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 Mollie <I>Techner</I> Asroff

Mollie Techner Asroff

Death 24 Jun 1999 (aged 96)
Burial Trevose, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot Section Q
Memorial ID 18900724 · View Source
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Mollie was born in Kishinev, Moldova. Her father Moishe died August 14, 1904 (Julian date) at age 46.

Mollie and her mother Ida were passengers on the Trans-Siberian railway which had recently been opened by Czar Nicholas II. This railway was built between 1891 and 1908 and traveled through southern Siberia. It is assumed that World War I caused them to choose an eastern route of travel.

Ida was unable to travel over 150 (air) miles to Kamenitz-Podolsk, where her husband was, to get proper passports. So she went to her sister Sluva Shekhtman in Kishinev. Sluva got passports for herself and her own daughter Sonja. Sluva then gave them to Ida. Ida posed as Sluva and Mollie posed as Sonja. I have located records of this family in geneaological research, verifying their existance.

The above is the personal account that Mollie told in a 1985 recorded tape interview. This may be how they left Europe, but immigration records show that they entered the United States using their true identities.

They first went to Shanghai during the bitter winter of 1916 - 1917 where they lived for six months at the home of a Chinese kitchen worker. She would often see dead Chinese opium addicts laying on the street after they left shed-style opium dens located behind residences. Then they took a ship to Japan, possibly at Kyoto, where they lived for 5 weeks and enjoyed the springtime and Japanese people.

They thn left Yokahama, Japan enroute to San Francisco on the Japanese steamship Shinyo Maru. The travel was five weeks during which they stopped for a day in Honolulu. On that day, they met a Jewish street vendor who gave Mollie a free ice cream cone. She had never tasted ice cream before. The man took the women home for dinner and returned them to their ship.

They arrived in San Francisco on July 19, 1917 on the Shinyo Maru. Her Certificate of Arrival shows that Mollie used her real name when she arrived. As Mollie later said in her interview, they left Europe using their relative's names. However, a 1940 fire destroyed the Customs Passenger Lists for San Francisco and the Certificate was prepared in 1942. I believe that this document may have been prepared in 1942 based on her statement; its veracity may never be known.

Due to the Russian Revolution (this period was actually between the February and October Revolutions), their money from Czarist Russia lost its value. So they waited in San Francisco for money from Israel for further travel. They went to live with her brothers Israel and Max, who were living at 428 E. Fulton St. in Columbus, Ohio. Israel provided an apartment for the women. In September 1917 she started school. Mollie recalled the heavy snow that closed school. In March 1919, Israel and Max moved to 518 Cross St. in Philadelphia. Again Israel provided an apartment for the women in the 600 block Dickenson Street across from the school that Mollie attended. Mollie found work as a Ladies' Waist Finisher.

In 1922 she was working as a "ticket seller" and married Phillip Asroff, a tailor. The couple had two children.

By 1930 Mollie and her husband settled at 324 E. Louden St. Her mother Ida came to live with them. Philip died November 1940. She never remarried. Her 1942 petition for naturalization lists her as Fair complexion, Brown eyes, Brown hair, 5'3", 126 lbs. It also lists her as a store clerk.

Later she moved to 7326 Frontenac St. Her last residence was 3939 Conshohocken Ave.

Family Members


  • Created by: Researcher
  • Added: 12 Apr 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 18900724
  • Researcher
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mollie Techner Asroff (25 May 1903–24 Jun 1999), Find A Grave Memorial no. 18900724, citing Roosevelt Memorial Park, Trevose, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Researcher (contributor 46902961) .