eilatgordinlevitan.com
Rolnik Family
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#rol-1
#rol-2: Doris (Vereshka) Rolnik of Ivenitz
http://www.russiansamovars.com/immigrants.htm
#rol-3: Yerachmiel Rolnik, his wife Yentl and their children
http://www.russiansamovars.com/immigrants.htm
#rol-4: Rolnik Family, Ivenitz c.1920 â€" Gisha, Tsril, Leib-Dovid, Sara
http://www.russiansamovars.com/immigrants.htm
#rol-5: Rolnik Survivors 1946 â€" Arye, Shlomo, Meier, Zev, Chaim
Rare Antique Russian Imperial Samovars & Judaica - Immigrants & History Rare Antique Russian Imperial Samovars & Judaica - Immigrants & History
http://www.russiansamovars.com/immigrants.htm
#rol-6: Rolniks 1946 â€" Arye, Shlomo, Meier, Zev, Sara, Motek
#rol-7: Rolniks of Ivanitz in Israel 1953
Standing: Chaim,Sara, Shlomo, Meier, Zev
Sitting: Reuven (born in Israel) Hersh, Arye
#rol-8
#rol-9
#rol-10

#rol-11

This is my grandmothers, mother, her father and herself with her sister. I had the hebrew translated. I recognize these photos because my grandmother has these exact photos at her home. Her name is Luba Rolnick (Liba Gordon). The pictures are of the Gordon's and I was wondering how they relate to Rolnik other than Luba married my grandfather Avraham Rolnik. 

There is a photo of Avraham Rolnik #Rol-1. I don't know if this is my grandfather, as I've never seen a younger picture of him. He was born in 1905 and died in Toronto, ON in 1986. (When I was 7. I am 34 now.) I miss my grandfather SO much and any info you can provide would be so very much appreciated.

Thank you SOOOOO much for making this site! You've made me so happy.

Please write me back at natalierubin@hotmail.com

Sincerely,
Natalie.
Dear Natalie,

The pictures are from the shtetl Ivenetz http://www.eilatgordinlevitan.com/ivenetz/ivenetz.html From the Yizkor book. It is near Minsk and today it is part of Belarus. The Rolnik family in Ivenetz was a large family. Please write about your grandparents. When did they go to Canada? When did Rabbi Zeev Gordon come there?
Thanks,
Eilat

#rol-12

Congo Joe Rollnick  1881 to 1924 +

Congo Joe Rollnick was surely the most fascinating of our Rollnick relatives.
I thought it would be interesting to find out all I could about him, perhaps as an example of what one can do with today’s web access to so many source documents.
Indeed, as this is a biography of sorts, I provide notes where relevant and I will upload source documents to the Congo Joe page of the family web site: https://sites.google.com/site/atlasrolnikmorgensternstein/rolniks/congo-joe-rollnick---source-documents.

Joseph Ralph Rollnick was born in or about 1881 to Meer and Leya Rolnik in the Taurag/Upyna area of Lithuania. How do I know this? First, because on a number of shipping manifests he is listed as being born in Lithuania (1), second because on his marriage certificate he names his father as Myer Rollnick, merchant (2). And third, a search of the Jewish Genealogy Lithuanian web site: http://data.jewishgen.org/wconnect/wc.dll?jg~jgsys~allcountry2 shows only four references to a Meer Rolnik in all of Lithuania (3). One of these is spurious, being a citation of a Meer, the father of Dina Rolnik, but this was her married name. The remaining three references are to the same person. Here is one, recording the circumcision of Joseph’s younger brother, Isaac Leib:


Name

Father, Grandfather


Mother, Grandfather


Mother Maiden Surname

Date of Birth
DD/MM/YY


Hebrew Date

Town


Ujezd


Guberniya

Comments

Place Recorded


Year


Record #

Microfilm / Item


Image


Archive / Fond

ROLNIK, Itsyk Leiba

Meer, Josel 


Leia 


17/2/1885


2 Adar I 5645 

Babtai 


Kaunas 


Kaunas 

Circumcision date 24-Feb-1885, a circumcision did Beniamin SHAKHNOVICH. Father was a Taurage, Raseiniai district resident

Babtai 


1885 


M 3 

2288940 / 3 


992 


LVIA/1226/1/1834 

The second reference is to the parents’ subsequent divorce:


Kedainiai 
Kaunas 
Kaunas 

11/5/1886 
18 Iyar 

ROLNIK, Meer


TSVI?, Leya Dvora

Yosel 
  
Upina [Upynas] 


Orel Tsvi? 
  
