RE: [Cz-L] Languages

From: Cornel Fleming <>
Date: Mon, 07 Jan 2008 22:58:51 +0000
To: 'Miriam Taylor' <>, 'HARDY BREIER' <>, 'Czernowitz' <>
Reply-to: Cornel Fleming <>

Hi, I think different families may have had different language histories. =
Some grandparents certainly spoke Yiddish,possibly these came to czernowitz =
 from the villages. Others,including my family including grandparents,uncles,=
cousins and all spoke good Austria german....including the ceiling being the=
 plafon and not die decke!! Yiddish was most definitely very socially not =
the thing. cornel

-----Original Message-----
From: [mailto:bounce-2216460-844103=] On Behalf Of Miriam Taylor
Sent: 07 January 2008 20:41
To: HARDY BREIER; Czernowitz
Subject: Re: [Cz-L] Languages

Miriam (Mimi) Taylor <>

I beg to differ.

The generation of my father, born in 1907, studied 6 or more languages.
I have multiple school certificates attesting to the fact. How well they
knew them, depended on how much use they made of them and in what esteem
they held the language. Romanian they despised, German literature,
the speeches of Cicero, some of the speeches of Caesar and parts of the
Peloponnesian wars, they knew by heart. They read Shalom Aleichem and
Mendale in Yiddish.

Growing up in a Jewish Czernowitzer family, by the age of 4, I knew
who Shalom Aleichem was. At age 5 I heard another child my age recite
"Der Erlkonig" When I came to Israel in 1949, I did not know Hebrew well
enough to enjoy reading in it. So I read the books my parents had at home;
The plays of Schiller, Shakespeare's plays in German in gothic script,
the books of Zweig, Werfel and Wassermann.
Schiller's poems were often recited at the dinner table and some lines,
like: "Wehe wenn sie losgelassen" (from "Die Glocke" and used derogatively
about women) entered the daily language.

Keep in mind, that I was born in 1937 and never had a single German lesson.

During the 2006 Czernowitz Reunion, in Chernivtsi, those of the generation
born in the late twenties and early thirties were able to speak fluent
On the bus taking many of the participants of the Czernowitz Reunion
 from Lviv to Chernivtsi and later back, all of us old Czernowitzers,
were constantly speaking in the most delightful mixture of German,
Yiddish, Hebrew and English, with a Romanian, Russian or Ruthenian word
thrown in, when we found that they better conveyed what we wanted to say.

Vielleicht waren wir nicht wunderbar, aber so schlimm waren wir auch nicht!


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Received on 2008-01-07 22:58:51

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