о.Арониус (o_aronius) wrote,

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Current reading: Феминистическая драма, или как социалисты еврейскую семью разрушили

Упомянутые в прошлых постингах мемуары Бернарда Гольдштейнa (1889–1959), командовавшего в межвоенной Польше бундовской милицией, постоянно вызывали ощущения дежа вю. Ибо всякий раз, когда автор рассказывал, как какие-то люди приходили жаловаться в профком или в партком, или как он грозил работяге, что, если ты не сделаешь то или это, "партбилет на стол положишь", приходилось напоминать себе, что речь идет о совсем другой стране и партии.

Один из таки рассказов привожу ниже. Тем более, что он так же хорошо показывает одну из причин огромных успехов и популярности довоенных левых партий, включая Бунд:

Первый акт драмы

One time a young woman came to see me, the wife of a young Bundist, a member of the committee of the Porters Union and by trade a “khesedl” (the name given to those street vendors who sold fruit and other produce from handcarts—mostly things they had bought from “bankrupts”—at low cost). She told me she got married when she was 17 years old. The groom, our comrade,had no steady work, so her brother had given him a handcart as a wedding present. They bought a few wares, and he thus became, “knock on wood,” a “khesedl.” At first she helped him and stood with him in the street, both summer and winter. But when the first child arrived, she could no longer help him with his peddling. A second child arrived soon thereafter, and she became totally immersed in her housekeeping. They lived together happily, with great joy. Slowly he became an activist in the Bund.

“I let him,” she said. “Why not? They are very fine, respectable people, the Bundists. We continued to live together contentedly and happily. He always came home after peddling. It was a home, a household. But it has been some time now that he doesn’t get home until twelve or one o’clock at night. I cook up a bit of food and it remains standing cold in the kitchen. I used to ask him why he comes home so late. He always had excuses: that he was busy with the Bund, always having sessions, meetings. In the beginning, I believed him. But neighbors came and told me he was running around with girls. So now I don’t know if he is deceiving me or not. So I beg you, Panie (Polish for “Mr.”) Bernard, she appealed, do something about this. I sit whole days and nights alone, and my heart is dying!”—and she started to cry.

I told her that she could, after all, read a newspaper in the evening. She answered that she could not read. I asked her again whether she wasn’t perhaps neglecting the household—perhaps the home was repellant to him. She assured me that she kept a neat and clean house. In the end I promised her I would talk things over with her husband and see whether something could be done.

It was easy for me to talk to him—apparently just so, by chance—about his home, and his wife and children. I asked him why he didn’t bring his wife along to our affairs. He answered that when he comes home he has nothing to talk to his wife about: “About our things,” she understands nothing, and other than about small household things and family matters, he has nothing to talk to her about.

Второй акт драмы

Some time passed. One morning there was a knock at my door. A young woman entered, all dressed up, with a pretty hat and a pretty dress. At first I did not recognize her, but then she quickly reminded me who she was. She was, in fact, the same young woman. She took a seat and told me that she had taken my suggestion to heart and had hired a man for two zlotys a week to teach her to read and write. Since she has now taught herself to read, now she wants to enlist as a member of the Bund—and she asked me to please see that she was admitted. I
asked her how she would be able to get away in the evenings—after all, she had two small children. She answered, with some heat, “Let him sometimes sit home at night with the children—what, is it only I that must stay at home with the children? And if he should refuse, I will ask a neighbor once in a while to watch the children.”

Третий акт драмы

Now the husband came to me with a complaint: his wife goes out several times a week and he must sit at home, and he knows this is my doing. I rebuked him: “What do you mean? Is she not also a person? We Socialists are, after all, for full equal rights for women—this equality for women must also apply in the home! You should be happy that your wife has learned how to read and write — she can already read the Folkstsaytung (People’s Newspaper—Bund’s daily newspaper)and can take part in our work. He remained silent the whole time, but I had the impression I had not persuaded him.
The relations between this couple grew worse and worse.Somehow these two things could
not coexist in his mind: the Socialist program about equality for women and the fact that his wife leaves the house several times a week to attend meetings of the YAF, and that he must sit at home and watch the children.

P.S. Про мемуары Гольдштейна аз, многогрешный, возможно, напишу еще один постинг. Но еще не решил, про что: про хасидов или про погромы. У кого будут какие предпочтения?

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