Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Laibowitz Family

I would like to dedicate this page to my GrandAunt Dora Laibowitz Stollman. She courageously left her home and family in Poland to travel by herself at a young age to America . It was because of her that my Grandmother was able to come to America.

I would also like to thank her Daughter Claire Stollman Cohon for sharing the family history with us.


By Claire Cohon

We will start in Krinik in Grodno Gubernia (province), Poland. My grandmother Esther Riva Diamond was the oldest of six children. All the rest were boys. Her father was a furrier. When he made fur coats for some Polish army officers, instead of paying him they took the coats and shot him. Being the oldest and a girl, Esther Riva was sent out as a servant to help support her mother and brothers. The boys were sent to school but she never learned to read or write. When she was in her twenties, the town had to put up money for her dowry. The matchmakers brought a shoemaker but she refused him. Then they brought a tailor and she refused him. Finally they brought a young handsome man who was a mason (bricklayer) and who also played the violin. They married. His name was Jacob Laibowitz.
Esther Riva had four miscarriages before she carried “Bubke,” your grandmother. I don’t know what her real name was. (Bertha was a name acquired on paper in this country but the family didn’t use it.) The name Bubke means “little grandmother” and was given to make the angel of Death think this was not a baby but an older woman and he wouldn’t come to get her as he did the previous babies. After Bubke came Mutke, Samuel, another boy who died, my mother Dobbe (Dora in English) and her twin Baile -The youngest was a boy, Shepsle (in English Simon).

My grandmother developed a dairy business; she was a “milchike.” She had a 3-storey brick house on the “market” – the town square. She kept a few cows but mostly bought milk from farmers. They had a very deep cellar where they could keep butter and cheese fresh even in the summer. (There was no refrigeration there, nor could you get ice except in the winter.)

Bubke was a beautiful girl and had many suitors. She was married and soon gave birth to Sonia, your aunt. Soon after Sonia was born her father left for America to earn money to send for Bubke and Sonia. He did not send money, however, and Krinik their town was overrun, first by the Russian army, then the Polish army and then the German army and again the Polish army. Another member of the family, Samuel, left his wife Esther and his baby Miriam and went to America.

Things were bad in Krinik and there was no money from Bubke’s husband or from Samuel for their wives and children. Dobbe was 18 years old whe she was sent to go to America to find her brother and brother-in-law and get them to send money for their wives and children. She went to a seaport and boarded a ship to go to America. World War I was going on. When the ship was out at sea a German U-boat stopped stopped the ship and accused the captain of carrying munitions. The ship was sent back to Europe and landed in Holland. Dora (my mother) had no money and knew no one. Luckily a well known Yiddish (Jewish) actress was on the ship. She started an acting troupe to travel around Holland putting on shows to support themselves. My mother was cast as the ingénue. The group traveled around the country putting on performances for a whole year, unable to leave.

Finally my mother got on another ship and arrived in America. She found Bubke’s husband and got him to send for Bubke and Sonia. She found her brother Sam and got him also to send for Esther and Miriam.
When they all got to America Bubke’s husband said he didn’t want to be married to her any more and was getting a divorce because “she was too skinny.”
The times were hard for Bubke and Sonia. Bubke soon married Mike Rabinowitz. Jack Rabinowitz (Jackie Robbins) your father was born to the delight of his sister Sonia.

Sonia grew up and married Jack Ashberg. Sonia and Jack had two children, Alan and Ruth. When Ruthie was about 4 years old, they moved to California and at first lived in Santa Monica.

Dora (my mother) married Louis Stollman and they had three children, Jacob, Max and Claire. During the Second World War Jacob and Max were in the army.
Louis and Dora drove Mike and Bubke to California. They all settled in Santa Monica. Later Louis and Dora drove back to New Brunswick to pick up their daughter (me) from New Jersey College for Women. My brother Jack (Jacob) was married to Nena Didier and had one daughter Jacqueline. Max married Bess Levitt and they had three children, Rita, Kay and Gary.

When Claire got to California she entered UCLA where she met Baruch Cohon and they were married in August 1950. They have four children. Rachel married Randy Simon and they have one son, Jeremy, who is now 14 years old. Deborah married Bruce Boyer and they have two sons, Jeffrey, 17, and Michael, 14. Samuel married Rhody Schneider and they have three children, Boaz, 9, Gabriel 6 and Cipora 5. Jonathan is single and has no children.

