largest city, reminded Norimi of Market Street in San Francisco during
the 1970s, when they were constructing BART, the Bay Areas underground
transportation system. The
main street of Soborna leading to the Kosistkovo bridge over the
Southern Buh River was dug up, exposing soil while the century year old
street cars ran along the chain-link fence built to prevent pedestrians
from crossing the street car tracks.
Norimi and Heidi had to find a break in the fence in order to
make their way to the other side of Soborna Street.
We stayed at “Hotel
Ukraine”, at 36 Kozitsukovo, in the heart of the city for nine nights.
According to UKRAINE,
THE BRADT TRAVEL GUIDE, when Podolia was declared a Russian province
in the 18th century, Vinnitsa was made its capital and
quickly assumed its role in providing the empire with sugar. The travel
book states, “During Soviet times, Vinnitsa’s population nearly
reached 400,000 but has been declining since independence.
These days travelers come to Vinnitsa in remembrance of the
Jewish past and to visit the outlying rural areas.” The last sentence
refers exactly to the reason Norimi and Heidi of the Pervin Tree were in
From Vinnitsa our targeted locations of Litin, Bagrinovtsy,
Kalinovka and Sharogrod are all within commuting distance so that we
could make a round trip of all villages in one day. Above stated cello
or shtetles are all birthplaces or residences
of the Pervin family who immigrated to Toledo, Ohio and Detroit,
Michigan. According to
Samuil Yakovlevich Pervin, the patriarch of the Pervin Tree V, Samuil
and his children also lived in Vinnitsa for some years before they moved
to Moscow. Two of
Samuil’s daughters immigrated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Bertha Pervin, the younger sister of Luba listed in her ship
manuscript that her mother resided in Vinnitsa when she departed in
1913. Samuil stated, in fact, he was teaching at the Jewish College in
Vinnitsa where he was invited to teach in 1911.
Vinnitsa was heavily
destroyed by the warfare in World War II.