Category Archives: Identification

Jewish Refugees in Shanghai (1938 – 1947)

The Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum unveiled a memorial wall in 2014 listing the names of 13,732 Jews who found a haven in the Chinese city during World War II.

Sinosphere, the Blog of The New York Times, wrote on the dedication ceremony: “In the 1930s and 40s, thousands of Jews escaping Nazi Germany arrived in Shanghai, a place they could enter without a visa. After the Évian Conference of 1938, when the major powers shut their doors to nearly all Jewish immigrants, the city remained one of the few available places of refuge. By the beginning of World War II, more European Jews had fled to Shanghai than any other city in the world. The memorial consists of a 111-foot-long copper wall etched with the names and featuring a sculpture of six allegorical figures representing faith, suffering, love, determination, light and hope, designed by the Chinese artist He Ning. Chen Jian, the museum’s director, said the names on the memorial were compiled with the help of former Jewish refugees in Shanghai, as well as Chinese and foreign scholars, according to China Daily. Many of the names were taken from a list found in the German book ‘Exil Shanghai: 1938-1947,’ co-authored by Sonja Mühlberger, 75, who was herself born in Shanghai to refugee parents in the 1930s and has been involved in the memorial project.

The list in her book was first compiled during the war by three teenage Jewish girls hired by Japanese military officers to undertake an informal census. Most of the Jewish population then was relegated by the Japanese to an overcrowded district called Hongkou, a ‘designated area for stateless refugees.’ In a museum press release, Ms. Mühlberger comments, ‘My parents’ experiences in Shanghai were certainly not the easiest, but if they had not been exiled there, I wouldn’t even be alive today, let alone have the chance to tell this history.'”

Among these refugees, immortalized on the “Wall of Names”, we discover Rosa Koppelmann from Czernowitz, the addressee of the “Cry of Desperation from Siberia via Shanghai to Czernowitz”. Seven further names, potentially all related to Rosa, were listed under the same address in Shanghai, i. e. Zang Yang Lu Rd., former Ward Rd.:

HERBERT KOPPELKOWSKI • RUTH KOPPELKOWSKI • JULIUSZ KOPPELMAN • RICHARD KOPPELMANN • MAX KOPPLOWITZ • SIMON KOPSKI • MAX KOPSTEIN

Yearbook Photos from Czernowitz

Assaf Patir from Jerusalem wrote: “I found some yearbook photos of my grandmother from Czernowitz. She was born Selma Lepkowicz (later Polisher) on 30/4/1922, and the photos are from 1928, 1929 and 1931, when she was in the 1st, 2nd and 4th grade respectively. I thought that if you could put them on ephes, maybe some members of the list could identify relatives.”

Spa near Czernowitz – where is this photo taken?

From Frederick Kron, M.D.: “I have attached a photograph of my great aunt, Ana (Kron) Biener, and my cousin, Sidi Biener, who lives in Israel. Both were from Czernowitz. I shared this picture with Sidi, who remembers that it was taken at a spa near Czernowitz. She remembers especially the doll, which her mother bought for her at the spa.”

Ana (Kron) Biener and Sidi Biener

The Boyanner Rabbi

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Ian Beitel / ianbeitel@sympatico.ca: “I believe that this building was the home of the Boyanner Rabbi. The rabbi arrived in Czernowitz from Vienna. He  was the son of the first Boyanner rabbi who fled to Vienna after the Russians invaded Boyan at the beginning of WW1. Does this building still exist? His shul was adjacent to his home. Would anyone have photographs of the synagogue and of the street that it is/was on? What was the name of the street? Your help is greatly appreciated.

Joel (Ioil Ben Schmuel) Schmatnik

joel-schmatnik-great-grandfatherIn some terrific databases on the ehpes site I have found the 1936 address of my great-grandfather Joel (Ioil Ben Schmuel) Schmatnik’s shop.  It was a “Galanterie” which translates to “Dry Goods” or “Haberdasher”.  Joel was born around 1870 in Sadagora and died June 2, 1941. His kids were Max, Samuel (my grandfather), Sabine, Sigmund, and
five others. His brothers were Morris and Josef.