Darshunishok [Darsuniskis?] 

35 


25 

Agreement; wife's surname may be patronymic

 



 

Kedainiai 


1886 


Divorce 


2290147 / 1 
137 
LVIA/1226/1/1717 

while the third reference (listed in 3) is to the burial of Isaac Leib Rollnick, son of Meer, in New York City in 1913, at age 29. We saw Isaac’s brit record above.

The name Joseph is obviously after his grandfather, Yosel, Meer’s father, further confirming Joseph’s identity as Meer’s son. I cannot interpret the Ralph. One would think this would derive from a Reuven or a Raphael, but I do not find these names in either his paternal or his maternal trees. There is an aunt, Rivkah. Meer Rolnik is, of course, the brother of our Wolf Rolnik, and of the Silverton’s Johanna, and of Berl, the father of our four American cousins.  I have traced his mother Leya Dvorah’s ancestry back to her grandfather, Leizer, born in 1776, with his father being Benyamin (4). The family came from the small town of Darsuniskis in the Vilna district, far away from the Taurag/Upyna/Skaudville axis with which we are so familiar.

Now, Joseph’s parents had clearly a troubled relationship. As we saw above, they divorced only 15 months after Isaac was born. This is strange, after all. The usual reason for a divorce in such Jewish families was if the marriage was childless. This marriage was not…we have two sons born to Leya. Presumably Meer and Leya just did not get along. This might explain why Joseph leaves home so early (he arrives in Cape Town at age 15) and why Isaac seems also to have emigrated at a young age. Interestingly, we find no trace of Meer Rolnik in Lithuania after his divorce from Leya. Yet we have numerous records of his brothers, Vulf and Berl, in the Lithuanian records, even as late as 1892 (5). Leya also is never seen again.

For whatever reason, young Joseph did indeed leave home, arriving in Cape Town at the end of 1896 on the “Pretoria”, his age given as 15 on the ship’s manifest (6). I have not been able to find out if he travelled alone or with somebody. (In the Ellis Island shipping manifests, one can download the passenger list for a specific ship on a specific voyage, and look through the list to find likely co-passengers. The South African site does not let one do this. Nevertheless, I could also not find any suitable accompanying passengers for his cousins Ette and Leie when they travelled to New York at much the same age). A biographer is always challenged if he or she writes “It must have been that…”. But here is a case where we can be very confident of our “must have been”. We can surely assume that Joseph, after arriving in Cape Town went to visit his uncle Wolf Rollnick. Why else did he come to South Africa if not to join his uncle and his cousins? And such a visit would explain why we “always knew” of our “sort of cousin” Congo Joe. Although my informant, Lily Rollnick/Stein, was too young at that time (about 2 years old) to remember such a visit her older sisters (Fanny, Dora, Janie, Sarah) and the older of her brothers (Abe and Robert) would have been good companions for their cousin Joseph, and the story of his arrival and departure would have been handed down to Lily. But Joseph was a restless young man and soon went to seek his fortune further North.

The next firm date we have for him is late in 1905. Here, quoted by Eric Rosenthal in his unpublished book “Rhodesian Jewry and its Story” (7), we find a report that the Jewish community of Bulawayo had started a Relief Fund on behalf of distressed and persecuted
persons in Russia, following the pogroms in Kishinev and Bialystok at that time.
“Within a few days a sum of £210 had been collected, including
several outside gifts, £11. 11s from S. Robinson in Gwelo, £7.12.6. from Que Que,
collected by H. M. Liptz, and a third from far-away Kalomo, Northern Rhodesia, where
Mr. Rollnick raised ten guineas.” So here was Joseph, already able to afford to donate money and to inspire others to donate. Note, too, that he was already in “far-away Kalomo”, in what is now Zambia. The Jewish community in Rhodesia itself was already by then quite substantial. A synagogue had been built in Bulawayo by 1895, when 92 Jews were living in the town. Cecil John Rhodes was quoted as saying at the time: "My country is all right if the Jews come, my country is all right! " "For he knew," says Colonel Johnson (8), " that the presence of Jews meant they had faith in the commercial prospects of the new country. ...”

