Blitz Family

The Blitz family probably lived in Bukachevtsy for hundreds of years but records only go back as far as the nineteenth century.  This story is told from the perspective of Cipora Blitz, who has provided the information and the photos that follow.

Moses Hersch Blitz, her great grandfather, was born in 1833 and died in 1881.  He and Taube (1829-1894) had the following children:   Abraham, born in 1867, died in 1886; Freutze, born in 1865, married Israel Aron Holler; Mattismeyer, born in 1868, sent to Belzec in 1942; and Yankel Blitz, born in 1871.

Mattismeyer and Krassel Kleinfeld Blitz, Cipora’s grandparents, married in 1891 and had Meshulam, born in 1892, sent to Belzec in 1942; Moses Hersch (Morris), born in 1893, left for U.S. in 1912, died 1983; Isidor, born 1895, left for U.S. in 1920, died 1973; Tauba (m. Drake), born in 1900, left for U.S. in 1920, died 1971; Volek (William), born in 1902,  left for U.S. in 1920, died in 1968; Nesha (Norma, m. Radack), born in 1904, left for U.S. in 1920, died 1992; and Joseph, born in 1909, died in New York in 2002.

Joseph Blitz, Cipora’s father, studied classical music at the Lviv conservatory.  While at the conservatory, he lived at his brother Meshulam’s house.  Meshulam, who lived in Lviv, owned a musical instrument store.  Joseph was the only Jewish student at the conservatory.  He and Meshulam (the oldest and the youngest) were the only ones who remained in Poland .

Joseph Blitz and Bertha Faust, from Rohatyn, were married in 1936.  They moved in with Mattismeyer and Krassel in Bukachevtsy and remained there until 1941.  Life was rather pleasant in a rural environment, where the family business consisted of dealing with lumber, running a soda factory, kept in the cellar, and a partnership at a local mill.

Abraham, Cipora’s brother, was born in May 1937.  He was very much adored by everyone since he was the only grandchild in Bukachevtsy, as all the other grandchildren were in the U.S. Cipora was born in 1941 and, at that time the family lived with cousins because the Russians had taken over their house on Pilsudskiego Street.  Cipora’s mother was very proud of the fact that Cipora was born in a Russian military hospital and not delivered by a midwife at home like the “common folk.”

Life changed drastically when the Germans arrived in July 1941.  Mattismeyer and Krassel, Cipora’s grandparents were sent to Belzec and Joseph and Bertha, along with their children Abraham and Cipora, were forced into the Rohatyn Ghetto and remained until it was burned in June 1943.  They returned to Bukachevtsy and hid in the Vitan forest until July 1944 and the arrival of the Russians.  Their former maid, Hannu Vervarka, often risked her life in order to bring them food. 

In December 1945, Cipora’s twin sisters were born in Bukachevtsy, the last Jewish children to be born in town.  Deborah was named after her maternal grandmother Deborah Libba Loew Faust, who was killed in Rohatyn in 1943 and Chaya was named after her paternal grandmother Krassel Kleinfeld Blitz, who died in Belzec.

They lived in Poland and then Israel, until, in 1956, they moved to New York and were reunited with the rest of the family who had left Bukachevtsy in the 1920's. It was the first time in thirty-six years that Joseph saw his brothers and sisters.  Cipora’s Uncle Moishe, who also played the violin and whom her father remembered from his childhood and whom, at age 11, he used to call Moishe Fiddle, wanted to know whether her father still played the violin.

The photos below were contributed by Cipora Blitz on behalf of the family (brother Abraham and sisters Chaya and Deborah).  You can see a larger version and a description of each photo by clicking on the photo.

     Blitz House, 2007

From Tomasz Kizny. 2007:

My grandparents used to rent a flat in the Blitz's family house and it seems that they were very friendly. My uncle Zygmunt remembers in his memories Cipora’s grandmother Krassel keeping him on knees and telling ‘Mundziu, Mundziu’ (diminutive name of uncle Zygmunt). He himself used to address them as ‘grandpa’ and ‘grandma’. He accounts that grandma Blitz sometimes gave him the salad made from hard boiled eggs, chicken liver and onions which he remembered as very tasty. Uncle Zygmunt said  that on one of Jewish holidays, probably holiday Hanuka, Blitz family used to make wine from raisins and once grand father Blitz had given to him this wine to taste.


My father telling stories from his childhood used to remember the scene: he is walking on the main street of Bukaczowce, passing Blitz’s house he could hear old Blitz calling “Tadziu (diminutive name of my father Tadeusz), would you like to have “lemene” (lemonade) and giving to my father a  cold drink. As a young boy he must like Blitz’s lemonade very much since this moment stuck in his memory for good. Father used to repeat this story or remember it quite often.  

Meshulam and Pepcha Blitz, 1919

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Krassel, Joseph, and Mattismeyer Blitz, 1926

Joseph Blitz, 1936

Blitz and Faust Family, 1937

Berta and Abraham Blitz, 1937

Krassel, Helen, and Mattismeyer Blitz, 1937 or 1938
Krassel and Mattismeyer Blitz, 1938
Abraham Blitz, 1939

Blitz Family and Friends, 1938-1939

Cipora, Joseph, and Abraham Blitz 1945

Deborah Blitz, 1945

Chaya Blitz, 1945

Dina Etta Kasten and Cipora Blitz, 1946

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