My Jüte. Born in 1893 to a large Jewish merchant family operating several restaurants and bakeries in the Galician town of Rohatyn. Schooled in the finest academic universities of the Austro-Hungarian Empire: Vienna, Lwów, and Kraków. A medical doctor and dentist in the inter-War years, her name proudly appearing in the 1931 Polish Directory of Physicians with a stomotological clinic in Chodorów: Dr. Jüte Horn.
In 2010, that was where my research ended in the Old World for Jüte.
Jüte Horn Obituary 1958
My Rohatyn grandmother had known and admired Jüte—her aunt—in New York in the 1950s. My grandmother remembered the day Jüte died in 1958: Jüte had had no children, no husband. Only a handful of Horn family members had attended her funeral. Only those who had left Poland before the war. It had been a cold, grey autumn day when Jüte was buried in the Rohatyner section of Mt. Hebron cemetery.
My grandmother had only one photo of Jüte, taken in Haifa in 1947 with the notation on the back: “Look how much I have changed”.
I longed for more. I would not rest until I learned when Jüte had left Poland, and how she had come to be in Palestine in 1947.
Jüte Horn Passport 1947
Most importantly, I needed to know what her life—as a doctor and as a woman—had been like between 1931 and 1958. Did she continue her dental practice in Haifa? Was she alone there? Is that why she eventually left for New York, where she at least had some family? Had she ever fallen in love?
Nothing could have prepared me for the email I received in 2011 from the Jewish Historical Institute (JHI) of Warsaw.
I had written to JHI asking about records. I was living at the time in Buenos Aires. The reply came across the continents—from the Old World to the New World: not only had JHI found Jüte’s 1934 Polish passport to Palestine, but two more passports as well from years 1933 and 1937 for Jüte’s husband, Dr. Joachim (Chaim) Teichman. My Jüte, a married woman: Dr. Jüte Teichman!
My heart was so full, I cried.
The photo from Haifa now had a context and connection: Jüte had left Poland to follow her husband who had departed less than one year earlier. They had made a travel plan. I could follow their paths to Palestine through the stamps and signatures on the passports, from the British Embassy in Warsaw for Jüte (the Czechoslovakia Embassy in Warsaw for Chaim), through Sniatyn, to the port of Constanţa, Romania, and finally to Haifa (Jaffa). The journey. The arrival. A new life. Together.
I turned to friends and fellow genealogists in Israel for help. I got leads. I made phone calls, wrote letters, and sent emails. I learned that yes, my Jüte had continued her dental practice in Haifa—at 32 Herzl Street. I also found a September 5, 1950 ad from the Davar newspaper notifying her patients that the clinic was open again for business. She had been away on holiday.
Chaim Teichman Passport 1933; (click here to see 1937 Passport)
I also learned about Chaim Teichman: he had practiced law in Tel Aviv, entered politics, and even made several trips to New York in the 1940s and 1950s representing the World Zionist Organization.
One day in 2012 while I was living in Paris, I got an unexpected phone call from a woman in Israel. Someone in the Israel Genealogical Society who had seen my posts on the Society’s Facebook page had mentioned my request for information on Jüte and Chaim at a branch meeting. This woman’s mother—Hana, today 101 years old—remembered the two of them. She even remembered Jüte and Chaim coming to a family event in Haifa in the 1930s. Hana’s husband’s family—surname Margulies—had been close with the Teichmans. I also learned that Hana had been born in Chodorów.
Wait, hadn’t Jüte had a dental practice in this Polish town before the war?
I looked again at Chaim’s two passports: Chodorów was listed as his birth place. Coincidence?
A few weeks later I received in the post a little book from Hana’s daughter. The book had been published a few years prior by a cousin. It was about the Margulies family, including their emigration from Poland to Palestine. Hana had married the Margulies’ oldest son. This was, therefore, also the story of Hana’s journey in 1933 to Palestine.
I thumbed through the book and, although written in Hebrew, I could discern in some of the photographs Polish words and phrases. I could read on the image of the 1933 Polish passport for the Margulies family that Mr. Margulies (Hana’s father-in-law) had been a lawyer in Chodorów and had been born in Rohatyn, where my Jüte had been born.
Oh dear! I was beginning to suspect that there was something more going on here than chance and coincidence!
Margulies Passport 1933
Now I had to take another look at Chaim Teichman’s Polish passport, received two years earlier from JHI. Is it possible, I asked myself, that he and the Margulies family had traveled together in 1933 from Poland to Palestine?
The answer was yes. The official stamps in Chaim’s passport matched those of the Margulies’ passport—the same dates, the same ports, the same signatures.
I realized that it was likely my Horn family of Rohatyn knew the Margulies family of Chodorów, either because Mr. Margulies still had family living in his home town of Rohatyn, or through Horn business in Chodorów.
Either way, my Jüte probably met Chaim, her future husband, through this connection.
Finally, the little Margulies book produced one more unexpected gift: a family letter from summer 1934 in Haifa. I had a friend in Israel translate: “Dr. Horn arrived and in what condition she found her husband it is impossible to describe and write.”
Was this the family event that Hana remembered at the home of the Margulies?
I once more checked the stamps in Jüte’s passport: she had arrived in Palestine on August 12, 1934; Chaim on October 31, 1933.
Was this their first reunion in Palestine—at the Margulies home? Was Chaim distraught over their 10-month separation? Was he worried about Jüte’s safe arrival?
So many questions.
Maybe I will find answers when I make my first trip to Israel in April 2014 and finally meet Hana, her daughter, and the Margulies family. Maybe not.
But one thing is for certain: I will hold Hana’s hand and together we will bridge the years and continents.
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