MJ’s cousin Cathy brought some treasures to show us during our dinner at Sammy’s. This jewel was particularly touching:
According to Cathy, this is a picture of Bubbie’s parents, sisters and brother. Someone identified the oldest girl as Ida and the youngest girl as Esther. The boy she believes is Bubbie’s brother, Joseph. She cannot identify the middle daughter. Bubbie left Latvia for Michigan in 1909. Her sister, Ida, left in 1908 for New York, where another sister Lena had settled in 1906. If the oldest girl is Ida, then this picture was most likely taken in Russia after Lena had gone, perhaps to send to her in America. This means that one of the two younger daughters is probably Bubbie, but that is a photo clue adventure for another day.
Seeing this photograph was an emotional experience for MJ and me. Growing up MJ knew that his Bubbie’s family had perished in the Holocaust, but to gaze into the eyes of these souls and to picture their tragic fate was deeply moving. At the time of World War II, Esther was married and had a family in the Riga area. Joseph may have as well. Cathy knows this because of the treasure trove of memorabilia that her family has collected since the early twentieth century. She has letters from Esther and other family members in Latvia, letters that suddenly stopped in 1941.
We feel so grateful that we met Cathy and that she is so generously sharing a big piece of Bubbie’s ancestry with us through, as she puts it, her family’s pack-rat habits. Personally, I love pack-rats. Thank you Cathy!
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