Families

The list of members of the Jewish community in Białowieża that we managed to confirm. The equal sign in parentheses indicates the maiden name.

 The descriptions of individual families are being published gradually. 

 

  1. Abramowicz
  2. Adamowicz Sara
  3. Alkon Samuel
  4. Alkon Berta
  5. Alkon Ester
  6. Alkon Donia
  7. Alkon Dwora
  8. Alkon Emanuel
  9. Alkon Ezriel
  10. Anisimowicz Sosza
  11. Bachrach Sara
  12. Bachryk
  13. Bachryk córka
  14. Berko
  15. Będner Pejsach
  16. Będner Elka (=Wołczan)
  17. Będner Tajbl (=Reines)
  18. Będner Chaja (=Rabinowicz)
  19. Birnbaum
  20. Bler M.
  21. Boczan (Bocian) Sima
  22. Boczan Aszer
  23. Boczan Jesua
  24. Boczan Lejb
  25. Borus
  26. Buczko
  27. Burnsztejn (Bursztyn) Wiktor
  28. Burnsztejn Abraham
  29. Burnsztejn Syma
  30. Burnsztejn Beila
  31. Burnsztejn Mina Sara
  32. Burnsteim Mendel
  33. Byszczycha
  34. Byszko
  35. Byśko
  36. Cienka Edzia
  37. Cienki Natan
  38. Cynamon Jankiel
  39. Cynamon Gołda
  40. Cynamon Jakub
  41. Cynamon Lea
  42. Cynamon Tema
  43. Cynenbaum
  44. Cywiński
  45. Dawidowicz M.
  46. Drozdowska Chana
  47. Drozdowska Szyfra (=Lerenkind)
  48. Drozdowski
  49. Dworecka Chana
  50. Dworecki Jankiel
  51. Enach
  52. Fajber
  53. Fedelman Ajzyk
  54. Feldbaum Aaron Joszua
  55. Feldbaum Judyta
  56. Feldbaum Małka
  57. Feldbaum Welwel
  58. Feldbaum Rina
  59. Feldbaum Roza
  60. Feldabum Paulina
  61. Feldbaum Klara
  62. Feldbaum Rachela
  63. Feldbaum Hershel
  64. Feldbaum Samuel
  65. Feldbaum Abraham
  66. Feldbaum Leibel (Lejb)
  67. Feldbaum Methel
  68. Feldbaum dziecko Lejba
  69. Feldbaum dziecko Lejba
  70. Frost J.
  71. Frost wife
  72. Frydberg Izaak
  73. Funke
  74. Galpern (Halperin) Jakow Mejer
  75. Galpern Jehoshua
  76. Galpern Ida
  77. Galpern Szejna
  78. Galpern Chaja
  79. Galpern Abram
  80. Galpern Łazar
  81. Galpern Cila
  82. Galpern Gersz
  83. Galpern Józef
  84. Galpern Szajla
  85. Galeprn Roza
  86. Galpern Dina (=Sawczycka)
  87. Galpern Eliahu
  88. Galpern Jakub
  89. Galpern Józef dziecko
  90. Galpern Szakhna
  91. Goldberg Szaja
  92. Goldberg Chana
  93. Goldberg Rywka
  94. Godlberg Szabtaj
  95. Goldking Kopel
  96. Góra Judel
  97. Góra Jankiel
  98. Góra żona
  99. Góra Rachela
  100. Grabska
  101. Grabski Szloma Zelman
  102. Gruchman
  103. Heller Mojżesz
  104. Hoffman Abram
  105. Hoffman Benjamin
  106. Jabłonowicz Bobla
  107. Jabłonowicz Sima
  108. Jabłonowicz dziewczynka
  109. Jagodziński Kalman
  110. Jagodzińska Chaja
  111. Jagodziński Hone
  112. Jalecki Abraham Mordechaj
  113. Jelizarow Abram
  114. Jelizarow Gołda
  115. Jelizarow Gawrił
  116. Jelizarow  son of Gawrił 1
  117. Jelizarow son of Gawrił 2
  118. Jelizarow son of Gawrił 3
  119. Jelizarow daughter of Gawrił 1
  120. Jelizarow daughter of Gawrił 2
  121. Jenke
  122. Jenke Jenta
  123. Kadysz Jejna
  124. Kahana Kopel
  125. Kahana Sosza
  126. Kapłański Lejb
  127. Kaufmann Izaak
  128. Kaznikarska M. (?)
  129. Kestin I.
  130. Klejnerman Kejla
  131. Klejnerman Mejer
  132. Klejnerman Mejer
  133. Klejnerman Nachman
  134. Klejnerman Jacha (= Poczynko)
  135. Klejnerman Mania
  136. Klejnerman Dwora
  137. Klejnerman Estera (=Zawielewska)
  138. Klejnerman Szlomo
  139. Klejenrman Szlomo (wnuk)
  140. Klejnerman Dora
  141. Klejnerman Zelig
  142. Klejnerman W.
  143. Kraśniański Chaim
  144. Krawczuk Dawid
  145. Krenicer Gerszon
  146. Krenicer Henia (=Gutman)
  147. Krenicer Izrael
  148. Kreszyn Abram
  149. Kreszyn Chaim
  150. Kreszyn wife of Abram
  151. Krugman Chaim
  152. Krugman Rina (=Feldbaum)
  153. Krugman Filip
  154. Krugman Bejla
  155. Krugman Liba
  156. Krugman tweens
  157. Krugman Perla
  158. Krugman Dwora
  159. Krugman W.
  160. Krugman Herszel
  161. Krugman Berko
  162. Kruhman
  163. Kuzniecow-Wejner Izaak
  164. Lajfan Alter
  165. Lam Erna
  166. Lejman Bencjon
  167. Lejman I.
  168. Lerenkind Izaak
  169. Lerenkind Necha
  170. Lerenkind Abraham
  171. Lerenkind Joszua
  172. Lerenkind Matylda
  173. Lerenkind Szyfra (=Drozdowska)
  174. Lerenkind Aron
  175. Lerenkind Szloma
  176. Lilenthal Abraham
  177. Liniewska Sara
  178. Liniewski Abram
  179. Lipkowski Naftali
  180. Loszewicki Mejer
  181. Loszewicka Pola
  182. Loszewicka Dwora
  183. Lubczyk Roza
  184. Lubietkin Frejda
  185. Lubietkin Kuszel
  186. Lubietkin Małka
  187. Lubietkin Judel
  188. Lubietkin Szmulko
  189. Lubietkin Frejda girl
  190. Machleder Lejba
  191. Machleder Szejna (=Tenenbaum)
  192. Malecki Eliezer
  193. Malecka Cirel
  194. Malecka Tema (=Cynamon)
  195. Malecki Abraham
  196. Malecka Leja
  197. Malecka Fruma (=Winokur)
  198. Malecka Sima (=Boczan)
  199. Malecki Zelig
  200. Malecka Małka (=Perlman)
  201. Malecka Miriam
  202. Malecki Chaim
  203. Malecka Chana (=Perlman)
  204. Malecki Łazarz
  205. Malecki Izrael
  206. Malecki Lejba
  207. Malecki Szloma
  208. Malecki Icko
  209. Merba Abram
  210. Merba Genia
  211. Mucha
  212. Muskat Minka
  213. Narbar A
  214. Narbar G.
  215. Norba Mojżesz
  216. Norba Abram
  217. Nowokolski (Nowokowski) Welwel
  218. Nowokolski Chaim
  219. Nowokolska Rachela
  220. Nowokolska daugther
  221. Nowokolska son
  222. Oremland Joshua Bezalel
  223. Oremland father
  224. Oremland mother
  225. Oremland daughter
  226. Papisz Aszer
  227. Pejsach
  228. Pejsach wife
  229. Perlman Chana
  230. Perlman Jehudit (Judyta)
  231. Perlman Liba
  232. Perlman Małka
  233. Perlman Mordechaj
  234. Perlman Mosze
  235. Perlman Szejna
  236. Pisarewicz Mosze
  237. Pisarewicz Abram
  238. Poczynka Bracha (= Klejnerman)
  239. Poczynko Jacha
  240. Poczynko Izaak
  241. Pomeraniec Chananij
  242. Późniak
  243. Prejgier Israel
  244. Prync Abraham
  245. Prync Józef
  246. Prync  child of Józef 1
  247. Prync child of Józef  2
  248. Prync child of Józef 3
  249. Rabinowicz Motel
  250. Rabinowicz Chaja
  251. Rabinowicz Henia
  252. Rabinowicz Rywa
  253. Rabinowicz Doba
  254. Ratowicki Izaak
  255. Ratowicki Szmul
  256. Reines Chaim
  257. Reines Cywa (=Sztejnberg)
  258. Reines Chaim dziecko
  259. Reines Tania
  260. Reines Taibl
  261. Reines Zalman
  262. Reines Avigail
  263. Ruben Szewach
  264. Rudy
  265. Ruda Rejna
  266. Rozencwajg Icko Dawid
  267. Rozencwajg Zelig
  268. Rozencwajg women
  269. Salman Dawid Szlomo
  270. Salman Dora Hana
  271. Salman Jakub
  272. Sarenka
  273. Sawczycki Jakub
  274. Sawczycki Józef
  275. Sawczycka Chana
  276. Sawczycki
  277. Sawczycka Szewa
  278. Sawczycka Fejga
  279. Sawczycka Rysia
  280. Sawczycka Rywka
  281. Sawczycka E.
  282. Skałka Chaja
  283. Skałka Sara
  284. Skałka Abram
  285. Skałka Gołda
  286. Skałka Józef
  287. Skałka Róża
  288. Skałka Sara
  289. Słonimska Rachela
  290. Słonimska Pola
  291. Słonimski Moniek
  292. Słonimski mąż
  293. Szacherman Welwel
  294. Szachna
  295. Sznabel Zelig
  296. Sznabel Rywa
  297. Sznabel Ela
  298. Stawski Natan Szymon
  299. Stawski Jakub
  300. Stawski Józef
  301. Stawski Lipa
  302. Stawski Sz.
  303. Stawski
  304. Stawski żona
  305. Stawski matka
  306. Stawski Jankiel
  307. Szerman Abram
  308. Szerman Jasza
  309. Szewiec Chana
  310. Szewiec father
  311. Szewiec son 1
  312. Szewiec son 2
  313. Szewiec Szewa
  314. Szewis Mojżesz
  315. Szlajfer
  316. Szlocharman father
  317. Szlocharman Mejsza
  318. SzlocharmanWelwel
  319. Szlocharman Abram
  320. Szlocharman brother
  321. Szneider Chaim Aaron
  322. Szneider Małka (=Feldbaum)
  323. Schneider Abraham (Abe)
  324. Szrajbman Chana
  325. Szrajbman Sara
  326. Szrajbman Hirsz
  327. Szrajbman Izaak (Mosze)
  328. Szrajbman Jakow
  329. Szrajbman Nechama
  330. Szrajbman Chaim
  331. Sztejnberg Eliahu Chaim
  332. Sztejnberg Chana
  333. Sztejberg Izaak Jakub
  334. Sztejnberg Abram
  335. Sztejnberg Chanoch
  336. Sztejnberg Dwora
  337. Sztejnberg Jakub
  338. Sztejnberg Pinkas
  339. Sztejnberg Rywa
  340. Sztejnberg Cywa
  341. Sztejnberg Szlomo
  342. Sztejnberg Lejba
  343. Sztejnberg Chana
  344. Sztejnberg Ziuma
  345. Szuster Aaron
  346. Szuster - mother of Aarona
  347. Szuster - wife of Aarona
  348. Szuster Idka
  349. Szuster elder daugther of Aaron
  350. Szuster son of Aaron 1
  351. Szuster son of Aaron 2
  352. Szurkman R.
  353. Szwach Aaron
  354. Szwach Łozer
  355. Talmud Izrael
  356. Telkowski
  357. Tenenbaum husband
  358. Tenenbaum Beila (= Burnstein Beila)
  359. Tenenbaum Szejna (= Machleder Szejna)
  360. Tabacznik Salomon
  361. Tabacznik wife of Salomona
  362. Tabacznik Irena
  363. Topolańska Gołda
  364. Walczan Rywa
  365. Waldszan (Waldshan) Benjamin
  366. Waldszan Tania
  367. Waldszan Dawid
  368. Waldshan Hinda
  369. Waldshan Mindel
  370. Welwel W.
  371. Werber Zelig
  372. Werber Welwel (Zeev)
  373. Werber Chana
  374. Werber Abram
  375. Werber Gołda
  376. Werber Chana
  377. Werber Henek (Chaim)
  378. Werber Sara
  379. Werber Dwora
  380. Winokur I.
  381. Winokur Fruma (=Malecka)
  382. Wolman Kalman
  383. Wolmel W.
  384. Wołczan Elka (=Będner)
  385. Wołkostawski Lejb
  386. Yael z Szereszewa
  387. Zając Mejer
  388. Zawielewska Estera (= Klejnerman)
  389. Zyngier
  390. Zylbersztejn Mowsza
  391. Zyskind

Opisy rodzin

The Alkon Family

One of the most prominent and remembered by the citizens Jewish families from Białowieża. Especially Samuel Alkon is still recalled in plenty of stories - he was born in 1890 in Kobryń, in the house of Samson (Szymon, Shimon) Alkon, a wood trader, and Miriam nee Tanenbaum (see the Tanenbaum family). Samuel Alkon changed his profession and started trading textiles in Białowieża. He had two stores on Stoczek, the main street in Białowieża - currently Waszkiewicza number 69. In the The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture from 1926-1930 they figure under the name “bławaty” (t/n: silk), although Białowieża citizens recall them as “clothing”, “textile”, “haberdashery”, “clothing and shoe-store”, “manufacture”. As Włodzimierz Dackiewicz from Białowieża refers: “Alkon had two houses - one on one side, and another one on the other side of Stoczek. He had stores in both of them. He was the only one to sell more expensive textiles and clothes of better quality. Good, green gabardine. Bielsko-Biała produced the best gabardine - and Alkon’s store was the only place where you could get it. Alkon dressed all of the forest officers in Białowieża, as all of them made their uniforms from the gabardine bought in his store. Later it was Kuprjanow, the baptist, that made the uniforms.” Akon’s store also sold clothing for special occasions - “We go to the wedding wearing a shirt from Alkon” - Borys Russko writes in his poem dedicated to the Białowieża Jews. Zina Buszko recalls: “When Mum wanted to make us new dresses, she took us to the store so we could choose the material - we would buy it in one piece for both me and my sister.” Samuel Alkon was also one of the first citizens in Białowieża to own a telephone - he is noted down in the Phone Book with phone number “53”.

In the index of bona vacantia the surname Alkon only appears next to the house at Stoczek 93 (old numeration) with an information about a yard, house and a barn. Samuel Alkon got married to Berta Burnstein, born in 1888 in Białowieża in one of the oldest Jewish families of Białowieża (see the Burnstein family). From the Yad Vashem testimony filled by Ezriel Alkon, which emigrated to Palestine just before the war, we get the information that Berta traded wood together with her father’s family, but perhaps she was selling textiles in her husband’s shop later on. In the text “Stracone Bezpowrotnie” (t/n: “Lost forever”) by Anna Budzyńska and Anna Charkiewicz we find out that Berta Alkon had a store selling clothing and undergarments in Hajnówka, on the intersection of Batory and Lipowa streets.

Samuel and Berta Alkon had four children: Emanuel, Ester, Dwora and Ezriel.

  • Emanuel Alkon, born in 1914 in Białowieża. He became a merchant and moved to Hajnówka.
  • Estera (Edka) Alkon, born in 1920 in Białowieża. She became a pianist, and was married, but we don’t know the surname of her husband.
  • Dwora (Donia) Alkon, born in 1927, died as a student in 1942.
  • Azriel (Ezriel) Alkon, born in 1928 in Białowieża, emigrated before the war to Palestine and settled in Haifa. According to Nina Russko, he tried to convince the rest of the family to join him, but the Alkon’s didn’t agree to come. In 1947, after the war, Azriel tried to recuperate the estate after his grandparents together with Aleksander Bernstein, his cousin that lived with him in Haifa. (see the Burstein family). According to information from the first post-war owner of property, Wiktoria Buszko, Alkon managed to get paid for his family house. Azriel Alkon declared his family to the Central Database of the Shoah Victims in Yad Vashem only in 1999. It seems like he wasn’t sure of the locations and dates of death of particular members of his family. For his parents - Samuel and Berta, he gave the date 1943 and location Białowieża and region of the Białowieża Forest, as for siblings: Białowieża 1942 for Dwora and Estera and Hajnówka 1942 for Emanuel. It doesn’t fit with the Holocaust history of Białowieża (link to Holocaust). If they died in Białowieża, it had to be in 1941, if they died later - in 1942 or 1943, it was probably in the Pruzhany ghetto ot in Auschwitz. There’s a person named “Alek” on the list of people exterminated in the Białowieża Gravel Pit (link) presented by Monkiewicz - it might refer to somebody called Aleksander, but it may also be a distorted version of the surname “Alkon”.

The whole Alkon family from Kobryń (Samuel’s parents - Samson and Miriam, grandparents Chaja and Józef and his uncle, Noah, a teacher) died during the Shoah in 1942.

It’s hard to estimate in which of the houses did Alkon live or have his stores. Jan Sawicki mentions, that it was located in front of the current restaurant “Stoczek” across the street (today's Waszkiewicza 69)  - “it was an oblong, wooden, big house, I think two families lived inside it. Now it’s dismantled from the front.” But Zina Buszko says that Alkon had his house a bit further, not in front of the restaurant.  Aleksy Dackiewicz on the other hand says that it was the house in front of the street called Zaulek Bartnikow.


