On April 11-12, 2018, Israel marked Yom HaShoah — Holocaust Remembrance Day.
As the Holocaust recedes from living memory, it is more important than ever before to remember the Six Million Jews who were murdered in the Shoah solely because they were Jewish.
Below are photos of eleven of the Six Million — members of my family.
My great-grandfather, Jakob Korn. He was born in 1862, the son of Rachel and Gershon HaLevi Korn. Jakob was a cattle driver and widower living in Borowa, Poland. His wife of 42 years, Feiga Butterman Fleiszer Korn, died in Borowa in 1936, before the Shoah. Feiga had five children with her first husband, Salamon Fleiszer, who died young (Jakob Kopel, Perl, Aron, Isidor and Bezatel), and six more with Jakob, whom she married in 1894 (Rosa, Dora, Raphael [aka Philip], Chaim [Hymie], Leibisch [Arie] and Fiszel [Fred]). Feiga’s sons Aron and Isidor Fleischer and all of Feiga’s children with Jakob (except Rosa, who died before 1937) survived. The fate of Feiga’s other children is unknown. Jakob’s son Philip, who was born in 1898 and immigrated to the United States in 1914, became the father of my uncle Allen and my mom Phoebe — and my grandfather. Posthumously, Philip became the grandfather-in-law of my wife, Shoshana, and great-grandfather of my children, Sammy and Sophie.
My great-grandfather, Naphtali Zilberberg (or Silberberg). He was born in 1853, the son of Malka (Glikstein or Glucksteyn) and Szmul Leyb Silberberg (Malka and Szmul married in Kalisz, Poland, on May 8, 1836) and grandson of Gitel (Berkow) and Eliasz Silberberg, and Ruchel (Poznanska) and Moshe Gliksztein. Naphtali grew up in Kalisz, where he had at least eight siblings (Michal David, Moizesz [Moshe], Aleksander Zyskind [whose son Eliasz is recorded as having died in the Warsaw Ghetto on November 6, 1941], Layzer, Freide, Gitel, Marjem and Rysze). Naphtali moved to Slesin, Poland, to marry his first wife, Ruchel (Rojza Gdanska, daughter of Blima [Anker] and Fajbisz Gdansky), and then, after her death on May 11, 1896, he moved to Chodecz, Poland, where he became a forest registrar and married his second wife, Sura (Kowalska) (daughter of Nycha [Gdanska] and Abraham Beer Kowalski), on November 19, 1896. Naphtali had four children with Ruchel (Szlama [Shlomo], Fajbisz [Fyvush] [who was born in 1886 and died before May 1896], Aron and David), and at least two more with Sura (Noech and Fajbisz). Naphtali’s son Aron, my grandfather (father of my aunt, Ruth [Starr], and my dad, Samuel), was born in 1890 and immigrated to the United States in 1909, where he became Aaron Silver. Aaron is believed to be the only member of the family to have survived.
My great-uncle, Szlama Silberberg. He was the son of Ruchel and Naphtali Zilberberg and my grandfather Aaron Silver’s brother. He was born June 2, 1885, in Slesin, Poland, and moved to Osieciny, Poland, in 1908 to marry Marjem (Anszwlowska). They had at least one child, Moniek, and moved to Kalisz.
My cousin, Moniek Silberberg, son of Marjem and Szlama and grandson of Ruchel and Naphtali. He was born in 1911, and records indicate he was at Dachau concentration camp.
My great uncle, David Silberberg. He was the son of Ruchel and Naphtali Zilberberg and my grandfather Aaron’s brother. He was born sometime between 1891-1896.
My great-uncle, Noech Silberberg. He was the son of Sura and Naphtali Zilberberg and my grandfather Aaron’s half-brother. He was born on October 31, 1897 in Patnow-Goslawice, Poland, and lived with his parents in Chodecz. Records obtained from the American Red Cross indicate that Noech and his mother Sura both died in Lodz Ghetto on January 5, 1943.
My great-aunt, Golda (Szczeciner) Kaminer, her husband, Herszel Kaminer, and their children, Rachel (b. 1925), Chavella (b. 1927) and David (b. 1928). Golda was born in Warsaw, sometime between 1900 and 1905, the sixth of seven children of Pearl (Perla Kantof) and Hersz Izaak Szczeciner and the granddaughter of Chana (Openhajm) and Szmul Ari Kantof, and Fajga and Szlama Szczeciner. Golda’s siblings were Gitel (Gertrude), Ryfka (my grandmother, who was born in 1891, immigrated to the United States in 1912, became Regina Stetiner and married Aaron Silver), Fajga (Fanny), Chaim (Hymie), Tziporah (Chippa or Sophie) and Szajndel (Shirley). Golda moved with her parents from Warsaw to nearby Aleksandrowo-Kujawski around 1922. Her parents and all of her siblings immigrated before World War II, but Golda and her family remained in Poland. In addition to the three children shown, Golda and Herszel had six more: Saul (b. 1930), Fayga (b. 1930), Moshe (b. 1932), Eliezer (b. 1932), Leah (b. 1934) and Joseph (b. 1936). All of them, too, died in the Holocaust.
– Stephen Aaron Silver