One had to be an intrepid traveler to get as far North from Cape Town as Kalomo. “Early in the 1900s transport was pedestrian, using porters to do the lifting and carrying…. Tsetse Fly and Horsesickness prevented draught animal transport. For this reason Zeederberg Bros who had the Mail Stage Coach Contract to service the Pietersberg to Bulawayo route experimented with Zebras, not a very easy animal to domesticate and train but were immune to the diseases. For quite a number of years they used these animals. It was a unique and picturesque scene to see, out of a cloud of dust, the Stage Coach pull up and these beautiful shiny sleek white and black striped restless animals at the end of their work shift or stage for that day.
Issy Haimowitz arrived (from Rumania) in Beira and WALKED (just as everybody else had to do till the railway line was built from the coast to the hinterland) to Ndola in N Rhodesia and onto the Belgium Congo This‘long walk’ took about nine months. One cannot realize the attendant dangers which the Pioneers faced of wild animals, river crossings with crocodiles, insects, snakes, ticks, sleeping sickness, malaria rough terrain…. (9)”

Eric Rosenthal writes further “The fate of J.L. Rollnick is typical of the ups and downs of the pioneer settlers. Coming to Northern Rhodesia in the early 1900’s he entered into a trading partnership with Charles Solomon, but was almost ruined when his premises burnt down uninsured.” (7). (I would have loved to have found the sources for these quotes from Eric Rosenthal’s book, but he provided none).

It is not clear if Joseph was disheartened by his loss or, as I suspect, that he felt that Rhodesia was too small for his restless ambition, but on the 22nd of October 1910, he arrived in Southampton (on the Walmer Castle), already travelling First Class, having embarked at Cape Town (1). Did he there visit his uncle and cousins, I wonder?

Two months later, he married Rebecca Harris, a widow, nee Fligelstone, in the Central Synagogue of London (2). A witness to the wedding was Isidore Stone of whom Joseph’s granddaughter, Rita Adler, writes “I knew Isadore Stone very well.  No one left nowadays though.” (10). Joseph styles himself as a Soft Goods Merchant, living at the Waldorf Hotel, while Rebecca (already Rita) was at the Portman.

Rebecca was born in Cardiff in 1877 (11), where the Fligelstone family, originally from Poland was well established, living at 110 Cowbridge Road. Her father Louis (Louis and his wife Hannah were already in England in 1861) was a pawnbroker, and they lived surrounded by other Fligelstones. The family had 9 children by the 1891 census. Rebecca had left home by March 1901 and was living, single, aged 23 in the Grand Central Hotel in London.  In June of that year she married Henry Harris (12), in Cardiff, the home town of both of them, but by 1910 she was already widowed.
So how come Joseph, very newly arrived from Rhodesia, met and married so quickly, a woman two or three years older than himself. Was there a matchmaker working the Rhodesian community?
I am indebted to Joe’s granddaughter, Rita Adler for the following information:

“I was always told (writes Rita Alder, email to me, 16th June 2010):

Rebecca Rollnick was introduced to Jo in Salisbury Rhodesia where she had been living with her first husband Henry Harris.  Henry Harris, died 4th November 1908,  (I have her prayerbook where she recorded the fact) he was buried in the Pioneer Cemetery of what is now Harare, Zimbabwe. All the flags flew at half-mast on the day of his funeral as he was a much respected pioneer and businessman.  He also owned shares in several gold and diamond mines – Isadore and Charles Stone (from Fligelstone) were Rebecca Harris’ brothers and when Henry Harris died they set about finding their sister a new Jewish Husband -  Jo Rollnick was brought up from Cape Town to meet her  and despite Rebecca having two Harris children, Natalie and Leslie, he agreed to marry what was a rich widow !  He is supposed to have spent her fortune !!

