Sunday, January 23, 2011

More on the Gemuetlich Life in Vienna

The Vienna Chapter of Hashomer Hatzair, showing founder Meir Yaari, middle,second row, and my father, Wilhelm Weinberg, last row, on left.

Mishmar, May-June 1947, on 50 the Birthday of Meir Yaari, the founder of Hashomer and Mapam.
The article describes the adulation heaped upon Meir Yaari for his role in founding major institutions in then British Palestine, soon to become the State of Israel. His colleague, and co-founder of the movement, the Kibbutz Artzi and Mapam, Y. Hazan, described the early years in the kibbutz movement, which could well have described the early years of Hashomer in Vienna,".” We were like a small family. Each one knew the other. We grew up together and moved upward in a great movement"

Scenes from the better years, when the Weinbergs could spend a pleasant summer on the beach somewhere on the Yugoslav coastline.C. end of 1920s, early 1930's. The family had business interests in Trieste,a former part of th Austrian Empire that had been occupied by Italy, and the Benjamin spent much time there to oversee the business.
My father, center, with his brother, Munio, right, and uncle , Jonah Gelernter, noted Hebraist and teacher of Hebrew at the Vienna Hebrew Gymnasium.Before World War I, he was active in Galicia, in the area of Stryj, with the Ivria Society for the revival of Hebrew as a living language and culture.

On the beach in better days:left to right, Benjamn( Munio),unknown woman, Jonah  and on his shoulders,his wife, Sarah, sister of Samuel Weinberg and aunt of my uncle and my father, on the right.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Coming of Age in Vienna

Chapter 3a
Coming of Age in Vienna
My father taught me to avoid crowds. One of the books in his library was by a noted French sociologist, Gustave Le Bon, on “ The Psychology of Crowds,” and apparently both Hitler and Mussolini studied it and learned the lessons of manipulation of the masses from it.
With the fall of the Habsburg Empire, Vienna was in chaos. At one point, my father, then young and idealistic, joined in one of the demonstrations, when suddenly the crowd, perhaps confronted by police or military force, panicked. He escaped the stampede, and learned, from there on, not to go on with the herd.
       The capital city of the new Republic of Austria, was dominated by socialists, hence, it earned the nickname of “Red Vienna”. At the same time, it was a heavily cosmopolitan city, having served as capital for so many distinct nationalities under the Empire, and, during and after the war,  it was swollen with refugees, particularly Jews like the Weinbergs.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Dr Benjamin Weinberg's notes on Family

Benjamin Weinberg’s family history notes- written c 1977-78
My Uncle, Dr. Benjamin Weinberg, was the source of much information on the family lineage. He wrote me several letters, by long-hand, and filled in the margins when he ran out of room or had an additional thought to add. Sections of the original notes have been realigned for sake of continuity of theme and I have headed them accordingly.  I have transcribed it as he wrote it; keepin mind that English was his sixth or seventh( and last) language.
The origin of the Weinbergs in from Spain to Dolina-salt mines, the first cemetary