Footnotes:

  1. Bolesław Rychter, interview by Katarzyna Winiarska, 20.05.2015;
  2. Aleksy Dackiewicz, interview by Katarzyna Winiarska, 10.05. 2015;
  3. Włodzimierz Dackiewicz, interview by Katarzyna Winiarska, 9.05.2015;
  4. Information from the first post-war owner of Alkon house was transferred by the current owner, Irena Wojciechowska to Katarzyna Winiarska, 30.09.2016;
  5. Jan Sawicki, interview by Katarzyna Winiarska, 15.03.2016;
  6. Zinaida Buszko, interview by Katarzyna Winiarska, 24.03.2016;
  7. Anna Budzyńska, Anna Charkiewicz, Stracone bezpowrotnie, [Lost Forever] in: http://hajnowka.com.pl/main.php?str=131
  8. Spis abonentów Państwowych i Koncesjonowanych Sieci Telefonicznych w Polsce,1931-32 [National and Chartered Phones Subscribers List in Poland];
  9. Spis abonentów Państwowych i Koncesjonowanych Sieci Telefonicznych w Polsce, 1932 [National and Chartered Phones Subscribers List in Poland];
  10. Piotr Bajko, Encyclopedia of the Białowieża Forest, Białowieża, entry: Terebenthen; Traders and contractors in mid-war Białowieża; http://www.encyklopedia.puszcza-bialowieska.eu/
  11. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa. [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture], 1926/27, Warsaw;
  12. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa. [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture], 1928, Warsaw;
  13. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Rejestr nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych położonych na terenie powiatu Bielsk Podlaski, 1946, teczka 33 [National Archive in Białystok, index of bona vacantia in Bielsko Podlaskie poviat];
  14. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Wykazy nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych na terenie pow. Bielsk Podlaski, 1946-1949, Okręgowy Urząd Likwidacyjny, teczka 1736 [National Archive in Białystok, index of bona vacantia in Bielsko Podlaskie poviat]
  15. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Ewidencja nieruchomości, powiaty Białystok, Bielsk Podlaski, Sokółka nr 1 Wydz. III Ewidencja Szacunk. [Property and mortgage evidence in Białystok, Bielsk Podlaski and Sokółka], Polish Archives in Bialystok;
  16. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Przekazywanie w zarząd Zarządom Gminnym i Miejskim nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych na terenie pow. Bielsk Podlaski. 1946-1949, Okręgowy Urząd Likwidacyjny w Białymstoku. Wydział Powierniczy. Oddział Nieruchomości. 4 XI 1946, Polish Archives in Bialystok;
  17. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Sprawa Bursztejna Aleksandra o wprowadzenie w posiadanie, Bielsk-Podl. C. 468/47, Archiwum w Białymstoku nr teczki 1394 [Aleksander Bursztejn’s estate recovery case], Polish Archives in Bialystok;
  18. Testimony of Ezriel Alkon, Yad Vashem Testimonies, The Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names, http://www.yadvashem.org/
  19. Waldemar Monkiewicz, Zbrodnie hitlerowskie w Hajnówce i okolicy [Hitlerite Crimes in Hajnówka and its surroundings], Białystok 1982;

 

The Będner Family (Bedner)

Pejsach Będner was born in 1885 in Trzcianne (yiddish Trestina) which later was in the Białostockie voivodeship. He lived in Białowieża, where he had a herbadashery store and a grocery store. He got married to Elka Wołczan from Hajnówka (born in 1880). Będners lived on street Stoczek 38 - after the war in the bona vacantia index it was inscribed with a mistake under Bednar Pejsach, but the reason might be that the citizens of Białowieża called him this way as this form appears in their testimonies along another one - Bendnar). Pejsach and Elka had a daughter, Chaja Będner, born in Hajnówka in 1900, which got married to Motel Rabinowicz. They had three daughters (see: the Rabinowicz family). Pejsach and Elkan also had a second daughter, Tajbl (Tatiana) Będner. She was born in Białowieża in 1912, became a tailor and married Zalman Reines. They had two children - Chaim (born in 1938) and Tania (see: the Reines family).

They all died during the Holocaust. Avigail Michałowicz stated in Yad Vashem that it was in 1942, but it’s doesn’t fit the Holocaust history of Białowieża. The person giving the testimony possibly didn’t have the full information as she was on emigration since 1939.

 


Footnotes:

  1. Testimony of Avigail Mikhaeli, Yad Vashem Testimonies, The Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names, http://www.yadvashem.org/
  2. Piotr Bajko, Encyclopedia of the Białowieża Forest, Białowieża, entry: Traders and contractors in mid-war Białowieża;
  3. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Wykaz mienia porzuconego i opuszczonego (nieruchomości), o charakterze mieszkalnym i innym, które w myśl okólnika Głównego Urzędu TZP z dnia 2 stycznia 1946 r.L.Dz. 11682-IV.118/46 maja być przekazane w zarząd Zarządowi Gminnemu w Białowieży [Index of bona vacantia to be given under the administration of the District Bureau of Białowieża], Polish Archives in Bialystok;
  4. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Ewidencja nieruchomości, powiaty Białystok, Bielsk Podlaski, Sokółka nr 1 Wydz. III Ewidencja Szacunk.[Property and mortgage evidence in Białystok, Bielsk Podlaski and Sokółka], Polish Archives in Bialystok;
  5. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Przekazywanie w zarząd Zarządom Gminnym i Miejskim nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych na terenie pow. Bielsk Podlaski. 1946-1949, Okręgowy Urząd Likwidacyjny w Białymstoku. Wydział Powierniczy. Oddział Nieruchomości. 4 XI 1946 [Bona vacantia index], Polish Archives in Bialystok;
  6. Testimony of Teodor Gniewszew and Eugenia Dziewiecka, IPN Archive Bi 1/1946;
The Bursztejn/Burnsztein family, called „Bursztyn” [t/n:Amber] by the citizens of Białowieża

One of the first families to settle in Białowieża. We know for sure that Abraham Burnsztein was born there in 1865, which might mean that his family lived in the city for some time already. We can find his and also Mendel Burnsztein' s signature on the farewell letter to Aaron Feldbaum written on the occasion of his emigration from Białowieża in 1921. According to Aaron’s grandson, the letter was signed by the most prominent representatives of the oldest Jewish families of Białowieża. We’re not sure who exactly was Mendel - perhaps the father or brother of Abraham.

Abraham worked as a wood seller. He got married to Bella Tanenbaum, born in the same year as him in Białowieża, daughter of Mejer Tanenbaum. She was a housewife. They had two kids, Wiktor and Berta.

  • Wiktor (Awigdor) Burnsztein, born in 1893 in Białowieża, a wood seller just like his father. He got married to Syma Zygman (born in 1898) and they were both living together on Stoczek 137, although their nephew Ezriel Alkon (emigrated before war) stated in the Yad Vashem in 1999 that Syma lived in Brześć till she died. It doesn’t seem to be true though, as Syma’s husband for sure lived in Białowieża, and their daughter Mina (Sara)Burnsztein was born there on the 25th of November 1923. Mina worked as a knitter, in a shop or perhaps in a textile manufacture that belonged to her uncle, Samuel Alkon. Mina’s name is among the ones of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp victims, which means that from Białowieża she was probably transported to the Pruzhany ghetto and from there to Auschwitz. She died on the 3rd of March 1943. Wiktor and Sima also had a son, Aleksander Burnsztein, which probably fled to Palestine just before the war. In 1947, while still living in Haifa, he took legal actions to get back the house and the ground in Stoczek 137 street which used to belong to his father Wiktor and was given to the Białowieża borough as bona vacantia by the Liquidation Bureau.
  • Berta Burnsztein, born in Białowieża in 1888. She was trading wood, just like her father Abraham and her brother Wiktor. She got married to Szmul (Samuel) Alkon from Kobryń (born in 1890) who traded textiles. They lived together in Białowieża and they had four kids: Emanuel Alkon, Donia Alkon, Estera Alkon and Ezriel Alkon (see Alkon family).

The Burnsztein family, as they were called by non-Jewish citizens of Białowieża, were one of the most prominent families in Białowieża, as we find out in the testimonies of Wiera Gwaj and Bolesław Rychter and in the book of Waldemar Monkiewicz about the Białowieża Jews Holocaust.

Ezriel Alkon, which fleed Białowieża just before the war, probably emigrating to Palestine, states in his Yad Vashem testimonies that Abraham Burnstein with his wife Beiła, and Wiktor and Berta died in Białowieża between 1942-43. We can assume, that Ezriel, living abroad, didn’t have the full knowledge concerning the Holocaust of the Białowieża Jews. In the documents used in Wiktor Burstein’s estate recovery case, we find the information that Wiktor was transported to the Pruzhany ghetto in 1941, and from there in 1943 to Auschwitz, where he was murdered. Surname “Bursztyn” (without any names) appears in Waldemar Monkiewicz’s research among people executed in the Gravel Pit on the 10th of August 1941.


Footnotes:

  1. Testimony of Ezriel Alkon, Yad Vashem Testimonies, The Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names, http://www.yadvashem.org/
  2. Informations from Wiera Gwaj and Bolesław Rychter from Stoczek; Piotr Bajko, Białowieża zarys dziejów, Białowieża, 2001, p.72;
  3. Waldemar Monkiewicz, Zbrodnie hitlerowskie w Hajnówce i okolicy, Białystok 1982;
  4. Waldemar Monkiewicz, Zbrodnie hitlerowskie w Białowieży, p. 27-28;
  5. Death Books from Auschwitz Remnats, Reports, K.G.Saur, 1995;
  6. The National Archive in Białystok, Sprawa Bursztejna Aleksandra o wprowadzenie w posiadanie [Aleksander Bursztejn’s estate recovery case] , Bielsk-Podl. C. 468/47, nr 1394;
The Cynamon family

Jakób (Yakow) [t/n: original spelling of the name in Polish is with a mistake (correct is Jakub)] Cynamon was born in Warsaw in 1905. He moved to Białowieża and had a store with groceries and household goods. He got married to Tema (Tamara) Malecka, of the same age, born in Białowieża, daughter of Eliezer Malecki and Cirel. (see: the Malecki family). Tema was a housewife. They had two children - Lea Cynamon (5 years old) and Gołda Cynamon (10 years old).

In the mid-war period we encounter as well Jankiel Cynamon which owned a tawern and a collection point for fuelwood in the Stoczek district. There is a possibility that Jakub and Jankiel Cynamon were the same person, as Jankiel is one of the versions of the name Jakub, but it seems quite hard (although possible) for one person to own a grocery store, a tavern and a fuelwood collection point at the same time.

The Cynamon family was quite well known and is very well remembered by the oldest citizens of Białowieża.

In the bona vacantia index created after the war by the Liquidation Bureau, the surname Cynamon is noted next to the house on Stoczek 246 (old numeration). The surname Cynamon, unfortunately without any name, is also on the list of people exterminated on the site of the Graveyard Pit on the 10th of August 1941. The list was created by Waldemar Monkiewicz and published in his book. Avigail Michałowicz stated in Yad Vashem that the whole Cynamon family died in 1942, but it’s doesn’t fit the Holocaust history of Białowieża. The person giving the testimony possibly didn’t have the full information as she was on emigration since 1939.

 


Footnotes:

  1. Testimony of Avigail Michałowicz, Yad Vashem Testimonies, The Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names, http://www.yadvashem.org/
  2. Piotr Bajko, Encyklopedia Puszczy Białowieskiej, entry: “Traders and Contractors in mid-war Białowieża”;
  3. Information from Wiera Gwaj, Bolesław Rychter, Nadzieja Rusko, Ignacy Miller and Mikołaj
  4. Waszkiewicz from Stoczek, Piotr Bajko, Białowieża zarys dziejów, Białowieża 2001, p. 72;
  5. Waldemar Monkiewicz, Zbrodnie hitlerowskie w Hajnówce i okolicy [Hitlerite Crimes in Hajnówka and its surroundings], Białystok 1982;
  6. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Rejestr nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych położonych na terenie powiatu Bielsk Podlaski 1946, teczka 33 [Index of bona vacantia in Bielsk Podlaski], Polish Archives in Bialystok;
  7. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Wykazy nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych na terenie pow. Bielsk Podlaski 1946-1949, Okręgowy Urząd Likwidacyjny, teczka 1736 [Index of bona vacantia in Bielsk Podlaski], Polish Archives in Bialystok;
  8. Testimony of Cyryl Szpakowicz, IPN Archive, District Commision for the Investigation of Hitlerite Crimes in Białystok, DS 296/68;
The Feldbaum Family

Aaron Feldbaum paszport ok 1900

Aaron Feldbaum paszport ok 1900

On November 2016 Katarzyna Winiarska interviewed Martin Zafman in USA, son of Rachela Feldbaum from Bialowieza. You can watch the film about Feldbaum family "Pripeczik" (jid. "the place behind stove") which was realized by the Jacek Kuron Educational Foundation. The project received funding from the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland.

SZIH_POL

 

 

Aaron Joszua Feldbaum urodził się jako syn Zeldy i Szymona Feldbaumów w 1857 roku w Szereszewie. Dzieje rodziny Feldbaumów w Szereszewie sięgają połowy XVIII wieku. Dom brata Aarona - Nachmana stoi w Szereszewie do dziś. Krótko po urodzeniu Aarona rodzice zakontraktowali jego ślub z córką Belli i Zeva Smorgonów z Szereszewa - Judytą (Judith, Judis) Smorgon, która wtedy miała rok. Młodzi wzięli ślub w 1872 roku w wieku 15 (Aaron) i 16 (Judyta) lat.

Aaron marzył o zostaniu rabinem, ale trudno było połączyć rolę męża i studenta Jesziwy.

W 1875 roku Aaron i Judyta jako 18-19 latkowie zdecydowali się przeprowadzić do Białowieży, gdzie mieszkali przez 40 lat. Aaron został szewcem, a w wolnych chwilach dalej studiował Talmud. (Wiele lat później, na emigracji w Stanach Zjednoczonych utrzymywał się z żoną z nauczania chłopców Haftorah do bar micwy.) W czasie kiedy Feldbaumowie mieszkali w Białowieży (lata 70. XIX wieku - lata 20. XX wieku) w Białowieży żyło ok. 30 rodzin żydowskich czyli 150-200 osób. Dom Aarona i Judis stał na Stoczku, w dzielnicy w której mieszkało najwięcej Żydów i stoi do dziś. Aaron, człowiek głęboko religijny,  z czasem stał się ważną osobą w społeczności żydowskiej Białowieży. Spędził większość swojego życia prowadząc Żydów swojej społeczności poprzez nauczanie i modlitwę. Był inicjatorem budowy synagogi białowieskiej, która powstała prawdopodobnie przed 1910 rokiem. Mimo, że miał dużą rodzinę i sami żyli skromnie, zawsze opiekował się najbiedniejszymi. Jak wspomina jego córka Rachela, żona Aarona nigdy nie była pewna ile osób Aaron przyprowadzi na kolację szabasową, a dzieci wiedziały, że lepiej nie prosić wtedy o więcej jedzenia niż mama im dała.

Mieli 11 dzieci, z których dwoje zmarło w wieku około siedmiu lat, a jedno podczas porodu. Pozostałe ośmioro to:

  • rodzina Pauliny Feldbaum_ Sam Steinberg maz, Paulina, dzieci od lewejMax i Morris ok 1920

    Rodzina Pauliny Feldbaum: Sam Steinberg, Paulina, dzieci od lewej: Max i Morris ok 1920

    Paulina Feldbaum - urodzona w Białowieży w 1888 roku, jako druga z rodziny wyemigrowała do Stanów Zjednoczonych do siostry Małki. Wyszła za mąż za Sama Steinberga, który pracował wtedy w sklepie produkującym kamizelki jako krawiec. Jego zarobki były skromne. Energiczna Paulina zachęciła go do otworzenia własnego biznesu. Pożyczyli pieniądze od rodziny i założyli sklep ze słodyczami na Court Street w Brooklyn. Urodziło im się dwóch synów: Max i Morris. Interes szedł im dobrze, więc choć daleko im było od bogactwa, zaoszczędzili trochę pieniędzy. Kuzyn Pauliny - Sam Verbert (syn siostry jej ojca Aarona Feldbauma) namówił ich na zainwestowanie w nieruchomości w Filadelfii, na czym mieli zbić fortunę. Paulina i Sam zaryzykowali, sprzedali sklep i przenieśli się do Filadelfii. Kuzyn zainwestował ich pieniądze w nieruchomości, które miały być złotym interesem, jednak okazały się całkowitą porażką. Paulina i Sam zostali w Filadelfii z dwójką dzieci zmuszeni znowu do szukania wsparcia u innych. Udało im się znowu założyć sklep ze słodyczami, jednak nie tak opłacalny jak ten pierwszy. Syn Pauliny Morris Steinberg został znanym lekarzem i ożenił się z Evelyn Sachs, słynną solistką operową występującą w Metropolitan Opera. Drugi syn - Max Steinberg ożenił się z Gertrudą Nemeroff i przeniósł do Kanady. Paulina Feldbaum zmarła w 1975 roku. 
  •  Rina (Sora Reina) Feldbaum - druga najstarsza po Małce córka Aarona i Judyty Feldbaumów, urodzona w 1884 roku w Białowieży. Wyszła za mąż za Chaima Krugmana, który prowadził zakład naprawy zegarków i sprzedawał biżuterię w oszklonej werandzie domu Feldbaumów. Mieli troje dzieci urodzonych w Białowieży: Filipa (1907), Bejlę (Bellę) (1912) i Libę (Lilę) (1913). Rina wyemigrowała z Białowieży jako ostatnia z rodziny. Wszyscy członkowie rodziny, wyjeżdżając po kolei przekazywali swój dobytek Rinie. Czteropokojowy dom, w którym mieszkali wszyscy Feldbaumowie stał się jej wraz z całym wyposażeniem. Rina wybudowała też drugi dom na tym samym placu. W 1922 roku umiera mąż Riny, Chaim Krugman. W końcu, w 1929 roku w grudniu Rina wraz z 3 prawie dorosłych dzieci (Filip 22, Bejla 17, Liba 16 lat) i małymi bliźniakami decyduje się wyjechać z Białowieży. Nie uzyskawszy pozwolenia na wyjazd do Stanów Zjednoczonych osiedla się w Kanadzie. W czasie podróży statkiem umierają bliźnięta. W Kanadzie Rina mieszka najpierw w Halifax, potem w Montrealu. Umiera w 1959 roku.
  • Malka Feldbaum and Chaim Aaron Schneider's sons (left to right) William, Sol and Abraham, Abe ur w Bialo 1900_foto ok_1910_13

    Dzieci Małki Feldbaum i Chaima Schneidera; od lewej: William, Sol, Abraham; ok. 1910-1913

    Małka (Mildred) Feldbaum - była najstarsza z rodzeństwa. Urodziła się prawdopodobnie około 1878-1880 w Białowieży. Wyszła za mąż w 1898 or 1899 za Chaima Aarona Schneidera, który był oficerem armii rosyjskiej. W Białowieży w 1899 lub 1900 urodził się ich pierwszy syn Abraham (Abe) Schneider. Ponieważ rodzina bała się, że Chaim zostanie wysłany na front (w obliczu zbliżającej się wojny rosyjsko-japońskiej), Feldbaumowie uzbierali pieniądze na jego ucieczkę za granicę. Został wysłany do Warszawy, a stamtąd przemycony przez europejskie granice. Statkiem przedostał się przez Atlantyk do Ameryki. Był pierwszym z rodziny w Stanach Zjednoczonych, który utorował drogę następnym. Zamieszkał w Nowym Jorku.
    Chaim osamotniony w Ameryce pisał wiele listów do Małki prosząc ją by dołączyła do niego. Rodzina nie miała jednak dość pieniędzy żeby wysłać Małkę od razu.  Małka z Abrahamem dołącza do Chaima dopiero po roku (w połowie 1902). Chaim w tym oszczędzał pieniądze, pracując jako blacharz przy budowie wyjść pożarowych w budynkach. W Stanach w 1903 roku rodzi się im drugi syn - William Schneider. Małka i Chaim zamieszkali w Williamsburg na Brooklynie, w drugim największym skupisku Żydów w Nowym Jorku, jak wielu Żydów, którzy emigrowali w latach 1880. z małych rosyjskich i polskich sztetli do USA. Małka, mimo że z mężem i dziećmi, czuła się bardzo samotna w Ameryce i pisała do Riny, drugiej najstarszej siostry, by do niej dołączyła. Jednak Rina miała już dużą rodzinę i w rezultacie ona ostatnia wyemigrowała z Białowieży. Kolejny syn Małki i Chaima-  Sol urodził się w 1906 roku. Rok później w 1907 Małka umiera. Chaim żeni się powtórnie - z kobietą o imieniu Mindel.
    Dzieci Małki - Abe i Sol byli muzykami. Abe Schneider (jedyny syn urodzony w Białowieży) grał na skrzypcach i przez lata występował w najlepszych wodewilach na Broadwayu, w widowiskach Disney na Lodzie i show telewizyjnych. Abe żył przez lata w jednym związku z Betty, ale nigdy się nie ożenił. W późniejszym okresie życia pracował jako kurier dla firm sprzedających skrzypce na terenie całego kraju. Zmarł w 1992 roku.
    Sol Schneider też był muzykiem, grał na akordeonie pod pseudonimem artystycznym Sid Taylor. Ze względu na talent do wykonywania muzyki rosyjskiej występował często przed głowami państw i prezydentami Stanów Zjednoczonych. Ożenił się z Rebeccą Cohen.
    Willy Schneider pracował jako elektryk, był współzałożycielem Międzynarodowego Bractwa Robotników Elektryków (IBEW). Ożenił się Gertrudą Solkoff. 
    Jednym z prawnuków Małki Feldbaum jest Donald Messinger, który zainicjował poszukiwania genealogiczne rodziny. 

