The SZCZEKACZ Family

Introduction

WhatsNew:

Release June 26, 20

Dawid Borejdo Sznajderman

The following story is about Dawid Sznajderman, the son of Abram Moshe Sznajderman and Ajdla Koenigsberg, who survived the tumultuous time of WWII.

Dawid Borejdo Sznajderman

Marek Kaluzynski

Marek Kaluzynski was son of my great grandfather, Abram Kaluzynski, and his second wife, Chaja Dzialoszynska.

Marek Kaluzynski

Marek’s mother, Chaja, died around 1912 in Czestochowa, leaving his father with five young children;

the youngest, Sara, was two years old. Marek was fourteen years old.

Fela Kaluzynski

Minutes from Fela Kluzynski's Life in Photos

Fela Kaluzynski

Release History

 

 

Important Links

Zawiercie Yizkor Book Project

Read the Beautiful translation by Jerrold Landau



Connect with Czestochowers all over the wold.

The World Society of
Czestochowa Jews
And Their Descendants

Family History

 

Memories, like sand stones
Slowly, a grain follows a grain,
Erode, crumble, and vanish.
Sea waves and wind
Sweep them away
Hurry
Listen to the voices
Collect the words,
The names, the episodes, the moments…
Carve and seal them
In a meticulously crafted pendant
Close to your heart
Allow them to live forever.

 

 

Let Us Start With Basic Steps:

Write down everything you know about yourself and about your family:

  • Full names
  • Date of Birth, Marriage and Death
  • Where these events occured
  • Talk to your grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts
  • Write down family anecdotes
  • Scan family photos
  • Scan Family documents

THE SZCZEKACZ FAMILY



Herszlik Szczekacz and His First Wife Chaya Sara Kohn Descendants
Herszlik Szczekacz and Chaya Sara Kohn
Herszlik Szczekacz and His Second Wife Rywka Wiernik Descendants
Rywka Wiernik

- 1 -

Thursday, February 10, 2005. The subject of one of the messages catches my attention: "Szczekacz family from Czestochowa." My passion for connecting with new relatives is fully awakened. I click on the screen, open the message and browse through it. No, I have to soak it in. I have to thoroughly grasp each word, each connection. I have to think about the words.
Trying to relax, to calm my excitement, I read:
"I am researching the Szczekacz family from Czestochowa, Poland, and I found your name in the JewishGen Family Finder, which said that you are researching Szczekacz also.
The surname of my wife is Secaz. Her father changed the surname. The original surname was Szczekacz. Her father was Szczkacz Joseph born in 1919 Czestochowa, Poland, but he was a baby when he came to France…"
The letter continues to detail Joseph Szczekacz’s immediate ancestors.
I immediately pull up my family tree on the computer screen. I scan the index of the hundreds of Szczekacz family members in my tree but I cannot find a link to the newly discovered Szczekacz Family. Generation after generation the Szczekacz in Czestochow were one big family, but I cannot link the new family to my tree. Did I make a mistake? Did I miss some information? Is my family tree inaccurate?
I cannot find the patience to wait. I must discover the link and immediately. I consult my friend Daniel Kazez at Wittenberg University. I request help from my friend Michael in Israel. I call Stephane in France, and we all start exploring the records. Did we miss a record in our initial Czestochowa's research? I decide to revisit the Mormon library in Santa Clara to get all the Szczekacz records the next day.

- 2 -

The meaning of the word Szczekacz in Polish is "barking dog." I discovered the word 'Szczekacz' only a couple of years ago. I first heard the surname when I jumped into the ocean of researching my family's history.

In my grandparents' bedroom, on the left corner above their bed, two large framed, old and faded photos decorated the wall. A man and a woman were depicted in the two separate photos.
One photo was of a handsome man, maybe in his sixties. His white suit and tie seemed perfect expressions of elegance and nobility. Abraham Kaluzynski, the womanizer, though, was a man deeply sunk in poverty. He looked at us intently from inside the frame. We had all heard nasty stories about him. He was my great grandfather from Czestochowa, Poland, the father of my beloved grandfather Josef Kaluzynski.
In the second photo we look at a young, very beautiful woman, her long hair wrapped around her head, as she gazes far into the distance. No one ever mentioned her name. We were young and did not express interest in those ancient photos hung on the wall. We did not ask who she was, and yet I would learn later that the young woman in the photo was our great grandmother.
Years passed.
Step by step, with Michael Chen's help and Daniel Kazez's methodical research, I weave the pieces of information together into our family tree.
From one of the family tree's branches Abraham Kaluzynski stands out--a man who was married three times. The records told us that Frajdle Szczekacz, the melancholy-looking young woman in the photo, was his first wife, the mother of my grandfather. The records also continued on to tell us that Abraham divorced Frajdle, an unheard-of-event in those old days. Shortly after the shameful divorce, she passed away. She was twenty-nine years old.

