Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sędziszów Małopolski Jewish Cemetery

Shabbat Goy in French lists the Jewish Cemetery. It looks like it has many of the images that are available elsewhere, too.

I hope that some of this material will be helpful to the JewishGen interest group,

Kolbuszowa Region Research Group(KRRG)

I just joined the group, since Sędziszów Małopolski is part of the region.

I started a Google Group for discussing Sedziszow.
Burial societies give a hint to finding American families with ties to Sedziszow:
You can search for  'SENDIZOW GALICIAN' in the society search box at Mount Hebron Cemetery online database:

October 30, 2013: Stanley Kreinik sent these images and report of some young folks (guided by Tomasz Kocur Malec) who set about cleaning the Jewish Cemetery in Sedziszow Małopolski. Below are images of the stones and links to letters about the memorial inscription and attempts to repair vandalism. Tomasz also hosts a FaceBook page. This subscription group has both Polish and English submissions.

Images from what is left of the cemetery.
Varda Stieglitz The inscription on the black granite stone says: Here rests , A wise, intelligent soul, pure, good and righteous, who taught her children the way of believing. with her hands she aided the the poor, her good name will be remembered forever and in blessing. CHANA BEYLA the daughter of Yosef Dov. Passed away on the 6th day of Iyar, Tav Reish Tzadi Zayin. May her memory be for a blessing. She was the wife of Eliezer Meister of blessed memory.

Leib Kleinman, 1927 - Oct. 1942, Ofiara Holocaustu, Oddany Syn, Ukochany Brat
(Victim of the Holocaust, Filial Son, Beloved Brother)

Here are some letters from the 1960s concerning restoring some of the memorials in Jewish cemetery in Sędziszów Małopolski.

  • Letter of April 20, 1963, in Polish, concerning Studnicka Michaline ur. Hollönder. (Translation is needed.)
  • Letter from Jeannette Robins on  June 17, 1964, to Dr Akiva Kohane about Mr. Wolf Senft and his visit to Sedziszow where he asked that the plaque on a memorial be replaced with carving. The request is a counter suggestion to JDC's reply that the previous request was not within their purview.
  • Letter from Jeannette Robbins on August 21, 1964, to Dr Akiva Kahane, following up on Mr. Wolf Senft's visit to Sedziszow.
  • Letter from Akiva Kohane on October 30, 1964, to JDC - New York about the monument in Sedziszow about chiseling an inscription which was formerly on the marble plaque
  • Letter from Akiva Kohane of the American Joint Distribution Committee on December 18, 1964, to Mr. Samuel L. Haber -- JDC New York, about Jeannette Robbins' letter of June 17, 1964, and reporting that Mr. Jakubowicz, the Chairman of the Cracow Congregation visited Sedziszow and reviewed the inscription on the plaque. The letter includes this line: "there was an inscription on the monument at the site of the murdered Jews which read as follows: HERE LIE 440 VICTIMS MURDERED BY NAZI MURDERS." Mr. Jakubowicz himself is of the opinion that this information is doubtful. He doesn't believe that the monument would have carried an inscription only in Polish language and that in the Polish inscription no mention of Jews would be possible. Furthermore, if the inscription would have been as the priest quotes, most probably nobody would have removed the plaque. Finally, Mr. Jakubowicz points out that the space left vacant after removal of the plaque is too big for such a small inscription."

Below are notes and drafts of correspondence about intervening in some way in Sedziszow.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders' office replied to my web form request,
So I called the number and found out more about the Congressional Caucus on Poland, which Paul Tyson suggested.

The letter is kindly written by Abigail Kiablick, Staff Assistant to Bernie. She was not able to find reference to Sedziszow Malipolski gravestones, but she mentioned a similar event in Rzeszow.

She also gave an up to date contact for the Congressional Caucus on Poland:
202 225 5701 is the office of Dan Lipinski of south side Chicago, the co-chair of the caucus.

