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´╗┐Betty Bronner:

...here, I am taping for the Jewish community center's family history program. Today I have the pleasure of introducing two ladies who will introduce themselves and would you please.

Tobie Wittenbaum: My name is Tobie Wittenbaum. I live at 3116 Kipling Way. What else? My phone number is 451-4725.

Mutzie Friedman: And I'm Tobie's daughter. I'm Mutzi Wittenbaum Friedman. I live at 3113 Kipling Way. My phone number is 451-9199.

B.B.: Thank you very much. Have you information you'd like to start with or you have some things at the beginning.

T.W.: I will try to reminisce with you the history of the Jewish people of Louisville, Kentucky. As a young girl, I was born on December the 4th 1904 at, December the 10th 1904, at 8th and Market over a department store then called Ghettos. From there I grew up and my family moved to Mississippi and later returned to Louisville, Kentucky. I'll tell you what I can of my young life and so forth as I go on. We lived at 11th and Market where there was a complete Jewish community. In those days the communities was called the Market Streeters, the Preston Streeters, the 7th Streeters, and finally the very wealthy were called the Second and First Streeters. We had the opportunity of meeting at a very 1:00wonderful place called the YMHA. My recollection of the first YMHA was located on First Street, south of Walnut, now called Mohammed Ali Boulevard. Next door to this YMHA was a synagogue called the First Street Schul, which is now the Anshei Sfard congregation next to the Jewish community center.

T.W.: Now I'll tell you about the YMHA as we grew a little older. It was located at Second and Jacob. It was a beautiful building. It was really the main outstanding place for Jewish people to meet. We had weddings there. We had basketball games. We were taught knitting. I was taught knitting by Esther Fanny and Rose Jacobson. At that time, it was during the first world war. We'd knitted 2:00scarves, gloves, helmets and sweaters for both Navy and Army men. On Saturday night, the Jewish soldiers from Fort Knox came into Louisville and there they were given food of which they did not get at Fort Knox, which they were delighted to have. We had dancing. I remember Harry Konas, one of the directors and Lawrence Cook, which were both very fine and many more. There was also a man named Louis Kohn, who is now deceased.

B.B.: Did the soldiers spend the night?

T.W.: Yes. Well, they had cots for the soldiers where they spent the night and for all festive holidays they were invited by just different Jewish families, as they try to do now, and that were taken in both to the synagogues and to their home for the meals. What else can I tell them now.

3:00

T.W.: Then I can go back to tell you about my family. My mother and father was Isaac and Millie Sugarman. My mother's maiden name was Marx. She had one sister named Burdie Diamond, three brothers, Harry, Mos and Ade Marx. Ade Marx had a son named Potchi Marx who was very, very active in the old YMHA. He was very athletic and captain of the basketball team. He also was very athletic on the Louisville male high school team.

B.B.: I understand that during those days, the YMHA team was a wonderful team.

T.W.: It was a wonderful team the YMHA. Every Saturday night, the best part of the Jewish community came there to watch the games. We also went across the river to Jeffersonville, Clarksville to watch games with other teams. There was five Jewish boys, which were known as the Margolin brothers. They were the outstanding team. They also had one non-Jewish boy who played on their team, was named Omero White, who later in years moved to California. At his death he left a bequest of a $1,000 which was sent to Merrill Klein, who in turn turned it over to the now Jewish community center.

4:00

B.B.: That's wonderful.

T.W.: So what else now is there?

B.B.: What about your family, the immigration path of family. Where did they come from?

T.W.: My father came from Vilna Caverna Caverna, at the age of 19. Later he brought his parents here, whose name was Rebecca and Noah Sugarman. He also brought several sisters and brothers. He married my mother, who was Millie Marx, who as I said, had the Marx family. They were left orphans at a very young age and their father's stepsister, whose name was Rachel Ravitch, her husband's name was Pesach Ravitch, took the five children in and reared them to the time that they were married.

B.B.: That's amazing. So that one family often took in another family and befriended them if they needed help.

5:00

M.F.: Hi, this is Mutzi speaking. I would like to interject at this time that my grandmother, Millie Marx Sugarman was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi. And if we count from my grandmother to my grandchildren, we are five generations on my maternal grandmother's side born in the United States. And that makes us very proud.

B.B.: That's a long time.

M.F.: Yes, a very long time. And my mother has told me many stories about her childhood and one of the things that we've always been proud of, as she said. Her grandmother's name was Millie Marx and of all the Marx children, each one managed to name a daughter for Millie Marx. My mother was the oldest Tobie Sugarman Whittenbaum. Then was Tobie Marx Klein, Merle Klein's wife. Tobie Diamond Goldberg and Tobie Marx Weinberg. Since at one time there were two Tobie's, it was a little difficult for the family to realize, which Tobie they were talking about. So they soon became known, because Tobie Klein was very tall, she was big Tobie. Tobie Weinberg was rather short, so she was little Tobie. And that's the way we distinguished between the two Tobie's.

B.B.: That's a great family tradition.

M.F.: Well, we've always been very proud of that.

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