Jews en r o u t e t o o t h e r p a r t s of  Canada. The  f o l l o w i n g T a b l e w i l l show t h a t the massive  from R u s s i a m u l t i p l i e d  of Jews  the Jewish p o p u l a t i o n of T o r o n t o more than  to a f i g u r e of 18,000 i n the f i r s t  Percentage  flight  five-fold,  decade o f the 20th c e n t u r y :  of T o t a l Jewish P o p u l a t i o n o f Canada R e s i d e n t i n Toronto i n each Census Y e a r 1851-1931  Jewish P o p u l a t i o n Census Year a) a) a) a) a)  Canada 351 1,186 1,333 2,443 6,501 16,401 75,681 126,196 156,726  1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931  Percent i n Toronto  Toronto 57 j 153 1 1 157 534 , ; 1,425 ; 3,103* 118,294*j 34,770* 146,751* ,  16.2 12.9 11.8 21.9 21.9 18.9 24.2 27.5 29.7  * M e t r o p o l i t a n Toronto a) Jews by r e l i g i o n A l l o t h e r census y e a r s Jews by e t h n i c  origin ( B a i n 1974:90)  At were s e a l e d . Poland.  the end o f World War I the b o r d e r s o f R e v o l u t i o n a r y R u s s i a The major s o u r c e of Jewish i m m i g r a t i o n a f t e r t h a t was  P o l i s h government p o l i c y , i n s t i t u t e d almost immediately  achievement  of independence,  the economic l i f e  s y s t e m a t i c a l l y sought  of the n a t i o n .  from  upon the  t o e l i m i n a t e Jews from  Success was met t o such a degree  t h a t by 1926: ... the Jewish a r t i s a n s o f Warsaw p o i n t e d t o some melancholy s t a t i s t i c s . Of 2,800 Jewish shoemaking e s t a b l i s h m e n t s , 2,060 were c l o s e d . Of 3,000 t a i l o r i n g shops, 2,560 were c l o s e d . Of 100 b r u s h f a c t o r i e s , 50 were c l o s e d , (Sachar 1958:358). Fed by the masses o f impoverished P o l i s h Jews, the Jewish p o p u l a t i o n o f Toronto grew s t e a d i l y  t o reach the f i g u r e of 46,571 by 1921.  As  f i g u r e s c o n c e r n i n g the d i s t r i b u t i o n o f Jewish p o p u l a t i o n by ward are n o t a v a i l a b l e from the Canadian Censuses o f 1911 and 1921,  the d i s t r i b u t i o n of  Jewish p o p u l a t i o n by F e d e r a l C o n s t i t u e n c y was a l t e r n a t i v e l y examined by B a i n and he found that the t h r e e F e d e r a l c o n s t i t u e n c i e s of Toronto C e n t r e , Toronto West and T o r o n t o South  c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n t h e i r bounds 90% of  Toronto Jewry i n 1911 and 84% i n 1921. W i t h i n these g h e t t o areas s e v e r a l anomalous s e c t o r s were found which were f r e e o f Jewish i n h a b i t a n t s . These e x c e p t i o n a l i s l a n d s r e p r e s e n t rooming houses owned by Anglo-Saxon P r o t e s t a n t males. Throughout the f i r s t f o u r decades of t h i s century I have observed a r e l u c t a n c e on the p a r t of Toronto Jews to i n h a b i t rooming-houses or f l a t s , and i n s t e a d showing a d e c i d e d p r e f e r e n c e f o r s i n g l e - f a m i l y d w e l l i n g s . T h i s i s n o t a t o t a l l y unexpected phenomenon as even s i n g l e Jewish men, o r men a w a i t i n g the a r r i v a l of t h e i r f a m i l i e s , c o u l d f i n d cheaper and more s o c i a l l y compatible accommodation i n the homes of r e l a t i v e s o r f e l l o w landsmen ( B a i n 19 74:32-33).  One  q u e s t i o n p u t t o a l l my i n f o r m a n t s was: w i t h whom d i d you  l i v e when y o u a r r i v e d ?  I n a l l cases where s i n g l e men o r women came t o  Canada they l i v e d w i t h f r i e n d s o r r e l a t i v e s and n o t on t h e i r own.  Once  members o f t h e i r f a m i l y a r r i v e d , o r they got m a r r i e d , they moved i n t o f amily dwe1lin gs.  CO  o C i-i o  H O  Co H  §  n>  H O  &>  H H O  VO  (T> H  M  "The Ward" Eastern Ave. — King St. Macedonian Community Kensington Market — Spadina Area Henderson — Manning Italian Community Niagara St. — Queen St. Area "The Junction"  128 T r a n s f o r m a t i o n of B e i n g :  A Sense Of Peoplehood  The concept of the Jew embraces a range of i d e a s and I would o f f e r t h a t there i s no one u n i v e r s a l l y a c c e p t e d d e f i n i t i o n . from the b r o a d e s t , t h a t one who to  can go  stems from Jewish f o r e b e a r s i s a  the n a r r o w e s t , most r i g i d H a l a k h i c (Jewish Law)  who was  One  b o r n of a Jewish mother or c o n v e r t .  shadings of Jewish i d e n t i f i c a t i o n .  Jew,  view t h a t a Jew i s one  In between t h e r e are v a r i o u s  No d e f i n i t i o n i s u n i v e r s a l l y  accepted. Ethnicity or  comes from the Greek word 'ethnos' meaning 'people'  ' n a t i o n ' and,I s h a l l r e f e r to a group w i t h a shared f e e l i n g of  peoplehood as an " e t h n i c group"  (Francis  1947:393-400).  Early  man  i d e n t i f i e d h i m s e l f as a member of a group, h i s 'people', and i t was  not  d i f f i c u l t f o r him to e s t a b l i s h a g e o g r a p h i c a l l o c a t i o n , or speak of the  shared r e l i g i o u s , p o l i t i c a l and moral v a l u e s of h i s p e o p l e .  He  was  aware of h i s a n c e s t o r s and could d i f f e r e n t i a t e between h i m s e l f and o t h e r s ( a s i d e from p h y s i c a l d i f f e r e n c e s ) .  These a r e elements of the  ' f o l k s o c i e t y ' , as i n Robert R e d f i e l d ' s  terms.  classic  With the march of  i z a t i o n , w i t h p o p u l a t i o n i n c r e a s e s , m i g r a t i o n s , wars,  c r e a t i o n of  civilcities,  p r o l i f e r a t i o n of r e l i g i o u s v a r i a t i o n s , p o l i t i c a l groups, e t c . t h i s sense of peoplehood has been s h a t t e r e d and fragmented. e x t r a c t e d from the whole which u n i f i e d  C e r t a i n elements are  a group of p e o p l e .  With these  changes, i d e o l o g i e s developed which corresponded t o the o l d t r a d i t i o n s . In  l o o k i n g a t i t s v a r i o u s forms, as they apply t o the Jewish  communities  which developed i n Canadian c i t i e s , I w i l l attempt to d e s c r i b e the realities  as they e x i s t e d . The sense of e t h n i c i t y has proved to be hardy.  the  What were some of  e s s e n t i a l elements i n the n a t u r e of the Jewish immigrant which  compelled him to merge and t i e h i s i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y i n some a n c e s t r a l  group of people? source by  Polanyi says:  our b e l o n g i n g "  group of people who  b e l i e v i n g i s c o n d i t i o n e d at i t s  (Bock 1969:445).  Jews are not other  s t r u g g l e s i n Canada may  the  only  lands.  Perhaps  g i v e us an i n s i g h t i n t o  c e r t a i n groups of people submerge t h e i r i d e n t i t y i n a w i d e r one  others  t e n a c i o u s l y c l i n g to  and  theirs.  What i s a sense of i d e n t i t y ? for  The  have proven hardy i n t h i s and  a look at t h e i r l i v e s and why  "Our  Such a q u e s t i o n  is a difficult  one  a person who  has  e n t e r e d h i s t o r y , who  l i v e s i n a c i t y ^ who s p e c i a l i z e s  at h i s work, who  has  come i n c o n t a c t w i t h  other  is  cultures.  Such a person  f o r c e d to c l i n g to h i s e t h n i c i t y and mould i t s shape more narrowly  even as he p a r t i c i p a t e s i n h i s t o r y . terms and he or at l e a s t  undergoes  'crisis'  t o l e r a t e d , by  He  as he  the group he  i s a 'stranger' i n A l f r e d  approaches and  tries  to be  comes i n c o n t a c t w i t h  Schutz' accepted,  (Schutz  1964:  91-105). F u r t h e r , how r e l a t e d to how am  I?  one  In t h i s way  expectations  are  one  i d e n t i f i e d o n e s e l f to others  i s i d e n t i f i e d by  others:  Who,  i s closely  What, i s he?  one's sense of peoplehood i s r e i n f o r c e d and  Who,  What,  one's  fulfilled.  In b r i n g i n g h i s r e l i g i o n and h i s t r a d i t i o n s from the s h t e t l the New  World, the immigrant Jew  heritage.  radicals  of Abraham, Isaac and  or P o l i s h t e a c h e r s ,  they  frowned upon the p r o n u n c i a t i o n imply  t h a t a l l was  came to Canada.  Jacob.  amongst the E a s t European Jews  i n i m i c a l way,  Russian  Russian  T h i s by no means s h o u l d  Socio-economic d i v i s i o n s e x i s t e d ; i n h i s own  they  Whether they were  a l l spoke Y i d d i s h (though the  of the P o l i s h ) .  smooth-sailing  d i f f e r e n c e s , each Jew identity.  brought w i t h him h i s c u l t u r e and h i s  Even though Jews came from d i f f e r e n t p a r t s of Europe  b e l i e v e d i n the God  to  but  despite  who the  clung t e n a c i o u s l y t o h i s  How  d i d the immigrant Jew m a i n t a i n h i s e t h n i c i t y , h i s sense  of b e l o n g i n g ?  What elements d i d he e x t r a c t from h i s p a s t and why?  Were these s u f f i c i e n t  to g i v e him t h a t f e e l i n g of b e i n g a p a r t of the  group, h i s p e o p l e , even i n a f o r e i g n l a n d , l e a r n i n g a f o r e i g n language, wearing f o r e i g n c l o t h e s ?  How  ,  d i d the Jew m a i n t a i n h i s s o c i a l - p s y c h o l o g i c a l  i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h h i s f e l l o w Jews i n Canada? The mass immigrant  came d i r e c t l y  Europe and r e f u s e d t o be t o t a l l y  from the s h t e t l a c h of E a s t e r n  a s s i m i l a t e d i n h i s new  environment.  Rather he brought w i t h him much of h i s h e r i t a g e and t r a d i t i o n s which had been so v e r y s t r o n g i n Europe. ways arid adopt the new  ones?  Why  d i d they not d i s c a r d t h e i r  The Jews who  England,., had become ' C a n a d i a n i z e d ' , why  had come from Germany, F r a n c e , n o t the newcomers, the 'greenhorns;';.  P r e v i o u s s e t t l e r s had n o t come en masse. migrated from h e r e and there i n Europe. and the type of immigrants the  old-fashioned  I s o l a t e d f a m i l i e s had  With the waves of immigrants,  ( p o o r , . d e s t i t u t e , s h e l t e r e d and i g n o r a n t of  w o r l d ) , ' a s s i m i l a t i o n ' of any s o r t would have been i m p o s s i b l e and  disastrous.  Out of convenience on the one hand, and f e a r of p e r s e c u t i o n  on the o t h e r , the Jews banded district  even  t o g e t h e r and l i v e d i n one major  i n the l a r g e c i t i e s .  residential  The Jewish areas of s e t t l e m e n t were  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y J e w i s h , w i t h autonomous s o c i a l and e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t utions.  The c u l t u r e of Y i d d i s h  language was widespread;  s i g n s i n b o t h Y i d d i s h and E n g l i s h . of  As we  s h a l l see below,  s t o r e f r o n t s bore the network  o r g a n i z a t i o n s and s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s p e r m i t t e d and encouraged  the  members of the Jewish community t o remain w i t h i n the c o n f i n e s of the group for  a l l of t h e i r p r i m a r y and some of t h e i r secondary r e l a t i o n s throughout  t h e i r l i f e c y c l e - from the c r a d l e to the grave. In  1926  the Jewish communities  were the most a c t i v e and v i a b l e .  of M o n t r e a l , T o r o n t o and Winnipeg  By t h i s  time these communities  had  131  S i g n over the premises o f a r i t u a l s l a u g h t e r e r , Source:  Harney & Troper. 1975:102  1910  r e c e i v e d two  or three waves of immigrants from E a s t e r n Europe.  T a b l e below w i l l show, p o p u l a t i o n f i g u r e s f o r these c i t i e s  As  the  indicate  the  numbers i n c r e a s e d every decade.  T o t a l Jewish P o p u l a t i o n f o r the C i t i e s of Winnipeg, M e t r o p o l i t a n Toronto & G r e a t e r M o n t r e a l f o r each Census Year 1901-1931 Census Year  Winnipeg  Montreal  Toronto  6,597  1901  1,145  1911  8,754  18,294  22,154  1921  14,390  34,770  42,802  1931  17,153  46,751  (Compiled  3,103  from Census d a t a f o r the y e a r s In 1926  56,920 1901-1931)  A r t h u r D a n i e l H a r t wrote:  In a l l communities the c o n g r e g a t i o n has been the means of b r i n g i n g the members t o g e t h e r and a l l c h a r i t a b l e and p h i l a n t h r o p i c work o r i g i n a t e d t h e r e . I t i s to the c r e d i t of the Jew t h a t j u s t as soon as a 'minyan' ( t e n men) can be gathered t o g e t h e r i n some s m a l l community, i t i s p r a c t i c a l l y sure t h a t i n a s h o r t time a synagogue w i l l be b u i l t (1926:81). In 1926 to Sidney, N.S.  t h e r e were 125 synagogues i n Canada, from V i c t o r i a , In the three major c i t i e s Montreal  33  Toronto  11  Winnipeg  the breakdown was  'B.C.  as;follows:  7  Most of the congregations were Orthodox w i t h o n l y three Reform. A c c o r d i n g to H a r t , some of the synagogues i n M o n t r e a l and T o r o n t o were l a r g e enough to accommodate some f i v e hundred to s i x hundred p e o p l e . synagogues were not b u i l t o v e r n i g h t , n e i t h e r were they the work of or two  individuals.  Jewish  community were i n v o l v e d i n r a i s i n g these e d i f i c e s  Thes  one  H i s t o r i c a l documents show t h a t many members of the (Hart 1926:81).  Building a house of prayer was the f i r s t requirement in a Jewish community. Within i t s walls not only does one pray, but children are educated, the needy are looked after, and social relationships are established.  Through i t a consciousness is developed.' The history of the  Jews of Canada cannot be recounted without speaking of the philanthropic endeavours of those who  came early to this country and who had l i t t l e  need themselves of any assistance.  It is through such efforts that  immigrants found not only food and shelter but in many cases the chance to live in freedom in Canada instead of facing deportation (See Belkin 1966 and Kage 1940). Perhaps in no part of Jewish l i f e is so much devotion shown as displayed in rendered assistance to those in need. Charity is a fundamental part of the Jewish faith, and in philanthropic endeavour and welfare work the Jews of Canada take just pride in the fact that they have upheld and are upholding the best traditions of their race (Hart 1926:81). Those who  came f i r s t needed no assistance, ... consequently there was no demand for assistance for their co-religionists, but they subscribed, what was in those days, munificantly to the existing calls for relief ... (to) ... the indigent of Montreal in 1795, ... the English Church in 1801, ... to the relief of war sufferers in 1813 and 1814 (ibid:81).  Not until 1848 when there was a considerable influx of Jewish immigrants into Canada, was  there need for a purely Jewish organization - the Hebrew  Philanthropic Society - which was formed in Montreal.  In 1873 i t was  reorganized into the Young Men's Hebrew Benevolent Society, and in 1923 i t became the Baron :de Hirsh Institute.  1  It handled a l l philanthropic work,  including immigration aid, colonization and  education.  The Russian, Roumanian and Polish immigrants who arrived in Canada between 1880-1890 taxed to the utmost the resources of the Society and assistance was also furnished by the Mansion House Russian Committee and the Jewish Colonization Association of Paris; but i t was only a  v e r y s h o r t time b e f o r e these immigrants had become e s t a b l i s h e d to such an e x t e n t that they were o r g a n i z i n g r e l i e f f o r those who f o l l o w e d them ( i b i d : 1 9 3 ) .  As  the y e a r s  s c a l e , more s o c i e t i e s much o v e r l a p p i n g a t i o n i n 1914 cities  p a s t and  came i n t o e x i s t e n c e and  the r e s u l t was  of work which l e d to f o r m a t i o n  i n Montreal  called  the F e d e r a t i o n  naturally  of a c e n t r a l i z e d o r g a n i z of P h i l a n t h r o p i e s .  Other  followed. As  the communities grew i n s i z e and  i n c r e a s e d i n volume, v a r i o u s to take  the need f o r c h a r i t y reached a much g r e a t e r  care of n o t  only  i n d i g e n t " . a r r i v a l s and  as the flow  a c t i v i t i e s were i n i t i a t e d by  of'immigration the  the poor and needy i n the community but  of e d u c a t i o n  of the c h i l d r e n who  have command of the E n g l i s h language.  The  called  Jewish community n o t  lantsmanshaften,  n e i g h b o u r s , f e l l o w townsmen from the Old In the cause of b r e v i t y one has Federation  the areas  i n k l i n g of how  the p e o p l e f e l t  to what the F e d e r a t i o n by members of  only  Thus,  Country. to d i s p a t c h the work of  i n which they worked.  By means of v a r i o u s  the  composed of countrymen,  of Jewish P h i l a n t h r o p i e s by q u o t i n g  a c t i v i t i e s and  of  d i d n o t know or  i n c r e a s e d i n numbers b u t became more and more heterogenous. v a r i o u s groups a r o s e ,  Society  only some of This w i l l  and s t r u g g l e d i n those  the  their  convey  an  e a r l y days.  campaigns and e d u c a t i o n a l propaganda as  aimed to accomplish,  i t created a greater  the Jewish community i n a l l a c t i v i t i e s  interest  for social better-  ment,, and brought the community t o a r e a l i z a t i o n of i t s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o those i n need of a i d . One of the o u t s t a n d i n g r e s u l t s achieved by F e d e r a t i o n has been the c r y s t a l l i z a t i o n of a COMMUNITY CONSCIENCE ... I t had a l s o by means of i t s v a r i o u s departments, and p a r t i c u l a r l y by i t s budget system, c r e a t e d a COMMUNITY INDEX - an index of the d i s t r e s s p r e v a l e n t i n the community  135  and an index of the measure i n which d i s t r e s s i s ( i b i d : 198). In the e v o l u t i o n of these,  met;  the modus o p e r a n d i of the  was  g r a d u a l l y changed to s u i t p a r t i c u l a r c o n d i t i o n s i n the  but  the changes had  always been toward a g r e a t e r cohesion  Federation  community, and  unity.  No needy person was t u r n e d away. No homeless c h i l d ' was d e p r i v e d of the home t h a t i t was our duty t o provide. No t u b e r c u l a r f i g h t i n g the w h i t e plague was r e f u s e d a i d ... s a i d the Chairman of the E x e c u t i v e C o u n c i l of the F e d e r a t i o n f o r the y e a r 1924 ( i b i d : 1 9 8 ) . The  Baron de H i r s h I n s t i t u t e , mentioned above, was  p h i l a n t h r o p i c o r g a n i z a t i o n which c o n t i n u o u s l y c a r e e r of u s e f u l n e s s ly  i n the  other  c o n s i s t e n t l y pursued i t s  community, working f o r the poor, and  the immigrant p o o r , i n every way,  and when needed p r o v i d e d  and  the  providing schools, family  f r e e b u r i a l as w e l l (See B e l k i n 1966,  particular-  welfare, Hart  1926,  Rosenberg 1939). Aside of other 1924  from these two  o r g a n i z a t i o n s had  which were not  poor i n the the p e o p l e .  philanthropic organizations  s t a r t e d i n a l l the major c i t i e s by  only committed to a l l e v i a t i n g  community but  a v a s t network  the s u f f e r i n g s of  a l s o the h e a l t h , e d u c a t i o n  and  Canada s t a r t e d i n 1887,  to o l d age.  The  Z i o n i s t Organization  Branch) i n 1914,  of  Young Men's  and Women's Hebrew A s s o c i a t i o n s were formed i n M o n t r e a l and  1925.  look  Canadian Jewish Congress, Jewish Immigrant A i d  S o c i e t y , B i g B r o t h e r Movement (Jewish  first  the  c u l t u r e of  A number of h o s p i t a l s were opened, f u l l y equipped, to  a f t e r people from c h i l d b i r t h  Hadassah was  the y e a r  s t a r t e d i n Toronto i n 1916,  Toronto,  and Hadassah of Canada i n  These o r g a n i z a t i o n s , and many o t h e r s , were i n v o l v e d i n a l l phases  of Jewish l i f e w i t h i n the  and p r o v i d e d  a means of e s t a b l i s h i n g s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s  community ( B e l k i n 1966,  Hart  1926,  Kage 1940,  Rosenberg 1939).  136  In Chapter upon l e a r n i n g .  I I I d i s c u s s e d the p a r t i c u l a r emphasis Jews p l a c e d  I a l s o showed how  years o l d when he s t a r t e d girl, for  to go t o Jewish  on the o t h e r hand, was  No  l i f e when these immigrants l e f t  and to  school.  The  five  e d u c a t i o n of the  such d i s c r i m i n a t i o n was  her  found i n  e d u c a t i o n i n Canada.  Some of t h i s v a l u a t i o n was of  the p l a c e of honour at  n e g l e c t e d and no honours were accorded  l e a r n i n g to read and w r i t e .  r e v i e w i n g Jewish  the boy had  came to l i v e i n North  America.  the s o c i a l p s y c h o l o g i s t was  t r a n s f e r r e d to the s e c u l a r aspects the c o n f i n e s of the P a l e of The process  of p r e s e r v a t i o n f a m i l i a r  the mechanism whereby the group v a l u e  o r i e n t e d toward r e l i g i o u s l e a r n i n g was s e c u l a r l e a r n i n g without  Settlement  t r a n s f e r r e d to the sphere  of  l o s i n g i t s h o l d upon the group (Murphy, e t a l  1937:99, 812-814). It Jewish  i s not s u r p r i s i n g , then, to f i n d when r e s e a r c h i n g h i s t o r i e s  communities i n Canada t h a t every  ranging from the very orthodox,  c i t y had  a number of s c h o o l s ,  the Talmud Torahs,  s c h o o l s , to s e c u l a r p r o g r e s s i v e day  schools.  Torahs i n M o n t r e a l , Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina,  By  to evening  1926  Sunday  t h e r e were Talmud  Schools.  from t h e s e , a network of Jewish s e c u l a r s c h o o l s were run by l a r g e s t f r a t e r n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s i n o p e r a t i o n a t the time: v  (Jewish Workmen's C i r c l e ) and  and  Edmonton, Saskatoon.  were Hebrew Free S c h o o l s , t h e r e were Jewish People's  Ring  There  Aside  two  of  the  the A r b e i t e r  the P o a l e Z i o n i s t movement known as  the Farband. These l a t t e r o r g a n i z a t i o n s had s o c i a l c l u b s and  libraries.  known as a s o c i a l i s t - i n c l i n e d leaned p a r t i a l l y  of  a network of s c h o o l s as w e l l as  I d e o l o g i c a l l y the Workmen's C i r c l e o r g a n i z a t i o n , w h i l s t the P o a l e  toward n a t i o n a l i s m as the Z i o n i s t s expressed  P o a l e Z i o n i s m , as the name i m p l i e s , means workers, and  was  Zionists it.  But  they b e l i e v e d  t h a t the coming s o c i e t y , even i n P a l e s t i n e , s h o u l d be a s o c i a l i s t and they c o n s i d e r e d themselves s o c i a l i s t s .  However, amongst them t h e r e  were v a r i a t i o n s - r i g h t , l e f t and c e n t r e . in  the Workmen's C i r c l e i n s o f a r as i t was  The same s i t u a t i o n o b t a i n e d a r e f l e c t i o n of the d i f f e r e n t  s o c i a l i s t groupings around on a world-wide Prior dependent With  to 1912,  Jewish c h i l d r e n who  scale  (Sarkin).  were l e f t  upon the p u b l i c were p l a c e d i n non-Jewish  the Jewish p o p u l a t i o n of Canadian  society  cities  orphans  and  homes or i n s t i t u t i o n s .  growing  l a r g e r and more  p r o g r e s s i v e , i t became a foregone c o n c l u s i o n t h a t such a c o n d i t i o n would not  l o n g be a l l o w e d t o remain.  own  soon a s s e r t e d i t s e l f  for  the purpose n o t only of f e e d i n g and h o u s i n g these u n f o r t u n a t e  dependents of  The Jewish c h a r a c t e r of l o o k i n g a f t e r i t s  and l e d to the i n a u g u r a t i o n of Jewish  but a l s o of e d u c a t i n g them and b r i n g i n g  their forefathers For  orphanages  them up i n the f a i t h  (Hart 1926:227).  some of the young men  and women i n the community t h e r e was  the  F e d e r a t i o n of Young Judea of Canada, an o r g a n i z a t i o n concerned w i t h  the  needs o f the p e o p l e , Jewish e d u c a t i o n w h i c h equipped them f o r e f f e c t i v e  s e r v i c e to the community, and which  took the form of a club or groups  clubs and a c t i v e l y p a r t i c i p a t e d i n Z i o n i s t work In  (ibid:289).  o r d e r to understand the d i v e r s i t y of groupings w i t h i n  o r g a n i z a t i o n s i t i s n e c e s s a r y t o look a t the c o m p o s i t i o n of the Amongst the immigrants  there were the p l a i n f o l k who  for  a new  r o l e , and new  who  had p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the development  p l a c e , a new  freedoms.  of  these  immigrants.  came t o Canada l o o k i n g  There were a l s o  socialists  of the Jewish r e v o l u t i o n a r y move-  ments i n the O l d Country.  Some of them had run away from j a i l  a r r e s t s , ' a n d so on, as was  the case w i t h Sidney S a r k i n .  terms,  Many of them  brought w i t h them t h e i r i n t e r e s t s and i d e a s i n the s o c i a l i s t movement. There were s o c i a l democrats who  were f o l l o w e r s of K a r l Marx and o t h e r s i n  in  Germany. "From R u s s i a t h e r e were f o l l o w e r s o f Plekanov,  i d e o l o g u e of t h e s o c i a l i s t movement.  an o u t s t a n d i n g  Thus we f i n d a c r o s s - s e c t i o n o f  people w i t h v i s i o n , w i t h u n d e r s t a n d i n g , who came w i t h the masses of immigrants.  As Zalman Shneur reminds  u s , they were:  A people p l e d g e d t o l i f e , Pledged t o u p r o o t i n g the e v i l w i t h i n  life.  (Goodman 1961:13) Amongst them were a l s o a number o f w r i t e r s , p a i n t e r s , p h i l o s o p h e r s , who found c o n d i t i o n s i n t h e O l d Country i n t o l e r a b l e , e s p e c i a l l y of  pogroms which took p l a c e .  the s e r i e s  These were people who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the  s t r u g g l e s i n t h e New Country, who expressed the bewilderment,  despair, j o y ,  h o p e f u l n e s s , and who gave l e a d e r s h i p t o the masses, such as Sholem A l e i c h e m , Abraham R a i s i n , Salman L i b i n . Sidney S a r k i n s a i d : These workers' o r g a n i z a t i o n s and the t r a d e u n i o n movement, h e l p e d the immigrant t o f i n d j o b s , educated them so they were a b l e t o defend themselves a g a i n s t t h e t e r r i b l e e x p l o i t a t i o n of the times, a g a i n s t a n t i - S e m i t i s m , a g a i n s t the m i s e r a b l e conditons under which they had t o work. These immigrants brought w i t h them t h e i r Jewish h e r i t a g e , and c u l t u r e s t a r t e d t o bloom. What were the mechanisms, s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l , which p u l l e d the immigrant  towards the ghetto? I n i t i a l s h e l t e r f o r the 'greenhorn' was almost always  the home of r e l a t i v e s o r lantsmen.  found i n  Thus h i s i n t r o d u c t i o n t o the Jewish  g h e t t o took p l a c e immediately upon a r r i v a l .  When the time came t o f i n d  a r e s i d e n c e o f one's own, r e l a t i v e s and f r i e n d s , whose knowledge o f the c i t y was l i m i t e d t o Jewish a r e a s , were the main i n f o r m a t i o n v e h i c l e of the s e a r c h p r o c e s s .  Consequently, "... the s p a t i a l b i a s o f i n f o r m a t i o n a l  s o u r c e s f o c u s s e d t h e r e s i d e n t i a l s e a r c h p r o c e s s upon t h e Jewish of  the urban a r e a "  ( B a i n 1974:41).  sector  Drugstore on Spadina Avenue, Toronto Source:  c.1920  Harney & Troper 1975:103  Photographic Reproduction:  Joshua  Berson  To a l a r g e degree the r o o t s of r e s i d e n t i a l s e g r e g a t i o n l i e i n the  d u t i e s and o b l i g a t i o n s imposed  upon the i n d i v i d u a l Jew by the  r e l i g i o u s and d i e t a r y requirements o f h i s f a i t h . not  encouraged i n the Jewish r e l i g i o n .  Individual prayer i s  Rather, the orthodox Jew must  pray d a i l y , i n the presence of n i n e o t h e r a d u l t male Jews.  Thus, t o be  w i t h i n w a l k i n g d i s t a n c e o f a synagogue was o f paramount importance t o the orthodox Jew because on the Sabbath and High H o l i d a y s he i s n o t p e r m i t t e d to  r i d e on buses o r c a r s .  need f o r a c c e s s i b i l i t y At  Adherence  t o d i e t a r y laws a l s o s t r e s s e d the  t o kosher b u t c h e r shops, b a k e r i e s and g r o c e r y s t o r e s  the t u r n o f the c e n t u r y the Jewish community can be c o n s i d e r e d as  d e v o u t l y orthodox i n r e l i g i o u s  observance.  Judith S e i d e l described l i f e  i n the Jewish areas of s e t t l e m e n t  in Montreal: St. Lawrence B l v d . i s f i l l e d w i t h people a t a l l hours of the day and e v e n i n g , f o r h e r e a r e a l l the food shops k o s h e r meat and f i s h markets, h e r r i n g and d e l i c a t e s s e n and d a i r y and bakery shops, where the housewives of the a r e a , as w e l l some who d w e l l f u r t h e r a f i e l d , do t h e i r shopping (1939:63). With subsequent immigrants a r r i v i n g i n the f i r s t the  20th c e n t u r y one f i n d s a w i d e r spectrum o f r e l i g i o u s  the  immigrant  community.  As mentioned  two decades of observance w i t h i n  above, a n t i - r e l i g i o u s and non-  r e l i g i o u s elements came t o p l a y an i n t e g r a l r o l e i n Jewish l i f e .  Certain-  ly,  p r o x i m i t y t o s t o r e s c a t e r i n g to the c u l i n a r y and m a t e r i a l t a s t e s of  the  Jew c o n s t i t u t e d a p o s i t i v e a t t r a c t i o n f o r even t h e most r a b i d Jewish  s o c i a l i s t , however, we must d e l v e beyond  the o f t - s t a t e d e x p l a n a t i o n o f  r e s i d e n t i a l s e g r e g a t i o n which i s p r e d i c a t e d upon :the r e l i g i o u s needs o f the  Jew.  " F o r the p i o u s and the a n a r c h i s t , the f o l l o w e r s of the B e r d i t c h e v  Rebbe and the d i s c i p l e s . o f Marx, a l l l o c a t e d w i t h i n the r e a l m of the Jewish g h e t t o " ( B a i n 1974:40-41).  141  As the T a b l e on the f o l l o w i n g page shows, language too to  c r e a t e d an i r r e s i s t a b l e magnet b i n d i n g the immigrant the Jewish core of the c i t y .  i n Y i d d i s h , an adequate largely  difficulties  Jew  tightly  As most Jewish immigrants were f l u e n t  social life  and employment o p p o r t u n i t i e s were  l i m i t e d t o the c o n f i n e s of the Jewish community.  usage of Y i d d i s h as the language  Subsequent  of work and s o c i a l i n t e r c o u r s e  further  impeded the a d o p t i o n of E n g l i s h f o r many Jews and p e r p e t u a t e d the n e c e s s i t y of l i v i n g near Y i d d i s h - s p e a k i n g compatriots from the Old Country.  