24.11.2023 | Redaktor

Fischman-Hammer family

In 2023, we hosted an exceptionally large group of descendants of Brzesko Jews in Brzesko. Among them there were descendants of the Fischman-Hammer family, Mrs. Yona Kohen and her son Uri.

Yona Kohen. Brzesko, February 1, 2023. Photo by Anna Brzyska
Uri Kohen during the March of Remembrance in Brzesko in September 2023. Photo by Krzysztof Wasyłek

Research in several archives resulted in the reconstruction of a substantial part of this family’s history.

The oldest known ancestors of the Fischman-Hammer family, spouses Michel and Sora Hammer and Jankel and Cułka Hammer, lived in Nowy Korczyn. It is possible that they were relatives; all four died before 1826.

Michel and Sora Hammer’s son Joachim (1777-1826) and Jankel and Cułka Hammer’s daughter Tauba (1785-1856) got married in Nowy Korczyn. Four children were born to them:

Herszla, 1810, married Rechla Bransia Rozenbaum (born 1813)  in 1831

Jakob, 1814  married Rochla Szyffer (born 1812) in 1832

Izrael, 1819-1883, married Szyfra Rajch (born1821) in 1839

Perla, 1820, married Jankiel Cichy (born 1818)  in 1838

Joachim Hammer died relatively young, at the age of 49. His widow Tauba died 30 years later.

Death record of Joachim Hammer. Photo from the website szukajwarchiwach.gov.pl
Joachim Hammer, inn-keeper in Nowy Korczyn, son of deceased spouses Michel and Sora Hammer, died in Nowy Korczyn at 11pm on March 10, 1826 at the age of 49. He left widow Tauba, sons Herszla, Jakob, Izrael and daughter Perla.
Death record of Tauba Hammer. Photo from the website szukajwarchiwach.gov.pl
Tauba Hammer widow, daughter of Jankel Hammer and Cułka, died in Nowy Korczyn on March 17, 1856 at the age of 73, left sons Herszla, Jakob and Izrael and daughter Perla Cicha

The eldest son of Joachim and Tauba Hammer, Herszla (1810-1880), married Rechla Bransia Rozenbaum (1813-1902) in 1831.

Marriage record of Herszla Hammer and Rechla Bransia Rozenbaum. Photo from the website szukajwarchiwach.gov.pl
Herszla Hammer, 21 years old, son of inn-keeper Jochym Hammer (son of Michel) and Tauba Hammer (daughter of Jakob) married Rechla Bransia Rozenbaum, 18 years old, daughter of labourer Icek Rozenbaum  (son od Szolim) and Hana Benda (daughter of Aron) in Nowy Korczyn on May 24, 1831. Two uncles were witnesses of the marriage: Moszek Hammer (son of Jakob) and Jakob Benda (son of Aron). It’s worth noting that this marriage record provides the names of grandparents of the newlyweds: Michel Hammer, Jakob (in othe5r documenbts referred to as jankel) Hammer, Szolim Rozenbaum and Aron Benda.

When younger brother of Herszla, Jakob Hammer, got married a year later, Herszla was a witness at this marriage ceremony; his signature can be seen at this 1832 marriage record:

Signature of Herszla Hammer, son of Yochym, at the marriage record of his brother Jakob. Photo from the website szukajwarchiwach.gov.pl

Kalman Hammer (born in 1854), the youngest son of Herszla and Rechla Bransie Hammer, moved from Nowy Korczyn to Brzesko, where he married Sara Sprinca Feilgut. His parents remained in Nowy Korczyn; Herszla Hammer died in 1880; Rechla in 1902   

Sara Sprinca Feilgut (1852-1916) was the daughter of Abraham Alter and Drobne Feilgut from Łopoń – village in Wojnicz area. But the young couple moved to Brzesko, where they had 7 children

Children of Kalman Hammer and Sara Sprinca nee Feilgut:

Abraham, 1877, most likely named after  grandfather Abraham Alter Feilgut who must have died before 1877. Abraham  moved to Germany, lived in Hamburg, was married, perished on November 26, 1941:

Registration card with details of Abraham Hammer born in Brzesko on October 3, 1877, died on November 26, 1941; issued in Hamburg on December 8, 1941. Photo from the database of Arolsen archives

Jechonen, 1880 – married  Mirl Landau, daughter of Berisch and Gitel. the couple had 6 children; but only daughter Rachel survived the war. Jechonen, his wife Mirl, children children Wolf Zeev (1903), Moses Dawid (1911), Benjamin (1913), Berisch (1915), Dwora – all were murdered. Jechonen’s grave has survived at the Brzesko Jewish cemetery. All that remains of the other members of his family are the testimonies provided to Yad Vashem by his daughter Rachel.

The tombstone of Jechonen Hammer at the Brzesko Jewish cemetery

Here lie

Mr Zeev Brandsdorfer

Son of Mr Shmuel of blessed memory

Mr Yehuda Shifeldrim

Mr Yohanan Hammer

That were murdered for the sanctification of God’s name on

8 of Tishrei 5703 [September 18, 1942]

May their souls be bound in the bundle of life

Chane, 1882 – died being 27 days old

Taube, 1884

twins Eile Hersch and Isaak, 1892. Isaak Hammer moved to Germany, where his last known place of residence was Karlsbad. Isaak lost German citizenship and his property was confiscated.