    Wspomnienia o rodzinie Małki i Chaima: https://www.feldbaumfamily.com/malka-chaim
  • Welwel (Wiliam) 1882 - ?
    Welwel zmarł jako dziecko na szkarlatynę (scarlet fever)
  • siostry Feldbaum w 1940 w Stanach od lewej Roza, Klara, paulina, Anna, Rachela

    Siostry Feldbaum, od lewej: Roza, Klara, Paulina, Anna, Rachela, 1940

     Roza (Rose) Feldbaum  - kolejna córka Aarona i Judyty, urodzona w Białowieży w 1886 roku. Kiedy okazało się że wyjazd Riny z dużą rodziną do Stanów nie jest łatwy, Małka zaczęła namawiać rodziców na wysłanie do niej Rozy. Roza jednak miała narzeczonego na miejscu i nie chciała wyjechać bez niego. Dopiero kiedy on wyemigrował do Ameryki zaczęła rozważać wyjazd. Narzeczony wysłał Rozie pieniądze na wyjazd, żeby do niego dołączyła. Jednak rodzice nie chcieli zgodzić się na wyjazd córki, w związku z trudną sytuacją finansową i dużą grupą młodszych dzieci na utrzymaniu. Roza, która była już nastolatką i pracowała jako krawcowa była potrzebna jako jeszcze jedna osoba zarabiająca pieniądze w domu. Zdecydowali więc wysłać do Małki młodszą siostrę - Paulinę. Kiedy Paulina zadomowiła się już w Stanach przekonała rodziców, żeby pozwolili Rozie wyjechać. Niestety po przyjeździe do Nowego Jorku okazało się, że ukochany Rozy założył już własną rodzinę. Roza wyszła więc za mąż za Abrahama Cohena, z którym miała syna Harrego (1912), który po latach zmienił nazwisko na Mescon i córkę Bellę Cohen (1915). Roza Feldbaum Cohen umarła w 1940 roku. 
  •  Zelig (Selig) 1890-1894
    Zmarł jako czterolatek na błonicę (diphtheria)
  • Herschel (Zwi) - urodzony w 1892 roku w Białowieży, najstarszy z braci, był szewcem.
    Herszel Feldbaum z zoną Emilią i synem Arturem ok 1921

    Herszel Feldbaum z żoną Emilią i synem Arturem, ok. 1921


    Kiedy zaistniała obawa, że zostanie wcielony do wojska, rodzina chciała przemycić go za granicę, jak zrobiła to z mężem córki Małki, i jak powszechnie wtedy czyniono. Jednak Herschel nie chciał opuszczać kraju w ten sposób. Obawiał się, że jeśli nie spodoba mu się w Stanach, nie będzie mógł wrócić. Zamiast więc uciec, sam wstąpił do rosyjskiej armii.
    Po trzech latach w wojsku, kiedy miał właśnie wracać do domu, wybuchła I wojna światowa. Zamiast wrócić do Białowieży, został wysłany na niemiecki front. Został pojmany przez Niemców i stał się jeńcem wojennym. Przetrzymywany w obozie jenieckim uzyskał zgodę na cotygodniowe spotkania z lokalną (niemiecką) społecznością żydowską w synagodze w pobliskim miasteczku. Powoli stał się częścią tej społeczności. Poznał tam swoją przyszłą żonę Emily Osterman, z którą miał potem dwoje dzieci - Artura i Ruth.
    Herschel do końca życia spotkał się tylko raz z rodzicami Aaronem i Judytą oraz najmłodszymi siostrami Rachelą i Klarą, w ich drodze przez Berlin na emigrację do Stanów Zjednoczonych w 1921 roku (opis poniżej).

    W 1925 roku, kiedy większość członków białowieskiej rodziny Feldbaumow była już w Stanach Zjednoczonych Hershel poważnie zachorował w związku z komplikacjami po przejściu zapalenia podczas pobytu w obozie jenieckim. Jego żona Emily napisała list do Feldbaumów w Nowym Jorku z prośbą o dofinansowanie jego wyjazdu do sanatorium. List pisany po niemiecku umiała na szczęście przeczytać Rachela Feldbaum, która podczas I wojny pracowała jako tłumaczka z rosyjskiego na niemiecki. Starsze rodzeństwo w Stanach odkładało co miesiąc pieniądze na leczenie brata, żeby wysyłać je Emily. Wszystko odbywało się w tajemnicy przed rodzicami Aaronem i Judytą, nie chciano bowiem martwić ich chorobą syna. Nawet najmłodsze siostry Klara i Rachel chciały dołożyć się do leczenia, jednak było to trudne, ponieważ wszystkie pieniądze, które zarabiały oddawały rodzicom. Poprosiły więc rodziców o pieniądze na kino, ale zamiast iść na film siedziały parę godzin w parku, a pieniądze wysłały Emily. Nie udało się jednak uratować Herschela, który zmarł w 1924 albo 1925 roku. Krótko po przyjściu listu zawiadamiającego o jego śmierci, Aaronowi śniła się śmierć syna. Głęboko zaniepokojony zapytał córkę Paulinę, czy nie ma wiadomości o Herschelu. Podczas kiedy Judyta nadal była utrzymywana w niewiedzy o śmierci syna, Aaron odmówił za niego kadysz w synagodze. Pewnego dnia na targu znajoma zapytała Judytę za kogo jej mąż odmawiał w synagodze kadysz. W ten sposób również Judyta dowiedziała się o śmierci syna.
    Sam Feldbaum

    Samuel Feldbaum

  • Samuel Feldbaum - urodził się w Białowieży w 1894. Był kuśnierzem. Wyemigrował do Stanów Zjednoczonych w 1915 roku jako nastolatek. Założył firmę futrzarską Sam Feldman & Company. Ożenił się z Anną Grodzieńską, również rosyjską emigrantką. Mieli troje dzieci: Williama Feldmana (ur.1918), Mildred (ur. 1920) i Harolda (ur. 1926).
    Wielu członków rodziny, którzy docierali na emigrację, zaczynali od pracy w firmie Sama. Artur Feldbaum (syn brata Herschela) dzięki temu, czego nauczył się u Sama założył potem własny sklep futrzarski pod nazwą "Hector Feldman i Greenberg". Jego siostry Rachela i Klara Feldbaum również, jak wielu innych członków rodziny, pracowały w firmie.
    Biznes futrzarski stał się biznesem rodzinnym na lata. Córka Sama Mildred wyszła mąż za Freddiego Goldina w 1941 roku, którego rodzina również od 1909 roku prowadziła firmę futrzarską pod nazwą A. Goldin & Co. Po śmierci Samuela w 1943 roku, młodzi małżonkowie połączyli firmy w jedną: Goldin and Feldman Company.
  • Abraham Feldbaum - Urodził się i zmarł w 1986 roku w Białowieży, w ósmym dnia życia, w czasie przygotowań do ceremonii obrzezania, w czasie której nadaje się też dziecku imię (po ang. the bris). Tak opisują to potomkowie Judyty i Aarona we wspomnieniach:
    "Ósmego dnia po narodzinach dziewiątego dziecka, Judyta przygotowywała ceremonię obrzezania. Jedzenie było już gotowe, dom pachniał na przyjście gości. Kiedy Judyta poszła wyjąć dziecko z kołyski, okazało się, że jest martwe. Rozpacz była ogromna. Judyta nigdy nie zapomniała syna. W czasie pochówku nadano mu imię Abraham". (cyt. ze strony Feldbaumów)
  • Rachela - urodziła się 15 maja 1898 roku w Białowieży, jako jedna z dwojga (obok Klary) najmłodszych dzieci. Rachela razem z dwa lata młodszą Klarą stały się podporą Judyty na stare lata. Rachela pamięta swoją starą już mamę, jak mówiła do 25-letniej Klary: "Moje dziecko, byłam przerażona jak się dowiedziałam, że jestem w ciąży z Tobą. Nie chciałam już więcej ciąży, to był wstyd - stara kobieta, z dorosłymi żonatymi dziećmi, z wnukami, jak znowu ma mieć dziecko?" Ale potem dodała: "Co ja bym bez Ciebie zrobiła?". W czasie I wojny Rachela pracowała jako tłumaczka z  niemieckiego.
    Rachela wyemigrowała z rodzicami i Klarą w 1921 roku dołączając do rodziny w Stanach Zjednoczonych. Rachele według dokumentów z Eillis Island, tak samo jak Klara miała szare oczy i blond włosy. Rachela, nie mając żadnego zawodu wtedy, zaczęła pracować w firmie swojego brata Samuela. Jak sama potem wspominała - podnosiła słuchawkę telefonu i mówiła "Dzień dobry, chwileczkę proszę" i wołała do telefonu Sama. Wkrótce Samowi udało się znaleźć pracę Racheli w sklepie pani Bell, która produkowała damskie sukienki na tym samym piętrze co Sam futra. Mimo że Rachela nie umiała szyć, przyjęła ją do pracy. Pomału Rachela nauczyła się wykańczać ubrania i awansowała do roli krawcowej, której rolą jest spięcie wykroju.
    Wyszła za mąż za Israela Zafmana urodzonego w 1901 roku w Szereszewie (korzenie jego rodziny w Szereszewie sięgają 1735 roku). Mieli dwoje dzieci - Judy Pulę Zafman urodzoną w 1930, która została nauczycielką i Martina Zafman (Moshe Zwi) urodzonego w 1933 roku.
    Wspomnienia Racheli, które spisał jej syn Martin stały się początkiem poszukiwań i pracy genealogicznej, którą poza Martinem podjęli potem też inni wnukowie Aarona i Judyty z Białowieży.
    Rachela zmarła w 1992 roku w Nowym Jorku, jako ostatnia z dzieci Aarona i Judyty. Jej opowieści stały się impulsem dla młodszego pokolenia do zebrania i spisania historii rodzinnej oraz do wyprawy do Białowieży i Szereszewa.
  • Klara Feldbaum - urodzona w 1900 roku w Białowieży była najmłodszym dzieckiem Aarona i Judyty. Wyemigrowała do Stanów Zjednoczonych razem z siostrą Rachelą i rodzicami Aaronem i Judytą w 1921 roku. Na miejscu pracowała najpierw u brata Sama w jego firmie futrzarskiej. Potem dostała pracę krawcowej w fabryce jedwabnej bielizny. Zmarła w 1971 roku. 

Po urodzeniu i wychowaniu gromady dzieci oraz wysłaniu większości z nich na emigrację do Stanów Zjednoczonych, w maju 1921 roku Aaron i Judyta również zdecydowali się na wyjazd z najmłodszymi córkami Klara i Rachelą do Ameryki. Choć była to trudna decyzja dla nich zostawić społeczność, której byli tak istotną częścią, żyli w ciągłym strachu o bezpieczeństwo swoich najmłodszych córek. Jak wspominała Rachela w tym czasie było wiele przypadków gwałtów na młodych dziewczynach dokonywanych przez Kozaków (należących do rosyjskiego wojska). Rachela pamiętała ten strach, choć z perspektywy lat umiała z niego też się śmiać. Jednego szabatowego wieczoru, kiedy dziewięcioletnia Klara i jedenastoletnia Rachela zostały same w domu, ponieważ rodzice poszli do synagogi, dziewczynki usłyszały dziwne pukanie do drzwi. Rachela wiedziała, że rodzice mają klucz, spojrzała przez okno i zobaczyła dwóch umundurowanych Kozaków. Przerażona Rachela krzyknęła grubym głosem "odejdźcie, mamy tyfus i jesteśmy pod obserwacją lekarską" i kozacy błyskawicznie uciekli. Tyfus był wtedy powszechną, bardzo zakaźną i śmiertelną chorobą.

Społeczność żydowska Białowieży żegnała z żalem Aarona Feldbauma. Wyrazem poważania, jakim dzielono Aarona był list pożegnalny podpisany przez najważniejsze rodziny żydowskie tego czasu, w którym mieszkańcy dziękują Aaronowi za jego służbę i przewodnictwo. Aaron wynajął osobę, która zorganizowała podróż jego rodziny do Stanów. Wraz z innymi imigrantami najpierw pojechali do Warszawy, a potem pociągiem do Berlina, gdzie Aaron chciał spotkać się z synem Herschlem, którego nie widział 7 lat oraz poznać jego żonę Emily i dzieci. Aaron miał nadzieję, że wspólnie spędzą rozpoczynające się święto Paschy. Niestety pociąg spóźnił się i Herschel, który czekał na dworcu, wrócił do domu. Wrócił jednak następnego dnia i znalazł ojca z matką i dwójką najmłodszych sióstr. Herschel rozpaczliwie namawiał ich do zrezygnowania z wyjazdu do Stanów i pozostania z nim w Niemczech. Zabrał ich do sądu starając się uzyskać zgodę na ich pobyt, jednak próba zakończyła się niepowodzeniem. Przewodnik grupy imigrantów, z którą rodzina Aarona przybyła do Berlina, ostrzegł Aarona, że jeśli wyjadą do Ameryki w tym momencie,  później mogą już nigdy nie mieć okazji. Przestraszeni, po dramatycznym pożegnaniu z Herschlem, opuścili Berlin z grupą imigrantów jadącą do Holandii. W pamięci został im obraz płaczącego Herschla biegnącego za pociągiem, o którym wiedzieli, że już nigdy go nie zobaczą.

Rodzina spędziła dwa tygodnie na kwarantannie w Holandii, ponieważ dużo dzieci spośród emigrantów miało wszy. W końcu statkiem z Rotterdamu grupa przepłynęła do Liverpoolu, gdzie zajęła się nimi lokalna organizacja HIAS (Hebrew Immigration Aid Society - Towarzystwo Pomocy Żydowskim Imigrantom). Minęło parę tygodni, zanim w maju 1921 roku wsiedli na statek Linii Cunard "Carmania", który zabrał ich do Ameryki. Płynęli na dolnym pokładzie, z innymi imigrantami, którzy jak oni mieli cały swój dobytek w kilku walizkach. Pasażerowie z górnych pokładów podróżujący w zacznie większym luksusie gapili się na Rachelę i Klarę, które ściskały razem jedną drewnianą walizkę.

Rejs trwał dwa tygodnie. Rachela prowadziła dziennik, w którym po rosyjsku opisywała całą podróż z Białowieży. Jednak mężczyzna, odpowiedzialny za ich grupę kazał jej wyrzucić dziennik za burtę argumentując, że Amerykanie pomyślą, że jest komunistką i nie wpuszczą jej do kraju. 

Kiedy statek dopłynął do Ellis Island, rodzeństwo Racheli i Klary - Samuel, Roza i Paulina wynajęli łódź i popłynęli witać rodzinę. Ponieważ Feldbaumowie byli na najniższym z pokładów, byli w stanie wyciągnąć ręce przez iluminatory, tak żeby się dotknąć. Następnego dnia Samowi udało się zdobyć pozwolenie na wejście na pokład i przywitanie z rodziną. Jednak pojawił się problem, kiedy chciał wrócić, ponieważ wzięto go za imigranta. Udało mu się jednak udowodnić, że jest w Stanach legalnie od dawna, pokazując wizytówkę swojej firmy działającej w Siódmej Alei. Z dokumentów z Ellis Island dowiadujemy się, że Aaron i Judyta byli siwi i mieli brązowe oczy, za to obie córki Rachela i Klara miały oczy szare i jasne włosy. Poza Judytą wszyscy potrafili czytać i pisać po żydowsku.

Podróż dobiegła końca. Aaron i Judyta dołączyli do społeczności rosyjskich Żydów osiadłych w Nowym Jorku.

Wiele lat Aaron i Judyta mieszkali z córką Rozą Feldbaum i jej rodziną.

Aaron codziennie chodził do synagogi na Brooklynie.

Left to Right_ Judith Smargon Feldbaum, Clara Feldbaum, Rachel Feldbaum, Aaron Joshua Feldbaum 1921

Od lewej: Judyta Smorgon Feldbaum, Klara Feldbaum, Rachela Feldbaum, Aaron Joshua Feldbaum, 1921

Kiedy Judyta miała około 50 lat była śmiertelnie chora z powodu dwukrotnego zapalenia płuc. Lekarze się poddali i uważali, że umrze przed świtem. Wśród Żydów był zwyczaj nadawania śmiertelnie chorym osobom nowego imienia, żeby zmylić Anioła Śmierci. Judyta dostałą nowe imię Lea (Leah) a Aaron całą noc próbował różnych metod, żeby uratować Judytę. Ku zdumieniu lekarzy  jego techniki podziałały i Judyta wyzdrowiała, a lekarze - jak wspomina Martin Zafman, przejęli od Aarona część  technik, których zaczęli używać wobec śmiertelnie chorych.

Judyta umarła 7 sierpnia 1929 roku w wieku 73 lat. Aaron umarł  w wieku 83 lat jedenaście lat później, 5 kwietnia 1940 w piątek po powrocie z synagogi, w której odbywała się ceremonia kiduszu przed mającym się odbyć w niedzielę ślubem wnuka Aarona - Wiliama Feldmana z Matyldą Goldstein. Po pogrzebie Aarona w niedzielę rano, goście od razu udali się na wesele.

Martin Zafman, wnuk Aarona i Judyty, syn Racheli w 1999 roku zapisał wspomnienie Howarda Mescona (syna Rozy Feldbaum), który mieszkał z dziadkami o babci Judycie. Howard pamięta, że Judyta "była bardzo cichą i nieśmiałą osobą, ale bardzo kochającą. Nie pamiętam, żeby kiedykolwiek się na kogoś zezłościła. Zajmowała się domem i, tak jak to było w starych tradycyjnych żydowskich domach, dbaniem o ojca, co nie było w tym przypadku trudne, ponieważ dziadek Aaron był bardzo ciepłą i kochającą osobą."  

Aaron rabin

Aaron Feldbaum

Zdjęcie Aarona Feldbauma studiującego Talmud w synagodze (zdjęcie obok) zrobione przez fotografa WPA podczas Wielkiego Kryzysu wisi w Muzeum Historycznym Nowego Jorku (The New York Historical Museum) i przez dziesięciolecia było używane przez Hallmark Card Company na kartkach pocztowych wysyłanych z okazji święta Paschy. Pojawiło się też na pierwszej stronie Pictorial History of the Jewish People. Rodzina nie wiedziała o tym przez 40 lat. Dopiero na początku lat 70. jeden z dalszych krewnych odkrył ten fakt, a córki Aarona - Paulina, Klara i Rachela potwierdziły, że na zdjęciu jest ich ojciec.  Zamówiono też obraz olejny na podstawie zdjęcia, którego kopię otrzymały wszystkie żyjące dzieci oraz wnukowie Aarona.

Cała gałąź rodziny Feldbaumów z Szereszewa zginęła w czasie Zagłady oprócz Laibela Feldbauma, syna Nachmana (brata Aarona), który przeżył Auschwitz i po wojnie dołączył do rodziny w Ameryce. Linia jego potomków jednak nie przetrwała.

Aaron Feldbaum Synagogue

Aaron Feldbaum - czwarty od prawej, zdjęcie prawdopodobnie w Szereszewie.

