District Krasnystaw, Province of Lublin
How this site came
As far back as I can
remember I had a fascination with a specific drawer in my grandparents' house.
That drawer was at the bottom of a very big closet and it contained a magic trove for me – pictures.
I would sit for hours next to my grandma and ask about the pictures: who is this, where are they, where is this? The answers if any were very short and dismissive.
For years they tried to get me away from the drawer and I kept coming back. I managed to learn that they were people from the past, a sort of past lifetime of my grandparents.
When I was in my
late teens I would visit with my grandparents once a week. I would take a bus
there after school, have lunch in the kitchen with them, both looking at me and
smiling (and making sure I eat everything).
I still asked questions about the people in the pictures but this usually took away the smiles. At a certain point, my grandmother decided to tell me even though my grandfather disapproved.
She asked just one thing – don't forget these people, keep them in memory – remember they also lived and didn’t just die.
The weekly visits
changed a bit - after my plate was clean and I was full to burst, my
grandfather would put on his hat and go outside for a walk and my grandmother
would sit down and talk.
I realized then that I was probably the first one to hear some of the stories. My mother and my aunt were protected by my grandparents and although they did ask, they did not receive any answers.
After a while I started jotting names and connections on a piece of paper making additions or adjustments as weeks past. I discovered a whole new life and a whole different woman behind the grandmother I thought I knew.
I now not only loved but also admired her tremendously.
Not long afterwards, her health greatly deteriorated and she passed away in 1985.
My grandfather lived on for several more years but refused to talk about the past until his dying day.
I kept my promise. As soon as I could, I published the family tree I than had in Beit Hatfuzot (Museum of the Diaspora) in Israel so that the names would be kept there as well. After a few more years I published a much larger tree on JewishGen (FTJP) and I keep on researching.
My grandmother, Fajga (Zipora) GEWIRCMAN nee WAGNER was born to Abraham & Ruchla WAGNER in Dąbie, Żółkiewka in 1915.
In May 2008, accompanied by family members, I went to Poland. The journey was planned ahead and centered on the Lublin-Zamość area. I visited Żółkiewka several times than and found my grandmother's birth registration in the USC there.
This Żółkiewka Shtetl site is for me another way to remember them – our families of Żółkiewka.
You can get involved in at least two different ways:
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.
2. If you feel you have additional materials: stories, pictures or anything else you feel is right for this site, please feel free to contact me.
Compiled by Tamar Amit
Updated 2 March, 2018
Copyright © 2011-2018 Tamar Amit
[Background based on image by The Inspiration Gallery]