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[Page 269]

In Memory of the Brandwein Family,
may G-d avenge their blood

Translated by Jerrold Landau

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Efraim Brandwein of blessed memory
and his wife Sara (Sali) of blessed memory

 

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Zofia (Zosia) Brandwein
of blessed memory
Sonia Brandwein
of blessed memory

My father Efraim Brandwein of blessed memory was a respected communal activist, who got along well with people in our city of Podhajce. He was an active Zionist, and participated in the Zionist institutions of the city. On occasion, he served as a mediator during various disputes, when the two sides preferred to accept his decision rather than presenting their case to arbitration or the rabbinical court.

He was an intelligent man, who knew how to find common language with members of the younger generation as well as those older than he. He earned his livelihood as an accounting director at a beer factory. On occasion, he also worked with his own hands in that company. Mother also did her share in supporting the family at the appropriate level by managing a small grocery store. The sisters also attempted to increase the family income by giving lessons and doing any other job that came their way.

The atmosphere in the home was warm and pleasant. This was especially felt during the Sabbath and festival evening meals, which were filled with joy and exalted spirits. Every event in Jewish life in the Land of Israel or the Diaspora had an appropriate echo in the family discussions around the table. The link was thereby forged, and the feeling of a common lot with all the members of our nation, wherever they were found, intensified.

Their fate was the fate of all the natives of their city. Woe over those who were lost and who will never be forgotten.

May their memories be blessed.

Munio Brandwein


[Page 270]

In Memory of a Prominent Family – the Walden Family

 

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Yaakov Walden
of blessed memory
as a
soldier in the Polish army
Yaakov Walden
of blessed memory

 

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His young daughter Julia
Both of them perished
in the Holocaust
The Zionist activist
Moshe Lieblich
of blessed memory

May the memory of my dear, pure, martyred family, men, women, and children, be brought to the fore. They were murdered, killed, and slaughtered in sanctification of the Divine name by the impure Hitlerist Nazis and their accomplices, may their names be blotted out, and especially by the murderous Bendera gang, may its name be blotted out.

I will remember my father Avraham the son of Shlomo-Zalman of blessed memory, and my righteous mother Chava the daughter of Mordechai and Freda of blessed memory (nee Heiden), who died a natural death in their homes and on their beds, and were brought to eternal rest in the Podhajce cemetery, next to the graves of their parents and family members.

I will remember my brother Tzvi Walden of blessed memory, who perished in one of the death camps, and his family members who were slaughtered in one of the large-scale massacres in Podhajce.

I will remember my brother Yaakov (Koba) of blessed memory who was murdered by the Bendera gangs, may their names be blotted out, and his family members who were murdered in the large-scale aktion.

I will remember my sister Shoshana of blessed memory, who died of hunger in the ghetto during the era of atrocities.

Thus did all of the members of my family perish and die. They were all people of toil and work, who lived modest lives, and whose prime desire was to help their fellow. They were murdered through no fault of their own, only because they were members of the downtrodden and persecuted Jewish people. Only I myself survived of all this wide branched family – as the final scion of a branch that was cut off from the tree of life.

I bow my head in their memory, and I will not forget them until my soul ends.

May their memories be blessed, and may their souls be bound in the bonds of eternal life.

Shlomo the son of Avraham and Chava Walden.


[Page 271]

The Household of Mordechai and Feiga Lehrer

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Mordechai and Feiga Lehrer
of blessed memory in the year 1922

 

We were a large, jolly family. Father was a wheat merchant. He also ran a grocery store, in which Mother assisted. Mother was an exemplary housewife. In addition to all of her business, she found time for social action, for offering assistance and support to the needy.

Our house was the center of this wide branched family. Mother was a native of the town of Gnilobody, and was very connected to the members of her family who were spread out in all the villages and towns of the region.

All family members knew that in our house, they would find proper counsel and advice that was appropriate as a solution to their problems. Every family event, whether happy or sad, was brought first and foremost to the adjudication table of our family. Therefore, our home was always bustling with a large number of visitors – uncles, aunts, cousins, and other relatives. Our family had the name of a beloved and united family.

The first breech in the unity of our family took place in May 1926, when I moved to live in Krakow after my wedding. Later, my sister Aliza (Freida) left the home and made aliya to the Land. During my first visit to our home after my marriage, my mother uttered a broken hearted sigh over the two empty seats at the table, and asked sadly: “How were you able to leave the home?”

Father died suddenly in 1932, and my family and I made aliya to the Land in 1934. However, the house was not emptied, and it bustled with life as always. My two eldest sisters got married and lived in our family home. The two families gave birth to children, and Mother had satisfaction from her grandchildren.

When I came to bid farewell to my family before I made aliya in 1934, I did not imagine that I would be taking leave of them forever, and would never see them again. Our last greeting arrived to us in the form of a postcard from my brother-in-law Yehoshua Landman. He wrote that their situation was good. They were all alive, but that the situation of Mordechai Lehrer was better than any of them… From this I understood how bitter and terrible was their fate, if they were jealous of our dead father…

May their memories be blessed, and may their souls be bound in the bonds of eternal life.

