16.04.2024 | Redaktor

Bukspan-Korngut family

Aron Bukspan was born in Staszów on June 19, 1850; he was the son of the tailor Herszl Bukspan and Ruchla née Weintraub.

Birth record of Aron Bukspan; photo from the website www.szukawarchiwach.gov.pl

Aron married Brzesko-born Scheindel Laje Matzner (1855), daughter of Simel Matzner and Syma Ruchel Roder, and moved to his wife’s hometown. Between 1876 and 1902, 13 children were born in this family, but 6 of them died in infancy, and another son died as a 10-year-old boy. Of the remaining children, two started families in Brzesko, and the three youngest sons moved to Germany. In this article I will try to describe the fate of these five children who lived to adulthood.

Aron Bukspan worked in Brzesko as a shoemaker; he was registered in the cadastre of handicraft masters in Brzesko – industrial card #6557 was issued in Brzesko on July 5, 1877.

Fragment from the Cadastre of handicraft masters from Brzesko with the registration of Aron Bukspan. Photos of the documents come from the archive in Bochnia, reference number 30/365/14; they are currently kept in the archives in Kraków

Aron and Scheindel Laje died before the second world war; Aron Bukspan’s matzeva survived at the Brzesko Jewish cemetery.

Aron Bukspan’s matzeva at the Brzesko Jewish cemetery; photo by A.Brzyska

Here is buried

A pure man

Walked the paths of the righteous

Our teacher Aharon Bukspan

Son of Mr. Tzvi the Kohen. Died on 13 of  Nisan

(5)680 [April 1, 1920]. May his soul be bound in the bundle of life

Death record: Aron Bukspan, shoemaker from Staszów, Radom district, son of Hersch and Ruchla Bukspan, died in Brzesko on March 31, 1920 at the age of 70.

This card was kept in the family of Aron Bukspan’s descendants for many decades. “My unforgettable father, Aron Bukspan, died in Brzesko on April 1, 1920 – Nisan 13, 5680. May his soul be bound in the bundle of life.” Photo from the Bukspan family archive, courtesy of Rotem Segev.

Widow Scheindel Laje Bukspan died in Brzesko on October 7, 1937 at the age of 82. Unfortunately, her matzeva has not been preserved at the cemetery, but you can see the matzeva of her mother, Syma Rachel Matzner née Roder (1832-1916).

Syma Rachel Matzner’s matzeva; photo by A.Brzyska

A modest (and important) woman, at the age of 84

Years she returned to her land on Tishri 7

(5)677 [October 4, 1916]. Mrs. Sima Rachel, daughter of

Mr. Yitzhak Yehuda Leib

May her soul be bound in the bundle of life

Death record: Sima Rachel Matzner, widow of Simel Matzner, daughter of Jakob Leib and Ryfka Tellerman, died in Brzesko on October 4, 1916 at the age of 84.

Here’s what we could learn about the children of the Bukspan couple and their families:

Their first child, daughter Riwka, was born in 1876 and died at the age of 4 of pneumonia. The second child, a son, died in 1877 at the age of only 7 days; before being given a name.

Daughter Chaja, who was born two years later, married the tailor Gerszon Woźniak. Four sons were born to them: Hirsch Dawid (1908-1920; this boy died of typhus; he was buried near his grandfather Aron Bukspan, there is a simple matzeva on his grave); Abraham (born May 29, 1910, died December 22, 1910), Israel Leib (born May 11, 1912) and Arie (born August 26, 1918, died less than 3 months later).

Matzeva of Hirsch Dawid Woźniak; photo by A.Brzyska

Here is buried

The youngster Tzvi Hirsch David, son of Mr. Gershon

Woźniak, died on 4 of Cheshvan (5)681 [October 16, 1920]. May his soul be bound in the bundle of life.

Chaja Woźniak née Bukspan died of tuberculosis on January 27, 1937; her husband and son Israel Leib were murdered in the Holocaust.

The next child of Mr. and Mrs. Bukspan, daughter Sara, was born in 1881 and died after less than 6 years.