I t i s n o t the purpose here t o over-emphasize  the importance  of  language by c l a i m i n g t h a t i t a c t e d as an impediment t o moving out of the g h e t t o or l e a r n i n g to speak E n g l i s h . t h i s country knowing how  None of my  to speak E n g l i s h .  informants a r r i v e d i n  Yet a l l of them today  speak  E n g l i s h as w e l l as Y i d d i s h . P r i o r to the i n c r e a s e i n Jewish p o p u l a t i o n Jews were found the  e d i t o r i a l boards  d a i l y "La P r e s s " and  of Canadian  and i n E n g l i s h .  Jewish Times",  I t was  attempt was  n o t u n t i l 1897  came i n t o b e i n g .  that  By 1922  p u b l i c a t i o n s i n M o n t r e a l , T o r o n t o and Winnipeg 457).  Some of these are s t i l l  c e n t r e of h i g h c u l t u r e was  Jewish g h e t t o was and  physically.  the  made b u t o n l y f o u r  the E n g l i s h b i - w e e k l y ,  t h e r e were a number of (For d e t a i l s see H a r t  1926:  i n p r e s s today.  P o l i t i c a l debate c e n t e r e d around Jewish concerns and The  With  l a i d f o r a Jewish p r e s s , both i n Y i d d i s h  As e a r l y as 1891 a f i r s t  i s s u e s were p r i n t e d . "The  d a i l y newspapers - the M o n t r e a l French  the " M o n t r e a l D a i l y S t a r " (Hart 1926:457).  i n c r e a s e the f o u n d a t i o n was  on  issues.  the Y i d d i s h t h e a t r e , n o t Massey H a l l .  s e p a r a t e d from the r e s t of the c i t y  The  socio-psychologically  Mother Tongue o f the Canadian Jewish P o p u l a t i o n 10 y e a r s o f Age and Over, 1921-1931 1921  1931  Mother Tongue  Number  Percent  Number  Percent  Yiddish  84,732  90.72  124,408  95.54  English  3,264  3.49  2,452  1.88  Russian  3,370  3.61  1,547  1.18  Polish  696  0.75  943  0.72  German  518  0.55  398  0.30  Romanian  523  0.56  168  0.13  155  0.17  .105  0.08  Hungarian  23  0.02  82  0.06  French  13  0.01  35  0.03  Lithuanian  13  0.01  15  0.01  Arabic  29  0.03  11  0.01  Ukrainian  ,  Italian  3  *  8  0.01  Slovak  2  *  7  0.01  Czech  2  *  4  *  Danish  1  *  3  *  Finnish  12  0.01  3  *  Swedish  10  0.01  3  *  Spanish  9  0.01  2  26  ' 0.03  1  Dutch Other Total  2_ 93,403  * 100.00  * l e s s than 0.01 p e r cent Source:  L o u i s Rosenberg, Canada's Jews, (1931:402).  *  23  0.02  130,218  100.00  143  Demographic S t u d i e s of M o n t r e a l  &  Toronto  In a t h e s i s e n t i t l e d , The Development and S o c i a l Adjustment of  the Jewish  Community i n M o n t r e a l , ( 1 9 3 9 ) ,  s o c i o l o g i c a l growth of the Jewish interest  t o note  J u d i t h S e i d e l has  community i n M o n t r e a l .  the p a t t e r n s of s e t t l e m e n t i n the 20th  the c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p between economic s t a t u s and As immigration  continued i n t o the 20th  areas  I t i s of century,  and  areas of s e t t l e m e n t .  c e n t u r y , the new  up r e s i d e n c e i n the t r a d i t i o n a l l y Jewish  t r a c e d the  immigrants  took  of s e t t l e m e n t , w h i l e  the  more e s t a b l i s h e d p o p u l a t i o n began moving i n a northward and westward direction.  By  1921  the o l d area of Jewish  page 123), had begun to d e c l i n e . marked drop i n Jewish Jewish  The  first  Throughout t h a t decade there was  of p o p u l a t i o n towards Mt.  t h e r e were f o u r major areas  by M'£. Royal on the n o r t h , S t . Denis and Park Avenue on the west. immigrants,  bounded south,  T h i s a r e a c o n t a i n e d most of the newly-  and was The  t h e r e f o r e the lowest a r e a s o c i o -  ( P a u l l 1974:10).  shown on Map  X f o l l o w i n g , l a y f u r t h e r n o r t h of the f i r s t  second major a r e a of s e t t l e m e n t ,  s l i g h t l y more a f f l u e n t , t h i s area was  area.  as  Although  a l s o v e r y much i n h a b i t e d by  immigrant f a m i l i e s .  The  area (not shown) was  Westmount ( S e i d e l 1939:23-25).  Toronto.  In  Jewry.  on the e a s t , Sherbrooke on the  economically  There was  of  R o y a l Avenue.  IX f o l l o w i n g , was  VI  a  of s e t t l e m e n t of M o n t r e a l  a r e a of s e t t l e m e n t , as shown on Map  a r r i v e d Jewish  (as shown i n Map  p o p u l a t i o n i n a l l the major 'downtown' areas  r e s i d e n c e , and a s h i f t  the year 1939  settlement  t h i r d a r e a , Map  XI was  Outremont and  the f o u r t h  a s i m i l a r p a t t e r n of r e s i d e n t i a l s h i f t i n g i n  E a r l y Jewish  s e t t l e r s i n t h e i r d e s i r e t o g a i n acceptance  within  the framework of the dominant s o c i a l system d i s p l a y e d r e s i d e n c y p a t t e r n s congruent  with  those of the g e n e r a l populace when not r e s t r i c t e d  to a  ~  J  144 MAP  IX  F i r s t A r e a o f Jewish Settlement i n M o n t r e a l  Source:  Steven B. P a u l l  1974  1939  145  MAP  X  Second Area o f Jewish Settlement i n M o n t r e a l  Source:  Steven B. P a u l l  1974  1939  MAP  XI  T h i r d A r e a o f Jewish Settlement i n M o n t r e a l  Source:  Steven B. P a u l l  1974  1939  specific location residence. in  by  the d i r e c t  l i n k a g e between p l a c e of work  With the advent of Jewish  the l a t t e r decade of the 19th  arose i n the c i t y  century  two  from E a s t e r n Europe  d i s t i n c t i v e Jewish  communities  of Toronto which d i f f e r e d g r e a t l y i n r e g a r d to l e n g t h  of s e t t l e m e n t , socio-economic  s t a t u s , and degree of c o n d i t i o n i n g to  mainstream Canadian s o c i a l mores. in  immigration  and"  the r e s i d e n t i a l sphere by  T h i s dichotomy was  the y e a r 1901  directly  as the o l d e r ,  manifested  prosperous,  more a c c u l t u r a t e d group adopted a d i s p e r s e d p a t t e r n of r e s i d e n c e , w h i l e the R u s s o - P o l i s h fringe  immigrants c o n c e n t r a t e d i n a s m a l l a r e a on the Western  of the c e n t r a l b u s i n e s s In the f i r s t  two  district.  decades of the 20th  century  the  continued  p e r s e c u t i o n of E a s t European Jews i n c r e a s e d the p o p u l a t i o n of tenfold:  from 1,425  to 34,770.  the dominant s o c i e t a l  Rather  than t r y i n g  Toronto  to i n t e g r a t e i n t o  framework,  ... the E a s t e r n European Jews c r e a t e d a r i c h l y d i v e r s i f i e d , y e t c u l t u r a l l y i n t r o v e r t e d network of s o c i a l , r e l i g i o u s , c u l t u r a l and w e l f a r e i n s t i t u t i o n s w i t h i n which the i n d i v i d u a l Jew was e f f e c t i v e l y i s o l a t e d from the g e n e r a l s o c i e t a l m i l e a u . A t t r a c t e d by the comfort and s e c u r i t y of f a m i l i a r v a l u e s , language, and i n s t i t u t i o n s , the Jewish immigrants v o l u n t a r i l y s e t t l e d w i t h i n the d i s t r i c t i d e n t i f i e d as the realm of E a s t e r n European Y i d d i s h c u l t u r e ( B a i n 1974:84-85).  Summary  T h i s chapter has  looked at ways i n which the e a r l y  immigrants s e t t l e d i n Toronto attempted to eke  out a  and M o n t r e a l where they  desperately  living.  The networks d i s c u s s e d permeated a l l l i f e , members of the community. immigrant Jew  Jewish  W i t h i n the areas  c o u l d meet and  of Jewish  r e a c h i n g out t o most settlement  t a l k to h i s f e l l o w Jews, he  the  c o u l d walk to  synagogue t o p r a y , h i s r e l a t i v e s and f r i e n d s c o u l d h e l p him f i n d job  or a p l a c e t o l i v e ;  his  c h i l d r e n r e c e i v e d r e l i g i o u s and c u l t u r a l i n s t r u c t i o n ;  c u l t u r a l c e n t r e s and  the g h e t t o .  However, he may  (and on c r e d i t ) was  i n the  vicinity;  t h e r e were  t h e a t r e s , young a d u l t a s s o c i a t i o n s , o l d f o l k s '  homes and h o s p i t a l s . within  shopping  a  There were few He may  t h r e a t s to h i s b e l i e f s  s t a r v e i n 'America'  and v a l u e s  as he d i d i n Europe.  do so w i t h o u t the added f e a r of p e r s e c u t i o n from the  non-Jewish p o p u l a t i o n . For  the f i r s t  few decades the immigrant had no need o f a  p s y c h o l o g i s t or p s y c h i a t r i s t ; handle any problems which might  h i s neighbours were w e l l - e q u i p p e d to arise.  Demographic s t u d i e s which have  been done i n M o n t r e a l and T o r o n t o , show that the Jewish people d i d n o t b e g i n moving out of the g h e t t o u n t i l the e a r l y It the New In  i s i n t h i s m i l i e u the Jew  World.  The people I t a l k e d  most cases t h e r e was  1950s.  f i n d s h i m s e l f upon a r r i v a l i n  to a r r i v e d anywhere from 1905  to  1930  someone to meet them on a r r i v a l , and i f t h e i r  journey took them t o another c i t y ,  then Jewish i m m i g r a t i o n agents were on  hand to a s s i s t i n h e l p i n g them c o n t i n u e t h e i r t r a v e l s or s t a y i n the M o n t r e a l became the E l l i s  I s l a n d of Canada:  most of the immigrants  came d u r i n g the p e r i o d under review were f o r c e d to pass  through  of M o n t r e a l  to go  Ellis  :as those a r r i v i n g i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s had :  Island.  the  city who city  through  T h i s put a g r e a t s t r a i n upon the members of the community  and made superhuman demands on i t s r e s o u r c e s . In  the f o l l o w i n g chapters I w i l l d i s c u s s the r o l e of the  n e e d l e t r a d e s , how  and why  the m a j o r i t y of Jewish immigrant workers went  i n t o the c l o t h i n g f a c t o r i e s of M o n t r e a l and Toronto f o r t h i r t y y e a r s of t h e i r  lives.  to f o r t y  149 CHAPTER V I I THE NEEDLE TRADES: A SHORT HISTORY  Introduction The next two chapters are concerned w i t h the Needle T r a d e s , so c a l l e d because i s sewing.  the main o p e r a t i o n i n the assembly  and d e c o r a t i o n of a p p a r e l  The n e e d l e t r a d e s i s a phenomenon of the l a t e 19th c e n t u r y .  I t was n o t u n t i l the sewing machine was i n v e n t e d and a c c e p t e d t h a t an i n d u s t r y developed.  S e v e r a l f a c t o r s c o n t r i b u t e d to the development  of  t h i s phenomenon which w i l l be d i s c u s s e d i n t h i s c h a p t e r . Even  though  the i n d u s t r y i t s e l f  d i d not develop u n t i l the 19th.  c e n t u r y , the t a i l o r goes back t o the Talmud where the Hebrew word f o r t a i l o r , h a y y a t , i s found.  A Jewish community had t o have a t a i l o r "whose  presence was n e c e s s i t a t e d by the o b l i g a t o r y r i t u a l commandments sha'atnez  (Baron e t a l 1975:191). ;  wool and l i n e n .  Sha'atnez  i s a m a t e r i a l made from  A c c o r d i n g to Jewish Law i t i s f o r b i d d e n t o mix d i v e r s e  kinds ( c f . L e v i t i c u s  19:19 and Deut.22:10).  a n i m a l , and l i n e n comes from f l a x which cannot be woven t o g e t h e r t o to form something  such as  Wool comes from sheep which i s  i s plant.  T h e r e f o r e the two  form one, even as man cannot  l i e with beast  else.  T h e r e f o r e i n o r d e r that the Jew s h o u l d not break law the Jewish t a i l o r was depended upon f i r s t  this sacred  o f a l l t o have knowledge  of t h i s law, second t o r e c o g n i z e such a ' m a t e r i a l and t h i r d n o t t o use it  i n the making o f a garment.  interlining  clothes.  (Sha'atnez was used f o r i n t e r f a c i n g and  When ready-made c l o t h e s became a v a i l a b l e , the v e r y  r e l i g i o u s Jew would c a r r y a pocket k n i f e t o make a s m a l l s l i t  i n the l i n i n g  of the garment t o a s c e r t a i n t h a t sha'atnez was n o t used t o i n t e r l i n e o r interface i t )  The left  last  c h a p t e r d e a l t w i t h the masses of immigrants  t h e i r homelands i n d i f f e r e n t p a r t s of E a s t e r n Europe  Canada.  I have t a l k e d about  about d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s .  t h e i r l i v e s b e i n g changed thereby b r i n g i n g  F o r the i n d i v i d u a l the b i o l o g i c a l  broken or d i s t u r b e d .  sense of b e i n g 'one p e o p l e ' was  F o r the group  the  community  U n i t e d S t a t e s , Canada, P a l e s t i n e ,  A r r i v i n g i n North America meant most of a l l the s h a t t e r i n g  of what B a r b a r a Myerhoff r e f e r s u n i t y of b e i n g a s i m p l e p e r s o n " . i n Poland l e a r n i n g to embroider her t r a i n i n g  the h i s t o r i c a l ,  shaken by members of t h e i r n a t a l  e m i g r a t i n g t o v a r i o u s p a r t s of the w o r l d : South America.  and came to  These d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s were f e l t b o t h i n the  i n d i v i d u a l and i n the group. c o n t i n u i t y was  who  to i n Number Our Days as the "sense of An example of t h i s would be a young g i r l fancy c l o t h e s f o r the r i c h :  she  spends  time s i t t i n g among o t h e r young g i r l s i n the home of the t e a c h e r  The same g i r l t r a n s p o r t e d to a f a c t o r y s e t t i n g on Spadina Avenue i n T o r o n t o . Or the a p p r e n t i c e t a i l o r i n R u s s i a r u n n i n g errands and l o o k i n g c h i l d r e n between which he  l e a r n s the t r a d e .  after  The same t a i l o r i n North  America i s bent over a whorring' sewing machine ten t o twelve hours a day, surrounded by s i m i l a r workers, and n o t e a r n i n g one cent f o r the s i x t o e i g h t weeks t h a t he i s supposedly  'apprenticing'.  The worker of the O l d Country l e f t b e h i n d h i s simple l i f e . he found h i m s e l f a member of a l a r g e r f a m i l y .  F o r the m a j o r i t y i t was  awakening t o d i s c o v e r t h a t they can f i g h t f o r b e t t e r working  Here an  conditions  and that the odds a g a i n s t g e t t i n g beaten up and thrown i n j a i l were l e s s here than i n the O l d Country. They got beaten up over here not they were Jews but because  they were s t r i k i n g  L i f e as a f a c t o r y worker was America. had  I t was  workers.  n o t easy or s i m p l e i n North  f a r more c o m p l i c a t e d than what i t was  to l e a r n a new  because  and d i f f e r e n t language;  they had  i n Europe.  to take p u b l i c  They  G i r l s l e a r n i n g sewing Source:  i n the o l d country  Roskies & Roskies  T. Eaton Co. men and women working Source:  1975:128  t o g e t h e r 1904  Harney & T r o p e r 1975:78  t r a n s p o r t a t i o n ; they bought m i l k i n b o t t l e s ;  they had  work i n s t e a d o f e i t h e r h a v i n g t h e i r wives b r i n g home t o e a t .  Women l e f t home f o r the f i r s t  o t h e r women and men. social relations. follows:  to take l u n c h t o  them l u n c h or going  time to t r a v e l and work w i t h  Most of a l l were the changes which took p l a c e i n t h e i  The s e t p a t t e r n which e v o l v e d f o r immigrants was  they a r r i v e d , were met  by a lantsman,  accommodation found.  they were s e t t l e d the f i r s t p r i o r i t y was  f i n d i n g a job - any j o b .  one t u r n to?  met  The  f r i e n d or r e l a t i v e who  seldom went p a s t t h i s primary group.  way  perhaps to  t o become somewhat independent,  and n o t l i v i n g  b r i n g over.  and you move. or  t h a t i s , p a y i n g your  Maybe you have someone s t i l l  So you save f o r a t i c k e t or two.  saved f o r a b e t t e r apartment, Even though  Soon you have enough privacy  was  t h i s m o b i l i t y which c o n t r a s t e d so One  c o u l d argue  hunger and p e r s e c u t i o n d i d cause d i s r u p t i o n i n Europe. not b r i n g about s o c i a l m o b i l i t y .  own  d i d not become r i c h o v e r n i g h t ,  much w i t h the s t a b l e rhythms of the Old Country.  did  It  i n the Old Country  even i n a decade, n o n e t h e l e s s s o c i a l and geographic m o b i l i t y I t was  does  You work h a r d , you  a few p i e c e s o f f u r n i t u r e , a l i t t l e  immigrants  a v a i l a b l e through h a r d work.  Who  you or your n e i g h b o u r s .  o f f r e l a t i v e , f r i e n d or neighbour.  save a l i t t l e .  Once  Once you found a job your next  :  p r i o r i t y was  as  that  However, t h i s  I t only c o n t r i b u t e d t o geographic  dislocation. In  Canada the t h r e e major c e n t r e s of the n e e d l e t r a d e s were  M o n t r e a l , Toronto and Winnipeg.  New  York C i t y was  the garment manufact-  u r i n g c a p i t a l of the w o r l d a t the t u r n of the century and tremor i n t h a t mecca caused rumbles manufacturing  to be f e l t  town and c i t y i n North America.  the garment union came i n t o b e i n g .  I t was  i n every I t was  i n New  the s l i g h t e s t  clothing  i n New  York  York where young  that men  153  and women d i e d i n the t r a g i c f i r e of the T r i a n g l e S h i r t Waist F a c t o r y because working not f i x e d ;  c o n d i t i o n s were so bad  i t was  t o New  t h a t a simple e l e c t r i c w i r i n g  was  York t h a t young people went when they c o u l d „  n o t f i n d j o b s i n M o n t r e a l and T o r o n t o . the Jewish newspapers were f i r s t  I t was  i n New  York  that a l l  p u b l i s h e d - newspapers which were the  organ of the c u l t u r a l and union l i f e  of the p e o p l e .  By  the 1920s M o n t r e a l  and Toronto began t o assume some of these r o l e s .  The Sewing Machine & The Garment I n d u s t r y  Not everyone was  a t a i l o r i n E a s t e r n Europe and n o t a l l  came t o North America went i n t o the n e e d l e t r a d e s . a number of people i n v o l v e d i n o t h e r o c c u p a t i o n s who in  these o c c u p a t i o n s and who  who  However, t h e r e were tried  to f i n d work  u l t i m a t e l y were f o r c e d i n t o the garment  manufacturing trade. In  o r d e r to understand how  (and s u b s e q u e n t l y o t h e r immigrant has  and why  so many immigrant  groups) went i n t o the f a c t o r i e s ,  to a p p r e c i a t e the m a n i f o l d o p e r a t i o n s and consequent  the t r a d e .  one  p e r v a s i v e n e s s of  I t i s not enough to be a b l e to p i c t u r e a person bent over a  sewing machine f u r i o u s l y r u n n i n g garments through nimble l i g h t e n i n g speed.  f i n g e r s at  T h i s i s o n l y one s m a l l cog i n the v a s t o p e r a t i o n of  m a n u f a c t u r i n g a complete wearing in  Jews  o r d e r to understand  apparel.  Some background  w i l l be g i v e n  the s o c i o l o g i c a l a s p e c t s and i m p l i c a t i o n s of the  needle trades. In  the l a t e Stone Age people made garments by sewing  animal s k i n s w i t h l e a t h e r thongs. were p u l l e d hook.  together  Holes were made i n the s k i n s and  the  thongs  through by the use of an hooked t o o l v e r y much l i k e a c r o c h e t  T h i s was  i n n o r t h e r n Europe.  In s o u t h e r n Europe,  f i n e bone  n e e d l e s from the same p e r i o d i n d i c a t e that people were a l r e a d y wearing  154 woven garments and a n c i e n t c i v i l i z a t i o n s a l r e a d y developed weaving^and  of the M i d d l e E a s t had  embroidery.  An i m p o r t a n t breakthrough  o c c u r r e d i n Europe when the i r o n n e e d l e was i n v e n t e d . Garments c o n t i n u e d to be sewn by hand u n t i l c l o t h was produced i n the 18th c e n t u r y . sewing machine. of P a r i s who  The f i r s t  This stimulated  attempt was  the i n v e n t i o n of the  i n 1830 by Barthelemy  produced 80 machines to manufacture  improved upon and a subsequent  i n v e n t e d by an American E l i a s angry American  tailors  Howe.  But he f e l t  and s e a m s t r e s s e s .  Europe where he s o l d p a r t of h i s p a t e n t . P i t t s b u r g designed a machine and were f i n a l l y overcome.  He  Thimonnier  army u n i f o r m s .  these machines were d e s t r o y e d by angry t a i l o r s who T h i s machine was  factory  However,  f e a r e d unemployment.  r sewing machine  was  the r e p e r c u s s i o n s of  took h i s sewing machine t o  I n 1851 I s a a c M. S i n g e r of  the o b j e c t i o n s of t a i l o r s  and seamstresses  P r e v i o u s machines were handpowered b u t S i n g e r d e s i g n -  ed the foot-powered machine.  Whereas today some sewing machines  8000 s t i t c h e s p e r minute, machines i n the 19th century and e a r l y century sewed 20 sti'tches p e r minute.  Today we have programmed  sew 20th sewing,  gang sewing and tandem sewing ( S o l i n g e r 1974:750). Technology made s t r i d e s a l s o i n the t o o l s f o r c u t t i n g fabric. cut in  In 1860  the b a n d - k n i f e machine was  machine which s p r e a d c l o t h from b o l t s hundreds  of p i l e s .  F u r t h e r , by  machines were developed. garments  1905  This  increase  to the i n v e n t i o n of the s p r e a d i n g of m a t e r i a l i n l a y s composed of  the end of the 19th c e n t u r y b u t t o n - h o l e  However, these were n o t used f o r h i g h .grade  (op.cit.) B e f o r e 1905  In  i n v e n t e d i n England which  through s e v e r a l t h i c k n e s s e s o f m a t e r i a l a t one time. c u t t i n g p r o d u c t i v i t y gave impetus  the  a l l p r e s s i n g was  done by a s t o v e - h e a t e d f l a t i r o n .  the f i r s t p r e s s i n g machines were b u i l t which had no p r e s s u r e , heat  155 or steam c o n t r o l s such as those b u i l t a f t e r 1940.  Today one p r e s s e r  can operate f o u r machines s i m u l t a n e o u s l y as they s h u t o f f a u t o m a t i c a l l y ( S o l i n g e r 1974:755). The  only major breakthrough  i n the making o f c l o t h i n g and  footwear s i n c e p r i m i t i v e man was the f l a t - i r o n and the i r o n s t e e l ) n e e d l e . "The t e x t i l e m a n u f a c t u r i n g  (later  i n d u s t r y went forward b u t the  developments i n the technology of the sewing machine remained  virtually  at a s t a n d s t i l l . What were the s o c i a l i m p l i c a t i o n s o f the i n v e n t i o n o f the sewing machine?  Even though the f i r s t garments made on these machines were  of poor q u a l i t y , they p r o v i d e d c l o t h i n g f o r a l a r g e number o f people who c o u l d n o t o t h e r w i s e a f f o r d t o buy m a t e r i a l and have a garment made. the advent  Further,  o f the machine changed the n a t u r e o f craftsmen's shops and made  them i n t o s m a l l f a c t o r i e s . C u t t i n g , sewing, p r e s s i n g were three major phases i n the manufacture of c l o t h i n g .  '  Under the r u b r i c o f these t h r e e c a t e g o r i e s c o n e  f i n d s dozens o f d i f f e r e n t o p e r a t i o n s .  F o r example, i n o r d e r t o ' c u t '  or 'chop' a c o a t , the c l o t h has to be spread out, i t has t o be marked, i t has  t o be c u t , i t has t o be trimmed.  Each of these j o b s i n v o l v e s  d i f f e r e n t types of o p e r a t i o n s and one would n o t f i n d a marker doing the c u t t i n g or chopping.  P r e s s i n g i s n o t the process o f removing w r i n k l e s  from  a piece of c l o t h .  I t i s the p r e s s i n g of seams b e f o r e and a f t e r the garment  i s sewn t o g e t h e r .  There a r e u n d e r p r e s s e r s :  between sewing  operations;  those who p r e s s the garment  and t h e r e a r e over or f i n i s h p r e s s e r s :  who p r e s s the f i n i s h e d garment.  Sewers or o p e r a t o r s as they were  those called,  c o u l d be o p e r a t o r s of p a n t s , c o a t s , c l o a k s , s h i r t s , b l o u s e s , v e s t s , and w i t h i n each of these f u r t h e r d i v i s i o n o f l a b o u r i s found: p o c k e t s , s l e e v e s , l i n i n g , b e l t s , b u t t o n s , c o l l a r s , c u f f s , trimmings, e t c .  When the immigrant came o f f t h e boat he may n o t have been a t a i l o r and b e i n g s p e c i a l i z e d i n the o p e r a t i o n o f a p a r t i c u l a r a s p e c t of the trade was even f u r t h e r removed from h i s mind.  'Sectionalization'  or ' s e c t i o n work' was a term n o t y e t p a r t o f the v o c a b u l a r y o f the immigrant Jew, o r any o t h e r p e o p l e , a t the t u r n o f the c e n t u r y . The n e e d l e s t r a d e i n d u s t r y concerns i t s e l f w i t h the manufacture of men's, women's and c h i l d r e n ' s c l o t h i n g .  I t i s not i n v o l v e d i n  m a n u f a c t u r i n g f u r n i s h i n g s , bed s h e e t s , t a b l e • c l o t h s , e t c . i n d u s t r y which began i n the 1880s w i t h the manufacture  I t i s an  of coats and c l o a k s  and was soon f o l l o w e d by t h e making o f l a d i e s ' s u i t s and then s k i r t s .  It  was a f t e r World War I t h a t the d r e s s m a n u f a c t u r i n g i n d u s t r y took o f f . In the U n i t e d S t a t e s , even b e f o r e 1880, t h e r e appeared i n the women's c l o t h i n g i n d u s t r y the b e g i n n i n g s of the system of c o n t r a c t i n g . A c c o r d i n g t o L o u i s L e v i n e i t was " t h e m e n t a l and i n d u s t r i a l h a b i t s " o f t h e Jewish immigrants which were r e s p o n s i b l e i n some degree f o r the growth of such a system (1924:14).  As noted i n the c h a p t e r on t h e S h t e t l ,  E a s t e r n Europe had n o t been touched by the I n d u s t r i a l R e v o l u t i o n . immigrants worked as a r t i s a n s , journeymen  These  and s m a l l c r a f t s m e n , some o f  them never h a v i n g seen the i n s i d e of a f a c t o r y .  In t h e i r d e s i r e to. f i n d  employment i n the New C o u n t r y , these p e o p l e accepted work i n ' o u t s i d e ' shops. In Canada, i n 1935, Frank R. S c o t t i n a r e p o r t on "The Nature of the I n d u s t r y " wrote: Today the making o f men's o u t e r c l o t h i n g i s c a r r i e d on mainly i n c l o t h i n g f a c t o r i e s , whereas n o t s o many y e a r s ago i t was done by hand i n the home. The e a r l i e s t c l o t h i n g f a c t o r i e s of which we have r e c o r d i n Canada, a few of which were e s t a b l i s h e d i n M o n t r e a l and T o r o n t o by 1875, o p e r a t e d a c c o r d i n g to methods midway between home and f a c t o r y manufacture ( S c o t t & C a s s i d y 1935:1).  S c o t t i n c l u d e s i n h i s r e p o r t an e x c e r p t from an a r t i c l e by R. P. S p a r k s , i n the Manual Of The T e x t i l e I n d u s t r y I n Canada, "The Garment  & Clothing Industries, History & Organization":  The garments were c u t on the premises of the w h o l e s a l e c l o t h i n g houses, t i e d i n t o bundles w i t h the l i n i n g s and trimmings, and sent out i n t o the country t o be made up. Farmers f o r m i l e s around would d r i v e i n t o the towns, c a r r y i n g home the bundles of c u t garments and these would be put t o g e t h e r a t home, b e i n g brought back a week l a t e r when the payment would be made on the b a s i s of so much a garment ( S c o t t & C a s s i d y 1935:1). However, t h i s method o f manufacture was u n s a t i s f a c t o r y because s u p e r v i s i o n was n o t p o s s i b l e and because only v e r y rough and i l l f i t t i n g garments were produced.  I n order to b u i l d up the i n d u s t r y and  market a b e t t e r q u a l i t y o f ready-made  c l o t h e s " c o n t r a c t shops" or  " o u t s i d e " shops were e s t a b l i s h e d i n the towns and c i t i e s which, a c c o r d i n g t o S c o t t , " p r o g r e s s i v e l y took over the a c t u a l m a n u f a c t u r i n g o p e r a t i o n s , a p a r t from the c u t t i n g o f the c l o t h " . and p a r t i a l l y  These shops then found a new  t r a i n e d l a b o u r s u p p l y i n the immigrants from E a s t e r n Europe  who began t o s e t t l e i n M o n t r e a l and T o r o n t o i n the l a t t e r p a r t o f the l a s t century.  These shops were known as ' o u t s i d e ' shops and those who  owned them ' c o n t r a c t e d ' w i t h the owners  o f m a n u f a c t u r e r s of ' i n s i d e ' shops  to make up the c u t garments a t so much p e r garment. the o u t s i d e shop assumed  the r o l e of middle man.  garment and he p a i d h i s workers l e s s  Thus the owner o f  He was p a i d so much p e r  thus making h i m s e l f a p r o f i t .  An ' i n s i d e ' shop on the o t h e r hand was one which was d i r e c t l y connected w i t h t h e s e l l i n g department o f the b u s i n e s s .  I n some  'inside'  shops garments were c u t , made up, b u s h e l l e d and examined, t h a t i s , the e n t i r e m a n u f a c t u r i n g p r o c e s s was done i n one p l a c e .  I n some'other  ' i n s i d e ' shops only the c u t t i n g and examining o f garments were done and  the  c u t garments were ' c o n t r a c t e d '  consequently centered  to outside  shops.  The i n d u s t r y was  i n the hands of the l a r g e manufacturers and owners  of the i n s i d e shops. By  the t u r n o f the century  the i n d u s t r y i n Canada had p r o g r e s s e d  t o the p o i n t where these i n s i d e shops had i n c r e a s e d . contracting business,  as l a t e as 1935, was s t i l l  However, the  going strong,  "so t h a t  today" wrote S c o t t , many shops s t i l l have no c u t t i n g departments and do only s p e c i a l i z e d c o n t r a c t work on v e s t s , pants or c o a t s "  ( S c o t t & Cassidy  1935:2). In a d d i t i o n t o t h i s form o f employment i n the e a r l y days i t was  a common s i g h t t o see men e i t h e r t r u n d l i n g t h e i r sewing machines i n  push c a r t s o r c a r r y i n g them on t h e i r b a c k s , as they d i d i n the O l d Country. his  A tailor  c o u l d work i n a f a c t o r y f o r weeks'or months  own sewing machine.  When h i s s e r v i c e s were no l o n g e r  using  r e q u i r e d he would  pack up h i s machine and s t a r t l o o k i n g f o r other work. The  only machine used i n the t r a d e f o r many y e a r s was the  sewing machine and the c u t t i n g machine.  Because the technology  b e h i n d the development of techniques f o r s p i n n i n g it  required  little  and weaving  lagged  textiles  overhead and c a p i t a l investment f o r an e n t e r p r i s i n g  man t o s t a r t h i s own c o n t r a c t i n g o r even go i n t o p a r t n e r s h i p w i t h someone. The  sewing machine was cheap and c o u l d be bought on an i n s t a l l m e n t  or r e n t e d  a t a monthly r a t e .  apartment o r room.  I t d i d n o t take up much space i n a s m a l l  Power and energy was s u p p l i e d by the worker  because the machines were operated by f o o t . machine or u s i n g not  plan  Further  a n e e d l e i s n o t a complicated  r e q u i r e extended t r a i n i n g .  