Obecnie, żyje ponad 250 potomków Aarona i Judyty Feldbaumów z Białowieży urodzonych w Stanach Zjednoczonych i Kanadzie.

Dom rodziny Feldbaumów

Dawny dom rodziny Feldbaumów w Białowieży, widok współczesny.

Parę osób z rodziny Feldbaumów, przede wszystkim Martin Zafman (syn Racheli) i David Feldman w latach 90. odbyli podróż do Białowieży, Szereszewa, Prużany i Grodna poszukując informacji o swoje rodzinie. Udało im się odnaleźć zarówno dom rodzinny Feldbaumów w Szereszewie (gdzie Aaron się urodził i skąd przeprowadził się do Białowieży)oraz dom rodzinny w Białowieży, który stoi do dziś. W tym domu przed wojną mieszkała Necha Lerenkind, dobrze pamiętana ze względu na prowadzoną przez siebie gospodę 

 

Leibel (Lejb) Feldbaum - Ocalony z Zagłady

W Białowieży mieszkał też z żoną Methel i dziećmi Leibel Feldbaum urodzony w 1907 r. w Szereszewie syn Cyny (Tziny) i Nachmana Feldbauma, bratanek Aarona. Leibel był mechanikiem i prowadził razem ze wspólnikiem (nie znamy jego nazwiska) firmę transportową, która świetnie prosperowała. Z książki Moishe Kantorowicza, sąsiada szereszewskiej rodziny Feldbaumów, wiemy nawet jak Leibel wyglądał: "Był dobrze zbudowanym, szerokim w ramionach mężczyzną koło trzydziestki, z dużym, jak na swój wiek, doświadczeniem". Z książki Kantorowicza wiadomo też, że odwiedzał rodziców w Szereszewie co parę tygodni. Autor opisuje też sytuację z 1 września 1939 roku, kiedy Leibel przyjechał do Szereszewa zawiadomić rodzinę o wybuchu wojny: "W piątek 1 września 1939 świeciło piękne słońce. Wszyscy szli do pracy, czy wykonywali swoją robotę, ale wszędzie był widoczny brak entuzjazmu. Mężczyźni powołani do wojska byli w drodze na stację kolejową. Jestem pewien, że ich kobiety nie spały tej nocy a teraz siedziały w domu zapłakane. Mój ojciec poszedł otworzyć sklep jak zwykle o ósmej. Mama z siostrą Szewą były zajęte w kuchni. Było zbyt wcześnie na odwiedziny u kolegów, więc wyszedłem na podwórze. Kilka minut później zobaczyłem syna naszych sąsiadów, Lejba Feldbauma podjeżdżającego na rowerze pod dom rodziców. Było to zaskakujące.(...) Leibel odwiedzał swoich rodziców co parę tygodni, ale nie miał w zwyczaju przyjeżdżać rowerem, skoro mógł przyjechać jednym ze swoich samochodów. Wszedłem do domu powiedzieć o tym mamie, która też nieco się zdziwiła. Nie czekaliśmy długo na wyjaśnienie. Za kilka minut wbiegł nasz sąsiad, ojciec Lejba i cichym głosem spytał czy niema w domu nikogo obcego. Kiedy upewnił się że nie, powiedział nam, że jego syn przywiózł wiadomość, że Białowieża została rano zbombardowana. Kiedy Leibel chciał wziąć jeden ze swoich samochodów żeby pojechać do Szereszewa, policja mu zabroniła. Był  rozkaz konfiskaty wszystkich pojazdów na rzecz wojska, dlatego przyjechał na rowerze."

Poza Lejbem, cała szereszewska rodzina Feldbaumów zginęła podczas Zagłady. Żona Methel i dzieci Lejba zginęli zakopani żywcem w czasie marszu na stację kolejową, skąd mieli odjechać do Auschwitz. Leibel (wraz z siostrą Sarą) wyruszył transportem do Auschwitz 31 stycznia 1943 roku, dotarł na miejsce 2 lutego 1943. Lejbel spędził w Auschwitz 2 lata i przeżył. Wyjechał do Stanów Zjednoczonych do brata Aarona Feldbauma. Założył drugą rodzinę - poślubił Mary i miał z nią córkę Tinę (być może Tzinę, imię po matce), ale też ich stracił (nie znamy szczegółów). Jak wspomina rodzina białowieska - wszyscy pamiętają Lejba jako bardzo ciepłą i opiekuńczą osobę, mimo że miał za sobą śmierć rodziców, żony i dzieci z rąk Nazistów, doświadczenie Auschwitz i utratę nowej żony i dziecka w USA.

 SZIH_POLWywiady z Martinem Zafmanem zrealizowano w ramach projektu "Ocalony z Białowieży" finansowanego ze środków Stowarzyszenia Żydowski Instytut Historyczny w Polsce oraz Fundacji Edukacyjnej Jacka Kuronia.

 


Źródła:

  1. Strona internetowa rodziny Feldbaumów, The Feldbaum Family Chronicles: https://www.feldbaumfamily.com/
  2. Relacja z wyprawy potomków Feldbaumów do Białowieży, Szereszewa i Grodna:  http://www.jewishgen.org/belarus/newsletter/ShereshevTrip.htm
  3. Informacje od potomków rodziny Feldbaumów - Martina Zafmana (syna Racheli Feldbaum) i Davida Feldmana: wywiady Katarzyny Winiarskiej z dn. 12-13 listopada 2016 oraz listy do Katarzyny Winiarskiej z dn. 6. 11.2015, 15.11.2015,  1-2 04.2016
  4. List pożegnalny od społeczności białowieskiej dla Aarona Feldbauma z 1921 roku
  5. Moishe Kantorowicz, My mother's bequest: from Shershev to Auschwitz to Newfoundland, 2004, s.173-174;

 

Ellis Island – wyspa w porcie miasta Nowy Jork, na której w latach 1892–1924 działało główne centrum przyjmowania imigrantów przybywających z Europy do Stanów Zjednoczonych. Przez cały okres jej działania, do chwili ostatecznego zamknięcia w 1954 roku, stacja przyjęła około 12 milionów imigrantów. Na stronie Muzeum Ellis Island można wyszukiwać emigrantów przybyłych do USA: http://www.libertyellisfoundation.org/passenger

WPA (Works Projects Administration)  - Zarząd Projektów Robót Publicznych - agencja powołana w 1935 roku przez Kongres amerykański do zwalczania skutków wielkiego kryzysu w Stanach Zjednoczonych w ramach projektu "Nowy Ład". Celem WPA  było zatrudnianie bezrobotnych do robót publicznych (budowy dróg, mostów, parków, szkół). Jednocześnie rząd uruchomił ogromny projekt fotograficzny - zadaniem dziesiątków fotografów, którzy wyruszyli w teren była dokumentacja efektów wielkiego kryzysu gospodarczego.

 

 

The Goldberg Family

Szaja Goldberg was born in Popielewo in 1901 (according to his sister’s Sara Bumel testimonies) or in 1907 (according to the testimonies of Józef Voleński, his wife’s cousin). He was the son of Bati and Szabtaj. He got married to Chana Voleńska (according to Sara Bumel) or Chana Szteinberg (according to Józef Voleński), born in Bielsk Podlaski. They settled together in Białowieża. Szaja was a merchant and an owner of a grocery store (via the Yad Vashem documents). He also owned a tavern on the Stoczek street (as mentioned in the Białowieża Forest Encyclopaedia), while Chana took care of their kids - Rywka and Szabtaj. There are no clear testimonies concerning the age or the year in which the children died - Sara Bumel mentions that Szabtaj died in the age of sixteen in 1941 and Rywka died in the age of fourteen a year later, and Józef Volenski mentiones ages nine for Szabtaj and seven for Rywka.

According to the Yad Vashem testimonies, both Szaja and Chana died in Białowieża in 1941, but Szaja Goldberg’s name can be also found among the Auschwitz documents with the prisoner’s number 97932.

Rywa Goldberg from Białowieża is also on the list of Auschwitz victims. Rywa was a daughter of Szaja and Rinka Scheonberg, born in 4th of October 1924. She lived in the Pruzhany ghetto during the war, and was murdered on the 1st of March 1943 in Auschwitz.

We are not sure whether she was related to the mentioned Goldberg family or is it another version of details of the very same Rywa - as there’s the same father’s name, and a similar mother’s surname, but a different given age - 19 instead of 7 or 14.

In the Yad Vashem testimonies we also find out that one of Szaja’s sisters who was born in Popielewo in 1908 was called Rywka. The testimony mentions that she died in 1943 in Auschwitz, although we can’t be sure of that, as in the same witness it is indicated that Rywka died in the age of 35 and in the age of 48.

Also Szaja’s two brothers died in Auschwitz - Benjamin, a wood trader from Szereszewo, who died together with his whole family, including his three kids; and Mowsza, a cook, who died with his entire family and 2 children. Their sister, Szyfra died in Majdanek. She was born in 1906 and lived in Świsłocz.

Szaja’s second sister, Sara Bumel, survived the Holocaust, and filed her testimonies about Szaja, Szaja’s family, and her sister Rywka to Yad Vashem.

 


Footnotes:

  1. Testimony of Józef Voleński and Sara Bumel, Yad Vashem Testimonies, The Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names, http://www.yadvashem.org/
  2. Death Books from Auschwitz, Auschwitz Surgery Books;
  3. Piotr Bajko, Encyclopedia of the Białowieża Forest, Białowieża, entry: Traders and contractors in mid-war Białowieża;
  4. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture] 1928, Warsaw;
  5. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture] 1926/27, Warsaw;
  6. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture] 1930, Warsaw;
The Halperin family (Halpern, Galpern)

The oldest known Jew in Białowieża coming from the Halperin family is rabbi Jakow Meyer Halperin, who according to the Memorial Book of Sokółka was the father in law of the well-known rabbi Jossele from Zabłudów (63 km from Bialowieza). The Memorial Book mentions that Jakow Meyer Halperin was a rabbi in Białowieża in the same time that Jossele was a rabbi in Sokółka (120 km from Bialowieza), so before 1856. On the other hand, from the Jałówka text in Pinkas HaKehillot (Poland, Volume 8, published by Yad Vashem) we get the information that Jakow Meier Halperin was also a rabbi in Jałówka before 1904 and after that moved to Woronowo (currently Belarus, Grodno Governorate). It was quite common at that time for small Jewish communities to have rabbis coming from different locations - this way, one person could serve as a rabbi in few communities at the same time. The surname Halperin is noted in Białowieża also in the following years of the 19th and 20th century, which suggests that Jakow Meyer could live in Białowieża long enough for his family, siblings or children to settle there.

Another known from the family was Lazar Halperin. His son, Jeszua (Jehoshua, or in Russian: Owsiej) Halperin was born in 1857 in Grodno, and later moved to Białowieża where he lived till death. He owned a wood sorting department, taking care of cutting, assembling and shipping wood. He got married to Ida (Itka) Borysowna Kleszczelska, born in 1866 in Bielsk, a house wife. Itka Galpern is mentioned in The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture from 1926/27 and 1928 as an owner of a haberdashery store in Białowieża. There’s also an information in the Official Journal of Białowieża from 1927 that Itka Galpern from Białowieża, owner of a tobacco store, is obliged to sell rail forms (waybills).

They were both keeping the Jewish tradition. Jeszua died in 1930 and Ida died in 1932. They had eight children, and their names were: Szejna (later Yaffa), Chaja, Abram, Laza, Cila, Gersz, Josi (Józef) and Szaj(l)a:

Szejna (Yaffa) Halperin: Szejna was born in 1904 as the youngest sibling. She emigrated to Israel together with her sister Chaja in 1926, and they settled in Nahlat Yehuda where they were working. She got married in 1933 to Jakub (Yakow) Kartzinel from Kobryń who moved to Israel in 1920 and in 1927 took part in establishing the new moshav in Kfar Yehoshua in the Jezreel Valley, Northern Israel. Before she got married, Szejna visited her family in Białowieża - that day was memorised in a family photograph (link do zdjęcia). After the marriage, she joined her husband in Kfar Yehoshua, working in the farm household. Together they built a family house where she lived till her last days - Szejna died in October 1967 and Jacob in March 1982.

Szejna Halperin and Jakob Kartzinel had three children, all born abroad: Dwora (born in 1934), Yael (born in 1936) and Joszua (Yehoshua) (born in 1943):

Dwora married Ami Lew Tow, a son of other establishers of the Kfar Yehoshua moshav. Together they built a house in Ami’s parents farm, and they had three daughters: Tamar (born 1957), Anat (born 1959) and Hadas (born 1964). Ami died in June 1967 in the Six-Day-War as an Israeli Officer, fighting against the Syrian Army. Dwora still lives in the same house in the moshav, taking care of her 10 grandchildren.

Another daughter of Szejna, Yael, got married to Ejtan Peer from the Kfar Azar moshav. Together they took part in establishing moshav Lachish. They have two daughters - Vered (born 1958) and Hadas (born 1960) and a son, Amir (born 1964). They are still living in moshav Lachis and they have four granchildren.

Szejna’s son, Joszua, got married to Shoshana and built a house next to Szejna’s and Jakob’s household. He had a daughter (Galia, born 1970) and a son (Ami, born 1972). Jehoshua died in October 1973 in the Jom Kippur war as an Israeli Soldier fighting against the Syrian Army. His wife, Shoshana, still lives in Kfar Yehoshua, and has seven grandchildren.

Szejna and her family were friends with Avigail Michalovich née Reines from Białowieża which moved to kibbutz Yagur (see family Reines). Later, she moved closer to Kfar Yehoshua and was in close touch with Szejna, and after Szejna’s death, with Yael and her husband.

Chaja Halperin - was born in Białowieża. In 1926 she emigrated to Israel, together with her sister Szejna. They lived and worked in Nahlat Yehuda. Chaja never established her own family - a year after Szejna’s marriage in 1934 Chaja joined her family in the Kfar Yehoshua moszav and lived with them till her death in 1975.

Abram Halperin - born in Białowieża, a car mechanic. He got married to Dina Sawczycka (see Sawczycki family) from Białowieża. They had four children born in Bialowieza: Eliahu (10 years old), Jakob (14 years old), Józef (18 years old) and Shakhna (20 years old).

In 1939, after Białowieża was adjoined to USSR, Abram visited his brother, Lazar, which lived for many years in Kiev (before such a trip wouldn’t be possible). Lazar mentioned, that Abram told him then that he lives in Baranowice, and that later he died on the frontline during the war. Abram’s and Lazar’s sister, Szejna (Yaffa) wrote in her Yad Vashem testimony about Abram that he lived with this whole family in Białowieża, and that they all died during the Holocaust. The fact that they lived in Białowieża can be confirmed by the document from 1946 - evidence of the abandoned properties where Galper Abram is the owner of the house on Stoczek 177 street, priced for 3412 zlotys.

Lazar Halperin, born on 23rd of December 1892 in Białowieża - well known in his family for the anecdote of his encounter with a wisent (the European bison). That’s how his granddaughter, Mila Malitz remembers it: “When grandpa was a little boy, he encountered a wisent while playing in the forest. He climbed on a tree and sat on it for few hours, hoping that the animal will eventually go away, but the wisent stubbornly stood in the same place for a long time.” Between 1913 and 1914 Lazar worked as a administrator in a wood industry office, and in 1915-1918 as a mechanic in a lumber mill in Białowieża. He left the city in 1917 or 1918 to Białystok, where he attended middle school (junior high school). Later, he moved to Wałki (Valky) in the Kharkov Oblast in Ukraine (55 km from Kharkov) where he worked as an assistant in a pharmacy. He got married to Hava (Ewa) Witelis Fiszelewna and in 1925 they had a daughter - Tatiana Halperin, currently living in Israel. In 1925 Lazar and his family moved to Kiev, and Lazar started working in a pharmacy. He also started studying Pharmacy Studies on the Odessa State Medical University, receiving a title of a pharmacist upon graduation. Then, he started working as a manager of the Kiev pharmacy. His wife, Hava Fitelis Fiszelewna, a graduate of the Ukrainian Stomatology Institute, worked in Kiev as a stomatologist. As Lazar’s granddaughter Mila Malitz writes: “grandpa couldn’t visit his beloved in Białowieża - he would immediately be classified as a “enemy of the people” as he had family in Poland - it was obvious during the Stalinist period.” As soon as WWII emerged, Lazar was drafted to serve in a field hospital. His wife, Hava, and daughter Tatiana (14 years old) were evacuated to Almaty in Kazakhstan, where Tatiana followed her parent’s steps and enrolled herself in med school.

After the war, Lazar was commissioned to work in Winnica (Vinnytsia), Ukraine, where he was a director of the pharmacy in the Railway Hospital. Lazar’s and Hava’s house in Kiev was bombed by the nazis so they decided to buy a house in Vinnytsia. Tatiana finished her education there and started working as a neuropathologist, and Hava found a job a stomatologist. In 1955, Tatiana married Dawid (David) Samojłowicz Malic, a professor of philosophy on the Pedagogical Institute and a graduate of the Moscow University. A year after, she gave birth to her daughter - Ludmiła Dawidowna Malic (Mila Malitz). Dawid, which was a soldier during the war, was injured heavily and became handicapped due to a bullet stuck in his skull which was extracted only after his death. He died early, in 1958. In 1962 Lazar had a stroke that paralysed his body, and Hava was forced to quit her job and go into early retirement to take care of him. Lazar Halperin died in June 1968, and his wife Hava in April 1979.

Cyla Halperin, born in Białowieża, the oldest sibling. She lived with her parents in Białowieża. She didn’t have any family of her own. She died during the Holocaust.

Szaj(l)a Halperin - born in Białowieża. According to Tatiana Halperin, his niece, Szajla fled to Australia just before war, and kept on inviting his brother Lazar to visit him, sending letters after the war. Eventually they lost touch and we have no information about his further life.

Josi (Józef) Halperin - born in Białowieża. We don’t know anything about his life.

We managed to contact two descendants of the Halperin family living in Israel - descendants of Lazar: his daughter Tatiana Halperin Malitz and granddaughter Mila Malitz; and descendants of Szejna (Yaffa) - daughters Dwora Lev Tow and Yael Peer, and granddaughters Tamara Lev Tov and Veered Peer. Yael and Vered visited Białowieża in March 2016.

