“Before Our Life Ends...” Parczew, 1942
A story about remembrance. This album is dedicated to the memory of the Sochaczewski family. About Czesław, Jadwiga, about grandmother Ester, Katarzyna, Maria, Stella and Regina.
Documents found Bruno Schulz’s family!
Usually we help our guests with collecting information about their ancestors and finding documents, pictures, addresses or any evidence of their existence. However, sometimes we also help documents and forgotten forefathers in finding their living descendants.
A divorce of Chana Hermelin and Awram Mosze Fingerhut
A few days ago we received a mail from a family searching for information about a woman called Chana HERMELIN. The story they told is a little sneak-peak to the life of women in the pre-war Jewish community in Poland, and in the world, and it corresponds with a previous post about the status of ’Aguna’.
From Szepsel to Shabtai
Do you come from the SZTAJNBERG or STEINBERG family? And are you a member of the ROSENZWEIG or ROZENCWAJG family? Is it possible that members of the same family spelled their last names differently? Today it may seem unlikely, but the truth is that until not long ago there was no one correct way of spelling a name.
Alfa — The Wajdenfeld Brothers’ Chocolate Factory
In our office we have the pleasure to meet incredible people and hear many wonderful stories from the past. Moreover, we have a chance to see beautiful photos.
Jewish theater in Poland
Theater was a major cultural instrument in the early 20th century, and Especially for Jewish communities. A thriving world of theater and cabaret, professional and amateur, thrived across Jewish communities and towns.
Cudyk Akerman — notable Polish Jewish boxer
Recently we had a pleasure to host at our office son of Cudyk Akerman.
Excellent Jewish football player goes abroad
Some the time ago the guest of the Department of Genealogy JHI was Leirner Adolpho, who came to Warsaw from Argentina to see his father’s homeland. We invite you to read the history of pre-war football star — Simon Lerner, member of the Warsaw club „Star”.
Who was the mother of Marylka Richter?
Oskar vel Szyja Mojżesz Richter never spoke with his sons about his first wife or daughter.
Rozenberg from Radom — a beautiful love story
Londzia’s last name was not ROZENBERG. Her parents met in Radom. Him – Zenek ROZENBERG from a rich family, her – Gienia from an average Catholic family.
Ślesin – Families from the same small town
Sometimes all the databases, all the archival work, and all the expertise are just not needed. Sometimes stories just land on you. Sometimes just being the place where for 20 years people tell their family stories is enough to make you a part of a great and emotional family story.
Saving 42 Jews of the Żmudź area
Mr Marcin Andrusieczko came to our office with a history of his uncle and his grandfather. They helped a group of 42 Jews to survive the war in bunkers in „Uroczysko Haliczańskie“ forests near Żmudź and Pobołowice. Read carefully these post-war memoirs of Mr Zbysław Raczkiewicz, son of Wojciech. Please, contact us if there’s anything you could add to this story.
Faces of Dynów
Nina Talbot’s portraits depict the stories of her ancestors who lived in the historical town of Dinov. The portraits are a product of Talbot’s trip to Dinov on Rosh Hashanah of 2013. While the initial goal of her trip was to investigate the emigration of her grandmother Bella from Dinov to New York City, what Talbot encountered was a town living in the shadow of a massacre of Jews that took place there at the hands of the Nazis on the second day of Rosh Hashanah in 1939. Talbot’s discovery of the names of her murdered great uncles, aunts and cousin imprinted on the wall of the sanctuary in the newly built Jewish Center Dinov catalyzed a new focus of the trip toward rediscovery of the lost lives. Confronting the loss of so many lives made Talbot realize „My grandmother left first, and that’s why I’m here.” This work presents inner point of view from Talbot’s family that gives the viewer a path to wander down and meditate upon their own reflections of their histories. Talbot weaves the faces, places and family relationships into her complex, yet hopeful portraits of the vanished Jews from Dinov. The first step in Talbot’s artistic process is a thorough investigation into the history of each subject. This investigative research is done through listening to interviews and recording oral histories, examining primary documents and learning about the history of the Galicia region. The Polish Jewry Heritage Center in Dinov is run by Rabbi Pincas Pomp from Izrael, who organizes a Rosh Hashanah celebration and memorial to the massacre that took place on that day in 1939. Many Dynow townspeople participate, including non-Jewish members of the community, and guests partake in a combination of traditional polish culture performances, Jewish prayer, Hebrew lessons, and memorial services to the massacre. Current activities in Dinov that include students, young and older generations reflect an attempt to understand and mediate an atrocious chapter in history. Rabbi Pincas has agreed to feature the artwork that could as a part of next year memorial. Read more about Nina and her work: www.ninatalbot.com Read more about Center: www.facebook.com/pages/Centrum-Historii-i-Kultury-Żydów-polskich-w-Dynowie/545779988820250?sk=info
Sara Haber from Nadwórna and her family.
Max-Mordechai HABER, lived in Stanislawow, father of Baruch HABER, grandfather of Sara, Sofie, Dora and Max. He passed away before the family emmigrated to Duisburg in Germany in 1919.