operating  himself a sewing  p r o c e s s and t h e r e f o r e d i d  T h i s proved b e n e f i c i a l t o the l a r g e  manufacturer who d i d n o t have t o worry about s u p e r v i s i n g  the work or  a d j u s t i n g h i s work f o r c e a c c o r d i n g  F o r i t must be  to s t y l e and season.  159  remembered t h a t the garment i n d u s t r y d i d not o f f e r ' w o r k twelve months of the y e a r .  Work was  to e i g h t weeks working  seasonal.  A worker would be employed f o r s i x  at a f u r i o u s p a c e . f o r ten t o twelve hours  a  day and then have n o t h i n g to do f o r t h r e e or f o u r months. T h i s f a r m i n g out of cut garments to be f i n i s h e d a t home i n an o u t s i d e or c o n t r a c t o r ' s shop, a l s o became known as the 'bundle b r i g a d e ' . T h i s then was  the b e g i n n i n g of the sweat shops: . of k i t c h e n s , a t t i c s ,  c e l l a r s , bedrooms, b e i n g c o n v e r t e d i n t o f a c t o r i e s where the e n t i r e f a m i l y and a few h i r e d hands would work e n d l e s s hours  finishing  bundles  of cut garments.  B e g i n n i n g s Of Jewish Involvement  Joshua  I n The Indus t r y  (Joe) Gershman was  town i n the U k r a i n e .  b o r n i n 1903  F o r many y e a r s he was  a Canadian Y i d d i s h weekly newspaper. trades began i n Canada, he  i n Sokolow, a s m a l l  e d i t o r of the Vochertblatt,  When I asked him how  the n e e d l e  said:  ... v e r y few of the Jews came w i t h money and  they  d i d n ' t come as manufacturers and b o s s e s . I t has t o do w i t h a c e r t a i n , I don't know what you would c a l l i t , whether a trend or a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c . I don't want to use the term c h a r a c t e r i s t i c because t h i s i s , i n my o p i n i o n , p o l i t i c a l l y wrong. I t i s not o n l y l i m i t e d to Jewish p e o p l e . You see the f i r s t immigrants who came to t h i s country d i d n ' t want to work a l l t h e i r l i v e s f o r somebody e l s e . They wanted to be on t h e i r own. And i n the n e e d l e t r a d e i t was the e a s i e s t way. I f you know the t r a d e , as soon as you get y o u r s e l f two machines you can become y o u r s e l f a s m a l l c o n t r a c t o r . You take out work from b i g g e r m a n u f a c t u r e r s . And i n t h i s way you g r a d u a l l y work y o u r s e l f up t o t h r e e machines, f o u r machines. And even b e f o r e they had these l i t t l e f a c t o r i e s t h e r e were the sweatshops where they used to have a machine i n the bedroom or i n the k i t c h e n and do the work at home r a t h e r than work i n a shop as a worker. Many of them f o r i n s t a n c e i n the c i t i e s of T o r o n t o and M o n t r e a l ( I know q u i t e a few of them) s t a r t e d as workers and they had been v e r y m i l i t a n t . But we knew. We worked  160 w i t h them i n the u n i o n . Some of them have been members of the E x e c u t i v e of the u n i o n . They f o u g h t f o r i n c r e a s e s i n wages; were e x c e l l e n t union men. But a t the same time they would, i n p r i v a t e d i s c u s s i o n s s a y , "I'm n o t g o i n g t o s t a y i n t h e shop v e r y l o n g . I'm not going to work f o r the l o u s y b o s s . I can be a b e t t e r boss than him and t r e a t my workers b e t t e r than he does!" T h i s i s the k i n d of t a l k t h a t went on. So t h i s i s the way i t developed, you see. There are some manufacturers h e r e - take the boss of the b i g T i p Top Company, uh, what's h i s name? - he s t a r t e d w i t h two machines i n h i s k i t c h e n . Dunkelman. Dave Dunkelman. He was a nobody and he worked h i m s e l f up i n t o one o f the b i g g e s t c l o t h i n g manufacturers i n Canada. You c o u l d n ' t do t h a t , you c o u l d n ' t open a t o o l f a c t o r y , c o u l d you? Or you can't run a pulp and paper i n d u s t r y i n t h i s k i n d of way! So n a t u r a l l y i n t h i s k i n d of t r a d e i t i s v e r y easy t o become a b o s s . And because of t h a t they came t h e r e . A g r e a t number of them came. Lantsmans h a f t e n m a i n l y . A l s o many p e o p l e had u n c l e s and b r o t h e r s and g r a n d f a t h e r s who had a l r e a d y been w i t h m a n u f a c t u r i n g i n the O l d Country and they took them i n a l s o . This i s the way i t developed. The n e e d l e t r a d e i n d u s t r y , the c l o t h i n g i n d u s t r y i n Canada, had a s m a l l percentage of non-Jews, the owners." But t h a t was a t a time when i t was v e r y s m a l l . Canada d i d n ' t have e i g h t m i l l i o n people then - l e s s then e i g h t million. But w i t h the growth of the p o p u l a t i o n , when the i n d u s t r y became i m p o r t a n t and independent, and c o u l d a c t u a l l y s u r v i v e on what i t produced and s o l d i n Canada, never mind e x p o r t i n g , t h i s has been developed m a i n l y by Jewish m a n u f a c t u r e r s . Ben B u t e l i s the owner of a c l o t h i n g m a n u f a c t u r i n g f i r m i n Montreal. in Austria.  H i s b u s i n e s s i s b o t h n a t i o n a l and i n t e r n a t i o n a l .  In 1921 he came to Canada.  a l i t t l e money "now  the p o s s i b i l i t y  of i n v e s t i n g  and then w i t h somebody, to do a b i t of m a n u f a c t u r i n g " ,  He saved enough money t o b r i n g over h i s s i s t e r , f a t h e r , mother  and l a t e r another s i s t e r and b r o t h e r . peddling.  He had j u s t  He worked as a p e d d l e r on h i s own f o r f i v e and a h a l f y e a r s .  W h i l s t doing t h i s he s t a r t e d l o o k i n g i n t o  said Butel.  born  In 1918 A u s t r i a l o s t the war and the p a r t t h a t Ben came from  was handed over to Romania. t u r n e d 18.  Ben was  He made a decent l i v i n g  In 1925 he s t a r t e d to manufacture;men's  from  c l o t h i n g as a s i d e  l i n e and i n 1927 he gave up p e d d l i n g i n the country and *came i n t o M o n t r e a l t o do b u s i n e s s . brother.  He gave the p e d d l i n g b u s i n e s s over t o h i s  I asked him t o t e l l me how he s t a r t e d m a n u f a c t u r i n g .  He s a i d :  F i r s t I rented a place with a cutting table. Then I engaged a man to do the c u t t i n g . And there i s such a t h i n g i n the c l o t h i n g i n d u s t r y t h a t you don't have to have your own machinery. You g i v e i t out t o a c o n t r a c t o r , you see. I never knew a n y t h i n g about t a i l o r i n g , about c l o t h i n g , about a t h i n g . When my h i r e d men asked me t h a t they need some trimmings - you know what I mean by trimmings? - c o l l a r s , canvasses and so on - I d i d n ' t know what they were r e f e r r i n g t o . Then when the p a r c e l came i n I used t o sneak b e h i n d t o see what's i n i t , so when t h e y ' l l " a s k me the next time I ' l l know what i t s a l l about. And I have made up my mind t h a t I ' l l t r y i t f o r a y e a r o r two. I f I ' l l break even I ' l l go on. I f no, I d i d n ' t g i v e up my b u s i n e s s i n the c o u n t r y and I c o u l d go back and do i t . Thank God I s t a r t e d t o make a modest l i v i n g . D i d n ' t have t o worry f o r the month's r e n t or the money t o g i v e the f a m i l y to l i v e on. C o n d i t i o n s were v e r y poor i n Canada i n the e a r l y t w e n t i e s . Then i n 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932 you know we had the b i g crisis. Thank God I never s u f f e r e d ; that I s t a r t e d t o make a modest l i v i n g . I d i d n ' t have t o worry about p a y i n g my b i l l s , t h a t I can't pay the r e n t , o r won't be a b l e to s u p p o r t my f a m i l y t h a t I had - f a t h e r , mother, b r o t h e r s and s i s t e r s . We were a l l l i v i n g t o g e t h e r . I s t a r t e d making a l i t t l e money every y e a r - even d u r i n g the D e p r e s s i o n time I d i d n ' t go l i k e t h i s (he i n d i c a t e s w i t h h i s thumb downwards), b u t I went the o t h e r way. And I'm i n the game to t h i s day. B e r t h a Guberman spent most o f h e r l i f e Winnipeg. in  i n the n e e d l e t r a d e s i n  Her e x p l a n a t i o n of the phenomenon of the garment i n d u s t r y b e i n g  the hands of Jewish immigrants  goes as f o l l o w s :  In the garment t r a d e t h e r e were a few g e n t i l e employers"but most of them were Jews. These Jewish employers had themselves come up from the ranks of the workers and they knew the t r i c k s o f the game. I t ' s the e a s i e s t t h i n g . A miner c o u l d never dream o f  162  CITY OF TORONTO  124  vnr?J  Pedlar's ChtS lirritSr acknowledged,  is granted  on payment  License on Foot  of ONE DOLLAR  to the City  Treasurer,  ,  to  to authorize him to carry on the business and calling of a Pedlar in the City of Toronto.  This License to be in force until the 31st day of December, A.D* 1918 THIS LICENSE  I  tTED this RECEIVED  f  day of  the sum of ONE  T. B R A D S H A W ,  CITY  CANNOT BE SOLD OR TRANSFERRED  7?Z4iyi.cA^  A.D.. 1918  DOLLAR TREASURER  H. J. GRASETT  PER  CHIir  Peddler's Source:  license  Harney & T r o p e r  1975:88  Street peddler Source:  Harney & T r o p e r  1975:89  CONSTABLE  163  becoming a mine owner o r a r a i l w a y worker can never dream o f becoming a r a i l w a y magnate. But the n e e d l e t r a d e s worker - t h e i r psychology was not of a worker a t t h a t time. I t was a psychology t h a t : some day I ' l l get out and become an employer m y s e l f ; which a l o t of them d i d ! Because what do you need? You buy a machine and you have a c o r n e r i n your basement and you s t a r t working. And you e n s l a v e y o u r s e l f day and n i g h t and when you have a l i t t l e cash you r e n t a dump someplace and you open up a shop. So the Jewish employers i n the n e e d l e t r a d e s , most o f them came up from the r a n k s , and they worked up and they know how to exploit. "So he was so l o n g a b o s s " , s a i d P a u l i n e Chudnovsky, " t h a t he e n l a r g e d h i s b e l t ! "  CHAPTER V I I I THE  NEEDLE TRADES: LONG HOURS, LOW PIECE RATES AND SWEATSHOP CONDITIONS  Introduction Jewish  immigrants l e f t the towns and c i t i e s  Europe and emigrated  t o 'America' 'to be f r e e .  see what i t c o s t them.  .•• •  v  In t h i s  of Eastern chapter we w i l l  Brandes s a y s :  In t h i s process o f emancipation - and freedom was n o t w i t h o u t i t s cost - what p r i c e would be r e q u i r e d : i n s e r v i t u d e to the machine, i n s a c r i f i c e of t r a d i t i o n , i n d e p e r s o n a l i z i n g c o n f o r m i t y , i n urban s q u a l o r ? In t h i s  chapter I w i l l e x p l o r e how the woman coped and  managed to work a t home and i n the f a c t o r i e s . and  the w o r l d  (1976:1).  How she viewed h e r s e l f  i n which she and h e r f a m i l y and f r i e n d s f u n c t i o n e d .  The  c o n t r i b u t i o n made by women i n t h e b u i l d i n g and s t r u g g l e s of the needle trades union i s hereby acknowledged. and  U n f o r t u n a t e l y I cannot f u l l y  present  d i s u c s s the e n e r g e t i c and v i t a l r o l e they p l a y e d i n t h e c l o t h i n g  unions.  Women predominated the t r a d e and were n o t o n l y i n t h e vanguard  (e.g. T r i a n g l e S h i r t Waist  F a c t o r y 1911 i n New York and the garment workers  s t r i k e o f 1912), b u t a l s o i n s t r u m e n t a l i n t h e f i g h t t o improve c o n d i t i o n s in  the shops and f a c t o r i e s . I w i l l a l s o e x p l o r e how men c a r r i e d on t h e i r a f f a i r s ;  looked upon what they d i d i n t h e p u b l i c s e c t o r ;  how they  r e c o l l e c t i o n s t o s t r e a m l i n e t h e i r l i v e s , from b e i n g born i n p u b l i c a f f a i r s , with h i s t o r i c a l events.  tended  how they i n their  to participating  F o r example, one man s a i d :  I came a t t h e time of t h a t famous W a l l S t r e e t Crash! I will  look a t the v a r i o u s o p t i o n s open t o the immigrant  Jew who may or may n o t have had knowledge o f the t a i l o r i n g c r a f t . a l s o look a t the s t r u g g l e s o f these people  I will  t o o r g a n i z e the u n o r g a n i z e d , .  165  Newsboy Source:  Harney and Troper 1975:90  to  f i g h t f o r b e t t e r working  conditions;  t h e i r h u m i l i a t i o n and t h e i r  v i c t o r i e s i n the s t r u g g l e t o u n i t e themselves and those around  them.  Perhaps by the end of t h i s c h a p t e r we may d i s c o v e r why the t r a d e i s so i n v i t i n g  to immigrants  and what l u r e s i t o f f e r s  who came t o t h i s C o n t i n e n t i g n o r a n t of i t s language  those  and customs.  The E a r l y Days  By  the e a r l y days I mean the f i r s t  few y e a r s a f t e r i n f o r m a n t s  a r r i v e d i n Canada and t h a t p e r i o d o f time i t took them to a d j u s t t o a new and d i f f e r e n t environment.  Most o f them were met by r e l a t i v e s and  f r i e n d s , u s u a l l y lantsman, members of t h e i r n a t a l community.  Some who  had n e i t h e r were met by Jewish Immigration A i d S o c i e t y p e o p l e . immigrants  after surviving  the t r i a l s  Some  and t r i b u l a t i o n s o f b r i b i n g  their  way a c r o s s b o r d e r s and somehow managing to pay f o r t h e i r passage  found  themselves b e i n g put back on the s h i p and deported to t h e i r l a s t  port.  Many o f these u n f o r t u n a t e people were 'saved' by'the Jewish community i f t h e i r p l i g h t were known and i f something  c o u l d be done t o l e g a l i z e  their entry. Mr.  Shano was born i n 1884.  e l e c t e d the f i r s t f i r s t name.  time to P a r l i a m e n t i n 1896.  He was n o t as l u c i d as he sometimes  "You know when I'm r e s t e d then e v e r y t h i n g comes i n t o my mind", he  said. of  He never t o l d me h i s  The day I v i s i t e d him a t Maimonides H o s p i t a l i n M o n t r e a l  was not a v e r y good day f o r him. is.  He remembers when L a u r i e r was  As a r e s u l t he had d i f f i c u l t y  remembering.  However, he t o l d me  an i n c i d e n t which he s a i d he would never e v e r f o r g e t : Sometimes ... sometimes I can dream up something about what I had done I t h i n k I was  i n s t r u m e n t a l i n s a v i n g a man from b e i n g sent back to Europe because he d i d n ' t have a p l a c e where to stay here. I was a boy then going around w i t h newspapers, here i n M o n t r e a l , and i n the two months v a c a t i o n t h a t we g e t from s c h o o l - I went to s c h o o l here - I used t o go down t o the wharf, on the b o a t s , and s e l l magazines t o the s a i l o r s . By going on a boat I met a Jew t o be sent back t o Europe. I t didn't take l o n g . When I came down from the boat I met a Jew, a C o n s u l from Mexico, and I t o l d him about i t . He d i d n ' t take h a l f an hour and the man was gone. (Shano laughs as though he were p a r t o f a c o n s p i r a c y ) That time I remember. But t h a t ' s n o t the q u e s t i o n . The q u e s t i o n i s t h a t he got f r e e . That means I was instrumental i n saving h i s l i f e ; from h a v i n g him sent back. I was a boy then going around w i t h p a p e r s , you know. That's about every b i t of 75 y e a r s ago. These t h i n g s you r e a l l y can't f o r g e t . He happened t o s t r i k e me on t h e main s t r e e t i n l a t e r y e a r s . He r e c o g n i z e d me. He d i d n ' t know what t o do w i t h me! Shano and Blugerman were the o l d e s t men I spoke t o and they were the e a r l i e s t  a r r i v a l s amongst my i n f o r m a n t s .  when he was young enough t o go t o s c h o o l . when he had f i n i s h e d remember v e r y l i t t l e . he  could  technical school.  Shano a r r i v e d  here  Blugerman a r r i v e d i n 1908  U n f o r t u n a t e l y Shano c o u l d  Blugerman on the o t h e r hand amazed me w i t h a l l  recall: I a r r i v e d i n Toronto i n the s p r i n g , i n March 1908. I was 23 y e a r s o l d . On a r r i v a l , b r o t h e r and I , we were w e l l looked a f t e r by Uncle Hyman C h a i k o f f and f o r a few weeks we were welcome guests and nobody thought a n y t h i n g about l o o k i n g f o r a j o b . We c o u l d n ' t speak a word of E n g l i s h . My u n c l e was working steady as a foreman i n a c a b i n e t f a c t o r y and the a u n t i e w i t h h e r c h i l d r e n was cooking anyways. The b r e a d and m i l k and the meat was f i v e c e n t s , ten c e n t s , f i f t e e n c e n t s , and a b a s k e t of tomatoes t h a t we were so proud of, c o s t us a double b a s k e t , t w e n t y f i v e c e n t s . So t h e r e was no problem a t the time when a f e l l o w i s working steady l i k e my u n c l e . So we were w e l l taken care o f .  168  So u n c l e s t a r t e d to look f o r something f o r us t o do. I had p i c k e d up cabinet-making a t the T e c h n i c a l S c h o o l and my o l d e r b r o t h e r , J o e , was h a l f a mechanic i n the T e c h n i c a l S c h o o l when he f i n i s h e d i n Odessa. U n c l e found me a f r i e n d of h i s , a t a i l o r , a Max P e r s u t s k y , a t Church and Dundas S t r e e t s who agreed to take me i n t o teach me the t a i l o r i n g t r a d e . Uncle bought me an o l d b i c y c l e f o r $8 so t h a t I c o u l d t r a v e l from Kensington Avenue t o Church S t r e e t t o the t a i l o r s t o r e to become a tailor. My f i r s t job was t o use the b i c y c l e and d e l i v e r t h i n g s . Mr. P e r s u t s k y gave me l e s s o n s on how t o underpress garments t h a t he was making to o r d e r . In o t h e r words, he was t e a c h i n g me the b e g i n n i n g s of the t a i l o r i n g b u s i n e s s by b e i n g a seam p r e s s e r - an u n d e r p r e s s e r w i t h a hand i r o n . U n c l e t o l d h i s f r i e n d t h a t I can work f o r two months w i t h o u t any payment as to do. I r e a l i z e d t h a t I can a l r e a d y and I suggested t o u n c l e t o see i f he T.Eaton Company i n the men's c l o t h i n g  i n the f a c t o r y f r e e long as I l e a r n something be an u n d e r p r e s s e r has a f r i e n d i n the or the l a d i e s ' .  In 1908-1909 Blugerman worked n i n e hours a day He  started  a t 8 a.m.  and worked u n t i l 6 p.m.  H i s u n c l e had  worked i n the men's department of T. Eaton Co. who "who  happened t o be a Canadian:  the j o b " , s a i d Blugerman.  as ah  a friend  t o l d the minimum wage was  gave  f o r an a p p r e n t i c e .  However, there were o t h e r s  Worked l o n g e r h o u r s .  He worked there: f o r nine months and became an  know how. t o speak E n g l i s h and a l l h i s b u s i n e s s w i t h Canadian, was  conducted  through  an  d i d not  the foreman, a  Gerty Soren who  i n the l a d i e s ' department a t Eafcons and "we  Blugerman.  still  who  interpreter.  W i t h i n the y e a r Blugerman met  because Eatons was  He  me  $6 per week  f o r an e i g h t hour day  o v e r p r e s s e r , t h a t i s , he p r e s s e d f i n i s h e d garments.  who  spoke to the foreman  a l o v e l y Canadian gentleman who  He was  underpresser.  p a y i n g m a r r i e d people  was  an  operator  d e c i d e d t o get m a r r i e d  a minimum of $9 a week", s a i d  Jimmy Blugerman's s t o r y i s a success s t o r y compared to those of others.  When Samuel Nemetz a r r i v e d i n F o r t S t . John i n 1919  $10" i n h i s pocket i n s t e a d of the r e q u i r e d $25. to be deported. His  The Jewish Immigration  u n c l e ' s lawyers  tried  to h e l p him.  He was  he had o n l y  a r r e s t e d and  Aid Society t r i e d  to help  h e l p e i t h e r , because of who  people.  You  as Sam  left  of no  s a i d , "they don't take n o t i c e of those k i n d  got to have somebody e l s e t h a t works", meaning somebody  has a j o b , who  can s u p p o r t you.  working making pants i n a shop. Otherwise  him.  A s i s t e r whose husband had  h e r s t r a n d e d w i t h a baby and taken o f f f o r the U n i t e d S t a t e s was  was  He had  another s i s t e r , "she  was  ... h e r a p p l i c a t i o n they a c c e p t e d .  they might have s e n t me back t o Antwerp t h e r e .  That's what  they d i d a t t h a t time", s a i d Nemetz. Nemetz l i v e d w i t h h i s s i s t e r and h e r husband and  two  children.  He d i d not earn any money f o r the f i r s t few months t h a t he worked twelve hours  a day " l e a r n i n g the s k i l l s "  of t a i l o r i n g .  H i s s t o r y i s as  follows: I a r r i v e d i n M o n t r e a l on January 1919 from K a t h e r i n e s l a v , R u s s i a . In the Old Country I was a journeyman shoemaker and was a good machine operator. In M o n t r e a l my b r o t h e r - i n - l a w suggested that 1 change t h i s work and s t a r t as a t a i l o r and get myself a job as a t a i l o r . Accordingly, to h i s a d v i c e , t h i s i s what I had done. I found a job i n a t a i l o r ' s shop w i t h the h e l p of some lantsman. In t h i s shop I worked f o r a number of weeks w i t h o u t pay. In those days we were t o l d we were l e a r n i n g the j o b , we. had no s k i l l s , so we r e c e i v e d no pay. The shop was a c o n t r a c t o r ' s shop. I remember i t was an o l d shop. I came i n t h e r e . They i n t r o d u c e d me: a f a t h e r , son and daughter. They were c o n t r a c t o r s . They took on the c o n t r a c t from somebody• e l s e and they are making the garments. So. they g i v e me a j o b . I was g l a d t h a t they accepted me. They had t o teach me so they can have the b e n e f i t from  170  me. I c o u l d sew; make a seam; make i t s t r a i g h t . That I c o u l d do. And I was q u i c k too. There were a l o t of p a r t s i n a garment. In the c o n t r a c t o r ' s shop where I s t a r t e d , I worked from 7 i n the morning u n t i l 6 i n the e v e n i n g . But the o t h e r s were a l r e a d y a t work when I got t h e r e a t 7 and they were s t i l l working when I l e f t a t 6 i n the evening. A f t e r s i x weeks of working i n the c o n t r a c t i n g shop and as f o r the hours I worked w i t h o u t pay you are i n a b e t t e r p o s i t i o n to f i g u r e t h a t out. With the h e l p of a neighbour of mine,..I was f o r t u n a t e to get myself a job i n an i n s i d e shop. I t was known as L e v i n s o n ' s factory. The L e v i n s o n shop was o f f i c i a l l y a union shop. The hours were from 7 i n the morning to 5 i n the e v e n i n g . Saturday was n o t a working day but we worked on Sunday from 7 a.m. t o 12 noon. I t was known as a union shop under the U n i t e d Garment Workers' Union. In s p i t e of i t b e i n g a union shop no union o f f i c i a l had the r i g h t to come i n t o the shop. The shop had a Shop Committee which: made i t i t ' s b u s i n e s s to see to i t t h a t the hours of work were k e p t . T h i s Committee looked a f t e r b e e f s and c o m p l a i n t s . However, we l a c k e d the r i g h t to c o l l e c t dues. So we used to do i t o u t s i d e of the shop on the s t e p s . At t h a t time i t was 25<; a month. Together w i t h low e a r n i n g s and s t i l l long h o u r s , the work was a l s o s e a s o n a l . The most you got was about e i g h t months of work - e i t h e r w i n t e r or summer garments. Thus we never earned enough to keep body and s o u l t o g e t h e r . I t i s because of these scandalous c o n d i t i o n s t h a t t h e r e developed f o l k s a y i n g s about not b e i n g a b l e to see one's c h i l d awake because we l e f t when the c h i l d was a s l e e p and r e t u r n e d l a t e i n the evening when the c h i l d was a s l e e p . Samuel Nemetz i s here r e f e r r i n g a l l i n arid around the n e e d l e My  to the poem, well-known to  t r a d e s , by M o r r i s R o s e n f e l d "Mayn Y i n g e l e " ,  L i t t l e B o y . , I t i s a l s o a sad and b e a u t i f u l Y i d d i s h song: I had  a little  boy  A l i t t l e son so f i n e And when I look at him I t h i n k : The whole w o r l d i s mine. But seldom, seldom do I see him My l o v e l y one, awake. I always f i n d him s l e e p i n g , I see him only a t n i g h t .  /  My And 0, And  t o i l d r i v e s me out e a r l y , b r i n g s me home so l a t e . s t r a n g e t o me i s my own f l e s h , s t r a n g e my own c h i l d ' s g l a n c e . ( T r a n s l a t e d from the Y i d d i s h as c i t e d by Ruth Rubin i n V o i c e s Of A People 1963:353.)  A l b e r t Abramoyitz  s a i d t h a t some Jewish newspapers d e s c r i b e d  l i f e here as b e i n g ' l i k e a p a r a d i s e ' . p a i n t e d f o r them.  I t d e s c r i b e d l i f e here i n a way  . . . t h a t a worker i n the c l o a k i n d u s t r y , f u r n i t u r e t h a t they n i c e r than t h e r i c h When you read a r t i c l e s Abramovitz Poland.  He s a i d such a< r o s y p i c t u r e was  my t r a d e , or i n the d r e s s e s , o r i n c o u l d make about $350 a week. The d i s c a r d h e r e i s much b e t t e r and ones i n P o l a n d buy when i t i s new!  l i k e t h a t ... ... came to Toronto because he had no f a m i l y l e f t i n  He had a b r o t h e r i n M o n t r e a l and one i n T o r o n t o .  s e n t him h i s papers  and t i c k e t t o come h e r e .  M o n t r e a l h i s b r o t h e r d i d n o t meet him. communication.  When A l b e r t a r r i v e d i n  There had been a f o u l up i n  However, he had h i s b r o t h e r ' s address and s o he took a  cab t o h i s p l a c e .  But h i s b r o t h e r had l e f t  w i t h a f r i e n d f o r a few days and then l e f t other brother.  f o r Winnipeg'  He s t a y e d  f o r Toronto t o be w i t h h i s  He l i v e d w i t h h i s b r o t h e r and f a m i l y f o r two or t h r e e  months and then " r e n t e d a room and g o t a l i t t l e a week which was j u s t enough t o get a l o n g . asked.  One o f them  D i d you f i n d i t y o u r s e l f ?  j o b " making $7 o r $8  How: d i d you get the job? I  " I t ' s a l i t t l e s t o r y by i t s e l f " ,  said  Albert:  x  My b r o t h e r was m a r r i e d t o the s i s t e r o f the s o n - i n - l a w of one of the b i g g e s t c l o t h i n g manufacturers i n T o r o n t o , Tip Top. When I was a t the o f f i c e o f the s o n - i n - l a w t h e r e was a b r o t h e r t o my s i s t e r - i n - l a w by t h e name of H a r r y T a t e who came up t o see me. My b r o t h e r asked him: Do y o u know whether Cohen can take him up? Harry Tate s a i d : Cohen has no more f a c t o r y . He i s out of i t and Dunkelman took over the.whole t h i n g , the T i p Top. But Cohen's b r o t h e r has another f a c t o r y t h a t i s doing c o n t r a c t i n g . I ' l l t a l k t o him. Maybe h e ' l l g i v e him a j o b .  172 So he spoke t o t h i s o t h e r f e l l o w w h o j s a i d I s h o u l d come up and see him on such and such a day, he has a job f o r  me.  And t h i s i s the way I got my f i r s t j o b . I went up t h e r e , but t h e r e was l i t t l e work a t t h a t time i n c o n t r a c t i n g and I d i d n ' t get the job which I s h o u l d have g o t t e n . He gave me what I l e a r n e d l a t e r on was a g i r l ' s j o b . Not t h a t a man couldn'tt do i t b u t because i t d i d n ' t pay enough they u s u a l l y took i n g i r l s f o r t h a t j o b . They gave me a job on s p e c i a l machines b u t they o n l y gave me $7 a week which was v e r y l i t t l e even i n those days when the d o l l a r was a d o l l a r and a penny counted. I t was job  an understood  and accepted f a c t t h a t a man^must f i n d  i n order t o s u p p o r t h i m s e l f i f he i s alone or support h i s f a m i l y ,  whether i t be b r o t h e r s , s i s t e r s , f a t h e r , mother, or w i f e and F o r the female immigrant Some who task.  came t r i e d  to f i n d work and found they were h o p e l e s s a t the  Others were young g i r l s who  s h o u l d have remained Still  o p p o r t u n i t y of g o i n g to s c h o o l , whether day plunged  to  i n t o working  i n school but  others never had  or n i g h t , b u t found  c h i l d r e n sometimes managed to f i n d  take care of t h e i r c h i l d r e n w h i l s t they went out to work;  they took i n roomers and boarders no guarantee  themselves Those  someone or e l s e  to augment the meagre s a l a r y .  of steady income.  were u s u a l l y i n s i m i l a r s t r a i t s out of the house.  the  a l l day i n a f a c t o r y and a l l n i g h t a t home.  came w i t h husbands and  the l a t t e r was  children.  the l i n e s were n o t always so w e l l d e f i n e d .  were f o r c e d to go out and earn a l i v i n g .  who  a  These roomers and  However, boarders  and i f out of w o r k w e r e seldom thrown  So one ended up not only g e t t i n g l e s s money each week  b u t h a v i n g an e x t r a mouth t o f e e d as w e l l . Bluma Kogan's f a t h e r came to Toronto i n 1909 in  the p r o v i n c e of D a v i d o r n i a .  f a t h e r had in  The  f a m i l y was  v e r y poor and s i n c e the  cousins h e r e he made a p p l i c a t i o n t o emigrate  Toronto got t o g e t h e r the money f o r him  from P r o s k o l a ,  to come.  t o Canada.  Friends  A f t e r he had been  here a few y e a r s he s e n t f o r t h r e e of the s i x c h i l d r e n .  Bluma s a i d :  S y l v i a K l e i n ' s f a m i l y , (showing her husband, the pocket-maker and o l d e s t daughter M o l l y ) ; G r a n d f a t h e r i s i n the back. Courtesy:  C l a i r e K l e i n Osipov, f r o n t c e n t r e  Photographic reproduction:  Joshua Berson  My s i s t e r ' D o r a , my b r o t h e r M o r r i s and myself came here f i r s t . I began to work, my b r o t h e r began t o work, and my s i s t e r Dora was too young to work. Anyhow we chipped t o g e t h e r t h i n g s . We took a l i t t l e p i e c e of very d i r t y quarters to l i v e . And I worked t h e r e day and n i g h t a f t e r work t o make i t l i v a b l e . I c o l l e c t e d horse manure from the s t r e e t s and bought some l i m e and made a p a s t e and plugged up h o l e s i n the home. I t was r a i n i n g i n t o the rooms, I plugged those h o l e s up. A f t e r that 1 bought some paper and papered. A n d . i t looked a l i t t l e bit brighter. In .the f i r s t room was a g r e a t b i g o l d s t o v e . I t was d i r t y and n o t working. Somehow we got r i d of i t and bought a s m a l l e r one. I remember there was a c l o s e t behind where the s t o v e was. I t was v e r y , v e r y f i l t h y , f u l l of cockroaches, and r a t s and was v e r y , very bad. And my f a t h e r and myself worked t h e r e . We plugged up a l l the h o l e s , papered i t and put l i g h t and' i t became b r i g h t and c l e a n . When people came i n they d i d n ' t recognize i t . The f r o n t room was l a r g e w i t h a t a b l e t o eat and a s t o v e t o h e a t and a s i n k w i t h water. I t was o f f the s t r e e t , a couple of s t e p s and a door to come i n . We. d i d n ' t have a bathroom. The bathroom was someplace .outside. 