genia genia1 genia2Surname: SANDAK
Name: Genia Zenia (Henia?)
Birth Date: 1937 – 1938
Birth Place: Poland (according to the borders before 1939)
Father’s Name: Janek (Jakob?) Sandak (?)
Mother’s Name: Dora Sandak (?)

In 1946 Genia came back to Poland on the Repatriation program from Uzbekistan, then part of the USSR, with a Polish orphanage. The orphanage got off the train in Gostynin where Genia stayed for a month, according to information obtained from the KARTA institute in Warszawa.
She was then taken from Gostynin to Lodz and joined the Koordinacja home in ul. Narutowice in Lodz. The goal of Koordinacja organization was to bring the Jewish child survivors to a new life in Eretz Israel.
From Lodz Genia and other children were brought through Europe. She arrived in Haifa in 1947.

Genia did not remember the names of her parents, but in the archives at Yad Vashem some ITS index cards from the Red Cross show that her father supposedly was Janek Sandak and that her mother was Dora Sandak.
Thought: We consider that Janek Sandek could perhaps be Jakob Sandak.

On one ITS card it says Genia was from Lviv.
If this is true, when and for how long did she stay there?
So far we have found no Sandak families in Lviv in the 1930’s.
One of our theories is that if the Sandak family did live in Lviv, it may perhaps have been as refugees coming from western Poland in 1939 and then living in Lviv from 1939 to 1941 under Soviet rule, before fleeing or being deported further east into the USSR.

Many Polish refugees who had originally been deported to the Ural mountains and Sibir, were able to move further south to Uzbekistan, Tadjekistan, and Kazachstan around 1941/1942.
From KARTA we learnt that her parents died in the USSR in 1943, though there were no further details as to when, where and under what circumstances.
From the text on Genia’s Koordinacja card located at Beth Lochamei Haghettaot, it says her parents died in Samarkand.
For a clear maps of Samarkand and Uzbekistan, click here html/maps.html
We must assume that Genia at least from 1943 lived in a Polish orphanage in the USSR.
On one ITS card it says Genia had returned from Kauchaus. So far we have not found any place with this name, though there is a little place called Kojtas, a little north of Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
On Genia’s Koordinacja card it says that in 1946 she had returned to Poland from Samarkand.

We are basically looking for any SANDAK families from Poland, and for a couple named Janek and Dora Sandak. We must also consider similar family names like SANDEK, SANDYK, SANDIK .

We know for sure that there were Sandak families in Wlodawa. We have been in contact with three siblings fromthis family. They were young when they and their parents fled to the USSR and do not remember the names of their many cousins. Is Genia one of these cousins? We don’t know.

Janek and Dora probably married around 1930 – 1935, but where in Poland did they marry?
Where was Genia born?
What happened to Janek and Dora during the war?
When did they die?
KARTA told us they died in 1943 in the USSR.
Where did they die?
The Koordinacja card says they died in Samarkand.
Are there SANDAK relatives who can help Genia to confirm her own identity and that of her parents?
Can anybody help us confirm the information given here?


The KARTA Institute in Warszawa publishes a series of interesting journals, in Polish. You can look at the list of the articles on their website

In KARTA number 4 there is a promising article about Polish children’s homes in the USSR during the years 1941 – 1946. Unfortunately this journal is out of stock and is not for sale any more!
This is an article we would very much like to study, in order to learn more about this subject.
Can you help us obtain a copy of this article?

When Jewish refugees died in Samarkand in 1943, where would they be buried?
In a Jewish cemetery or in a civilian cemetery for all ethnic groups?
Do the refugee graves from 1943 still exist in Samarkand?
Is there a register of Jewish graves in Samarkand in general, and/or for the graves of Jewish refugees in World War Two specifically?

What can be found on a new Russian memorial site for around 1.5 million prisoners sent to the Siberian gulags?
Are these only male prisoners or are children and women also listed?
What is the information given about each individual?
If you read Russian , could you check this website for prisoners with the family name SANDAK and inform us about the results?

Previous Comments

other towns with Sandaks
written by Carra, May 25, 2009
My great-grandfather was a Sandak who came from Ciechanowiec, a town in Western poland, in the 1920s. The Polish Aliyah Passports lists also lists a Sandak living in Brzesc, which I believe is another name for Brest. I wish I could be more helpful, but at least these are two more towns in which you might pursue your research. I wish you the best of luck.

written by Marianna, December 19, 2008
Janek can also be Jankel. Or just Janek – diminutive of Jan.

written by Yotam, July 27, 2008
My surname is Sandak from Poland. My family came from Poland

Jews Buried in Samarkand
written by mordechai pelta, December 19, 2007
jews were buried in a jewish cemetery in samarkand. i had an aunt who died there between age 6 mos and 9 mos of age. my grandmother, Szyfra Pelta told me thats where my aunt died of small pox (she thinks, as medical care there was pathetic). i would love to get her birth and death records and even a pic of the grave.

sandak family
written by cornelia, December 04, 2007
My grandmother- Aniela Sandak lived in Rychlowice, Poland before 1939
Sandak family
written by cornelia, December 04, 2007
My father comes from Sandak family. His grandmother- Aniela Sandak. Before 1939 she lived in Rychlowice
Sandak in Warsaw

written by logan, May 01, 2007
Searching the 1937 and 1938/1939 directories at reveals many Sendyks (and variant spellings) living in Warsaw (the 1938/1939 directory even has given names). There is one J., in the 1937 directory:
Sendek J., miesa sprzedaz, Chmielna 102 [image 435]

written by Jacob Goldstein, February 08, 2007
Dear Ghenia,
Janek was used as a variant of Yojnas – Yojnassan (Yonatan) . He may also appear as Joyna in Polish records.
I hope this helps.

written by Jeremy M Goldbloom, April 22, 2006
If it is of any slight help, my great grandmother Golda’s maiden name was believed to be Sandik. She came from Kletsk, now in Belarus, then Russian Empire, and arrived in London late 19th C. Between 1921 and 1939 Kletsk was later under Polish administration. Golda died in 1910 at Mile End Infirmary, London and is buried in the Edmonton Federation grounds, Montague Rd..Unfortunately I have no knowledge of any brothers or sisters of Golda. She was “bas Alexander Meier”
Good luck with your quest
Best regards Jeremy M Goldbloom

written by Logan, April 22, 2006
Using the search engine at, I found: Sandecka K., Zyblikiewicza 7, Lwow, Szewcy (1928, 1930) -Logan

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