Matthew Longacre,  floating staff answered the phone and told me about  
Lipinski Dan  Co-Chair, SW Chicago
Matthew recommended writing to Brian Oszakiewski on Lipinski's  staff
Congressional Caucus on Poland
Date Approved: 2/17/2011
Chair(s): Rep. Christopher Smith; Rep. Daniel Lipinski
Staff Contact Information:
Mark Milosch (Smith) 202.225.3765,
Brian Oszakiewski (Lipinski) 202.225.5701,

There are 12 members of the caucus on the House  side and none on the Senate side.
Andre Carson,  Indiana

John Dingell ,  Ypsilanti , MI

Trent Franks  AZ

Luis Gutierrez, Cicero, IL

Brian Higgins, Niagara Falls, NY

Darrell Issa   CA

Marcy Kaptur  Toledo, OH  also on Hungary Caucus

Mike Quigley  Chicago

Jan Schakowsky  Chicago

Chris Smith, NJ,  Co-Chair

Henry Waxman,  CA

No Senate side caucus

Vermont House Representative
Peter Welch  (802) 652-2450

Jonathan Huener says: For family research, get places and stories of what happened in Sedziszow (pronounced /Send ZHI shuv/ in Polish). Were the Jews taken out, asked to break up the gravestones, use them as pavers, then taken out and shot. Or were they deported to Rzeszow (/ZHEE shuv/ in Polish)?

Ask the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw for memoirs and registries.

Jon will send references on Polish/Jewish relations during Occupation.

There may be some interest in the Jacobowitz escape to Brazil; see if we can donate the original documents to the CHS or some other place.

History of memorializing smaller places in Poland. Where to start?
What is the goal? Write an article? Produce a video? Plan a visit and a ceremony with a memorial to the dead in Sędziszów Małopolski that involves the gravestones that were used to pave the square?

Dear David:

My apologies for failing to call you this afternoon at the appointed time.  My meeting earlier in the afternoon went long, and I had to run home briefly.  You may feel free to call me this evening at home after 8:00 at 864-2789, or we can try to arrange another time during the day.

Again, my apologies, and I hope we can speak soon.

My best for now,


Dear Jonathan Huener.

Luis Vivanco referred me to you in a chat about my Kreinik family genealogy research in Poland.

Recently I found out about our ancestral home in Sędziszów Małopolski. I have a strong desire to find out more. One cousin, Andrew Kreinik, has visited and spoke with a family neighbor.

Another cousin, Paul Tyson, is a retired Foreign Service officer. He mentioned several things that could be done today to become more involved with the current town officials to recognize the family who were killed and buried in the Jewish cemetery there. How do the people of this town deal with their history?

My grandmother Leah Kreinik Jacobowitz was born not far away in Zgłobień. I have transcribed her memoir. Some of the family was also from Rzeszow/Reiche, which was the market town nearby. You might be interested in what I have collected.

On my Jacobowitz side, a cousin named Rosita (Wilcynski) Bar-Yaakov found what we believe is a photo of her father Josef/José in this image: What is to be known about the fates of these people?

I would like to talk (or correspond since you seem to be on sabbatical) with you about how I can find out more about our family in Poland and whether our family can be of help to you in your research.


David Jacobowitz

People who I should check with with a draft of this proposal:"
Andrew Kreinik
Steve Maskell
Paul Tyson
Noel Herbst
Stanley Kreinik
Ruth Kreinik
Ira Jacobowitz
Jay Jacobowitz
Ida & Art Friedlander

Yom Ha-Shoah 2013. Thoughts of a grave memorial in the Jewish Cemetery, as in the film below.

I haven’t been a traditionalist about commemorating the Shoah. Somehow dwelling on the horror didn’t seem the right thing to do.  But I did watch Claude Lantzmann’s Shoah about 30 years ago. Recently I pointed my friend Bruce Cunningham to it because he was interested. Then Mike Cantor showed me a reference to a film he watched on Georgia Public Television

about an Evangelical Christian named Zbigniew Nizinski who rides his bike around Strzlezzz looking for Jewish Cemeteries because he is interested in Hebrew and the biblical history. He comes upon people who show him where Jews were taken and shot and left in holes in the ground without markings. The film is very heavy and I feel a weight. What to do about it? Could we visit Sedziszow and put up a stone in the Jewish Cemetery to mark those unknown names of Kreinik and Krantz and Herbst who we know lived there and were murdered by the Germans with help from some local Poles who were forced or not.
The old people have been carrying these memories and guilt for not being able to intervene for all these years.

