The KORNBLAU - ROSENBLATT Family Biography

By Regina Kornblau Korngut

I was born in 1923 in Yanov (Janůw/Dolina). This was a very small shtetl which, because of border changes during the last century, was known to be in Austria, then Poland, and it is now in the Ukraine.

I am the daughter of Shulim Kornblau and Sarah Rosenblatt Kornblau. My mother was born in Skalat. She died in 1925 when I was two years old. My father later married Pessie, my stepmother. I donít know her maiden name, but I remember that she was from Podhajce.

I donít know the names of my maternal grandparents, nor do I know the occupation of my maternal grandfather.

My father, Shulim, was the oldest child of Isaac (Eisig) Kornblau and Feiga KLINE Kornblau who were both born in Yanov.

Grandfather Isaacsís siblings were:

Benny (Dora); Jack (Tillie); Alex (Rose); Harry (Celia); and Yusha (Yitta).

These five brothers were all born in Yanov. With the exception of my grandfather, they all immigrated to the United States in the early 1900s. Benny, Jack and Harry settled in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Alex in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and Yusha in New York City.

The occupation of paternal grandfather Isaac was lumber and grain merchant. He died in 1936. My paternal grandmother, Feiga Kline Kornblau, predeceased my grandfather in about 1918. Grandfather Isaacsís second wife was Bosia.

My father, Shulim Kornblau, was a victim of the Holocaust, as were my step-grandmother, Bosia; my stepmother, Pessie; my older sister, Gusta; and my younger half brother, Mundek.

My father had a younger sister, Chancha/Anna Kornblau, born in Yanov in 1892. She married Binie ERDE, who was born in 1891. I donít know the place of his birth or the date of their marriage. Chancha and Binie and their three young sons were also all lost in the Holocaust. We never learned how any of our family members met their deaths by the Nazis.

With regard to the tragic Holocaust losses, the 1980 Encyclopaedia of Jewish Communities (Pinkas Hakehillot-Yanov) states that in 1921 there were 525 Jews in Yanov. That number represented roughly 22% of the total Yanov population of 2292. The encyclopaedia further states that only about 20 of the Jewish people from Yanov survived in that area during the war because they were in hiding.

I had an older brother, Joseph Kornblau, who managed to survive the Holocaust by escaping to Russia. In 1947 Joseph, his wife Regina (nee TOKER, born in Tarnopol on 11-29-12, died on 9-16-91)) and their two children, Lucy and Jack, ages 2 and 5, immigrated to the United States and joined the extended Kornblau family in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The family then consisted of my fatherís two younger sisters, Pepi (David RODMAN) and Rachel (Sam BIENSTOCK), and two younger brothers, Alex (Bertha WINKLER) and Morris (Martha WEICH), who had all immigrated in the 1920s. Great Uncles Benny, Jack and Harry were also important members of the family then living in Atlantic City.

My fatherís brother, Alex, was a prominent restaurateur, well known as the owner of Kornblaus Restaurant, a popular landmark in Atlantic City for more than 40 years. Uncle Alex was also known and respected as a philanthropist. He had no children, and as World War II became more threatening, he sponsored my immigration to the United States. I arrived on February 14, 1938, a day I shall never forget. I was most fortunate to have Uncle Alex and Aunt Bertha lovingly raise me as their own daughter.

My mother, Sarah Rosenblatt Kornblau, had a brother, Louis Rosenblatt. . I donít know the date of his birth, but he was born in Skalat, immigrated to the United States in the 1920s and settled in New York. Uncle Louis was very successful in business, and he returned to Skalat every summer to visit the orphanage which he founded there. During my visit to Skalat in October 2003 we saw the original building which is a lovely cement structure. It is no longer occupied.

Uncle Louis was married to Fay. I donít know the date of their marriage, Aunt Fayís maiden name, or her place and date of birth. Uncle Louis and Aunt Fay had two children, Clara and Arthur.

My mother also had a sister, Anna Rosenblatt SPEISER, who was born in Skalat, immigrated to the United States and settled in New York. Her husband was deceased when I arrived in1938, and I donít remember his name. They had two sons, Milton and Arnold.

FORWARD NOW TO THE PRESENT

In October 2003 my daughter, Carol Korngut Herman, and I visited Yanov. This had been my long held wish, and it was finally fulfilled as an 80th birthday gift from my daughter. In Yanov I experienced a totally unexpected and unforgettable meeting with a former Polish classmate, Stefan Kowalsky. He not only remembered me, but also, remarkably, very clearly remembered the Jewish section of our shtetl which he sketched for me during my visit. Several months later Stefan sent me a colorful needlework of the famous Yanov wooden synagogue with its surrounding homes and shops. It now hangs in a prominent place in my apartment in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia.

Another highlight of our trip was my meeting with Maria Krivoruka, the widow of Yulko Krivoruka. Yulko was the then 11 year old boy whose family had hid and protected in their home Ruth and Norman Pohoryles (Ryles), two of the 20 Yanov survivors mentioned above in the Encyclopaedia of Jewish Communities. Ruth and Norman (Namush) were very dear friends of my brother Joe. My daughterís diary of our trip describes in detail our memorable meeting with Maria.

Hopefully this brief biography and family history will help further JewishGenís mission of preserving the past in the present for the future.
 


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