In a 1936 Czernowitz business directory (Source: ehpes.com), Samuel Blei, my great-uncle, is listed as a Frizer (Barber) working at Strada Romana #92. In the Austro-Hungarian period, the street was named “Russische Gasse” and in the Soviet and Ukrainian eras, it was named “Russka”.
Czernowitz is within the Bukovina region, on the northern side of the central eastern Carpathian mountains and plains. Strada Romana ran South-East, following the Prut river towards the East, towards the Russian Empire. In a 1933 issue of “Der Tag” newspaper, it was announced that this important street would be paved.
You could find nearly anything you needed, walking Strada Romana in 1936. Salo Brull’s photography studio at #6 and M. Fuhrmann’s at #10. Hungry? Odobestilor Dealul’s Wine is at #7. Meschulim Friedmann’s Dairy is at Romana #4. Wolf Burg’s bakery was at 132e. At #1, you would find several Jewelers – Stefan Bandynda and also Jacob Goldschlager. More jewelers are scattered around the area. Bronislaus Chytrenschi sold women’s handbags at #22. A Turkish bathhouse run by Sofia Baia was at #40. A bathhouse was where you could shower and bathe. Stamp collectors would find David Gronich at #1. Pharmacies, lawyers (Max Diamant at #14) bakery equipment, buttons, furniture, headstones, mirrors, anything you needed.
An ex-Czernowitzer recalled of the time, “There was a Trolleybus running on electricity in the Russische Gasse up to, I think Zezina. It was very quiet compared to the noise of the “tramvai.” (note: the Czernowitz tram was opened in 1897. The first autobuses were put into operation in August 1933)