I was told that Jo left Rebecca in Rhodesia after their marriage which you now show was in London – perhaps they went back together ?  Anyway  he left her there and she returned to Cardiff,, with two small children.  She was pregnant and my Mother  Mother Zelda Rollnick was born in on 28th November 1911 in Cardiff.  It was after this that they moved to London, Arkwright Mansions.

My Aunt Natalie, very close to my Mother and then myself, went to Zimbabwe about 1975 with her American husband and saw Henry Harris’ grave.  Natalie born  21 June 1907   died in 11 March 1990.  Her brother Leslie died in the second World war, he saw me as a baby but I don’t remember !.”

Interestingly, I can find no record for either Joseph or Rita/Rebecca Rollnick in the 1911 UK census, taken on the night of Sunday 2 April, 1911. Presumably they were travelling abroad at the time and, one hopes, enjoying this brief period that they would have together.

The couple had a child, Zelda Rollnick, born as we saw above in 1911, in Cardiff, the parental home. But Joseph was already restless. Maybe it was to settle matters back in Rhodesia, but in August 1911 he is already listed as returning from Cape Town on the Balmoral Castle (one would hope in time for the birth of Zelda), and again on June 1st 1912, this time on the Edinburgh Castle.

And then, on the 10th of December 1914 he signed up with the East African Mounted Rifles and went off to the War. The evidence is the list of medals that he was awarded, the Victory, the British, and the 15 Star (14). He served as a private, in “Theatre of War 4A”, which is East Africa.
This was a remote part of World War I, in which the British Army tried, unsuccessfully for all the four years of the War, to defeat a tiny German Army, based in the colony of German East Africa. The Germans were led by General Emil von Lettow-_Vorbeck, the British, in part by our South African General Jan Christian Smuts (15).

On Joseph’s part, was his decision to join the War patriotism or restlessness? In any event, his earlier years in Rhodesia must have provided him with much needed experience of the terrain, insofar as he survived a war in which 10,000 Commonwealth troops died, mostly of disease.

We have no firm date as to when or how he returned to Britain, but his restlessness must have increased while he was abroad, since the next firm evidence that we have is another  Union-Castle line shipping manifest, arriving in Southampton on the 7th August 1922, the Arundel Castle, again after embarking in Cape Town (1). Joseph is listed as being born in Lithuania but with country of last residence being the Belgian Congo. His fellow-passengers include also some with families, those of a manager and a mining engineer. Joseph is listed as an exporter. Significantly, his London address is the Savoy Hotel. And on the 31st March 1924, he arrived in England again from the Belgian Congo, and again to stay at the Savoy Hotel (1), and listed next to him on the Shipping Manifest is the Rt Hon Lord St Leonards and the Countess of Safton, exalted company for a Lithuanian boy. This is the last firm information that I have about Joseph Rollnick.

We are left with this material, again quoted from Eric Rosenthal’s typescript:
“Moving over to the Congo, he (Rollnick – wds) became associated with Lever Brothers, for whom he built up a business in vegetable oil and similar products, that helped to make him one of the wealthiest, if not the wealthiest man in Central Africa. At one time he was credited with owning over 1,000,000 (pounds) and, even if this were an exaggeration, there was no question of his ability and enterprise as a business man.
Of enormous physical strength, one of his favourite tricks was to tear in half a whole pack of playing cards. With his newly-won fortune he went overseas, to tour the most spectacular gambling spots in Europe, actually achieving the proverbial feat of breaking the bank at Monte Carlo! But alas, his fortune changed and, at that same resort, he ultimately speculated away every penny he possessed.
Confronted with the prospect of complete ruin, poor Rollnick committed suicide. It is a tribute to his personality that Lever Brothers both paid for his funeral and put up a memorial stone in his honour."