Bubke Laibowitz 1889-1963

This is my Grandmother Bubke Leibowitz, she is the Mother of my Father Jack Rabinowitz (Robbins). She was born in Poland in 1889 or 1890. She was the oldest Daughter of Jacob Laibowitz and Esther Riva Diamond. In Poland she married a man named Perlstein and had a Daughter named Sonia

Sonia (Perlstein) Ashberg

Sonia was born in 1912. Sonia's Aunt Dobbe came to America in 1917 too find Sonia's Father and to get the money to send for Sonia and Bubke. When they arrived in America Sonia's Father no longer wished to be married to her Mother Bubke. Around 1925 Bubke married Michael Rabinowitz a widower who had 2-3 children. In 1929 Bubke and Mike had a baby boy Jacob Rabinowitz. In 1930 they lived at 468 Harrison St in Paterson,New Jersey

This is a picture of Jacob Rabinowitz (Jack Robbins ) On his birthday with his Mother and Father . His half sister Sonia is standing at the far left.

The picture above is Sonia with her brother Jack and their first Cousin Claire Stollman

The picture below is Sonia and Jack

Sonia married Jack Ashberg 1898-1985 and they had 2 Children Ruth and Alan

This picure is of ( L to R Jack Ashberg,Mik Rabinowitz,Jack (Rabinowitz) Robbins and Alan Ashberg )
Ruth Ashberg married John Geiger
Alan Ashberg married Jan and had 3 children Sheri (1963) Jay (1965) and Lori (1968)
Sheri married Cosmo Defina and they have a daughter Melissa (1988) and a Son Kevin (1992)
Jay married Vicki Phia and they have a son Mitchell Jack Ashberg (2002)
Lori has a daughter Molly Brogan 2002

Bubke passed away when I was just over a year old, she had a stroke. Both Mike and Bubke are buried at Sholom Memorial Park in Sun Valley, CA

Mutke Laibowitz

Mutke was the first born male of the Laibowitz family and he died at a young age of typhoid fever. His father Jacob could not find anyone to bury him so he buried him himself and then he got typhoid and died.

Samuel Laibowitz 1891-1975
Samuel left his wife Ester who was pregnant with their Daughter Miriam in Krinik Poland to come to the United States in 1914. Ester and Miriam came to join him in 1921. Samuel worked as a waiter at Ratner's restaurant where his brother Shepsel worked and later owned his own restraurant on Somerset St. in New Brunswick,New Jersey. In 1924 Samuel and Ester had a Daughter named Florence.

Miriam (1914-2005) married Barney Dedenberg and they had 2 daughters Judy and Lois.
Judy married Marty Slutzky and they had a daughter Beth and a son Barry.

Florence told me the story of how she met her husband

My husband's name was George Hoffman. He lived in Highland Park and I met him at a dance in the Workmen's Circle building in l940. We dated very briefly and he enlisted in the Navy right after Pearl Harbor -spent 2-l/2 years in North Africa. His ship was an LCI (landing craft infantry) - a small vessel that took the troops from the large troop
ship and brought them to the beach at Anzio . It was very dangerous.

We corresponded the whole time he was away and became engaged when he came home in 1945. His ship was sent to Norfolk, VA (from Portsmouth, NH) and I spent a week with him. We decided to get married because the ship
was being sent to the Pacific Theater.

George got a 72 hour pass and we married in Highland Park on July 15, l945. He left the same day and a week later the ship went into drydock in Boston. I went up there for 5 weeks and while I was there, the war ended (Aug.14, 1945). The Navy allowed points for time served and 10 points for a wife - he had enough to get him off the ship and discharged.

Florence has 2 boys Neil (who is named after his grandfather Samuel's brother Nissel who was killed by soldiers in Poland ) and Matthew.

Matthew told me this story about his grandfather

My favorite story about him is of the time when he got arrested for driving his laundry truck on the Pulaski Skyway (an elevated road in North Jersey where trucks are prohibited). Actually, he was just getting a ticket, but he gave the policeman such a hard time that he was taken in, and when they put him in a cell, they took away his shoelaces, presumably in case he was thinking of hanging himself over getting a ticket for driving a laundry truck on the Pulaski Skyway!