 


Footnotes:

  1. Memorial Book of Sokolka, Translation of Sefer Sokolka, Published by: Encyclopedia of Jewish Diaspora, Jerusalem, 1968: http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/sokolka/Sok055.html
  2. Pinkas HaKehillot (Poland, Volume 8, published by Yad Vashem), entry: Jałówka;
  3. Memories and documents of Tatiana Halperin gathered by Mila Malitz, letters to Katarzyna Winiarska from the days of 3 II, 3 III, 6 III 2016;
  4. Memories of Dvora Lev-Tov gathered by Tamara Paz, letters to Katarzyna Winiarska from the day 5 II 2016;
  5. Memories of Yael Peer, interview by Katarzyna Winiarska, Białowieża, 23 III 2016;
  6. Dziennik Urzędowy Województwa Białostockiego 1927.01.01 R.7 nr 1 [The Official Gazette of the Białostockie Voivodeship];
  7. Testimony of Yaffa Kartzinel Halperin, Yad Vashem Testimonies, The Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names, http://www.yadvashem.org/
  8. Wykaz mienia porzuconego i opuszczonego (nieruchomości), o charakterze mieszkalnym i innym, które w myśl okólnika Głównego Urzędu TZP z dnia 2 stycznia 1946 r.L.Dz. 11682-IV.118/46 mają być przekazane w zarząd Zarządowi Gminnemu w Białowieży [Index of bona vacantia to be given under the administration of the District Bureau of Białowieża], Polish Archives in Bialystok;
  9. Ewidencja nieruchomości, powiaty Białystok, Bielsk Podlaski, Sokółka nr 1 Wydz. III Ewidencja Szacunk. [Property and mortgage evidence in Białystok, Bielsk Podlaski and Sokółka]. Przekazywanie w zarząd Zarządom Gminnym i Miejskim nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych na terenie pow. Bielsk Podlaski. 1946-1949, Okręgowy Urząd Likwidacyjny w Białymstoku. Wydział Powierniczy. Oddział Nieruchomości. 4 XI 1946; Polish Archives in Bialystok;
  10. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture] 1928, Warsaw;
  11. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture] 1926/27 Warsaw;
  12. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture] 1930, Warsaw;
Rabbi Kahan’s family

Koppel Kahana, born probably in Ejszyszki or Kupiszki in Lithuania, was the rabbi of Białowieża (see: Rabbis). We have no information about when did he move to Białowieża, but for sure he lived there in the ‘30s, together with his wife Sosza Kahana nee Szmojsz (Shmoish), born in 1906 in Kobryń, in a family with a strong rabbinic tradition. Both her father Mikhael Szmojsz and her older brother Szmul were rabbis in Kobryń. Her uncle, Noah, was a rabbi in Wołczyn, next to Brześć, and her sister, Chaja, was a wife of another rabbi from Kobryń. Sosza’s father and mother (Sara) and other members of the Szmojsz family died in the Holocaust in Kobryń. Sosza, which spent the war in Białowieża without her husband, also died during the Holocaust.

 


Footnotes:

  1. Testimony of Zalman Shemesz (Szmojsz), uncle of Sosza Kahan. Yad Vashem Testimonies, The Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names, http://www.yadvashem.org/
  2. Book of Kobrin; the scroll of life and destruction. Translation of Sefer Kobryn; megilat hayim ve-hurban, Edited by Betzalel Shwartz, Israel Chaim Bil(e)tzki, Published in Tel Aviv, 1951;
The Klejnerman family (Kleinerman)

According to the testimonies of the Białowieża citizens, the Klejnerman family was one of the most known Jewish families in Białowieża.

Szlomo Klejnerman lived in Białowieża with his wife Dora. Their son - Nachman Klejnerman, born in 1980 in Białowieża, owned a grocery store (as we learn from the Yad Vashem testimony of his cousin, Pesia Kohen) and a tobacco store, in which he was obliged to sell rail forms (waybills) (as stated in the Official Journal from 1927). Piotr Bajko mentions in his Encyclopaedia of the Białowieża Forest that Nachman also had a herbadashery and kitchen utensils store, and a meat store. Nachman Klejnerman got married to Jacha (Yakhna) Poczynko (see: Poczynko family), and they lived together in Białowieża, on the main street Stoczek 15 (currently Waszkiewicza 15). They had four children: Zelig, Szlomo, Mania, Dwora:

- Zelig Klejnerman, born in 1918 in Białowieża, lived there till the war.

- Szlomo Klejnerman, born on the 25th of November 1915 in Białowieża, a locksmith. He got married to Estera Zawielewska. They lived together in Białowieża, and got (probably together) relocated to the Pruzhany ghetto. On the 31st of January 1943 he was arrested and taken to Auschwitz, where he arrived on the 2nd of February 1943. His prisoner number was 99342. He died in Auschwitz. In the Auschwitz documents researched by the Jewish Historical Institute (ŻIH) next to his name and date of birth there’s a note: “last info 16.09.1944”.

- Dvora Klejnerman, born in 1913 in Białowieża, oldest sibling. She got married to Aszer Stępnicki, a truck driver from Kamieniec Litewski, where they settled together.

- Mania Klejnerman, youngest sibling, born in Białowieża, died in the age of 17 during Holocaust.

Also other Klejnerman’s appear as store owners in the testimonies and documents from Białowieża: in Zastawa there’s Klejnerman Kejla, owner of a grocery and haberdashery store in the ’20s, and Klejnerman Mejer, owner of a grocery and silk textiles store. There’s also Klejnerman W. mentioned in the “The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture“ from 1928 as an grocery store owner.

Probably most of the Klejnerman’s died in Auschwitz. Dvora with her husband and his family were murdered in Kamieniec Litewski.

Zelik (Aszer) Kleinerman died in Białowieża. He was a son of Józef Dawid and Wala, born in 1920, in Pruzhany. His brother, Zula Kleinerman survived the war. We’re not certain whether the Klejnermans from Pruzhany and from Białowieża are related, but it’s highly probably since Zelik died in Białowieża despite living his whole life in Pruzhany.

 


Footnotes:

  1. Testimony of Pesia Kohen, Yad Vashem Testimonies, The Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names, http://www.yadvashem.org/ [Ed.: In Shlomo’s data I used the one that he gave in Auschwitz - there are some differences in the spelling of his wife’s surname and mother’s name.]
  2. Prisoner Registration Forms From Auschwitz: http://www.ushmm.org/online/hsv/person_advance_search.php?SourceSrchGrp=3&FirstName=Golda&LastName=Nojberg&MaxPageDocs=25&start_doc=14251
  3. Prisoner registration forms from Auschwitz [w:] http://digitalarchives/HSV/source_media/list/20110502.0002/3/30000635.jpg
  4. ŻYDZI POLSCY W KL AUSCHWITZ. WYKAZY IMIENNE, Żydowski Instytut Historyczny, [Polish Jews in KL Auschwitz, List of Names gathered by the Jewish Historical Institute] Warsaw 2003/2004;
  5. Informations from Wiera Gwaj, Bolesław Rychter, Nadzieja Rusko, Ignacy Miller and Mikołaj Waszkiewicz from Stoczek, Piotr Bajko, Białowieża zarys dziejów, Białowieża 2001, p.72, 96;
  6. Dziennik Urzędowy Województwa Białostockiego 1927.01.01 R.7 nr 1 [The Official Gazette of the Białostockie Voivodeship];
  7. Wykaz mienia porzuconego i opuszczonego (nieruchomości), o charakterze mieszkalnym i innym, które w myśl okólnika Głównego Urzędu TZP z dnia 2 stycznia 1946 r.L.Dz. 11682-IV.118/46 mają być przekazane w zarząd Zarządowi Gminnemu w Białowieży [Index of bona vacantia to be given under the administration of the District Bureau of Białowieża], Polish Archives in Bialystok;
  8. Ewidencja nieruchomości, powiaty Białystok, Bielsk Podlaski, Sokółka nr 1 Wydz. III Ewidencja Szacunk. Przekazywanie w zarząd Zarządom Gminnym i Miejskim nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych na terenie pow. Bielsk Podlaski. 1946-1949, Okręgowy Urząd Likwidacyjny w Białymstoku. Wydział Powierniczy. Oddział Nieruchomości. 4 XI 1946; [Property and mortgage evidence in Białystok, Bielsk Podlaski and Sokółka], Polish Archives in Bialystok;
  9. Website Children of Pruzany and the Surrounding Area: http://cpsa.info/general/list338g_k.htm
  10. Rejestr nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych położonych na terenie powiatu Bielsk Podlaski 1946, teczka 33 [Index of bona vacantia in Bielsk Podlaski], Polish Archives in Bialystok;
  11. Wykazy nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych na terenie pow. Bielsk Podlaski 1946-1949, Okręgowy Urząd Likwidacyjny, teczka 1736, Polish Archives in Bialystok;
  12. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa, [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture] 1928, Warsaw;
  13. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa, [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture] 1926/27, Warsaw;
  14. Piotr Bajko, Encyklopedia Puszczy Białowieskiej, entry: “Traders and Contractors” and “Zastawa";
The Krugman Family

The oldest Krugman known in Białowieża was Chaim Krugman, born probably in the end of the 19th century. He got married to Rina (Reina) Feldbaum, born in 1884 in Białowieża, in the family of Aaron and Judyta Feldbaum (see: Feldbaum family). Chaim probably arrived to Białowieża from Szereszewo, just like the Feldbaums. He led a watchmaker and jeweller business, meeting clients in the sun parlour of Aaron Feldbaum’s house on Stoczek (currently Waszkiewicza 51).

Reina and Chaim had five children born in Białowieża:

  • Filip Krugman (1907)
  • Bejla (Bella) Krugman (1912)
  • Liba (Lila) Krugman (1913)
  • two much younger twins

The whole Feldbaum family gradually started emigrating to the United States. Aaron Feldbaum, Chaim’s father-in-law, starts his travel in 1921. The whole community prepares him a farewell letter  to mark their gratitude for him - Chaim also signs the letter (see: the Feldabum family). Chaim dies in 1922. In 1929, in December, Reina decides to leave Białowieża with her children - some of them being arleady adult (Filip was 22 at that time, Bejla 17 and Liba 16, and the twins couldn’t be younger than seven, taking Chaim’s date of death into the count). Unfortunately the twins die during the sea cruise. The Krugman’s don’t get the permission to enter the United States, so they settle in Canada - first in Halifax, later in Montreal. Reina dies in 1959.

There is no information whether the Krugman family noted in the later years in Białowieża was related to Chaim. We know for sure that Dwora Werber from Białowieża, the daughter of Zewa and Chana (see: the Werber family) married some Krugman, but there is no more information. Krugman Perla had a grocery, herbadashery and silk textiles store on Stoczek; and there was also some Krugman living on Stoczek 82 (currently Waszkiewicza). There was also a family of Krugmans living in the Zastawa district - Krugman Herszel under the number Zastawa 87, one of the first people in Białowieża to have a phone in 1931 (his phone number was “24”), and W.Krugman, which had a grocery store and traded wood. There was also a house at Zastawa 128 that used to belong to somebody with a surname Krugman.

The citizens of Białowieża reminisce one of the Krugmans (we don’t know which one though) when recalling the history of deportation and executions in 1941. Włodzimierz Dackiewicz remembers it this way: “And then they [the Germans] started deporting the Jews. I saw one scene like this. In front of Szuster’s house lived my friend, Tarasiewicz - we were overlooking everything from his place. Also old cobbler Lejba lived there. So the German took the old man by the collar, and his old wife, and threw them on the car. And just before Szuster, they took Krugman, the young one.” Dackiewicz mentions Krugman’s arrest and other Zastawa Jews also in another interview, memorizing something he saw on his way to work at 6am: “Two covered trucks came, full of Germans - we stopped, because there were two of us, me and Szpakowicz Jan, my friend, we stopped and looked, because it was just next to his house that these Jews libed. We are looking how they were taking Szuster and Krugman, and their wives to the car. They were pointing their rifles at their back, just like the Germans liked to do, and they were speaking German, so I didn’t understand anything. They pushed them into there, and then took the others from the Słonimski family, and the cobbler, and they drove the car in the direction of Pruzhany(…) And then we found out (…) that they were executed there.” The place that Dackiewicz is talking about is the Biały Lasek Forest, next to Szereszewo (currently on Belarus), where several people, counting a fair number of Jews (for example Herszt Krugman, 45 years old) were murdered on the 2nd of August 1941. (see: Biały Lasek).

Also Aleksander Krawczuk talks about the Krugman family in his IPN testimony, it’s hard to estimate though does he mean the same or a different person because he doesn’t mention a name. The age is similar, but there’s a difference in the place of execution (Jagiellońskie Gravel Pit). He also mentions his trip to the Pruzhany ghetto, when he was visiting Krugman’s widowed wife, bringing her some food:

What got stuck in my mind were the evictions of the Jews from their houses and the executions of men and boys of Jewish nationality. (…) First they took the men and the boys, and executed them in the gravel pit in the Jagiellońskie Forestry. Also my good friend, Jew Krugman was murdered there. He was around 40 years old and he worked as a merchant. He was taken from his house, just like the other Jews, and rushed to build the road from Białowieża to Kamieniuki. They were kept for many days in the Przewłoka forestry. I might be wrong about the name of the lodge, but that’s where I saw the Białowieża Jews building the road, when I was riding my peasant wagon to Kamieniec Litewski where my family was deported by the Germans. As we know, after few days these Jews were murdered on the already mentioned execution site - the gravel pit in the Białowieża-Jagiellońskie forestry. I didn’t see the moment of the execution. My information comes from the Russian emigrants which were hired to build the road to Kamieniuki just after Białowieża was taken by the Germans. They were the ones to say that the Germans took the Jews from the building site, and shot them. (…) After they murdered the men and the boys, the Germans took the Jewish women and children from their houses. They deported them to the Pruzhany ghetto, and stole their possessions. I used to go to the Pruzhany ghetto to bring some food to the family of already murdered Krugman. I heard that Jews suffered great hunger in the ghetto, and I wanted to help them by carrying some food. Krugman’s wife told me, that her husband was murdered in the Gravel Pit. Other Jewish women from the Pruzhany ghetto also complained to me that their sons and husbands were killed. At the main gate of the Pruzhany ghetto, there was a special bar, guarded by Germans - for unknown reasons they let me in, so I went to look for Krugman’s wife. The ghetto was crowded, and there was hunger everywhere. Krugman asked me to keep on bringing her food, but I was scared of the Germans as they were strict punishments for helping the Jews. (…)”

 


Footnotes:

  1. Testimony of Aleksander Krawczuk, IPN, Commision for the Investigation of Hitlerite Crimes, IPN DS 296/68;
  2. Waldemar Monkiewicz, Zbrodnie hitlerowskie w Hajnówce i okolicy [Hitlerite Crimes in Hajnówka and its surroundings], Białystok 1982;
  3. Information from Walentyna Olszewska from Stoczek, in: Piotr Bajko, Białowieża zarys dziejów, Białowieża 2001, p. 97;
  4. Waldemar Monkiewicz: Zbrodnie hitlerowskie w Białowieży [Hitlerite Crimes in Hajnówka and its surroundings], p. 25-26;
  5. Waldemar Monkiewicz, Białowieża w cieniu swastyki [Białowieża in the swastika’s shade], p. 21-22;
  6. Włodzimierz Dackiewicz, interview by Katarzyna Winiarska, 9.06.2015;
  7. Włodzimierz Dackiewicz, interview by Katarzyna Winiarska, 21.07.2015;
  8. Włodzimierz Dackiewicz, interview by the Holocaust Museum in Washington, 11.10.1998, RG-50.488*0051;
  9. Strona internetowa rodziny Feldbaumów, The Feldbaum Family Chronicles, http://www.feldbaumfamily.net/Home.ae
  10. Report on the Feldbaum family descendants trip to Białowieża, Szereszewo and Grodno: http://www.jewishgen.org/belarus/newsletter/ShereshevTrip.htm
  11. Information gathered from the descendants of the Feldbaum family - Martin (Sonny) Zafman (son of Rachel Feldbaum) and David Feldman). Letters from 6. 11.2015, 15.11.2015, 1-2 04.2016 and an unregistered phone call with M. Zafmanem and D. Feldmanem 13.11.2015 via Skype. Martin and David gather most of their information from the 90-years old Rachela Feldbaum.
  12. Farewell letter to Aaron Feldbaum, 1921;
  13. Spis abonentów Państwowych i Koncesjonowanych Sieci Telefonicznych w Polsce ,1931-32 [National and Chartered Phones Subscribers List in Poland];
  14. Spis abonentów Państwowych i Koncesjonowanych Sieci Telefonicznych w Polsce,1938 [National and Chartered Phones Subscribers List in Poland];
  15. Piotr Bajko, Encyklopedia Puszczy Białowieskiej, entry: “Traders and Contractors in mid-war Białowieża”;
  16. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa, [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture] 1926/27, Warsaw;
  17. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa, [The Polish address bookfor trade, craft and agriculture] 1928, Warsaw;
  18. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Rejestr nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych położonych na terenie powiatu Bielsk Podlaski  1946, teczka 33 [Index of bona vacantia in Bielsk Podlaski], Polish Archives in Bialystok;
  19. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Wykazy nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych na terenie pow. Bielsk Podlaski  1946-1949, Okręgowy Urząd Likwidacyjny, teczka 1736; [National Archive in Białystok, index of bona vacantia in Bielsko Podlaskie poviat];
  20. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Ewidencja nieruchomości, powiaty Białystok, Bielsk Podlaski, Sokółka nr 1 Wydz. III Ewidencja Szacunk. [National Archive in Białystok, index of bona vacantia in Bielsko Podlaskie poviat];
  21. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Przekazywanie w zarząd Zarządom Gminnym i Miejskim nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych na terenie pow. Bielsk Podlaski. 1946-1949, Okręgowy Urząd Likwidacyjny w Białymstoku. Wydział Powierniczy. Oddział Nieruchomości. 4 XI 1946 [National Archive in Białystok, index of bona vacantia in Bielsko Podlaskie poviat];

 

The Lerenkind Family

Isaac and Nechama (Necha) Lerenkind, daughter of Chisha and Moshe (Moishe) Kapański lived at the Stoczek street. They had three children: Abraham (Abram), Joshua and Matilda (Mania) (1907-1980), already adult during the War. Isaac called Icek was the owner of the restaurant-pub on Stoczek (which appears in the memory of by Piotr Bajko so as in the address books of Polish trade, industry, crafts and agriculture from 1926 and 1928), where his wife named Necha was working. Many residents of Biaowieża remember well the restaurant "U Necha" ("At the Nech's") ( Stoczek street No. 51) and the liquor store "U Necha". As Mr. Aleksy Dackiewicz mentions, everyone really liked going there, "because the vodka was served with fried herrings" and with "somethings" (snacks served along with vodka), as Mr. Borys Russko recalls "Necha was the lady who ran the restaurant, you could also drink today, and pay tomorrow, you could always drink vodka, beer and have those "somethings". She cut the pieces of different kinds of sausage, it could be "pasztetówka" (liverwurst), "kaszanka" (black pudding), there could be also scraps of ham, and "somethings". And those young lads dropped by to the Necha before the dancing, for a glass of vodka, but also necessarily for the beer and for the "somethings" because it was the cheapest. And you could take it on credit. It was my father who told me. "Icek Lerenkind is noted in the tsarist registry of people who "needed young trees for a patch across the street " dating back to 1913.  

The children of Isaac and Nechama - Joshua and Abraham (called Abram) were the permanent residents of Białowieża. We know the two pictures of Joshua- in his thirties, and as a young boy (up to 20 years old), where he is dressed in the uniform of the Polish army, probably from 1920's ( see photo).  Abram (see photo) got married on September 5, 1933 in Bialystok with Szyfra Drozdowska from Białowieża, with whom he had two children (see the wedding invitation) Abram was a merchant, owner of the shop "Manufaktura - Galantry and clothes. A. Lerenkind ", which was located on Stoczek street, today Waszkiewicza street, No. 43 (according to the new street numbering), and as remembered by one of the residents of Białowieża Mrs. Nina Rogaczewska.

Abram is mentioned by Symcha Burnstein in the recollection described after the War, at the Jewish Historical Institute: "After the Germans entered Białowieża June 24, 1941 [or 23 at 15.00 (according to the log of the battalion 322)] the Nazis began to repress the people, especially Jews, at once. They immediately arrested two of them - Abraham Lerenkind and Moshe Dombin (shoemaker), they took them to an unknown place where they killed them. "His wife and daughter also died, probably like the most of them, deported to Pruzhany or Kobrin (link to the Holocaust).

