Joseph Rosenblatt - the Tavernkeeper


Submitted by Janice Rosen

An account, according to family lore, about my great grandfather Joseph Rosenblatt (Rosenbluth)

Joseph Rosenblatt (Rosenbluth) was a tavern keeper and probably in the liquor trade.  Joseph was a "mayor" (Jewish community leader) during the years he lived in Rozwadów.  According to family lore, he had a lot of money and owned a lot of land on a hill near the River San.  He also spoke 4 languages - Yiddish, Hebrew, German, and Polish. 

Joseph owned a tavern near the Galician/Polish border that was a central spot for people to have a drink and play cards.  One night (ca 1900 - 1903) when he was away on business, leaving Gittel, his wife, in charge of the tavern, a drunken Polish soldier came into the tavern and began to cause a commotion, and demanded more drink.  The patrons in the tavern didn’t know what to do, so they called Gittel, to help quiet the man down.  The drunk started beating up on Gittel and attempting to rape her. At that moment, Joseph appeared.  Joseph had some lovely long-pointed crystal wine stoppers in his tavern. He became so irate that he took two of his prized wine stoppers, one in each hand, and attacked the drunk, injuring the drunk so badly that the drunk had to be taken to the hospital.  The drunk called the Austrian police and filed charges against Joseph. Upon the advice of the townspeople, Joseph sought the safety of the Rabbi, who sheltered him and told him to flee the town immediately.  Even though the attack with the wine stoppers was self defense (or defense of his wife), he would not stand a chance in the Austrian court because he was Jewish.  Joseph he had no time to go home first to collect his things and fled (that very same night of the attack)  The Rabbi and friends helped him walk across the border into Poland and made his way through Germany,  and somehow (through sheer strength of spirit) got safely to England, to Canada, and finally New York City.  He sent for the rest of his family shortly after arriving in New York City.

Joseph had a brother named Sander who came to the US and settled in New York City during the 1890's and a sister whose name is unknown but our family believes she stayed in Austria and never left when the family came to America

Joseph and Gittel Rosenblatt had 3 children.  His son Samuel is my grandfather. Samuel was the oldest, followed by Abe, and Jenny.

In the US, Joseph went into the tailoring and dry cleaning businesses and owned a few dry cleaning establishments. 

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