Thursday, 1 May 2014

Etta Goldberg Herscovitch

Etta Goldberg also known as Yetta was born 25 Jul 1881 in Botosani, Romania. the oldest daughter of Pinie Schwartz and Jacob Goldberg. Interestingly Jacob's age is given as 29, more closely related to the age he got married ( at age 30 ) than the age that relatives gave when he was smuggled by his mother into Romania.

The 1911 Census has her arrival in Montreal as 1902. Her daughter Mary Hearst Jaffe ( most of her children changed their name from Herscovitch to Hearst ) tells on a family tape from 1988 that Yetta met Max in a synagogue. Women and men were separated. Max looked up and saw Yetta in a red sweater. He found out who she was, pursued her and courted her.
Etta and Max Herscovitch  had 6 children:

Samuel Jack Hearst

Irwin Hearst

Sarah Herscovitch

Dottie ( Dora ) Hearst

Ben Hearst

Mary Hearst

Etta lost her husband who died 3 Apr 1931 and was abandoned by her son Jack in Sudbury. She and her family were brought back to Montreal by her son Irwin. It was all too much and Yetta had a nervous breakdown. Mary, her daughter, described how the family was destitute, needed welfare, groceries and coal. Aunt Minnie said Pinie's step-brother Bentzine (Benny) bought them coal. Mary left school to take care of her mother. The family put her sister Sarah into a nunnery/ convent in St. Anne de Beaupre, "Why I don't know". Her sister Dotty snuck across the border to work. They lived on St Lawrence Blvd. Mary got a job as an usherette.

Mary was alone with her mother and knew she wouldn't be able to answer questions for immigration to the US. Her Aunt Pearl ( wife of Yetta's brother Max Goldberg ) posed as her mother. Mary was 17 at the time so it was about 1933 when she bought  tickets for the train. Her mother was not capable of answering any questions. Mary said she was very noble and would not get her aunt into trouble for posing as her mother for immigration.

At Rouse's Point, she and her mother were put in jail for the night. They slept together on a cot. The next day they were put on a train and sent back to Montreal.

Irwin, Mary's brother, again rescued them. He came back to Montreal with a car and was able to take his mother across the border. He put all of them in an apartment.

I was told that Yetta was hospitalized at the end of her life.  I have not been able to find where she died and was buried.

No comments:

Post a Comment