My name is Wiktoria Inglot. I am 17 years old and I go to High School No. I in Rzeszów. I am fascinated by broadly understood music, especially the electronic music; the interwar period; forensics; psychology; the history of 20th century fashion; art; surrealism; photography; mountain and forest hiking; and Jewish studies. I spend my free time developing my creative interests (especially writing and art) and exploring abandoned and difficult-to-access places. I was inspired to participate in the project by my passion for Jewish culture, as well as by my desire to discover a piece of forgotten history.
Representative of Goldreich Family – Ariel Diamant
Ariel Diamant was born on December 2, 1950, as a younger son of Erich Julius and Lucie Salomea Diamant. His older brother Gabriel was born on June 18, 1946. Ariel spent his childhood and college years in Jerusalem, but now he lives with his wife in Herzliya. He studied marine biology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and worked as a lecturer in this field for forty years. He has two children (Alon and Noa), as well as three grandchildren: Sara, Naomi and Mia. Ariel is interested in the history of Rzeszów, because his entire maternal family comes from here, and this is also where the family lived until the Holocaust.
What does Ariel Diamant know about his family from Rzeszów?
In childhood, Ariel Diamant heard many stories about his family from his grandmother, his mother’s mother. Ariel Diamant’s grandmother Helene Chaye Frimet Neger (nee Goldreich) was born on October 16, 1885, in Rzeszów. Her father, Salomon, was a teacher and occasionally dealt with translation for the local court. The mother, Gitla Goldreich, looked after the house. Ariel’s grandmother had eleven siblings: Maks Moshe (born on January 5, 1875; died in 1958), Elżbieta Atila Etta (born on May 3, 1878; she was the Holocaust victim; date of her death is unknown), Samuel Zygmunt (born on August 10, 1880; died on September 6, 1965), Johanna Jochwet (born on May 22, 1884; died on February 17, 1976), Róża Rachela Miriam (born on August 24, 1888; she was the Holocaust victim; date of her death is unknown), Bolek Nachum Leizer (born on November 26, 1893, the Holocaust victim; date of his death is unknown), Agata Jadwiga (born on September 15, 1895; died in 1941; the Holocaust victim). Jakub Józef (born on July 3, 1897; died on April 1, 1973), Sara Simcha (born on March 28, 1883; died on May 25, 1883), Chana Simcha (born on May 22, 1884; died on November 3, 1984), and Paulina (born on November 2, 1890; she died shortly after being born).
In 1909, Helene Chaye married Arje Leib Neger – born on August 17, 1882, the son of Wolf Zeeva Neger and Marjem Neger nee Nass. His parents came from Jarosław, however, his four siblings and he were born and lived in Rzeszów. (Amalia Malke Neger, born in 1890; Scheindel Neger, born in 1892; Rosa Brodinger nee Neger, born in 1895; Itzak Neger, born in 1888).
The Negers had two daughters – Erna (born in 1910) and Lucie Salomea (born in 1912) – Ariel’s mother. Two years after the birth of the youngest daughter (1914, the beginning of the First World War), the family moved to Germany, specifically to Cologne. The Negers stayed there until 1935, and then left the country plunged into the economic crisis, by immigrating to Palestine (today’s Israel). Lucie Salomea started working at a bank shortly after that. In 1945, she married a student of chemistry (later a professor) – Erich Julius Diamant, with whom she had two sons: Gabriel and Ariel.
As Ariel has a lot of information about his family, my main task was to get to the State Archives in Rzeszów in order to check individual signatures and confirm the information I had received earlier.
The Archives confirmed the fact that Wolf Neger lived on Bożnicza Street in Rzeszów in 1902, with his wife Merjam from Jarosław (whose maiden name was inscribed as „Nafs” instead of „Nass”) and their children. Wolf Neger’s occupation was inscribed as taproom controller. This means that Ariel’s great-grandfather was in charge of controlling who in the city could produce and sell alcohol. There is also one interesting fact about Wolf Neger: one of the notes in the Archives informs that on October 3, 1902, he was to report to the magistrate – but it is not known for what purpose…
The list of residents of Rzeszów shows that Wolf and Marjem did not get married officially until April 12, 1899, so after the birth of their four children. As I found out, at that time many Jews only had a religious wedding, deciding to get civil wedding when they could afford it. Therefore, it is very possible that the Negers’ children, including Ariel’s grandfather – Arje Leib – most likely had their mother’s surname in the first years of their lives, and only after their parents’ civil wedding could use the Neger surname.
