Memoirs And Family Stories

My Mother
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Rose Birth Certificate

Rose 2
Birth Certificate
Passport Picture
Rose In Cleveland

Rose Solomon's wedding to Herman Ganz
Mothers wedding picture

1924 Wedding at the Marmarosher Shul  in Cleveland with all  cousins in attendance.: Max Solomon   in  the back row, Helen Solomon Jacobs to the left of the bride and Rose Solomon  Goldberg to the right of the bride, and of course, the groom, my father Herman Ganz behind the bride and my Uncle Samuel Ganz in the second row left. The others are unknown to me. Perhaps someone out there can identify the others. It would be wonderful to have names attached to the faces.


Rose's Sisters and MotherWhat was their fate?

Mariam SlomovicMariamPepi SlomovicRachel
Mariam Slomovic       Mariam as an adult     Pepi{Pessel} Mother   Rachel Slomovic Jakobovits

  Mariam, the youngest of the sisters, was married and living in Brussels. There is little  information that I can find about Mariam other than what a relative told me. Her  married name may have been Mariam Shmulovits. I do know that she was in Chumalovo in 1941 and staying with her mother, Pepi, and may have had a child. I did find a record in the The Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names of a Mariam Shmulovits living in Chumalovo with a mother named PesselShe may have just been visiting her mother Or....But whatever her reason for being there, she was rounded up with her mother and the other residents of Chumalovo by the collaborators of Nazi Germany {HUNGARY} and murdered somewhere near Kaminets Podulsk in the Ukraine.

Rachel was married and living in Drahova, which is about two miles north of Chumalovo. She had two children. The eldest child, Chaya, was a survivor of the Holocaust and her story will be told in the next chapter. Rachel and her family were taken in 1944. They somehow were spared the massacre in the Ukraine but met their fate in Aushwitz, and were murdered there.

I have no information on my mother's sister, Sura, other than she was married and living in Tereblya. She may have had three children. Tereblya was "judenrein" in 1941. She may have met the same fate as her mother and sister Mariam. Her husband's name is unknown to me.

My Grandmother had been a widow prior to marrying again. She had a child with her first husband, Menachem Davidovits. Their daughter, Peril Davidovits, was my mother's half sister. Peril married Kopel Hershkovits and they had three children: Mendel, Natan and Malka Hershkovits. They lived in Podplesa, a small shtetle in then Czechoslovakia {now in the Ukraine}. The Jews were taken in 1944 and murdered in Auschwitz. Mendel somehow survived.

Of my mother's extended family, there were TWO SURVIVORS


                              Mendel 1973                                   Helen Antin

Mendel Hershkovits  (an excerpt of a letter 2010)

I went to school in Comoliev for two school-years, and I boarded with my Grandmother, Pessel. She and Aunt Miriam were very kind to me. I remember that in our family there were names like Moskovits and Mutjovits - in Comoliev and in Krichev - but I don’t know how many. The name of Grandma Pessel’s family, with her second husband, was Shlomovits. And no doubt that the name of her first husband’s family was Davidovits, because my mother’s maiden name was Davidovits.
I don’t really remember very much else, because I was 10-years old at the time, and wasn’t involved with family names.

As to Helen’s question about my early years - - the answer is that there weren’t too many enriching experiences even before the ghettos and the concentrations camps in Germany, because the population in the places we lived, the Ukranians, were anti-Semitic. In school they would pull on my payos and shout, “Jews to Palestine”, and at night they would throw stones on the roofs of the houses is which we lived, and so on and so on… Everything that I write about is abbreviated, because if I were to write more, I’d have to be a scribe and would need to fill up volumes on the subject.
I was born in the hamlet whose postal name was Podplesa. From 1939-45, it was Hungarian, and had the postal name Polesoljo. And then the Ukranians named it Pidposea.
In short, there are not any good memories. In those days the life of a Jew was no better than the life of a dog.

And so, looking back at all the periods of my life, I consider myself enriched because I have a wonderful family. They are glorious, beautiful, and intelligent. And through them I really define myself.

