Krzywcza Home Page
Maps & Gazetteers
Pictures from the Past
Recent Photographs
Photo © 2010

Compiled by
Joy Kestenbaum
Copyright © 2016
Joy Kestenbaum

  Spitz Family

Harry Spitz, NYC
Gravestone portrait
Photo © 2010 Joy Kestenbaum
Harry Spitz (1874-1932) arrived in New York on 28 August 1896 as an American citizen, departing from the port of Hamburg, Germany. A naturalization Petition from April 1996 for Henry Spitz, a tailor from Austria, living at 80 First Avenue, states that he first emigrated to New York in November of 1888. That this is the same person is corroborated by two U.S passport applications for Harry Spitz, one from April 1896 and another from 1 March 1922, which both state the same date of his naturalization and years of his birthday and earlier immigration (although the latter two have different dates). From the 1896 passport application we also learn of his birth in Bachów, a village along the San River two miles west of Krzywcza and whose Jewish residents were part of the town's Jewish community. The 1922 passport states that the purpose of the earlier 1896 trip was to visit relatives.

3rd Military Mapping Survey of Austria-Hungary
c1910, detail.
Bachów and Krzwczya (on the San River).
Krzywcza is approximately 10 miles west of Przemysl and 8 miles east of Dubiecko.

Although Spitz's 1896 petition and passport application state that he is a tailor, the August 1896 ship arrival list states his occupation as barkeeper
. In the 1900 and 1905 census, we see Harry living with his parents, Louis and Fannie Spitz, who had immigrated in 1897 as Leib and Feige Spitz. According to Leib Spitz's November 1902 Declaration of Intention and August 1906 Petition, he was a saloon keeper, residing on Rivington Street. According to their 1897 ship manifest, Leib and Feige Spitz had resided in Bachów, where Harry had said he was born. In 1900 (along with his father) and 1905 Spitz worked at or operated a saloon; in 1905 his father was a waiter. Harry Spitz married his wife Fannie Mehlman in New York on 25 May 1904 and raised six children, three boys and three girls. In April 1910, according to the census of that year, Harry and his wife were bartenders in a saloon and Louis a saloon owner. In the 1920 census, Harry is enumerated as the proprietor of a restaurant.

Later, Spitz worked as a fur salesman, which was the stated purpose of his 1922 trip to Europe. According to his 1922 passport application, he was the legal purchasing representative for J. Hacker, Fur Merchant, where he had been employed for six months, and was undertaking the trip, visiting Poland, France, England, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Germany and Austria, to purchase furs. Spitz returned from Europe on 4 October 1922.

Harry Spitz, Passport Application Photo, 1922

Harry Spitz was one of the original directors of the Krzywcza landsmanschaft founded in New York after World War I. His father Louis died in New York in December 1910, before the society was organized. Louis is buried in Mt. Zion Cemetery in the plot of the First Dubietzker Chevra Bnei Reb Mendel Marilles, a landsmanschaft organized in December 1901 and of which Louis was one of the original founders. Dubiecko is only 8 miles west of Krzywcza, and Bachów, where he had lived before he immigrated, is even closer to Dubiecko. It is understandable that he would have been involved in founding a landsmanschaft of a nearby town four years after his arrival in New York. Louis's gravestone includes the Levite symbol at the top center, here with a hand holding the handle of a pitcher and pouring water into a basin.The grave of Harry, who died in 1932, is in Beth David Cemetery in the plot of the First Krzywcza Am San Sick & Benevolent, the landsman society that he had helped organize twelve years earlier. Harry's gravestone also includes the Levite symbol (a pitcher in a basin), as well as the Masonic emblem (compass and square with letter G, meaning geometry or God), in an elongated triangle to the left of the pitcher, balancing the photo-ceramic memorial tombstone portrait of Harry on the right side.

Gravestone of Louis Spitz
Ze'ev Ari bar Yeshua HaLevi
First Dubietzker Chevra Bnei Reb Mendel Marilles
Mt. Zion Cemetery, Maspeth, NY
Photo © 2016 Joy Kestenbaum
Gravestone of Harry Spitz
Zvi Yitzhak bar Aryeh HaLevi

First Krzywcza Am San Sick & Ben. Ass'n
Beth David Cemetery, Elmont, NY
Photo © 2007 Joy Kestenbaum

Please contact Joy Kestenbaum for comments or contributions.

Compiled by Joy Kestenbaum (
Last updated November 2016
Copyright © 2016 Joy Kestenbaum

Jewish Gen Home Page | KehilaLinks Directory

This site is hosted at no cost by JewishGen, Inc., the Home of Jewish Genealogy. If you have been aided in your research by this site and wish to further our mission of preserving our history for future generations, your JewishGen-erosity is greatly appreciated.