A small glimpse of life in Voynilov (Wojnilow), then in Austria, circa 1910.

As told by Jacob (Zelig) Eisenberg, Brooklyn, NY.

His father had a bath house in Voynilov. Women went Friday night for a bath. Men went Friday night to schwitz. It was across the street from his father's house. The baba ran the bath house. Windows were broken and the wind came in. They made a hot fire and threw water on the stones to make steam. One side of the bath was cold water, the other side was hot. They heated with wood. In the bath house was a michvah. They polished their boots and left them in the house, ran across the street to the bath house in their bare feet even in the snow. They charged two groshen to take a bath. You bought wood and besom (small switches) for the sauna. The wood measured 36" to put in the big oven. Big stones got red hot.

His family had a cow and their own chickens. They fed a goose to have fat for holidays and shabbas. They made butter and butter milk. On Friday, they made bread for a week. They rubbed the bread with garlic and put it on the stove and toasted it a little. They had a garden. They grew potatoes, corn and zibila. They had berry bushes and grew prunes, peaches and apples. They had enough to eat. The best fresh eggs, cheese and bread. They had a wood stove. They made their own matzos. They made matzos for the neighbors, too. He had to work four or five weeks before Passover, sometimes six weeks, to make matzos for the neighbors. He started work about 5 a.m. They had 12 girls who worked for them. They rolled the matzos out flat and used a redel (wheel) from a clock to make the lines.

In the old country, he made coats from lamb. They wore the fur inside. He also made hats. If you were a big man in temple, you had a fur hat and a cane.

Some people had skis made from wood. Others had sleds used on the hill.

One Saturday at 10:00 a.m., there was a mobilization. Tey blew trumpets to call up the reserves. Everyone was in the reserve up to a certain age. Even his father-in-law, who was an old man, was taken into the army too, to clean floors. Jacob served in the Austrian Army, three years in the infantry in the town of Stryj, then six months in the cavalry in the town of Pshemis(sp?).