I found no direct evidence for these statements but I did find much supporting material. It is clear that it was not ivory that he exported from the Congo, but palm oil. It must have been while he was in East Africa, close to the Congo, that he began to hear about Lever Brothers and their interest in the Congo’s tree oils. From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lever_Brothers
“Starting with a small grocery business begun by his father, William Lever and his brothers entered the soap business in 1885 by buying a small soap works in Warrington. Using glycerin and vegetable oils such as palm oil, rather than tallow, to manufacture soap, they produced a good, free-lathering soap, called "Sunlight Soap", at a rate of 450 tons per week by 1888. By 1900 "Lifebuoy", "Lux" and "Vim" brands had been added and subsidiaries had been set up in the United States, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Germany and elsewhere. By 1911 the company had its own oil palm plantations in the Congo and the Solomon Islands. Lever rode the cresting late-Victorian consumer revolution to build a vast industrial empire spread across the globe. Four years after William Lever's death in 1925 his enterprises were amalgamated as Unilever. By 1930 it employed a quarter of a million people and, in terms of market value, was the largest company in Britain.”
But of “breaking the bank at Monte Carlo” ?
 Again, from Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monte_Carlo_Casino#Breaking_the_bank

Breaking the bank

In 1873, Joseph Jagger gained the (Monte Carlo) casino great publicity by "breaking the bank at Monte Carlo" by discovering and capitalizing on a bias in one of the casino's roulette wheels. Technically, the bank in this sense was the money held on the table by the croupier. According to an article in The Times in the late 19th century, it was thus possible to break the bank several times. The 1892 song The Man that Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo, made famous by Charles Coburns, was probably inspired by the exploits of Charles Wells, who broke the bank on many occasions on the first two of his three trips:
“...As I walk along the Bois Boolong with an independent air
You can hear the girls declare, "He must be a millionaire!"
You can hear them sigh, and wish to die
You can see them wink the other eye
At the man who broke the Bank at Monte Carlo.”

But did Joseph indeed break the bank?
To answer this question, if there is an answer, and to find out if he did commit suicide, and if Lever Bros did pay for his funeral and put up a memorial stone in his honour one might have to spend some time at the British Library, looking through old copies of the Times and reading Lever Bros Company reports.
The negative evidence suggests that he did not return to live with Rita after 1914. The telephone at 8 Arkwright Mansions, Finchley Rd, Hampstead, London (Hampstead 2755) is listed in her name, Mrs J.R.Rollnick, continuously from 1914 until the 1937 entry when she is listed as living in Bryanston Ct, George St London W1(16).
Rita died in the last quarter of 1937, in London (17). According to a conversation that I had in Jerusalem with her grandson Robert Rayman (see later), Joseph had abandoned her long before and had left her very little of his (indeed, their) wealth. Her daughter Rita, Joseph’s granddaughter confirms this.
Joseph’s and Rita’s daughter Zelda (second cousin to us seventh generation Rollnicks)  married Jack Rayman, an art dealer in Hampstead, early in 1938. They went, presumably on honeymoon, to the USA, returning to England on the 23rd May, on the Normandie (18). Their daughter Rita Louise Rayman (named after her grandmother Rita) was born in May 1940, and their second child Robert in 1947.
A number of us have met Robert Rayman in England and in Israel. I had a long talk with him in a taxi in Jerusalem, into which we had both entered after leaving a left-wing demonstration in East Jerusalem, me because it was too left-wing, he because it was too far to the right. And in the taxi, after he identified my accent and we began to talk about families, we found that we were both Rollnicks. He had hoped to write a biography of Congo Joe but did not live to complete this. Rita married Leopold Adler in December 1962. Leopold has died but Rita lives in London, in Hampstead, where her grandmother and her mother both lived. Her two children and six grandchildren live in London and New Zealand (19).
So who was this Joseph, this brilliant entrepreneur, this restless adventurer? Some of his cousins amongst the Wynberg Rollnicks shared some of these characteristics, but in milder form and not in the reckless way that Joseph seemed to need. Did he ever keep any connection with his parents back in Lithuania, with his brother in the USA? Rita Adler tells me that he never met his daughter, her mother. Looking at back numbers of the Times will not help us answer these questions.


