Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The end of Empire and the End of the Shtetl

Excerpt The end of Empire and the End of the Shtetl
Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated, Austria entered the Balkans, the Germans declared their support of the Austrians, the Russians, the British and the Germans declared their opposition. World War I erupted on the face of Europe. 
The Austrian army came to every village to draft every able bodied man. My grandfather managed to evade them. The Austrians became so desperate that cartoons show the army MD examining a skeleton and declaring,” Fit for Service”. They became short  even of the doctors and drafted first year medical students to serve as physicians. The only solution the young army doctors had for mutilated limbs was summed up in one word,” Aspirin.” 
The Russian armies advanced on the Eastern front of Austria and the heaviest fighting between the two armies was in Galicia, as the Russian armies made their way through, and then were driven back. The front lines went straight through the Dolyna region
Hundreds of thousands were dislocated. Many Jews fled from the advancing armies for the capital, Vienna. The Weinberg s were among them.
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