Monday, October 26, 2009

Amanuensis Monday: Bert Joins Ted and Martin

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue transcribing the tape my grandfather, Martin Deutsch, and his older brother, Ted Deutsch, recorded in 1977. This begins the second half of the recording - Day 2 - where their sister, Bert(a) Freed joins them. .


: With Ted Deutsch in Chicago at Bert Freed’s apartment and Bert has joined us today. She was busy working yesterday, and she’ll probably have an input. This is August 25, 1977 and it’s a beautiful day in Chicago. We left off with tape #2 with Ted telling about the situation when the family was being loaded on a wagon, I guess it was like a paddy wagon, and somehow or another Bert got lost with a friend who was probably purposefully losing her so that the family wouldn’t be taken away and deported. It sounds funny thinking about it at this time, but it was a very splendid idea. So here Ted is back again with us this morning, and let’s see what we can figure out from here. All right, here we are, actually if Bert hadn’t been lost I think the whole family would have been together in that wagon. It wasn’t a truck, it was a wagon in those days
Ted: A Paddy Wagon
Martin: And the family would have been on the way to deportation. We sure don’t know the details as to where we were being taken, or anything like that, but if Bert actually had not been lost, we would have been on the way for deportation actually, and there wouldn’t have been any question, we wouldn’t have come back.
Ted: That would have been the end of it.
Martin: That would have been the end of it. But with one of the members of the family not being available, the whole thing was called off at least temporarily. Then whatever happened, why it stopped the whole thing and we weren’t deported. That’s how close we were to getting lost.
Ted: Later on of course, about three or four months after this, Allen was born. And that changed the whole situation.
Martin: I guess the fact that mother was pregnant with Allen didn’t make any difference, but after Allen was born, why then he was a citizen of the United States, and they wouldn’t deport the mother and father and keep the citizen, so I guess nobody was deported. So I guess we were saved after that regardless whatever else happened. And that’s actually the way it turned out.
Ted: That’s the way it was.
Martin: Now let’s go back to Hungary again, where we were living. What was the name of the town, Ted, I don’t recall.
Ted: Varalmas
Martin: OK, I’m thinking of relatives. Mother’s parents, and Father’s parents, and their cousins, or whatever. You say that Dad’s, you remember Dad’s father you say.
Ted: I remember his father
Martin: And he came over from Buchem I think you said, yeah.
Ted: No, he came from Torda
Martin: Torda, T O R D A?
Ted: Right, he lived there, and he had a wife, and he drove many times over from Torda to Varalmas and visited with us. Bringing his wife, our grandmother, with him.
Martin: He had children, I’m satisfied. Including Dad.
Ted: Yes. I don’t know exactly how many children he had, but I remember
Martin: Of course, Dad had brothers and sisters
Ted: That’s right.
Martin: And I think one of them you said … no, I’m thinking of Mother’s…
Ted: There was one sister, two sisters here, in Chicago at the time. Living here.
Martin: Who were they?
Ted: They were married. Well, One sister of his was Rosenblum. Rosenblum’s wife.
Martin: Rosenblum’s wife was Dad’s sister?
Ted: Yes. Another sister was Rose Greenfield. Married to Greenfield.
Martin: That wasn’t Nathan Greenfield’s wife, was it?
Ted: No that was Herman/Herschel Greenfield’s wife.
Bert: Nathan Greenfield’s brother
Ted: Brother
Martin: I see, Herschel Greenfield and his wife, Rose, is it, was she called Rose?
Ted: They called her Rose in English, in Jewish we called her Ruthel. I think Rose was the name that she went by.
Bert: I remember her as Rosen-Amy (? unclear)
Martin: You better come close Bert if you’re going to get in here. You’ll be just a blind voice – you’ll be heard but you won’t be heard. Come over here and sit in a chair. Come on. Now, my recollection, I think you told me too, Rose Greenfield and her husband Herschel returned to Hungary after WWI.
Ted: After WWI, that’s to my best recollection was after WWI they went back.
Martin: Then after that.
Ted: They went back to Buchem where they originally came from. Dad had a brother who lived there, in Buchem. Who had been in the United States and went back before we even got there.
Martin: Oh, yes, I see. You wouldn’t remember his name?
Ted: David, Dovid they called him. David Deutsch. He owned a saloon over there.
Martin: I see
Ted: After he came back to Hungary he bought himself a saloon and settled in the same town.
Martin: He probably did very well, I think you said he didn’t want to stay in the United States, was he effected by…
Ted: No, he was out of here. He never came back
Martin: Before prohibition
Ted: Long before we left Hungary he came back. But he had a son here, was Dexter, Herman Dexter. That was his son. He also had a daughter, Berta Newman was his daughter, and another one called Celia Palmer.
Martin: Celia Palmer, I’ve wondered about her.
Ted: Those were all his daughters, they were married here and living here. Then
Bert: Another one, Hannie
Ted: That’s right. Hannie Goodman.
Martin: Hannah
Ted: Hannah Goodman was another one of his daughters.
Martin: That’s one I don’t even recall
Bert: Don’t you remember the Goodman boys?
Martin: Come on closer, I don’t hear you.
Bert: Don’t you remember the Goodman boys?
Martin: I don’t think I do.
Bert: Eddie Goodman…
Martin: Did they live in Chicago?
Ted: Oh, yes, they lived in Chicago. At one time they lived on Evergreen Avenue, and one time they lived on Western Avenue.
Martin: Of course my memory is always weak because I’ve been away from here [Chicago] for forty years and haven’t had any occasion to think about it or meet them, or something and in 40 years you really lose a lot of names.
Ted: Those are all the daughters that I remember, and his son Herman Dexter.
Martin: Now I do recall Herman Dexter very clearly because he used to come to Chicago from Grand Rapids, Michigan where he was living. I think he was teaching school there, and he was a coppersmith or something like that. Had a very good background in artistic work of some kind.
Bert: hammer and nails…
Ted: He used to make artistic work, metals, copper, zinc, and he taught that in high school.
Martin: I recall he was a very interesting person and we were always glad to see Uncle whatsisname
Ted: Cousin Herman
Martin: Was it Herman?
Ted: Yes
Martin: I lost track of him completely. What happened to him? Is he dead?
Ted: Well he passed on. He was married and had a wife. First wife died, and he got married again, and then he died and passed away.

My grandfather not only has forgotten names from forty years prior, he struggles to remember what his brother told him the day before, such as the name of the town they came from, or the name of his uncle. Not to mention forgetting the name of a cousin he was told a couple seconds prior, and who he said he remembered quite vividly. I'm glad Ted (and Bert's) memories were better.

I think there may have been some confusion over who were cousins, and who were uncles/aunts. Their father, Samuel Deutsch, was 20 years older than their mother, so there was a generation gap where they were the same age as some of their nephews/nieces.

The daughter of their eldest sister, Jean, recently said she thought Samuel had a sibling named Regina who married Nathan Greenfield. I found out that Regina (Deutsch) Greenfield was actually the daughter of a brother of Samuel's named Albert. And she did marry a Nathan Greenfield. So is it possible a Rose Deutsch, sister of Samuel, married Herschel Greenfield, a brother of Nathan's? We'd have an Aunt/Niece marrying two brothers. Not impossible, but it's more likely two sisters or cousins were marrying brothers. But at least they're providing me names to research.

If you choose to join me in Amanuensis Monday and post your transcriptions, feel free to add a link to your post below, or in the comments.

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