This beautiful photo is the only surviving symbol of the family of Grandma Anna. She was born in Moscow in 1937, to where her mother Cyla Lwowna TEJW had moved (standing first at the bottom left corner) from her town of origin. Anna’s brother, Rafael was born in Mińsk in 1905. He died as the Red Army soldier in 1945, a a notice of his death was sent to his sister in Moscow. From the birth record of Cira (Zirel), one of the sisters, appears that Lejb (Lew) came from Samokhvalovichi (Самахва́лавічы), 15 km South from Minsk.
Aleksander Schiele: A Righteous Man.
„As the granddaughter of Stefania Ewa Liliental from the Glaichgewicht family (1905–1983), who during the occupation used the name Adela Stasiewicz, I ask for Mr. Aleksader Schiele, who helped her during the time of the Nazi occupation, to be posthumously granted the honour of “Righteous Among the Nations.” Mr Aleksander Schiele (1880–1976), a Polish man with German roots (his Saxon ancestors settled in Poland at the end of the 18th century), showed great courage, repeatedly risking his life and the lives of those close to him, by saving and helping the needy, hiding Jews, helping them escape from the ghetto and providing them with financial assistance. Even at the worst times, when the Nazi plan for the extermination of all the Jews reached its bloody peak, and helping the Jews was punishable by death, Mr Schiele, a Lutheran, did not forget the values he held dear his whole life and helped not only individuals but their families as well. His conscience did not allow him to remain indifferent to the tragedy and suffering of people. One of the people he helped was my grandmother.” Dorota Liliental
The FORBERT family comes from Płock. This unique name makes it possible to connect all of the people with this name (originating in Poland) in one big family. Which is what cousins scattered around the world are trying to do.
“This is a miracle. It’s spooky!”
Michoel CHAZAN with his aunt Doris were our guests some month ago. We were looking especially for one person in their family – great grandmother Toba Kajla FRIHER. The grave was found in the data base of the Jewish cemetery on Okopowa, so they went there to find it.
Aron Majer, born in 1907 in Warsaw, son of Chaskiel Machenbaum and Zysla born Gurewicz. When he was 16, two years after his mother’s death (she died on the 22nd of April 1921, buried at the Okopowa Cemetery in Warsaw), he went to Switzerland to the family of her sister, her aunt married name — Horowitz. He never again mentioned his family, he never told his son, who was born already in Switzerland, what forced him to leave even though he had a family in Warsaw…
Szczerzec, a small town located in the district of Lviv region, over the Szczerka river, 29 km South-West of Lviv. In this town before the war and during it lived the Senik, Viertel and Osterzecer families. Whether in November 1942, the whole family was deported to the ghetto in Lviv, and then to the extermination camp (most probably in Belzec), it is not known. We just know that only Regina managed to survive...
Even pictures alone can tell the story of the family, first love, way through the war and of survival...
The whole family long before the outbreak of the Second World War... 1923.
Ciechanowski, Markus, Wierzba from Wizna and Nowogród
The Ciechanowski family — the photo was sent to Malka Judes MARKUS from either Łomża or Nowogród. It shows her parents, Jochwet and Dawid Gersz (a barrel maker), and sisters: Chana (who came to America), Sura (who moved to Argentina) and Doba, who never left. The photo was made before Dawid died in 1926.
Quizzes from Milejczyce
In 2010 during the renovation of the pre-war school building 70 history quizzes from 1940 were found when replacing the windows. They were once written by Jewish, Polish and Russian children, all attending the same school. In 1940 they were answering questions regarding Pharaoh Ramses the Second and his war with the Hittites.
We went to the ghetto, to meet Korczak
Before the war my parents found me an amazing French teacher, Maria Lewartowska. Her mother Zofia was a beautiful woman. When Maria found our that they had to move from Puławska St. to the ghetto she wrote me a letter.
I was born in Kórnik...
My family lived in a house, in which a bank was located. My parents owned a grocery store downstairs (so called colonial goods).
Saving Jozef Pilsudski
„My great-grandfather saved Jozef Pilsudski from the Russians...” — these are the first words from a letter we received from Israel.
Kidnapped by own family
Her parents died in the Sarny ghetto. Tekla and Franciszek took her into their family, only to loose her a few years later. Was she kidnapped with help from the authorities?
They called me their „Yiddishe papa”
„These were the happiest years of her life. She was saving shivering little beings, looking in their sad eyes, she was putting them to sleep“ – writes Jadwiga, a granddaughter of a Righteous Gentile, asking: what happened to them?
The last letter from Będzin
“When you receive this letter, none of us will be alive.”
The long road to Gwatemala
“Grandpa was an orphan. He left Poland because he had no family. He had no passport. He boarded the ship illegally. That’s how he got to Cuba. Later on, he moved to Guatemala.”
Letter from Vilnius
“I would like to ask whether it is possible to identify the names of the families which are in the photographs, as well as to establish what happened to them, whether anyone survived and if they have descendents or relatives. I would be very grateful for your help.”
The East is „Read”
There’s something in eastern culture that we refer to in Poland as ‘’the Russian soul”...
History of family names
Grandma’s name was Rosenberg. Am I Jewish? We hear questions like that rather often. Someone encounters a name with a Germanic sound to it and jumps to the conclusion that the name is Yiddish. Other “non-standard” Polish names are taken, due to their “exotic” nature, to be Hebrew — by individuals with no knowledge of Hebrew.