Zbigniew Nizinski - Evangelical Christian - Everlasting Memory Foundation,the-lasting-memory/

Wólka Dobryńska, Poland

Zuzanna Radzik is a Catholic interested in dialog:

Harley Lippman US Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad.

Rabbi Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Poland

Adam Siwek, Chairman, Polish Government Committee for Safeguarding Memory

So what do I want to talk with Jonathan Huenner about? How would an approach to Sedziszow be taken? I am not that kind of mixer?

GEMGLO might be a source for videotaping any visit we might make:

Dear David and Andrew,
     After years of being on the other end of letters, I would suggest something like the amended version below.  it is very important to state what we want to happen and who we want to do it.  My words are not sacred so edit accrdingly.
Press on!

There are cultural agreements for the preservation of sites of historical and cultural interest:
=========  PAUL'S DRAFT 2 ==============  Feb 17, 2013 ==========

The American family of Tuvye Kreinik, a resident of your city during the German occupation,  have come to understand that the ground in front of your handsome city office had been paved during German Occupation in 1942 with head stones from the Jewish Cemetery.

We are aware that this was a common practice by the German authorities in Poland, particularly in the western areas near Poznan and in the 'Wartegau'.

Naturally, this outrageous act in addition to all the other horrors of the Holocost/Shoah continues to concern us.

Since the Town Hall grounds have been rebuilt, we would like to know know what happened to the pieces of gravestones on the site.
Were they unearthed in the rebuilding process?
Have the stones and pieces been preserved and stored?
Were Jewish organizations and the families notified of the work and discovery of the gravestones?
Were they returned to the Jewish organizations or to the families to which they belonged?
If they are currently in your custody, perhaps there are some resources available from the governing bodies to help restore them.  We would be willing to work with you and the relevant authorities on this issue.

We are in contact with members of the US Congress about our concerns in order to apprise them of the situation.

We are also in contact with the Ambassador of Germany to the United States to inquire whether the many good reparation works done by the Federal Government of Germany over the years might be utilized to resolve this situation.

We are also in contact with the Representative of the EU since the EU has been very involved in funding the modernization of  certain regions in the new member states.  It occurred to us that EU money might have been used here, or could be used in the future for projects where issues like this might come forward.

Polish-Americans are not the exclusive province of one religious or regional background.
Polish-Americans and our fore bearers are Roman Catholic, Jewish, Lutheran and Protestant.
We all have blood and familial ties to Poland.
Our extended family consists of over 600 American citizens spread over a large number of states.

We have supported U.S. assistance to Poland from the times before the Solidarity Movement in Gdansk and we continue to support assistance and cooperation with Poland and the Polish people.

We welcome the progress that a modern and democratic Poland has made within a unified Europe.

The works projects that are undertaken with Polish and European money are to be commended in that they improve the life of Polish citizens in a region that has suffered from historical neglect.

We would merely like to request that in the execution of these projects that the necessary care be taken to recover these gravestones and other artifacts that have great meaning to us and also to the Polish people.

Thank you for your attention and assistance in this matter.  We look forward to your prompt reply.


