Renate Rosenblatt writes:
    I have been searching for information on my family from Skalat for a long time, and
recently the search became more necessary as my niece wanted to adopt the family
name. One can do this in Holland only if proof is provided that a "name is about to vanish."

    I knew the facts from hearsay, but needed written proof now. While trying to get this
proof, I found Israel Pickholtz who has been working on Skalat and Pikholz family
research for some time and who is now the SRRG Shtetl Leader for Skalat. Israel
accomplished something extraordinary. Via the Chevra Kaddisha in Haifa, he located  not
only the grave of  my uncle Joseph Rosenblatt, but also the addresses of the relatives
who took care of the funerals of Joseph and his wife.

    This would have been an amazing discovery in any case, but it is more so because of
my own immediate family story.

    In the summer of 1943, my parents had the courage, vision and fortitude to give their
two daughters, aged 4 and 2, to complete strangers, members of  the Dutch resistance.
In September of the same year my parents were deported to Auschwitz. (In 1944 a bill
was prepared that would declare all parents who gave their children in hiding to be deprived
of parental power, whether the parent themselves lived in hiding or had been deported.
A compromise in 1945 prevented this becoming law.)

     While my sister Hermi was hidden in the south of Holland with a Roman Catholic family,
I was with several Protestant Christian families in the centre of the country. When it became
clear that our parents would not return, our "rescuers" were appointed as our foster parents.

      Hermi and I met again for the first time four years after our separation, in 1947. Only later
the impact of this meeting and the loss we suffered became clear to us. In the early sixties,
Hermi and I began to search for our roots, that we grew away from so far by that time. We
were in our 20's then.

      We started in Amsterdam, but we didn't learn much as people were suspicious, cautious
and afraid to talk. We finally came to a former neighbour who had some photographs of
Hermi and me playing with her children years ago. In one photo, standing behind us was our
father. You could see only a small part of his face, but you cannot imagine how happy it made
us.  She gave us these photos, and we have cherished them.

     Our research languished until the late '80s when I obtained, instead of a birth certificate,
a copy of  the original registration; this had the signature of my father.  This inspired us again.
Hermi found membership cards for our father Jakob and his brother Chune at the Amsterdam
Diamond Exchange. Both had passport photos on them. We later learned that Uncle Chune
was taken from Antwerp and murdered at Auschwitz and that his wife and daughter Flora
survived the war in hiding.

     Via the Chevra Kaddisha in Antwerp, I found Flora on a kibbutz in Israel. I will never
forget that phone call, on May 5th 1991, the Dutch "liberation day", remembering the end of
WWII. Flora told me in that phonecall that I had an uncle, Boruch, in Paris, five cousins  in
Israel and one in Argentina. My sister and I were thrilled and very emotional about this.

      All we knew until that time was that my father was born in Skalat and had one brother
Chune. Uncle Boruch told us that my grandparents lived in Skalat. They had  seven children,
all born in Skalat. My grandfather Hersch worked in Vienna. He only got home about once a
year. After the first World War  the family left Skalat for Vienna.  My grandparents died 1928,
1929. They  were buried in Vienna.  The family scattered all over the world, my father landed
in Amsterdam after he married in 1936 in Vienna.

      My sister Hermi died in 1993, only 52 years old. After that her eldest daughter started
thinking about adding Rosenblatt to her surname. This is how we found Israel Pickholtz and the
SRRG. We are grateful to all the people out there who make Jewishgen, SRRG, and  Skalat pages
possible and succesful.

     A more detailed report on my history can be requested by Email from Renate Rosenblatt .