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January 2013

Searching for Rózsi

By Andrew Lenard

“Preceding deportation, ten-thousand people were herded together in terrible conditions of crowding, fear, and filth. I there met Rózsi, who was even then clutching the case of her dear violin.”


By Ruth Marcus

“I began my search by telephoning any individual who I thought might be a descendant of someone on my list, and asking the following question: Are you Ms. X, the daughter of Ms. Y, ”


By Marla Raucher Osborn

“After a few weeks, a strange letter arrived addressed to me. I say "strange" because it was written on aluminum foil—both envelope and letter! But I could read it! And it was from David!”

Warrior of Zion

By Edwin Parks

“A friend drew my attention to some medals belonging to Jacob Aptekman, who served in the Royal Fusiliers in World War I and whose number, J-4707, indicated he had enlisted in the Jewish Battalions which made up the Jewish Legion…and thus began my involvement with Jewish history and genealogy.”

EDITORS' NOTE - January 2013

This issue includes four inspiring Success Stories, diverse stories by authors who share a drive to understand the past and connect it to the present. Our authors mirror the international make-up of the JewishGen community—living in the United States, Israel, France, and Northern Ireland.

While in his teens, Andrew Lenard played duets with a young violinist, Rózsi Silberer, in Debrecen, Hungary. Separated after the German invasion of 1944 and not finding her after the war, Andrew assumed she had died in Auschwitz. Years later, on a whim, he entered Rózsi’s name into JewishGen’s Holocaust Database. And so begins his search.

Ruth Marcus organized a Tel Aviv reunion in 2006 for the descendants of former residents of Lunna-Wola, Belarus. While she was successful in tracking down many descendants for this event, she had not located the descendants of Bella Murstein, a woman on her list of former residents. A 2008 visit to Lunna, a card identifying a new contact in Argentina, a comment made to her in 2011, and diligent research of the Lunna Revision Lists in the JewishGen Belarus Database all lead Ruth to new family connections.

At the age of 14, Marla Raucher Osborn demonstrated her passion for family connections when she located and contacted her grandfather who had been estranged from his family for over 30 years. Now long after his death, she wanted to know more about him and his family history. Using many resources, including JewishGen’s Family Finder, she traces the family to Przemysl, Galicia, and visits her ancestral town.

Edwin Parks, a retired British Army officer and military historian who had spent much time in the Middle East, decided to write a book on British military involvement in the area. His research led him to Jacob Aptekman who served in the Royal Fusiliers in World War I. Wanting to know more about him, Edwin posted an inquiry on JewishGen’s Discussion Group that yielded many responses and a connection with Jacob’s grandson. The result is a fascinating story about a “Warrior of Zion”.

We hope you are inspired by these stories and learn from the variety of research approaches the authors describe. JewishGen offers a wide range of resources to assist you in expanding your knowledge and connecting with family. We wish you success and encourage you to send us your stories.

Nancy Siegel, Editor                                                            Anna Blanchard, Webmaster
San Francisco, California                                                  Saint Louis, Missouri


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Updated by AB on February 2, 2013.

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