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[Page 231]

Chapter X

Sztern and Steiner families in Krosno

Szymon Sztern


Szymon Sztern was born about 1877. The family moved to Krosno from StanisÅ‚awów. Szymon is recorded as being a member of the “Gmilat Chesed”, or cooperative Jewish banking outfit in Krosno. His wife Chaja died about 1915. He was registered by the Judenrat census in 1941 as a locksmith. He lived on the Podwale Street in Krosno. His trade saved him from starvation for the Germans needed skilled workers. He even escaped the first major selection of Jews in Krosno that eliminated about 80% of the Jews of the city that were sent to the death camp of Belzec. There were no survivors of this transport. He was shot in the front of his house during the last round up of Jews of Krosno in December of 1942.

Chaja Rubin Sztern was married to Szymon Sztern. She died about 1915 in Krosno. Szymon never remarried.

They had three children:

Majer Sztern born in 1906 in Krosno. He was drafted into the Polish Army in 1923 and served until 1925. He then married Chaja, also born in 1909 and they gave birth to Chaim in 1936 in Krosno. Majer left Krosno as many other Jewish males did for fear of the Germans. He crossed the newly established border between Germany and Russia, a mere 20 kilometers from Krosno. He expected to return home as soon as things settled down. He was then seized by the Soviets and sent to the gulags of Russia in Siberia. The Russian–Polish agreement released all Polish citizens from the Russian camps. He enlisted in the Polish Army under the leadership of general Berling that was formed in Russia. This army fought alongside the Russian army until Berlin.

With the end of the war in 1945, Majer was discharged and returned to Krosno to look for survivors. He saw a pretty dismal picture. There were hardly any Jews in the city and those few who did return soon left the place. They had no desire to start rebuilding their lives in Krosno. They usually opted to move west and leave Poland. After a short stay in the city, Majer joined one of the groups of surviving Jews who headed west. They crossed the border to Czechoslovakia and then to Austria. Finally he reached the American zone in Berlin where he took up residence in the D.P. or displaced camp named Dupel Center. He met and married Hadassah Brothlieb. Majer took a course and graduated as a locksmith in a training center that was organized by the IRO (International Refugee Organization). He graduated the course in October of 1946. He then joined the camp police force at the DP camp, Duppel Center, UNRRA Lager 597 in Berlin where he remained from 1946–1948. They gave birth to a son called Eli in Berlin. They moved to Israel where Majer found work in the port of Haifa. He worked there from 1948–1952. The daughter Frima was born in Haifa. The family returned to Germany and lived in the D.P. camp of Fohrenwald where he filled out papers for Brazil on November 19th 1953. The family reached Brazil. Majer divorced his wife and later married Rosa of Rumanian descent.

Chaja Sztern survived the first action in Krosno and was rounded up with the second action and sent to the ghetto of Rzeszow in December of 1942. Conditions were terrible and epidemics spread like wildfire. The Germans shot many sick people in the ghetto and many others died of starvation, hunger, and disease. Chaja was shot by the Germans in the Ghetto of Rzeszów.

Chaim Sztern, the son of Majer and Chaja Sztern, was shot by the Germans in the ghetto of Rzeszów together with his mother.

Hadassah Sztern nee Brothlieb was born in 1922 in Lublin, Poland. She survived the war. Her entire family perished in the Majdanek death camp. She married Mayer Sztern following the war. She and Majer Sztern were divorced in Brazil.

Eli Sztern, son of Majer and Hadassah Sztern nee Brothlieb, was born on the December 4th 1947 at the Krankenhaus Hubertus in Berlin, American zone of Germany. He married and had a daughter named Marina 1990.


The Sztern family in Krosno in 1937
Szymon Sztern holding his grandson Chaim Sztern
Next to Szymon Sztern sits Cesia Steiner nee Sztern with her husband Cudik Steiner
Standing from right to left: Cudik's cousin, Chana Sztern, Majer Sztern, and wife Chaja Sztern


Frima Sztern, daughter of Majer and Hadassah Sztern nee Brothlieb, was born on January 8th 1951 in Haifa, Israel. She married Isaac Gevircman in San Paolo, Brazil in 1973. They gave birth to Sergio born in 1977 and Patricia in 1979.

Their children were;

Mari Helena, Ingrid Irene and John Willy
Mari Helena gave birth to Dag in 1965 and Jon in 1969
Ingrid Irene gave birth to Pal in 1971
John Willy gave birth to Elin in 1973 and Erik in 1980


Hannah Sztern


Hannah Sztern was born in 1912 in Krosno to Szymon and Chaja. She attended Polish schools and spoke fluent Polish. She worked as a seamstress under the German occupation of Krosno. Hannah appears on the Judenrat census list of June 1941 in Krosno as a seamstress. She worked in one of the clothing factories of Krosno and was saved from deportation to the death camp of Belzec. But she realized the hopelessness of the Jewish situation in Krosno and began to talk to her non–Jewish coworkers about a hiding place. One of them, Mrs. Pudelko, replied in the affirmative and Hannah Sztern moved discreetly to her place and remained there for several days. Mrs. Pudelko then smuggled her out of the city of Krosno to the countryside. Aryan papers were forged for her and she began to live as a non–Jew. Her papers stated that she was Maria Josefa Suska born on June 27th 1918.

