Yisroel Malkinson

The document “Jews in the Memory of Skuodas People” (see link on this page) provides a glimpse into the life of Yisroel Malkinson. Petronele Klovaite, a Christian citizen of Skuodas, who was interviewed in 2002 on her memories of the prewar Jewish community, recalled, “The Malkinsons lived on the other side of the square [across from the Mirkes pharmacy]. In their home, they had established a small manufactory of shoe boxes. As my father had died early (I was six years old then), my mother was very poor, and worked all the different jobs she could get to survive. I had the chance to go to school for only two winters. But when I was 12 or 13 years old, I worked for Malkinson, making shoe boxes together with his daughter. The workday started at 8:00 in the morning and lasted till 5:00 p.m. As I was living some distance from the workshop, I ate lunch at my workplace; mother used to prepare something for me. I earned 15 litas per month for my work. For a child, it was quite a lot. (For comparison: 1 kilo of butter cost 2 litas, 1 kilo of sugar 1.10 litas, one kilo of meat 2 litas, 100 kilos of potatoes 2.5 litas.) The work was not hard, but it was boring. There were machines to cut the paper. Then came making lines with a special device, then folding, then papering and pinning. And the whole day was like that. I did not count how many boxes I made per day. There was no time to be lazy or to rest as the workshop was in the same house where the owner lived. Besides, the owner’s daughter was working together with me” (Skuod Mus Arch 29-30; see also 9). Petronele also remembered that when she was working at Malkinson’s, she was treated with carrot sweets. She says they were very tasty and she has never seen them anywhere since (“Jews in the Memory” 11).