In my next letter I will send photos of my two great grand-daughters.
Warm wishes and good health to both of you.
Mendl & Miriam

Helen Jacobovits Antin

Helen  was born in Drahovo, Czechoslovakia to  Rachel Slomovic Jacobovits and Lajos Jacobovic. Not sure of the year, she estimated about 1930.  This story was told to me by Helen a number of years ago in Florida { as my house guest.} She was my first cousin. Her mother and my mother were sisters. Helen and I are named for our great grandmother from Krychovo, Chaya Broina Motjovich.

The Shtetlach: Chumolovo {Comolovo}, Krychovo {Kritchef}, and Drahovo were all in Maramores  County, Austria /Hungary. After WW1, the area became Czechoslovakia. It is now in the Zakarpattia Oblast in Ukraine. This was the area from which my family was born, lived and most were annihilated during WW11. Helen Jacobovits was a survivor, the only one of her immediate family.

Her story began in 1941.  Helen was staying with our grandmother in Comolovo, {Pessel Sura Motjovich Davidovich Slomovic. } Helen’s mother  was in a clinic  being treated for ulcers. Her father was in the Czech Army and away. Her {our} Aunt Mariam was also visiting her mother. Mariam lived in Brussels and was home with her mother in Comalovo.  Helen must have been around 10 years old at this time so this part of her story was told through the eyes of a child.

“Our grandmother told me to run away. Bad people were coming  to take them away.” Run away and hide” I ran and hid in an attic for a long time.  They {the Hungarians} took my grandmother away and my aunt Mariam. They took them to Goradenka, killed them, and threw them into the Black Sea.” [ She wasn’t clear about where she hid. It may have been in Drahovo where her Jakobovits grandmother lived]  “My mother  came home with my father. The police had beat him up.  My mother was pregnant. She {or they} went to Romania for a month.  My mother had a baby and the baby died.”

Although, I asked many questions, I was unable to get a clear story and I’m sure there are reasons for that, mostly very painfull memories.  I had questions that she could not answer.  How did she know that they were transported to Gorodenka? Did someone escape the transport and come back to report what had happened? Who? How did the family in Drahovo escape the deportation and massacre in 1941? How was it possible that her parents could have gone to Romania for medical attention.? When did that happen, what year?  All  unanswered questions.

In 1944, the whole Jakobovits family, mother, father,  sister, grandparents, were moved to a ghetto in Sacarnitze near Chust {Sikernica, Szeklencze, Sekernice}  How they managed to avoid the deporations in 1941 to Kaminets Podulsk in the Ukraine,I don’t know. But they were aware of what had happened, because a relative who had escaped came back to Drahovo and told them. They were in a state of disbelief.

I don’t know how long they were in the ghetto, but all were transported by train to Auschwitz.  “A big Nazi  shouted “ All the men to the right.” The women and children went to the left. “I was selected out in a different location.  I don’t know why.” Helen spent 6 weeks in camp, then was sent sent to Stuthoff for 2 weeks. She was moved again to Gdansk to work on building an airport. “ I was very sick. I had Typhus.”

When the Russian army started to approach Gdansk, all the woman were moved out on a march, a death march, to Germany.  Helen  and a friend from Drahovo  ran away and hid in a shed, then ran to a house.  “I was sick and had a high fever. I had a dream.  I saw tanks and I started to run away. I  kept  running , and walking  toward the Ukrainian mountains. I hid in a stable, got out in the snow. They were shooting after us. I  found another stable, hid. I went further. Some Polish German man  took me to the hospital wrapped in a blanket They put salve all over my body. They gave me food. A Jewish doctor sat by my bed all night. A Czech soldier hid me and took me to Prague”

Helen recovered in a hospital. She called it a spa named “Burkut”?   { the only DP camp that I could find that  sounded similar was BUERGLUT which was an old people’s home  in Land Upper Austria  in the  US zone}   She told me that she went to school and that she was in the Czech Army? Somehow she got to Israel and lived there until she immigrated to the States.  She married and lived in Chicago  with her husband Ben Antin.  They had no children. I had lost track of her . She had problems with memory, and had not been feeling well the last time I talked with her.  I traced her through the  Niles Senior Center in Niles Illinois and spoke with her social worker who informed me that Helen Antin had died Sept 22, 2008. Her husband died 3 months later

This section is a work in progress. Please contact me if you have stories, pictures, and information that you would like to include in this website.


Compiled by Helen Ganz Kastenbaum
last updated 2010
copyright © 2009 Helen Ganz Kastenbaum

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