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Stories my father told me #general


Michael Hopkovitz
 

My father was a Holocaust survivor from Slovakia. Came to US with my mother in 1950. He used to tell my sister me story of the Baba Yaga in Yiddish. He would leave out the last word in each sentence and we would say that word. It was a story of two children who lived in a forest with their grandparents. The grand parents would leave the house to do chores and left the children alone. The Baba Yaga a witch came to house knocked on door and pretended to be someone else. The children let her in. She came in and ate the children. The grandparents came home and saw the Baba Yaga with a large belly. Took a knife and cut open the belly and rescued the children. My father would ask us what kind of knife. Milchig or fleishig.I would give anything to have a recording of that story.
Michael Hopkovitz


Sharon Taylor
 

My family came from Mariampol Galicia, just outside of Stanislawow. My favorite bedtime story, told in Yiddish, was about "Der Grosse Bear." I believe my mother learned the story from her mother or grandmother, and its similar to the tale of the Baba Yaga. One day, a mother leaves her children home while she goes to market. When she returns, the house is a shambles and all the children are gone. She grabs her sewing kit and heads into the forrest, following the enormous  footprints of a bear. She finds him sleeping beside a stream. She takes her scissors and cuts open the bear's belly and the children pop out. I always assumed that this story was common in that part of today's Ukraine. Is anyone familiar with this story or another similar tale?

Sharon Taylor
Philadelphia PA

Researching NEMETH, BLOCH (Mariampol and Stanislawow, Galicia)
WEISNER, FLEISIG (Kulikow and Lemberg, Galicia)
FISHER, RAPPAPORT (Raguva, Vilna, and Kovno, Lithuania)