May Their Memories Be Blessed
Tonight begins Holocaust Memorial Day here in Israel. I'd like to take a moment to remember those members of my family who were murdered in the Holocaust. I wish for my sake that I'd had a chance to meet them or their descendents (my distant cousins)... and for the sake of my grandparents that they hadn't died so young, all at the same time... and for the sake of my mother that such a trauma had never entered into her parents' lives.
Details are sketchy because my grandparents rarely spoke about their dead family members.
My great-grandfather, Rabbi Yitzchak Natan Pomeranzblum - an Ostrovyetzer chassid, my great-grandfather was born in Staszow, Poland and lived in Opatow, Poland before being murdered in 1942 at age 67. He may have been taken with his children to Treblinka, but there is also a family story that he was shot in his home.
His second wife (my grandmother's stepmother), Devorah nee Ivenski, and their twins. It is unclear to me whether the twins were my grandmother's half-siblings or stepsiblings.
My great-aunt Manya Kreinders, her husband and their three children. They died of starvation in the Lodz ghetto.
My great-uncle Salme Pomeranzblum. I don't know if he was married or had children. Killed in Treblinka.
My great-aunt Shprintze Pomeranzblum. I don't know if she was married or had children. Killed in Treblinka.
My great-aunt Vivcha Pomeranzblum. I don't know if she was married or had children. Killed in Treblinka.
My great-uncle Mottel Pomeranzblum. I don't know if he was married or had children. Killed in Treblinka.
The first wife of my great-uncle Simcha and their two children. I don't know their names, but come to think of it I can ask my mother's cousin; maybe he knows.
On another side of the family...
My great-grandmother Esther Spiegel, aka Anna/Netti.
The first wife of my grandfather, Helen Steiner (nee Kittner) and their young son, Heinrich, my half-uncle.
Also various family members who, as far as I know, were killed in the Holocaust but I'm not sure; they may have died some other way before the war. Come to think of it I should check with my mother:
My great-great uncle, Shalom Pomeranzblum.
My great-great aunt, Esther Malka Teuter and her husband, Avraham Michael Teuter.
My grandmother's cousin, Chaim Pomerazblum, and his son.
My great-great uncle Avraham Sosnowicz.