At one point Samuel and Ester lived above Miriam and her family in Highland Park and Florence was living a few miles away in New Brunswick. Ester would sneak down to Miriam's everynight at 7:00 p.m. to call Florence. This became known by th efamily as the 7 o'clock report

At Samuel and Ester's 45th anniversary party Samuel was presented with an award of honor for his efforts in finding survivors.

Another story told to me by Florence.

One day Florence was summoned by phone to come to her parents house. She was alarmed because it sounded like it was an emergency. She arrived to find the family in a heated discussion. Samuel wanted to take part in a group trip to Israel and Florence was being summoned to join the others to help talk him out of it.
But to Samuel's surprise after asking several questions regarding the trip Florence sided with Samuel and thought that he should go. It turned out to be a very memorable trip for Samuel and one of the highlights of his life.

Baile Laibowitz 1896 -1907

Baile was the twin sister of Dobbe (Dora) . Baile was a brunette and her twin Dora was a blonde.
Baile died at the age of 11 of a kidney disease.

Dobbe (Dora) Laibowitz 1896-1974
Dora was 18 years old whe she was sent to go to America to find her brother and brother-in-law and get them to send money for their wives and children. She went to a seaport and boarded a ship to go to America. World War I was going on. When the ship was out at sea a German U-boat stopped stopped the ship and accused the captain of carrying munitions.

The ship was sent back to Europe and landed in Holland. Dora had no money and knew no one. Luckily a well known Yiddish (Jewish) actress was on the ship. She started an acting troupe to travel around Holland putting on shows to support themselves. She was cast as the ingénue. The group traveled around the country putting on performances for a whole year, unable to leave.
Finally my Dora got on another ship and arrived in America on May 30th 1917 . She found her sister Bubke’s husband and got him to send for Bubke and Sonia. She found her brother Sam and got him also to send for Esther and Miriam.

Dora married Louis Stollman in 1918 or 1919 and started a family in New Jersey.
Their first son Jacob (Jack) was born on Dec 26th 1919 followed by Max in 1922 and then Claire in 1930

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Rabinowitz Family

Michael Rabinowitz 1885-1977

On Jan 20th, 1929 Bubke and her 2nd Husband Michael Rabinowitz had my Father Jacob Rabinowitz who was later known as Jack Robbins. Michael work as a junk peddlar and during the depression Jacob was sent to live with relatives that could afford to take care of him.

Michael had 2 children from his first wife Esther Levine who passed away around 1922. He had a daughter named Dorothy who was known as Dottie 1915-1990 and a Son named Louis who was known as Leo 1917-1975. Dottie and Leo may have spent time in an orphanage after their mother passed away.

Dottie's married name was Vice and she last lived in Edison,NJ. Dottie had a daughter named Sandy who's married name is Fink . Sandy has 2 sons and 6 grandchildren.

Leo who also changed is last name to Robbins had 2 children Elaine and Joe.
Elaine's married name is Badgley and she has 2 sons John & Dan and a daughter Erin.

Michael, Bubke and Jack moved to California in the 1940's. Michael worked in contruction and survived a bout with lung or throat cancer due to breathing in asbestos on the job sites.

My Grandpa Mike is the only grandparent that I have memories of because the others either passed away before I was born or when I was very young. My Grandpa Mike was always very nice to me. I remember him giving me a 5 dollar bill on most visits. Grandpa Mike was hard of hearing and a little senile, but he was in his ninties.

In his later years Grandpa Mike lived in a small bungalow located at 247 Dimmick Ave in Venice,CA. Granpa Mike used to repeat a phrase that sounded like "Muskie's in jail" . Senator Edmund Muskie was defeated by George McGovern for the Democratic nomination for President in 1972, but to the best of my knowledge never went to jail.

Another one of Grandpa Mikes sayings was "Joanie this soup is awful, awful good". He meant this as a compliment to my mother. I also remember being fascinated by my grandpas teeth soaking in a glass of water. Grandpa Mike fell and broke his hip so he was moved to a nursing home were he died when he choked on some food.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Germansky Family

Barnett Germansky 1847-1922

This is my Great Great Grandfather Barnett Germansky.According to the 1900 Census he came from Russia to the United States in 1888 . The first picture was taken in Kansas City Missouri. In 1900 he lived at 615 Locust St in Kansas City Mo with his Wife Rosy, Son's Louis and Jake and Daughters Esther and Sarrah.

