Re: Genealogy research leads to discovery of cousins thought to have died in the Holocaust #holocaust


Some 3 years ago, while browsing old family pictures, I found a picture of a young boy with his name written on the back - Herszel SZTARKMAN. I asked my grandmother who he was, but she didn't know. His surname - SZTARKMAN - was not in my family tree and she never heard of it in our family.

Some weeks later I was searching my great-grandmother`s surname in the Yad Vashem Pages of Testimony and I found some records with her surname and... SZTARKMAN. The pages were submited by a man called Herszel SZTARKMAN in 1990 in memory of his parents and siblings who perished in the Holocaust. His mother's name and surname were those of a sister of my great-grandmother - Rukhlia TKACZ - and his father's name was named Pinkus. They were from Rowne, Volhynia. My great-grandmother was from Vladimir Volynski, not far from there.

I asked for help in ViewMate (the page of testimony was in Russian). In resume: the man who submited the pages lived in Jalal Abad, Kyrgysztan. Again, I asked for help in this forum and someone googled for his name using the cyrillic alphabet. One of the results was an article from an online newspaper from Kyrgysztan about a blood hospital in Jalal Abad whose 1st director in the 1970's was... Gerschel Pinkusevitch SZTARKMAN. Bingo!

At the age of 86 my grandmother discovered she had a cousin she never knew about.

Flavio Baran

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