Their son Jakob Bukspan (born in 1883) married Ettel Kluger, daughter of Moses Merl and Laje Rose Kluger. The family lived in Brzesko and their fate was exceptionally tragic. Jakob and Ettel Bukspan had 6 children. Their daughter Syma (born in 1922) died when she was just over a month old, the other five children were murdered in the Holocaust:

Rachela (born on November 20, 1913) married Jakob Froschgang and lived in Kraków, where her son Henryk was born on March 25, 1939. During the war she was in Lviv and was murdered together with her son.

Chawa Mindla (born on June 17, 1916), Ruchla Rojza (born on November 9, 1917), Chaje (born onMay 30, 1924) and Aron (born on February 4, 1926) were also murdered.

Only the parents, Jakob and Ettel, died of natural causes before the war, Jakob on October 13, 1926, and Ettel on December 10, 1935. They were both buried in Brzesko; Jakob’s matzeva still stands in the cemetery.

Jakob Bukspan’s matzevot, Photo by A.Brzyska

Here is buried


Yaakov Yitzhak


Son of our teacher Aron the Kohen, died on 5 of Cheshvan

(5)687 [October 13, 1926]. May his soul be bound in the bundle of life

An innocent and honest man

Death record: Jakob Bukspan, married, shoemaker in Brzesko, son of Aron and Scheindel Bukspan, died in Brzesko on October 13, 1926 at the age of 43.

Another child of Aron and Scheindel Laje Bukspan, son Izrael Bukspan (1885-1896), lived for less than 11 years. Son Hersch (1887-1891), born 2 years later, died at the age of 4.

A year later, on November 26, 1888, a son Arie was born in the Bukspan family, followed by two more sons: a boy who died shortly after birth in 1891 and Leib (July 24, 1892 – April 30, 1893). Unfortunately, I could not find any information on Arie Bukspan. But the fate of the three youngest sons of the Bukspans and their families can be traced in quite detail.

Szymon Bukspan was born in Brzesko on March 4, 1894. He emigrated to Germany and settled in Frankfurt, where he married a Jewish woman of Polish origin, Scheindel Malka Hackel. Four children were born to them: Aron (1923), Regina (1926), Berta (1929) and Sonja (1932).

The family of Szymon and Scheindel Malka Bukspan in Frankfurt. Photo from the Bukspan family archive, courtesy of Rotem Segev

Berta recalled that, as a little girl, she once visited her grandmother in Brzesko during the Sukkot holiday (her grandfather was already dead then). She remembers that the fragment of the roof of the house could be lifted  so that the family could celebrate Sukkot under the sky. You can still see traces of such sukkahs in the roofs of tenement houses around the Brzesko Market square, https://brzesko-briegel.pl/en/news/sukkahs-in-brzesko-tenement-houses/

On October 28, 1938, the entire family was deported to Poland, but in January 1939 they managed to get to Palestine, thanks to which they avoided the Holocaust. A few years later, they all received citizenship of the British Mandate of Palestine.

Document from the Arolsen archive (https://collections.arolsen-archives.org/en/document/70331610) testifying that Szymon Bukspan, living in Frankfurt, was deported to Poland in October 1938 together with his wife and four children, from where they emigrated to Palestine. There is also mention of Szymon’s brother Moses, who also lived in Frankfurt
Szymon Bukspan and his oldest children Aron and Regina, 1946. Photos from the application for citizenship of the British Mandate of Palestine, from the website of the State Archives of Israel, www.archives.gov.il

Ksyel Bukspan was born in Brzesko on January 5, 1897. Following his older brother Szymon, he emigrated to Germany, where he married Brzesko-born Feigel Korngut.

Ksyel Bukspan and Feigel Korngut. Photos from the Bukspan family archive, courtesy of Rotem Segev

But perhaps first it is worth sharing more about the Feigel Korngut family as her maternal ancestors had lived in Brzesko for many generations.

Feigel Korngut was born in Brzesko on November 9, 1902 as the daughter of Pinkas Korngut and Laje Zollfrist/Mingelgrin. Her father came from Wiśnicz and mother was born in Brzesko. Pinkas Korngut (born October 25, 1879, son of Salamon Korngut and Malka Fassler) moved to his wife’s hometown at the end of the 19th century. Laje Zollfrist/Mingelgrin was born in Brzesko on April 26, 1879, as the eldest daughter of Jakob Zollfrist and Mindla Mingelgrin. Laja’s ancestors lived in Brzesko at least from the second half of the 18th century; the tombstones of her mother Mindla (1854-1934) and grandmother Bluma Zollfrist née Hirsch/Fischelberg (1826-1885) have survived at the Brzesko Jewish cemetery.