„…In accordance with #6 of the Ordinance on the loss of Protectorate citizenship
I note that the prerequisites for the forfeiture of assets according to # 3 of this regulation are met by the Jews listed below:
… Hammer Isaak Israel, born in Brzesko in 1892. living in Meierhofen near Karlsbad…
hereby confiscated in favour of the German Empire
July 27, 1943” Photo from the database of Arolsen archives

Brothers Hersch and Isaak Hammer managed to survive the war. they emigratged to Palestine and settled in Haifa.

Berek, 1894-1896

Daughter Tauba (born on March 16, 1884; named after great-grandmother Tauba Hammer) married Majer Fischman in Brzesko on July 12, 1883. Majer Fischman was the son of Schame Fischman and Dache nee Pollinger, born in Radomyśl Wielki on July 12, 1883.

In the years 1907-1913, 5 children were born in the family of Majer and Tauba Fischman. In 1914, Majer was drafted into the army. His wife was left in Brzesko alone with five small children. Majer was wounded and declared unfit for further service, but he returned to Brzesko only in 1918, as evidenced by the entry in the “Registration Book of the 57th Infantry Regiment in Tarnów” .

Majer Fischman, born in Radomyśl, living in Brzesko, drafted into the army on November 14, 1914. “29/10 18 completely unfit for any service… 10/3 19 dismissed by the commission as a disabled person” Excerpt from the “Registration Book of the 57th Infantry Regiment in Tarnów”. Photo from the website szukawarchiwach.gov.pl

Majer probably thought that the most difficult years of his life were over. He supported his family by selling coal; two more children were born to him.

Fragment from the birth record of one of the children of Majer and Tauba Fischman. The child’s parents are registered as “Majer Fischman, born in 1883 in Radomyśl Wielki, married coal merchant in Brzesko and Tauba Fischman, born in Brzesko in 1886, married, daughter of Kalman and Sara Sprince Hamer in Brzesko.”

 But two decades later Majer Fischman shared the destiny of the majority of Polish Jews. He was murdered together with his wife Tauba and children Rechl Gitla, Dache, Schama and Chaim. Only one daughter survived the war.

Excerpt from the “List of Brzesko Jews who lost their lives during the years of Nazi terror from 1939 to 1945 ” (Bernacki Archives, reference number BR_ARKB_K001_T0002_D0013). This list includes M. Fischman, coal trader
Spouses Majer Fischman and Taube née Hammer. Both murdered during the Holocaust. Photo from Yona Kohen’s family archive.

Children of Majer and Tauba Fischman:

The Fischman siblings. Standing from the left: Feiga, Schame, Rosa, Rachel; Dache and Chaim are sitting. Brzesko, around 1926. Only Rosa survived the war. Photo from Yona Kohen’s family archive.

Rachel Gittel, born on July 25, 1907; married Isaak Wolf Amsterdam in Brzesko on June 18, 1933. Had daughter Sara born around 1936. All murdered.

Rachel Gittel Fischman in Brzesko, 1928. Photo from Yona Kohen’s family archive.

Dache, born on October 21, 1908, named after grandmother Dache Fischman. Married  Salamon Bernard Sagan in Brzesko on December 26, 1937. Murdered together with husband and son Kalman (born in Krakow in 1940).

Feiga, born on April 18, 1910; married Herman Wasserfall/Lobl in Brzesko on March 10, 1939. Their daughter Sara was born in Kraków on May 24, 1940

These 3 Fischman sisters were married by the Brzesko rabbi Moses Lipschitz, one of the last rabbis from the lineage of the tzaddik Arie Leibusz Lipschitz.

Schama, born on January 3, 1912; named after grandfather Schama Fischman. Murdered.

Hersch, born on February 9, 1920 – he died as a young child.

Chaim, born on October 12, 1922. Murdered in the Holocaust.

Rosa, born on March 26, 1913. She was in the ghettos in Brzesko and Bochnia, in the concentration camps Szebnie, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Ravensbruck, and Malhof. When in Auschwitz, Rosa worked as a seamstress. Several times she managed to escape selection. Rosa survived the Holocaust; after the war due to the efforts of the Swedish Red Cross, she spent some time in Sweden, where she met her future husband, Shlomo Gelbart. Shlomo was also a Polish Jew, prisoner of several concentration camps. Rosa and Shlomo got married in Goteborg in Sweden in 1947. Two years later they emigrated to Israel and settled in Haifa. Rosa’s uncles, Hersch and Isaak Hammer, helped them in the beginning.

Rosa and Shlomo Gelbart, Sweden, 1947. Photo from Yona Kohen’s family archive.

The only thing Rosa had left of her murdered parents, three sisters and two brothers were several photos. But Fischman-Hammer lineage continues: Rosa’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren live today in Israel. It’s her daughter Yona and grandson Uri that came to Brzesko in September 2023.

Rosa Gelbart nee Fischman (1913-1996) at the wedding of her grandson Yair, 1994. Photo from Yona Kohen’s family archive.

May the memory of all Holocaust victims be an eternal blessing. And long live the next generations of the survivors’ descendants.

That’s what the work of our Association is about. We help descendants discover their roots in Poland. We restore memory and rebuild broken bonds.

© Anna Brzyska, 2023