Some time ago, Mrs Marilyn Fish contacted our Association. Her great-grandparents, Jonas and Chawa Bluma Vogelhut, lived in Brzesko, but several of their children emigrated to the USA in the 1920s avoiding death in the Shoah.
Several days of intensive communication with Marilyn and genealogical research allowed to recreate at least part of the history of this family in Brzesko, Nowy Wiśnicz and surrounding villages. And due to the photos provided by Mrs. Fish, we can see the faces of people who used to live in Brzesko and Wiśnicz.
The Vogelhuts lived in Brzesko for many generations. Mrs. Fish’s great-grandfather, Jonas Vogelhut, was the son of Zachariasz Vogelhut and Syma née Kempler (1842-1896). The tombstone of Zachariasz Vogelhut, who died in 1914, has survived at the Brzesko Jewish cemetery.
Jonas Vogelhut (1865-1933) married Chawa Bluma Vogelhut (1866-1936), daughter of Samuel Vogelhut and Sarah Loffelholz, possibly a distant relative. The couple settled in Brzesko, where Jonas became a carriage driver.
In the years 1888-1900 they had 10 children.
The eldest son Samuel Seinwel (born in 1888) married Feigel Schwarz in Kraków in 1914. In 1922 he emigrated to the USA and lived in New York. In 1936, his son Abraham joined him in the USA. At that time, his wife still lived in Kraków at Szeroka st. Abraham had son Jonas named after his Brzesko-born great-grandfather. Jonas and his children live in the US.
The next son Mojzes Dawid, born in 1889, was murdered in the Bochnia ghetto in June 1942 – that’s all I know about him.
The daughter Rechel (Regina, Marilyn Fish’s grandmother) was born in 1891. She married Benjamin Jozef Brodman, four years her senior, son of Israeli Isak Brodman, an innkeeper from Olchawa, and Ester née Sokoler. (Olchawa is a village near Nowy Wiśnicz).
The young family settled in Wiśnicz, where in 1911 their first child, son Samuel Wolf Vogelhut (father of Mrs Fish) was born. Benjamin Jozef emigrated to the USA in December 1912, and in May 1914 he was joined by his wife and three small children: three-year-old Samuel, two-year-old Dora and 10-month-old Aron. Two more children were born to them in the USA; descendants of this family still live in the US.
I know almost nothing about the next 3 children of Jonas and Chawa Bluma Vogelhut. The daughter Dwojre Jentel was born in 1893; son Jozef – three years later, and son Leizer – in 1899. Jozef died in Brzesko in 1922 of a heart attack; his matzeva has survived in the cemetery.
None of the other four children survived the war. Syma (born in 1900) married Jozef Knaul and lived in Brzesko. Murdered in September 1942.
The next daughter died in Brzesko in 1903 before being given a name.
The son Salamon, born in 1905, married Ryfka Loffelholz in Brzesko in 1929. A year later, the daughter Dobra was born to the young couple. Salamon, like his father, was a carriage driver in Brzesko. Salamon, his wife and daughter were murdered in Brzesko in September 1942
The last child of the Vogelhuts, daughter Rifka (born in 1907), came to America in 1922 with her brother, Samuel Seinwel Vogelhut. In the US she was known as Ruth; she lived with Regina and family for a number of years. She later married Max Schwarzberg, lived in Brooklyn, NY and had one daughter, Shirley. Their descendants live in the USA.
Jonas and Chawa Bluma Vogelhut thought about emigrating to the USA. On October 4, 1927, they arrived in New York on the ship “Olympic”. In their travel documents, they stated that their closest relative remaining in the country of origin, son Salamon, lived in Brzesko. They were to join the family of daughter Rechel (Regina). I do not know when and why they returned to Poland. But both died in Brzesko in 1930ies. Jonas Vogelhut died on September 21, 1933 of throat cancer. Chawa Bluma died three years later, on June 15, 1936. It seems that from the large Vogelhut family, only those children who had emigrated to the USA. survived the war.
© Anna Brzyska, 2023