Matzeva of Mindel Zollfrist née Mingelgrin, photo by A.Brzyska

Here is buried

Mindel Zollfrist

Daughter of Mr. David, died on 20 of Iyar (5)694 [April 17, 1934]

An old and modest woman

From her bread she gave to the poor

May her soul be bound in the bundle of life

Death record: Mindel Zollfrist, widow of Jakob, daughter of Dawid and Slata Mingelgrin, died in Brzesko on April 17, 1934 at the age of 80.

Matzeva of Bluma Zollfrist née Hirsch/Fischelberg, photo by A.Brzyska

Here is buried

A modest woman, Mrs

Bluma, daughter of Mr

Tzvi Hesche. Diedon

10 of Nisan (5)645 [March 26, 1885].

May her soul be bound in the bundle of life

Death record: Blime née Hirsch, wife of Rubin Zollfrist, daughter of Hesche and Peike Hirsch from Brzesko, died in Brzesko at 9 p.m. on March 25, 1885 at the age of 63.

Pinkas and Laje Korngut first lived in Brzesko, it was here that their 5 children were born in the years 1900-1909 (however, their sons Salomon Josef and Selig died in infancy). Later, the Kornguts left for Germany together with their three daughters, Golda, Feigel and Slata. Three more daughters were born in Berlin, Rosa (1911, Berlin – 1975, Israel), Berta (Bracha, 1914, Berlin -1996, USA) and Mathilde (1922, Berlin – 1995, USA).

The Korngut sisters in Berlin, from the left: Rosa, Golda (Gusta) and Slata (Lotte). Photo from the Bukspan family archive, courtesy of Rotem Segev

 Laje Korngut died in Berlin on January 12, 1939, and is buried in the Weissensee Jewish cemetery.

Lina (Laje) Korngut’s gravestone. Photo from the Bukspan family archive, courtesy of Rotem Segev

Pinkas Korngut was murdered in the Holocaust. In October 1938 he was deported from Germany to Poland; most likely for some time he stayed in Krakow, at least in the “Census of the Jewish population of the city of Krakow intended for deportation to the Ghetto” Pinkas Korngut is listed under the number 16238.

Of the five daughters of the Kornguts, two did not survive the war. Golda (born on August 15, 1900, married name Zandberg) and Slata (born March 14, 1909, married name Schenkel) were deported to Poland. For some time they lived together with their families in Krakow; there exist their registration cards issued in Kraków  in 1940.

Golda and her husband Mechel Zandberg (born in Łódź on August 15, 1898) lived at Meiselsa st., 1; in August 1940 they were supposed to leave for Tarnów. According to the testimonies submitted to Yad Vashem  by their daughter Zilla and son Lion Zandberg, Mechel and Golda were in ghettos in Tarnów and Łódź during the war; both were murdered.

Mechel Zandberg and Golda Zandberg née Korngut, 1940. Photos from registration cards, https://cbj.jhi.pl/

Slata, together with her husband Karol Nathan Schenkel and most likely with their daughters Margit (born in Leipzig on April 25, 1934) and the younger Lea (born in 1939) lived at Starowiślna 53. On August 4, 1940, they were to leave Kraków. We will probably never know the circumstances of their murder. Maybe they left Krakow for Brzesko – Slata’s hometown? If that’s what happened, they most likely perished in Bełżec.

Karol Schenkel and Slata Schenkel née Korngut, 1940. Photos from registration cards, https://cbj.jhi.pl/

But it’s high time to return to the family of Ksyel Bukspan and Feigel (Fanny) Korngut. Ksyel and Feigel (Fanny) married in Frankfurt on March 27, 1923. Their older daughter Selma was born on August 21, 1924. In less than 2 years  there was born their second child, daughter Ruth, who died in infancy. And on August 25, 1930, the youngest daughter, Margot, was born in Berlin.