Abram's sister, Matilda Lerenkind called Mania, has married 11 years older Chaim Barchat (called Henia) from Bielsk, who, along with his two brothers ran a thriving family textile company called "Brothes Barchat assembly and manufactory of ready-made clothes "- were dealing with the sale of textiles, imported from Lodz, and ready-made garments. After the wedding, Mani with Chaim, which took place November 1, 1927, in Bialystok (see the wedding invitation) they settled in Bielsk, at the block on the Mickiewicza street 78, opposite the town hall, together with 2 Chaim's brothers - Nathan and Israel and their families. Each family lived in a separate apartment - Matilda with Chaim on the ground floor. They had a daughter Rachel, born. in 1929. Business went well, so brothers lived in prosperity, next to their house was a great garden with flowers and fruit trees guarded by two shepherds dogs, which was also a Warehouse of goods, and brand new toilets. Barchats employed a housekeeper, the children were visiting the theater in Bialystok on regular basis, and several times a year the family was traveling to the resort for rest (to Druskininkai, as Michal Itzhaki writes in "Bielski Gościniec" journal, or to Ciechocinek, as you can see in the picture of Amir Berger (see photo), where he rented a house in the forest for a few weeks. They also had their own car as Chaim (Henia) writes to his beloved Mania November 18, 1926 "I just supposed to drive to Bialystok now, but I am very tired, I will go tomorrow morning by car."

With the exception of Nathan, the Barchat family there was not religious. Matilda Lerenkind - his future wife did not liked this fact, because apparently she followed the religious principles. and she has addressed Chaim a serious rebuke. It can be noticed in the letter, which Chaim writes to Matilda at March 29, 1926 the day before beginning the Passover: "Although I do not have time, it is because you do not want me to write you during a holiday, I stopped my work for today and I sit down to write this letter."

Barchats were Zionists, they supported the Zionist youth organizations acting on behalf of aliyah to Eretz Israel (emigration to Palestine), taught children in Hebrew schools (Rachel went to kindergarten Tarbut in Bielsk (see photo) and planned to move to Palestine with entire family . Chaim and his brother Israel had traveled to Palestine many times, and finally in 1939, Chaim moved there with his wife Matilda Lerenkind and their daughter Rachel, his brother Nathan, to prepare the ground for the arrival of the family from Bielsk. They were there just when the War broke out, that is why they survived. They setteled in Tel Aviv. The fate of the Barchat family is described in "Bielski Gościniec" journal.

The letter of Abram Lerenkind to his sister Matilda has preserved. He wrote to her from Białowieża to Palestine in 1935, .

Lerenkind family had more members. Aaron Lerenkind, born in Białowieża, moved to Wołkowysk where he owned a grocery store, he was Esther's Adelberg husband He stayed in Wolkowysk during the War and died there.

According to the list of abandoned properties and houses, prepared between 1946-1947, together with the property valuation, at the Stoczek street 73 Szloma Lerenkind lived (plot, house and pigsty), at the number 75 - Abram Lerenkind (plot, and the house) and at the number 67 another Lerenkind ( name unknown, plot, house and outhouse, pigsty). At the number 43 was a before mentioned haberdashery store owned by Abram Lerenkind. Mrs. Nina Rogaczewska confirms number 43 as a haberdashery store owned by Lerenkind and adds that at the former Stoczek 51 housed a liquor store owned by Necha. According to the documents, which remained in the descendants of the family, Lerenkinds lived at the numbers 43 and 51-53. 

The differences in the numbers of houses ic conected with changing name and numbers of the street  in 50.

I made contact with a Lerenkinds descendant, living in Izrael - Amir Berger, son of Rachel Barchat, grandson of Matilda Lerenkind from Białowieża.

 

 


Footnotes:

  1. Michal Itzhaki The Barchat Family. Cloth merchants from Bielsk, "Bielski Gościniec" journal, 1 (43) 2011;
  2. Testimonies from The Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names at Yad Vashem, http://www.yadvashem.org/
  3. Letters of Chaim Barchat to Mania Lerenkind from March 29, 1926 and November 18, 1926, owned by Amir Berger;
  4. Abram Lerenkinda letter to his sister Matilda Lerenkind Barchat from June 19, 1935 from Białowieża to Palestine, owned by Amir Berger;
  5. Interview with Borys Russko by Katarzyna Winiarska on 03/10/2016;
  6. Information from Amir Berger and his family, letters to Katarzyna Winiarska from. November 21, 22, 28, 2015 and February 26, 2016, March 6,.7, 2016 April 29, 2016;
  7. Piotr Bajko, "The history of Białowieża", Białowieża 2001, p. 95,: Information from Nina Rogaczewska;
  8. Jewish Historical Institute Archives, testimony of Symcha Burnstein. 301/1970;
  9. Register of the abandoned and derelict properties located in Bielsk Podlaski district 1946 file 33
  10. Listings of abandoned and derelict Real estate in the area. of Bielsk Podlaski district 1946-1949, the Regional Liquidation Office , file 1736;
  11. Records of the real estate, Bialystok, Bielsk Podlaski, Sokolka districts nr 1 Division. III Aproximate Estimation Passing the abandoned and derelict properties in the area under the management of the Municipal Management Boards of Bielsk Podlaski District. 1946-1949, Liquidation District Office in Bialystok. Trust Department. Department of Real Estate. November 4, 1946;
  12. Polish Addess book of for trade, industry, crafts and agriculture. 1928, Warsaw;
  13. Polish Addess book of for trade, industry, crafts and agriculture. 1926-1927, Warsaw;
  14. Polish Addess book of for trade, industry, crafts and agriculture. 1930, Warsaw;
  15. State Archive in Grodno, file 108/1/22;
  16. Aleksander Dackiewicz interview by Katarzyna Winiarska of 10/05. /2015;

 

The Loszewicki Family

Majer (Meyer) Loszewicki, a merchant, son of Jakub, a teacher from Słonim and Dwora, born in 1905 in Popielewo next to Pruzhany. He got married to Pola Loszewicka (no information about her family name), which was born in Białowieża in 1905. The family lived in Białowieża. Their daughter, Dwora, was born in 1930. They all died in 1942 in Auschwitz.

Some of the members of the Loszewicki family which lived in Pruzhany emigrated in small groups to Argentina between 1929 to 1936. These members were: Majer’s brother Lejba (Leon) with his wife Perla Polak and his children (Wolf, David, Wiktor, Dvora, Rebeca and Jaime); his brother Peretz with his wife Maria; and his sisters: Pnina Varshel and Yaffa Hofenberg.

Some of the Loszewicki family - Mejer’s father Jakub, his brother Szaul with his wife Anna Jaroszewicz, his brother Józef with his wife Frida Furer and children Itka and Izak died in Auschwitz in 1942 too.

I managed to reach Samanta Calejman from Argentina which is a granddaughter of Dawid Loszewicki, a son of a brother of Majer Loszewicki from Białowieża.

 


Footnotes:

  1. Testimony of Pnina Varshel and Yaffa Hofenberg, Yad Vashem Testimonies, The Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names, http://www.yadvashem.org/
  2. Informations from Samanta Calejman, letters to Katarzyna Winiarska, 10 and 12 XI 2015;
  3. The Loszewicki Family documents from the Centro de Estudios Migratorios Latinoamericanos;

 

The Lubietkin Family

Kuszel Lubietkin was probably born outside of Białowieża and arrived there on the beginning of the 20th century, before 1914. At first he lived in the labour housing next to the Podolany Gravel Pit. Borys Russko described it this way: “Kuszel lived for some time next to the terebenthen or to the smokehouse. It was just on the crossroads of the road that comes from Podolany just to the border and the Pruzhany way, the one that leads from Białowieża. Before the war, during the Tsar period, on the intersection on these two roads, there were some houses accommodating the workers that carried wood. Kuszel probably worked carrying turpentine, or something similar.”

In 1922 in Podolany II, a nearby village, currently a part of Białowieża, the house of Russko family burnt down. As there was a tradition that the Belorussians didn’t rebuild anything on the site of the fire, the Russko family built a new house on their other lot, just in front of the previous one, and sold the ground with the burnt house (Podolany II number 44) to Kuszel Lubietkin. Kuszel Lubietkin built his house there (still standing) and moved in with his wife, Frejda Lubietkin. The Russko and Lubietkin families soon became good friends, about which we read in the testimonies of Borys Russko, a poet born in 1929 in Podolany. Kuszel and Frejda Lubietkin opened a grocery store in the part of the house that faced the street. They held the store for many years, and later passed it on to their son, Judel. Borys Russko always underlined the good heart and warmness of Frejda, he also mentioned multiple times how Frejda Lubietkin saved his father’s life:

“Frejda was Jewish, she had a store. She was a very good person. The memory about her is also a memory about my father. In the ‘30s, my father got very sick, but we had no medicines in our house. When Frejda saw my father in such a bad state, she asked him: - Why are you not going to a doctor? And my father answered her: - I don’t have the money. And Frejda told him: - No problem, I will borrow you the money. I will give you the address to a Jewish doctor in Białystok, and he will help you. And that’s what happened - she borrowed him money and he went to Białystok. At first he didn’t want to accept it, he kept on saying: - How will I return you the money, if I don’t have any savings and I won’t be able to earn it? And she told him: - Don’t worry, we will figure something out, the most important thing now is that you will get healthy, and then maybe you will bring me some wood one day. We will settle it somehow. When father finally made it to the doctor in Białystok, it turned out that he had pneumonia, and would die if untreated. He bought medicines and creams with the borrowed money, and got better quickly. When he was dying in the age of 97, he was reminiscing Frejda and the doctor, joking: I wonder, where is that Jewish doctor now? I bet he could make me live few more years.” (Opowieść Borysa [Borys’s Tale] Czasopis 4/2008).

Frejda died before the war, in 1937 or 1938. Russko says: “When Frejda died, my father took her body to Pruzhany [to the cemetery].”

Borys Russko dedicated a passage to Frejda in his poem for the Białowieża Jews “Szlachetność” (t/n: Nobility).

Any problems in life, visit Frejda

Frejda's heart is made out of love

Saints are barefoot and happy

The chosen ones take shortcuts to meet God

and the everlasting light burns at their bedside.

Frejda and Kuszel had just one kid - a son called Judel (Jehuda). Judel Lubietkin was a merchant, and he took over the family store. As Judel wasn’t too keen on getting married, his mother Frejda decided to organise a matchmaking date in Pruzhany, to which Judel was escorted by his father, and Emilian Russko, the father of Borys Russko. The matchmaking date led to Judel’s marriage with Małka Pisarewicz, the daughter of Tzipora and Jakub Pisarewicz from Pruzhany. Judel and Małka had a son called Szmul (died in the age of 8) and Frejda, four years younger. All of the generations of the Lubietkin family lived together in the Podolany household: Kuszel with Frejda, Judel with Małka and their children, and Mosze Pisarewicz, Małka’s brother, unwedded, according to his second sister Szoszana Pisarewicz Blacharska a clerk (as stated in the Yad Vashem testimony) and according to Borys Russko, unemployed.

As both of the families were neighbours, the children grew up together, and Borys Russko was good friends with Szmul Lubietkin. He recalls it this way: “When I was in school in Białowieża, I had some friends with Jewish roots. There was more of them here [than in Podolany]. I also had a Jewish neighbour called Szmulko - we played together, walked to the forest together, we even were in a “division” together, as all of the kids were playing army and war in these times. He was an often guest in our house, we were eating breakfast and dinner together, obviously after consulting his mother to find out whether can he eat what we were eating. His mother always let him eat the same food as we ate, for example the pork fat.” (interview for the Holocaust Museum in Washington). In another interview Russko adds that Szmulek’s grandparents - Kuszel and Frejda were very religious, keeping kosher and all of the Jewish traditions, but Judel and Małka were less conservative when it came to their children and let Szmulek eat hash browns with pork scratchings when he was visiting the Russko house.

Borys reminisces his own visits in Szmulek’s house - especially the conversations between Szmulek’s father and his guests, conversations about medicine, Einstein and metaphysics, which always left him very impressed. He also remembers heating up the oven and lighting up the candles each shabbat (for which he got candies). That’s how he portrays it in his poem:

 In a choir of mosquitos

I ran, carrying a chalka

A Jew standing by the menorah

Fire exchanged for candies

When they were leading

He carried the star and the scroll

The prayer of the living

above the ashes

When Borys Russko was 12, he witnessed the Germans transporting away the Lubietkin family: “On the 9th of August, early morning, I heard a car scraping its tires. A car came by and Germans jumped out of it wearing policeman uniforms and shouting like they always used to do. I woke up and looked out of the window. They all quickly ran into the yard where Lubietkin and his family lived, and after a while I saw them taking them away. First they led the wife and the husband - Judel and Małka, with Szmulko and Frejda walking in front of them. And Małka’s brother as well, and this poor old man, pushed by one German with a riffle so he would walk quicker, and he couldn’t really walk at all, because he was very old, his name was Kuszel, that was the grandfather of Szmulko. Szmulko had his head down, he was sad, and the little girl had tears in her eyes. I leaned on the window, looking at the scene, all petrified, but when one of the Germans noticed me he pointed the riffle at the window so I moved away a little bit, although I could still see how they were forcefully thrown into a big truck. They drove away quickly.”

The family was taken to Kobryń (Russko remembers that this is what all of the people were saying) or to Pruzhany (as Małka’s sister stated in Yad Vashem), from where they could have been transported to Auschwitz. Małka’s sister wrote in Yad Vashem that Judel and Małka, and probably their children as well died in Auschwitz in February 1942. Judel could have been executed in the Gravel Pit. Also grandpa Kuszel and Małka’s brother, Mosze, were executed, but we have no information where and when.

Małka Lubietkin had one more brother except for Mosze - Abram Pisarewicz, married to Batia Lewin. They had a daughter together, Miriam (7 years old) and lived together in Pruzhany or Antopol next to Pruzhany. She also had a sister, Szoszana Pisarewicz, which as a married woman, Szoszana Blacharski, gave a testimony about her family to Yad Vashem in 1956. She states there, that Mosze lived in Pruzhany before the war and during the war, and weirdly, that Małka lived in Pruzhany till the war emerged, and only after that in Podolany. Perhaps Szoszana fled to Israel early and wasn’t familiar with all the details about her siblings, which makes sense as speaking about her family members, she didn’t mention the other child of Judel and Małka - Frejda, which is very well remembered by Borys Russko which is the one that gave a testimony about her to Yad Vashem in 2016.

 


Footnotes:

  1. Borys Russko, interview by Katarzyna Winiarska, 10 III 2016, Warsaw;
  2. Information from Wiera Gwaj, Bolesław Rychter, Nadzieja Rusko, Ignacy Miller and Mikołaj Waszkiewicz from Stoczek, Piotr Bajko, Białowieża zarys dziejów, Białowieża 2001, p. 96;
  3. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa [The Polish adress book for trade, craft and agriculture] 1926/27, Warsaw;
  4. Opowieść Borysa [Borys’s Tale], interview with Borys Russko by Janusz Korbel, Czasopis 4/2008;
  5. Interview with Borys Russko, Holocaust Museum in Washington, http://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn510407
  6. Testimony of Shoshana Blacharski about the Lubetkin and Pisarewicz families, Yad Vashem Testimonies, The Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names, http://www.yadvashem.org/
  7. Borys Russko, Ziemia Obiecana [The Promised Land] in: Borys Russko, Rozgraniam noc. Asymetria, Białowieża 2005, p. 43;

 

The Malecki Family

A very numerous family in Białowieża, inhabiting a house on Stoczek street. Important for the research as one of its members, Izrael Malecki, is a Holocaust survivor.

The oldest Malecki we know about that lived in Białowieża is:

Eliezer Malecki, born in 1870, son of Efraim Mosze Malecki. He got married to Cirel, of an unknown surname. They had a daughter Tema (Tamara) Malecka, born in 1902 in Białowieża. She married Jakub Cynamon from Warsaw, who moved to Białowieża and opened a grocery store. They had two children - Lea Cynamon and Gołda Cynamon. Tena Malecka’s house was sold to the Szuma family after the war by Israel Malecki (see below). The contract and the plan of the ground from 1947 is preserved and archived. .

Elizer Jozef Malecki died on the 7th of April 1934 at the age of 64, and was buried on the Jewish cemetery in Narewka (link to the cemetery). His matzevah remained till today.

Other members of the Malecki family were:

  • Abraham Malecki - got married to Fruma Winokur [in the Yad Vashem certificate, her surname is incorrectly translated from hebrew as Binko], born in 1888 in Pruzhany. They lived together in Białowieża and had six children:
  • Sima Małecka Boczan, born in 1903 in Białowieża, got married to tailor Aszer Boczan. They had two chilren, Jeszua and Lejba Boczan (link). She held a grocery store on Stoczek street. She was deported to the Pruzhany ghetto, and later to the Concentration Camp in Auschwitz where she died.
  • Chajm (Chaim) Malecki - he lived on the Stoczek street and was an owner of the Malecki Chaim&S-ka company offering transport services (in 1930 he had one truck and one bus). He was one of the few people in Białowieża owning a private phone line (number “64”). He moved to Palestine before 1938. (his surname doesn’t exist anymore in the phone book from 1938).
  • Zelik Malecki - emigrated to Brazil; One of the grand-grandson of Zelik have just written the letter to us, so we'll probably have some new information soon.
  • Małka Malecka Perlman - born in 1907 in Białowieża, got married to Mosze (Mojżesz) Perlman with who she had two kids - Szejna (5 years old) and Judyta (7 years old). (link to the Perlman family). They were deported to the Pruzhany ghetto, and later to Auschwitz, where they died in 1943.
  • Hana Malecka Perlman, born in 1909 in Białowieża. Married Mordechaj Ajzyk Perlman from Brańsk, with who she had a three year old daughter Liba. (link to the Perlman family). Hana and Liba were deported to the ghetto in Pruzhany and later to Auschwitz, where they died in 1943.
  • Izrael (Srul) Malecki - a Holocaust survivor. He was born on the 8th of January 1910 in Białowieża, and lived on street Stoczek 120 (old numeration). He finished five grades of public school before the war, and studied tailoring at the famous tailor master, Kuprianow, who was a baptist. Later he became a tailot himself. In 1941, he got married in Hajnówka.According to the documents he gave in 1946 during the registration in the Central Comittee of Polish Jews in Bielsko, in 1941 he found himself in Pruzhany, was relocated to Pruzhany ghetto, and in January 1943 was deported to the Concentration Camp in Auschwitz. As reported by Białowieża citizens, before he was deported to Auschwitz, he ran away from the execution of Białowieża male Jews in the Gravel Pit (link) but was caught later. As Alexander Krawczuk said: „One of the Jews, Srul Malecki, ran away from the execution place, and survived. I talked with him after the war, and he confirmed the fact that all of the men and boys of the Jewish nationality were murdered by Germans in that gravel pit. (…) Srul Malecki left for Israel after the war. He didn't give any closer details about the execution.”. Włodzimierz Dackiewicz, who worked for a year after the war with Malecki, also recalls that Malecki escaped the execution by jumping on the embankment, and that he was caught later. In Auschwitz he was recorded on the transport which came from Pruzhany on the 30th of January 1943. He received the prisoner number 98037. He survived, and he returned to Białowieża straight after the war. He got some help from the tailor Naumnik, a friend from his apprentice days before the war. Włodzimierz Dackiewicz, who also was a tailor under Naumnik says: „Srolik Malecki came back in 1946. 180 centimetres of height, and 36 kilograms of weight. My master [Naumnik] said: „there's a room in my place, you will sleep here, and work here. I will take work from the clients, you will do it, and you will take the money for yourself.”. Srulik lived at his place and ate. When he came, he was skin and bones. Here, he got better.”

