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  • Fryda Litwak

    ID Card

    Fryda was one of five children born to religious Jewish parents in the industrial city of Lvov. She grew up in the same building as her paternal grandparents. Fryda attended public and private schools in Lvov, and grew up in a non-Jewish neighborhood, speaking Polish, German and Yiddish. 1933-39: When Fryda finished secondary school, she could not go to the university like her older siblings because Polish universities had instituted discriminatory quotas for Jews. In September 1939 the Germans invaded…

    Tags: Lvov Poland
    Fryda Litwak
  • Frederick Fleszar

    ID Card

    Frederick was the oldest of two sons born to Polish immigrants in Syracuse, New York. In 1922 Frederick's father, who was a musician, moved the family back to Poland where they settled in Poznan. There Frederick started public school and was accepted to the boys section of the prestigious Poznan Cathedral Choir. 1933-39: In 1933, at age 17, Frederick graduated from secondary school and enrolled in medical school at the university at Poznan. He sang with the choir for the last time the day he graduated…

    Tags: Poland
    Frederick Fleszar
  • Leo Nitschke

    ID Card

    Leo was one of two children born to Jewish parents in the Moravian capital of Brno. When Leo was a child his father died, and Leo and his sister, Edita, were raised by their German-born mother. On November 27, 1931, Leo graduated with a law degree from Brno University. 1933-39: After courting Hilda Krakauerova, a dental technician, Leo married her on December 23, 1935. Leo served as a district judge in Brno and in the town of Postejov, and in 1938 he was appointed judge and secretary to the Moravian…

    Leo Nitschke
  • Mina Schaerf Litwak

    ID Card

    Mina was the daughter of Chaim and Scheindel Schaerf. They lived in the multi-ethnic town of Vinnitsa. Mina came from a religious Jewish family. At 19 she married Josef Litwak, a banker from the nearby town of Dolina, Poland. The couple settled in the industrial city of Lvov, where they raised five children. Four languages were spoken in their household--Polish, Russian, German and Yiddish. 1933-39: The Litwak's two youngest children, Fryda and Adela, had finished secondary school and were planning to…

    Mina Schaerf Litwak
  • Rozia Susskind

    ID Card

    Rozia was born to a Jewish family in the town of Kolbuszowa. Her family lived outside of town, near her uncles. The Susskinds owned a flour mill and a lumber mill. Their home was one of the few in the area with electricity, which was generated at their mills. Rozia had an older sister, Hanka, and an older brother, Yanek. 1933-39: In the early 1930s, the Susskinds' mills burned down. Hanka moved to Cracow to study in the university and married, and Yanek was working in Kolbuszowa's Jewish bank. The…

    Tags: Poland Belzec
    Rozia Susskind
  • Ivo Herzer

    ID Card

    Ivo was an only child born to a Jewish family in the city of Zagreb. His father worked in an insurance company. Though blatant antisemitism was considered uncommon in Yugoslavia, Jews were barred from government and university positions unless they converted to Christianity. 1933-39: In Zagreb Ivo studied at a public secondary school. The curriculum was fixed and included three languages as well as religion. His school was highly selective but he enjoyed studying and did well. Though he didn't personally…

    Ivo Herzer
  • Monique Jackson

    ID Card

    Monique's Jewish parents met in Paris. Her father had emigrated there from Russia to study engineering, and her mother had come from Poland as a young child. Monique's father did not have enough money to finish university, so he went to work as an upholsterer. He also shared a small business which sold his hand-tooled leather purses. 1933-39: Monique's mother was 20 when she gave birth to Monique in 1937. Two years later, Parisians were threatened by the possibility of bombing by the Germans, and French…

    Monique Jackson
  • Fanny Judelowitz

    ID Card

    Fanny was the oldest of three girls born to a Jewish family in the Baltic seaport of Liepaja, a city with a large Jewish community in Latvia. Fanny attended a Jewish primary school there. Her parents owned and operated a shoe store and small shoe factory. 1933-39: As a young girl, Fanny's life revolved around activities with Betar, a Zionist youth movement founded in Riga in 1923. They had a group of about 25 boys and girls. They studied about Palestine and their Jewish heritage. In 1935 Fanny's mother…

    Tags: Latvia
    Fanny Judelowitz
  • Alexander Bernstein

    ID Card

    Alexander was one of six children born to a Jewish family in the Lithuanian village of Karchai. His father was a farmer. In nearby Janova, Alexander attended public school and also studied Hebrew and Jewish history in a religious school. In 1925 Alexander moved to Siauliai to attend secondary school. He lived there with his older sister. 1933-39: Alexander enrolled in university in Kovno, and entered the pharmacology department. After completing his degree, he returned to Siauliai and took a job in a…

    Tags: Lithuania
    Alexander Bernstein
  • Nikola Mrvos

    ID Card

    The oldest of five children, Nikola was born in a small village in the Croatian part of Yugoslavia. Like his parents, Nikola was baptized in the Serbian Orthodox faith. After receiving his medical degree from Prague University, he married, and in 1912 moved with his wife to Serbia. During World War I he served in the Serbian army, and then settled in Novi Sad where he co-owned a medical clinic. 1933-39: Nikola and his wife raised three children in Novi Sad. Then difficult times brought on by the 1930s…

    Tags: Yugoslavia
    Nikola Mrvos

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