Update: It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of
our dear cousin:
December 22, 1929- September 26, 2016
Jonathan L. Dreymann z"l
January 19 1962-August 13 2009
Leon Heller z"l
Fred Heller z"l
March 31 1930-September 23 2010
This page is dedicated to our children,
who are living in Israel, Florida, NYC and Ohio
These are photos and documents from our parents and grandparents and
their stories. We will continue to update this page, with information
as we receive it.
l'dor va'dor-From Generation to Generation
Click on Topic
Meanwhile in Germany, Eddie's future wife Ellen, was born in Berlin on June 30 1930, here is a copy of her birth certificate.
Here is the translation:
Birth Register# 209 Year 1930
Ellen Louise Fischel
Born June 30 1930 in Berlin
Bureau of Registration of the City of Berlin 3 July 1 1930
Seals of the Registrat and the City of Berlin
Ellen was born to Rose Smilovici Fischel and Ludwig Fischel in Berlin, they moved back to Mannheim Germany, soon after Ellen's birth. Ludwig and Rose were both born in Mannheim.
Here is a copy of the Ship Manifest of the SS Majestic September 25 1935, Ludwig, Rose and Ellen are at the bottom.
Oma Rose Smilovici Fischel
Rose Smilovici Fischel was the seventh child of 8 children born to Augusta Lorbeer (August 31 1881 ) and Michael Smilovici (June 24 1871)
Rose was born on Feb 9 1909 in Mannheim Germany.
Rose with her mother Augusta, circa 1909.
Suzanne in Mannheim, Germany-1989
Photo Courtesy of Leon Heller
The Smilovici's were originally from Romania, they lived on a farm, their oldest children, Leonard or Leo, Anna, Mati & Regina, were born in Romania.
Photo Courtesy of Leon Heller
The Smilovici's arranged to come to the USA, and left for London, England, however, Augusta was pregnant, and their daughter Lottie was born in London-soon after, the Smilovici's returned to Romania and then moved to Mannheim, Germany, where Opa Michael had a little pushcart business, which eventually became a small grocery.
They were so poor when they came from Romania that they sat on boxes and ate from grape-leaves because they had no dishes.
Oma's oldest brother Leo <Leonard> Smilovici fought for the Kaiser in WWI after the war, he returned to Romania, married Ida Silberstein settling in Romania, wherein Leo started a thriving furrier business. They had one daughter named Nora.
By the late 1930's, both of Leo's sisters Lottie and Rose, now living in NYC, tried to convince him and his family, to immigrate to the USA, Leo declined.
By 1941, the environment worsened, Leo wrote several letters to get out of Romania. The Smilovici family paid a small fortune to board an old ship headed for Palestine, there were 779 on board, the ship was called The Struma. The Struma spent 70 days in the coast off of Turkey, in the early morning hours of February 24 1942 The Struma was torpedoed and sunk-all perished except one. Uncle Leo, Aunt Nora and their daughter Nora perished.
There was one survivor who was picked up 20 hours later clinging to wreckage his name is: David Stoliar (recently deceased )
The "Struma" 's passenger list with Leo, Ida and Nora Smilovici's names, courtesy of Joel Ives-and Rom-Sig.
The complete story of The Struma and a recent diving expedition and memorial service may be found at www.struma.org a web site set up by descendents of those who perished. You can also try Uli Friedberg's page on The Struma by clicking here -> www.alpas.net/uli/struma/struma_engl.htm
Thanks to Joel Ives and Greg Buxton, as of 10/11/00-we have been in contact with the nephew & grand niece of Ida Siberstein Smilovici-Uncle Leo's wife. Uli Friedberg contacted Suzanne with Leo, Ida and Nora's last known address in Romania it was: Regala Str. 85, Barlad
As of May 2003
The "Death on the Black Sea " written by Catherine Collins and Douglas Frantz have recently published their book about Struma published by Harper Collins. Rabbi Suzanne Carter is acknowledged -for sharing her uncle Leo's story. The title is ISBN 0066212626 Currently only available from US outlets e.g. www.amazon.com
As of September 2003
The Struma documentary airs of HBO-Greg Buxton and his crew dive the Struma (Jew Ship) Relatives of the passengers hold a memorial service over the wreckage. A Turkish rabbi blows the Shofar and The Kaddish is recited. Rabbi Carter submits a reading to Greg Buxton, who reads it at the memorial service.
