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- Isaac & Henrietta Birk's story
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- Robert & Mary Larimer's story
- Meyer & Tillie Mahler's story
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- Schwartz family, Ungvar
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Saturday, January 27, 2018
Their parents, Herman Yehuda Schwartz and Hani Simonowitz Schwartz, stayed behind in Ungvar, along with a number of siblings. Separated by thousands of miles, the family stayed in touch with letters and photo cards like the one at top, which shows four Schwartz siblings in Ungvar in 1915.
By the time of World War II, the parents had passed away but the siblings who remained in Hungary all were grown and had families of their own. None but Tivador, Sam, and Mary ever moved to America.
I'm very sad to say that those who remained behind were killed during the Holocaust, with one exception: my grandfather's niece, Viola Schwartz. According to her video testimony, found through the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum among other repositories, she was an eye witness to the tragedy that everyone else from the Schwartz family had been rounded up and sent to concentration camps, where they--like so many Jewish families-- perished.
On this international day of remembrance, my post honors the memory of my Schwartz ancestors and all others who were killed during the Holocaust. I feel a great sense of loss for who they were and who they and their descendants might have become. And I want to pay loving tribute to the Schwartz survivor, my cousin Viola, a strong and courageous woman.
Friday, September 8, 2017
Thank you to Dianne Nolin (author of the Beyond the BMD blog) for suggesting the Grandparents Day Challenge for September 10th. My interpretation of this challenge is to write one surprising thing I discovered about each grandparent through genealogical research.
|Henrietta Mahler Berk (later Burk) and children listed on 1915 border crossing, Canada to US|
- Henrietta Mahler Burk (1881-1954), my paternal grandma, crossed the border to and from Canada several times with her children as her husband sought carpentry work. The last time was in March, 1915, when she shepherded her four young children back to New York City (ranging in age from 8 years old to 10 months). I was surprised by all this travel while the kids (including my father) were so young. This constant travel helps explain why the family was so close that in later years, three of the four adult children lived in the same apartment building as Henrietta after she was widowed. Saying hello to my Mahler cousins!
- Isaac Burk (1882-1943), my paternal grandpa, was a bit of a mystery. It took me a long time to learn where and when he died--and then I was surprised to learn the sad news that he had a fatal heart attack in Washington, D.C., while visiting his sister and brother-in-law. That wasn't the only surprise I uncovered through research. Although I knew Isaac was born in Lithuania, I discovered that he stayed with an aunt and uncle in Manchester, England before continuing his journey to North America. I visited my British cousins last year, and DNA testing confirms the connection--greetings, cousins!
- Hermina Farkas Schwartz (1886-1964) was my maternal grandma. I wasn't aware that her father and then her mother came to America first, leaving Minnie and the other children behind with family in Hungary. Minnie sailed to NYC at age 11 on the S.S. Amsterdam, with her older brother (age 13) and two younger siblings (aged 8 and 5). Imagine being so young and responsible for a lengthy trans-Atlantic voyage with two youngsters. Luckily, the Farkas Family Tree had regular meetings, so as I grew up, I got to know Minnie's siblings and their children and grandchildren. Hi to my Farkas cousins!
- Theodore Schwartz (1887-1965) was my maternal grandpa. It was a surprise finding out that Grandpa Teddy, who ran a dairy store, was robbed of $50 at gunpoint during the Depression. Also, I didn't know that Teddy was a mover and shaker in the Kossuth Ferencz Hungarian Literary Sick and Benevolent Society, which raised money for charity and helped its members pay medical and funeral bills. Now I'm in touch with several cousins from the Schwartz family--saying hello to you, cousins!
Friday, January 27, 2017
|This little girl was a teenager when the Holocaust began. She is the sole survivor of Auschwitz from all the siblings and in-laws of my Schwartz family who lived in Hungary at the time.|
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Never forget. Never again.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Above, probably one of Teddy's sisters and her husband, in a studio photo they sent to Teddy some time after he left and came to New York City. The inscription, shown at right, reads: "Affectionately, Lenke and Ignacz, Uzhorod, March 29, 1924."
Teddy's older brother Simon (who changed his name to Samuel) and his younger sister Mary came to New York, but the rest of the siblings remained in Hungary.
The only Schwartz survivor was Teddy's beloved niece, Viola, who now lives in Israel with her family. We're blessed to be in touch with them!
Sunday, April 27, 2014
- My grandpa Tivador Schwartz's family.
- My great-grandfather Moritz Farkas's family.
- My great-grandma Lena Kunstler's family.
- My Farkas cousins, the Roth family.
- Yad Vashem
- Shoah Foundation testimonies
- US Holocaust Museum databases
- Jewish Gen's Holocaust databases