Someone recognized her and informed the Gestapo. The latter arrived but Hannah was one step ahead of them. She returned to Mrs. Pudelko, who hid her in a cellar for some time until things settled down a bit. New identity papers had to be forged and she was moved to the city of Jaslo. Here she was detained by a German roadblock that arrested Poles and sent them to Germany to work. She reached the camp of Luneburg. At the labor camp she befriended a Norwegian forced worker named Henry and they became very attached. She also had three Polish girl friends, Irka and Stasia from Warsaw, and Maria from Nowy Sacz. They were very close and worked together in a shoe factory. The four girls maintained contact with each other long after the war. Hannah never told them that she was Jewish. She told them that she was from Krosno, her parents had passed away, and that the church placed her brother and sister in different orphanages. She also stated that she worked at the church in order to pay for her stay. Contacts between the family members had long ceased and with the turmoil of the war the confusion was hopeless. With the liberation of the camp, Henry and Hannah returned to Norway where they were married and gave birth to three children. She died on June 4th 1986 in Norway.


Hannah Sztern as a seamstress in
her workshop in Krosno during the war


Jadwiga and Jan Pudelko saved Hannah Sztern in the war


Cesia, Cesky, Cecylia Sztern was born on March 23rd 1916 in Krosno. She married Cudik Steiner in Krosno on December 5th 1937. She survived the Auschwitz and Stuthoff concentration camps. She met her husband and they resumed life. They left Poland and lived in Linz, Austria, and then in Hof/Saale in Germany, American zone of occupation. They registered to go to Paraguay with the Joint Organization in Munich, Germany, but President Truman expanded the list of refugees who could enter the USA. The couple decided to go to the United States. They left from Bremerhaven, Germany on the ship named “General Stewart” on August 8th 1949. The ship docked in New York City on September 4th 1949. They never had children. They were naturalized on December 4th 1954. He later opened a laundry. They retired to Florida where Cesia or Sylvia died on July 6th 1986 in Boca Raton, Florida.

Moses Joseph Steiner lived in Dukla with his wife Scheindel Leichter–Steiner. They gave birth to Cudik Steiner.


Cudik and Cesia Steiner are going to the USA aboard the military transport ship “General Stewart.”


Cudik Steiner, was born on November 5th 1911 in Jedlicze near Krosno. His father was Moses Joseph Steiner and his mother was Scheindel nee Leichter– Steiner. He moved to Krosno where he married Cesia Sztern. He was also a locksmith. He was recorded as using the facilities of the “Gmilat Chesed” or non–profit fund of the Jewish community of Krosno. He was recorded on the census of the Judenrat of 1941 in Krosno. He survived all roundups due to his trade as a locksmith. He was sent to the Rzeszow Ghetto in 1942 and from there to the Plaszow concentration camp near Krakow. He was then transferred to the death camp of Mathausen where he arrived on August 10th 1944. He was liberated and returned to Poland to find no relatives in Krosno. He traveled to Warsaw where he registered with the central organization of Polish Jews in Warsaw located at 5 Szeroka Street in the section of Praga –Warszawa. The date was August 1945. He recorded his address as living in Linz, Austria. Apparently, he met his wife who also survived the war. In January 1946 moved to the Hof/Saale D.P. camp. He was registered with the Jewish aid organization in the camp. He was scheduled to go to Paraguay but the list to America was opened by President Truman. The couple decided to go to the States. They left from Bremerhaven, Germany on the “General Stewart” ship on August 8th 1949. The ship docked in New York City on September 4th 1949. They were greeted by a HIAS representative and the family of Hersh Steiner. The family however had to travel to Wisconsin as the paper stated and this they did. They continued their journey to Sheybogen, Wisconsin. Here they passed legal clearance and then decided to leave the place and return to New York where the family secured a place at Middle Village, 7313–75th Drive, Queens, New York. He started to work as a chicken plucker, then opened a laundry store. They never had children. They were naturalized on December 4th 1954. He later opened a grocery. They retired to Florida where Cesia or Sylvia died in 1985.

Cudik married Pauline Steiner.

Cudik Steiner had a brother who made it to Argentina where he lived and died in 1986.

Pauline Steiner nee Sommer was a native of Krosno. She was born on May 29th 1917. She came to the United States and married Cudik Steiner in Boca Raton, Florida, on April 28th 1988.

Hersh Steiner was born in Dukla in 1888. He came to the United States on September 18th 1913, from Hamburg. He worked as a presser. Due to WWI he could not bring his family. His wife Eva came to the United States in 1920 and joined her husband. They petitioned the US on behalf of Cudik Steiner and Cesia Steiner. They also appeared as witnesses on the naturalization papers. Hersh Steiner died in 1974. He was related to Cudik Steiner.

Eva Steiner was born in Dukla, Galicia Poland, and arrived in the US on July 26th 1920 with her seven–year–old daughter, Suche Steiner, from the port of Le Havre in France.

Suche Steiner was born in 1913 in Dukla Galicia. She was the daughter of Hersh and Eva Steiner. She arrived in the USA on July 26th 1920 from the port of Le Havre in France.

Pinkas Steiner– in Dukla was the address of the nearest relative left in Poland by Eva Steiner. He must have been related to the family.


The Sztern family of Krosno

Maiden name Birth
Died City Trade/Note Father Mother Gender Husband Source Status
STERN Simon   1877 1942 Krosno locksmith     M   JU/G killed
STERN Chaje     1915 Krosno       F Simon P died
STERN Majer   1909   Krosno   Simon Chaje M   JU survived
STERN Chaje   1909   Krosno   Simon Chaje F Majer P Shoa
STERN Chaim   1936   Krosno   Majer Chaje M   P Shoa
STERN Hadassah BROTHLIEB   1922   Lublin   2nd wife F Majer P survived
STERN Eli   1947   Berlin   Majer Hadassah M      
STERN Frima   1951   Haifa   Majer Hadassah F      
STERN Chane   1912   Krosno Seamstress Simon Chaje F   JU survived
STERN Ziwie CESSIA   1915 Krosno   Simon Chaje F Cudik P survived
STEINER Cudik   1911   Duklo             survived
STEINER Pauline SOMMER           2nd wife F Cudik   survived


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