The Smilovici's included, Michael, Augusta, and their children:
Leo, Anna, Mati, Lottie, Regina, Hilda, Rose and Ralph <Samuel>
Ludwig was born on September 1 1907 to Mathilda Weil Fischel and Karl Fischel. He was the second of four siblings.
The oldest was Uncle Albert, Opa as we called Ludwig, Tante Minna, and Uncle Kurt.Opa's father, Karl Fischel was originally from Konigsburg and Tessen.
His family were involved in grainaries.
Mathilda Weil Fischel was from a small town called Opau.
Her family were bankers and tax collectors.
Ludwig and his sister Minna are pictured here in 1912.
Rose and Ludwig in Mannheim
Rose met Ludwig at a dance, she was attending with Minna Fischel. She thought Ludwig to be "fresh", however on May 3 1929, Ludwig and Rose Fischel became husband and wife, their marriage would last 63 years, until Rose's death on Feb 6 1991.
They moved to Berlin for work, their first daughter Ellen was born on June 30 1930, they moved back to Mannheim a year later.
Both Rose and Ludwig belong to a Jewish Sports Group called "Bar Kochba" Rose excelled in pole vaulting and Ludwig in the high jump.
They would often walk the Rhine, with Ellen in a pram, laughing and singing with their friends.
Ludwig was an "uhr-macher", or clock/watch maker, just like his father Karl. He and Rose ran a small watch and jewelry store in Mannheim.
Fifty years later, their oldest granddaughter, Suzanne would own a clock store in America, it looked like this...
Leaving Germany after Hitler's ascension as Chancellor.
Rose and Ludwig, experienced several events in Mannheim, which would change their lives. Anti Semitism, after Hitler's ascension became more intense, every day another order would be issued against the Jews. Jews could not buy in Aryan shops, Jewish businesses were "boycotted" It was time to leave. Rose & Ludwig applied for visas to the USA, their boat was scheduled to leave from Cherbourg France on September 26 1935.
The Fischel's left Mannheim with an equivalant of $ 7.50.
At the French/German border, the German Patrol, called them Auslanders and quuestioned their "Foreign Money" holding of $7.50.
They were almost arrested, if it had not been for an officer who waved them through after checking the amount allowed them on their paperwork.
Oma's mother, Augusta Smilovici had died of cancer in Metz on Erev Purim 1935, she was buried there. Rose wanted to see her widowed father, Michael and sister Regina, before they left for the USA.
That would be the last time Rose and Ludwig would see Regina Pitaru and her family-They were transported to Auschwitz in 1944. All perished.
October 1935, The Fischels arrive in the USA.
Ludwig, Rose and Ellen boarded their "British Boat" in Cherbourg France, and left Europe to immigrate to the USA. Rose's sister Lottie and her husband Max Heller, lived in NY. Rose's sister Mati also lived in NY with her husband and daughter Ruth. They all came to meet Rose, Ludwig and Ellen that Sunday in October. Oma, Opa and Ellen moved in with Tante Lottie and her family.
Monday morning Ludwig traveled to the "city" with Mati Dreyer's husband to apply for a job at Bulova. Ludwig was equipped with a Master education in clock and watch making from the Swartzwald, but spoke no English, He received the job and worked in NYC until their move to Ft Wayne Indiana in 1948..
Opa Michael Smilovici eventually left Metz, France and immigrated to the U.S, he lived with Rose and Ludwig
Opa's brothers and parents arrive in 1937
Uncle Albert Fischel and his wife Alice, Uncle Kurt, Oma Tilchen
Tante Minna Fischel Bielski
In December 1996, Suzanne and Aviel were searching transport lists of German Jews transported in 1942 from German towns, Suzanne and Aviel found Minna's name on number 17 of that list, a portion of the list is posted here...
