(or Pickholz or Laufer)
Who is she and where did she go?
1 Blime Pikholz and Abraham Brandes had the following children: SON (1886), Nissen (1887), Ruchel (1889), SON (1890), Peter (1891), SON (1895) and Chaje (1896).  For some we have records in hand and for some we have index references.  Peter was born in Lwow, the others in Tarnopol or in Zagrobela, which is on the western outskirts of Tarnopol.

In addition to the three unnamed sons, the youngest daughter Chaje died when she was ten days old according to a notation on her birth record.. 

Peter died in 1916 during his military service and is buried in an unmarked grave in Vienna.

Nissen married his cousin and was deported from Vienna in 1942 with his wife and six children.

2 We have a  passenger list is from 27 March 1923 (sailing date) which includes Ruchla Brandes, age 33, single, a tailor of East Galician nationality, last residence Vienna.  Nearest relative in Europe is her mother, Blime Pickholz of Vienna.  Final destination is her cousin Mr. & Mrs. Jak. Spanier, in New York.  (We have looked a bit for this man and his family, but with no success.  Ruchla Brandes was born in Tarnopol and had previously visited the US in July 1911 and 1921, or more likely FROM July 1911 UNTIL 1921.  She intends to stay permanently in the US.  Her age seems appropriate to Ruchel Brandes, born in 1889 - and everything else fits nicely.

We have a July 1911 passenger manifest which includes a Rosa Pickholz, age 21 or 23, from Vienna, travelling with her cousin Bertha Silberman.  Rosa lists her nearest relative in her home country as her mother "Lime" who appears to be Blime. I have not been able to learn more about Bertha Silberman.

3 According to an IKG report of records in Vienna, on 16 October 1921, Leon Laufer (b. 1897, Lachowice) married Rosa Pickholz, daughter of Blime Pickholz and Abraham Brandes, born Tarnopol, 21 March 1892. We do not have a copy of the actual marriage record.

(It is possible that this Rosa is actually someone else - perhaps a cousin - using an assumed identity, but I have set that possibility aside for now.)

This Rosa Laufer went to the United States with her daughter Edith in February 1939.  According to the passenger list, she was an American citizen due to her marriage, but I have not found any immigration or citizenship record for Leon Laufer. According to the passenger list, Rosa is forty-five years old, which means she was born in 1894.

Once in New York, Rosa made an attempt to secure passage for her mother Blime and Nissen's eldest daughter Suzanne, but was unsuccessful.

Rosa lived in New York and died in October 1955.  According to her tombstone in Mt Hebron Cemetery, she was sixty-one years old, which is consistent with the 1894 birth year. The tombstone lists Rosa's name as Rachel bat Avraham, which seems to be a problem considering that she has a sister Ruchel who is several years older and who was last seen entering the US in 1923, and identified as "single" at a time that Rosa was already married. Edith told me that it is "not possible" that her mother had been in the US prior to 1939.

4 In 2007, Rosa's daughter Edith submitted Pages of Testimony to Yad Vashem in memory of her grandmother Blime and several other family members, one of whom was Rosa's sister Charlotte Rosenbaum. (The Page of Testimony just says "niece," but I spoke with Edith before she died and she confirmed that Charlotte was her mother's sister.)  Charlotte was married and had two sons.

We have no birth record. In the Page of Testimony, Edith writes that Charlotte was fifty years old, so she would have been slightly older than Rosa.  (If Chaje had not died as an infant, I would have thought that she was Charlotte.)

5 The US Holocaust Memorial Museum has a 1943 record of a Pickholz family from Szolvya (near Munkacz) who apparently tried to make aliyah.  The family consists of Felix (b. 1888, Krasovka), Rosa (b. 1892, Tarnopol) and Mila and Eszter (both born 1926, Szolvya). My guess is that Rosa is the Pickholz, not Felix, and she looks very much like she could be part of Blime's family, as we do not have other Pikholz births in Tarnopol during those years.

Of course, that could not possibly be the case, but I am recoding this family here due to the similarities.

The Central Zionist Archives has this same record, but neither institution was able to provide further information, nor was ITS or anyone else.

6 So the problem here is that we have birth records for three children of Blime who survived childhood - Ruchel, Nissen and Peter - plus two others for whom we do not have birth records - Rosa/Rachel and Charlotte.  The existence of two Rachels is a problem.