Later, according to Dackiewicz, Malecki met Sarenka. That’s how they called her, perhaps her surname was Sarna [t/n:Doe] ora her name Sarah. She survived in Białowieża as everybody thought she is Polish - only after the war it turned out she is Jewish. After the war she had a store and a tavern in Hajnówka. Dackiewicz mentions that Malecki and Sarenka sold some houses, got married, and left for Israel.

Earlier, however, Israel Malecki traveled to Bielsko to register himself on the 14th of July 1946 as a survivor in the Central Commitee of Polish Jews. He gave the residence adress in Bielsko, on Mickiewicza 60 street, where he lived for some time before moving to Israel. We managed to track down the Israeli address of Malecki – in 1956 he lived in Ramat Gan, close to Tel Aviv. Unfortunately we weren't able to find any descendants.

Other members of the Malecki family that lived in Białowieża:

  • Izaak Malecki - his surname can be found in the 1913 index of the Stoczek landlords which wish to plant trees by the street
  • Leja Malecka - had a groceries and silk textiles store on Stoczek street. She also lived on Stoczek street, under number 175 - currently Waszkiewicza 137
  • Miriam Malecka - had a silk textiles, herbadashery and groceries store on Stoczek
  • Łazarz Malecki - had a grocery store on Stoczek 21 (old numeration)
  • Malecki, tailor
  • Szlomo Malecki - lived on Stoczek 194 (old numeration)
  • Lejba Malecki - lived on Stoczek 151 (old numeration)
  • Malecki, clockmaker - lived with his wife and two sons, students, in the house at current building Waszkiewicza 46

The old numbers under which Maleccy lived on the Stoczek street are: 13, 21, 64, 120, 151, 173, 175 (current 137), 194, 196.

 


Footnotes:

 

  1. Testimony of Simcha Burnstein, ŻIH Archive, 301/1970 28 X 1946, Białystok;
  2. Testimony of Zofia Skotnicka, Romaniuk Michał and Berg Lucjan from Hajnówka, IPN Archive, IPN Bi 1/1946;
  3. Włodzimierz Dackiewicz, interview by Katarzyna Winiarska, 9.06.2015;
  4. Włodzimierz Dackiewicz, interview by Katarzyna Winiarska, 21.07.2015;
  5. Włodzimierz Dackiewicz, interview by the Holocaust Museum in Washington,11.10.1998, RG-50.488*0051;
  6. Żydzi polscy w KL Auschwitz: wykazy imienne, red. S. Mączka, M.Prokopowicz, Żydowski Instytut Historyczny, [Polish Jews in KL Auschwitz, List of Names gathered by the Jewish Historical Institute] Warsaw, 2004;
  7. Białostocki Dziennik Wojewódzki nr 18 z dn. 10 grudnia 1930, Białystok, str. 346 [The Official Gazette of the Białostockie Voivodeship];
  8. Information by Wiera Gwaj and Bolesław Richter from Stoczek, in: Piotr Bajko, Białowieża zarys dziejów, Białowieża 2001;
  9. Spis abonentów Państwowych i Koncesjonowanych Sieci Telefonicznych w Polsce 1931-32 [National and Chartered Phones Subscribers List in Poland];
  10. Spis abonentów Państwowych i Koncesjonowanych Sieci Telefonicznych w Polsce 1938 [National and Chartered Phones Subscribers List in Poland];
  11. Piotr Bajko, Encyclopedia of the Białowieża Forest, Białowieża, entry: Traders and contractors in mid-war Białowieża;
  12. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa. [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture], 1926/27, Warsaw;
  13. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa. [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture], 1928, Warsaw;
  14. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Rejestr nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych położonych na terenie powiatu Bielsk Podlaski  1946, teczka 33 [National Archive in Białystok, index of bona vacantia in Bielsko Podlaskie poviat];
  15. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Wykazy nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych na terenie pow. Bielsk Podlaski  1946-1949, Okręgowy Urząd Likwidacyjny, teczka 1736 [National Archive in Białystok, index of bona vacantia in Bielsko Podlaskie poviat];
  16. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Ewidencja nieruchomości, powiaty Białystok, Bielsk Podlaski, Sokółka nr 1 Wydz. III Ewidencja Szacunk. [National Archive in Białystok, index of bona vacantia in Bielsko Podlaskie poviat];
  17. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Przekazywanie w zarząd Zarządom Gminnym i Miejskim nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych na terenie pow. Bielsk Podlaski. 1946-1949, Okręgowy Urząd Likwidacyjny w Białymstoku. Wydział Powierniczy. Oddział Nieruchomości. 4 XI 1946 [National Archive in Białystok, index of bona vacantia in Bielsko Podlaskie poviat];
  18. Testimony of Izrael Malecki, Yad Vashem Testimonies, The Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names, http://www.yadvashem.org/
  19. Archiwum IPN, Komisja Badania Zbrodni Hitlerowskich w Białymstoku DS 296/68, zezn. Aleksandra Krawczuka;
  20. NPAH, Zespól akt 108/1/22 Zarząd Puszczy Białowieskiej;
  21. List of matzevahs from the Jewish Cemetery in Narewka on the website of the Foundation for Documentation of Jewish Cemeteries in Poland http://cemetery.jewish.org.pl/list/c_77
  22. Dr. Olga Smoktunowicz, index of Jewish patients, written after the war. Family property;
The Perlman family

Mosze Perlman was born in 1911 in Brańsk. He was a son of Hersz and Rywka Matl. He moved to Białowieża and got married to Małka Malecka (see: the Malecki family) and started working as a butcher. They had two children - Judyta (7 years old) and Szejna (5 years old). They all were transported to the Pruzhany ghetto where Mosze died in 1941. Małka was deported to Auschwitz together with her kids, where they were all exterminated.

Mordechaj Ajzyk Perlman, Mosze’s older brother was born in 1896 in Brańsk. Just like his brother he moved to Białowieża, and he got married to Hana Malecka (from the same family as Małka). They had one daughter, Liba (3 years old). Izrael Malecki, Hana’s brother, a survivor (see: Survivors) stated in his Yad Vashem testimony that Hana and her children lived during the war in Białowieża, from where they were transported to the Pruzhany ghetto, and that Mordechaj lived in Brańsk. They all were transported to Auschwitz where they died in 1943.

 


Footnotes:

  1. Testimony of Izrael Malecki, Yad Vashem Testimonies, The Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names, http://www.yadvashem.org/
The Poczynko Family

Izaak (Yitzhak) and Shoshana had a daughter, Bracha Poczynko, born in 1898 in Białowieża. She got married to Kalman, and she lived with him in Białowieża. We are not sure whether Poczynko is her family name, or her husbands surname.

There was also Jachna (Yakna) Poczynko living in Białowieża. She married Nachman Klejnerman (see Klejnerman family).

 


Footnotes:

  1. Testimony of Pesia Kohen, Yad Vashem Testimonies, The Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names, http://www.yadvashem.org/
The Rabinowicz family

Motel (Mordechaj) Rabinowicz was born in 1900 in Poland (no information about the city). His wife, Chaja (Chawa) Rabinowicz, daughter of Pejsach Bedner and Elka Wołczan, was born in 1900 in Hajnówka. They both lived in Białowieża. Motel owned a grocery store on the Tropinka street, and offered transport services (he had at least two trucks), and Chaja (Chawa) was a housewife. They had three daughters - Doba Rabinowicz (born 1920) and Rywka Rabinowicz (born 1922) which were tailors, and the youngest, Henia Rabinowicz (born 1924), a schoolgirl. The whole family died in the Holocaust in 1942.

Somebody with the surname Rabinowicz (no name stated) is mentioned as an owner of the Terebenthen in Białowieża just after acquiring the independence, but we are not sure whether he was related to Motel.

 


Footnotes:

  1. Testimony of Avigail Mikhaeli, Yad Vashem Testimonies, The Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names, http://www.yadvashem.org/
  2. Piotr Bajko, Encyclopedia of the Białowieża Forest, Białowieża, entry: Terebenthen; Traders and contractors in mid-war Białowieża; http://www.encyklopedia.puszcza-bialowieska.eu/
  3. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa. [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture], 1928, Warsaw;
  4. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa. [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture], 1926/27, Warsaw;
  5. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa. [The Polish adress book for trade, craft and agriculture], 1930, Warsaw;
  6. Dziennik Urzędowy Województwa Białostockiego [The official Gazette of the Białowieża Voivodeship] 1927.01.01 R.7 nr 1;
  7. Białostocki Dziennik Wojewódzki nr 18 z dn. 10 grudnia 1930, Białystok, str. 346: Lista kolejności osób obowiązanych w 1931 roku do dostarczenia na rzecz wojska w czasie pokoju samochodów i motocykli dwuosobowych i z wózkiem doczepnym na terenie powiatu Bielsko-Podlaskiego;
The Reines Family

The branch of the Reines family coming from Białowieża can be traced back to a family of famous 17th and 18th century rabbis working in Pińsk and Lida. Chaim Reines, living in Białowieża before the Second War, was a great-grandson of Chaim Reines, a grandson of rabbi Shlomo Naftali Reines (1796-1889) and a nephew of rabbi Izaak Jakub Reines (1839-1915) which was an Orthodox Lithuanian Rabbi, a creator of the famous yeshiva in Lida, and one of the main ideologists and founders of the zionist religious movement Mizrachi.

Chaim Reines, which lived in Białowieża, was probably born in Pińsk. His father was Arie Lejb Reines, and mother was Gruna. We are not sure why did Chaim move to Białowieża. He got married to Cywa Sztejnberg, coming from one of the oldest Jewish families in Białowieża (see: the Sztejnberg family). We don’t have any information about Chaim’s profession, but for sure he took good care of his daughter’s education. He doesn’t appear in any trade or merchant lists, or in citizen testimonies and memorials. Chaim and Cywa had two children: Zalman and Abigail (Avigail):

  • Zalman (Zioma) Reines, born in Białowieża in 1905. He became a merchant. He got married to Tajbl (Tatiana, Tinka) from the house Będner (see the Będner family), a tailor, and they lived in the house in Białowieża, on Tropinka 70 street (old numeration). They had a son - Chaim Reines (born 1938) and a daughter, Tania Reines. The whole family died during the Holocaust in 1942, according to the testimony left by Avigail Reines Michalowicz. From the other testimonies available in the IPN archives (t/n: Institute of National Remembrance) we find out, that Zalman (Zioma) Reines (signed as Rejmes Ziema) was executed together with three other victims of Jewish nationality in 1942 by the German germanderie on the road leading from Pruzhany to Białowieża. There’s another testimony in IPN, left by Teodor Gniewszew (?) and Eugenia Dziewiecka, stating that Ziema Rejnes was executed in the Gravel Pit (see: the Garvel Pit) and that his wife Tinka and his children Chaim and Tania were taken to the ghetto.
  • Avigail (Abigail) Reines was born in Białowieża in 1913. She finished her middle school and continued her education in a HeHalutz institute - we don’t have any information in which city, for sure not Białowieża though, as there were no such schools there. Later she took part in zionist organisations trainings preparing Jewish teenagers to settle in the kibbutzim in Palestine. After two years of training, she left to Israel in 1939. She settled in kibbutz Yagur where she took care of new immigrants - children and teenagers coming without parents or guardians. While still pushing her education forward, she dedicated her life to teaching the young. She got married to Mikhaeli and they had at least one daughter, Gala. Avigail stayed in touch with her friend from Białowieża, Szejna Halperin Kartzinel (see: the Halperin family) and later her family.

 Avigail left a lot of testimonies in Yad Vashem concerning many citizens of Białowieża and its surroundings, speaking not only about her closest family but also neighbours and acquaintances. These are incredibly valuable, as in many cases they’re the only trace or information left about someone’s life. They comprise of important data about family connections, helpful to understand the general picture of the society of that time. There seems to be some problem about the information concerning the dates and death places of the people declared by Avigail - this data needs to be approached carefully and critically. In the majority of the cases she declares Białowieża, 1942 as the place and time of death, but from what was examined historically, the executions in Białowieża itself took part only in 1941 (mainly on the 10th of August, but not only) and in the later years in the ghettos of Kobryń and Pruzhany, or in the extermination camp in Auschwitz (see: Holocaust). It seems probable that Avigail, being on emigration, didn’t have the full information and knowledge about the circumstances of the Holocaust in Białowieża. It is although possible that some of the citizens would join the partisan movement in the Białowieża Forest and therefore die fighting in 1942, but we have no confirmations for that and these would be rather individual cases, not whole families.

Avigail also testified about one of the brothers of her father - the office clerk Mosze Reines (born in 1880 in Pińsk), his wife Zlata (born in 1890 in Czernino) and their son, Gershon (born in 1911). That part of the family moved from Pińsk to Łuków, and died in Dąbrowa (next to Łuków) during the Holocaust. Avigail’s father, Chaim, had four other siblings, but their fates are unknown.

 


Footnotes:

  1. Biography of Avigail Reines Michałowicz on the website of kibbutz Yagur, translation from Hebrew to English by Matan Shefi, http://www.yagur.com/pneiyagur/GLpersonCard.aspx?id=170224
  2. Informations received from kibbutz Yagur via ŻIH [Jewish Historical Institute];
  3. Testimony of Avigail Mikhaeli, Yad Vashem Testimonies, The Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names, http://www.yadvashem.org/
  4. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Wykaz mienia porzuconego i opuszczonego (nieruchomości), o charakterze mieszkalnym i innym, które w myśl okólnika Głównego Urzędu TZP z dnia 2 stycznia 1946 r.L.Dz. 11682-IV.118/46 mają być przekazane w zarząd Zarządowi Gminnemu w Białowieży [Index of bona vacantia to be given under the administration of the District Bureau of Białowieża], Polish Archives in Bialystok;
  5. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Ewidencja nieruchomości, powiaty Białystok, Bielsk Podlaski, Sokółka nr 1 Wydz. III Ewidencja Szacunk.[Property and mortgage evidence in Białystok, Bielsk Podlaski and Sokółka], Polish Archives in Bialystok;
  6. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Przekazywanie w zarząd Zarządom Gminnym i Miejskim nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych na terenie pow. Bielsk Podlaski. 1946-1949, Okręgowy Urząd Likwidacyjny w Białymstoku. Wydział Powierniczy. Oddział Nieruchomości. 4 XI 1946 [Index of bona vacantia], Polish Archives in Bialystok;
  7. Icchak Jakob ben Salomon Neftali Reines - Wikipedia
  8. Genealogical Tree of the Reines family, information shared by Randy Schoenberg to Katarzyna Winiarska;
  9. Waldemar Monkiewicz, Zbrodnie hitlerowskie w Białowieży [Hitlerite Crimes in Białowieża], p. 57 based on: Terrain questionnaire of the District Commision for the Investigation of Hitlerite Crimes in Białystok "Represje na ludności żydowskiej przed utworzeniem getta" Białowieża pow. Hajnówka, "Egzekucje" Białowieża pow. Hajnówka OK Bi Ds 296/68, testimony of Paweł Piekacz; 10. Testimony of Teodor Gnieszew (?) and Eugenia Dziewiecka in the IPN Archive, Bi 1/1946;
The Salman Family

We have no knowledge about since when did the Salman family - Dawid Szlomo Salman and Dora Hana Salman (maiden name unknown) live in Białowieża. Their first child was born there in 1870, but at 1872 they already had moved to Jałówka, where they had more children. One of their sons returned to Białowieża few years later.

  • Jakub Salman - born in 1870 in Białowieża, then probably moved to Jałówka together with his parents. But ss an adult he lived in Białowieża. During the war he was transported to the Wołkowysk ghetto together with his brother, where he died.
  • Józef Salman - born around 1872 in Jałówka, where he lived and died.
  • Mordechaj Salman - born in 1880, probably already in Jałówka (according to the testimony of Rachela Vais, his daughter, although David Salman, his son claims that it was Białowieża). He had a wife, Tila, and children: Naomi (or Neomi), a nurse, Chaim, a doctor of physics, Dvora, Mosze (who married Hana) and two which survived the war: David (who married Dvora Gavurin from Bialystok) and Rachela (married name Veis or/and Mass), but we don’t know whether they survived the Holocaust or were on emigration.

According to his son, Mordechaj died in the Wołkowysk ghetto in 1942, according to one of his daughters, he died in Jałówka.

All three of the Salman brothers worked as wood traders.

 


Footnotes:

  1. Testimony of David Salman and Rakhel Veis, Yad Vashem Testimonies, The Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names, http://www.yadvashem.org
  2. Salmans Family Tree on Geni.com: https://www.geni.com/family-tree/index/4674104501180071835
The Sawczycki Family

Jakub Sawczycki got married to Chana, born in 1880 in Brześć (Brest). At first, they lived in Mosty next to Grodno, where their first daughter, Fejga was born in 1905, and later they moved to Korolewo next to Witebsk where they had two more daughters - Szewa (1910) and Rysia (Rachela) (1913). Between 1913 and 1916 they moved to Białowieża into a house on the Stoczek street, where  in 1916 they had their fourth daughter, Rywka. All of their daughters remained maidens and worked as tailors. Chana Sawczycka had a tavern in Białowieża, and Jakub traded wood.

All of the women from the Sawczycki family died during the Holocaust. Avigail Michałowicz, a friend of family, testified in Yad Vashem that it was in 1942 in Białowieża, although as it’s not coherent with the historical facts about the Holocaust in Białowieża, we suppose that the person testifying didn’t have the full knowledge as she was on emigration since 1939. There is no testimony about Jakub’s death in the Yad Vashem archives, so perhaps he died before the war. He was the oldest one from the family, so it doesn’t seem much probable that he survived the Holocaust.

On the farewell letter for Aaron Feldbaum signed by the representants of the Jewish community in Białowieża there is a signature of another Sawczycki - Józef (see: Feldbaum Family), but we have no information about whether was he related to Jakub and his family.

There was also Sawczycka E. which had a tavern in a nearby village Budy.

 


Footnotes:

  1. Piotr Bajko, Encyclopedia of the Białowieża Forest, Białowieża, entry: Traders and contractors in mid-war Białowieża;
  2. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture] 1926/27, Warsaw;
  3. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture] 1928, Warsaw;
  4. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture] 1930, Warsaw;
  5. Farewell letter to Aaron Feldbaum, 1921;
  6. Testimony of Avigail Mikhaeli, Yad Vashem Testimonies, The Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names, http://www.yadvashem.org/
The Schneider Family

Chaim Aaron Schneider was an officer of the Russian army. He got married to Małka Feldbaum (see: the Feldbaum family) at the end of the 20th Century. Their first son, Abraham (Abe) Schneider was born in 1899 or 1900 in Białowieża. Because the family was scared that Chaim will be sent to the frontline (in the wake of the Russian-Japanese war), his wife’s family (the Feldbaum’s) collected some money for his escape. Chaim was sent to Warsaw, and from there smuggled through the European borders, on a ship, and through the Atlantic Sea to America, where he settled in New York. He was the first member of the Feldbaum family to step foot in America, and he prepared everything for the rest.

Chaim wrote many letters to Małka, asking her to join him in America, but as there wasn’t enough money for her to join him immediately, she joined him (together with Abraham) only after a year, in the middle of 1902. During that time, Chaim was saving money, working as a tinsmith building fire exits in buildings. In 1903, Małka and Chaim have their second son - William Schneider. They move to Williamsburg on Brooklyn, the second biggest gathering of Jews in New York, full of Jews that emigrated there from little Russian and Polish shtetlekh. Even though with her husband and two sons, Małka felt very lonely in USA, and kept on writing letters to Rina, the second oldest daughter, asking her to come, but as Rina arleady had a big family (see: the Krugman family) she was actually the last one to leave Białowieża. In 1906 Małka and Chaim have their third son - Sol. A year later Małka dies, and after some time, Chaim re-marries to a woman called Mindel.