VICTIMS OF THE "FINAL SOLUTION" DEPORTED OUT OF OTHER GERMAN TOWNS
1. Abraham, Anna murdered in Auschwitz
23 Mar 1893 Hillesheim
2. Abraham, Ida died in Osten
31 Aug 1878 Hillesheim
3. Berkowitz, (born)Dziubkiewicz, Auguste died in Riga
5 May 1884 Stawiski
4. Berkowitz, Frieda died in Riga
30 Dec 1909 Worms
5. Berliner, Ernst died in Izbica
4 Jan 1892 Worms
6. Berliner, Kurt died in Izbica
16 Jul 1931 Worms
7. Berliner, (born)Goldschmidt, Marhta died in Izbica
2 Dec 1901 Krefeld
8. Blun, Anna died in Lodz
3 Dec 1882 Worms
9. Blun, Emilie Mar 1943 Auschwitz
1 Oct 1881 Worms
10. Blun, Klara died in Lodz
3 Dec 1882 Worms
11. Blun, Paula Mar 1943 Auschwitz
31 May 1885 Worms
12. Blum, Else Rosa 22 Oct 1942 Piaski
13 Mar 1898 Worms
13. Bockmann, (Laufer) Ella died in Izbica
3 Nov 1898 Worms
14. Bodenheim, Emma 16 Mar 1941 Chelm
18 Oct 1882 Worms
15. Bruchfeld, Jakob unknown
27 Nov 1869 Crumstadt
16. Buschhoff, Willi murdered in Auschwitz
23 Feb 1888 Worms
17. Fischel, Minna unknown
17 Jan 1910 unknown
18. Frank, (born)Hausmann, Alice unknown
1 Mar 1894 Worms
The day Suzanne and Aviel saw Minna's name was the 12th of Kislev, it is now the designated date of Minna's "yarzheit"
Every 12th of Kislev they light a yarzheit candle in her memory, here is a photo of her, from a painting when she was 14 years old.
Rosel and Ludwig settle in......
Next residence was Jackson Heights in Queens and then onto Riverside Drive a second daughter, Lenore Marlene was born October 1942. Ellen grew up in New York, attended The School of Industrial Arts with her first cousin Freddy Heller.
In 1947 Ludwig, Rose and Ellen moved to Ft Wayne Indiana, and eventually to Cincinnati Ohio, where Ellen Louise Fischel met Edward Carter. Ellen never liked the chocolate egg creams in Cincinnati-but she did like Eddie Carter and the midwest.
Eddie and Ellen were married on CBS's Bride and Groom Show on August 7 1952, Rabbi Miller officiated, Ellen's first cousin by marriage, Alice Heller, Leon's wife> was her maitron of honor.
Lenore Marlene, Ellen's youngest sister, married Moshe Shenker in Israel in 1963-they have two daughters Tamar Gabriella and Dorit Michelle, Dorit has two sons Ariel and Adam. They live in California.
The Pitaru's & Smilovici's
Tante Regina <Rachina> Smilovici Pitaru was born January 15 1905 in Bothicia, , she grew up in Mannheim married and subsequently moved to Metz France with her family, and in-laws, the family would often travel between Mannheim and Metz for visits. Shlomo, Ellen and Marcel Berkowitz a nephew of Tante Regina's husband, <Pitaru> would play together as young children.
In 1936 Tante Lottie Heller, now widowed after the death of her husband Max, arrived in Metz to see her father and sister Regina, she brought her two sons Leon and Freddy.
Opa Michael Smilovici with his two daughters,Regina Pitaru & Lottie Heller with their children, & Marcel Berkowitz.
At the pool in Metz France 1936
Freddy Heller, Marcel Pitaru, Ethel Pitaru, Leon Heller, Tante Lottie.
Photos courtesy of Fred Heller
This was the last time the two sisters and cousins saw each other....
