|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.|