Valia Fried ,Gelbfarb / Warszawa, Poland / USSR

Sometimes strange things happen in a search, and even if you think it is TOO strange, you must check it out.
After seeing Vala’s picture in the promo for our broadcast in 1997, Pessach Gelbfarb contacted TV: He had lost a little sister when he and his parents fled by train from Warsaw Poland to Russia in the autumn of 1939.
Could this be Vala?
The family name is different, but Pessach showed a picture of his oldest daughter being at the same age as Vala on one of her earliest photo’s. Resemblance!
Also when we later saw Vala and Pessach together, they seemed much alike.

Later a DNA test made by Dr. Hassan Khatib at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem seemed to verify the fact that Pessach and Vala are brother and sister.

Further tests, taking bone samples of the parents Aharon and Rosa Gelbfarb would have helped us to verify this finally. Such a possibility seems to be impossible at the moment. We don’t even know if the graves still exist in Yangiyul in Uzbekistan where the parents assumably died in 1943.
Pessach does NOT remember the name of his little sister.
Can anybody tell us about Aharon and Rosa Gelbfarb and their children from Warsaw?

In looking for one’s identity, it is a definite advantage to have a rare name. Unfortunately, Fried is not one of those rare names.
Till 1997, the only name known to Vala herself, was Vala Walentyna Fried.
Who was the Fried family that gave Vala the name she came out of the Holocaust with?
The family that found her when the Gelbfarb family fled from Poland to Russia?
The family that took care of her in Russia?

Vala stayed , at least part of the war, in Zhambyl.
Any information about orphanages for Polish children in this place, is most welcome.
Perhaps Vala stayed with a Fried family in Zhambyl?

In 1946 Vala was repatriated from Zhambyl, Kazakstan to Poland.
We do know Vala was brought by a Mr. Henryk Getz from Gostynin to a Mrs. Mania Rozenberg ul. Zachodnia 18 in Lodz in 1946 together with another girl named Edzia Talk/Falk/Jalk(??)
Who can give us information about Mr.Getz and Mrs. Rosenberg? Who knows Edzia?
Later Vala and another little girl (perhaps Edzia?) were brought to a group of older children in Bialawa, Poland.
With this group she then went to Germany ( Bergen Belsen, Rosenheim) and later to Israel.


Will it be possible to find the birthcertificate for Pessach’s sister born 1939 in Warszawa? That will at least give the name of Pessach’s baby sister.


Are there lists of those Polish refugees who died in Yangiyul in 1943 in any archive documenting the lives and deaths of Polish citizens in the USSR during World War Two? Do these lists include Aharon Gelbfard and his wife Rosa Gelbfarb?
Do the graves of these Polish refugees still exist in Yangiyul?

The KARTA Institute in Warszawa is building a database of Polish citizens affected by the Soviet Union from 1939 – 1959. The website is so far in Polish.
Will there be any more speficic information about Vala’s return to Poland on the Repatriacja in their lists?

Logan Kleinwaks gave us the following Gelbfarb from Warszawa, using his search engine ( see comment below)

Szmul Gelbfarb, Wilenska 5, Warsaw, Cukry (1926/1927: 1589, 1928: 1976, 1930: 1955)

Searching JRI-Poland, there is Szmul Judka Gelbfarb who married Sura Ruchla Albek in 1896.
Among the graves in the Jewish cemetery one is listed as that of Szmuel Jehuda Gelbfarb.
One wonders if these three records concern the same person – a man born around 1870, who was trading in sugar in the 1920’s till 1930, and who probably died before 1938? In the 1938/1939 telephone directory for Warszawa Szmul Gelbfarb is NOT listed.
We will keep this information, for the time.


DNA test
We have studied the website of Family Tree DNA From the information given there, it seems to us that rechecking the earlier results from the Hebrew University could verify or rule out that Valia and Pessach are siblings.
In our understanding, a Maternal DNA sample from Valia and from Pessach would both have the DNA of Rosa Gelbfarb, if Valia and Pessach are indeed siblings.
If they are not siblings, then Valia’s DNA would at least give the theoretical possibility of finding maternal relatives, if they are listed among the presently 40000 samples in the database of Family Tree DNA.
A Maternal DNA test for one person costs, according to the website 129 US dollars. If you would like to see how a DNA kit looks like, click here
Taking a DNA sample is very simple.

Previous Comments
possible lead on an orphanage
written by Carra, May 26, 2009
On google books, I found part of a book called “The Whisperer’s: Private Life in Stalin’s Russia” by a historian named Orlando Figes. On page 368, he recounts the story of a woman (I believe she was a non-Jewish political dissident, although since all the pages are not included, I can’t be sure) who retrieved her son or nephew from an orphanage in Dzhambul, Kazakstan in 1942 after the relative who had been caring for him died. Here is the link to the page:

Perhaps the author knows more about the orphanage or even has access to records from it.
confectioner at Wilenska 5, Warsaw, in 1937
written by logan, May 01, 2007
I did not find Szmul Gel(b)farb at Wilenska 5 in the 1937 directory searchable at However, there is a different confectioner — i.e., the same type of business — at Wilenska 5 then:

Puchalski A., cukiernie, Kr. Przedmiescie 23, tel. 292-77, Wilenska 5., tel. 10.05-46, Stalowa 28, tel. 10.05-23 [image 107]

It seems this business had three locations, so, perhaps, it was a large business that “bought” Szmul’s ?
Soviet Memorial search
written by leah aharoni, May 16, 2006
It is now possible to search the Polish list of the repressed through
Good luck,

written by Logan, April 20, 2006
Using the search engine at, I found the following (name, address, business, directories and image numbers):
Roza Gelfarb, Zawalna 15, Wilno, Akuszerki (1926/1927: 2097, 1928: 2277)
Pejsach Gielfarb, Zawalna 15, Wilno, Rekawiczki (1926/1927: 2108, 1928: 2292, 1930: 2276)
M. Gelfarb, Ludwisarska 8, Wilno, Rekawiczki (1928: 2292, 1930: 2276)
Szmul Gelbfarb, Wilenska 5, Warsaw, Cukry (1926/1927: 1589, 1928: 1976, 1930: 1955)
P. Gelbfarb, Plonsk, Seklo i porcelana (1926/1927: 1763, 1928: 2175, 1930: 2161)

Could Pejsach Gielfarb or P. Gelbfarb above be related to Vala’s suspected brother Pessach Gelfarb?
Note that Pejsach lived at the same address as a Roza Gelfarb.