1  Bluma Kogan worked a l l h e r l i f e On  i n the f a c t o r i e s of  the o t h e r hand S y l v i a G r a f s t e i n K l e i n came from O f t r a v s k e , Poland i n  1921.  She was  only 16 y e a r s o l d .  Her  c o u s i n , w i t h whom she  lived for  a s h o r t p e r i o d , s a i d to h e r : " S i l v i g you haven't got a t r a d e . you  Toronto.  going  to do?" S y l v i a s a i d she was  So h e r c o u s i n took h e r  prepared  to go out and  to a p l a c e where they made p u r s e s .  What are l o o k f o r work.  Sylvia  said:  So I s t a r t making p u r s e s . .... I s p o i l t them. The man s a i d to me: "What d i d you do i n Europe?" "Well" I s a i d , " I d i d n ' t do. I l i v e d w i t h my grandparents." So he s a i d to me: "You come back some o t h e r day." And  t h a t was  S y l v i a K l e i n ' s s h o r t - l i v e d e f f o r t at h o l d i n g a job.  got m a r r i e d soon a f t e r to a pocket-maker who industry f o r forty years.  S y l v i a never went out to work,  f i v e c h i l d r e n on one man's meagre income. of  worked i n the needle  An extravagance  She  She trade  raised  on the p a r t  h e r f i a n c e i n the form of a diamond engagement r i n g , k e p t  the f a m i l y  175 i n food many a time. still  Her c h i l d r e n r e c a l l today how the r i n g , which she  t r e a s u r e s , went i n and out of the pawnshop every  time t h e i r f a t h e r  was out of work or on s t r i k e . Hyam L i e b o v i t c h was a c a b i n e t maker i n Romania and when he came to M o n t r e a l he looked f o r work i n the same t r a d e . found  Through a f r i e n d he  a man who needed a good c a r p e n t e r to b u i l d a s t o r e on S t . C a t h e r i n e  S t r e e t West.  He worked t h e r e a couple of weeks b u t 'nobody got p a i d ' ,  said Liebovitch.  "He went bankrupt and they c l o s e d up the p l a c e w i t h my  t o o l s and e v e r y t h i n g . Liebovitch  Can't touch n o t h i n g and you get no money e i t h e r . " said:  I went over to the guy. I c o u l d n ' t t a l k i n f a c t no English. I spoke a couple of words. I t o l d him i t s my t o o l s . I have no money. I have to make a l i v i n g . I cannot l e a v e my t o o l s and they owe me money a l s o . I went away. A f t e r t h r e e weeks I was a b l e to take my t o o l s out b u t I c o u l d n ' t get any money from the guy.  ->  So I f i g u r e I w i l l see what I can do a g a i n . I went to l o o k f o r a j o b . A month, two months, f o u r months go by and s t i l l no j o b . So I went - t h e r e ' s a show a t S t . C a t h e r i n e s and S t . Lawrence, the Midway I t h i n k they c a l l i t . I t used to c o s t 15c to go and see a show. I went i n t h e r e and met some boys and we made f r i e n d s and one s a i d to me: "I'm looking, f o r a j o b , he's l o o k i n g f o r a j o b and you a r e l o o k i n g f o r a j o b . I f we c o u l d f i n d some j o b s ! Where c o u l d we f i n d some jobs!" W e l l he heard o f t h i s j o b where they a r e l o o k i n g f o r young boys to c a r r y advertisements around to the houses. I said: L e t ' s go down. We c o u l d l o s e n o t h i n g ! We went down t h e r e and we took the j o b . We d i d n ' t ask what the p r i c e was and they d i d n ' t t e l l us what they gonna pay. We a r e working f o r two weeks c a r r y i n g around the a d v e r t i s e ments: s t e p s up, s t e p s down, and nu, I don't have a c o a t , no j a c k e t , j u s t a u n i f o r m j a c k e t and here i t was c o l d w i n t e r t i m e and f r e e z i n g . What d i d I do? I had a b i g h a n d e r c h i e f , a r e d h a n d k e r c h i e f and I covered my< mouth, my f a c e . The h a t I p u l l e d down over my e a r s . And we went down to c a r r y the a d v e r t i s e m e n t s . We f i n i s h e d two weeks. I was w a i t i n g f o r the two weeks a l r e a d y so we c o u l d get some money. I come to the end of the two weeks and they g i v e me $1.35. I l o o k them over and I s a i d : "What i s t h i s ? C h a r i t y ? I worked two weeks!" "That's  the p r i c e .  You l i k e i t ,  keep i t .  I f n o t , go."  That's what the man s a i d to me. I take the $1.35 and I throw them r i g h t back i n the f a c e . I was not s c a r e d . I go away from t h e r e and I say to the boys: "What are we going to do? We were working two weeks and we cannot .... he does, n o t want to g i v e us more than $1.35 pay a person f o r two weeks." I s a i d I am not going to collect. I'm going to knock h i s t e e t h out. I ' l l go back and I don't g i v e a damn what i s going to be!" The o t h e r boys were l i k e Canadians because they had been here a l o n g time a l r e a d y . So they s a i d : "Don't s t a r t i t . You c o u l d get a r r e s t e d . And who i s going to take you out? You are going to be i n t r o u b l e . " So I went back to the man and I s a i d : "Look" and I g i v e a hammer w i t h the hand on the desk. I s a i d : "Are you g o i n g to pay me or n o t , once and f o r a l l ? " He saw t h a t I was mad. He went and took $2 and throw me i n the f a c e . So I.took the two d o l l a r s and I went away. I went away. I come home. I n e a r l y c r y . I have to keep up my s i s t e r and myself and I was l i v i n g i n an uptown home w i t h a poor f a m i l y . The name was Mrs. Breitman. And she s a i d : "Don't worry. You're a young man. My son i s working. He's a p r e s s e r . He makes a l i v i n g f o r us. W e ' l l g i v e you to e a t . W e ' l l g i v e you a room. W e ' l l keep your s i s t e r and don't worry about i t . Don't worry about i t . " I said: "Look, I cannot you s h o u l d keep me up when I haven't got the money to pay." So what I used to do? I used to get up i n the morning a t s i x o ' c l o c k and go l o o k i n g around f o r a j o b . L i e b o v i t c h went to a piano f a c t o r y and asked f o r a j o b . c o u l d n o t speak E n g l i s h .  There was  an I t a l i a n  worked i n Romania and Bucharest and who  foreman t h e r e who  c o u l d speak Romanian.  t o l d he would be making o n l y one  component o f the p i a n o .  much c h o i c e so he took the j o b .  A f t e r working  pay envelope.  The  f i r s t week's pay was  o n l y $5 i n the envelope.  He  He  He  He  had was  d i d n o t have  two weeks he r e c e i v e d h i s  witheld for security.  He  found  said:  I s t a r t e d to s c r a t c h my head. I s a i d : What the h e l l i s going around i n h e r e . They, t o l d me i n Canada they sew a b u t t o n and make f i v e d o l l a r s . I'm a c a b i n e t maker w i t h golden hands. I c a n ' t even make a l i v i n g around h e r e . What am I doing? I t h i n k I w i l l t r y and get out of M o n t r e a l and go to the U n i t e d S t a t e s . He c o u l d not c r o s s the b o r d e r i n t o the U n i t e d S t a t e s . y e a r he was  For a  w i t h o u t work and h i s l a n d l a d y supported him and h i s s i s t e r .  By an a c c i d e n t a l t u r n of events he found h i m s e l f knocking out w a l l s b u i l d i n g windows from which he was c a b i n e t maker who  a b l e to make some money.  p r i d e d h i m s e l f on never u s i n g n a i l s and  He  and  came as  ended up  a  being  a building contractor.  Working  Conditions A t the t u r n of the c e n t u r y  establish a foothold i n little  l o n g e r and had  t h e i r new  and h i r i n g o t h e r s  began as s m a l l e n t e r p r i s e s w i t h These s m a l l  environment.  Some who  to  had been here a  perhaps come w i t h a l i t t l e money made e f f o r t s  towards becoming self-employed  bedroom.  immigrants were s t r i v i n g  two  to work f o r them.  These  o r t h r e e machines i n the k i t c h e n or  ' f a c t o r i e s ' sewed or f i n i s h e d  the cut garments.  The  cut garments were 'bundles' which were p i c k e d up from l a r g e r shops where they had  the space f o r c u t t i n g t a b l e s on which to spread  the c l o t h .  and mark and  chop  A c u t t i n g room r e q u i r e d a l i t t l e more c a p i t a l investment f o r  l o n g t a b l e s , f o r s p r e a d i n g machine, f o r a c u t t i n g k n i f e machine.  In  the  e a r l y p e r i o d of the i n d u s t r y such a shop would employ the a r i s t o c r a t s the t r a d e , so c a l l e d because they had  an important  job to do.  of  A cutter,  i f he knew h i s t r a d e w e l l , c o u l d save the boss a l o t of money by c u t t i n g the garment p r u d e n t l y .  These men  (they were a l l men  wore b l a c k p i n s t r i p e s u i t s , v e s t s and  i n the c u t t i n g room)  a watch fob a c r o s s  their  waists:  hence the name a r i s t o c r a t . From the c u t t i n g room bundles of c u t garments would be p i c k e d by s m a l l c o n t r a c t o r s and  taken home to f i n i s h .  In many cases  this  would i n v o l v e e i t h e r the n u c l e a r f a m i l y or extended f a m i l y , such as f a t h e r , mother, sons and  daughters, or f a t h e r , mother and  brothers, s i s t e r s , cousins. terrible.  Conditions  People worked, ate and  i n these  e i t h e r of  their  c o n t r a c t i n g shops were  s l e p t sometimes i n the same room.  up  Carving:  My Memories o f My Baba  Carver:  Sidney S a r k i n  Photographer:  Joshua Berson  Sidney S a r k i n Photographer:  1980  Joshua Berson  179 They o f t e n worked from e a r l y i n the morning to v e r y l a t e a t n i g h t f i n i s h i n g these garments because  the c o n t r a c t o r o r boss of h i s l i t t l e  f a c t o r y got p a i d by the garment. would he have l e f t  I f he got a d o l l a r per d r e s s how  to pay h i s employees a f t e r h i s overhead?  were members o f one f a m i l y and l i v e d bad.  t o g e t h e r then i t was  much  I f they  not q u i t e so  But when one o f h i s employees had h i m s e l f or a f a m i l y to s u p p o r t ,  as Samuel Nemetz, then the p i t t a n c e r e c e i v e d i n r e l a t i o n to the hours worked was  f a r below s u b s i s t e n c e l e v e l .  Most i n f o r m a n t s t o l d me  s t a y e d away from the c o n t r a c t i n g shops because there. tor  they  i t never p a i d them to work  Owners o f c u t t i n g rooms and manufacturers  used to p l a y one c o n t r a c -  a g a i n s t another and thereby get work done f o r even l e s s money. Members of f a m i l i e s who  were a t home anyways and those  who  c o u l d not l e a v e c h i l d r e n to work o u t s i d e were the ones most v i c t i m i z e d t h i s system o f c o n t r a c t i n g . who  Next came the poor immigrants,  were t o l d they d i d n o t have the n e c e s s a r y  P r o f i l e o f Sidney S a r k i n :  He Became A C u t t e r  On a r r i v a l from the O l d Country, immigrants  case t h e r e was  an a l t e r n a t i v e .  to have an e d u c a t i o n . background,  l i k e Nemetz,  skills.  H i s E a r l y Days & How  to make a home f o r themselves,  by  were f i r s t  to get work, to f i n d a j o b . H i s f a m i l y was  taught  In Sidney's  w e l l - t o - d o and wanted him  However, coming from a s o c i a l i s t and  revolutionary  he f e l t he must "immediately go i n t o the workers' movement,  j o i n a u n i o n and become a p r o l e t a r i a n " .  Members o f h i s f a m i l y i n M o n t r e a l  were owners o f a number of c l o t h i n g f a c t o r i e s and two j o b s were h e l d open for  him and h i s b r o t h e r on a r r i v a l i n 1921.  much thanks and h i s f a m i l y f i n a l l y conceded He  s t a r t e d working  Sidney r e j e c t e d the o f f e r w i t h t h a t he s h o u l d go h i s own  f o r Rubin B r o t h e r s , c o u s i n s o f h i s by  m a r r i a g e , as a sweeper a t $5 a week.  H i s main concern a t the time  was  way.  n o t to be misunderstood by h i s f e l l o w workers:  b e i n g a c o u s i n o f the  boss immediately put him i n a c a t e g o r y a p a r t from them. a r r i v e d from S t . Johns, New  Brunswick, where h i s mother's s i s t e r  and the f a m i l y h a v i n g w e a l t h , he was fashion.  Sidney  A l s o he had  just  lived,  d r e s s e d i n the l a t e s t and b e s t  said:  I t aroused the sentiments o f the workers when I used to go and wash m y s e l f ; t h a t such a n i c e - l o o k i n g f e l l o w , so w e l l - d r e s s e d , i s b e i n g t r e a t e d by h i s c o u s i n i n t h i s manner - as a sweeper! And I was t i c k l e d p i n k because you see t h a t meant I had made c o n t a c t w i t h the workers. The women, the g i r l s , used to watch me going i n t o the washroom and used to hand me a towel to c l e a n myself ... ... That i s how I broke the i c e . They d i d not l o o k upon me  as  the boss' stooge but as one of them. Sidney made the same i m p r e s s i o n on the c u t t e r s , of the n e e d l e t r a d e s .  the a r i s t o c r a t s  In c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the n e e d l e t r a d e s a t t h a t time,  t h e r e were r e g u l a t i o n s p r e v a i l i n g as f a r as the c u t t e r s were concerned. The c o n t r a c t w i t h the c u t t e r s i s p a r t and p a r c e l o f the c o l l e c t i v e agreement.  I t a l l o w e d one a s s i s t a n t  to every ten c u t t e r s .  Everyone  came from the O l d Country, u n l e s s he a l r e a d y p o s s e s s e d a t r a d e , by sweeping was  i n the f a c t o r i e s .  message boy  to the c u t t e r s .  who  started  From c l e a n i n g the f l o o r , . y o u r next p o s i t i o n I f you showed promise and were d e s t i n e d  f o r the c u t t i n g room you moved c l o s e r to the h a n d l i n g o f the s c i s s o r s cutting undercollars. cutter.  Then you became an a s s i s t a n t c u t t e r and f i n a l l y  of n i n e men, Frenchman.  made up o f a s e c t i o n  the m a j o r i t y of whom were Jews, w i t h one Englishman and  one  Amongst the Jewish c u t t e r s t h e r e were two b r o t h e r s named  They had b o t h come back from f i g h t i n g i n the F i r s t World  One b r o t h e r had a p p l i e d a t the outbreak o f the War the a p p l i c a t i o n form he had to f i l l was  a  From sweeper to c u t t e r took a p e r i o d o f f i v e y e a r s . The c u t t i n g room a t Rubin B r o t h e r s was  Barkin.  by  War.  to j o i n the Navy. On  i n h i s r e l i g i o u s denomination.  He  t e r r i b l y d i s a p p o i n t e d to f i n d out t h a t Jews c o u l d not e n l i s t i n the  Canadian Navy. R o y a l Navy!  They c o u l d j o i n , f i g h t and d i e i n the Army but not i n the  I t appears  the man  h i m s e l f a Canadian and i t was was  Sidney's f i r s t  they became c l o s e The  had grown up i n Canada and c o n s i d e r e d  consequently a g r e a t disappointment.  a c q u a i n t a n c e w i t h 'honest-to-goodness  Canadians'  f r i e n d s h i p h e l p e d Sidney a l o n g towards the c u t t e r ' s  a l l o w e d to chop ( c u t ) c l o t h and  he  the u n d e r c o l l a r s o f the garment.  above, the a p p r e n t i c e s h i p p e r i o d was  Sidney's case a c o n c e s s i o n was (If  and  friends.  A f t e r a month o f sweeping, he became p a r t of the c u t t i n g room;  mentioned  This  f i v e years.  table. was  As  However, i n  made and w i t h the consent o f the u n i o n .  you are not l i s t e d , as.'a-cutter w i t h the u n i o n , you cannot a c c e p t a  p o s i t i o n as a cutter),.,  Sidney  said:  D u r i n g the 1910-1920 p e r i o d , the c l o t h i n g i n d u s t r y as a whole was moving s l o w l y i n t o the hands o f the Jewish p e o p l e , not o n l y i n the numbers o f workers employed but a l s o i n ownership. For example, t h e r e was an E n g l i s h f i r m which employed f i f t y c u t t e r s , which was unheard o f , and f i f t y c u t t e r s i n those days produced, t h a t i s , cut. thousands of g ^ t p e H t s per day. They used to p i l e the c l o t h up, some 20 to 30 h i g h , and c u t them w i t h e l e c t r i c c u t t i n g machines. The E n g l i s h a c t u a l l y had the monopoly of the c u t t i n g t r a d e but i t was b e g i n n i n g to s h i f t . There was keen c o m p e t i t i o n from Jewish-owned s m a l l shops which had lower overheads, g r e a t e r p r o d u c t i o n and brought down the p r i c e o f the garment. Thus the l a r g e r f i r m s c o u l d not compete. A l s o Jewish workers t r i e d t h e i r damndest to get. t h e i r sons i n t o the c u t t i n g t r a d e i n s t e a d o f b e i n g o p e r a t o r s . Through begging the b o s s e s , and a l s o because o f the f a c t t h a t they were f a s t e r and more p r o d u c t i v e than the average, i t f i n a l l y came :rV" to a p o i n t where they managed to get one o f t h e i r sons i n t o the c u t t i n g room. Thus i n the p e r i o d between 1921-24 the E n g l i s h were p r a c t i c a l l y c l e a n e d out o f the c u t t i n g rooms. However, i n Toronto  the c u t t i n g t r a d e was  f i r m l y h e l d i n the  hands o f the E n g l i s h and they employed e v e r y means i n t h e i r power to keep out Jewish workers.  As l a t e as when Sidney became a B u s i n e s s Agent  (that  182  i s , , an o f f i c e r of the t r a d e union) i n 1935,.there were only t h r e e Jewish c u t t e r s out of approximately t h r e e hundred. i n the c l o t h i n g f a c t o r y were concerned b o t h i n M o n t r e a l and  P o i n t Of A  As f a r as the o t h e r o p e r a t i o n s  the Jews h e l d the a b s o l u t e m a j o r i t y  Toronto.  Needle  Our knowledge of the p a s t comes to us e i t h e r through who it.  have s u r v i v e d i t or from the w r i t i n g s of, those who  those  have e x p e r i e n c e d  The knowledge I am speaking of i s t h a t of f e e l i n g s , f e a r , p a i n , j o y ,  . t e r r o r - these cannot be found i n a r c h e o l o g i c a l d i g s nor i n h i s t o r y books.  The  chards found i n such p l a c e s are mute i n s o f a r as human  f e e l i n g s are concerned. who  Here i s a s t o r y of a day i n the l i v e s of. those  worked i n a c l o t h i n g f a c t o r y , by Zalmon L i b in':  POINT OF A NEEDLE S t r a n g e l y q u i e t i n the shop today! Not because of s l a c k time. There's the hum and commotion of the wheels of sewing machines; t h e r e ' s the c l a c k i n g of s h e a r s ; t h e r e ' s the w h i s t l i n g and whining of steam. But these are the t u r m o i l of dumb n o i s e s - the unchanging, speech of c o l d i r o n which i s w i t h o u t knowledge,, w i t h o u t f e e l i n g , w i t h o u t u n d e r s t a n d i n g , and which remains i n d i f f e r e n t no matter what happens. But the workers themselves  are q u i e t .  O p e r a t o r s , b a s t e r s , f i n i s h e r s , are s e a t e d at t h e i r work l i k e mutes, s a d l y q u i e t ... ... Abe, the j e s t e r , u t t e r s no quips and t h e r e i s no l a u g h t e r . Sam and Hymie, always a t odds w i t h one another, are n o t w r a n g l i n g today and are no s o u r c e of j o y to anyone; Hanna the f i n i s h e r s , i s not s i n g i n g ; Dave, h e r accompanist, i s n o t humming and ne: ear i s turned toward them. ...... Among the men t h e r e i s no d i s c u s s i o n of the news of the day among the women t h e r e i s no g o s s i p mongering ... Q u i e t - a l l are s e a t e d as i f t r a n s f i x e d a l l seem to be mournful ... On the f a c e s of a l l t h e r e i s the s i g n of s e c r e t s u f f e r i n g , g i v i n g the i m p r e s s i o n  t h a t a l l of them are sorrowing over the death of a dear one and t h a t they are engaged i n sewing shrouds. The cause of t h i s b r e a t h l e s s s i l e n c e i s a cut i n wages - a f r e s h and s t i l l b l e e d i n g wound i n the h e a r t s of the workers, l e f t t h e r e l a s t n i g h t by the foreman, the employer's d u l l and r u s t e d k n i f e  ...  And no one speaks, no one l a u g h s , no one j e s t s , and no one s i n g s Everyone i s p r e o c c u p i e d w i t h t h i s f r e s h wound. Everyone i s e m b i t t e r e d , i r r i t a t e d , everyone alone w i t h h i s p a i n . There i s q u i e t i n the shop. D o l b i n , one of the o p e r a t o r s , i s steeped i n h i s work b u t h i s thoughts are f i g u r i n g the e x t e n t of his l o s s and keep on measuring the c o s t , i n blood-money, which the decreased pay envelope w i l l r e v e a l ... i t w i l l be q u i t e a sum ... he i s h u r t and d e e p l y vexed. ... On top of t h i s , D o l b i n has another worry; he has drawn a bad l o t , a pack of sorrows, and he cannot e x t r i c a t e h i m s e l f - h i s bundle of work c o n s i s t s of such cheap, h a r d c l o t h . Once he has d r i v e n the n e e d l e i n , he must l a b o u r and sweat t o draw i t out a g a i n . The p a t t e r n , t o o , i s d i f f i c u l t and from time to time he must r i p open what he has sewn w i t h such o u t l a y of e f f o r t and b l o o d . ....... D o l b i n t e a r s ' h i s h a i r s , b i t e s h i s l i p t i l l he draws b l o o d . ... H i s h e a r t grows f a i n t w i t h dismay and p a i n . Other workers who had drawn t h e i r bundles of c l o t h a t the same time D o l b i n d i d , are through and many, i n f a c t , are f i n i s h i n g t h e i r second bundles ... He, D o l b i n , i s s t i l l l a b o u r i n g over the f i r s t l o t ... he f e e l s t h a t h i s limbs are growing numb. He i s as p a l e as a c o r p s e . . . h i s limbs are t r e m b l i n g from suppressed rage and h u r t . F i n a l l y he f i n i s h e s the work, wipes the sweat from h i s f a c e , and, w i t h a c u r s e , c a r r i e s the completed work downstairs to the o f f i c e . Abe, the j e s t e r , suddenly d i s c o v e r s t h a t the p o i n t of h i s n e e d l e has broken. He has no o t h e r n e e d l e ;  to run out to buy one w i l l be a l o s s of time. He knows t h a t D o l b i n has s e v e r a l needles i n the drawer of h i s machine. But he a l s o knows t h a t D o l b i n i s as mad as the d e v i l and he w i l l , under no c i r c u m s t a n c e s , l e n d or even s e l l a n e e d l e . Abe walks over to D o l b i n ' s machine and t r i e s to f i n d a needle. The drawer i s l o c k e d . Abe h i t s on an i d e a : he removes the n e e d l e from D o l b i n ' s machihe?and i n s e r t s i n i t s p l a c e the n e e d l e he has taken from h i s own machine. f  The Abe  "hands" i n the shop s m i l e f a i n t l y  as  resumes h i s work.  D o l b i n r e t u r n s , b r i n g i n g back the same bundle of work .... H i s p a l e f a c e i s s p o t t e d w i t h f l u s h e s , h i s eyes f l a s h w i t h t e r r i f y i n g l i g h t .  red  Everyone knows what has happened ... No one dares to ask a q u e s t i o n ... A sudden s h i v e r runs over Abe's body. D o l b i n h u r l e d the bundle b e s i d e h i s machine, f l u n g h i m s e l f i n t o h i s c h a i r , dug h i s hands i n t o h i s h a i r and s a t , b e w i l d e r e d , b e a t e n as by an overpowering blow. "Do  them o v e r ? " someone asked.  D o l b i n remained "The  silent.  whole damned b u s i n e s s ? " someone e l s e wanted  to know.  run w i t h  D o l b i n s a i d n o t h i n g but h i s eyes were suddenly tears.  over-  D o l b i n p i c k s up a garment ... h i s hands are t r e m b l i n g .... he examines h i s work and s i g h s - s i g h s so s t r a n g e l y t h a t i t seems as i f the p l a c e from which the s i g h escaped was a r e n t i n h i s h e a r t . In s i l e n c e he puts the garment i n p l a c e under the n e e d l e .  broken  The wheel turned - there was needle.  w i l d and  "What's t h i s ? Who t e r r i f y i n g glance  a screech  d i d i t ? " And around him.  from  the  Dolbin cast a  Abraham turned p a l e . "You, Abe?" "You have a few o t h e r s . . . I ' l l pay you . . . " A p a i r of l a r g e s t e e l shears flew s t r a i g h t a t Abe w i t h t e r r i f i c f o r c e "... A shout of t e r r o r breaks from a l l the workers. The s h e a r s p i e r c e Abe's s h o u l d e r , p i e r c e deep i n t o the f l e s h and remain t h e r e b l o o d flows ... Abe's head f a l l s forward ... t h e r e i s an o u t c r y and w i l d commotion. D o l b i n stands up, a t e r r i f y i n g  figure.  "Serves you r i g h t .. don't grab ..." he says and h i s body shakes as i f from c o l d and he s m i l e s w i t h a frozen, d i a b o l i c smile. Suddenly the boss r a n i n . A p p a r e n t l y some one had informed him about what had taken p l a c e because he had no sooner come i n than he was s h r i e k i n g :  the  " A l l because of a n e e d l e ! Murdurers, c u t - t h r o a t s , whole gang of you s h o u l d be sent t o S i n g - S i n g " ( T r a n s l a t e d by Henry Goodman,1961:138-141)  One a f t e r another. jumping  o f my i n f o r m a n t s went through l i f e meeting one m i s f o r t u n e Greenberg i s t h e man whose mother d i e d i n E a s t e r n  o f f the r o o f .  She needed m e d i c a l a t t e n t i o n and thought, poor  woman, she c o u l d g e t i t t h i s way. found I t h a r d t r y i n g t o g e t a j o b . did  When Greenberg came to M o n t r e a l he • When he d i d f i n d something i t u s u a l l y  n o t work out o r d i d n o t l a s t t o o l o n g .  months t o f i n d something e l s e . contracting  Europe  I t took him t h r e e or f o u r  He s t a r t e d by working i n d i f f e r e n t  shops. " T e l l me about the c o n t r a c t i n g shops, Mr.Greenberg"  I said.  186  He  told  me:  The c o n t r a c t i n g shop was no good because I worked i n a c o n t r a c t i n g shop and they used me f o r $2.50 a week. I used to work hard,you know. I was young. I was worth more than t h a t much b u t t h a t i s a l l they p a i d me. What c o u l d I do? I worked f o r O l i v e r and Sons. I worked a l l week. I used to go i n a t seven i n the morning and work t i l l e l e v e n , twelve at n i g h t . At t h a t time I made about $5 o r $6 a week. But he d i d n ' t want to pay me. He had a b r o t h e r always used to f i g h t around. Sometimes he used t o take t h r e e weeks u n t i l I got a d o l l a r from him. He d i d n ' t want to pay me at a l l . But I c o u l d n ' t h e l p m y s e l f . A t l e a s t the d o l l a r or two that he gave me was something. You want me t o e x p l a i n t h i s to you? T h i s O l i v e r had a shop, b u t he d i d n ' t pay the workers. You see the c o n t r a c t i n g b u s i n e s s was no good. He wanted t o keep the money h i m s e l f . The bundles we used to work on he got from the f a c t o r i e s and we used t o work on them f o r him. There were about a dozen people working f o r t h i s O l i v e r . And i t was a shop not i n h i s house. The t h i n g i s , you see, when i t came to pay day, he s a y s he h a s n ' t got the money. So you ask how can we eat? How can we e a t ? There was a man, he was a v e t e r a n a l s o who worked f o r him. He was a head o p e r a t o r . He was a b i g s h o t and he worked f o r him and when i t came t o pay he says to the b o s s : 'Pay me what's coming to me'. The boss s a y s : 'I haven't got no money'. The o p e r a t o r says: 'You are t a k i n g money from the m a n u f a c t u r e r s , why don't you g i v e me f o r a l i v i n g ? I don't get out o f the shop u n t i l you pay me'. The boss says : 'I haven't got!' So one of h i s b r o t h e r s wanted to go f i g h t w i t h the o p e r a t o r . But the o p e r a t o r s a y s , 'I'm n o t a f r a i d . I f you f i g h t ! w i t h me, eye f o r eye, and i f you don't pay I ' l l knock the whole t h i n g out!' 1  So O l i v e r p a i d him b u t the o t h e r s who were weak he d i d n ' t pay. What c o u l d yau do? T got $2, $3, sometimes; and sometimes n o t h i n g . What c o u l d I do and I worked t i l l e l e v e n ;o'clock at n i g h t . Greenberg moved around f o r a y e a r unable to f i n d a s t e a d y job  or one which would pay him l i v i n g wages.  H i s b r o t h e r - i n - l a w took  him up to S. Rubin Co. and f o r l e s s than minimum wages, anywhere from $3 to  $5 a week, he worked as a replacement f o r p e o p l e away s i c k or w i t h  an o v e r l o a d of work. and  Sometimes, because  'gave him a chance' he was  n i g h t and make a l i t t l e up t o $35  the foreman was  By the time Greenberg worked h i m s e l f  a week he got s i c k and d i s c o v e r e d he had  bone i n h i s l e g which s u b s e q u e n t l y had out of work f o r a y e a r and a h a l f .  He was  How  was  with~a  family  But s a i d Greenberg  i h some way  That -they were s i t t i n g a testimoney of the  So o f t e n people would say:  enough food to e a t . of my  r e l a t i v e s who  a r t and immigrants How  Or,  managed".  few decades i n Canada.  1 guess I was  I guess  How  there  Did luck  l u c k y , we  had  lucky t o l e a v e Poland because a l l  never came over d i e d t h e r e . became p a s t masters  I was  No  fact.  D i d people succumb, go under, d i e of s t a r v a t i o n ? play a part?  "we  'somehow we managed''--they s a i d .  d i d they cope?  about i t was  A g a i n he  to be the key word f o r a l l immigrants  matter what c o n d i t i o n s were l i k e ,  t e l l i n g me  m a r r i e d by now  i n the Old Country or the f i r s t  d i d they manage?  t u b e r c u l o s i s of the  t o be amputated.  and h a v i n g to pay r e n t a t $16 per month.  whether i t was  man  a b l e t o work u n t i l e l e v e n and twelve a t  overtime.  'Managing' appears  a nice  at i t .  "Managing" became an  How  d i d they do i t ?  d i d you f e e d a f a m i l y on $3 a week? In the e a r l y decades of the 20th century b r e a d was  a loaf.  " I t was  cheap" I was  b r e a d a t f i v e cents a l o a f .  told. "My  Even then no one bought  f a t h e r used  five  cents  fresh  to go downtown and buy  a  b i g bag of b r e a d , day o l d b r e a d , f o r which he p a i d f i f t e e n c e n t s , twenty  cents.  We  used  to have i t f o r a week or s o .  the s t o v e and cover i t up", s a i d J e n n i e L i t v a k . got f o r f r e e .  