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Jehovah's Witness

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  • Pavol Kovac

    ID Card

    As a boy, Pavol lived with his parents in the city of Martin in Slovakia. His father taught at the local agricultural college. The Kovacs, who were non-practicing Jews, were among the few Jewish residents in the town. 1933-39: When Pavol was born, almost nine months before the outbreak of World War II, his parents decided to have "Roman Catholic" listed under the entry for religion in his birth certificate. They took this step to protect him, despite the fact that for generations Jews in their region had…

    Pavol Kovac
  • Dorotka Goldstein

    ID Card

    Dorotka was the youngest of three children in a Jewish family. Her father was the director of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in Warsaw and worked for a popular newspaper. An avid Zionist, he had traveled to Palestine. 1933-39: Dorotka's father established a soup kitchen in Warsaw for Jewish refugees who had fled from Germany. In September 1939 Dorotka was supposed to begin first grade when war broke out. Her father escaped to Vilna with other Jewish leaders. People were suffering, but she didn't understand…

    Dorotka Goldstein
  • Elka Rosenstein

    ID Card

    Elka was raised in a large, Yiddish-speaking Jewish family in Sokolow Podlaski, a manufacturing town in central Poland with a large Jewish population of some 5,000. Elka was 14 when she graduated from middle school. After completing her schooling, she became a tailor. Working at home, she made clothes for different clothiers in town. 1933-39: Elka was unmarried and living with her parents when war between Germany and Poland broke out on September 1, 1939. German aircraft bombed Sokolow Podlaski's market…

    Elka Rosenstein
  • Laura Litwak

    ID Card

    Laura was the second of five children born to religious Jewish parents in the industrial city of Lvov. She was often called affectionately by her nickname, Lorka. Coming from an educated family living in a multi-ethnic part of Poland, she grew up speaking Polish, Russian, German and Yiddish. As a young woman, she earned a humanities degree from St. Nicholas University in Lvov. 1933-39: In April 1935 Laura became Mrs. Daniel Schwarzwald. Her husband was a successful lumber exporter, and they lived in a…

    Laura Litwak
  • Selma Schwarzwald

    ID Card

    Both of Selma's Jewish parents, Daniel Schwarzwald and Laura Litwak, had been raised in the industrial city of Lvov. As many different nationalities lived in Lvov, Selma's mother and father could speak many languages--Polish, Russian, German and Yiddish. In running his successful lumber business, Daniel also occasionally used English. 1933-39: Selma's parents married in April 1935 and she was born two years later. Her father was afraid that there might be a war and wanted to move the family to safety in…

    Selma Schwarzwald
  • Max Diamant (now Josef Burzminski)

    ID Card

    Max was born to a Jewish family in the Austrian capital of Vienna. When he was a small child his family moved to Przemysl, an urban center in southeastern Poland with a largely Jewish population. Max spent the remainder of his childhood there; his parents ran a small grocery and cafeteria to support their five children. 1933-39: The Germans reached Przemysl on September 14, 1939. It was a brilliant sunny day when planes suddenly appeared; Max's family thought the planes were their own until they began…

    Tags: Poland
    Max Diamant (now Josef Burzminski)
  • Mojsze Kisielnicki

    ID Card

    Mojsze, his wife Raizel and their three children lived 35 miles east of Warsaw in the small, predominantly Jewish town of Kaluszyn. Mojsze had gone to Jewish schools and supported Zionist ideals. By the early 1930s, he owned a wholesale grocery store, a restaurant and a gas station, all of which were located on the heavily traveled main road. 1933-39: Mojsze is at the World's Fair in Paris with his sister, Ruchel. She immigrated here in the 1920s with her husband, who owns a successful tailor shop. When…

    Tags: Poland
    Mojsze Kisielnicki
  • Raizel Kisielnicki

    ID Card

    Raizel lived with her husband, Mojsze, and their three children in the small, predominantly Jewish town of Kaluszyn, which was 35 miles east of Warsaw. By the 1930s, Mojsze owned a grocery store, a restaurant, and a gas station, all of which were located together on the heavily traveled main road. The family lived in rooms in the same building as their business. 1933-39: Every day Raizel prepares the roast goose served in the family's restaurant. They have a bustling business, as many truck drivers stop…

    Tags: Poland
    Raizel Kisielnicki
  • Chaie Sura Kisielnicki

    ID Card

    Chaie Sura was the youngest of three children born to Jewish parents living 35 miles east of Warsaw in the small, predominantly Jewish town of Kaluszyn. Her father owned a wholesale grocery store, a restaurant and a gas station, which were located together on the busy main road. The Kisielnicki family lived in rooms in the same building as their business. 1933-39: When Germany invaded Poland several days ago, Chaie Sura's father and brothers fled eastward towards the USSR with other Jewish men who were…

    Tags: youth Poland
    Chaie Sura Kisielnicki
  • Abram Kisielnicki

    ID Card

    The oldest of three children, Abram was born to Jewish parents in the small, predominantly Jewish town of Kaluszyn, 35 miles east of Warsaw. Abram's father owned a wholesale grocery store, a restaurant and a gas station, all of which were located on the heavily traveled main road. Abram went to public elementary school and also received religious instruction. 1933-39: Abram was 21 when the Germans invaded Poland. Abram, his father, and his brother Majlech fled eastward towards the Soviet Union because…

    Abram Kisielnicki

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