Frajdla Szczekacz Czestochowa, Poland, Frajdla Szczekacz 1865 - 1894






- 3 -

Frajdla Szczekacz was from the very large Szczekacz family in Czestochowa. Hundreds of the Szczekacz people populate my family tree. Where were they all? How many Szczekacz people survived the Holocaust? Was my grandfather the only one to reach Israel before the Holocaust?
Fully absorbed with these questions, I reached for an Israeli phone book. I flipped through it. Here it was! I was ecstatic. I found an entry for a woman name Szczekacz Malka.
A young voice answered the phone, and I told my story. The reaction was suspicion and the conversation came quickly to a dead end.
I waited a few days and called again.
Suspicion was again in the background of the new conversation, but I got an invitation to visit Malka Szczekacz at her humble home in Bnei Brak, one of the most orthodox communities in Israel.
Malka, with her generous heart and kindness invited me in, even though I was not dressed properly for a visit in an orthodox home, wearing pants as I was instead of a dress. The conversation was intimate, as if we had known each other for a long time. We exchanged stories and experiences. Through Malka I got to know Tova Ben Zvi and Zarach Shaket, both descendants of the Szczekacz family. I was sure that all three were my relatives, even though I was still searching through the family tree's leaves to find out how to link the branches.  Through my research I found out that all the people with the surname “Szczekacz” are blood-related.

- 4 -

A few amiable, quiet meetings, a few conversations about this and that brought Malka and me closer.  One sunny day the two of us were sitting in Malka's small living room next to the dining table. She sat at the head of the table. I sat next to her like one of her students. I had a new, unbelievable story to tell her:
"A stranger from a small settlement in the Galil called my ninety-year-old uncle, my father's brother, introduced himself over the phone and told him that he found a book in the library of the kibbutz EinCharod that once belonged to the Kaluzynski family. On the first page, there was an inscription, and he read it over the phone. As my uncle listened to the story, memories came back to him. He remembered that my grandfather presented the book to him on his Bar Mitzvah day. He recalled days of poverty that forced the Kaluzynski family to sell their library. My uncle was excited and the stranger sent him the book. The book name was Sefer Hayashar."
As I was telling Malka the story, she, suddenly, got up, opened the glass doors of her family's religious library and pulled out a book. An inscription in one of the book's pages, a dedication to Malka's father by his father revealed the family dynasty, the missing link. After a year's worth of detective work, I could connect Malka's family tree with my family tree.
Later, I also linked Joseph Szczekacz to the family tree, along with other members of the Szczekacz family members from all over Poland and around the globe. The work is not complete. There are more mysteries to solve and more records to excavate.

- 5 -

In the following pages I will introduce you to the living descendants of the Szczekacz family. I found them—or they found me—in the past ten years.

The Szczekacz family tree that I have succeeded in putting together goes back to 1798 when the first known family lived in Czestochowa, Poland:
Herszlik Szczekacz (1799 – 1875) and Chaya Sara Kohn (1798 – 1843) got married and, as far as we now know, had, at least, three sons:

Nachman Szczekacz (1822 – 1866)
Majer Szczekacz (1826 – 1866)
Berek Szczekacz ( 1829 - ?)

Herszlik Szczekacz’s first wife Chaya Sora Kohn died on the 26th of Jan 1843. She was 45 years old. Two months later, on the 23 May 1843, Herszlik Szczekacz married Rywka Wiernik. The couple had two children:

Sora Faigale Szczekacz (1845 - ?)
Pessa Szczekacz (1847 – 1848)

The dates confused me and I must add a note. Jewish people mourn their dead for a whole year before they resume routine life. The Szczekacz Family was an Orthodox family and here we have a death and a marriage within two months. As my husband always say: “We haven’t been there, we know nothing.”

 



- 6 -

At the end of the 18th century most of the Szczekacz family lived in Czestochowa. In the course of 19th century and the 20th century some of the family members married spouses from other places; some moved to live in other shtetls and towns in Poland:

Czestochowa
Przedborz
Klobuck
Zarki
Modrzejow Village
Sosnowiece
Lodz
Alexandrow Lodzki
Wielun

The list is not complete and as I am in the process of documenting my research I will update it.

- 8 -

A few Szczekacz families left Europe before WWII and immigrated to Israel, France, England, and USA and perhaps to other places, too. Again, I will update and add details to the list as I make progress with the web site.

Then WWII struck, and with it the annihilation of the Jews. The number of Szczekacz family members who were unable to escape reaches into the hundreds. A search for “Szczekacz” in the “Central Database of Shoah Victim’s Names” produces 156 pages of people with the last name of Szczekacz. This does not even begin to take into account all the Szczekacz daughters who married and passed on their spouses’ surnames to their children. And again, the site will have a detailed remembrance page for the victims.

The pages linked to Herszlik Szczekacz's three sons will introduce you to Szczekacz family members who left Poland before WWII or survived the Holocaust. I have made contact with most of them, and I hope they will contribute to our family history and stories.

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