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Amalie Tieger (Lilien)

Birthplace: Kalusz, Ukraine
Death: February 26, 1955 (84)
Queens, Queens, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Samuel Mechel Lilien and Brancie Dvora Lilien
Wife of Markus Jakob Tieger
Mother of Claire Tieger; Gisa Tieger Baumgarten; Rudolph Tieger; Siegfried Tieger; Henry Tieger and 2 others
Sister of Joseph Lilien; Lieb Erlich; Alte Lilien; David Elia Lilien; Gittle Lilien and 4 others

Managed by: Kitty Munson Cooper
Last Updated:

About Amalie Tieger

Kalusz was part of Galicia at the time of her birth,_Ukraine

from taped recollections of Martha Tieger Cooper (MC) interviewed by her son Steve (SC)

SC:​So the apartment you had was not, even though it was a nice neighborhood, wasn’t expensive?

MC:​No, we, in Prata, we lived in Prata; that wasn’t, uh, it was a nice neighborhood for also our cheap people. And, uh, you know how big our apartment was with seven children? Two Zimmer [rooms]. [SC: How many?] Two. [SC: Two?] Two, two Zimmer--zwei Zimmer, Kabinett hat’s geheissen [it was called “small room”]. And the Kabinett and the, and, no halls, but, you came into the kitchen. No bathroom, of course. There was a big bathtub standing in the kitchen in each of these apartments there. [SC: Mm-hmm.] And with seven children. And, uh, I told you that already once, when Mama, uh, uh, didn’t have money when Papa was in America and he didn’t make so much when he couldn’t find a job and he wanted to get another job then, when he had that argument with his nephew. And he couldn’t find anything. ‘Til he decided to go back [SC: Mm-hmm.] to nothing again. And, uh, so Mama had to put up big pots with water that the neighbors should think when they came in it’s soup there. Mittag [noon] was the main meal, ja? [SC: Mm-hmm.] That, that, uh, she decided to put water in the neighbors shouldn’t know that she had nothing to cook. And she made, made the soup out, out of Kartoffeln [potatoes] oder weiss ich was [or I don’t know what]. And for all the kids to feed. Four boys. [SC: Hmm.] Big boys, all four. And she managed. And she managed nicely. And she managed then, when Gisa started to become a Lehrmädeln hat sie gleich begonnen, she started immediately to make hats for private customers at home. [SC: Mm-hmm.] And Claire became a Praktikanten [a shop apprentice], also, all in the Stadt [referring to the metropolitan part of Vienna], all gleich fein [in fine stores], you know. Gisa and Henry became, uh, my brothers, two brothers were Praktikanten, also Lehrboys, both of them before they went to America. Rudolf in the menswear, clothes and Siegfried, too. And Henry became a worker. And Bernard was the only . . . .

SC:​So Fred’s real name was Siegfried? ..... But, uh, we were already seven, they already made a little money, you know, the kids, the, the bigger ones, and Mama was very sparsam [thrifty] and had gut gewirtschaftet [was a good housewife]. She, she made two scrambled eggs for seven children for Nachtmal, you know, for dinner, for evening, sandwich two bread and scrambled eggs aufgeschmiert [spread on].

MC:​We, we were hungry, believe me. And still on, on Sunday Mama went to, took Gisa and Claire and she and went in the, in the Hauptallee, and she had, they had white gloves on and they had . . . .

SC:​What was it like when you lost the war? When Germany and Austria lost the war.

MC:​Nah, that was very bad, the Verhältnisse [bad times]. [SC: The what?] We could not have much survived if at that time, we, and that I remember very well already, the letter came immediately from my two aunts, I had a wonderful aunt in Jersey, Tante Blumenfeld, and the three cousins. But the Tante, they had this little delicatessen store. And she was the one who sent Mama a letter, immediately she, they sent us immediately Liebespackete [care packages] after the war from America. And I wanted to ask . . . .

SC:​Who occupied you. [MC: What?] Who occupied Austria, or your part of Austria?

MC:​It was immediately zerissen von, von alle [ripped away from] . . . .

SC:​But who occupied, what soldiers--were you occupied?

MC:​No we were not occupied. [SC: No?] We were just immediately zer, haben die Sitzungen gehalten [they held meetings] und haben es zerissen, haben alles separat gemacht [and ripped it, made everything separate] [SC: Hmm.] Hab alles wegenomen [took everything away]. Like now, you know. [SC: Mm-hmm.] They, they made that, Hungary was separate ‘til now, and Czechoslovakia, and Poland. Everything. Yugoslavia. That was all Vienna, all Austria. [SC: Mm-hmm.] And so the Liebespackete came very often--das waren Packete [those were packages!]. I told you the other day about the, was it you I told it or was it in New York, was it in, uh, Florida when I said that story about that, that, uh, uh, corned beef in the cans.

MC:​Uh, uh, and, uh, and I thought that was the most, the finest, the best in the world, what, what they sent us. And it was, we loved it. Mama, from one little can, Libbys, can, you know, corned beef, and from one Ding she made Kartoffeln--potatoes with it and it was a delicious meal for seven children. [SC: Mm-hmm.] And two boys who ate. They, a lot, and we all ate. Mama ate. Anyway, and so they, the letter came from them: “I know that our brother died,” meaning my father, [SC: Hmm.] “in, in the war now, and, um, and we know that you have four sons. Why don’t you let two come here and we’ll get them good jobs, and, and they will start and then they can get their family, your family here.” And that’s how it happened. February ‘21. Well ‘til the, you know, the mail came, and the, ‘til Mama decided and that, ‘til they sent then the tickets, first of all, the boys didn’t have money for tickets to America. [SC: Mm-hmm.] And they came. And they came, went to America in February 1921. The first two boys. And it was, it was, uh, Rudolf and Siegfried. They were the first two, and they stayed with my aunt in Jersey. She gave ihnen [them] a nickel for the subway to go every day to New York, and, uh, that’s how they got into the restaurant business, because it was easy, you know, they had the food there. And they worked. And they made money right away. [SC: Mm-hmm.] So after a year they got Henry, they got Bernard instead of Henry and Henry then later, I think. Henry came as fourth one. And, uh, they, um, and, uh, they got an apartment for all four. They lived together, you know. And then they . . . .

SC:​Where did they live? [MC: What?] Where did they live?

MC:​In Harlem. What was, it was, uh, at that time, today it’s not Harlem anymore. Today it’s Harlem. It was hundred, uh, sixteenth street they lived. That was, was, was supposed to be beautiful apartment, a big apartment. Because the big apartments were all in Washington Heights around there, you know.

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Amalie Tieger's Timeline

August 4, 1870
Kalusz, Ukraine
August 25, 1896
October 21, 1897
Vienna, Austria
December 11, 1898
March 16, 1900
March 29, 1901
Vienna, Vienna, Austria
January 7, 1903
Vienna-10, Austria
November 15, 1904
Novaragasse 17/19, Vienna-2, Austria
February 26, 1955
Age 84
Queens, Queens, New York, United States