DRAFT  February 17, 2013

Copies to

The Honorable John Kerry
United States Secretary of State
United States Department of State
Harry S Truman Building
Washington, DC

Ambassador Ryszard Schnepf
Embassy of the Republic of Poland
2640 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 499 17 00
Fax: (202) 328-6271

The Honorable
João Vale de Almeida
Delegation of the European Union to the United States of America
2175 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037 
Telephone: (202) 862-9500; Fax: (202) 429-1766 

Ambassador Peter Ammon
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
2300 M Street NW
Washington, DC 20037
Phone (202) 298-4000

Vermont Congressional Delegation
Senator Patrick Leahy
437 Russell Senate Bldg
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-4242

Senator Bernie Sanders
332 Dirksen Building
U.S. Senate, Washington,
D.C. 20510
Phone (202) 224-5141
Fax (202) 228-0776

Representative Peter Welch
2303 Rayburn House Office Building 
Washington, DC 20515 
Phone: (202) 225-4115

Burmistrz Kazimierz M. Kiełb 
Rynek 1 39-120 
Sędziszów Młp

Dear Mayor Kiełb,

The family of Tuvye Kreinik have come to understand that the ground in front of your handsome city office 
had been paved during German Occupation in 1942 with stones from the Jewish Cemetery.

[Images from Sidney Herbst's Film:]
Since the Town Hall grounds have been rebuilt, we are concerned to know what happened to the pieces of gravestones. Were they returned to the Jewish organizations or to the families to which they belonged? Perhaps there are some resources available from the governing bodies to help restore them.
Drodzy Mayor Kiełb,

Rodzina Tuvye Kreinik się do zrozumienia, że naprzeciw swój serwis w Szczecinie

miał utwardzona podczas okupacji niemieckiej w 1942 z kamieniami z żydowskiego cmentarza.

[Zdjęcia z filmu Sidney Herbst:]Ponieważ teren ratusz zostały odbudowane, obawiamy się wiedzieć, co się stało z fragmentów nagrobków. Były wrócili do żydowskiej organizacji lub do rodzin, do których należały? Być może są niektóre zasoby ze strony organów władzy, aby pomóc przywrócić.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ira Rides the Dragon

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He is heading back to Oakland via Houston and Albuquerque, couch surfing with relatives.

Cornelius Westbrook and Margaret Westbrook Rodd

Working Hypotheses: Richard Rodd (who is Linda Rodd's third grandfather) married Margaret Westbrook.
His brother John Rodd married Margaret's sister. Lucinda. They both are daughters of Cornelius Taylor Westbrook. Lucinda may be Margaret's half-sister.  Here are Cornelius Taylor Westbrook's descendants.
The question is Do we have the right Cornelius Westbrook?

I started a discussion on Geni, but I want to keep notes here.
Charlie Hollander found two census records, ten years apart, with four Westbrook children -- two in one household and two in another, next door -- of the same age groupings but ten years' different in the two census years. This would establish that Lucinda and Margaret were sisters or half-sisters in a family where children were farmed out to relatives after some event. There are records of both being born in Seneca, Scipio, Ohio.

It might be worthwhile to focus on Lucinda.
Lucinda Rodd (Westbrook):  She may have been born in 1836 in Seneca, OH. But the 1860 Census for John Rodd in Perry, IL, lists his wife Lucinda, age 25, born in Illinois. This could be an error. John and Lucinda's marriage record does not show birth places. Several genealogical sources (Nelson and Tinkle, for instance) show Lucinda Westbrook as the daughter of Cornelius Taylor Westbrook, but do not show her mother or later husband. There is some notion that Lucinda was married to a man named Eppinger before she married John Rodd.

Charlie provided a list of email addresses of researchers from RootsWeb:
David, I looked at RootsWeb's WorldConnect, and the people who list Margaret daughter of Cornelius have these email addresses:

We have evidence that Thursia, LeVega and Donzega's mother was Margaret Westbrook, daughter of Cornelius Westbrook and Nancy Hance. See the green Ancestry records below; each shows Margaret Westbrook as the mother.
Photo of Thursia, LeVega and Donzega above.

LeVega's burial lists Margaret Westbrook as his  mother.
Name:Levaga MRodd
Birth Date:15 Jul 1849
Birth Place:Rockford, Illinois
Death Date:27 Apr 1940
Death Place:Marion, Williamson, Illinois
Burial Date:29 Apr 1940
Burial Place:Marion, Williamson, Illinois
Cemetery Name:ROSE HILL
Death Age:90
Occupation:Coal Miner
Marital Status:W
Residence:Marion, Williamson, Illinois
Father Name:Richard Rodd
Father Birth Place:Devonshire, England
Mother Name:Margaret Westbrook
Mother Birth Place:O'Hio
FHL Film Number:1831996
His brother Gonzega also lists Margaret Westbrook as his mother:

Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947 about Jolerziggie Helman Rodd

Name:Jolerziggie Helman Rodd
Birth Date:29 Aug 1853
Birth Place:Ill
Death Date:14 Dec 1938
Death Place:Cambria, Williamson, Illinois
Burial Date:16 Dec 1938
Burial Place:Williamson Co., Ill.
Cemetery Name:Hinchcliff
Death Age:85
Occupation:Coal Miner
Marital Status:M
Residence:Cambria, Williamson, Ill.
Father Name:Richard Rodd
Father Birth Place:England
Mother Name:Margaret Westbrook
Mother Birth Place:Ohio
Spouse Name:Narcissa Rodd
FHL Film Number:1819312
How about Thursia? Her mother is also Margaret Westbrook. Trifecta.
Name:Theresa C Dale
[Theresa C Rodd
Birth Date:15 Aug 1857
Birth Place:Rockford, Ill
Death Date:22 Jul 1924
Death Place:Herrin, Williamson, Illinois
Burial Date:25 Jul 1924
Burial Place:Herrin, Ill.
Cemetery Name:HERRIN CITY
Death Age:65
Marital Status:M
Residence:Herrin, Williamson, Ill.
Father Name:Richard Rodd
Father Birth Place:England
Mother Name:Margaret Westbrook
Mother Birth Place:Iowa
Spouse Name:Jno Dale
FHL Film Number:1452452
NOTE: Thursia's Margaret Westbrook was born in IOWA, not Ohio. This is likely a typo or misreading.  Jno, may also be a typo, although his signature seems to be Jno.
Several sources list Margaret Rodd's parents as Cornelius Westbrook and Nancy Hance.
Here is a thorough genealogy tree that lists Nancy Hance twice for both Margaret and Lucinda: Is there another father implied?

The above shows Margaret born in Scipio, Seneca, Ohio in 1824 and death in Marion, Illinois, June 7, 1901, at age 77, as opposed to June 7, 1881 (age 56). Family Tree 
This tree shows children
Pembroke 1852
Theresa (Thursia?) 1856
Dora 1858
Addah L 1859-1938
Regina  1865
Eva 1867
=====  compared to
Levaga (LaVega) Rodd; 1849
Pembrook Rodd; 1851
Gonzega (Dontzega) Rodd; 1853
Adella Rodd; 1861
Thursia C Dale
Dora A Rodd
Addah C James
Esma Rodd
Regina Rodd and 
Eva N Rodd «

I have not found documentation that Cornelius Taylor Westbrook had a child named Margaret.
We did find that Margaret's sister Lucinda lived nearby in 1860 and 1870.

Margaret Westbrook - Born in Ohio, USA on 1824. Margaret married Richard C Rodd and had 10 children.  Parents are "Unavailable."

The NELSON AND TINKLE FAMILIES tree on shows Lucinda but not Margaret, and does not show Lucinda's mother's name.

MyHeritage offered several Smart Matches for Cornelius Taylor Westbrook, but none of them also show his children. So there is no way to check on our Margaret Westbrook's parents.

I have put together a spreadsheet with the possible Cornelius Westbrooks and information from census and other sources.

I wrote to Margaret Brinck and a few others who had MyHeritage pages to see if they had any documentation of Margaret Westbrook (the daughter of Cornelius Taylor Westbrook) and Richard Rodd, later her husband.

Margaret Westbrook - Records -

Margaret Westbrook Links

Margaret Westbrook (1821 - 1860) - Genealogy - Geni

Margaret Westbrook (1815 - 1860) - Genealogy - Geni

Kasire Westbrook -

Margaret Westbrook (1815 - c.1818) - Genealogy - Geni