Ilia Rozenfeld’s grandmother and grandfather Wolfenfeld Iona


My grandmother and grandfather Wolfenfeld. This photo was taken in Zamost'ye, Poland, approximately in the 1930s. They are wearing traditional Jewish clothes: my grandfather has a suit and a white shirt with a tie on and he is wearing a kippah, and my grandmother is wearing her everyday dress. This is an amateur photo.

My mother's family lived in Poland since ancient times. In the end of the 19th century Poland was under the Russian rule. I don't know the exact date and place of my grandfather Iona Wolfenfeld. I don't know the first or maiden name of my maternal grandmother. My mother's family lived in Zamost'ye town of Radom district.

My grandparents didn't have many children by the standards of their time: older son Yakov, son Peretz, my mother's older sister Gintsia and my mother Malka, born in 1896. My mother was much younger than her older brothers and sisters, and their children were almost the same age as my mother. The children got Jewish education: the boys finished cheder, and the girls studied with a melamed at home. Grandfather Iona knew the torah and Talmud and taught his children Hebrew, Jewish prayers, history and traditions. They followed kashrut and celebrated Sabbath and Jewish holidays in the family. My grandfather usually wore a long jacket and a kippah, and my grandmother also wore traditional Jewish clothes and a wig. Grandfather Iona was a contractor in the Russian troops in Poland.

In 1914 WWI began and in 1915 the Russian army began to retreat and there were refugees from Russia moving to the south and to Ukraine. My grandfather's family temporarily settled down in Poltava where my grandfather bought a two-storied houses with eight rooms.

In 1919 all of my mother's relatives moved to Poland that separated from Russia after WWI. My mother never saw her parents, sister Gintsia or brother Yakov again. She corresponded with them for a long time, but terminated this correspondence in 1937 since it was not safe to continue it. The fate of my mother's family was tragic. According to the archives grandfather Iona and grandmother were kept in the Warsaw ghetto where they perished.

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Ilia Rozenfeld