Boy from southern Poland / Poland / Bratislava, Slovakia

yaakov45jacovsh yaakov10 yaakovtodaySurname: Unknown,
Name: Unknown
Birth Date: Unknown; probably 1940/1941
Birth Place: Unknown; perhaps Krakow area in Poland
Father’s Name: Unknown
Mother’s Name: Unknown
After the war, this little boy stayed in a Jewish children’s home run by Agudat Israel in Bratislava, now Slovakia. One testimony made by a woman working there, states that she had heard that the boy had been brought to the JOINT in Krakow after the war by a peasant woman. This woman claimed that the boy’s mother, a Jewish woman from Krakow, had given him to her for safekeeping, but that the mother had perished in the Holocaust.

In April 1946 it was estimated that he was born in 1940 or 1941. He had not been circumcised, so when Rabbi Meier Schenkolewski visited the children’s home, he became the Godfather (Sandak) when the Brit Milah was performed. The boy, then five or six years old, was given the name of the Rabbi’s nephew who had fallen as an American soldier in WWII at Arnheim.

The boy himself has vague memories of tending geese at a farm in the mountains. He thinks they may have called him Ivan. The names Marks/ Marx, Sankoyadow ( Sanko Jadow?) and Yankoyadow ( Janko Jadow?) sounds familiar to him. This search is among the most difficult ones on our website, so we will try to search for any possible clues:

If it is indeed true that the boy was brought by a peasant woman to the JOINT in Krakow after the war and that this woman said the boy’s mother was a Jewish woman from Krakow, let us think in all possible directions for clues around Krakow.

If the mother was from Krakow, could the family have been MARX? Could SENKOYADOW and YANKOYADOW be family names of those who saved the boy? Could it be Senko Jadow and Janko Jadow? Janko, by the way, is also a Jewish family name

If this boy stayed in the Carpathian Mountains or more specifically in Tatra Mountains, and this is possible, we should take into consideration that he may have been in the southern part of Poland, in present-day Slovakia, in present-day Czeck republic, in present-day Ukraine. From the testimony that he was saved in the Krakow area, one must perhaps put more weight to southern Poland. Could it have been the Beskidy Mountains?

The boy remembers the name Sankoyadow ( Sanko Yadow?). Could this have any connection with the place SANKA, 19 km WSW of Krakow? 13 Jews lived in Sanka before Holocaust, according to Where Once We Walked.

An ethnic minority group named the Lemko is common in the Beskidy Mountains in southern Poland. Some consider the Lemks as Ukrainians or Ruthenians, others see them as a separate group. Considering the names Ivan, Sankoyadow and Yankoyadow, could it be that this little boy lived with the Lemks and was saved by a Lemk woman?

There is a place 50 km NE of Warszawa named Jadow. There were 1492 Jews in Jadow before Holocaust. Jadow seems to be too far from the Krakow area and the Tatra Mountains, but who knows…..

JOINT, KRAKOW IN 1945/1946
We will try to look for any list of children given to the JOINT in Krakow in 1945/1946.

The postwar orphanage of Agudat Israel in Krakow was situated in ul. Dietla 26, according to one source. We have no name lists from this orphanage. If such lists could be found, any boy born between 1939 and 1941 should be carefully checked for further clues.

Where exactly in Bratislava was this orphanage located after the war? Are there any lists of children staying in this orphanage in 1945 and 1946? If so, again names of boys born between 1939 and 1941 should be carefully checked. Did all the children in the orphanage come from Poland? From Slovakia? From elsewhere?

We present photos of his face as the main clue – as a child, as a young man and today.
Do these faces look familiar to you?
Does his story sound like it could connect to your family?

Previous Comments

written by Sarah H, October 14, 2009
DNA Y strata testing is a good idea – all he needs is a match from his male side even several generations apart. is a good company.
DNA test
written by Rachel, August 28, 2009
He is the perfect candidate for a genealogical DNA test. If he matches another testee, he may be able to discover his surname.
written by Colleen Fitzpatrick, April 04, 2009
Hi, I want to suggest that he get a DNA test – the kind of genetic genealogy test that is used to trace the family name. There is a big Jewish study going on now. Even if he does not get a match, the databases are growing all the time. Just last December, I was able to discover someone’s true identity – he was an American who got into trouble as a young man and fled to Australia in the 1920s. He had not revealed his true identity to even his wife. He died in 1970, but his family continued to wonder who he was. His son took a DNA test in 2002 and finally in Dec 2008 he found a close match. This led to a reunion with family here in the US, who had been searching for him from their end for over 60 years. See…story/145. I think that a DNA test is the way to go here.
Colleen Fitzpatrick

written by Sinead, January 07, 2009
Hi there- my heart melts looking at your kind face.
I just wanted to say that- Im so sorry for what you are going through- I will not pretend I know.
Im from Northern Ireland- I have spent all day researching the Holocaust. I do not know why- it fills me with such deep sadness. I wish you all the luck in the world.I wish I could just put my arms around all of you and make things better, but I know I cant. So so sorry. Im lost for words….

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