Małka’s children - Abe and Sol were musicians.

Abe Schneider (the only one to be born in Białowieża) played the violin and for many years took part in the best vaudevilles, Broadway shoaws, Disney on Ice and TV shows. He lived in a longstanding relationship with Betty, but they never got married. Later in his life he worked as a courier for violin dealers in the whole country. He died in 1992.

Sol Schneider, born in USA, was also a musician, and he played the accordian under the artistic name Sid Taylor. Thanks to his talent to play Russian music, he was often asked to play for heads of State and presidents of the United States. He got married to Rebecca Cohen.

Willy Schneider, born in USA, worked as an electrician and was one of the founders of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). He got married to Gertruda Solkoff.

One of the descendants of the Schneider and Feldbaum Białowieża family is Donald Messinger, who was the one to initiate the genealogical research and gathered most of the information about his family.

The memories about Małka’s and Chaim’s family can be found on the Schneider Chronicles website.

 


Źródła:

  1. Strona internetowa rodziny Feldbaumów, The Feldbaum Family Chronicles, http://www.feldbaumfamily.net/Home.ae
The Skałka Family

The Skałka family moved to Białowieża from Siedlce in the end of the ‘20s of the 20th century.  Abraham Skałka was born in Siedlce in 1875. He was a son of Eliezer and Ita, and he got married to Gołda Dembowic, born in 1880, also in Siedlce. They had three children:

  • Róża Skałka - born in 1918 in Siedlce, a tailor. She lived most of her life in Białowieża, never got married.
  • Józef Skałka - born in 1912 in Siedlce, an electrician, lived most of his life in Białowieża.
  • Izaak Skałka - a Holocaust survivor which testified the history of his family to the Yad Vashem archives. We are not sure whether he lived in Białowieża or in Siedlce - in his testimony he mentions that his siblings, Róża and Józef lived in Białowieża, but his parents, Gołda and Abraham stayed in Siedlce, and moved to Białowieża only during the war.

There is an adnotation about “Skałko A.” in two of the "Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu i rzemiosła" from 1928  and 1930, non existent in the edition from 1926/27, which can be a proof that the Skałka family moved to Białowieża between 1926 and 1928.

We also know that before the war Abraham Skałka lived on the Stoczek 96 street (currently Waszkiewicza 64), on the ground of Bazyli Wołkowycki. Wołkowycki built a new house there in 1930 - half of it was taken (bought? rented?) by Abraham Skałko. Bazyli Wołkowycki tried to recuperate the house after the war and the land from the Poviat National Council, which took over the Jewish posessions, and from the case documents it follows that Wołkowycki sold Skałka the whole house.

All of Abraham Skałka’s family died in the Concentration Camp in Auschwitz - the only one to survive was Izaak Skałka.

The citizens of Białowieża recall other members of the Skałka family as well - Chaja Skałka, which had a shoe shop and Sara Skałko, which had a herbadashery and shoe shop. Both of the stores were located on the Stoczek street.

 


Footnotes:

  1. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture] 1928, Warsaw;
  2. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture] 1930, Warsaw;
  3. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Rejestr nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych położonych na terenie powiatu Bielsk Podlaski, 1946, teczka 33 [Bona vacantia index for Bielsko Podlaskie poviat], Polish Archives in Bialystok;
  4. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Wykazy nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych na terenie pow. Bielsk Podlaski 1946-1949, Okręgowy Urząd Likwidacyjny, teczka 1736 [Bona vacantia index for Bielsko Podlaskie poviat], Polish Archives in Bialystok;
  5. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Ewidencja nieruchomości, powiaty Białystok, Bielsk Podlaski, Sokółka nr 1 Wydz. III Ewidencja Szacunk. [Property and mortgage evidence in Białystok, Bielsk Podlaski and Sokółka], Polish Archives in Bialystok;
  6. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Przekazywanie w zarząd Zarządom Gminnym i Miejskim nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych na terenie pow. Bielsk Podlaski. 1946-1949, Okręgowy Urząd Likwidacyjny w Białymstoku. Wydział Powierniczy. Oddział Nieruchomości. 4 XI 1946 [Bona vacantia to be given under the administration of the District Bureau of Białowieża], Polish Archives in Bialystok;
  7. Testimony of Yitzkhak Skalek, Yad Vashem Testimonies, The Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names, http://www.yadvashem.org/
  8. Piotr Bajko, Białowieża zarys dziejów, Białowieża 2001;
  9. Piotr Bajko, Encyklopedia Puszczy Białowieskiej, entry: “Traders and Contractors in the mid-war Białowieża”;
  10. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Prezydium Powiatowej Rady Narodowej i Urząd Powiatowy w Hajnówce, Administracja sprzedanych i oszacowanych budynków PFZ (rozdysponowanie mienia pożydowskiego) 1954-1956; [Disposition of Jewish belongings], Polish Archives in Bialystok;

 

The Szerman Family

Abraham Szerman was a rich investor and an owner of the lumber mill. According to Borys Russko’s memories, the first lumber mill Szerman opened was in Wojciechówka, one of Białowieża’s district, in the current location of the Białowieski Hotel. The lumber mill burnt in 1933 or in 1934, as Piotr Bajko refers. After that fire, Szerman opened a new mill in the Podolany village, close to the railway station Białowieża Towarowa. Włodzimierz Dackiewicz recalls that: “they were formworking, cutting floor planks, whittling any kind of things - windows, doors, etc.”. “The incoming workers built sheds from half-logs next to the lumber mill. They warmed them up with moss and straw, and lived there with their whole family.” - as Piotr Bajko writes in “Białowieża, której już nie ma” (t/n: Białowieża which doesn’t exist anymore). Borys Russko recalls that Szerman hired a lot of people, so thanks to him plenty of families didn’t suffer hunger. Russko portrays Szerman in his poem dedicated to the Białowieża Jews (see the poem) in the paragraph called “Study and Work”:

The rabbi's son

A servant of Asclepius

The rabbi's grandson

a hunter of the laws of nature

The rabbi's great-grandson

a glorifier of life.

The street has the scent of Prynca's chalka

We take a credit at Necha for beer and kvas

We go to the wedding wearing a shirt from Alkon

With a penny from Szerman's hands in our pockets.

The pyramide of Hermes is growing

The bee of John

sculpted a candle in the synagogue

Just like any other private department, the lumber mill was closed as soon as the soviet army entered the city in 1939 (see: the Soviet Occupation). Borys Russko says: “I think he managed to escape, he went away, as soon as the Soviets closed his lumber mill”.

Abram Szerman figures in the telephone book from 1938 - he is assigned at street Tropinka and phone number 46. Seven years earlier, this phone number belonged to Szerman Jasza, but we don’t know whether it was Abram’s father or brother.

 


Footnotes:

  1. Włodzimierz Dackiewicz, interview by Katarzyna Winiarska, 21.07.2015;
  2. Piotr Bajko [in:]”Białowieża, której już nie ma", Białowieża 2015, p.91;
  3. Information by Nina Rogaczewska from Stoczek, in: Piotr Bajko, Białowieża zarys dziejów, Białowieża 2001, p.80;
  4. Borys Russko, interview by Katarzyna Winiarska, 10.03.2016;
  5. Borys Russko, Ziemia Obiecana [The Promised Land], w: Rozgarniam noc. Asymetria, Warsaw 2005;
  6. Spis abonentów Państwowych i Koncesjonowanych Sieci Telefonicznych w Polsce 1931-32 [National and Chartered Phones Subscribers List in Poland];
  7. Spis abonentów Państwowych i Koncesjonowanych Sieci Telefonicznych w Polsce na 1932 [National and Chartered Phones Subscribers List in Poland];
  8. Piotr Bajko, Encyclopedia of the Białowieża Forest, Białowieża, entry: Traders and contractors in mid-war Białowieża;
  9. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa. [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture], 1926/27, Warsaw;
  10. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa. [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture], 1928, Warsaw;
  11. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa. [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture], 1930, Warsaw;

 

The Sznabel Family

Zelig Sznabel was born in 1895 in Warsaw. He was a merchant. We have no knowledge about the reason to move to Białowieża. He got married to Rywka Sztejnberg, coming from one of the oldest Jewish families in Białowieża (see: the Sztejnberg family).

Zelig had a grocery store (in The Polish adress book for trade, craft and agriculture from 1926/27 and 1928 as Snabel Z.) and a hotel with a restaurant - the hotel already had a phone line led through it in 1931, with it’s own number being “52”. That’s how Tadeusz Łaźny recalls it: “A little bit further [behind the hotel of Zdankiewicz, a Polish man] there was the big house of Sznabel, a Jew, which had some lodging space. Most of the Jews coming to the city stayed there.

Also Ela Sznabel, born in 1900 in Warsaw lived in Białowieża. She was a maiden, probably Zelig’s younger sister.

The Sznabel family died during the Holocaust. Avigail Michalowicz (Rywka’s niece) testified in Yad Vashem that it was in 1942 in Białowieża, although as it’s not coherent with the historical facts about the Holocaust in Białowieża (see: The Holocaust), we suppose that the person testifying didn’t have the full knowledge as she was on emigration since 1939.

 


Footnotes:

  1. Piotr Bajko, Białowieża mego dzieciństwa [Białowieża of my childhood], interview by Tadeusz Łaźny, Czasopis 7-8/11
  2. Piotr Bajko, Encyclopedia of the Białowieża Forest, Białowieża, entry: Traders and contractors in mid-war Białowieża;
  3. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa. [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture], 1926/27, Warsaw;
  4. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa. [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture], 1928, Warsaw;
  5. Spis abonentów Państwowych i Koncesjonowanych Sieci Telefonicznych w Polsce 1931-32 [National and Chartered Phones Subscribers List in Poland];
  6. Testimony of Avigail Mikhaeli, Yad Vashem Testimonies, The Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names, http://www.yadvashem.org/

 

The Szrajbman Family

Mosze (Izaak) Szrajbman came to Białowieża on the beginning of the 20th century from Pruzhany, where he was born as a son of Abraham and Estera. He was a merchant, and he got married to Nechama. They had a child, Hirsz Szrajbman, born in 1904 in Białowieża. Hirsz became an office clerk and got married to Maria Chernin. They lived most of the time in Warsaw, but during the war period they were in Pruzhany and from there they were deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where they died, together with Hirsz’s father, Mosze Szrajbmann.

Other people of surname Szrajbman living in Białowieża:

  • Szrajbman Chaim - lived on Stoczek 160 (old numeration).
  • Szrajbman Chana - had a herbadashery, grocery and silk textiles store on Stoczek street
  • Szrajbman Sara - had a groceries and silk textiles store on Stoczek street
  • Szrajbman Jakow - lived in Białowieża with his wife and three children: two daughters, and one son, a 10-years old mentally impaired boy. He owned a store.

 


Footnotes:

  1. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa. [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture], 1928, Warsaw;
  2. Księga adresowa Polski dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosł i rolnictwa. [The Polish address book for trade, craft and agriculture], 1930, Warsaw;
  3. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Rejestr nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych położonych na terenie powiatu Bielsk Podlaski 1946, teczka 33 [National Archive in Białystok, index of bona vacantia in Bielsko Podlaskie poviat];
  4. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Wykazy nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych na terenie pow. Bielsk Podlaski 1946-1949, Okręgowy Urząd Likwidacyjny, teczka 1736 [National Archive in Białystok, index of bona vacantia in Bielsko Podlaskie poviat];
  5. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Ewidencja nieruchomości, powiaty Białystok, Bielsk Podlaski, Sokółka nr 1 Wydz. III Ewidencja Szacunk.; [Property and mortgage evidence in Białystok, Bielsk Podlaski and Sokółka], Polish Archives in Bialystok;
  6. Archiwum Państwowe w Białymstoku, Przekazywanie w zarząd Zarządom Gminnym i Miejskim nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych na terenie pow. Bielsk Podlaski. 1946-1949, Okręgowy Urząd Likwidacyjny w Białymstoku. Wydział Powierniczy. Oddział Nieruchomości. 4 XI 1946; [National Archive in Białystok, index of bona vacantia in Bielsko Podlaskie poviat];
  7. Testimony of Glein Tzipora, Yad Vashem Testimonies, The Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names, http://www.yadvashem.org/
  8. Piotr Bajko, Białowieża zarys dziejów, Białowieża 2001;
  9. Piotr Bajko, Encyclopedia of the Białowieża Forest, Białowieża, Traders and contractors in mid-war Białowieża;
  10. Dr. Olga Smoktunowicz, index of Jewish patients, written after the war. Family property.

 

The Sztejnberg Family

Probably one of the oldest Jewish families settled in Białowieża. Eliahu (Eliasz) Sztejnberg with his wife Chana for sure lived here arleady in 1878, when their son Jakub was born. We can find Eliahu’s signature as Eli Steinberg on the farewell letter from the Jewish community to Aaron Feldbaum. There’s also a signature of Chaim Steinberg, we don’t know though how were they related. Eliahu and Chana had three children: Jakub, Rywka and Cywa.

  • Jakub Sztejnberg, born in 1878 in Białowieża, a merchant. He got married to Rywka, daughter of Pinkas and Leia, born in 1892 in Warsaw, a housewife. They lived in Białowieża and had four children: Chanoch Sztejnberg, born in 1916, who became an office worker in Białowieża, Abram Sztejnberg born in 1920 and Pinkas Sztejnberg born in 1924 were students, and there was also Dwora Sztejnberg, the youngest one, born in 1930.
  • Rywka Sztejnberg (Sznabel after marriage), born in 1895 or 1885 in Białowieża (the date on the Yad Vashem testimony was modified few times, making it seem like the testifying person wasn’t sure). She was a housewife. She married Zelig Sznabel, a merchant from Warsaw and they lived in Białowieża. (see the Sznabel family).
  • Cywa Sztejnberg Reines, born in 1880. She got married to Chaim Reines with who she had two children - Zalman, and Avigail. (see the Reines family). Avigail Reines survived the war on emigration and gave the death certificates of the members of all three families to Yad Vashem, stating her kinship. (see the Reines family). Avigail marked 1942 as the date of her family’s death, although it doesn’t fit the history of the Holocaust in Białowieża. As she was on emigration since 1939, it’s possible that she didn’t have the full knowledge.

Lejba Sztejnberg, Chana and their son, Szlomo Sztejnberg, born in 1908 in Białowieża, an office worker, were probably also members of the same family. Szlomo got married to Rywka, a tailor from Brześć, and they lived together in Hajnówka. They had a daughter, Chana, born in 1930. They all died in 1942.

The matzevah of Chana Sztejnberg stands on the Narewka Cemetery were the Białowieża Jews were buried before the WWII (see: cementary). The inscription on the matzevah describes Chana as the daughter of Eliahu and a wife of Arie Chaim, who died in 1911 in the age of 60. When matching this data with the one collected above, we find out that Chana Sztejnberg, whose age fits to the death year inscribed on the matzevah had to be the wife, not a daughter of Eliahu. There is although a convergence of three names and surnames (Chana Sztejnberg, Eliahu Sztejnberg and Chaim Sztejnberg) situated in the period fitting the matzevah date, which directs us to the conclusion that it had to be Chana from Białowieża.

 


Footnotes:

  1. Testimony of Avigail Mikhaeli (Michałowicz), Yad Vashem Testimonies, The Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names, http://www.yadvashem.org/
  2. Farewell letter to Aaron Feldbaum, 1921;
  3. List of matzevahs from the Jewish Cemetery in Narewka on the website of the Foundation for Documentation of Jewish Cemeteries in Poland http://cemetery.jewish.org.pl/list/c_77
The Werber (Verber) Family

Zeev and Chana Werber were both born in Białowieża and had six children: Sara, Abraham, Zelig, Henka, Gołda and Dwora. We don’t know anything else about them, except for that they lived in Białowieża and died during the Holocaust. There is some information about Dwora’s marriage to some Krugman (see the Krugman family). The family was declared in Yad Vashem by Yona Zeev Teiblum only in 1999, which had to be the husband of one more daughter of Zeev and Chana, not mentioned above - we can assume that judging by the kinship he had with the family members he declared. Perhaps that daughter survived the war, but for some reason didn’t declare her family. We don’t know her name.

In the documents of the Liquidation Bureau the house at the Stoczek 217 street was noted as bona vacantia after the Werber family.

 


Footnotes:

  1. Testimony of Yona Ben Zeev Teibluma, Yad Vashem Testimonies, The Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names, http://www.yadvashem.org/
  2. Rejestr nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych położonych na terenie powiatu Bielsk Podlaski, 1946, teczka 33 [index of bona vacantia in Bielsk Podlaski], Polish Archives in Bialystok;
  3. Wykazy nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych na terenie pow. Bielsk Podlaski  1946-1949, Okręgowy Urząd Likwidacyjny, teczka 1736 [index of bona vacantia in Bielsk Podlaski], Polish Archives in Bialystok;
  4. Ewidencja nieruchomości, powiaty Białystok, Bielsk Podlaski, Sokółka nr 1 Wydz. III Ewidencja Szacunk. Przekazywanie w zarząd Zarządom Gminnym i Miejskim nieruchomości opuszczonych i porzuconych na terenie pow. Bielsk Podlaski. 1946-1949, Okręgowy Urząd Likwidacyjny w Białymstoku. Wydział Powierniczy. Oddział Nieruchomości. 4 XI 1946 [Property and mortgage evidence in Białystok, Bielsk Podlaski and Sokółka], Polish Archives in Bialystok;
The Wołczan Family

Elka Wołczan - born in 1880 in Hajnówka, a housewife. She got married to Pejsach Będner (see: Będner family) with who she lived in in Białowieża. They had two daughters, Tajbl Będner (after marriage - Reines), and Chaja Będner (after marriage - Rabinowicz). Elka Wołczan died during the Holocaust - Avigail Michalowicz testified in Yad Vashem that it was in 1942 in Białowieża, although as it’s not coherent with the historical facts about the Holocaust in Białowieża (see: Holocaust), we suppose that the person testifying didn’t have the full knowledge as she was on emigration since 1939. Avigail also stated that Elka’s husband died during the Holocaust, marking “widow” in her certificate.

Rywa Walczan also appears in the materials about Białowieża - she probably belonged to the same family. The only information about her that we have are the witness testimonies from the IPN archive in Białystok, which imply that Rywa Walczan was executed (although she is described as a man) together with Rejmes Ziema (see: Zalman Reimes) in May 1942 on the road leading from Pruzhany to Białowieża together with three other people of Jewish nationality. There is another testimony in the IPN, left by Teodor Gniewszew (?) and Eugenia Dziewecka, stating that Rywa Walczan was shot at the Gravel Pit .

 


Footnotes:

  1. Testimony of Avigail Mikhaeli, Yad Vashem Testimonies, The Central Database Of Shoah Victims' Names, http://www.yadvashem.org/
  2. Testimonies of Teodor Gniewszew (?) and Eugenia Dziewecka, IPN Archive,IPN Bi 1/1946;
  3. Waldemar Monkiewicz, Zbrodnie hitlerowskie w Białowieży [Hitlerite Crimea in Białowieża], p. 57 based on: Terrain questionnaire of the District Commision for the Investigation of Hitlerite Crimes in Białystok "Represje na ludności żydowskiej przed utworzeniem getta" Białowieża pow. Hajnówka, "Egzekucje" Białowieża pow. Hajnówka OK Bi Ds 296/68, testimony of Paweł Piekacz;