Wajs (read like: Weiss) family
My ancestors from my father’s side came to Poland at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century from Vienna (Austria). They were the co-owners of a kosher slaughterhouse in Nowy Korczyn (which was called “Nojsztat” at that time). My great-grandfather’s name was Szymon, and my great-grandmother’s name was Miriam. From this marriage my grandfather, Józef, was born and two of his younger sisters.
In 1940 the whole family was imprisoned in a small ghetto of Nowy Korczyn. They were sent to the death camp in Treblinka in 1940. The last meeting of my grandfather Józef and my great-grandparents, Szymon and Miriam, and their daughters took place on November 1st 1942 on a train station in Szczucin, from which Jews were transported to Treblinka. My grandfather, Józef, was hiding at a Polish family which he knew from the prewar times. This family used to work at the kosher slaughterhouse of my great-grandfather. My grandfather lived in Nowy Korczyn throughout his whole life. He died in 2000. Only yellowish photographs remained after my family, as well as the stories of my grandfather on the town of Nowy Korczyn (Nojsztat); stories about a famous tzaddik Giter Jid (Józef Baruch), and about the shoychets of the kosher slaughterhouse, etc.
The family of my mother comes from the Tarnopol area (Ukraine), from the towns of Podhajce and Stary Sambor. My grandfather’s name was Samuel Jakubowski, and my grandmother’s name was Helci Cmielewska-Lew. The family came to Poland in 1945 during the “Operation Wisła” to the “re-gained” territories. They were moved to the Szczecin Voivodship, which, today, is the West-Pomeranian Voivodship. Before the war my grandfather, Samuel, was a merchant, and my grandmother, Helci, was an embroiderer and a tailor.
I would like to regain what my family lost – its Jewish identity. I have a huge “hunger” for knowledge on Judaism. I want to get to know the religion of my ancestors, I want to learn Hebrew and Yiddish, the languages which my family used in the prewar Poland.