Congo Joe Rollnick - source documents

Notes: Copies of the individual original documents cited as follows will be found attached on the family web-site
1)     1910’s and 1920's shipping manifests of Joseph Rollnick’s arrivals in Southampton in attachment "J R Rollnick All Shipping Manifests 1910-9124"
2)     Marriage Certificate Joseph Rollnick+Rita Harris (nee Fligelstome)
3)     Jewish Genealogy Lithuanian Database (http://data.jewishgen.org/wconnect/wc.dll?jg~jgsys~allcountry2) : searched for Meer Rolnik
4)     Ibid: searched for the Tsvi family of Darshunikos
5)     Ibid: searched for Vulf and Berl Rolnik
6)     South African Jewish genealogy web site (http://chrysalis.its.uct.ac.za/CGI/cgi_RootWeb.exe) searched for Rolnik
7)     Eric Rosenthal: unpublished manuscript “Rhodesian Jewry and its Story”
      submitted on line by the Zimbabwe Jewish Community and see the history of the manuscript  in         http://www.zjc.org.il/showpage.php?pageid=295  
8)     Colonel Johnson in ZJC site as http://www.zjc.org.il/showpage.php?pageid=168
9)     Travelling to N Rhodesia in ZJC site http://www.zjc.org.il/showpage.php?pageid=275
10) Email from Rita Adler re Isidore Stone to W D Stein, 3 June 2010
11) Rebecca Fligelstone’s birth certificate, 1891 and 1901 censuses, in attachment:" Documents relating to Rebecca Fligelstone and her descendants"
12) Marriage certificate Henry Harris + Rita Fligelstone in "Documents relating to Rebecca Fligelstone and her descendants"
13) Zelda Rollnick’s birth certificate in "Documents relating to Rebecca Fligelstone and her descendants"
14) World War I medals : Joseph R Rollnicks War Medals (attached) and see attachment 1914 War medals: 
15) East African Campaign from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_African_Campaign_%28World_War_I%29
16) Telephone records from Ancestry Com http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=BT&rank=1&new=1&so=3&MSAV=

1&msT=1&gss=ms_db&gsfn=j+r+&gsfn_x=XO&gsln=rollnick&dbOnly=_F00039E0|_F00039E0_x&_82004040-gpid=85535&_82004040_PInfo=8-|1652381|3257|3251|5274|85535|&_82004040__ftp=London%2C+London%2C+England%2C+United+Kingdom&rqf=and__us_82004043%28Country

%2FCounty%29_or_gsln%28Last+Name%29__us_80004000%28Last+Name%29&_82004043=Greater+London&uidh=3me&Country=England&County=Greater+London
17) Rita R death certificate in attachment "Documents relating to Rebecca Fligelstone and her descendants"
18) Jack and Zelda returning from the USA on the Normandie: see Raymans arriving 1938 from USA (attached)
19) Adler family tree : attached

 

Masha Rolnik…the Anne Frank of Vilna

First, a bit of background.