A whole box  Used to put i t i n  Some p a r t s of meat  of tomatoes would c o s t t h i r t y  cents and a sack of p o t a t o e s even l e s s than  that.  or  one  thirty-five  Abe  & Sylvia Klein Courtesy:  (approximate date  Claire Klein  Photographic reproduction:  1945)  Osipov Joshua  Berson  You  Remember The P o v e r t y :  "You daughter  The Woman's World  remember the p o v e r t y " , s a i d M o l l y K l e i n Goldman,  of a t a i l o r , "but you r e a l l y d i d n ' t know you were i n i t because  everybody  e l s e t h a t you l i v e d w i t h had The woman's w o r l d .  How  the same problem".  d i d they look at t h e i r world?  How  did  they r e c o n c i l e t h e i r l i v e s w i t h the New  World, the new  The  o l d e r ones managed.  content to look a f t e r home,  An o l d e r woman was  cook f o r c h i l d r e n and b o a r d e r s , wash and sew.  She may  never have needed  to  l e a r n E n g l i s h because she never e n t e r e d the work w o r l d .  in  the languages  and  she knew was  the young g i r l s  to d e a l w i t h who  Worldheld  thing!  f o r so many of them.  u n b e l i e v a b l e sums of money f o r v e r y l i t t l e work! e d u c a t i o n , o f an e a s i e r l i f e , the s e r v i c e s of the dreaded for  them.  were a l l Jewish.  (and boys) came w i t h g r e a t e x p e c t a t i o n s :  they were never going t o need or want another n o t what the New  Communication  m a i n t a i n e d between h e r s e l f , f a m i l y , f r i e n d s  the few shop owners she had But  hardships?  However, t h i s i s  They d i d not get p a i d T h e i r dreams of an  of f a l l i n g i n love i n s t e a d of  employing  shadchan, m a r r i a g e - b r o k e r , were n o t i n s t o r e  They found comfort l a t e r i n t h e i r l i v e s when they  some of t h e i r dreams and y e a r n i n g s t o t h e i r c h i l d r e n . they came to Canada a l l was  not r o s y and  But a t the  thoughts?  How  w i t h the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s of t h e i r l i v e s and s u r r o u n d i n g s ?  came and had  thirteen.  to go out to work?  She  said:  time  comfortable.  What were t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s and  came t o M o n t r e a l when she was  transferred  What was  d i d they cope Jennie Litvak  i t l i k e when=-she f i r s t  190  Now I remember being very miserable and crying every single day eflwork because f i r s t of a l l I was very lonely. I was new here. I was very sensitive. I wanted an education but I couldn't go to school formally, only at night. We were very poor. I used to go out at night and buy bread from the day before which I don't mind eating now but in those days i f you bought some rolls you paid a penny a r o l l . And you bought a herring - i t was very cheap you know. I used to go to bed hungry many,many times. We used to buy bananas. Our meals consisted of things l i k e that - bananas and kraft cheese, and bread and rolls from the day before which you got for next to nothing. Those days bread was five cents so you got a bread from the day before for two cents, three cents, you see. Those were horrible times. 1 s t i l l remember we used to go to bed hungry. Even my brother Harry who came after me and alone - we didn't a l l come together because father couldn't possibly bring over a family of five people a l l at once. So my brother Harry came next and he recalls going out to pick up some food for the next day late at night. They went to bed hungry and got up the next morning and went to work for ten hours with perhaps a half hour off for lunch. Breakfast usually consisted of coffee and bread and butter, probably black bread. For lunch a banana with bread and butter and cheese.  "When I was making  $4 a week I used to get a nickel everyday" said Jennie.  She got a nickel  from the family coffers where everyone's earnings went.  "And what would  you buy with the nickel?" I asked.  So she said:  Well a couple of biscuits, or even a bag of french fries. That was part of the meal because the sandwich I brought from home. So the chips helped. My friend's sister lived near where we worked and we used to go there for lunch sometimes. They had a l i t t l e store where they served food. We would go upstairs to their small kitchen and finish our meal. We had the privilege of getting a drink. Those were good days. After a day's work dinner might consist of a soup made on the weekend with a piece of meat. Or sometimes a stew.  Chicken was only on very  191  s p e c i a l occasions.  Most of the time i t was h e r r i n g , tomato or an egg.  Sometimes i f you had a r e l a t i v e who was b e t t e r o f f than y o u r s e l f , you were i n v i t e d t o d i n n e r Jennie.  and "we c o u l d have more of a decent meal" s a i d  On weekends, J e n n i e  and h e r f a t h e r v i s i t e d  lantsman, the  Goldenbergs, "and there we would get n i c e f o o d , my f a t h e r and I , because they had a w h o l e s a l e g r o c e r y nice sardines".  so there was no problem of a n i c e meal or  Every weekend J e n n i e  used t o take h e r i r o n i n g  there,  have a good h o t b a t h and sometimes Mrs. Goldenberg would even sew h e r some c l o t h e s ;  and f o r these p r i v i l e g e s , as she c a l l s them, "those  were good days" and the f a m i l y 'managed'. F a t h e r was the boss and was very allowed to p u t on make-up and l i p s t i c k . w i t h had t o have f a t h e r ' s  strict.  G i r l s were n o t  The young men they  associated  approval.  Everyone's e a r n i n g s went i n t o the common p o t .  Groceries  were bought on c r e d i t and a c a r e f u l l i s t was made b o t h by the grocer and the woman of the house.  A t the end o f t h e week when husband and c h i l d r e n  brought home the pay check, then the g r o c e r ,  the b u t c h e r , e t c . were  p a i d o f f . Sometimes these merchants had t o w a i t more than a week t o get p a i d .  Jennie  Litvak said:  My mother was n e v e r a b l e t o buy any g r o c e r i e s f o r cash. She used t o buy and mark e v e r y t h i n g down and at the end of the week when my f a t h e r got the pay and I brought home the few d o l l a r s then we f i g u r e d out how much we can pay t h i s week. And many times my mother needed an e x t r a d o l l a r , f o r l e t us s a y , f o r us t o buy something, or something e x t r a t h a t she wanted - w e l l she would add on a d o l l a r t o the whole f i g u r e so t h a t my f a t h e r wouldn't even know. She had t o do i t t o get the e x t r a d o l l a r . And the man i n the g r o c e r y cooperated. I t was the corner g r o c e r y . She needed t h a t and that went on f o r q u i t e a few y e a r s .  P r e s s i n g room a t the T. Eaton Company, Toronto Source:  Harney & T r o p e r 1975:76  Jewish t a i l o r s making Eaton-brand Source:  1904  Harney & T r o p e r  clothing, 1975:77  1912  How Goldman was married.  did a l i t t l e g i r l  remember the  times?  Molly  Klein  b o r n i n T o r o n t o where b o t h h e r immigrant p a r e n t s met  She  and  said:  You remember the p o v e r t y b u t you r e a l l y d i d n ' t know you were i n i t because everybody e l s e t h a t you l i v e d w i t h had the same problem. I know I d i d n ' t see v e r y much of my f a t h e r because he was always - i f he wasn't w o r k i n g , he was on s t r i k e ; i f he wasn't s t r i k i n g he was p i c k e t i n g f o r b e t t e r working and l i v i n g c o n d i t i o n s . And f r a n k l y s p e a k i n g whenever I meet p e o p l e today who are a l i t t l e b i t ashamed of t h e i r background, I'm not ashamed to say that I am v e r y proud of the f a c t t h a t my f a t h e r took a s t a n d . At l e a s t he d i d something. "At r a i s e d on  l e a s t he  the pay  when he was  of a simple pocket-maker who  ready to r e t i r e and  garment i n d u s t r y . said Molly.  "Politics  When h e r  the f a m i l y what was you  d i d something" s a i d M o l l y ,  and  enjoy l i f e  one  of f i v e  d i e d of cancer j u s t  a f t e r f o r t y years i n  the human s i t u a t i o n was  always  g o i n g on,  Bluma Kogan who  they never r e a l l y said  absorbed i t a l l .  the day  s i c k pay,  What was  tell "When  s t a r t e d working i n l a d i e s ' j a c k e t s i n 1913-14 then went to  i t l i k e working i n a c l o t h i n g f a c t o r y ?  d i v i d e d up?  time to see  present"  Molly.  worked from e i g h t i n the morning to s i x i n the e v e n i n g and  was  the  f a t h e r came home from work and would t r y to  are young i t ' s another s t o r y ! "  night school.  children  Did  How  the workers have a c o f f e e b r e a k , lunch  the d e n t i s t ?  Bluma s a i d :  I was doing l a d i e s ' j a c k e t s - s u i t s , not s k i r t s b u t the j a c k e t s . I d i d the l i n i n g , s l e e v e s , p o c k e t s , and I was doing p r e t t y good work. I remember we were - i t was a l a r g e f a c t o r y - about 150 p e o p l e : o p e r a t o r s , c u t t e r s , finishers.,, b u t t o n sewers, pressers.. We a l l belonged to the u n i o n . ( A f t e r s e v e r a l weeks of working there the c h a i r l a d y of my s e c t i o n s a i d : Bluma, you have to b e l o n g to the union.) I got up i n the morning and made my b r e a k f a s t and b r e a k f a s t f o r the f a m i l y . I'm the o l d e s t . So I  hour,  suppose I got up about 7 o ' c l o c k because at 8 o ' c l o c k I had t o be t h e r e . ' I had t o take the s t r e e t car and go t h e r e . Maybe I even got up b e f o r e 7 o ' c l o c k . And my f a t h e r was p r e p a r i n g lunch f o r us. I d i d n ' t come home f o r l u n c h , i t was too f a r to go and a l s o i t meant p a y i n g c a r f a r e . I took my l u n c h , i t was a sandwich and I ate i t a t the f a c t o r y . At 6 o ' c l o c k I came back and h e l p e d along my Dad w i t h the meal and washed the dishes. I a l s o washed the c l o t h e s and i r o n e d and mended socks, and e v e r y t h i n g e l s e . And  some n i g h t s I went to s c h o o l .  As f a r as the working c o n d i t i o n s and b e i n g happy a l l I can say i s t h a t I made a l i v i n g and t h a t f a c t o r y was l a r g e . I t was a b i g p l a c e w i t h many s e c t i o n s and i t was a f a i r l y good b u i l d i n g . A f t e r t h a t I got r o t t e n b u i l d i n g s and sweat shops but t h i s f i r s t one was i n f a i r l y good c o n d i t i o n . Women who  went out to work s u f f e r e d more.  have to cope w i t h a house and of  o n l y d i d they  f a m i l y but h o l d down a j o b as w e l l .  these areas were demanding.  the f a c t o r y .  Not  From 7 a.m.  In the r e s t of the time l e f t  to 6 p.m.  All  she belonged  to the day  to  "she managed" to  do a l l the o t h e r c h o r e s , as w e l l as s o c i a l i z e .  She woke up e a r l y to  cook and f e e d her husband and c h i l d r e n and  them o f f to s c h o o l and  work w i t h food i n t h e i r stomachs and to work and for  food i n t h e i r l u n c h bags.  i n c o l d , d i r t y , demeaning surroundings  Canadian p e o p l e .  worked i n .  send  She  a little bit?" repeated "You  Bluma Kogan t o l d me  on Spadina Avenue.  she asked.  " I know Spadina",  know Spadina'.  "Do  she  you know Toronto  I said.  She  laughed  EVERYBODY knows Spadina Avenue!  European c o u n t r i e s know Spadina  ran  she c r e a t e d c l o t h e s  about the sweat shop  s a i d i t was  She  and  All  Avenue."  The photograph shows how  crowded the f a c t o r i e s were:  men  and women p r a c t i c a l l y r u b b i n g s h o u l d e r s and b r e a t h i n g i n t o each o t h e r s ' faces.  I t was  c o l d i n the w i n t e r and w i t h no windows open the a i r was  not only f e t i d but d i f f i c u l t  to b r e a t h e because of the dust  from  machines, from the movement o f thousands of p i e c e s of c l o t h , from fact  t h a t f a c t o r y f l o o r s were seldom swept and washed down.  the  Where would  they put a l l the p i l e s of m a t e r i a l , c u t , u n f i n i s h e d , w a i t i n g to be sewn o r moved?  Some on t a b l e s , some on the f l o o r , some on hangers by  operator.  S a r k i n s a i d t h a t l u n g d i s e a s e was  workers f o r t h i s r e a s o n .  each  r i f e amongst f u r and  garment  A l s o , Gershman s a i d :  ... t h e r e was overcrowding and u n s a n i t a r y c o n d i t i o n s i n the needle t r a d e s . ... The f a c t o r y where I worked i n Winnipeg p a i d v e r y low wages. I t was v e r y d i r t y k i n d of work, you know, d r e s s i n g and d y e i n g f u r s ; i t ' s raw f u r . You get i n raw h i d e s , of d i f f e r e n t k i n d s of a n i m a l s , p a r t i c u l a r l y skunk. You see, skunk i s a v e r y , v e r y f i n e f u r . I t i s l i k e s a b l e . When you p r o c e s s . . i t and produce i t n i c e l y , you can dye the w h i t e s t r i p e s to the s i m i l a r b l a c k n e s s of the r e s t of i t and i t then becomes v e r y v a l u a b l e f u r . . But i t s t i n k s t e r r i b l y . I t i s skunk! I t comes w i t h f a t and so you have to p r o c e s s it; then the dyeing of i t . You are always d i r t y . There was i n such a p l a c e . a new  no r e c o u r s e f o r the worker except  But t h i s meant l e a r n i n g to handle another  f a b r i c and when j o b s were d i f f i c u l t  the y e a r s p r e c e e d i n g the c r i s i s , as i t was out and  to q u i t working operation with  to come by, p a r t i c u l a r l y d u r i n g c a l l e d , of 1929,  took your chances i n s o f a r as your h e a l t h was  you s t u c k i t  concerned.  B e r t h a Guberman spent the b e t t e r p a r t of her l i f e i n the needle  t r a d e s , e i t h e r as a worker i n a f a c t o r y , an e x e c u t i v e member of the  u n i o n , o r a member o f a p o l i t i c a l p a r t y which r e q u i r e d her to t r a v e l t o p a r t s o f the w o r l d . In 1950 had  She  s t a r t e d to work i n 1924  and worked u n t i l  she went back i n t o the i n d u s t r y and worked u n t i l 1972.  to go back because i t r e q u i r e d two pay envelopes  She  to r a i s e a f a m i l y .  "... a f l y c o u l d not s u r v i v e u n l e s s a worker's w i f e and c h i l d r e n too, a t p i t i f u l l y  lower wages" (Brandes  to g i v e her s u r v i v i n g daughter  1976:6).  1939.  B e r t h a was  the e d u c a t i o n she had missed.  laboured  determined I asked  her  about c o n d i t i o n s i n the f a c t o r i e s .  She s a i d :  As f a r as c o n d i t i o n s i n the n e e d l e t r a d e s were concerned they were bad The s a n i t a r y c o n d i t i o n s a t the time when I f i r s t s t a r t e d working were a w f u l . You'd f i n d one t o i l e t f o r men and women i n any o f the shops. The shops were m o s t l y l o c a t e d i n d i l a p i d a t e d b u i l d i n g s which were f i r e t r a p s , and sometimes the t o i l e t was on another f l o o r . F o r example, i n one shop I worked i n , I worked on the 4th f l o o r and the t o i l e t was on the 3 r d f l o o r ; so i t s e r v e d two f l o o r s o f shops and when you came to the t o i l e t you had to b r i n g your own t o i l e t paper and soap. W e l l , I know I always had a c o n t a i n e r o f soap and a towel.. I would say t h a t on an average some 30 to 40 p e o p l e would use one t o i l e t and i f you went to the bathroom t h e r e was no time f o r s t a l l i n g , you know. In one p l a c e I worked the employer would s t a n d and watch to see how l o n g you go to the washroom. And he'd ask: " D i d you smake i n t h e r e ? " W e l l most o f the people when we had a c o f f e e break would r u n to the t o i l e t . And the same a t l u n c h break. And i n emergencies you went d u r i n g working hours - b u t o n l y i f i t was an emergency because you would be stopped. By the time o f my l a s t j o b i n the i n d u s t r y t h e r e were two s e p a r a t e t o i l e t s and washbasins but s t i l l everyone would r u n a g a i n a t c o f f e e break and l u n c h hour. I f c o n d i t i o n s i n the shops were bad f o r men they were worse . f o r women.  Some of my i n f o r m a n t s t o l d me about wearing c r o s s e s around  t h e i r necks p r e t e n d i n g to be F r e n c h g i r l s amenable to h i r i n g  them.  so t h a t the boss would be more  Jewish g i r l s were c o n s i d e r e d i n some i n s t a n c e s  to be r a b b l e r o u s e r s and t r o u b l e makers and t h e r e f o r e were o f t e n r e f u s e d employment.  I n some cases where t h e r e was a u n i o n the g i r l s had r e c o u r s e .  However, i n most i n s t a n c e s the shops were not o r g a n i z e d . for  Women worked  f a r l e s s pay than men even though they d i d the same work.  young g i r l s were the prey of foremen and b o s s e s . used to i n t i m i d a t e them.  B e r t h a Guberman  Further,  V a r i o u s t a c t i c s were  said:  ... once f o r i n s t a n c e a woman went i n t o the washroom and i t took h e r a l i t t l e l o n g e r to do h e r d u t i e s . The employer went by and he saw t h a t the l i g h t s were on. So he c l o s e d the l i g h t s on h e r and she got s c a r e d and  197  Jewish f a m i l y i n t h e i r backyard i n the Ward, Toronto 1913 Source:  Harney & T r o p e r 1975:37  she f a i n t e d . They had to c a l l the ambulance. This i s a true story. I t impressed everybody i n the shop and they were up i n arms. He never t r i e d i t a g a i n . He never dared to c l o s e the lights even when he saw the l i g h t on. How  d i d a young s i x t e e n o r seventeen y e a r o l d g i r l  i n the garment f a c t o r i e s , working  ten and twelve hours a day,  survive coming  home i n the dark and going to work i n the darkviduring the w i n t e r months? These immigrants e i t h e r walked  d i d not have p r i v a t e c a r s i n which to t r a v e l .  They  to save the c a r f a r e or took the s t r e e t c a r i f i t was  too  f a r t o walk. ... The g i r l s ... you see most of us d i d n ' t know the language and the g i r l s would s t i c k to each o t h e r , not o n l y be workmates but be chums out o f the shop. L i k e a f t e r work we would go out f o r supper and take i n a movie. Or i f a g i r l happened to be g e t t i n g m a r r i e d we'd c h i p i n and make a shower or take her out. The atmosphere was much f r i e n d l i e r than the p r e s e n t . You f e l t a k i n s h i p to each o t h e r which I t h i n k i s l a c k i n g now. I f somebody missed a day's work, you'd r i g h t away phone up and f i n d out what happened: why she d i d n ' t come i n , o r go and v i s i t h e r . But now I doubt i f t h i s happens. (Bertha Guberman) How  d i d the young m a r r i e d woman cope w i t h her work i n the  f a c t o r y and her household  chores?  How  d i d she r a i s e a f a m i l y and y e t  spend e i g h t to ten hours a day a t the machines? came to Canada w i t h h e r husband and young son. both a c c r e d i t e d p h a r m a c i s t s i n the Old Country.  P a u l i n e Chudnovsky She and her husband were Pauline said:  and when we a r r i v e d i n M o n t r e a l we l o o k e d f o r jobs. But the law i s when you emigrate from one c o u n t r y to another you have to go to s c h o o l a g a i n i n o r d e r to be a b l e to possess the language o f t h i s c o u n t r y o t h e r w i s e you can't get a job h e r e . So i n the meanwhile time wasn't s t a n d i n g s t i l l and i n two y e a r s I gave b i r t h to my Hymie. My husband was l o o k i n g f o r j o b s and he found one i n a c l e a n i n g  and dyeing f a c t o r y where they d i d n ' t h i r e v e r y many Jewish people but they needed a chemist. I t was a French-Canadian f a c t o r y . He was f i r e d from t h i s shop and I went out to f i n d a j o b . I knew a woman who was the f o r e l a d y i n a f a c t o r y and I went t h e r e and they h i r e d me. A t t h a t time t h e r e were f i n i s h e r s , o p e r a t o r s ... I knew how to sew because I made a l l the c l o t h e s f o r my c h i l d r e n , l i t t l e s h i r t s and t h i n g s . They p a i d me what was c o n s i d e r e d a t t h a t time a v e r y good wage. I was p a i d not by the hour but by the week. A week was s i x days, the seventh was Shabbes (Saturday). I got $28 a week, i t was c o n s i d r e d good and I worked from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. My husband d i d n ' t work a l l the time. He had a bad h e a r t and s u f f e r e d from angina. When he d i d work he made good wages. A t t h a t time a person w i t h t h r e e c h i l d r e n g e t t i n g $45 a week, i t was c o n s i d e r e d a l o t of money.  What were c o n d i t i o n s l i k e a t home w i t h a husband who on and o f f the job and who How  was  f u r t h e r handicapped by h a v i n g a bad  d i d P a u l i n e Chudnovsky take care of t h r e e young sons who  E n g l i s h s c h o o l , Jewish  s c h o o l , and worked a l i t t l e  and her husband David were w e l l educated s e v e r a l languages,  Yet  went to  a f t e r school?  p e o p l e , both chemists,  Pauline knowing  f i g h t i n g f o r b e t t e r working c o n d i t i o n s through  they were the poor r e l a t i v e s ,  and the  the b l a c k sheep of the f a m i l y  "because the o t h e r s they were a l l w e l l - t o - d o " s a i d P a u l i n e , "so we in  heart?  i n v o l v e d i n the s t r u g g l e s of t h e i r f e l l o w workers  f r i e n d s , b e l o n g i n g and unions.  was  lived  a b i g house on C o l o n i a l Avenue which i s c o n s i d e r e d a v e r y poor  d i s t r i c t because the r e n t was  low".  enough because the f a m i l y was  once e v i c t e d f o r overdue r e n t :  belongings  The  r e n t c o u l d not have been  thrown out o f the house on to the  a l l their  street!  y e s , we r e n t e d out. I remember my r e n t e d out t h r e e rooms. I had one g i r l , one a m a r r i e d man f o r board and room. I cooked I d i d e v e r y t h i n g . I c l e a n e d f o r them and I  low  boarders; boy, and f o r them. a l s o went  to work. I brought my mother-in-law from the Old Country. We sent h e r h e r papers. We a c t u a l l y brought h e r here to be p a r t of the time i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s a t my husband's b r o t h e r ; b u t she l i k e d me b e t t e r and she d e c i d e d she wanted to s t a y w i t h me. So we had f o u r bedrooms f o r my mother-in-law, the three b o a r d e r s , the t h r e e c h i l d r e n ; and my husband and myself we used to s l e e p on the f l o o r ... the c o n d i t i o n s were h o r r i b l e ! I asked P a u l i n e to t e l l me a f t e r boarders,  took  the same time?  The  how  she went to work, looked  care of a s i c k husband and conveniences  the three c h i l d r e n a t  a v a i l a b l e to the housewife today were  c e r t a i n l y n o t i n v e n t e d or a v a i l a b l e to the immigrant i n the 1920s.  She  said: My r o u t i n e was l i k e t h i s . I got up v e r y e a r l y i n the morning b u t I had a l i t t l e b i t of l o v e : the c h i l d r e n got to r e a l i z e the s i t u a t i o n and c o u l d see what was going on. So Ben went t o work i n a j e w e l r y store. He was very:'young then. He was maybe 12 y e a r s old. And Hymie s t a r t e d to s e l l papers. And Sam. went to l e a r n a trade i n G e n e r a l E l e c t r i c . He d i d n ' t make very much b u t we wanted him to understand the t r a d e . So i t was easy. When Ben used to come from the j e w e l r y s t o r e on F r i d a y he used to h o l d out h i s wages l i k e t h i s i n h i s hand and say "Here Mama, f o r you". P a u l i n e Chudnovsky's husband d i e d many y e a r s her f a m i l y of three boys.  When I i n t e r v i e w e d h e r she had  ago.  e l s e to l i v e .  raised  just recently  moved i n t o B a y c r e s t T e r r a c e , an apartment f o r S e n i o r C i t i z e n s . n o t very happy.  She  She  was  She knew she would n o t move from t h e r e to go anywhere She  d i d n o t know why  f a c t o r y , as a young woman, she  she  thought  f e l t so weak now;  b u t i n the  ...  ... why can't I be a l i t t l e b i t s i c k l i k e other people? Stay away. But I was so s t r o n g , i t - ' d i d n ' t matter how much I worked and what I d i d . I used to p a i n t c e r t a i n rooms i n my house. S t i l l i t d i d n ' t do to me a n y t h i n g . I was s t r o n g .  201  ... So my husband h e l p e d me out i n the house. The d o c t o r put him away, s a i d he c o u l d n j t go t o the c l e a n i n g and dyeing f a c t o r y because o f h i s a n g i n a . And then he s a i d coronary. And we were f r i g h t e n e d . So he s t a y e d home. He d i d a l i t t l e b i t and when I used to come from work he used t o c r y because I had t o s u p p o r t the f a m i l y . ... ... But i n one r e s p e c t we were v e r y f o r t u n a t e . We were t e r r i b l y i n l o v e . We were so much i n l o v e - I don't know maybe, Cathy, I am mistaken b u t I don't see the l o v e t o d a y . . . . . . . ... today technology i s developed, people understand more, they l e a r n more, they a r e educated, b u t i n t h a t time i t was a d i f f e r e n t time. I t i s l i k e to be dead. Sometimes I t h i n k maybe I was dead and I came o u t to a new w o r l d because e v e r y t h i n g i s d i f f e r e n t . Women worked i n the u n i o n , were union members, went out on s t r i k e s and s u f f e r e d when they l o s t won a s t r i k e . of  When i t came t o t a l k i n g about  j o y somehow they minimized  the s e l f t o the event. of  t h e i r jobs and r e j o i c e d when they t h e i r s t r u g g l e s and moments  the r o l e they p l a y e d , s u b o r d i n a t i n g  In the cause o f b r e v i t y I w i l l  only two women i n s u p p o r t o f t h i s argument:  c i t e the e x p e r i e n c e s  Bluma Kogan and P a u l i n e  Chudnovsky. Bluma and P a u l i n e are f r i e n d s and they both r e s i d e a t Baycrest Terrace i n Toronto.  I t a l k e d to b o t h of them i n Bluma's room.  I was p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t e r e s t e d i n f i n d i n g out what c o n d i t i o n s were in  theneedle t r a d e and p l e a d i n g i g n o r a n c e I asked  about  them.  Bluma Kogan:  them to t e l l  like  me  P a r t of the c o n v e r s a t i o n went as f o l l o w s :  Now you want to know about the sweat shops. I worked on Spadina Avenue i n an e l e v a t o r b u i l d i n g , v e r y d i r t y , u n p a i n t e d and we had to go up t o the shop where t h e r e was no ... w e l l , t h e r e was a washroom i n the h a l l , b u t there was no c l o s e t f o r c l o t h e s . And i t was v e r y cramped,  v e r y cramped and sweat shop c o n d i t i o n s . I worked there f o r C three y e a r s and t h a t i s the way i t was. A l o t of p e o p l e worked t h e r e . We were about twenty. I worked on d r e s s e s as an o p e r a t o r . There were c u t t e r s ; the boss was a l s o a c u t t e r . There was a p r e s s e r or two. There were a few f i n i s h e r s . And we were about twenty o p e r a t o r s or so; twenty machines on one s i d e and the other s i d e : y e s , i n one room, a l l i n one room. 1  A t t h a t time we worked about e i g h t h o u r s , maybe seven and a'..half hours;:: the union reduced i t a l i t t l e b i t . The pay there was much b e t t e r and much more than a t the b e g i n n i n g . What was my pay? T h i s was p i e c e work. You got a d o l l a r , a d o l l a r - f i f t y , a d o l l a r - q u a r t e r , or a d o l l a r and a n i c k e l f o r to operate a d r e s s . There were bundles of s i x , bundles of t e n , bundles of so many ... so they were c e r t a i n we were r u n n i n g the machines, b u r r r r - r r , burr-rr! Were you i n the d r e s s trade Paula? P a u l i n e Chudnovsky: No. I was i n s h i r t s . S h i r t s i s s e c t i o n work. We don't make a s h i r t . You make a c u f f s , s l e e v e s , or the c o l l a r s or the yoke. You don't make a s h i r t , Cathy. I make s l e e v e s . I used to s i t and work on s l e e v e s . You want t o know why they c a l l e d those f a c t o r i e s sweat shops? Because of the f a c t t h a t twenty to t h i r t y p e o p l e were working i n one room. T h i s i s a sweat shop. Around out on s t r i k e . place.  1914-1915 Bluma Kogan and h e r f e l l o w workers went  The foreman of the f a c t o r y wanted to r e - o r g a n i z e the  He d i d n o t l i k e the u n i o n .  So he spoke t o the two owners of  the shop and suggested t h a t he take over the e x e c u t i v e p a r t of the m a n u f a c t u r i n g of the l a d i e s ' s u i t s . a way hire it  He would r e - o r g a n i z e i t i n such  t h a t the young people would n o t be needed. the same workers  and stepped i n .  on h i s terms", s a i d Bluma.  "He  j u s t wanted to  The union d i d not  I t e x p l a i n e d the s i t u a t i o n t o the workers.  The  m a j o r i t y of the workers were on the s i d e of the union and v o t e d t o go out on s t r i k e .  They were on s t r i k e f o r s i x or seven long months:  like  I t was a t e r r i b l e s t r u g g l e at that time i n T o r o n t o . Everybody remembers that c l o t h i n g f a c t o r y . Everybody knows about that s t r i k e that l a s t e d so l o n g . In 1916 we l o s t the s t r i k e . A l l of us got s i c k . I got v e r y sick. We had c o l d s . I d i d n ' t have shoes. We d i d n ' t have s t r i k e b e n e f i t s a t the time. I t was poor. We l o s t the s t r i k e and they l o s t the b u s i n e s s . Because i t was a long s t r u g g l e , a l o n g b i g s t r u g g l e and t h e r e was l a b o u r t r o u b l e and union t r o u b l e . I didn't understand v e r y much a t t h a t time b u t I went w i t h the m a j o r i t y , w i t h the workers and w i t h the u n i o n . I didn't go w i t h the foreman. Even though I d i d n ' t understand i t v e r y much because I was young b u t my f e e l i n g was w i t h the working c l a s s , w i t h the workers. W e l l , O.K. we l o s t and we c o u l d n ' t get o t h e r j o b s . Some got j o b s i n a bakery, some i n a shoe f a c t o r y and some went away from Toronto. I went to New York f o r a time. But the bosses a l s o l o s t ! Because i n the s t r u g g l e somebody went and poured a c i d on the goods, on the garments and so a l o t of m a t e r i a l got s p o i l e d . I t was burned and s p o i l e d . They c o u l d not meet t h e i r o r d e r s f o r a l o n g time. They had to send the o r d e r t o M o n t r e a l or Winnipeg or wherever. They c o u l d n ' t make i t because' a l l the goods were burned. So they had to get out of the b u s i n e s s . We l o s t our s t r i k e and they l o s t too. How do you l i v e ? There was no unemployment i n s u r a n c e i n those days. No s t r i k e pay. I had no shoes. The bakers were on s t r i k e and I'm a union member. The d a i r y was on strike. I t was bad. I t was bad. How do you l i v e ? You l i v e from hand to mouth. You don't eat t h r e e good meals a day. You don't have shoes. You go w i t h shoes t h a t s c r a p e d the pavement. I d i d n ' t b e l o n g to any p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n . My job was j u s t w i t h the u n i o n . I d i d n ' t have any p a r t i c u l a r position. I was j u s t a member. I p a i d my dues i n every month. During the long s t r i k e mentioned cases.  