But it is known, however, that in 1902 Salomon and Gitla Goldreich (Ariel’s great-grandparents) lived on Bożnicza Street with ten offspring, including Helene Chaye Frimet (Ariel’s grandmother, who many years later, in Israel, told the boy about the whole family), and in 1910 the whole family moved to Mickiewicza Street. Moreover, on the basis of a document from 1902, it was confirmed that Gitla Goldreich was a midwife (she delivered births), and that the eldest son of the Goldreich family – Maks Moshe – was born in Głogów.
As for the further searches in the Archives, on the basis of a document from 1910, I discovered that Leon and Helene Neger, and their daughter Estera lived on Kreczmera Street.
In this case, they must be Ariel’s grandparents and aunt! It is just interesting, that the Polish names sound different than their later used versions. So Helena Neger is Ariel’s grandmother Helene Chaye Frimet Neger (née Goldreich), Leon Neger is Ariel’s grandfather Arje Leib Neger – the son of Wolf Zeev and Marjem Neger, and Estera is Ariel’s aunt Erna. Naturally, this list does not include Lucia Salomea, Ariel’s mother, because she was born later – in 1912.
In addition to searches in the State Archives in Rzeszów, the book The History of Rzeszów vol. III contains information about people who may be related to Ariel’s family. No one named Neger is mentioned there, but the name Goldreich does appear. The book contains the information that Etta Goldreich was one of the women who founded the Shulamit organization in 1902 (a women’s group promoting education and the national-Jewish spirit). In addition, the publication The History of Rzeszów vol. III mentions Etta Fink – a teacher of the Mosaic religion in public schools for girls, as well as in the Private Gimnazjum School for Girls. According to the book, she died in 1942 in the ghetto in Rzeszów. Information obtained from Ariel indicates that Etta Goldreich is Etta Fink – one of Helene Chaye Frimet Goldreich’s sisters. One of his grandmother’s sisters was named Etta and married a man with the Fink surname, and was a victim of the Holocaust.
Furthermore, according to The History of Rzeszów, person with the Fink surname was one of the best players of the Resovia football sports club. Unfortunately, we do not know his name. However, it was most likely not a man of the Jewish faith, because the Jews then had their own team, which was called Bar Kochba.
The Zucker surname, which another sister of Ariel’s grandmother took over – Rózia Rachel Miriam Goldreich (her husband was Wilhelm Wolf Chaim Zucker), appeared many times in The History of Rzeszów vol. III. The book mentions the names of Meilech Zucker, a shochet in the Jewish community in the early 1930s; and Rebeka and Markus Zucker, who ran a company producing bone meal and carpentry glue (the company was closed in 1930). Another Zuckers that are mentioned there are Sara and Lazar Zucker, who paid the maximum tax rate to the Jewish community in the first half of the 1930s, so they were among the most affluent residents of Rzeszów. However, I am not able to state whether the persons mentioned in The History of Rzeszów could have been related to Wilhelm Wolf Chaim Zucker, the husband of Rózia Goldreich.
The Zucker surname is also mentioned in And Heaven Shed No Tears book. Its author, Henry Herzog, wrote that during the Second World War, after the ghetto in Rzeszów was divided into two parts, the ghetto command chose a building belonging to the Zucker family as their headquarters, and the family was thrown out of there (the property was located in the so-called ghetto A intended for people able to work). In this case, however, I also do not know if it was the family of Rózia Goldreich’s husband.
The participation in the project „My Rzeszów, our Rzeszów” was an extremely interesting, but also exhausting experience. Working in the archives was the most problematic thing, because I had never done anything more monotonous and time-consuming before. Nevertheless, I do not consider my participation in this initiative as a waste of time. On the contrary! I learned patience and meticulousness, as well as working under time pressure. I also had the pleasure of working with one of the most interesting people I have ever met, and I deepened my knowledge of Jewish culture.
The Goldreich family: Salomon and Gitla Goldreich with their children, around 1903.
From left to right. Front row: Bolek Nachum Leizer Goldreich; the parents: Gitla Goldreich nee Grad and Solomon Goldreich; and the youngest child, Jacob Yosef Goldreich (standing between them), Agata (Achsa) Jadwiga Goldreich.
Back row, left to right: Helene Chaye Frimet Neger née Goldreich, grandmother of Ariel; Samuel Zygmunt Goldreich; Elżbieta Atili (Etta / Chefka / Elise) Fink nee Goldreich; Johanna Jochwet (Johanna Yocheved) Goldmann née Goldreich; and Róża Rachel Miriam Zucker née Goldreich. Maks Moshe, the eldest son, was away and is not in this family photo.
Photo courtesy of Ariel Diamant.
Arje Leib and Chaye Frimet Neger – 1914. Photo courtesy of Ariel Diamant.
Lucie Salomea Neger – Ariel’s mother, together with her older sister Erna – 1914. Photo courtesy of Ariel Diamant.