Surname: HERZ / HERC / NN / BURNSTEIN
Birth Date: April 1944
Birth Place: Warszawa, Poland
Father: Not known
Mother’s Name: Bela Burnstein, widowed Herz/Herc
My mother Bela Burnstein was born in Kroszniewice in 1915, the daughter of Szabtai and Frieda Freidel Burnstein..
Sometime around 1937/1938 (?) she married. The name of her first husband was Juszek (Josef) Herz/Herc. He was a soldier in the Polish Army in 1939.
Her first husband probably worked as a policeman in the ghetto in Warszawa. In the ghetto he smuggled food to other Jews, was caught and executed in Warszawa in 1942.
After the death of her husband, my mother met a Polish non Jewish man, name unknown, who helped obtain Aryan documents for her and smuggled her out of the ghetto through the sewers. This must have happened before the Ghetto Uprising in April 1943.
My mother then lived with her Polish boyfriend on the Aryan side of Warszawa. She used the given name Irena. I do not know which false family name she used during this period.
Around August 1943, with her Polish boyfriend, she became pregnant with me.
In April 1944 she gave birth. My unknown biological father and my mother named me Janina.
In August 1944 started the Warsaw Uprising.
According to my cousin, my Polish father fought in the Uprising and fell in battle.
I assume my mother and I were also driven out of Warszawa with the rest of the population, but luckily for us, the Germans seem not to have discovered our true identity. I do not know where my mother and I were sent to from Warszawa during this forced deportation.
Around January 1945 my mother met who became my father, Felek Felix Tuchband . They later married and we emigrated to Eretz Israel in the year 1949. It was only a few years ago I discovered that Felek Tuchband was not my biological father, but by then I had nobody to ask.
The main question I would like an answer to: Who was my biological father?
I assume from what I have been told:
He was the age of my mother or a little older, so he could have been born between 1905 – 1910.
He was not Jewish.
He might have been married before and also lost his wife and children in the war.
He had some contact with the ghetto inhabitants as he got to know my mother in 1942, beginning of 1943.
He had connections to enable her to get Aryan papers and to help her get out of the ghetto through the sewers.
He lived in Warszawa in 1942, 1943 and 1944.
He fought in the Great Uprising in Warszawa in August / September 1944.
He fell in battle during the Great Uprising.
Some information about my mother’s family, mostly gathered from Pages of Testimony.
My mother Bela Burnstein was born in Kroszniewice in 1915.
(Kroszniewice is located at 52°16′ 19°8′ in Plock province, 57 km from Lodz and 45 km from Wloclawek)
Her brother Reuven Burnstein, born ca 1912, lived in Lodz, was married to Ester Burnstein nee Jacobowicz (born 1917). Reuven and Ester were parents to Chana Burnstein born ca 1942. They were all murdered in Chelmno
(Could it be that my mother had no siblings born between 1916 and 1921?)
Her brother: Izak Burnstein, born 1922 in Kroszniewica, lived in Krosniewice, single, murdered in Auschwitz in 1942.
Her brother: Mosze Burnstein, born 1923, single, murdered in Birkenau in 1942
Her father, my maternal grandfather: Szabtai Burnstein, born 1880 in Kroszniewice, murdered in Auschwitz in 1942.
Her aunt, Szabtai’s sister: Chava Gurdog nee Burnstein, born 1875, a widow with four children; died in ghetto Lodz in 1943
Her uncle, Szabtai’s brother: Abraham Burnstein, born 1890, merchant in Warszawa; married to Klara, one child, died in Dachau in 1940.
Her aunt, Szabtai’s sister: Lea Laja Bekerman nee Burnstein, born 1897, lived in Paris, married to Benjamin Bekerman, parents of Rubin born ca 1923 and Sara Jeanette born 1928, murdered in Auschwitz.
Her paternal grandparents, my greatgrandparents: Reuven (Rubin) and Sara Hodes Burnstein.
Her mother, my maternal grandmother: Frieda Freidel Burnstein nee Frankfurter born in 1892(or 1886) in Kutno. Murdered in Chelmno in 1941.
(Kutno is located in Plock province at 52°13′ 19°23′, 41 km from Plock and 50 km from Lodz).
Her maternal uncle: Leib Frankfurter, born 1896 in Kutno, married to Genia Dominowitz, parents of Dina born ca 1928 and Elijahu born ca 1934; murdered in Ghetto Kutno in 1942
Her maternal grandparents, my greatgrandparents: Elijahu and Chana Frankfurter from Kutno.
written by Jose Klingbeil, August 13, 2008
Maybe you could find data in our database. Take a look at the Kutno website. Regards.