F o r i n s t a n c e , t h e r e was  and he managed about  above t h e r e were many c o u r t  a foreman who  twelve g i r l s .  worked on f i n i s h i n g  When the shop went out on  he became a scab and d i d the work the g i r l s were supposed doing.  There was  strike  to have been  a p r e s s e r i n the shop, and t h i s foreman,Neveren  h i s name, took away h i s j o b :  skirts  was  So one morning, one Monday morning, the p r e s s e r came up to the shop on N i a g a r a S t r e e t and saw Neveren i r o n i n g and p r e s s i n g and the press i r o n s at t h a t time were w i t h c o a l s , l i v e c o a l s . So he took t h i s i r o n from Neveren and gave him a w a l l o p over the head and that guy f e l l . He got b u r n t and he got h u r t . The ambulance came and took him to the h o s p i t a l . I t h i n k he was there f o r -. about f o u r months. He was near death. We d i d n ' t want him to die. No. He r e c o v e r e d a l r i g h t . But t h a t was a b i g c o u r t case a f t e r t h a t . We had, I t h i n k , d u r i n g t h a t s t r i k e , we c o u r t cases, s a i d Bluma Kogan. S t r i k e s were a long and and  the b o s s e s .  remaining out  The  majority  stuck  had  c o s t l y b u s i n e s s both f o r the workers t o t h e i r p r i n c i p l e s of e i t h e r  on s t r i k e or l o o k i n g f o r work elsewhere.  back t o work.  The  g i r l s who  d i d were c o n s i d e r e d  the g i r l s i n Kogan's shop o r g a n i z e d  fifty-two  Others went  strike-breakers.  a ' s t r a t e g i c business'  as  So  follows:  i  ... everyone of us, twenty or t h i r t y , h a d a p l a c e on a c o r n e r . There was a g i r l who l i v e d on K e n s i n g t o n Avenue or E l i z a b e t h S t r e e t - i t was a l o n g s t r e t c h to the shop on N i a g a r a S t r e e t and B a t h u r s t . So we were two at every corner and each one of us gave a s i g n t h a t she i s coming. The one n e a r e s t to where she was at the time gave us a s i g n . And t h i s r i g h t up t o the end where she had to t u r n f o r the shop. We a t t a c k e d h e r ! We a t t a c k e d h e r p h y s i c a l l y . We h i t her. We said:' "You scab! You s t r i k e - b r e a k e r ! You take away the bread from our mouths. Go home and s t r i k e w i t h us!" She  turned  Pauline just for lipstick:  around and went home.  Chudnovsky s a i d t h a t the French g i r l s used to work "as  long as the boss gave them f o r l i p s t i c k  powder they s a i d i t ' s enough f o r them".  I t was  and  d i f f i c u l t making young  French g i r l s understand the p r i n c i p l e s i n v o l v e d i n s t r i k i n g  and  s t a y i n g out.  to e x p l a i n  to these g i r l s  But  Chudnovsky s a i d , her  the s i t u a t i o n by  telling  f e l l o w workers t r i e d them:  "Do  you  understand what  you are doing to people? The  You a r e t a k i n g away the b r e a d , e v e r y t h i n g .  c h i l d r e n a r e going naked and b a r e f o o t . "  got beaten up too by the women workers. girls  Some of the French  girls  "But they made them i n t o union  afterwards", s a i d Pauline.  The Role 6f The Union:  O r g a n i z i n g The Unorganized  B e f o r e I b e g i n t o d i s c u s s the n e e d l e t r a d e s union and the r o l e p l a y e d by i t s members I would l i k e  t o say that t h i s s e c t i o n i n no way  claims t o be an e x h a u s t i v e study o f the garment i n d u s t r y . to show the involvement o f n e e d l e workers i n the union;  I t ' s purpose i s how they  the union which i n t u r n h e l p e d shape t h e i r thoughts and l i v e s .  shaped  The people  are those people which i n f o r m t h i s s t u d y , and events a r e those events i n which they were i n v o l v e d . experience of others.  T h i s does n o t i n any way d i m i n i s h the e x p e r i e n c e or  affect i t s authenticity. these immigrants  These events may n o t have been p a r t of ' the  A l s o i n o r d e r t o understand  the r o l e p l a y e d by  i n the c l o t h i n g u n i o n the r e a d e r s h o u l d b e a r i n mind the  t r a d i t i o n s , the p h i l o s o p h i c a l l e a n i n g s , the v e r y reason why they l e f t homelands i n the f i r s t p l a c e : b e t t e r l i v i n g and working  their  t h e i r c o n s t a n t s e a r c h f o r and f i g h t f o r  conditions.  were n o t i n v o l v e d i n ' p o l i t i e s ' .  So many of them s a i d  By ' p o l i t i c s '  c a r r y i n g member of a r e c o g n i z e d p o l i t i c a l p a r t y .  to me t h a t  they  they meant b e i n g a c a r d Y e t the a c t i o n s of a l l  the people I spoke t o can be subsumed under the heading o f ' p o l i t i c a l a c t i o n ' because  i t concerned i t s e l f w i t h b r i n g i n g about changes i n the  l i v e s of thousands  of people n o t o n l y i n t h e i r own unions b u t a l s o those of  other i n d u s t r i e s as w e l l .  The m a j o r i t y o f these immigrants  came from  E a s t e r n Europe c o g n i z a n t o f p o l i t i c a l goings-on and whether they were p e r s o n a l l y a c t i v e o r n o t they were v e r y much aware of the b r o a d e r of p o l i t i c a l events i n Europe.  canvas  206  The s t r u g g l e s and achievements r e c o r d e d i n t h i s were n o t e x c l u s i v e l y  section  the s t r u g g l e s and achievements of the Jewish p e o p l e .  Other e t h n i c groups fought and s t r u g g l e d as w e l l :  the French-Canadians  (who were r e f e r r e d t o as the F r e n c h ) , the I t a l i a n s , U k r a i n i a n s and F i n n s to  mention a few. In  of  1920^21 when S a r k i n j o i n e d the Amalgamated C l o t h i n g Workers  America i t was  of May was  known as a s o c i a l i s t - i n c l i n e d  organization.  c e l e b r a t e d as a working c l a s s h o l i d a y .  a special call  to the workers  t o s t o p work on May  The  First  The u n i o n used to i s s u e Day  and demonstrate.  They  used to o r g a n i z e a parade and march from the union h e a d q u a r t e r s i n M o n t r e a l down to the Champ de Marche, a g r e a t b i g square and t h e r e the union l e a d e r s addressed the workers. P r i o r to 1900  anyone who  belonged to the c l o t h i n g workers' u n i o n  belonged t o the U n i t e d Garment Workers of America which was the  American F e d e r a t i o n of Labour.  Workers Union was  formed.  In 1914,  I n 1900  "in  the I n t e r n a t i o n a l L a d i e s ' Garment  a r e v o l t w i t h i n i t s ranks and  the Amalgamated C l o t h i n g Workers of America was  c o n s c i o u s , m i l i t a n t c l a s s s t r u g g l e a g a i n s t t h e i r own  (Note:  A.C.W.A. men's c l o t h i n g workers;  born  e x p l o i t i n g bosses,  and the b u r e a u c r a t s of the U n i t e d Garment Workers (AFL) ..." 23).  with  a t the c o n v e n t i o n of the U n i t e d Garment  Workers i n N a s h v i l l e , Tennessee, there was following a s p l i t  affiliated  (Schappes  1950:  I.L.G.W.U. women's c l o t h i n g  workers). Jimmy Blugerman  r e c a l l s t h e events of 1914 when he  i n v o l v e d i n the s p l i t i n the U n i t e d Garment Workers' Union. working f o r T. Eatons f o r a y e a r and a h a l f  was  He had been  to two y e a r s b u t l e f t  there  to work f o r p r i v a t e shops which were u n i o n i z e d and which t h e r e f o r e p a i d more money.  These shops had been o r g a n i z e d by the U n i t e d Garment Workers  which was  an a f f i l i a t e  of the American F e d e r a t i o n of Labour.  In the u n i o n  207  shops a p r e s s e r , which he was, opposed t o $9 a t T. Eatons.  c o u l d e a s i l y get $15 t o $18 a week as  Blugerman s a i d :  I t was i n 1914 when we, the n e e d l e workers, the men's t a i l o r s , members o f the l o c a l s o f the U n i t e d Garment Workers o f America were i n v o l v e d i n s.a s p l i t t h a t took p l a c e i n the n a t i o n a l unions o f the U.G.W.A. I t happened i n New York, Chicago, e t c . a l l on account o f the 1914 Convention o f the U.G.W.A. which took p l a c e i n N a s h v i l l e , Tennessee way f a r i n the South. The d e l e g a t e s , the Jewish d e l e g a t e s from Chicago, New York, e t c . were r e f u s e d the r i g h t to s i t as d e l e g a t e s at the Convention under the p r e t e x t t h a t t h e i r l o c a l s have not p a i d up the f u l l p e r c a p i t a tax t o the General O f f i c e . But t h i s was o n l y a t e c h n i c a l excuse by the l e a d e r s o f the G e n e r a l O f f i c e from the P r e s i d e n t down, the job h o l d e r s o f the U n i t e d Garment Workers' Union, t o exclude about t h i r t y t o f o r t y d e l e g a t e s , mostly Jewish d e l e g a t e s o f the c u t t e r s ' l o c a l s and the t a i l o r s ' l o c a l s o f Chicago, New York, e t c . because they were p r o g r e s s i v e . You see what I mean? These l o c a l s were more p r o g r e s s i v e i n p r e v e n t i n g c o l l a b o r a t i o n w i t h the manufacturers and demanding s h o r t e r hours and b e t t e r pay. And so when the d e l e g a t e s were d i s c r i m i n a t e d a g a i n s t a t t h a t Convention they had a conference i n a h o t e l i n the same c i t y and'decided t o form a d u a l u n i o n , an independent d u a l u n i o n and they c a l l e d a c o n v e n t i o n and they c a l l e d i t the Amalgamated C l o t h i n g Workers o f America. They were r e f u s e d a f f i l i a t i o n by the American F e d e r a t i o n o f Labour. The A.F.L. would g i v e a f f i l i a t i o n t o o n l y one and so they backed the b u r e a u c r a t s o f the U n i t e d Garment Workers and t h e r e f o r e campaigned a g a i n s t the d u a l union as an i l l e g a l , so t o speak, i l l e g i t i m a t e u n i o n . Now we i n T o r o n t o , we had q u i t e a s p r i n k l i n g i n T o r o n t o and M o n t r e a l , we had a s p r i n k l i n g o f immigrants t h a t had brought w i t h them the t r a d i t i o n o f r e v o l u t i o n a r y s p i r i t of c l a s s consciousness from 1908 on t o 1914. We then were the l e a d e r s i n Toronto and M o n t r e a l t o oppose the bureauc r a t s o f the UGWA and form u n i o n s , a f f i l i a t e d u n i o n s , w i t h the Amalgamated C l o t h i n g Workers. We managed t o take over shops l i k e T i p Top, W.O.Johnsons and o t h e r s . Of c o u r s e , i t n e c e s s i t a t e d s t r i k e s here and t h e r e . We had a h a r d s t r u g g l e w i t h the manufacturers who were opposing the d u a l union because they sensed t h a t t h i s union r e p r e s e n t e d a more p r o g r e s s i v e rank and f i l e u n i o n . And s o we managed through s t r i k e s and n e g o t i a t i o n s t o o r g a n i z e the most important shops i n the mens' c l o t h i n g l  208  i n d u s t r y i n the c i t y of Toronto and followed i n Montreal.  this  was  In 1919 the f i r s t b i g Convention of the Amalgamated C l o t h i n g Workers of America took p l a c e i n B a l t i m o r e , and Toronto was s t r o n g l y r e p r e s e n t e d by m y s e l f and a h a l f dozen o t h e r d e l e g a t e s r e p r e s e n t i n g a l r e a d y hundreds and hundreds of members of the Amalgamated e s t a b l i s h ed unions and union shops. I t was there t h a t the f i r s t g e n e r a l o f f i c e r s and g e n e r a l e x e c u t i v e was e s t a b l i s h e d and from then on the Amalgamated C l o t h i n g Workers began t o f l o u r i s h through campaigns and s t r i k e s to become a s t r o n g union and overtake the U n i t e d Garment Workers.  In 1916  the M o n t r e a l  organization a f f i l i a t e d with  Amalgamated C l o t h i n g Workers of America. it  c o u l d not  consequently  a f f i l i a t e with with  Being  the  a rebel organization  the U n i t e d Garment Workers of America  and  the American F e d e r a t i o n of Labour.  As mentioned above, the American F e d e r a t i o n extended i t s j u r i s d i c t i o n t o one the American F e d e r a t i o n  of Labour  o r g a n i z a t i o n only i n the t r a d e .  of Labour was  a g a i n s t the p r i n c i p l e s of  r e v o l t and  looked uponj i t s l e a d e r s as arch r e v o l u t i o n a r i e s who  attempting  to d i s t u r b the e q u i l i b r i u m and p h i l o s o p h y  which p r e v a i l e d at the  Also the were  of Gompersism  time.*  * Gompersism was the p h i l o s o p h y of Samuel Gompers who was l e a d e r of the American F e d e r a t i o n of Labour and v e r y a c t i v e i n U n i t e d States labour. I t was h i s c o n t e n t i o n t h a t i n t h i s new l a n d workers s h o u l d not f i g h t the bosses because the i n t e r e s t s of one was the same as the o t h e r : b o t h workers and bosses can have a p i e c e of the p i e .  In the minutes of the 1918  Convention of Baltimore some  i n t e r e s t i n g facts come to l i g h t about the period 1916 Amalgamated asserted i t s r i g h t to organize  to 1918 when the  the unorganized.  Of p a r t i c u l a r importance to this study i s the fact that f o r the f i r s t time "the Montreal clothing workers were strongly united". This was no easy task because the French Canadians i n the clothing industry had never been organized before.  Whereas a l l other n a t i o n a l i t i e s  were i n the main immigrants, therefore adults, the French Canadians had a large number of young g i r l s , "some of them s t i l l below their and a large number of exceedingly  teens"  young g i r l s who had "the p r i v i l e g e  of leaving school at a tender age and going s t r a i g h t i n t o the factory i n t h e i r home town" (See Proceedings, Amalgamated Clothing Workers' of America 1916-1918:88). The Amalgamated "having convincingly demonstrated the power of their organization to protect themselves  prevailed upon the  employers to deal with the union i n a l l matters concerning working conditions" (ibid:89).  The clothing manufacturers of Montreal,  who  had alone determined wages, hours and working conditions, were not about to r e l i n q u i s h t h e i r hold. union.  In 1916  Montreal joined the Amalgamated  By the end of that year a series of successful s t r i k e s was  brought to a close against various clothing companies. January t h i r t y - f i v e hundred men,  However, i n  women and children went on s t r i k e  against the Semi-Ready Clothing company which had refused to pay wage increases that had been agreed upon. except i n name" (ibid:89).  " I t was  a lockout i n every respect  About f i f t e e n hundred others employed i n  smaller shops remained at work but they.soon went out.  Settlement was  n o t  made  n o t  b e  u n t i l  M a r c h  f o r g o t t e n  T h e  w a s  t h e  r i g h t  r e a l  i s s u e  a c c o r d i n g  o f  t h e  t h e  f e w  a r e  w o r k e r s  o f  my  s a k e  p a r t i c i p a t e d  t o  t o  b r e v i t y  I  e i g h t  i n  t h e  o r g a n i z e  i n f o r m a n t s  o f  w e r e  w e e k s  t h a t  t h e m s e l v e s  p e r s o n a l l y  w i l l  l o o k  a t  w i l l  s t r i k e .  B a l t i m o r e  w e r e  w h i c h  C o n v e n t i o n  f o r  b e t t e r  i n v o l v e d  o n l y  o f  t h e  1918  w o r k i n g  i n  t h i s  e x p e r i e n c e s  p e o p l e .  Why  g i v e n  t h o s e  w h o  b a t t l e .  a  a n d  t h o s e  M a n y  o f  1917  b y  c o n d i t i o n s .  F o r  1 1 ,  as  w a s  i t  n e c e s s a r y  b e  o r g a n i z e d ?  Some  o f  t h e  r e a s o n s  f o l l o w s :  T h e  w o r k  W o r k e r s  Wage  s p a c e  w e r e  c u t s  W o r k  w a s  w e r e  u n s a n i t a r y  a  e x p e d i t e  t i m e .  D u r i n g  l o o k e d  f o r  o f  h o u r s  a  o r  t h e i r  W o r l d  W a r  h a d  T h r o u g h  t h e  a b o u t a n d  a  s i x  t o  e m p l o y e r s  p e r i o d  m a l e  o f  i n f o r m a n t s  e . g .  l a b o u r  e i g h t  s e a s o n  s h o r t  t r a d e s ,  Some  i n f o r m a n t s  w e e k  i n  s i c k  b e n e f i t s .  C a n a d i a n  f o r  t w e n t y - f i v e  s p e a k  o f  w o r k i n g  1 9 1 2 - 1 9 1 6 .  s i c k  J e w i s h  b e n e f i t  O t h e r  m a k e  w o r k  w h e n  s o  m a n u f a c t u r e r s  W o r k e r s  t h e  p e r i o d s ,  h a r d  I t a l i a n s  w o u l d  f o u n d  m u n i t i o n s  t o  a n d  w o r k e r s ,  h a d  n o  w o r k e r s  b u r i a l e . g .  s u c h  s o c i e t i e s F r e n c h  i n s u r a n c e  t o  o n .  n e v e r  t h e  f r o m  o u t  o v e r  o t h e r  d o i n g  V I ) .  a n d  b a c k  M a n u f a c t u r e r s  l a s t i n g  w o r k  i n  own  C h a p t e r  f a l l  t h e  w o r k .  u n e m p l o y m e n t  C a n a d i a n s  e m p l o y e r s  h o u r .  5 2 - 5 4  ( S e e  b y  d r a w i n g  u n e m p l o y e d  w o r k  h o u r s  f o r m e d  o f  R a i l w a y  a n  i m p o s e d  s e a s o n  I n s t e a d  w o u l d  c e n t s  c r o w d e d .  w a g e s .  s e a s o n a l ,  P a c i f i c  a n d  p a i d .  f u r t h e r  l o w  w e e k s .  L o n g  w a s  b a d l y  a l r e a d y  No  t o  p l a n t s  n o w h e r e  u n i o n t h e i r  c u s t o m s ,  t o  t h e t r a d e  s u r e  t h a t  e l s e w h e r e , many  o f  w o r k e r s  e . g .  t h e  s h o p s  w h o  w e r e  a l s o  made  s u r e  t h e s e  go  t o  w o r k e r s b u t  p o l i t i c s  v o i c e  o f  b e  a b o u t  t h e  o n  s t r i k e  t h e  w e r e  F i r s t  o u t  o n  s t o c k h o l d e r s w o r k e r s  t h e i r  c o u l d  a l s o  o u t  d u r i n g  n e w  w e r e  n o t  h i r e d .  g r i e v a n c e s .  e d u c a t e d , t h e  s t r i k e ,  i n  n o t  l a n g u a g e ,  c o u n t r y .  o n l y h i s t o r y  211 In the process of organizing the unorganized many people l o s t t h e i r jobs, got i l l , were forced to work i n non-union shops f o r lower wages;  they were treated l i k e pariahs. But when your family i s  starving and your c h i l d needs medicine, you are not fussy about how earn a wage.  you  They suffered hardships organizing the union and they organized  because they were s u f f e r i n g .  Their strongest weapon was  striking.  No one who l i v e d and worked i n the period under review escaped the shadow of being out on s t r i k e , whether as a s t r i k e r , an employer, the l o c a l grocer, the butcher - everyone was affected by i t .  family,  And i f one  trade was out on s t r i k e i t also affected workers i n another trade because they stuck together by helping i n r e l i e f work, taking food to s t r i k i n g f a m i l i e s , s e t t i n g up soup kitchens f o r those on picket l i n e s , e t c . Today these immigrants r e t e l l the events of some of the b i g s t r i k e s with a sparkle i n their eyes and a tremor i n their voice. f a i l to be moved a l l over again with what took place.  They never  Can we blame them  for their pride i n achieving small v i c t o r i e s painstakingly over long periods?.  I t i s with a certain amount of envy perhaps that we l i s t e n to  their dramatic s t o r i e s .  Are we not the b e n e f i c i a r i e s and recipients  of t h e i r struggles? Whatever the unions may be today i t should be understood that they f u l f i l l e d a v i t a l role i n the l i v e s of these immigrant Jews and no one can take that away from t h e i r eyes and t h e i r voices. Max Y e l l e n came to Montreal i n 1912 when there "... was the walkout of 4,500 garment workers who sought a reduction i n hours and improved working conditions" (Copp 1974:132).  At the age of 13  :  he went i n t o the garment industry even though he did not know anything about the t a i l o r i n g trade.  He came s t r a i g h t out of the yeshiva,  212 H e b r e w  S c h o o l .  He  s a i d :  N a t u r a l l y  a t  t h a t  i m m i g r a n t s . p e d d l e r g o  t o  t h e  l i k e  I  I n  13  g o t  t h a t .  a t  i n  o u r  w e e k  e x c e p t i o n a f t e r  w a s  I n  t o o  w o r k a n d a t  t h e n t h a t  t h e  on  I  w i t h  p l a c e  A t  b e c a m e  s h o p  t h e  a t  t h e  a  o r  y o u a t  e n d  d o l l a r s ,  t h e n  am  o f  t h e  s o m e t h i n g  t h a t  t i m e .  U n i t e d  s t a r t e d  r i g h t  o u t n o t  G a r m e n t  t o  f o r m  l e f t  t o o  M o n t r e a l .  a n d  We  m i s t a k e n ,  t h e  7  o f  a  a . m .  t o  6  i t  was  S a t u r d a y  w i n t e r  w o r k e d  d a y s  w e  h a l f  9  we  w o r k e d a  f e w  g e n t i l e s .  e a c h  d a y , u n t i l  w a s  p . m .  i n  a n d  h a d  t o  2*s  h o u r s  d a y .  h o u r s . *  c l o s e d  T h a t  u n t i l  a t w e r e  m a n u f a c t u r i n g  p . m .  n i g h t .  w a s  t h i n k  5 2 - 5 4  t a i l o r i n g  S a t u r d a y  S h a b b e s  I  i n  e x c e p t i o n  f r o m  t h e  we  w a s  f r o m  On  a n d  S u n d a y  t h i s  i n  w o r k e r s  t h e  o f  i n  T h a t  go  t h e t h a t  b a c k t o  was  t o  3  h o u r s  t h e  w a y  t i m e . *  So  n a t u r a l l y  We  h a d  a  s t r i k e  i n  o f  t h e s e  p e o p l e  w e r e  w e r e  i f  summer B u t  t h e  s h o p s  ( S a b b a t h ) ,  S h a b b e s  u n i o n was  b r o k e  S a t u r d a y s .  l a t e .  a f t e r  t i m e ,  t h e  -  t h r e e  I t  t h e  t i m e  p a y .  n o  f o r  t h a t  a t  n o  t h i n g y o u  w o r k e d  o r  t h e r e  s t r i k e  c o n s i s t e d  o f  o n l y  E i t h e r  u s .  h a n d s  S h a b b e s  w i n t e r . .  a  o f  J e w i s h  T h e n  w o r k e r s  t h a t  w a s  was  f o r m .  o f  I w i t h  h a l f  o n l y .  A n d  m a j o r i t y  So  t h e r e  g a r m e n t  T h e  a  t h e  y o u n g  m o n t h  A n d  t o  t o o  t r a d e .  a  a n d  some  t i m e .  w o r k i n g  o t h e r .  t w o  move  t h e  w a s  n o  was  f o r  u n i o n  t o  t h a t  I  s t a r t i n g  W o r k e r s  i t  was  t a i l o r i n g  o f  w a s  a n d  w h i c h  t h e  a g e  m o n t h  I t  -  t i m e  T h e r e  t h a t  w o r k i n g :  w a s  t h e  1912  $ 3 ,  t i m e  w h i c h  e l d e r l y  $ 4 ,  w h e n l a s t e d  p e o p l e  $ 7 .  $10  v e r y  w e l l .  w a s  t h e  s t r i k e  n i n e a n d  b r o k e  w e e k s .  t h a t  i s  o u t .  M a j o r i t y t h e  t h e  h i g h e s t  p a y  h a d  m e e t i n g s  w a y  t h e y  a t  t h a t  t i m e .  I  r e m e m b e r  C o r o n a t i o n f a r  as  f i r s t  I  M a n y  p e o p l e o u t  *  w o r k s  S t .  o f  $ 1 7 5 . n o t  h a v e  t h e  b r o u g h t  d i d n ' t  k n o w .  t o t o  my 6 0  s i m p l e h o u r s  w a s  v e r y  a n d  m a n u f a c t u r e r s  s e e  w e e k  5 0 - h o u r  c a s h  i n j p e o p l e  T o r o n t o  c a l c u l a t i o n s , a  w o n d e r f u l  F o r t u n a t e l y  a n d  o u t  T h e y  d i f f i c u l t .  T h a t  r e m e m b e r  Y o u  f o r  v e r y  w e e k s .  t h e y  H a d  was  was  d i d  n i n e  i t  I t  We  L a w r e n c e .  s t r i k e  A c c o r d i n g  I  on  a n d  o u t .  w e r e  s t r i k e  c o n c e r n e d .  c o l l e c t i o n  . . .  i t  w a s  s t r i k e  s t a y e d a  t h e H a l l  o r  h a d  We  M o s t  h a d  g o o d  n o  a t  i n  o f f  was  t r y i n g T o r o n t o  f o r  o f  as  w a s  t h e  o u r p e o p l e  b u t  we  made  t i m e . r i n g s .  We  s u m m e r .  f r o m  f o r m e d  I t  m o n e y  t h e i r  t h e  a t t e n d e d  t h a t  w e r e  a l l o w i n g  m o r e !  w e l l  s p e a k e r s .  w e e k .  t o o k i t  w e r e  a  a n  t o  b r e a k  w h i c h  u n i o n  h o u r  a t  f o r  t h e t h e y  t h a t  t i m e .  l u n c h ,  So the people they brought i n to break the strike were union people. Oh yes! And they placed them i n the finest hotel in Montreal. And the next day they were supposed to come to work. Instead of coming to work they came to the strikers i n the old Coronation Hall and we had a good laugh at the bosses. That incident I would like to remember. It was worthwhile mentioning i t . The period of the Twenties was a period of organization. According to Abella, "the industrial work force i n Canada had proliferated rapidly throughout the 1920s and was demanding to be organized" (1973:2).  For workers like Sidney Sarkin, Jimmy Blugerman, Joe Gershman  and others, i t meant the organization and consolidation of the left wing progressive forces i n the trade unions, p o l i t i c a l fields, and the mass fraternal organizations on the cultural front.  It meant the organization  of the unorganized workers, the struggle and movement toward industrial unionism, the struggle and movement toward social and labour legislation, the building of the p o l i t i c a l arm of the working class. Although at the time there was already a developed trade union movement i n Canada, however the basic industries, heavy industries (outside of mining) where the masses of workers were concentrated, were not organized. For example, the textile industry was an open citadel: a citadel of open shops and company unions.  The automobile industry  which had developed by then also was unorganized.  In the needle trades  there was the beginning of the dress industry which by the mid-20s developed into one of the largest industries i n the trade, not only supplying markets i n Canada but also overseas. . became employed i n the needle industry.  Thousands of people  In the East the organized miners  of the Maritimes in Nova Scotia were affiliated with the International  214  M i n e w o r k e r s  was  o f  D i s t r i c t  8 0 .  u n o r g a n i z e d .  m o v e m e n t ,  b a s i s  l e f t  o f  t h e  o f  e x p a n d  b e e n  o f  t r a d e  a l l  a s p e c t s  a d v i s e d  t h e y  t h e  e t c .  on  h a d  T r a d e  w e r e  o f  o f  t h e  a t  p a r t  t h o s e w o r k e d  o f  m a t t e r  s a l a r i e s  W o r k e r s '  o f  t i m e  o f  h e a v y  t h e  w o r k  t h e r e  i n d u s t r i e s  l e f t  t o  a n d  o f  a c t i o n .  w a s  f o r m e d ,  c o n s o l i d a t e  b u t  p l a n s  f o r  u n i o n i s m  e s t a b l i s h m e n t  c o n -  On  a n  a r m  t h e i r  t h e  a g a i n s t  o v e r  w e r e  w i n g  o r g a n i z a t i o n  L e a g u e  a l l  W e s t  t h e  p r o g r a m m e  i n d u s t r i a l  t h e  S a r k i n  w i n g  h i s  d a y s  was  T h e  o n e .  f o r c e s  t i m e  h e  i n  o f  o f  f a c t t h e s e  B l u g e r m a n  d o n e  i n  c l a s s e s ,  t i l l -  b y  a  t r a d e s  m e e t i n g s ,  a l l  e v e r y o n e  w a s  n e e d l e  was  own  c r a f t  w o r k e r s  n u m b e r  i n  w h i c h  c o v e r e d  c o n s u l t e d  i n d u s t r i e s  u n d e r  m a s s  t h e  t h e  a n d  w i t h  a u s p i c e s  m e e t i n g s ,  w h i c h  o f  c a m p a i g n s ,  s a i d :  d e v o t e d n i g h t  r u n n i n g  r e m u n e r a t i o n  t o  i n v o l v e d  o t h e r  l e a d e r s h i p  t i m e s  was  t h e  S a r k i n  m o r n i n g a t  t h e  l e d  was o f  -  o f  i t s  t i m e .  t h e  e a r l y  f r o m  one  m e e t i n g  n e x t  us  a l l t o  t o  h o u r s  n o t h i n g .  c o n t r i b u t e d  t o  As  p a r t  o f  o u r  t h i n g s .  t h e  T o r o n t o  f i r s t  a n d  h e  B u s i n e s s  h e l d  A g e n t  t h a t  o f  t h e  p o s i t i o n  t h e  o r g a n i z a t i o n  5 0 , 0 0 0  was  a l l  L e c t u r e s ,  t h e  He  a t t e n d e d  T h i s  w o r k .  f r o m  U n i o n  u n o r g a n i z e d  p r a c t i c a l l y  m o r n i n g  a n o t h e r .  C l o t h i n g  y e a r s  c o n t a c t .  o f  I n  J i m m y  f i r s t  o f  s a m e  i n  We  a  w a s  t h e  f a c i n g  E d u c a t i o n a l  b a s i s  C o m m i s s i o n .  t h e  t a s k s  i m m e d i a t e  s a m e  whom  t h e  e s t a b l i s h e d  o f  an  I n  o t h e r  r e q u i r e d  t h e  t w o  l e f t  c a m p a i g n s  U n i o n  m a i n  U n i o n  o r g a n i z a t i o n  a n d  a l l  t h e  a n d  2 6 .  ( S a r k i n ) .  u n i o n i s t s  c o - o r d i n a t i o n  a t  f i r s t  D i s t r i c t  I t  f o r  a i m  a n d  o r g a n i z e d  t h e  S a r k i n .  T r a d e  on  t h e  The  w e r e  T h e i r  t h e m  w e r e  s t e e l w o r k e r s  f o r c e s  t h e  u n o r g a n i z e d  I n  t h e  t o  t h e i r  t h i s  T h e y  t h e n  f o r c e s .  u n i o n i s m .  h a d  T h e s e  o f  w i n g  f o r c e s ,  B u t  a c c o r d i n g  s o l i d a t i o n  t h e  A m e r i c a .  A m a l g a m a t e d  u n t i l  1 9 2 9 .  215 B e t w e e n  1920  m o v e m e n t ,  a n d  t h e  A m a l g a m a t e d  t h e  C a p m a k e r s '  o r g a n i z e d  h a d  t h r o u g h  w e e k - w o r k  h a d  a l s o  T h e  a  b r o a d  p h a s e  o f  t h e  o p e r a t i o n s ,  n o t h i n g  t h e r e  w a s  w e r e  a l s o  t h e  p a n t s  c o a t  was  a  t h a n  a  m a k e r s '  v e s t  h i s  E a c h  F r e n c h  g r o u p  b u s i n e s s  b y  w a s  a g e n t  H e r e  t h e  i n  a n y  I t  y o u  e t c .  t o  z i p p e r ,  t h e  F o r  a r o u n d  o r g a n i z e r ,  o f  t o  i t s  a  a  w o r k e r s  o f  t h a t  c u t t e r s '  a  c u t t e r s '  s p e c i f i c  t h e r e f o r e  e a c h  o f  as  a l l .  w i t h  l o c a l ,  a  p a n t s  i f  E a c h  w a s  h e  T h e r e  t o  v e s t  w a s  g r o u p  a b l e  a  h a d  t o  l e s s  m a k e r s ,  m a k e r s '  c o u l d  w e r e  a  t h o u g h  i n v o l v e d  C a n a d i a n  l o c a l ,  t h e  o p e r a t o r s '  c o m p a r e d  v e s t  c u t  g a r m e n t .  The  T h e  t a s k  o n l y  f o u n d .  a  g r o u p  t h e  t h e  t h i s .  w e r e  e v e r y  many  T h e y  o f  t a s k s .  s o  o p e r a t i o n s ,  w a s  F r e n c h  f o r  U n i o n  c o m p a r e  s l a c k s  c o n s t r u c t i o n  h a l f  c o n c e r n e d  t o  d i f f e r e n t  a n d  w e r e  r e s t  a s p e c t s  p a i r  a  C a n a d a .  i n d u s t r i e s  o p e r a t i o n .  o n l y  t h e  a n d  e m b r a c e d  n o t  w e r e  e x a m p l e ,  t h e  c o u l d  w h o  o f  b e e n  W o r k e r s *  t h e r e  t h e  b u l k  a n d  I t  w i t h  many  h a d  U n i o n ,  T o r o n t o .  do  i n v o l v e d  h a d  o r  o t h e r  s o c i a l i s t s  W o r k e r s '  t h e s e  C l o t h i n g  one  u n i o n  S t a t e s  t i m e  u n i o n i s m .  w e r e  m a k i n g  b e c a u s e  l o c a l  f o r m e d  a n d  T h e  T h u s  l o c a l ,  C a n a d i a n  t h e r e  p o c k e t s ,  j o b ,  e s p e c i a l l y  H o w e v e r ,  o p e r a t o r s  i t s e l f .  