Barnett worked as Tailor at the Robinson Woolen Company in Kansas City, Missouri. He lived in Kansas City . Barnett passed away on Oct 14th,1922
My cousins Barry and Claire Cohon translated the Hebrew on his headstone as follows:

The engraving on the headstone is actually Hebrew, and some of it is abbreviated. The two letters at the top stand for "Here Lies", then comes the name "Do'Ber" (I believe this is shortened from Dov Ber: Dov is Hebrew for "bear" and the Yiddish equivalent is Ber, frequently Berl, that was probably the name he was called, and became Barnett in english) "son of Yehuda Leyb German, died on Shmini Atzeres" (the holiday that comes at the end of Succos or Tabernacles festival in the fall) in the year "5683" (coresponding to 1922) and the five letters at the bottom stand for "May his soul be bound in the scroll of life."

Rose Kushner 1854-1930

Louis J German 1874-1941

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Dittler Family

David Dittler 1860-1919
Julia Rosenzweig Dittler 1868-1900

The Rosenzweig Family

We start on the 1880 Census where we find Jacob and Lena Rosenzweig living at 50 Clinton St # 280 in New York. The census states that Jacob is 40 years old, he is a tailor and he was born in Hungary, it says that both his parents were born in Germany.
Lena was 39 and keeping house, she was born in Hungary as was her Father and her Mother was born in Germany.

Julia my great grandmother was the oldest daughter she was 12 on the 1880 census and she had 2 younger sisters Sarah 5 and Amelia who was 9 months old.

The next document I have is 7 years later Julia is getting married to David Dittler on March 22nd 1887 in Ohio

Next came the birth of my grandmother Bella Dittler on Jan 31 1888 in Sandusky Ohio

Next Julia and David had their second daughter Gertrude (Goldie) on Oct 4TH 1889.
This is an interesting article it shows that David Dittler was a Junk dealer. Later we find several relatives are Junk Dealers in Sandusky.

Julia and David have their third daughter Harriet (Hattie) on June 5th 1893. Hattie is born in Chicago, Illinois. Julia has now left her parents and sisters back in Sandusky Ohio.

Julia’s mother Lena had a sister Antonie that lives in Sandusky. Antonie is married to a man named Samuel Kulka and they brought several children with them from Hungary. Adolphine, Hermania, Joseph, Bertha, Laportia and Henry they also have a son named Samuel Jr. who is born in Ohio. Antonia may have been pregnant when the family arrived in 1892 because Samuel Jr. was born that same year.
Antonie’s husband Samuel started out as a knitter just like Lena’s husband Jacob. The following two advertisements appear on the same page of the newspaper in Sandusky in 1894

Here are some newspaper articles showing the family visits.

Julia’s youngest sister Amelia who now goes by Mollie married a man named Ernest Silberberg
on Jan 29th 1899 and they have a daughter Wilma on Oct 15th 1899. Mollie will marry Albert Notz
later so I am not sure if she is widowed or gets divorced

Julia’s other sister Sarah married a man named Adolph Wiener and they own a retail store in
Sandusky. They have a daughter Catherine in 1896. Catherine survived being hit by a
street car in July of1899 but then sadly she died of scarlet fever less than 3 months later

3 days prior to Catherine’s passing her cousin Adolphine was married to
Joseph Cohen. This article states that Adolphine last name was Miller but
her parents are Mr and Mrs S Kulka, so she may be a step daughter.
Joseph Cohen and Adolphine will have 3 children Elmer 1902, Norma 1904
and Leopold ( Paul ) 1909.

Unfortunately on April 16th 1900 my Great Grandmother Julia passed away of
a bronchial ailment, she was 31 years old.
After losing their first daughter Catherine to scarlet fever Julia’s sister Sarah gave birth to a
daughter Bianca Julia Wiener in 1901, her middle name his after the aunt she never met.
In 1 year and 8 months after Julia passed away Bella my Grandmother married Harry E. Alcus on December 18th 1902 she was a month and half away from turning 14 at the time.

David later married Clara Falkenstein , they were together on the 1910 census and until he passed away on August 11th 1919

Here in 1905 Samuel Kulka and his Son in law Joseph Cohen are selling stoves
In Sandusky.

