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Herz and Estera FENENBOCK, Jews from Poland

Replies: 6

Herz and Estera FENENBOCK, Jews from Poland

Posted: 1374293630000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1374325914000
Surnames: Fenenbok, Fenenbock
Any info on Herz and Estera Fenenbock

Herz (Herman) Fenenbok
Birth Mar 1855 in Częstochowa, Poland

Estera (Ethel) Braun
Birth Jun 1850 in Częstochowa, Poland

Child: Bernard Fenenbock
Birth 16 Jan 1891 in New York, USA
Death 23 May 1973 in West Covina, Los Angeles, California, United States

My 3rd great grandparents Herz and Estera were the first Fenenbock’s to flee Eastern Europe. They escaped to America in 1888 from Czestochowa, Poland, a city some 120 miles southwest of Warsaw where Jews accounted for one-fifth of the population.

As described by a relative:

Herz was an artesian, a skilled carpenter. They spoke Yiddish. In the 1880’s Czestochowa’s needy Jewish children were taught at the expense of the community. Rabbi Dovinson led a Talmud Torah for 125 children in the community building on Garntzarski Street.

Arguments over assimilation and politics rumbled through Jewish society. Fabled Yiddish writers Sholem Alechem and Y.L Peretz gave readings. It was a lively community boasting Jewish libraries, Jewish schools, newspapers, sports clubs, several synagogues, a famed Jewish theatre and even a Jewish gardening school.

In 1881 Poland, which was ruled at the time by the Russian Empire, was rocked by the assassination of Czar Alexander II. And, when Russian newspapers headlined rumors of a Jewish conspiracy behind the assassination, a wave of state sponsored pogrom’s blazed from Kiev to Warsaw.

Okhranka. The Black Hundreds. Whole Jewish communities were torched. Millions died.

Those who survived fled in a massive migration. Most to America.

We do not know the exact circumstance, the event, that pushed Herz and Estera to their limit.

We only know they escaped Czestochowa with a single suitcase, a worn velvet bag containing tefilllin, and their children, my great Uncle Moszek, his twin sister my great Aunt Rose, my great Uncle Jessie, and my great Uncle Charles, who was a two year old child at the time.

They traveled in steerage and were accompanied by Herz’s younger brother Bonice Fenenbok and his wife Jenny.

They arrived in a New York City teaming with Yiddish speaking Jewish immigrants and, in this new land, Herz and Estera became Herman and Ethel, added the “c” to their name, and settled on Manhattan’s lower eastside at 518 Grand Street.

In1891 Estera gave birth to my 2nd great Grandfather Bernard Fenenbock.

The Fenenbock line in America descends from these two brothers Herz and Bonice from Czestochowa, Poland.

Sofia, Brandla, Bella and Alberte Fenenbock

Some Fenenbock ancestors did not make it out of Europe. Here’s one.

Sofia Fenenbock, her husband Brandla and their ten year old daughter Bella
escaped Warsaw shortly after the Nazi invasion in 1939. They made their
way to Paris where Sofia’s cousin helped settle them.

They settled at 32 Boulevard Reuilly, Paris. (You can Google map the location. The
building is still there.)

Sofia was almost certainly pregnant at this time because in 1940 she gave
birth to a boy Alberte, the Fenenbock's second child.

On July 17 1942 the family was arrested in the Vel D’Hiv roundup of Jews
in Paris. After five terrifying days at Vel D’Hiv they were sent to Drancy
Prison where the children were separated from their parents.

On August 10 1942 two year old Alberte and 13 year old Bella were loaded
onto a rail car and sent to Auschwitz on Convoy #15.

On August 26 1942 Sofia and Brandla Fenenbock were shipped to Auschwitz on Transport #22.

My question: is there anyone familiar with these particular figures or this story and, if so, does anyone have anything to add?

Thank you
Dillan Murray
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