w e r e  p a n t s .  n o t h i n g  w i t h  o f  e x a m p l e ,  t o  U n i t e d  m o s t  i n d u s t r i a l  c u t t e r s  a n d  d a y ,  A m a l g a m a t e d  F o r  h a d  p r o g r e s s i v e  t h e  I n  i n d u s t r y .  g e n e r a l  c o a t  b i g g e r  l a b o u r  t h e  m a k e r s .  t h i n g  a  w a g e .  o n e s .  t h e  T h e s e ,  i n  s t a n d a r d  on  w h e r e  u n i o n s  s t r u g g l e s  t h e  t r a d e  U n i o n .  w o r k i n g  o f  t h e  G a r m e n t  8 - h o u r  b a s e d  T h e y  a  a n d  i n  I n t e r n a t i o n a l  e s t a b l i s h e d ,  l a r g e s t .  T h e r e  was  o f  t r a d e s ,  F u r r i e r s '  c l o t h i n g  t h e  o f  t h e  s e a m i n g .  w a s  e l s e .  c o n s t r u c t i o n  t h e  t h e  s p e c i f i c  a n d  t h i s  L a d i e s *  b e e n  m e n ' s  c o n t r i b u t i o n  l o c a l  t h e  s t r u c t u r e  a n d  T h e n  a n d  m i n i m u m  s e n s e  d e v e l o p m e n t  n e e d l e  e s t a b l i s h e d  a  a  t h e  s t r i k e s  a n d  was  i n  U n i o n ,  o v e r t i m e ,  i n  t h e r e  e s p e c i a l l y  l e d  T h e y  1929  m o r e  l o c a l ,  b e l o n g  c u t t e r .  i t s  own  d i s c u s s  t o  a n d  d e c i d e  h a d  i t s  u p o n  own  c o n c e r n e d  i t s  e x e c u t i v e  w i t h  t h e  A b o v e  o f  own  w h i c h  t h e  E x e c u t i v e  o f  a l l  r e p r e s e n t a t i o n  n o  c o u l d  a n o t h e r  B o a r d .  t h e  T h e  m a t t e r  J o i n t  s e n t i m e n t s  l o c a l  a n d  l o c a l s .  h a d  a  l o c a l  a n d  w a s  t h i s  m a n n e r  f i r m  o r  w o r k i n g  I t  w a s  u n o r g a n i z e d  w h o  i n t e r e s t s .  O f f i c e  J o i n t  o f  o f  B o a r d  e v e n  t h e  t h e  F r e n c h  o f  t h e  t h e  t h e  I t  w a s  a  A m a l g a m a t e d .  c o n v e n e d ,  w h i c h  t h e  t h e  T h u s  s a m e  n o  one  o n  t h e  d e c i s i o n  u p  l o c a l  J o i n t  b a s i s  o f  l o c a l s .  o f f i c e r s  a f t e r  ( t h e  t h e  O r g a n i z e r .  i n t e r e s t s  t h e  A g e n t  s u c h  o f  o f  t h e  d e a l t  m a t t e r s  as  o t h e r s  w e r e  i n t e r e s t s  T h u s  t h e  t h e  o f  t h e  c u t t e r s  c u t t e r s '  c u t t i n g  t r a d e .  d i r e c t l y  h i r i n g ,  w i t h  I n  t h e  f i r i n g ,  e t c .  p o s s i b l e  was  i n  h a d  made  f i n a l  t h e  a n d  w a s  l o c a l  p e c u l i a r i t i e s  f i r m  w o r k e r s ,  B o a r d  t h e  a n d  a f t e r  w h i c h  w a s  o n  l o o k e d  A g e n t  w h i c h  r e p r e s e n t a t i o n  p a i d  o b l i g a t i o n  o u t s i d e  u n i o n  g i v e n  l o c a l  a n d  m e m b e r s h i p .  t h e  E a c h  l o c a l .  E a c h  g r e a t e r  p r o t e c t e d  w h e r e v e r  t h e i r  o f f i c e r s  w i t h  p r o b l e m s  own  i t s  o f  p o l i c i e s .  J o i n t  o f f i c e r s  c o n d i t i o n s ,  a l s o  o f  s t a f f  l o o k e d  w e r e  t h e  t h e  B u s i n e s s  T h e  d i s c r i m i n a t i o n  o f  a  i t s  i t s  make  t h e  c a m p a i g n s .  b a s i c  t o  p a i d  a c q u a i n t e d  w o r k e r s  s i z e  u s e d  a n d  l o c a l s .  The  A g e n t  o f  h a v i n g  a l s o  r e p r e s e n t a t i v e  p r o d u c t i o n ,  t h e  w a s  w e r e  B u s i n e s s  t h e  p r o b l e m s  u n p a i d ) .  T h e s e  w i t h  w a s  t h e s e  b y  B o a r d  a n d  T h e r e  d e a l t  b e e f s  a d m i n i s t r a t i o n  r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s  d o m i n a t e  p a r t i c u l a r  o r  f o r  h i s  o f  t o  t h e  l o o k  e x a m p l e ,  j o b  w o r k i n g  M a n a g e r  w h o  t o  a f t e r  h a d  e n s u r e  A g e n t  t o  o r g a n i z e  o r g a n i z a t i o n a l  a n  A g e n t  l o o k e d  w o u l d  e n v i r o n m e n t .  A b o v e  a l l  was  b y  A g e n t s  c o u l d  e v e r y  t h a t  w h o  t h e r e  B u s i n e s s  b e  B u s i n e s s  a p p o i n t e d  w e r e  y e a r  e l e c t e d  o r  e v e r y  t h e  t h e s e  G e n e r a l  w h e n e v e r  t w o  b e  t h e  y e a r s .  a f t e r  n o  S i x  r o o m  ( h e  a p p l i e d  h a d  t o  m o n t h s  m o v e d  a n  a n d  f r i e n d s h i p  w i t h  S a r k i n  h e  H e  W o r k e r s '  o f  h a d  b e c a m e  S a r k i n  a p p o i n t m e n t  i n t o  t h e  a n d  (who  l o c a l .  i n  i n  f i n e  o f  I t  w a s  member  o f  t h e  m o n t h ) ,  s o  W i t h  h e  i n  c u t t e r s '  c u t t i n g  n o t  l o c a l .  r e c o r d  t h e  t h e  one  r e l a t i o n s h i p  a  E x e c u t i v e  c u t t e r  c u t t e r s '  t h e  h a d  w o r k i n g  e a s y  t h e  h a d  h e l p  e s t a b l i s h e d  t h e i r  l o c a l  h e  l o c a l ) ,  a n d  was  A m a l g a m a t e d  f i n a l l y  C l o t h i n g  o f  f r o m  y o u n g s t e r  o n  gave,  a  a n  a s s i s t a n t  b y  s a y i n g  b e  d o n e  l a t e r ,  r a n  as  t o  b y  a  t h e  e n d  member  b e  o f  e l e c t e d  a c t i v i t i e s  o f  1 9 2 3 ,  t h e  t o  d u r i n g  E x e c u t i v e  t h e  t h e  a n d  E x e c u t i v e  o u t s i d e  t h e  l i f e  p e r i o d  h e  w a s  B o a r d .  o f  t h e  t h e  W i t h  t r a d e  t h i s  u n i o n  b e g a n .  m e m b e r  s i x  t h e  t i m e  t h e  m o n t h s  t o  t i m e ,  t h e  c u t t e r  t o  b e  t h i s  w i t h .  w a s  a  h e  o n  I t  g i v e s  y o u  i t  was  on  v i s i t e d  t o  M o n t r e a l .  t u r n e d  t h e  t h e  e n d  o f  a p p r o a c h  a n d  p s y c h o l o g y  t h r o u g h o u t  a  h e  s a w  E x e c u t i v e  t h e  He  v e r y  c i t i e s  a n d  S i d n e y ,  a  u n i o n  c o n c l u d e d  b a d  E x e c u t i v e  m e e t i n g  c u t t e r s '  E x e c u t i v e  p s y c h o l o g y  t h e  p r a c t i c a l l y  s h o u l d  a n d  w h o l e  was  w h o  o f  d i f f e r e n t  W h e n  t h e  G e n e r a l  up  i n  h i s  p r e c e d e n t  s t o o d  a n d  a l l o w i n g  r e m a r k s  a n d  s h o u l d  a g a i n s t  h i m  B o a r d .  t h e  o u t l o o k ,  t o  t h e  t h e  E x e c u t i v e .  i t  t h e i r  e l e c t i o n ,  w h o  p r e c e d e n t  t h e  n e a r i n g  h i s  d e g e n e r a t i o n  H o w e v e r ,  r e m a i n e d  y e a r s  came  E x e c u t i v e ,  on  t h a t  a f t e r  A m a l g a m a t e d  l e c t u r e  away  S i d n e y  c u t t e r s '  f u l l - f l e d g e d  g e n e r a l  A b o u t  a n d  t h e  c u t t e r  h i s  o r g a n i z a t i o n  t h e m  g e t  s t a r t e d  a s s i s t a n t  t h e  s h o p  a  y e a r s  a s s i s t a n t  m a r k e t s  t o  d e v e l o p e d ,  h i s  h a d  A m e r i c a .  e l e c t i o n s  B o a r d  o f  t o  b e f o r e  Two  f i r s t  member  i n  a p p e a r e d  S a r k i n  s w e e p e r  c u t t e r  c u t t e r s  a c c e p t e d .  o f  a  a s s i s t a n t  t w o  f r o m  b e c o m e  f o r  a f t e r  as  h a v e  a  t h e  U.S.  t o  w h o  s a y  i n  a n d  a t t h a t  g o n e . o f  t h e  s h o u l d t h e  t h a t  t i m e  p e r i o d , The  e n d  c u t t e r s , b e  i n  a f f a i r s  C a n a d a .  T h i s  y e t ,  a l t h o u g h  b e c a u s e o f  t h e i r  t h e o f  t h e  a  f e w  g e n e r a l f r i e n d s h i p ,  l e a d e r s h i p  t h e  w a s  i n  a n d  c u t t e r s  c a r r i e d  o v e r  f r o m  t h e  f o r m e r  W o r k e r s ,  o r g a n i z a t i o n ,  w h o s e  b a s i c  t h e  p h i l o s o p h y  U n i t e d  was  G a r m e n t  b a s e d  on  c r a f t  i d e o l o g y .  ( S a r k i n )  T h i s  j o i n e d  t h e  s u c h .  T h e y  a n d  a n  u s e d  w h e n  e v i d e n c e  o f  t h e  r e s t  a n d  h a d  v e s t  a  t h e  J e w s  s t a r t e d  m o r e .  t o  t h e  I f  e x i s t e d .  t h i n g  w h o  t h e m  w e n t  " A n d " ,  w e r e  i t ! "  v e r y  u s e d  t o  down  on  a  b o l t  o f  c l o t h  w e r e  52  p i e c e s  i n  a  t h e  c u t t e r s '  o p e r a t o r s .  I n  t h e  k i l l  t h e  age  E v e n  50  a t  r o o m  y o u  one  w e r e  T h i s  t r a d e  j a c k e t s ,  p e r i o d  a n d  e x i s t e d  b e t w e e n  e x i s t e d  t h e  b e t w e e n  t h e  was  i n  b y  p r o d u c t i o n  a  g o i n g  a  t h e  t i m e  s e l d o m  l o o k e d  k e e p  " u m p t e e n  b o x  T h i s  a n d  w a s  o f  t h e  t h e y  s a l a r y  f o u n d  u p o n  as  a n d  k i n d  t o  l i t t l e  o f  t h e r e  t i m e s  t o  a n d  a n d  t h e  o w n e r s  a n d  w i t h  b e  one  do  t h e m s e l v e s  c h a l k  v i v i d l y  l i f e  t h e  t o  u p o n  c o u l d n ' t  w o r k e r  t o  much  a g r e e d  b o s s e s  f a s t  o r d e r  w i t h  T h a t  " t h e  v e s t  f o u n d  o w n e r s  s o  f i n e d .  a  p a n t s .  t h a t  t h e  as  came  one  u n d e r s t a n d i n g  was  t h a t  d a r k  S i d n e y  c l o t h e d  b e t t e r ,  b o x " .  c o n d i t i o n  c u t t i n g  o f  t i m e  t h e  w e r e  t r e a t e d  S a r k i n ,  t h e y  f i n e  w a t c h .  i n t o  w h i c h  a n d  w h e n  w e r e  a n d  b u t  a n d  a n d  c u t t e r s  S i d n e y  f a s t ,  v e r y  s t r i p e d  w h i c h  A m a l g a m a t e d  a r i s t o c r a t s  p a n t s ,  t h a t  o v e r  s a i d  t h e  t h e  c o m i n g  The  a n  o f  c h a i n  t h e  f r o m  E x e c u t i v e  a b o u t  o f  w o r k e r s .  one  u n i o n  g o l d e n  r e l a t i o n s h i p  t h e  as  s t r i p e d  p e r i o d  d i f f e r e n t  o f  k n o w n  t h e  a m o n g s t  n o  w e r e  w e a r  t h a t  w a s  b a c k g r o u n d  t o  The  c u t t e r s  t h e  c u t t e r s  t h r o u g h  e n d  w a s  p r o d u c e d  was  w h i c h  g o d - d a m n e d  w e r e  a  w i t h i n  n u m b e r  t h e  t h e  o r  t h e  d i f f e r e n c e  e n j o y e d  a n d  t h o s e  w a s  a  a n y o n e  " b e i n g  a g e d  w e e k  6 0 - 6 5  t h r o u g h " .  f o r  o f  a  y e a r s .  c u t t e r s  s i t  p i e c e s .  p o r t r a y s  $40  o f  q u o t a  w a s h r o o m ,  s h a r p e n  a n d  c a l l e d  c o n t r o l  a  t h e  r e s p e c t ,  T h e r e  b e t w e e n  t h e  c u t t e r .  A f t e r  On June 15th 1922 the very f i r s t agreement in Canada was signed between the Associated Clothing Manufacturers and the Amalgamated Clothing Workers' Union,  f t i s not an impressive-looking  document, but i t i s a landmark of i t s time. What i s important is that such a document was finally agreed upon and signed. A copy i s appended.  Union Struggles In 1924 trouble developed i n the shop where Sarkin was employed.  The shop was a union shop and was owned by his cousin.  The  union, through the Shop Committee, demanded action and Sidney participated in his f i r s t strike.  It was the winter of 1924.  He was on the Strike Committee of the shop.  On the fcdcket  line one met scabs, gangsters, and squads of mounted police.  Sarkin said:  I don't want you to misunderstand. It was not the Canadian Mounted Police. It was the local police and they were mounted. It reminded me for the f i r s t time of Cossacks. The horses were well trained to use their hoofs to push back the people on the picket line. The cause of the strike had its basis i n three developments during that period: 1.  The development of "that disease of contracting" (Sarkin).  2.  A move on the part of the clothing manufacturers to run away from the unions by moving out into the country.  3.  Manufacturers were induced by the Catholic Church offering a l l kinds of concessions: no tax payment from five to ten years; cheap labour because farmers were employed, etc.  S a r k i n  The  s a i d :  c o n t r a c t i n g  i s  c o n c e r n e d ,  b e c a u s e t w o  o r  w o r k  t h r e e  I n  o f  t h e  y o u  w e n t  o u t  as  w e l l  as  n o  s t r i k e  o f  T h i s  o n e  was  i n  w h i c h  e x i s t e d  b r o u g h t  t o  g e t  go  i t  u s e d  o n  b e a t e n  t h e  f o r  Q u e b e c  s c a b s  As  m e n t i o n e d  s e l l - o u t s  t h e i r  a  c o s t  t o  w i t h i n  f a m i l i e s  t h e t h e  i n d u s t r y i n d u s t r y  f e w  u n d e r t a k i n g  h a d  a n d  t o  i n s i d e h o m e .  p e o p l e  -  t a k e  p r o d u c e m a n u f a c t u r e r s ,  I t  i s  t h a t  t h e  t e r m  b e c o m e  a  m e n a c e  f r o m ' s w e a t  o u t  o n  w e r e  t o o  b a s i c  p r o b l e m .  t h e  on  w h y  T h i s  w a s  o f  t h e  f a c e d  i n  a t  t h e  w a s  m e t h o d s  one  w e r e  n o t  s e v e r a l  b l o o d y  s c a b s  u s e d  b y  w o r k e r s '  t o o k  o f  i n  t h e y  i n s t a n c e s ,  f a c e d  k i n d l y  d e p r i v a t i o n .  w o r k e r s  g r e a t  p r o b l e m  w h i c h  w e r e  t h e  w o r k e r s  w i n t e r ,  f r e e z i n g  i n f o r m a n t s ,  f i g h t s  o f  w a s  b a r g a i n i n g  p l a c e  p o s s i b i l i t y  e n o u g h  some  o f  s t a r v a t i o n  t h e  A n o t h e r  I f  T h e r e  s u f f e r e d  b r o k e n :  w e r e  t h e  s t r i k e  t h e  t o  army  o f  l i n e s .  f a m i l y  t i m e .  t h e  b a d .  c o l l e c t i o n s  w e r e  a  was  p r o s p e c t  p i c k e t  y o u r  s t r i k e s  d a y s  t h e  a n d  e n d a n g e r e d  t h e r e  a n d  a n d  w e e k s  i f  w e r e  on  h a n d o u t s  y o u  A c c o r d i n g  t h i s  t h o s e  w e a t h e r  t h e y  a l s o  i n  w i t h  s o r t s  a b o v e ,  l e a d e r s ,  a  c o n f r o n t e d  many  A l l  one  was  s t r i k e  p a r t i c u l a r l y  p o l i c e ;  t h o u g h  t o p  go  r e a s o n s  l i n e .  a n d  - I t  t o  s t r i k e .  b e c a u s e  1 9 2 4 ,  p i c k e t  b y  t h e  a n y  p e r m i t s  c o n t r a c t i n g  e x i s t e d  m a i n  o f  As  w i t h  s h o p s ,  h o u r s  p r o l o n g e d ,  r i d  u p .  c l o t h i n g  p e r i o d ,  f r e e z i n g  s t r i k e  i n  g a n g s t e r s  as  t h e  s h o p  y o u  e m p l o y e r s .  t h e  f a r  as  c o n t r a c t i n g  t o  i n  h u n g r y  i n  as  t h e  1924  b y  h a p p e n e d  a n d  t h e  i n  p o s i t i o n .  t h a n o f  t a i l o r s .  S t r i k e r s  o f  n o t  o f  t h e  w i n t e r  t h e  c o u l d  t o g e t h e r i n s i d e  k i n d s  f a r  i n d u s t r y  t h e  c h e a p e r  w o r k e r s  p a y .  I f  t h e  g e t  a l l  o f  s t a n d i n g  p e o p l e .  o f  as  t o  g i v e n  c o n d i t i o n s  F o r  d i s e a s e  o r i g i n a t e d .  t h a t  r e a s o n s  a  f r o m  c o n d i t i o n s  s h o p *  g e n e r a l  -  g a r m e n t s w o r k i n g  t h e  i s  e s p e c i a l l y  c h a r a c t e r  o u t s i d e  t h e b y  t h e  s y s t e m  b u t  a n d  home  e m p l o y e r s  w o r k e r s  c o u r t  d e f e a t .  a t  as  w e r e  i n j u n c t i o n s ,  N o n e t h e l e s s ,  221 i t  w a s  t h e s e  w o r k i n g  m o r e  m i l i t a n t  h o u r s ,  o r  l e s s  a n d  f o r  w a g e  f o r  t h a t  h o u r s  f i n a l l y  o f  t h e  i n  was  m o v e d  c u t t i n g  r o o m  a c t i o n  t o  o u t  t h e r e  much  m a t t e r  t o  b r i n g  b e e n  o f  t h e  t h e  p e o p l e  m o v e d  t h e  s t r i k e  h a d  r e m a i n e d  T h e  was  i n  l a b o u r  f o r c e  t h e  away  t h e  f a c e d  l e f t  w i n g  l e f t  t h e  n e v e r  f r o m  b y  c i t y .  o n e  i n  t a k e s  h i s  t o  l e g  w a s  f i r s t  s t a n d  o f  A f t e r  h i s  s i x  l o s t .  M o n t r e a l ,  o t h e r  s e c t i o n s  w i n g  p r o b l e m s  w i l l i n g  t h a t  a n d  a n d  t o  o f  u n i o n  a n d  e i g h t y  w a s  w e e k s  The  o n l y  d i d  H e  n o t  t h e  j o i n e d  o t h e r  u n i o n  c a l l e d  t h e  t h e n  o f  o p i n i o n  u n i o n .  A l t h o u g h  a t  t i m e ,  t h a t  a g a i n s t  o r g a n i z e  t h e  i t .  As  a  c o n t r a c t o r s  w i t h  t h e m  w h i c h  on  b e c a m e  one  c o n d i t i o n s  f o r  a n d  s o  h a d  o f  as  n e v e r  t h e  l i v e l i h o o d  i n d u s t r y .  t h e y  go  o f  i n  d i f f e r e n c e  a c t i o n  f r o m  t h e  p e o p l e  a n d  o f  a g r e e m e n t  p r o b l e m  c l o t h i n g  t h e  c o n t r a c t i n g  t a k e  u n d e r m i n e d  t h e  w o r k e r s  d i v i s i o n  o f  t h e  b a r g a i n i n g  S a r k i n  h a d  s t r i k e  s e c t i o n s  a n d  t h i s  h e  l a t e r  a n d  i n  i n  s u f f e r i n g ) .  b r u t a l i t y ,  V i c t o r i a v i l l e  l o s t ,  y e a r s  a n d  w a s  b e c a u s e  A  i n d u s t r y  t o  p a i n  c o n t r a c t i n g  h u n d r e d  b e g a n  w e r e  p r o p o s e d  e m p l o y e d  o u t  l e g  i t  c o n t r a c t o r s .  a b o u t  w e r e  o u t .  o f  t h e  r e d u c t i o n  c i t y .  a n d  c o l l e c t i v e  Two  w h i c h  t h e  t h e  t h e y  a b o u t  w o r k e d  s c o u r g e s  i n  p r o b l e m s  t a l k  f a c t  a n d  o f  p o l i c e  r i g h t  w i n g e r s  o f  p i c k e t e r  ( T w e n t y  y e a r s  p r o g r e s s i v e  b e t w e e n  r i g h t  r e c o g n i t i o n ,  t o d a y  V i c t o r i a v i l l e ,  r e m a i n e d  d e v e l o p e d  t h e  u n i o n  w h i c h  h i s  w e a t h e r .  t o  e l i m i n a t e  w a s  w i t h  s c a b s ,  S i m i l a r  The  a r d e n t  a f t e r  h u n g e r ,  s h o p s .  an  f r e e z i n g  Company  w o n  i n c r e a s e s  t r o u b l e  a m p u t a t e d  c o l d ,  w h o  g r a n t e d .  S a r k i n  s t r i k e  w o r k e r s  w e r e  a l l  b a c k  t h e  t o  r a n k s  e m p l o y e d  l o s t  t h e  o f  i n  t h e i r  t h e  j o b s .  c u t t i n g  t h e  s h o p  r o o m  u n e m p l o y e d .  A f t e r  w h i c h  T h r o u g h  222  f a m i l y  t i e s  H o w e v e r ,  f o r  h e  h e  o f  w i f e ,  M r s .  o p p o r t u n i t y  n o t  b r i n g  w a s  ' b r e a d l e s s ' ,  A t  t h a t  t i m e ,  a n o t h e r  l a r g e s t  s h o p s  i n  H a r t ,  S a r k i n  a  v e r y  t o ,  i n  u s e d w o r k .  H a r t  She  a n d  n o b o d y  w h y  was  S a r k i n  i t  w a s  o f f i c i a l  a  c a r d  up  So  A n d  f i n a l l y  S a m u e l  f e l t  t h r e e  w o r k e r s  w e r e  p a y  an  o p e n  n o n - u n i o n  s h o p .  s h o p  a l s o  H a r t ,  a n  a n d  owned  o p e n  u s e d  t o  v i s i t  a s k  me  t o  t h i s  m e n .  o r  t h e y  t o  go  a  o p e n  w o r k ?  She  w i t h  t o l d  h i m  t h e  s h o p .  S i d n e y  H i s  q u i t e  a  s h o p ,  j o k e  t h a t  t i m e :  t o  w o r k  i n  o p e n ,  o f  v i e w  a t  o f  I  f e l t  m o n t h s  o f  t r i m m i n g  f i r s t  s u f f o c a t e d .  n o n e  a  o f  a  No  G e n e r a l  s p e e c h ,  t h e m  F r i d a y ,  s t a t u s t h a t  r o o m .  t h e  h e a r  a  b e i n g  W i t h i n  t h e  go  o u t  a t  S a m u e l  s a i d  my  i d e a s  t h e m  h i s  t h a t  a n d  s t o r y  a n d  s a i d  w o r k i n g  c a u l , m e a n i n g  t h e n  w o u l d .  h e  an  B u t  w i t h o u t  s a i d :  was  comes  t o  p l a c e  c a r d  m o n t h ,  t h a t  t o  t h e r e  t o  o u t  g a v e  s h o p  a n d  a  go  a  i n t e r f e r e  i f  S a r k i n  t h r e e  t h e  I  w a y ,  w a s  u n i o n ,  p o i n t  i n  n i c e  t h e r e  t h e  b e c a m e  a f t e r  v e r y  t o  w o r k e r s ,  e n v e l o p e s ,  i n  S a m u e l  w a s  a n d  up  t h e  a n d  woman  . . .  t h e  t o g e t h e r  h a r d  a  h i s ,  w h i c h  o n  f r o m  c r a m p e d  w e e k s  c i t y  t o  w i t h  I n  He  i n  o f  s o  n o t .  i t  a  d o n ' t  t h e m :  w o r k i n g  H a r t ' s  t w e n t y - f i v e  w o r k  S i d n e y .  A n d  w e n t  t o  w o u l d  a  w o r k  c o u s i n  f i n e  s a i d  a c k n o w l e d g e m e n t  h e  t o  s a i d  t h e  g o i n g  t h o u g h t s .  t h a t  g e t t i n g  s a i d :  S h e t o  w a s  o f  h i m s e l f  h e  t h e  o f t e n .  t h e  c o u l d  m o n t h s  one  h a d  a  w a s  i n  sum  b e  b y  h e  o f  me B u t  r e l a t i o n s h i p d o n e .  h e  now  r o o m  h e  h i m  i n  s u r p r i s e d  a n y w h e r e  b e g i n n i n g  o f  h i s  w h i c h  A f t e r  c a l l e d  f i n d  f r o m  b r e a t h e * .  w o r k .  w a s  t h a t  i n  $ 2 . 5 0  1 9 2 5 .  some  ' c o u l d n ' t  H a r t  t o  a t  e m p l o y i n g  f e l t  o f  s t a r t e d  t h e  S a m u e l  t o t a l  w a g e s  i s s u i n g s h o p !  b e  w o r k  b o t h e r e d  M a n a g e r  t h e  t h e  c u t t i n g  w e e k s  one  u n i o n  s h o u l d  w i t h o u t  l a r g e  s h o u l d  c u t  a n d  i t  T h i s  f e w  t h e  n o n - u n i o n  t h e  t i m e s  t h e i r  t o  $5 a week! He explained that this was happening in union shops and, after a l l , they must be competitive. "Well I nearly busted when I heard his speech.  I couldn't  swallow the self-rule of the open shop where workers could not express an opinion about the conditions", said Sarkin. So he went to the back of the trimming room and told the foreman ("a nice fellow; I had nothing against him"), that he should accept his resignation.  The foreman said:  "What the h e l l i s the matter with you? You have not been touched". Which was true. Sarkin had not been given a cut i n wages. When he received his envelope his pay was intact.  He said:  But I couldn't look at myself. You know what i t means?? I'm favoured i n the shop because I'm the boss' cousin. He too, plain and simple foreman, couldn't figure i t out. He said to me: 'you are working very easily here, right? So why leave?' and he went i n and reported i t to my cousin. He didn't come i n to see me but Mrs. Hart called me and asked why. But Sidney packed i t up and l e f t the job.  They could not  understand and he did not blame them. Forming a union and belonging to one did not mean the end of the workers' problems. cuts.  It did not stop employers from imposing wage  The Canadian Department of Labour required that employers f i l l  out a form whenever their place of business went out on strike. following sample w i l l show, question #5 on the form reads: employees go on strike?  As the  Why did the  The reply i n the majority of cases reviewed  was "opposed reduction in wages", and, "refused to accept piece work". In an article i n the Hamilton Spectator, dated March 10th 1921, the headline reads:  "Local Garment Workers Accept New Agreement.  Reduction  224  in Wages Averages 15%". instructive. settled.  The Labour Department forms are very  They give us such information as to how the strike was  Some were settled by 'negotiations' between employers and  employees, or their representatives, and the 'terms of settlement' were always the acceptance of employers* terms, e.g. 'a reduction of men's wages of $4 and women of $3.50 per week' (See following sample). Joe Gershman was very active i n the unions:  furriers,  needle trades, etc. He lived i n a room i n Toronto and could not afford the rent. In his job as Organizer he commuted between Toronto and Montreal. He had trouble sneaking into his room when he was i n town! He said that after they started to organize, he got $12 a week i n wages.  "Otherwise  we used to live on beans and toast, toast and beans". Until they were organized they had a lot of fights with the police and with gangsters. Most of the strikes were lost, because the "forces against us were too strong. Jewish manufacturers had the press with them and they hired gangsters" said Gershman. He recalls some of the events of a particular strike: ... the f i r s t day when we called the general strike, we had a big mass meeting on Ontario Street i n a big h a l l . Three cars came down to the centre where we had the meeting and they (the fellows i n the cars) say they want to see me. Everybody saw that theywere a bunch of gangsters. So they say: you shouldn't go. And I say: why not? One of them I know personally. A Jewish boy of Main Street i n Montreal. We used to c a l l him 'Joe the peye'. You know what a peye means? Sideburns! I knew these fellows. In those days I used to take a drink. And so I used to chum with them. So they took me into the car, and this g i r l , a Yiddisher g i r l who i s now a bubee, a grandmother, she fainted when she saw me going into the car. She was sure that they w i l l never see me come back. So I went with them and we went into a bar and sat down: We talked and they said: Listen -  PART I  ~" *  "  '  '  ""."  " "* E M P L O Y E E S  Filli n this sheet, detach, a n d return to D e p a r t m e n t of Labour, Ottawa. 1.  Locality in which dispute tcK)kplace...r.'...^^^  -..rrK.......  Q  (D pi I-i  rf 0 n> 3 rt  3. ' Business of firm or firms i n v o l v e d . . . . ^ ^ . r ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ r r r ^ .  O  Hi  4. ; Occupation of employees who went on strika  tfe?4f~pA-^4-JU^A  tr<  ^f^f^f^Cr*?  P>  o  a*  c H  Name and number of Trade Union Local  5.  t ^ r r i t r ^ h ^  Q*^*^  -  lT^..if..<X?r^^^  Qr^..<^J^A  6. W H Y D I D T H E E M P L O Y E E S G O O N S T R I K E ? d*rr*rrfn+r*r^^  <Zk<uUjU^*r*Z  g0?..  <K  irf^^Z.-.lJ^^jAr^...  S jjj" »  Wherethe cause of strike was for an increase in rates of wages or a reduction in hours of labour, or both, state : 1. What were the rates of wages demanded?  TTTTTTT^. ?  •  g £ ^  '  •. V  ...LU..^-.fr±9.  [A&A-k ?  Where the cause of strike was on account of a decrease in rates of wages, or an increase in hours of labour, or both, state :  1.  What were the proposed decreased rates of  wages?...$^*^^.T?*jpr%»...£^  -2.'•• What-were the proposed increased hours of labour? 3. What were the prevailing rates of w a g e s ? . . L ^ ^ r r f ^ f ^ r ^ . ^  kf.^.i^a^rr*'.  4. What were the prevailing hours of labour?  7. Date and hour employees first stopped work •8. • Number offirmsinvolved  rO NJ  S?T.^  ^....'^T^Ss... .../...9...H..Q.  /..  9. Number of employees on strike : ..'iJ^rf^Af.....l...?r.'^'  Males Females  T  Total ' ltl  ;  /. ... .^...:.....yf.^2  - - - - .:  s  t^ejy^O.  Give as account of the negotiations, if any, between employers and employees, preceding the strike :  Information furnished by. For whom  ^..^^....^  r x  ^?...  we have a chance to make quite a b i t of money. We know you personally, we know other boys. We don't want to go against the union but we don't want to lose the money either. So I told them that I have a plan for them. I said: You choose two of you, I don't want to talk to a l l of you, only two. And I w i l l bring one of my friends with me and we w i l l make an appointment. The La Salle Hotel at the bar. We treated them with dinner and told them: Listen - that must have been on a Friday - on Monday morning I ' l l have a group of girls begin to phone some of the manufacturers, the big shots. And they w i l l cry on the telephone and t e l l the manufacturers that they are responsible that Gershman was beaten up and i s in the hospital, and that the other organizer, Franky (we used to c a l l him Jean Harlow because he was a blondie) and a few others were also beaten up. And then you guys can go in and collect your money. So these guys say that the manufacturers are not going to believe just by a telephone c a l l . So I say: You know what? We'll do like this. Monday the girls are going to c a l l , crying, shouting, scolding and what not. Then the next morning about 10 o'clock I ' l l show up together with Franky a l l bandaged up and the girls w i l l be around and they w i l l y e l l when they see the manufacturers coming down from the building: You murderers! You nearly k i l l e d Gershman! and a l l that kind of stuff. And this i s what happened. They collected loads of money, the gangsters. But we didn't win the strike. When I talked to Bluma Kogan and Pauline Chudnovsky at the Baycrest Terrace, Pauline turned to Bluma and said:  Do you remember the Decklebaum Brothers i n Toronto, the Decklebaum Brothers? They were the big ... they started from nothing and they used to t e l l the people, their workers, in Yiddish: "We are workers like you". Said Bluma: That's true. And i f you want to work, you want to have money, then you have to work day and night. And that's the way i t was. It wasn't because I was a Jew and he was a Jew. He was a boss and I was a worker. The Italians the same way and the Greeks. Tsva classen, two classes. Maybe i t i s  h a r d  And  B l u m a  t o  u n d e r s t a n d .  p r o c e e d e d  t o  B u t  e x p l a i n  w h e n  w h a t  i t  y o u  w a s  a r e  s o  i n  i t  h a r d  . . .  f o r  me  t o  u n d e r s t a n d .  i  I t  i s  v e r y  h e r e H e  came  d r e s s o f  One  j u s t  t i m e  m o n e y ,  t h e r e  a  o n  f o r  a  g o t  w o r k  t o  f e w  go  m a d ,  I  h a v e  I  s a y :  m a k e t o  s a i d :  a  s a i d ,  i n  t h e  B y  t h a t  l i k e  -  s o  w e e k I  g o t  l i f e  I  me  T h a t  w a s  t o  I  o u t  g i v e  t h e  w e n t  n e e d l e  t h e  o v e r  my  p a y .  w a s t o  He  a f r a i d come  w a s n ' t  b e f o r e Y o u  o p e r a t o r  C h r i s t m a s . w a n t  a n d  l i k e  a n d  C h r i s t m a s ?  I  t o  h a v e  y o u .  Y o u  l e a v i n g .  m a d ,  h e  s a i d :  g o t  A l l  o n  a  s o  y o u  b o a t  mad J e w s  amd  t h a t  d u m p e d  s o  mad b y  a n d  t h a t  t h e  h e  d o o r  g o i n g  h o l d i n g  t h e  m e ,  I  r u n  b u t  h e  w a s  j u s t  w a n t  my  p a y .  t o  s t o o d  w a s  h o l d i n g  h i t  comes  I  s a i d : t o  w i t h  G e t  come me  b a c k  a n d  o f  w o u l d  I  o u t  a b o u t  d o o r a w a y . t o  w o r k e d  o f  f o r  h e r e !  my  c o u r s e  p a y . h e  t o  j u s t  d o  l a s t A n y w a y So  h a d  I t o  p a y .  S p a d i n a  K o g a n  g o t  s a y  p l a c e l e a v i n g  O c e a n !  s t a n d i n g  I  u s e t h e r e  o l d am  b e f o r e  d o .  I ' m  s o h e  h e  a w a y .  me  j u s t  t o  i n f u r i a t e d  many  a n  t o g e t h e r  me  s o  t o  s o  g o t  h i t  I  s o  I'm  A n d  t o  f r i e n d s my  h e  come  w a n t a n d  man  j u s t  I  h e  T h i s  s h i p m e n t  m o n e y ,  w e n t  I  m a n y ,  a  k n o w ,  c a s e  my  l e a v e  t a k e n  w a s  t h e n  b o s s .  I t o  w o r k e d  t h a t  t o  A t l a n t i c  B l u m a  i n  d i d n ' t  some  B l u m a  i n  ( a n d  a n d  g o t  y o u  t h i n k .  j u s t  h e  t i m e  b e  a  d o n ' t  h o w  I  a n d  y o u s o  s o  n o t i c e  b e c a m e  m y s e l f .  m o u t h .  t h e  o l d  I A n d  A v e n u e  k n o w i n g  h e  w a n t  my t o  i n  l i t t l e  t r a d e .  O k a y ,  b o s s  I ' m  t h i s  o f  t i m e ,  t h i s  W e l l  b y  o u g h t  I  f o r  c u t t e r a  S p a d i n a  A n d  i t .  my  h a v e  a l s o  o p e n e d  m i d d l e  m e ,  i t ,  a n d I  I  o n  A n d  m e e t ,  c a p s .  money  a n d  h e r e  k n o b )  y o u r  some  m o n e y  b e c a u s e  h i t  o n  d a r e  t o  come d o l l a r s .  