2 more of Samuel and Antonies daughter are married now. Hermania married a man named
David Adelman and they had 2 daughters Sadie in 1906 and Gertrude in 1911. Bertha marries a man named Bohmiel Kraus and they have 2 sons Clifford in 1912 and Leonard in 1918, they are
divorced by 1930.

Here in 1907 the Kulka family is having Thanksgiving dinner with children and grandchildren.
My great great grandmother Lena Rosenzweig is there.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Samuel L Rummel

My Great Grandmother Grace Diment had a sister Sadie (Sadye) who was born in Colorado in Dec 1880. She later Married Isidor Rummel and had 2 Sons. Below is some information regarding her som Sam. Accordingy to my Mother Goldie German ( Joan Robbins ) - Sam was sick as a child, he took a corresponse course to become a Attorney. Sam Rummel was the Attorney for gangster Mickey Cohen. He along with Ernie Primm fought and won the right to have legalized Poker rooms in California which led to the opening of Casinos in Gardena where my Grandfather Samuel Germain eventually worked as a flooroom manager

Below is an excerpt from the book Death in Paradise

Sam Rummel: "The Great Mouthpiece"
During the 30s and 40s, when a corrupt City Hall and paid-off policemen worked hand-in glove with organized crime,Sam Rummel was attorney of choice for many mobsters and cops on the take. After World War II Rummel acheived true celebrity status as the close freind and busy advocate of L.A.'s star gangster gambling czar Mickey Cohen. Rummel himself was part owner of several Casinos in Reno and Gardena. "The mobs mouthpiece" thrived on the company of his dangerous clients, but ultimately this perverse infatuation led to his death.
By 1950 the US Governments investigation into organized crime had their sights set on Los Angeles. One of their main targets was a finance company that was a front for a huge bookmaking operation run by Cohen associates, advised by Rummel. The "Company" worked out of a storefront on East Florence ave in county territory. Investigator seizeds the companys ledgers which revealed $108,000 payoff to police sheriffs. Suspicion fell on a vice squd captian as well as a sheriffs captain who were more than once had ordered deputies in the vice squad (which was not his department ) to "lay-off the bookies". Both were called as witnesses ; both stammered and came of looking guilty as hell. One "retired" soon thereafter ; the other was yanked off the vice squad.

By early December Rummel knew that an L.A. grand jury investigastion was imminent. On Dec 11th the very worried "retired " captain summoned Rummell for a secret meeti
ng with himself and two others from the sheriffs office.

What was said can only be surmised ; what happened afterward may have been the result of that meeting,

Rummel arrive home late that night,pulling into the driveway of his "lavish villa"
(as the papers called it) on Laurel Canyon Blvd at 1:30 am. As he walked to the front door a loud blast rang out. Rummel died on the walkway by an iron gate; six shotgun pellets were in his neck. The spread of the blast was 14 inches in diameter. The coroners official cause of death was recorded as "Hemmorage,due to gunshot wounds of head and neck, inflicted by a shotgun in the hands of some person or persons at present unknown"

The weapon was found early the next morning across the street, lodged in the crook of a tree,apparently used by the assailant to steady his aim. As for the assailant, he was never found and the murder of Sammy Rummel remains unsolved.

Someone with alot to lose had silenced "The great mouthpiece"

Sunday, November 13, 2005

My Mother Goldie Roselyn Germain (Joan Robbins)

My Mother was born Goldie Roselyn Germain on February 19th 1931
She was the only daughter of Samuel J Germain 1901-1956 and Bella Dittler 1888-1966
Goldie was named after Bella younger sister Gertrude (Goldie) Dittler 1889-1958
It was the great depression in 1931 when my mother was born and her father Sam was out of work like alot of the country at the time. Gertrude (Goldie) was married to a man named Jack Kennedy and they paid the for my mother Goldies (Joan) hospital bill. My grandmother Bella did not really like the name Goldie so she called her daughter Joan.
Sam and Bella were living in San Bernandino at the time of Joans birth but soon after moved in with Sam's parent Louis and Grace German at 2705 S St Andrews Place in Los Angeles, California

This is a picture of 2705 S St Andrews Place
Taken in 2005

Mickey Mouse was born in 1928 just 3 years before my Mom. Here is my Mom holding a Mickey Mouse doll on the beach near where she lived. My Mom grew up in Venice and Ocean Park California where the summers were crowded with people