SEREBRENIK family of Vienna & Robert SEREBRENIK #austria-czech

Celia Male <celiamale@...>
 

When Milton Koch sent in a query about Rabbi Robert SEREBRENIK, I had
no idea where the quest would lead. Indeed, I had never heard of the
name. Now I am ready to tell the story of an extraordinary man [and
family] pieced together >from various sources over the past week -
telephone interviews, newspapers, email exchanges, archival and extensive
internet searches.

Family background: This is really the story of three orthodox brothers,
the *Singing SEREBRENIKs*, who came to Vienna >from Belarus {Bobruisk}
in the early 1890s and founded a clan. They must have left their parents
Abraham and Ester [nee SOFER] behind in Belarus. The parents [born ca
1840s] died between 1892 and 1899. I have no idea if they had many more
children, but it is quite likely, as there are big age gaps between the
three brothers who came to Vienna.

They were: Leib/Leopold 1866; Peisach/Selig/Felix 1874; and Moschko/Joseph
1876. All settled and married "local" girls in Vienna. By the early 1900s,
there was a large number of young SEREBRENIK in Vienna. They were definitely
very musical - Joseph led a synagogue choir and Leopold was an "Ober
Cantor" and choirmaster. Felix was also a cantor. Sigger Hermann Karplus,
presently in Jerusalem, found a SEREBRENIK who was the Cantor [Chasan],
at the Wahringer Tempel.
See the choir here in 1930 [scroll down the pages till you see the photo]:
http://tinyurl.com/96b8y

We also know that Berthold [son of Leopold] was a violinist and Erster
Konzertmeister a. Straustheater and led the SEREBRENIK Jazz Orchestra in
Vienna. He can be followed through, ending his days relatively young with
his wife Ella nee TAUSSIG [her mother's maiden name was WEIGL* as found
on SSDI] in Los Angeles on 13.2 1959 and 18.1.1964 respectively.

Now back to Robert SEREBRENIK: born in Vienna on 4.3.1902 to Peisach/Felix
/Selig [dob >from asset file 17.4.1873] and Theresia [nee REISS]. He had
three siblings: Ernestine 1900 [married RUSSO and lived in NY], Oskar
1903**, Karoline 1906 [known as Kaethe, married to LEWY and lived in
Jerusalem].

Appointed Chief Rabbi, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg 11 January 1929 -"Grand
Rabbin de Luxembourg - Jewish population ca 6,000.

Robert married Julia HERZOG on 27th April 1930 in Luxembourg. She was born
in Vienna 8.7.1908. The couple had no children. They lived at av. Michel
Rodouge xxx [ Street No. removed in accordance with Jewishgen rules].

21 June 1941 arrived in NY on the Mouzinho - see his arrival in the Aufbau
card index and a photo of the famous ship:
http://deposit.ddb.de/online/exil/swkatalog/s/39265.htm
{This URL gives a date of 20th June}
http://freespace.virgin.net/er.kugler/sc_ose2.htm

Nov 1941: Holds Luxembourg Civil Service position in Montreal.
1942: Founds the orthodox Ramath Orah Synagogue*** at 550 West 110th St
NY together with Frankfurt-born, William HERZFELD.
1945-1960: serves on the professional staff of the World Jewish Congress.
11 Feb 1965: Robert dies of a heart attack in NY at his home XXX West
110th Street.
July 1975: Erna RUSSO, Robert's sister dies in the Bronx
July 1987: Julia SEREBRENIK dies in NY.

Of the three brothers, Leopold {and wife Wihelmine} and Joseph died and
are buried in Vienna but I have not yet discovered what happened to
Robert's father and mother Peisach/Felix/Selig and Theresia SEREBRENIK.
Joseph's wife, Regine nee WEISS >from Goding {Hodonin} Moravia was murdered
in the the holocaust. Felix may have gone to Israel to join his daughter?
Help please.

In Part 2, I will concentrate on the War Years.

Celia Male [U.K.]

Footnotes:

* Linked to Sigger Hans Weigl - more in part 3
** Oskar is the link to Sigger Milton Koch; his aunt Miriam KOCH married
Oskar. They have two sons called STAV in Israel.
*** Please think about the name of this synagogue and see if you can work
out its significance! Clue: You need to know Hebrew, Latin and German.

I would like to thank all those who have sent me snippets of data inc.
Siggers Stephanie Weiner, Teresa Delikat, Milton Koch, Hermann Karplus,
Hans Weigl as well as the son of Otto Serebrenik and friends in Vienna.
And especially, the ever-patient Uri Meretz, who received countless drafts
to comment on and solved the puzzle above!

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