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Jewish Heritage: The Oral Histories - Cuba Family Archives

MEMOIRIST:           ANNE SPIELBERGER YUDELSON

INTERVIEWER:      ANN SCHOENBERG

LOCATION:             ATLANTA, GEORGIA

DATE:                       JULY 28, 1989

                                  AUGUST 11, 1989
 

Transcript (PDF)

BIOGRAPHY

Anne Spielberger Yudelson was born in Atlanta in 1901. Her parents were Julia Reisman Spielberger and Jacob Spielberger, who each immigrated from Austria-Hungary to New York City during the 1880’s, married, moved to Atlanta in 1892, and operated a grocery store, J. Spielberger Groceries Meats. Anne had three brothers and four sisters. During her early childhood, Anne lived near Grant Park. She attended W.F. Slaton School and the Fraser Street School, and graduated from Commercial High. She was married to Solomon “Sol” Israel Yudelson, whose business Edward Shoe Stores eventually expanded to a chain. Anne and Sol were the parents of five children: Edith Yudelson Smith, Frances Yudelson Kuniansky, Shirley Yudelson Mosinger, Harold Yudelson, and Julian Edward Yudelson. Anne served as a vice president for Atlanta’s Hadassah chapter, and both Anne and Sol were active supporters of ORT in Atlanta.

Scope of Interview:

Anne talks in detail about her father Jacob Spielberger and her mother Julia Reisman Spielberger. She tells about her father Jacob leaving Hungary, arriving in New York City in 1887, moving to Atlanta in 1890, and in 1892 marrying her mother Julia who had also immigrated to New York City.

Anne describes how her father first earned a living as a peddler and then operated a grocery store in Atlanta. She talks about her father’s relationship with his customers, who were black. She mentions the family’s maid, Nancy Clemmons, who had been born in slavery.

Anne discusses her childhood. Anne relates how her mother and she and her brothers worked in her father’s grocery store. She talks about the horse, cow, and chickens in her backyard. She recalls living in neighborhoods that were predominately Christian. She says she attended W.F. Slaton School, Fraser School and Commercial High in Atlanta. She describes playing with neighborhood friends after school. Anne tells about her visits to Grant Park and the Cyclorama. Anne mentions her first ride in an automobile and on a train.

She talks about attending the Fraser School with children from the Hebrew Orphans Home. She discusses the differences that divided the Orthodox and Reform Jews. Anne tells about attending Hebrew School at the Jewish Educational Alliance [JEA] and its centrality in the Atlanta Jewish community.

Anne’s memories touch upon key historic events that occurred during her childhood. She tells about the Leo Frank trial and lynching. She describes the 1906 racial riot that resulted in her father’s black employee Lee being shot in the arm. She tells about seeing Halley’s Comet in 1910. She remembers witnessing the Great Atlanta Fire of 1917.

Anne discusses her seven siblings: David L. Spielberger, Pauline Spielberger Manning, Rose Spielberger Clein, Abe R. Spielberger, Harry Spielberger, Fannie Spielberger Holtz, and Stella Spielberger.

Anne talks about members of her mother’s and father’s families who lived nearby during her childhood: her aunt Bertha Spielberger Reisman and her husband Emanuel Reisman; her uncle Willie Spielberger and his wife Hermina Stern Spielberger. She remembers dances and gatherings at the Hungarian Benevolent Association. She recalls her mother cooking Hungarian goulash and paprikash as well breads and hamantashen pastries.

Anne describes meeting her husband Sol when she was 15 years old and their marriage.

Anne talks extensively about her husband Sol’s life. She tells about his birth in Kovno, Lithuania, his immigration as a seven-year old, and the change in surname from Sulski to Saul for several branches of his family. Anne discusses Sol’s success as a businessman and the expansion of his chain of shoe stores. Anne tells about her husband Sol’s attempts to rescue his relatives in Europe, their deaths during the Holocaust, and relocating his surviving cousin Rella Solsky Sloman to Atlanta.

She recalls her various homes, after marriage, near Piedmont Park in Atlanta, on Ponce de Leon Avenue in the Druid Hills neighborhood, on Briarcliff Road, and in the Sherwood Forest subdivision in Atlanta. She talks about the Mayfair Club, its first organizational meeting in her home on Ponce de Leon Avenue, and its place in her social life. She talks about the Progressive Club and its discrimination against Sephardic Jews.

Anne discusses how Judaism was part of her life growing up and as a mother. She talks about her family’s membership in Ahavath Achim Synagogue and Rabbi Harry Epstein. She also mentions other synagogues in Atlanta and their rabbis: Congregation Shearith Israel and Rabbi Tobias Geffen, Congregation Beth Israel and Rabbi Hyman Solomon, and The Temple and Dr. David Marx,

She talks about her children:  Edith Yudelson Smith, Frances Yudelson Kuniansky, Shirley Yudelson Mosinger, Harold Yudelson, and Julian Edward Yudelson.  She discusses the education and the achievements of her children and several of her 15 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

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