Feigel Bukspan née Korngut with her daughters Selma and Margot in Berlin. Photo from the Bukspan family archive, courtesy of Rotem Segev
Registration card of student Margot Bukspan with a comment about leaving for Palestine on May 1, 1940. Photo from the Arolsen archives, https://collections.arolsen-archives.org/en/document/12650181

“Ksyel Bukspan and Feigel (Fanny) née Korngut lived together with their daughters Selma and Margot in Berlin at Linienstr. 196. Very close to them, at 7 Max-Beer Street, was the house of Fanny’s parents, Pinkas and Lina (Laje) Korngut.

The girls went to school together, and once some teenage German boys approached them, grabbed 8-year-old Margot by her braids and poured tar on her hair, asking Selma, who had lighter hair, “Why are you hanging out with that Jewish girl?”

Before the war, Selma belonged to a Zionist youth group. It’s with this group that she was sent to Denmark. She survived the war in Sweden, working for Swedish farmers. She met her husband Julius Rothbein there, and together they emigrated to Israel.

Ksyel and Fanny Bukspan together with daughters Selma and Margot. Photo from the Bukspan family archive, courtesy of Rotem Segev

Margot was too young to join the group and she stayed with her parents. As the first Aktion started, to arrest Jewish man, Ksyel was not home, he was staying at a friend’s house that hid him .But at the second Aktion Ksyel and Pinchas were taken to Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

During that time Fanny and Margot already left the family apartment in Linenstrasse and moved in with Grandma Lina Korngut, one of Fanny’s sisters was staying with them too.

Then Kristalnacht accured. Margot remembered it very well. Due to the stress from the men arrests, Lina had suffered a stroke, and was sitting in a wheelchair in the kitchen.

Than the Nazi hoodlums stormed in the house, broke the kitchen window next to Lina, and then told her- “here, now you can have some fresh air”. Then they continued throwing all the family belonging through the window from the third floor to the ground. Margot was worried because they also took her schoolbag with the homework she prepared for tomorrow, and emptied it out the window. They proceeded in cornering her young aunt to another room trying to rape her, but she shouted them off, and they left to the next house.

Fanny and Lina were working on releasing Ksyel and Pinkas from Sachsenhausen, and eventually succeeded in doing so, by paying them out, through the help of Reicha Freier, who issued 100 release forms for Polish nationality prisoners, who promised to leave Germany within 2 weeks of their release.

When Ksyel and Pinkas were released, they had looked like musselmans, Margot could not recognize her father. He was too weak to open the front door of the building with the key.

Ksyel, Fanny and Margot set off on a journey to Palestine, but after travelling for several months through Austria and Greece, they ended up in a refugee camp in Ferramonte in Italy, where they lived until the end of the war. Only then could they emigrate to Palestine.” (Based on the testimony of Margot Farin née Bukspan, courtesy of Rotem Segev).

Pages from the passports of Ksyel, Feigel and Margot Bukspan. Photos from the website of the State Archives of Israel www.archives.gov.il

In 1947, the Bukspans received citizenship of the British Mandate of Palestine:

Photo from the website of the State Archives of Israel www.archives.gov.il

Feigel Bukspan née Korngut died in Israel on April 29, 1982; her husband Ksyel Bukspan – on March 24, 1993. They are both buried in the Kiryat Shaul cemetery in Tel Aviv.

Grave of the Bukspan couple. Photo from https://bezikaron.co.il/

The youngest child of Aron and Scheindel Laja Bukspan, son Mojżesz Bukspan, was born in Brzesko on January 31, 1902. Like his two older brothers, he emigrated to Germany. He was a shoemaker, lived in Frankfurt with his wife Toni née Laufer and two children – daughters Ruth and Edith. In 1939, he was supposed to move to Palestine with his family, but ultimately it didn’t work out and they were all murdered.

Ruth Bukspan, 1935. Photo from https://frankfurt.de/frankfurt-entdecken-und-erleben/stadtportrait/stadtgeschichte/stolpersteine

In Frankfurt, at Mainstrasse 16, you can see the Stolpersteine – Stones of Remembrance – of this family:

Photos from https://frankfurt.de/frankfurt-entdecken-und-erleben/stadtportrait/stadtgeschichte/stolpersteine

Few descendants of Aron and Scheindel Laja Bukspan and Pinkas and Laje Korngut managed to survive the Holocaust. However, those survivors started families, and their grandchildren and great-grandchildren live now in many countries around the world. And matzevot of their ancestors still stand at the Brzesko Jewish cemetery

® Anna Brzyska, 2024