In 1942, the Gestapo rounded up the Jews, including Tante Regina, her husband, Leopold, children and inlaws, they were transported to Drancy, an internment camp. Marcel Berkowitz was saved from transport by a French Police Officer, he never saw his family members again.
Tante Regina was transported with her three children named Marcel and Edith or Ethel and Marlene to Concentration Camp Auschwitz from Drancy <in France> on March 7 1944 on Convoy number 69. They did not survive.
Marcel Berkowitz has since found out that Tante Regina's son, Marcel Pitaru, pictured above, survived till Liberation, like many camp survivors, due to malnutrition, and poor health died soon after the Allies liberated Auschwitz.
Marcel Berkowitz, spent the rest of the war in the French underground, and eventually immigrated to Israel, where he joined the Hagana.
Marcel and Suzanne "met" again by chance, in 1998, when more information of Tante Regina was released through the American Red Cross, ironically, both Marcel and Suzanne were tracing Tante Regina's fate simultaneously.
The Dreymanns (Tante Hilda)
Their second son Gideon was born in 1939.
Shlomo later joined the "Palmach"
The Freedom Fighters.
Tante Hilda and Moshe-Tante Hilda and Uncle Beny
Shlomo Dreymann-Gideon Dreymann
Shlomo eventually immigrated to the USA in 1959-
he lives in New York State.
His son Jon Dreymann lives in Illinois and has a set of twins, Jess & Josh Dreymann, they are pictured below. Photos courtesy of Iris Dreymann and yes, Gideon !
Photos courtesy of Jon Dreymann-and Gideon Dreymann of his son Beny
Yom Haatzmaut 2003
Gideon, his wife Ruth, children and grandchildren live in Israel. Here are more of Tante Hilda's grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Benny, Itay & Sigal- back:-Tova, Noy, Ruthy, Gai, Gideon, Shimon, Yam, Shahaf, Iris & Almog.
Beny Dreyman's children Yom Haatzmaut 2003
(Tante Hilda's great grandchildren)
Tante Anna Schiff another sister of "Oma's" went to live in Santiago, Chili where she raised her sons Adolpho, Rudy and Numberto. Tante Anna died in 1987.
Tante Maty immigrated to the US, she died in 1940 of tuberculosis.
She had a daughter named Ruth Hayes -Sundgren who lives in Arizona with her husband Carl. Ruth has three children Gregory Hayes, Steven Hayes of Reno Nevada and Suzanne of Arizona and 6 grandchildren.
Tante Lottie died in 1995.
Tante Lottie and Max as newlyweds Tante Lottie, Max, Leon & Freddy 1935
Photos courtesy of Fred Heller
Sandy (Tante Lottie's youngest daughter) & Denny Lustig and their family at their son Alan's wedding 2001.
photo courtesy of Sandy Lustig
Uncle Ralph immigrated to the USA, he and his wife Eva raised their family in NY and Conn. They had two children, Leslie and Marian. Uncle Ralph died in July 1984, just six months before his niece, Ellen Fischel Carter.
Marcel Berkowitz, now of Long Island NY, spoke with Ruth and Suzanne and relayed the history as he knew it of the immigration of the Smilovici and Pituru families from Judea after the destruction of the first Temple. From Babylon <present day Iraq> to Spain and in 1492 during the Spanish Inquisition they fled to Eastern Europe and eventually settled in Romania.
Michael Smilovici and Berta Smilovici were brother and sister, Bertha married a Pituru, as did Michael Smilovici's daughter Tante Regina. Opa Michael's wife, Augusta Lorbeer was of Austrian Hungarian lineage. Today, some of their descendents have the Austrian Hungarian look, and some the Sephardic look :-)....
to continue the tour...click on:
We invite all of our family members to contribute to this special Family Album.
A special thank you to Tante Hilda's granddaughter Iris Dreymann, for her information, and to Uncle Ralph's granddaughter, Denna Levi Martin for updated photos and current information
Your contributions can be sent to: