...And I Still See Their Faces

Images of Polish Jews
'What was written long ago comes true: "The light of remembrance brings life back." Today it is we who are responsible for keeping this light shining.'
Golda Tencer'
Book and Exhibition of the American - Polish - Israeli
Shalom Foundation. The Foundation was established in 1988 upon the initiative of Golda Tencer - an actress and the director of the E.R. Kaminska State Jewish Theatre Warsaw.
A collection of 455 photographs - a tribute to a vanished world, life and culture of Polish Jewery, now On-Line, by the courtesy of the
Wiesenthal Tolerance Museum

This is a special exhibition available on-line. 455 old photographs saved from the oblivion, found in atics, in deserted empty houses, empty of their previously Jewish owners, in a country without Jews, in Poland.

Each picture tears you apart. Each picture penetrates the heart. There is the whole univers behind each name, behind each image, story of hopes, struggle, death...

My late parents left me hundreds of similar pictures from their youth and their hometown Gombin. They kept it in a black old wooden box, which was always cherished like a hidden treasure. It contained pieces of their souls, their memories, their longings, their endless pain...
So all of a sudden I found on the web hundreds of similar photographs.
Every picture is another brick in a fantastic virtual Monument of commemoration of that grand Jewery who was destroyed and liquidated in our times.

Each picture and its unique story. And sometimes, what is not told has more significance than word themselves... May be someone will recognize an image? Everyone still has hidden hopes to find traces of their family members, and these rare pictures may be the only trace of a person, a family, a community...

There is an index of all the persons mentioned in the album. But there is no index of the places, of all those hometowns of our fathers and mothers. How can we remember what we have never seen? What the eye sees equals to thousand words... So I decided to create the index of the places mentioned in the photographs.

Ada Holtzman
Tel Aviv - 29 July 1999

My parents, Rywcia Gostynski and Meir Holcman in the "Ha'Zamir" library in Gombin. 1935

 

  The INDEX of Places mentioned in the album:

 A - F G - N O - Z

 

  My Message to JewishGen Email Exchange Forum 31.7.99:

Subject: "And I still see their faces..."
From: ada01@netvision.net.il
Date: Sat, 31 Jul 99 21:53:25 PDT
X-Message-Number: 10
Shalom,
Many of you must have saw, read or heard about the beautiful album made out of exhibition of Jewish Polish old and rare photographs. The author is Golda Tencer, the initiative of Shalom Foundation - an American, Israeli Polish Foundation, located in Poland. This was a famous wandering exhibition, held in Yad Vashem last year and many other places.

Now it is on-line, by the courtesy of the Tolerance Museum of Shimon Wiesenthal in Los Angeles. Read all about it in the main page: http://motlc.wiesenthal.org/exhibits/faces/index.html
I drew the attention of a descandant from Zdunska Wola to this virtual exhibition and he found the picture of his own father, with all the family members who perished in the Holochaust. This refers to picture number 6. So the images in that one picture, out of 455, are no more "unknown", they have names...

Following that one discovery, I feel there will be similar cases, for other towns and other people, who search all the years traces from the gloomy past of their families in Poland.

There is a very extensive index of names -
http://motlc.wiesenthal.org/exhibits/faces/ind1.html

but not index of all the places of these 455 photographs. So I decided to make the index of places myself, and post in my communities' web site, for others who search traces of their families from Poland.

It is very moving virtual commemoration of a vanished world. I am pleased to inform that I've just posted the index of places mentioned in the virtual exhibition at:
http://www.geocities.com/Paris/Rue/4017/isee.htm

Shalom,

Ada Holtzman
Web site: http://www.geocities.com/Paris/Rue/4017/

  Identifying the Photographs July 1999 & Responses

  Photograph Number 6: The Blicblau Family 29.7.99:

What a great surprise.
Photo number 6 is of my FATHER at the age of 6 and his parents (my grandparents) my fater's brothehs and a sister-in law.

My father received the photo in 1992 and he has an enlargement as well as me on the longe room wall.

At last my father'family is remembered - they are not in the ZW book.
I will tell you as many names as I can in the next few days, when I ask some of the ZW survivors in Melbourne.

Shalom
Aaron Blicblau

  Photograph Number 9: The Wroclawski family 31.7.99

Hello,

I am Trudy Babchak and also came across the book AND I STILL SEE THEIR FACES on the internet. I am a painter and I'm working on a series about the Holocaust which I eventually plan on submitting to some Jewish museums. Both of my parents were from Zdunska-Wola, Gabriel Wolkowitz and Mandzia Wroclawska.

I was doing internet research about other Holocaust exhibits and ran across this book. Scanning through the pages, I found my mother's family, including her and her brother sitting in the front row as children, as marked "unknown". We have this photo from our parent's savings. I was shocked! It is photo 009. I would like to find out more about this exhibit and in particular about where the photos were found. Also, who should I contact about this information?

Also, the name Moskowicz is in my family tree on my mother's side. I know that they were wealthy and well respected in ZW. After the war they moved to Argentina. If anyone is interested, I will look up the information I have. I would appreciate any info on my family as well. Hi, to my brother, Owen Wolkowitz.

Regards,
Trudy Babchak

  Photograph Number 157: The Bressler family 1.8.99

Ada:

As I mentioned, I have photo #157 which is of the Bresler family (My mother's father) with a note on the back which you can see at: http://members.xoom.com/_XOOM/bmkwz/Bresler/bresler.html

Benny Markowicz

  Very Moving Exhibit… - 1.8.99

Dear All,

Llittle did I realize when I gave Aaron the name of the book AND I STILL SEE THEIR FACES that we would have such results as no one until now has identified anyone in the photographs. I have the book in my possession and was lucky enough to see the exhibit when it was at the Museum of Tolerance in L.A. It was a very moving exhibit. They ran out of books before I could purchase one, but I was fortunate that a friend was able to locate some copies in N.Y.

I'm happy that everyone can now share in the photograps and that we have a positive outcome.

Judith Saltz Silberg

  Two Sisters from Horadenka - 1.8.99

On Sat. July 31,1999 Ada Holtzman posted a message regarding the "And I still see their faces...." exhibit that is now on line.

Thank you, Ada, for calling this to our attention and for all your hard work of indexing the places/towns. I searched your index and found Horadenka and clicked on the link to the photo. In that photo I found 2 sisters, "cousins" of my husband.

It is a strange feeling, indeed, to finally put faces to a name, and wonder what could have been.

Again, thank you, Ada.

A Gloger

  Thank you - 1.8.99

Dear Ada,
Thank you for telling us about the virtual album. It is indeed moving. I help edit our synagogue's bulletin and will include the web site information.

Joyce Peck

  Faige Gewissenheit from Warsaw

Shalom Ada,

I was happily surprised to find a photo of my great grandmother in - "Image Before my Eyes". Feige Gewissenheit - on page 7, the postcard image is on the far left, center row. She is seated upon a chair, an older woman holding a book on her lap and wearing a wig.

Feige Gewissenheit ran a boarding house in Warsaw for rabbi's and their students. How do I reach the author or publisher. It would be good to have her identified with her married name. I am still seeking her maiden hame. Is this book going to be republished?
Thank you in advance,


Barbara Master
Eugene, Oregon

  Photographs number 250 and 263 from Rovno - 1.8.99

I am not "web-literate" enough to understand how you could put together and publish such a neat tool. I have already used it to "look up" the two Rovno photos (250 and 263) that interest me most, and to include references to those specific photos on my new Rovno website at: http://www.jewishgen.org/shtetlinks/rovno/rovno_homepage.htm

Since you provided me the "finishing touches" to the Rovno site (although inadvertently), I am "making you the present" of being the first to view the new site. Hope you like it.

Ted Kramer

  I still have found no trace... 1.8.99

Dear Ada,

Shalom and G-d bless you for doing this onerous work. I still have found no trace of my relatives, all of whom I believe perished. But I am happy for all those others who have found something. May G-d give you strength and long life to continue.

Dr. Suzanne Henig
San Diego, California

 

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