Yafa Shulwolf, nee Lehrer


In Memory of Dr. Arnold Landau of blessed memory

Dr. Arnold Landau was the son of Immanuel Landau, the publisher of the first Hebrew newspaper in Tarnopol. His mother was Berta of the Rozmarin family, a progressive family who owned the lease of the Nowosiulki estate in the region of Podhajce.

Dr. Landau was born in 1868. He concluded his course of studies in medicine at a school in Krakow in 1891. That year, he settled in Podhajce, where he worked as a doctor for 50 years. He was an expert diagnostician and a faithful physician for the residents of the city, four generation of whom enjoyed his dedication medical service.

The honor, medical ethic, fulfilling of his promises and complete fulfillment of his duties – these were the main trait of his life. Through his strong connection with Judaism, he was very familiar with the Jewish mentality. Every tragic event that took place with the ill people whom he tended caused him personal suffering. During the era of the First World War, when he was a military physician in the hospital for communicable diseases, he greatly assisted the Jews, with personal sacrifice. Those people coronated him with a title of love and honor – our father.

In his daily personal life, he went along his usual path: upright, faithful to those who depended on him, pursuing peace, and distancing himself from any feeling

[Page 272]

of jealousy or hatred. He was modest, and never looked for greatness or personal benefit. He was a devoted and dedicated father to his three children, and dedicated most of his free time to them. His wife was from the Bernstein family, the daughter of a well known banker and estate owner from Warsaw, who was a scion of the family of the Gaon of Vilna.

He died in Lvov in 1941 as a result of a heart attack, at the time that the German troops were taking their first steps in the outskirts of the city. He left behind a son named Edmund, who was the manager of the large machine factory in Przemysl, a daughter named Halina who was married to the engineer Zigler, a daughter named Janina who is married to the pharmacist Hesheles, and three grandchildren. Of three generations, only the writer of these lines, Janina Hesheles, survived. I live today in Jerusalem along with my husband the pharmacist Hesheles.

Janina Hersheles


Memories from Father's House

I remember the pleasant spring days in our town, which were days of great interest and joy. The people of the town would be working at their respective jobs and tasks – and the entire town bustled with life. A textile shop appears before my eyes on one of the streets, and behind the counter, the eyes of my parents of blessed memory are smiling at me.

A splendid beard adorned the face of my father Reb Avraham. Many charitable deeds were concealed within him. He was busy with his livelihood from morning until night without rest, and even at times without a meal – however he never forgot the times of prayer – a time when nothing else was more important. Then, he would leave his business and commune with his Creator for several minutes. Synagogue affairs were as important to him as his own affairs. He concerned himself primarily with the cleanliness, heating and light of the synagogue, and anything that was for the comfort of the worshippers.

With longing and yearning I recall the Sabbath eves and Sabbath days in our city and our home. It was as if the entire world desisted from its normal course and went out to greet the Sabbath Queen. The house took on a new look, and it was as if its residents were born anew in order to greet this day. Everything was cleaned and polished in the house, and everyone wore festive clothes. Mother of blessed memory even wore a “sheitel”[1] in order to greet this day that is honored above all days. The Sabbath candles that were lit twinkled and spread their light in all corners of the house, and added a unique sparkle in the eyes of its residents.

Father returned from the synagogue, and to our joy, he always brought a guest for the Sabbath meal. The table, covered with a white tablecloth, was spread with tasty Sabbath delicacies that were prepared tastefully by Mother of blessed memory. Men wearing “streimels”[2] were hurrying to and from the synagogue, with the joy of the Sabbath and the “extra soul”[3] beamed from their eyes.

Thus did life go for generation after generation – a life of Torah and Divine service, of days of festivity and days of mourning – until the “Days of Awe” came, the days of the Second World War and the Nazi conquest, that destroyed and eradicated this entire life off the face of the earth within a few days.

Many tragedies occur to a person during the time of his life, and he succeeds in overcoming them. However a tragedy such as this, the spilling of clean blood in such great proportions – cannot be forgotten or silenced for the life of the entire generation.

All the members of my family fell prey to the cruelty of the Nazis and their accomplices, and only I alone remained alive – a lone scion of an entire family. With a grieving heart, I hereby recall my dear ones, whose pure blood cannot be weighed in gold:

My father Avraham of blessed memory and my mother Itta of the Kornbaum family.

My brother Berl of blessed memory and my sister Sala of blessed memory.

May their souls be bound in the bonds of life, Amen and Amen!

Uri Milshtock

 


Translator's Footnotes

  1. A wig worn by Orthodox Jewish women in observance of the traditions of modesty. During the week, she probably wore a more simple kerchief (tichel) Return
  2. Hassidic fur hats Return
  3. Jewish tradition states that a person attains an “extra soul” on the Sabbath Return

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