The 1936 address for the Schmatnik Dry Goods was General Zadik #4 (Romanian address). According to the street name table on Czernowitz Blog, it seems that the old German street name was Senkowiczgasse, or Senkoviczgasse. […] I would love some help if anyone is aware of this neighborhood, and nearby attractions, so I can find some photos online and get a better idea of how the neighborhood looked for my blog. […]

Iris AlRoy (mermamma@gmail.com)

Emunah Czernowitz – “Heimkehr” Essays jüdischer Denker

Another of the Jewish fraternities was “Emunah”.  On June 3, 1903, the Jewish National Academic Reading Society was “thrown open,” with the club colors gold-violet-gold. “Emunah” was highly active in the field of Zionism – a  characteristic for all the Jewish fraternities –  and also set up a library open to the public. Furthermore, “Emunahs” intellectual athmosphere culminated in publishing several books. To mention is especially “Heimkehr. Essays jüdischer Denker”  with a preface by Leon Kellner. (Homecoming. Essays of Jewish Thinkers). This anthology contains contributions by notable Jewish authors like Balaban Majer, Nathan Birnbaum (who coined the term “Zionism”), Max Rosenfeld, Salomon Schiller and Leon Kellner. It came out 1912 and is now available online via the university library of Frankfurt: http://sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/freimann/content/titleinfo/936863

heimkehr

JNAV Heatid Czernowitz

Hi all, i am currently worlking on a Research paper on Czernowitz Jewish academic fraternities. With “Hasmonäa”, founded 1891 by members of the Viennese “Kadimah”, this new type of Jewish academic fraternity appeared in Czernowitz and found successors throughout the German-speaking Universities. The Jewish academic fraternities were modeled after the traditional type of “Studentenverbindung”, that existed in Czernowitz from 1875-1938/40. The members of the various “frats” distinguished themselves by wearing ribbons and caps showing the club colors of their fraternity. In the Romanian period the University organisation was changed to the “college System” and members of the fraternities were issued membership cards. here i have got one issued by JNAV “Heatid” for Josef Stark in 1922. “Heatid” came into being in 1918/19 and existed until 1936. Its club colors used to be green-silver-black shown in the ribbons with white caps. Any further information on “Heatid”, Josef Stark or any of the Czernowitz fraternities – especially photographs – would be highly appreciated. Thank You!Heatid_Cz0001

Death Certificates Issued by the Czernowitz Jewish Hospital for the Year 1915

http://hauster.de/data/DeathCertificatesIndex.pdf
http://hauster.de/data/DeathCertificatesP.pdf
https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=68987ECBE0F5AAFC!36965&authkey=!APjY6IZK26Ojg8Q&ithint=folder%2cjpg

Excerpt from the article “On the history of the Jews in Czernowitz” by Prof. Dr. Herman Sternberg: “During the war years, Czernowitz could hardly be recognized. People frightened and weighed down with troubles, hurried like shadows through the streets. Military uniforms dominated the cityscape. Officers and tired soldiers were on their way to or from the railroad station. The station building, heated in winter had become a dormitory. Soldiers slept on the floor pressed closely together, leaving no space free. Anyone seeking the entrance had to step over them. The closer the war came to its end, the greater became the lack of food and other necessities. The most difficult articles to obtain were fuel and foot wear. Prices rose from day to day. The greatly reduced Jewish population suffered indescribable difficulties. Intellectual life had died completely. After the fall of darkness, all traffic ceased because the street lights didn’t work. Families generally restricted themselves to one room, dimly lit with an oil lamp. The only topic of conversation was the war and its consequences.”

Courtesy: Jewish Genealogical Society Of Ottawa