s l a c k ,  my  C h r i s t m a s  t r a d e ,  y o u  w a s  i n  i n  a t  my  g e n t i l e .  B o s s ,  a  s a v e d  t h e r e  c a p s .  g o o d  How  d i d n ' t  t h o u s a n d  b e c a m e o r  w o r k  w e n t  g a v e  o l d  a  s h i p m e n t M r .  make  came  my  h e  money  w a n t  H e  t o w a s  I  b o y s ' ,  I  h e  ( o r  b e f o r e  S o  H e  a n d  m u c h  s o  j u s t  b o s s ,  h u n d r e d  i t .  n o t  p r e t t y  w e e k s  my  a  a c c u m u l a t e d  s t r i k e  M e n s ' ,  w a s  b a c k  a  o r  w o r k e r  w a s  a g a i n .  J e w .  s o  I  a h e  l i v i n g ,  c a p s .  m a c h i n e  S h e r m a n ,  t h a t ' s  w a s  h a d  make  as  . . .  T h e r e  t o  M r .  d o l l a r s  When  r e m e m b e r ) .  a  h e r  t h a t  m i l l i o n  h e r e  b i t  a  o f  a  f a c t o r y .  w o r k  w o r k i n g  t r u e  w i t h  n e v e r  t r a d e s .  A v e n u e !  g o t  A t  m a r r i e d .  t h e  g a r m e n t - i n d u s t r y .  She  s p e n t  e n d  s h e  h a d  She  s t a r t e d  h e r  g i v e n  as  a  e n t i r e  o v e r  y o u n g  l i f e  f i f t y  g i r l  y e a r s  o f  228  f o u r t e e n  t h e  a n d  u n i o n  w h e n  o f  $70  I  s p o k e  a  a n d  a  l i v i n g  t h e  t h e  t h r o w n  a  c a p i t a l i s t  t o  make  e v e r y  f o r m  t h e r e  w a s n ' t  r i g h t  o f  c o n s p i r a c y ,  o f  t h e  The  T h e  1919  t o  w a s  t h e  t h e  u p o n  b y  h a v e  t o  t o  i n  s h o p ,  t a k e  t h o s e  d a y s  t h e  . . .  a n d We  i t  y o u  a  w a s  a l l  o r d e r  a  p a r d o n  c e l l , m e ,  Some  f o l l o w i n g  R o s e n t h a l ,  t h e  o f  i s  o f  d a y .  k n e w  w h e n  p i c k e d  b u t t h e us  a n  up  S a r k i n  y o u  w e r e  i s  my r o o m  r u n n i n g  b e a t e n  e x c e r p t  o f  i s  c a l l  a n d  T h e  an  f r o m  a  u p o n  i s  a  a g a i n s t "  m i g h t  o f  a r r e s t s ,  g o i n g We  own  t h e  c h a r g e s  w i t h  a s  o f  b e  p i c k e d  t h r o w n  a  f e w  c o t s  t h r o u g h  i n t o  N o a n d  s u c h y o u  t h e  w e l l .  poem  i m m i g r a n t  t o w e r e  e x p e r i e n c e .  r i g h t  up  w h o  t o d a y ,  r e c a l l s :  t i m e s .  g e n e r a l  u r i n a l  d a u g h t e r  f o r  m o v e m e n t ,  p r o v i n c i a l  h a v e  i n t i m i d a t i o n ,  t h a t  w e r e  i s  u n i o n  y o u  o p p o s i t e .  u m p t e e n  a n d a  w h o  t h e  t h e  h e a d q u a r t e r s as  j u s t  k i n d s  o f  n e v e r  w e r e  m i d d l e .  The  v o t e  p o l i c e ,  u p .  h a d ,  a  b e d  C o n s e q u e n t l y ,  f e d e r a l ,  do  " e v e r y  h i s  S a r k i n .  t h e  S t r i k e  t h a t  u n d e r  t r a d e  a l l  y o u  G e n e r a l  l o o k i n g  b r o a d e n i n g  O c t o b e r  e x t e n t  s a i d  t o  g o v e r n m e n t  t h e  W i n n i p e g  t h e r e ! "  l o o k e d  o f  t h a t  w e r e  f r o m  w a y  C a n a d i a n  o r g a n i z a t i o n :  t h e  p e n s i o n  e a s i e s t  s p r e a d  C a n a d a  B o l s h e v i k  as  t h e  w h a t  t h i n g  H e l e n e  i n  was  n o t  " N o t  p o l i c e  b y  a  r e v o l u t i o n .  I n  s t a t e ,  a  u n o r g a n i z e d ,  t h e  w h o l e  w a s  g o v e r n m e n t  s p r e a d i n g ,  a d m i n i s t r a t i o n  ( S a r k i n ) .  t h e  b o u r g e o s i e  c i v i c  b o a r d  r e c e i v i n g  T h i r t i e s .  a f r a i d  i n t o  a n d  l a b o u r  w a s  R e v o l u t i o n .  b i n d i n g ,  t h e  a n d  w e r e  f e a r  e v e r y  o f  o r g a n i z i n g  p e o p l e  R u s s i a n  a n d  s h e  u n o r g a n i z e d  T w e n t i e s  d e a d l y  s u r e  t h e  t h e  C a n a d i a n  R e v o l u t i o n ,  h a d  i n  h e r  m o n t h .  O r g a n i z i n g  m a k e  t o  " N o t  T o  t a i l o r :  Be  B o r n e "  229  I t  w a s  t o  r e c o g n i z e  e a s i e r  a f t e r  I  h e  h a d  r e m e m b e r  h o w  h e  h i s  t o  my  f a t h e r  d i e d .  on  h i s  d e a t h b e d  t h r o u g h  t h e  t a l l  f i e l d  m o t h e r  c r y i n g h o w  as  r a n  b a r e f o o t t o  h i m  t o  h e  b e  h e a l e d ;  r e t u r n e d  t h e  e m p t y  a n d  f o u n d  N o r  w a s  I  e a r l i e r  v i l l a g e  h e r  i n  G a l i c i a  g o n e .  c o m f o r t o r  t o o  l a t e .  t h e  h u r t  H a t e  t h e  f a c t o r y  n u r s e d  i n s i d e o f  t h e  n e w  w o r l d  damned h i s  p u l s e .  s t i t c h e d  H i s  v e i n s  p a n t s  t o g e t h e r ,  t h r e a d e d t h e  m a c h i n e  B l u e t r o d  h i m ,  a n d on  w i t h  s e r g e ,  h e r r i n g b o n e  t w i s t M r .  p r o t e s t .  k h a k i  a n d  common  D u n k e l m a n ' s  w h e r e  t h e  m a j o r s  d r i l l p a r a d e - g r o u n d ;  d r u m -  w e r e  a l l  u n i o n  e x e c u t i v e s w h o  r a i s e d  w o r k  p r o d u c t i o n ,  t h a t  s a p p e d  . . .  e a c h  r e b o u n d " t h e w h e r e  h i s  dawn i n t o  t h e t h e  s h o p : " h e  f r a m e .  T i p  T o p  q u a r t e r  c e n t u r y , home  e v e n  Y a h v e h  w i t h  us  o n  s h a b b a s  o f  l o s t  . . .  T a i l o r s  a G e h e n n a  e a c h  h e  n i g h t .  w o u l d n ' t F r i d a y ,  C o l d  s u p p e r  e a t s h a b b y  o u r  t e l l  t h e  t r u t h ,  l i n g e r s  m o r e  r e a l  t h a t  t h e  h e  d r u d g e  o f  I s r a e l .  t o  w h a t  c o n s c r i p t r h y t h m  t r u d g e d  b r o u g h t  was  p i e c e  r a t e  e v e r  t h a n o n l y  e p i t a p h ,  i s  g r o w t h  e x p e r i e n c e d  c a n c e r .  ( Y a t e s  1 9 7 0 : 7 2 - 7 3 )  Summary U t i l i z i n g  I  h a v e  w o r k e d  a t t e m p t e d  a n d  w h o  s h o p s ,  s l a v e d  d i f f i c u l t y  q u e s t i o n  f o r  f o r  o f  o f  o r  t o  w o r k i n g  p l a y  f o r  a n d  a g a i n s t  t h e  o t h e r  Some  t h e m  o f  T h e r e  i s  d o l l a r w h o  y o u  d o n ' t  n o  -  a r e .  a n d  p r o d u c e  d r e s s e s  t o  y o u r  v i c t o r i e s  and  f a c t o r i e s  o f  i n t e r n a t i o n a l  A m e r i c a n  p a g e s  g a i n s ,  o f  M o n t r e a l  f a c t o r i e s  p i c t u r e  f e w  a n d  a n d  cameo  p o s s i b l e  u n i o n s  t h e  i t  ( e . g .  F e d e r a t i o n  o f  a n s w e r  w h o  f e l l o w  a n s w e r  a l l  e k e d  o u t  own  J e w s .  a n d  I  up  a  t a i l o r i n g  h a d  a s k e d  sums  w h e t h e r  k n e w  a l l  t h e  h o w  t o  up  a g a i n s t , A n d  t h a t  t h a t ' s  b u s i n e s s  as  t h i s  g e n e r a l l y  J e w i s h  T o r o n t o .  w h a t  a r e  l o o p  w h o  p l a y  one  t h e y  s u c c e e d e d .  I t ' s  d o e s n ' t a  t o  k n o w .  t h i s .  make  h o l e s  p l a y ,  t h e m a t t e r  d o l l a r .  g o e s  s e l l i n g  Y o u  a r o u n d  n a k e d .  i t  y o u ' v e  a n d  r e s u l t .  j u s t i c e  t o  i m m i g r a n t s  H e r e  u n i o n  e n c o m p a s s  I n t e r n a t i o n a l  L a b o u r ,  t o  J e w ,  h a p p e n e d  y o u  I t  s o m e b o d y  y o u a  i s  how  f a i l e d ,  t a l k s .  b e c a u s e  d o  a n d  u n d e r s t a n d i n g  b e c a u s e  i t  a r o u n d ,  T h e y  i n  i n  w o u l d  n o t  t h e i r  m a n u f a c t u r e r  h e  o n .  t h i n g  n o t  o f  t h o s e  r e v i e w  p h e n o m e n o n  D o l g o y ' s  p l a y  p r o f i t  do  t o  t h e i r  t h i s  g e t  s o  d r e s s e s  g o t  make  s t a r t e d  a l s o .  t h e  Y o u  T h e s e  t o  Y o u ' r e  p r o d u c e  t h e m  o f  J e w i s h  t o  d i f f i c u l t y  t h a t ' s  t h a t  u n d e r  h i m s e l f ,  f a i l e d  s a y  p e r i o d  one  The  w h o  o f  q u e s t i o n :  h a s  h o w  up  a u t h o r s ,  w a s  t h e  M a x  w h o e v e r . man  o f  l i k e  e x p l o i t e d  t h i s  a n g l e :  w r i t i n g s  w o u l d  u n d e r s t a n d i n g  on  t h e  s u f f e r i n g  Some  a n d  e x p l o i t a t i o n  a  I  i n f o r m a n t s .  e v e r y  t h e  d u r i n g  t h e m s e l v e s  a n d  a n d  t r a d e s .  b o s s e s ' .  G e n t i l e b e  r e a l  c h a p t e r  i n f o r m a n t s  a n d  t h e  h o w  C a n a d a  t h e  s e v e r a l  W e l l ,  w i d e r  t o  e x a m p l e s  n e e d l e  t h i s  a c c e p t i n g  f e e l i n g  t h e  t h e  i m m i g r a t e d  ' s l a v i n g  i n  c o n v e y  c l o s i n g  l i v i n g  t h e  t o  o r g a n i z e d  I n  J e w s  p e r s o n a l  e t c . ) ,  we  t h e  e m p l o y e d  f i n d  a  s t r u g g l e s  t h e  i n  s m a l l  w e r e  r o l e  L a d i e s '  t h e  s t r u g g l e s  a n d  a n d  t h e  s l i c e  l i k e .  g a r m e n t  o f  W o r k e r s '  i n t i m i d a t i o n  o f  l i f e  W e r e  i n f l u e n c e  G a r m e n t  l o s s e s ,  a  o f  U n i o n ,  C a n a d i a n  o r g a n i z e r s ,  t h e  s u f f e r e d  u n i o n  u n i t y  b y  a n d  b l a c k m a i l ,  i s s u e s .  T o d a y  w e e k ,  w e  we  g e t  r e c e i v e  o l d  age  t h e s e  t h e y  b a s i c  human  n o t  b y  h o l i d a y s  w o r k e r s  a  J e w i s h  C a n a d a  b e n e f i t s ,  p e n s i o n ,  r e c e i v e  r i g h t s .  i n  s i c k  i n  H o w e v e r ,  p a i d  g a r m e n t  y e a r s ,  w o r k e r s  t h e  t h i s  we  T h e y  b e a t i n g s  a t t e m p t s  t h e  w o r k  m e d i c a l  a n d  a n d  r e q u i r e s  h a v e  p i e c e  u n i o n  i m m i g r a n t s ,  r i g h t s *  t h e i r  p r o u d l y  m o n t h l y  t h r e a t s  t o  on  h o l i d a y  p a y ,  s h o w  t h e i r  p e n s i o n .  s i d e  b y  s i d e  w e r e  a l s o  f o r  w e r e  C a n a d i a n  s t u d y .  w o r k i n g  a  b e n e f i t s ,  me  f i g h t  a n o t h e r  8 - h o u r  b u t  w h i c h  w e e k l y  d a y ,  o r  u n i o n  W i t h i n  w i t h  f i g h t i n g  m e n t i o n  t h e  f o r  a  f e w .  a n d  s p a n  o f  o u r  b a s i s ;  i n s u r a n c e ,  c a r d  o t h e r s ,  44-hour  h o u r l y  u n e m p l o y m e n t  t o  t h e  f o u g h t  b a s i c  T o d a y  t e l l  me  t h i r t y  f o r  t h e i r  human  CHAPTER  I X  CONCLUSION  I n  i n  t h e i r  f r o m  t h e s i s  own  w o r d s ,  t h e  E a s t e r n  E u r o p e  t o  g a r m e n t  o f  t h i s  f a c t o r i e s  o f  h a v e  r i c h  t r i e d  t o  r e c o u n t ,  e x p e r i e n c e s  o f  C a n a d a  a n d  w h o  M o n t r e a l  a n d  T o r o n t o .  as  J e w i s h  much  as  p o s s i b l e  i m m i g r a n t s  s u b s e q u e n t l y  w e n t  T h e r e  w h o  i n t o  e m e r g e d  came  t h e  t h r e e  a r e a s  i n t e r e s t :  1.  l i f e a t  2 .  f o r  t h e  t h e s e  t u r n  f a c t o r s o f  3.  I  t h e y  a n d  p a v e d  l e f t  t h e i r  h a v e  i t  t h e i r  a n d  as  c o u n t  o n l y  t h o s e  t h e s e  p e o p l e  t h a t  a n d  p i g s .  l i v i n g  h a d  t h e  p a r t i c u l a r  a n d  w e r e  p e r s o n a l l y  i n v o l v e d  t o  t h e y  C a n a d a ,  l e d  up  t o  c o n d i t i o n s  s t e p  b r o u g h t  a n d  w a t c h e d  a n d  f o l l o w e d  F o r  t h e s e  i n  t h e  b a c k w a r d .  E u r o p e  t h e m  t o w a r d  o u t  N o r t h  i n  c o u n t r y .  i m m i g r a n t s  t h e y  many  t o d a y ,  j u n c t u r e  t h e  g a r m e n t  h a d  w o u l d  l e a v e .  i n  R u s s i a n  t o  e s c a p e d  p i c k e d  new  k i n d  o f  h a v e  t o  t h e  f r o m  t h e  New  t h e  i f  i n  w h e n  O l d  a t  t h e m  As  t h e y  C o u n t r y  t o  h a d  o f  R u s s i a .  t h e m  t h e  b o r n  many  u s i n g  w e r e  t h e m s e l v e s  s o  u p  l i f e ,  one  b e e n  f o u n d  w i t h  o f  r o a d ,  o n l y  w h e r e  i n  t h e  n o t  a c t i v i t i e s  e v e n t s  s u c c u m b  o f  n o t  f e r v o u r  c u t  J e w s ,  T h e y  R e v o l u t i o n  f a c t o r i e s  n o t  t h e  a  o f  h i s t o r y  r e v o l u t i o n a r y  c l o s e l y  T h e y  g e n e r a t i o n s  t o  o n l y  p i o n e e r e d  r e v o l u t i o n a r y  v e r y  n o t  f o l l o w e d .  f o r t i t u d e  i m m i g r a n t s  T h e y  p u s h  t h i s  t h a t  C a n a d a  s p e c i a l  t h i s  i n  h o m e ,  So  i n  t h a t  r e s u l t  t o  t h e m  t h e s e  g e n e r a t i o n s  g u i n e a  n o t  p u l l  E a s t e r n  c e n t u r y ,  a n d ,  f a m i l i e s  t h e m s e l v e s  i n  t h e  a d j u s t m e n t  s h o w n  f o r  J e w s  o f  c o n t r i b u t i n g  E u r o p e  A m e r i c a ,  a  I  a  came  w h i c h  1 9 1 7 .  p o o r  W o r l d  w o r k i n g  w o u l d  p o v e r t y ,  b e  t o  h u n g e r ,  t a k e  d i s l o c a t i o n  o n l y  t o  b e c o m e  i l l e g a l l y ,  o f  a n d  t o  t h e  d r o w n  I  f o u n d  t h e  t o  i n  b e  b e t t e r ,  a t  as  i f  o u r s e l v e s .  g o i n g  t o  i n  o n l y  t h e  f e t i d ,  t h e  C z a r s  T h e y  a n d  h a d  d e a t h ,  e i t h e r  l i f e  t i m e  w i t h  t h e m s e l v e s  t h e n  a t  l e a s t  s a i d  t o  m e :  t h e m  f i g h t i n g  f o r  F o r  l i f e t i m e ! "  o u r  us  -  T h i s  k n e w  was  b o r d e r s  t h e  c a t t l e  t h e s e  was  a g o n y  b o a t ,  f o r  "We  t h e  t h e i r  p e o p l e  g o i n g  v a r i a t i o n s ,  c h i l d r e n ,  we  c r o s s e d  s u r v i v e d  h o w  t h i s  o f  n o t  C o s s a k s ,  s h o p .  c h a p t e r s  w h e r e  a n d  o v e r - c r o w d e d  s w e a t  p r e c e d i n g  c l o t h e s .  o u r  j a i l  a  o f  t h e  many  w e r e  a n d  i n  a n d  l a n d .  r i s k e d  c r o s s r o a d s  f o r  So  We  come  t h e  n o t  f o r  f o o d  i n  E u r o p e ,  r i c h , n e w  O c e a n  b e f o r e ,  g r a n d c h i l d r e n .  w i t h o u t  a  q u a g m i r e  s h o w n  a n d  up  i n  o f f i c i a l s ,  t h e  h a v e  h e l l  E a s t e r n  A t l a n t i c  t h e m s e l v e s  s m a l l  o f  s l a v e s  b r i b e d  c r o s s i n g  o n l y  f e a r  o r  l i f e  t h e i r  w e r e  s o  t o  w a s  f i g h t i n g  w o u l d n ' t  M e s s i a h  g o i n g  c h i l d r e n  n o t  t h e y  b e  was  g r o w  n o t  h o p e .  T h i s  was  t h e i r  up  i n v o l v e d  d r e a m .  N o t  r e v o l u t i o n  a n d  N o n e t h e l e s s  o u t  o f  a l l  t h e  t h e  t h e  t h e  f o r  a g a i n s t  w e r e  J e w s  a n d  t h o s e  o u s t e d .  H o w e v e r ,  f i g h t i n g  f o r  o n  t h e i r  t h e i r  t o  o t h e r s  o f  t h e  m u s t  i n  t h e  w h o  d u r i n g  l i v e s  t h e  t h a t  c a u g h t  p e o p l e  f e w  t h e  t o  a s s u m e  o f  a n d  a g a i n s t  J e w i s h  o v e r t h r o w  o r g a n i z a t i o n s  w e r e  I  R u s s i a n  s h o w  a g a i n s t  w e r e  i m m i g r a n t s  t h e  t h e y  C z a r i s t  C z a r .  b e l o n g e d  p o l i t i c a l  i n  t e r r o r .  w h o  came  S p l i t s  t o :  p o w e r  y e a r s  w h e n  t h e  R u s s i a n  w o u l d  d o u b t  t h a t  any  i m m i g r a n t  e x i s t e d  s p l i t s  o n c e  f e w  t h e  p e o p l e  J e w  t h e  C z a r  was  w e r e  was  n o t  s i d e .  E v e n  l i k e  i m m i g r a n t s  f i g h t  r e c o r d  P a l e  a m o n g s t  a n d  J e w i s h  p o i n t  n o t ,  t h o u g h  o u t  w h i c h  t h i s  c e r t a i n  c a n  b e  h a s  n o t  f e a t u r e s ,  d r a w n  f r o m  b e e n  some  t h i s  a  c o m p a r a t i v e  p e c u l i a r  w o r k .  t o  s t u d y  t h e  I  w o u l d  i m m i g r a n t  J e w s ,  234 1.  t h e  e x t e n t  C o u n t r y .  h a v e  t h a t  F o r  h a d  r u n n i n g  T h e s e  t o  t h e y  some  f a c e  away  a c t i v i t i e s ,  t o  w h o  r e t u r n .  j o b ,  t h e  C z a r ' s  b e  l i v i n g  f o r t h  t o  v i s i t  ' v a c a t i o n i n g  s u c h  u n l i k e  b e t w e e n  O n c e  i n  b e  f i r s t  a t  t h e  i n  t o  o f  a n o t h e r ,  a g a i n  b e h i n d  r e g r e t t e d  v a r i o u s  a n d  s o  p e o p l e .  b a c k  i n v o l v e d  t h e m  l e a v i n g  b e c a u s e  ' c r i m e s '  s u b s e q u e n t  s u c h  i n  t o  t h e  O l d  t h e y  as  w o u l d  d r a f t - d o d g i n g ,  r e v o l u t i o n a r y  one  c l o s e  one  e v e r  w o n t  P u e r t o  t i e s  d e c a d e s  b o t h  a t  was  a  f o r  m a i l  f i n d  R i c a n s ,  d i f f i c u l t  v i s a s ,  b o r d e r  c o u n t r y  w h i c h  f e w  among  a n d  p a s s e s ,  f o r  t h o s e  d i d  a r o u n d ,  u n f r i e n d l y  d i p l o m a t i c  l a y  i n  w h o  m i g h t  b a c k  a n d  m o n t h s  o f  i m m i g r a n t  o t h e r s .  M u c h  One  p a s t ,  t w o - w a y  o r  c e n t u r y  m a t t e r .  v i a ,  n o  w e e k s  members  t h e  p e o p l e .  h a d  r e l a t i v e  t r a v e l l i n g  a  o f  e v e n  w h o  a  c o n c e r n s  G r e e k s ,  t u r n  a n d  a  o f  t o  t r a n s i t  a  s p o k e  s p e n d  t h e  C a n a d a  o v e r  g r o u p s  e x i s t e d  t h e i r  t o  t h r o u g h ,  i n  came  b r i n g i n g  i s  n e v e r  a n d  a n d  r e l a t i v e s ,  i m m i g r a n t  t h e r e  c o u n t r y  a l w a y s  a n d  t i m e  n o t  d u r i n g  n e e d e d  t r a v e l  b e c a u s e  o f  g o v e r n m e n t s ,  r e l a t i o n s  w i t h  o n .  h a v i n g  T h e y  t h e y  a n d  p l a c e :  e m b a s s i e s  w h e n  b r i d g e s  g o i n g  i m m i g r a n t s  N o  I t a l i a n s ,  o f  o f  A l s o ,  m o s t  n o  b e i n g  home  t h e s e  as  t r a v e l ,  a n y  t h e  a n d  h o m e ' ,  c o u p l e  d i f f i c u l t i e s  l a c k  o r  1 9 6 6 : x i i ) ,  s e t t l e d  f r i e n d s  as  e x p e n d e d  d i r e c t l y  w a s  f o r  o t h e r  E u r o p e .  M a i n t a i n i n g  the  b a c k  a r m y ,  ( L e w i s  g e t t i n g  s t i l l  g r o u p s  s e n t e n c e s  A m e r i c a  p a t t e r n  a  t h e r e  t h e i r  e t c .  m i g r a t o r y  f i n d i n g  b u r n t  l o o k e d  t h e m  j a i l  f r o m  N o r t h  c o u l d  n e v e r  o f  F u r t h e r ,  came  i m m i g r a n t s  o n c e  s o m e t i m e s  made  t h e i r  t r a v e l l e d  o n  d o u b t e d  t h e y  f i r s t  a  momentous  c a t t l e  w o u l d  s h i p  e v e r  c r o s s i n g .  w a s  r e a c h  e n o u g h  d r y  f o r  l a n d  t o  2 .  T h e s e  i m m i g r a n t s  e x t e r m i n a t i o n  c a m p s .  l i v e d  W o r l d  t h r o u g h  t h a n  h a l f  J e w s  1 9 3 3 - 1 9 4 5 ,  t h e y  t a l k e d  a g a i n  t h a t  t h e s e  t h e m  t o  a f t e r  C i t i n g  s h e  o f  W a r  f e w  I I .  o f  c i v i l i a n s "  me  a b o u t  W a r  s a y s  J e w i s h  A l l  o u t  a n d  o f  l e f t  i n  b e h i n d  m i l l i o n  a n d  o f  E l i e  p e o p l e  i n  i n f o r m a n t s  B a r b a r a  i m m i g r a n t s  B e t t l e h e i m  35  ' s u r v i v o r s '  D a v i d o w i c z  r e l a t i v e s  b e g a n .  t h e  t h o s e  " O v e r  ( 1 9 7 9 : x x i i i ) .  t h e  B r u n o  V e r y  w e r e  f r i e n d s  w h o  M y e r h o f f  i n  t h e  f e l t  P a l e  W i e s e l ,  b o t h  E a s t e r n  w e r e  T h e  w e r e  H i t l e r ' s  W a r  k i l l e d ,  A g a i n s t  a w a r e  w e r e  o f  O u r  t h e  w h e n  h e a r d  Dftys,  ' s u r v i v o r ' s  s u r v i v o r s  m o r e  t h i s  n e v e r  N u m b e r  E u r o p e  o f  f r o m  s t a t e s  g u i l t ' .  t h e  H o l o c a u s t ,  s a y s :  . . .  o n e ' s  own  d e s t r o y e d , s t r o k e  o f  an  m o s t  s u r v i v a l , n o t  g o o d  H i r o s h i m a i s  i s  a n d  l u c k ,  s e v e r e  w o r s e  t h a n  S u r v i v o r ' s s e r v e d f o r  them  a t o  do  S u r v i v o r h o o d  ( i t )  . . .  c a u s e d  j u s t i c e ;  i t . i t  t h e y  S u c h -  i s  b e  t h e  n o t  o n l y  d i s o r d e r e d a c t i v i t y  common  t r a d i t i o n s  h a d  -  I n  w h a t  t h a t  made  a r o u s i n g  b r o t h e r s  h a v i n g  a n d  done  L i f t o n ,  e l d e r l y  w a y s  c r i p p l i n g a g e n t  s i s t e r s  e n o u g h  R o b e r t  t o  J a y ,  h a d  b e e n  b r i n g  D e a t h  i n  I  b e t t e r  i t  o t h e r ,  p o s i t i v e  t h e i r  a l s o  o f  o f  m o r a l i t y  w o r k e d  j u s t i c e " a n d  t o  L i f e :  o u t  . . .  s o c i a l  i n  a  e s t a b l i s h  L i f t o n *  c o u r s e  t o  c a l l s  t h e s e  p e o p l e ' s  i t .  q u e s t i o n e d  T h e y  f e a t u r e s  d e d i c a t i o n  e v i d e n c e  b u t  e m p h a s i z e d  o t h e r s  i t  i m p o s s i b l e  l i f e .  f o r  s o u g h t  s p a r e d .  t h e  am  I n s t e a d  i n t e n s i f y  w o r l d ,  J e w s  I t t h e  g u i l t " .  ( M y e r h o f f  M y e r h o f f ' s  o f  c l e a r l y .  " s u r v i v o r ' s  t h i s ?  s u r v i v o r s ,  a l w a y s  s o  o f t e n  o r  o u t  p e r i s h e d ? "  " c o l l e c t i n g  among  b e i n g  t r i u m p h  c o m i n g  c o n d i t i o n ,  a c c o u n t e d t o  a r e  s i m p l e  d e m o n s t r a t e s  u n e x a m i n e d  t h e m  o n e s  a  l i t e r a t u r e  d e s e r v e who  c a n  as  a n g u i s h ,  t r a n s f o r m a t i v e  . . .  s h a t t e r e d ,  I  t h o s e  l e a d  l o v e d  E u r o p e  c r i p p l i n g  g u i l t  as  t h e  p r o b l e m a t i c  e v e n  "How o r  as  H i t l e r ' s  e x t r e m e l y  w h e n  e x p e r i e n c e d  w h y  t h e y  b l a m e d  o f  S u r v i v o r s  a n d  n o t  t h e m s e l v e s  E u r o p e .  o f  1 9 7 8 : 2 3 - 2 5 )  The  H i r o s h i m a ,  t h e i r  f o r  p a i n  n o t  a n d  1 9 6 7 .  h u r t  o f  b e c a m e  a l l  p a r t  somehow  m e a s u r e  o f  t o  f i g h t ,  o f  c h i l d r e n  a n d  "Why  o r  m e ? "  me  I  d i d  b e n d i n g  t h e i r  c a r r i e d  w a s  o f  a  a f t e r  h e  d e g r e e  w o u l d  m e e t i n g s .  money  h i s  t o  t o o  l i t t l e  t o o  Why?  p a y i n g  a  w a s  t h e  t o  d e b t ?  n o t  f o r  t o  t o  w i t h  e s c a p e  t h e m .  i t s e l f  i n  e n s u r e  some  t h e m s e l v e s  M y e r h o f f ' s  f e e l i n g s .  d o  t o  t h a t  t h e s e  N o n e  d e s e r v e  t h e  p e o p l e  i n s i d e  t o  a n g e r ,  a l l e v i a t i n g  o f  n e v e r  t h e  t o  A n d  t h e i r  t h e n  t h a t  o f  c o n c e p t  d e t e r -  s m a l l  c e r t a i n l y  a b o u t  o f  my  b e  h e r e ? " .  t h e  b r i n g  f o r  J e w i s h  i n f o r m a n t s  I t  r i g h t e o u s  a b o u t  t h a t  L i f e  h a d  w a s  s a i d  s o  c l o s e  i n d i g n a t i o n ,  s o c i a l  s u f f e r i n g ,  t h e m s e l v e s .  c h i l d r e n  f r o m  n o t  t h e  a t  o f  o f  t h e i r  t h e i r  f a t h e r s  f a c t o r y  On  t h e s e  f a t h e r s  m e e t i n g s  c h i l d r e n ,  much  t h e  s a w  how  s t r i k e r s .  T h e s e  g a v e  i f  w i t h  r e s e n t m e n t  h e  f e e d  I  t h e m ,  s t r a i g h t  f a m i l y .  p a r e n t s  o f  some  o f  I f  s t r u g g l e ,  c h a n c e  b r o u g h t  t r a n s l a t e d  t o  a  c h a n g e ,  b u r d e n  w a s  n o t  t h e  was  t h e y  m e a n i n g l e s s ;  m e a n i n g .  t h e y  go  d i d  somehow  o f  n i g h t  g u i l t  r e a l i s e  T o d a y  w i t h  q u a r r e l l e d  w i t h  g o t  s u r v i v o r s  g u i l t  s a v e ,  n e v e r  g r a n d c h i l d r e n .  " W h a t  a b o u t  f u l l  t o  t h e i r  n o t  t h i s  a n d  t h e  j u s t i c e :  b a c k w a r d s  w a y  h e r i t a g e  a n d  o n c e  s u f f e r e d  a n d  s o c i a l  i m m i g r a n t s  i t  t h e  p a i n  I  t o  w h o  t h i s  m i n a t i o n  t h e i r  t h o s e  a  w h o  t o  h e  n e g l e c t e d  w e r e  u n i o n ,  w a s  w e e k e n d  g r o w n  i n f o r m a n t s  o u t  h e  b u s y  c u l t u r a l  o n  o r  s t r i k e  m i g h t  o r  some  f e e l  women  t o d a y ,  t o  t h e  c a u s e  o f  s o c i a l  N i g h t  t o  m e e t i n g s :  p o l i t i c a l  h a v e  a n d  me  t h e m .  g o i n g  men  t h e m s e l v e s  t e l l  r a i s i n g  t i m e  f o r  t h e i r  j u s t i c e  a n d  f a m i l y .  W e r e  t h e y  A c c o u n t i n g  i n  some  f o r  w a y  t h e i r  c o n s c i o u s l y  b e i n g  a l i v e ?  o r  u n c o n s c i o u s l y  S a l v i n g  t h e i r  g u i l t ?  I  do  n o t  d o e s  i t  t h i n k  e v e n  r e a l l y  t h a t  T h e  v a s t  i t s e l f  i s  p e o p l e  l i v i n g  an  o f  o f  t h e r e  t h e r e .  g i v e  an  a n s w e r  t o  t h e s e  S e c o n d  t h e  T h i r d  m o r e .  q u e s t i o n s .  t o d a y ,  c a l l e d  b y  some  o t h e r  n o  m o r e  J e w i s h  t h e r e  t h e m .  W o r l d  L u c y  War)  t o  o n e - t h i r d  2  . . . o u t  o f  p e o p l e  R e i c h ,  a r e  t h e m  a n d  t h e  G e r m a n s  o f  b r o u g h t  o f  A n d  m a n a g e d  t o  w i t h  o t h e r  w i t h  n e a r l y  t o  s u r v i v e ,  J e w s . t h o u g h  o u t l i v e d  t h e  n e v e r t h e l e s s  s u c c e e d e d  t h e  c u l t u r e  a n d  l a n d  s t a t e s :  E u r o p e a n  l i f e  T h e  s e t t l e m e n t s  3  h a v e  n o  n a m e ( s ) ,  d e a t h  e v e r y  i s  S e t t l e m e n t .  D a v i d o w i c z  J u d a i s m  d e s t r o y i n g  E u r o p e a n  P a l e  T h e r e  t h e  i r r e c o v e r a b l y E a s t  n o  c a l l e d  J e w s ,  J e w i s h  i s  l a n d  a r o u n d  m i l l i o n  T h o u g h  S e t t l e m e n t  B u t  c o r d o n  ( T h e 6  P a l e  p i e c e  s t i l l  a r b i t r a r y  c a n  m a t t e r ?  3.  m o r e  t h e y  i n o f  J e w r y .  ( 1 9 7 9 : x x i i i )  T h o s e  w h o  o b v i o u s  t h e i r  a n d  a l s o  l i f e  a n d  own  b r o u g h t  i t s  O t h e r s  c o u l d  s o  t h e m  j o y ,  b r o u g h t  t h e  l i f e ,  a n d  r i c h  t h e m ,  t h e  b u t  i n  e a c h  Some  j u s t  t h e  a l s o  s e n s e  p o g r o m s ,  t h r o u g h .  n o t  d r e s s  h a p p i n e s s  w i t h  h u n g e r ,  s u f f e r e d  o f  t h e i r  t h e i r  E u r o p e  d e c a d e  o r  t w o  t h e  s h t e t l a c h  T h e  R u s s i a n  l e g a l l y  s a y  o f  t r a d i t i o n ,  E a s t e r n  was  c a n  many  p o v e r t y ,  w a y  l a n g u a g e  o f  e m i g r a t e d  we  t h e  l i k e  t h e i r  t h e y  t h e i r  J e w s  h a d  t h e  t h e m  o f  t h e  p a s t .  c e l e b r a t i n g  w i t h i n  t h e  t a l k e d  h i s  o r  n e e d l e s s  a b o u t  t h e s e .  n o t .  The  w r o t e  them  c o n t i n u a n c e ;  w h i c h  a  w i t h  a c c o u t r e m e n t s  w i t h  t h o u g h t s ,  o f  b r o u g h t  i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h  d e a t h s  m a t t e r  h e r e  v i s i b l e  s t r o n g  T h e y  h e r  came  w e r e  g o n e .  a b o l i s h e d .  f i n a l  t h e r e  c h a p t e r  a r e  n o  The  o f  S e c o n d  t h e  m o r e  w e r e  J e w i s h  a n d  o f  i n  c i t i e s  R e v o l u t i o n  W o r l d  h i s t o r y  u n i q u e  W a r  t h e  a n d  f r o m  came  i n  w i t h i n  w h i c h  a n d  H i t l e r  E a s t  c o m m u n i t i e s  t h a t  t h e  a  t h e y  P a l e  came.  E u r o p e a n  E a s t e r n  T h i s  J e w .  E u r o p e  W h e r e  we  c a n n o t  s a y  t h i s  i m m i g r a n t  o f  g r o u p s  T h e s e  H u n g a r y ,  W o r l d  C a n a d a .  w h i l s t  n o t  t h e  d e v e l o p e d  T h e y  d i d  a r e  s t i l l  a l l  o f  n a m e s  C o u n t r y .  t h i s  t h e i r  w i l l  As  go  M o n t e r o  s a y s  h i s t o r y  U n f o r t u n a t e l y , i t  l a r g e l y  d r e a m e r s " t h e  s o l d  r a i l w a y s  t h e  i n  i s  t h o s e  s u c h  as  t h e  t h e a n d  p a s s i o n a t e ,  t h e  o u r  s e t  up  f o r g e d h u g e  r u n  i n  a  i n  a n d  t h e  f e w ,  own  o f  U k r a i n i a n s ,  b u i l t  b u t  r a i l r o a d s ,  f r o n t i e r s .  w i t h  l i v e s .  t h e  H o w e v e r ,  as  B u i l d e r s  We  S t o o d  h a v e  as  s t o p p e d  t h e i r  t u r b u l e n t  t h e  b a d  p i o n e e r e d  Fame  o f  as  p o s i t i o n s  J e w s ,  h i s t o r i a n s  e x p l o i t s  w h o  a n d  a l m o s t  t h e i r  w o r d s  New  i n d u s t r i e s  i n v e s t m e n t s  o f  t h e  t r a d e s  name  s o m e t i m e s  H a l l s  i n  i n  c i t i e s ,  c a p i t a l  o p e n i n g  o f  men  t o  R o m a n i a ,  c o n d i t i o n s  t o  b y  a n d  R u s s i a ,  i n t i m i d a t e d  o u t  F i n n s ,  t h e  a  m o s t  t o  a t t e m p t i n g  a n d  h e r  t h r o u g h -  f r o m  s w e a t  i n  some  b e  b u i l d i n g s  down  f o r  c o n t i n u e  m o n e t a r y  b l o o d ,  n o t  C a n a d i a n  w i t h  w o r k i n g  r e m a i n  g r o u p s ,  r a i s e d  n o t  o t h e r  s t r u g g l e s  i n d u s t r i e s ,  b e i n g  I n d i a n s ,  i n d u s t r i e s ,  a n d  P o l a n d ,  t h e i r  c h a n g e d  g a r m e n t  m i n o r i t y  i n  h a v e  u n o r g a n i z e d ,  E a s t  l e f t  m i s e r a b l e  t h e  t h e  P o r t u g e s e  t o  i m m i g r a n t s  E t h n i c  i n v e s t m e n t  t h e i r  ' f i n i s h '  t h e  w h o  G a l i c i a ,  o t h e r  t h e y  C h i n e s e ,  i m m i g r a n t s  c o n d i t i o n s  o r g a n i z i n g  a u t h o r i t y .  G r e e k s ,  c o u n t r y .  L i t h u a n i a ,  l i k e  T o d a y  a n d  t h i s  w r i t e  o t h e r s ,  l i v e s ;  I t a l i a n s ,  J e w i s h  W o r k i n g  b e f o r e .  f r o m  t o  L a t v i a ,  d i d  t h e  o f  O u r  T o g e t h e r ;  a f f a i r . r e c o r d e d  " n a t i o n a l  C o n f e d e r a t i o n ,  i n d u s t r i a l  b u i l t  e m p i r e s .  ( 1 9 7 8 : v )  W h a t  t h e s e  i m m i g r a n t s  b e t w e e n  m o t h e r  c o n t i n u e s  t h e  P a s t  t o n g u e ,  f o r m  a n d  a n d  t o  e v o l v e  b e t w e e n  t h e  t h e  P r e s e n t ;  E n g l i s h ;  f o r  O l d  me  C o u n t r y  b e t w e e n  b e t w e e n  i n  t h i s  a n d  Y i d d i s h  p a s s i v e  s t u d y  t h e  i s  New  as  a c c e p t a n c e  t h e  l i n k  W o r l d ;  m a m a l o k s h e n ,  a n d  a c t i v e  r e j e c t i o n ;  b e t w e e n  t h e y  l i v e d  a t  f r o m  a  l i f e  t h e y  t o  one  f r o m  l o n g ,  o f  how  i t  p r e s e n c e  r a c i a l  i n  t h e s e  t h e  i n  t i e d  some  o f  a  n o t  a n d  T h i s  b u r d e n  f o r g e t  l o v e  a n d  w e r e  d i d  g u i l t ,  w i l l  o f  o t h e r s  t h a t  w h e r e  O n l y  s t o p  n e v e r  t h e i r  h u r t i n g  w e  W i e s e l ,  s a i d  c o m p a r e d  t e c h n o l o g y  do  t h e  i n  i n s t i g a t e d  h a p p e n  o f  a  t o  c a n  t h e  p a i n  h a s  r e a c h e d  i n  t h a t  i n  a  s o p h i s t i c a t e d  H i t l e r  a n d  D i d  w e ,  a g a i n ?  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