This week's Yizkor book excerpt on the JewishGen Facebook page #poland #yizkorbooks

Bruce Drake

“The Weekday Krinik,” from the Yizkor book of that town in Poland, could probably also be titled “A Day in the Life of a Shtetl” since it resembles so many scenes described in other books. “Dark gray smoke, in the early morning, rising from the houses into the still half-dark sky, announces that in Krinik a new workday has begun.” The streets grow lively as the husbands are dispatched to work and the children to school. Perhaps no one is busier than the wives: “They clean house, do the laundry, mend shirts and clothes. They go to the food store, the baker and butcher…Loaded with baskets and bags, the wives return home to cook lunch. The fire is started in the oven. In cast iron pots they cook meat or dairy lunches.”
Then there is market day. “Jews walk around among the densely placed wagons. They rummage in the sacks, look at the peasants' packs and they haggle. They slap the gentiles' hands, a sign that they have come to an agreement… Jewish butchers buy a cow, calves and sheep. Horse dealers try out the horses. They look at the horses' teeth. Their neighing and the mooing of the cows mix with the shouts of the buyers and sellers… Peasants sit with companions, treating themselves to vodka. They snack on herring and sausage. They talk loudly. With each glass emptied, their voices rise. Their faces are already red, their eyes half closed from drunkenness. Some embrace and kiss. One of them starts humming a melody, and half-drunk voices join in.”

Bruce Drake
Silver Spring MD

Towns: Wojnilow, Kovel

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