Re: Looking for members of the Magentza/Magientze family of Suwalki, Poland #poland #general #lithuania


Many thanks to everyone that responded to my request. Read on to find out a very unexpected outcome to my search.

The Magience/Magiendzo Story and the tail of two cities (Suwalki and Marijampole)


For many decades I have been researching  Maria's, my wife's, Haskel/Goldstein/Gordon very large families of Suwalki, Marijampole and Vilkaviskis, areas that historically belonged to Germany, Poland, Lithuania and Russia.

I spent many hours researching the daunting stories that includes first and second world wars, mainly the one involving two Goldstein sisters that were born in Marijampole and then lived in Suwalki. One of the sisters, Sheina Goldstein, went to visit her aunt Sonia Haskel Gordon, that had separated from his husband Eliasz Gordon in Suwalki. Sonia had two sons, one of which was Yecheskel Gordon. Sheina fell in love and married a young man from San Petersburg by the last name Mielnik, a store owner in Suwalki. Soon after Helena (Lucy) was born to the young couple, and not long after that, Sheina fell ill with the Spanish flu (around 1918) and died. Her husband was so distraught by his loss that spent hours and hours at the grave of her beloved wife and soon after was also dead. Mary Libe Goldstein, mother of Sheina, had seen most of her many children leave for the USA. Only Moshe, Fanny, and little Mildred born in 1911 where with her in Marijampole. Fanny had papers and was ready to leave for America when she was asked by her mother to take care of Lucy and marry an older brother of her sister Sheina's husband, that went to Suwalki to carry on the business that his brother left. Fanny did not want, but ended up agreeing to the marriage. When Mary Liba's husband Chaim Shimon died in 1925 she left and joined her oldest daughter in New York, and Mildred went to Canada in 1926. Very soon after in 1929 Moshe, that was already married,  left Marijampole after graduating as a chemical engineer and Yeheskel Gordon left Suwalki also in 1929 for Argentina.

Lucy loved playing the piano and was brought up in Suwalki by her aunt Fanny, that had a daughter of her own called Malka. Lucy married a dentist and moved to Warsaw, and had a daughter. Lucy and her family,  Fanny and her family and Sonia were all murdered in the Holocaust.

While I was doing my decades long research something was always a mystery. According to my wife Maria, daughter of Yeheskel Gordon, her mother showed  pictures of Lucy and her cousin Malka growing up in Suwalki and always "heard" their family name was Magience. In all my research, that includes a recorded interview with Mildred Goldstein, I never found a reference to Magience. Notice there were at least three women (Lucy and her daughter, and Malka) that may have married a Magience.

Never the less I did a lot of research of the Magience family and found out they were a prominent family of Rabbis in Suwalki.. The head of the family, Benjamin, was also dayan (Jewish court) in Suwalki. He had three sons that moved to Israel, the USA and Chile. I contacted some of them giving them the information I had of the Haskel, Gordon and Goldstein families but the descendants could not tell me anything about their relationship to Magience.

And then, something happened that turned my Magience research upside down.

In cleaning up the many papers and photographs Maria has of her family, a simple note in Spanish written in Buenos Aires many years ago showed up. It read: "JOSE KALSTEIN'S SISTER MARRIED AN ITALIAN RABBI AND WENT TO CHILE".

Hearing the words RABBI and CHILE we looked at each other and smiled (well, I did!)

It did not take me long to find out that:

The Kalstein's were very good friends in Buenos Aires of Maria's father Yeheskel Gordon, and perhaps family from Suwalki, and

Luba Kalstein , Jose's sister. was the wife of Eliah Magiendzo, rabbi in Santiago, Chile.

Is it possible that there is still another link of the Magience to the Haskel, Goldstein, Gordon families through the three women that perished in the Holocaust?. Only time may tell.


Angel Kosfiszer

Richardson, Texas

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