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One of our party - Ephraim Pickholz - was born in Perehinsko in 1918 and left with his family to Essen at age three.  This was where his mother's family lived. Ephraim's mother was a Frisch and he knew specifically that she had two brothers who lived there and were killed in the Holocaust.  Other family surnames that Ephraim knew were Rechtschaffen and Neuhauser.

We arrived in Perehinsko - a town of about 14,000 people - towards eleven and decided to visit the mayor's office.  We were received pleasantly and the mayor himself took us to meet a man Ephraim's age, Dmitry Korol, who remembered many Jews and Jewish businesses by name.  He pointed out several houses and named their Jewish residents.  We walked the streets for some time time with Dmitry and any number of older citizens joined in with their own recollections.  (I did not take notes on the specifics of all this.)  Dmitry himself was in the Red Army during the War and therefore had no first-hand account of the killing of the Jews.

Eventually Dmitry insisted on inviting us to his home, which he shares with his wife, daughter - a nurse - and two grandchildren.  (The daughter's husband works somewhere else - I forget where - and gets home infrequently.)  The house was comfortable but very small.  They had a television and a VCR, but no telephone or indoor plumbing.  We were received very graciously.

Our final stop in town was the cemetery.  The Perehinsko Jewish cemetery is about the size of a good-sized house and yard and is fenced in.  It is located in a residential area not far from the western entrance to town.

The horizontal stones (with no inscriptions) were more or less intact, but all the vertical stones were broken off at the base, although one had three lines left at the bottom:

Pinchas Yosef ben Moshe, in his seventy-third year.
I insisted that the area was not large enough to be the only Jewish cemetery in Perehinsko, but all the neighbors insisted it was.  The adjacent lot was empty, so I couldn't help but wonder if it had been part of the cemetery and the locals knew just what I was thinking.  Finally, one of the residents recalled that this cemetery was in fact relatively recent and that previously the Jews had used the cemetery in neighboring Rozniatow.  So that became our next (unscheduled) stop.

The cemetery in Rozniatow is fairly large with a couple of hundred stones, many at precarious angles.  The area is partially fenced and contains quite a few trees which disturb both the stones and access to them.  The inscriptions face away from the graves and are often fairly legibly, but do not include surnames.  One of the first stones we saw was for someone "ben Pinchas Yosef" who seemed to be the uncle of the man in Perehinsko.  I did not consider it significant and did not photograph it and later could not find it again.

At the far end, I saw some stones with surnames - some in Hebrew letters, some in Latin letters - and one was Rechtschaffen, which is a family of Ephraim's Perehinsko cousins.  When I turned to call to the others, I saw that many of the stones had surnames on the reverse side.  (In general the reverse sides were badly eroded.)  I also saw that the Rechtschaffen grave was also Pinchas Yosef, so it seems that the lone Perehinsko gravestone is in fact one of Ephraim's family.  We found several other Rechtschaffen graves of varying degerees of legibility - mostly marked with surnames on the reverse side.  These included Israel ben Moshe, Pinchas Yosef (Pinie) ben Shalom Chaim (died 22 Second Adar 5700), Eliezer (ben maybe Israel) and Raizie bat Baruch HaLevi (died 5 Second Adar 5632).  Ephraim took pictures

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