Masha’s family came form Plunge (Plungian) in the Telsiai district of Lithuania. We have met them before in the chapter “The Rolniks in the Holocaust”, although when I wrote that, I had no idea who Masha was. Her grandfather, Itsic-Abel Rolnik had come to Plunge from the district capital, Telsiai, in order to marry Chana Levi, daughter of a prosperous Plunge family, owners of a drapery shop. Itsic (called by his family Aba) was a scholarly man, spending as much of his time as possible on his Talmud studies, in particular the works of Al-Fasi 1, helping in the shop only on market days. Chana was the capable one, known far and wide as a clever woman, to whom people would come for advice on many subjects. Chana died just before the War against Germany. Itsic was murdered in the early days of the invasion of Lithuania.
They had five children who survived infancy: Berl, Hershel (Zvi), Meier, and Michael, and a daughter, Pesa.
Berl took his place in the family store and prospered so greatly that when the Soviets took over Lithuania he was, as a capitalist, exiled with his family to Siberia, where they survived the war. Their son, Shloma Rolnik, afterwards immigrated into Israel and we are in contact. Meier, the Zionist of the family, came on Aliyah to Israel in 1925, set up as a book store owner and publisher in Jerusalem. His son, Yoram Ronen was a well-known Israel Radio and then TV journalist and I have had tea with Yoram’s son, Gilad, and Yoram’s widow here in Jerusalem. (They gave me a copy of an unpublished book of memoirs of Meier, “Memories of Meier”, containing articles that I have found a valuable source for the present note). Michael was a lawyer in Paris, a hero of the French resistance, captured and killed by the Nazis. Pesa also did not survive the Holocaust, dying in a camp in Latvia to where she had moved after her marriage.
The oldest brother, Hershel, was Masha’s father and concerns us here. He started his education in a yeshiva but after being expelled from it, turned to secular studies, becoming a lawyer with a doctorate in Jurisprudence from Germany. He was actually a delegate from Lithuania to the First Zionist Congress, but later moved closer to the Communists. Returning to Lithuania he married Taiba Kogan, and later became head of the Hebrew Gymnasium in Raseiniai, but continued practicing as a lawyer, defending left-wingers on trial . When the Soviets took over Lithuania, he moved with his family to Vilna setting up a law practice. He and Taiba had four children, Miriam, Masha, Ruven and Riva.
When war with Germany broke out, Herschel left Vilna to join the Lithuanian forces, hoping that his family would be able to escape in time. He got to Minsk, which was already on fire. Masha writes: “My father found someone there, gave him all the money he had and our address, so that the man could go to Vilnius in a cart and bring us to him. Then he learned that the Nazis (were) already in Vilnius, so there was no sense in waiting for us”. They did not reach him as we shall see. Herschel himself was active in the Lithuanian Brigade of the Soviet Army (most of whose soldiers were Jews) throughout the war. He used his skill in German to be in the front line, opposite the German soldiers, from where he megaphoned propaganda messages telling them how the war would be lost and that they should come over to the Russian side. Later in the war he interrogated captured Germans.
Meanwhile Taiba and her family were taken to the Vilna Ghetto.
We saw them in “The Rolniks in the Holocaust” in that dreadful list of Prisoners in the Vilna Ghetto that the meticulous record collectors had made.
It was here that Masha, aged 14, began to keep her diary. She wrote on scraps of paper that she found around, writing at night after her days of forced labor in the factories supplying goods for the German war effort. Later, when she was moved from place to place, she kept these accumulating scraps hidden, sometimes inside her shoes. Her mother and the two little children were murdered when the ghetto was finally destroyed in late September 1943, while Masha was sent to a camp in Estonia.  Miriam, it appeared later, found shelter with a Lithuanian family (now inscribed in the list of Righteous Gentiles).
In the book “Memories of Meier”, the historian of the Lithuanian Jews, Dov Levin, a cousin of Hershel on his mother’s side, describes (my translation) how he returned to Vilna after the war to find any trace of his large family. (Dov was smuggled out of the Kovno ghetto, joined the Lithuanian partisans and fought with them throughout the war). “I asked everyone I saw if they knew anything of the Rolnik family. All answered in the negative until on the third day I saw an old woman, searching among the rubble, who told me that one Rolnik daughter had survived and was in Vilna. A few hours later I found Miriam, who had herself been told that a partisan from Kovno was looking for her. She told me that her mother and the three children had perished with the destruction of the Vilna Ghetto, but that her father had disappeared from Vilna on the first day of the German invasion… …A few days after, there appeared a bespectacled, white-haired officer of the Lithuanian Brigade in faded uniform who Miriam recognized as her father….”.
Miriam lived in Lithuania, married, and visited Israel in 1990 when she deposited some of the testimonies at Yad V’Shem that I quoted in “The Rolinks in the Holocaust”.

After the war, Herschel became a high official in the Lithuanian government, but was dismissed during the anti-Semitic campaign. He visited Israel in 1965 and died in Vilna in 1973.

In the event, Masha had not perished but had been shifted from one concentration camp to another, until at the end of the war she was still alive in a camp in the by then liberated Germany. She had managed to hold on to her diary and wrote this up as a book “I Must Tell”, translating from the original Yiddish into Lithuanian and publishing it in 1963. It appeared serialized in Soviet newspapers, was translated into many languages (into Hebrew by her uncle, Meier Rolnik) and became very well-known in Eastern Europe. Masha herself, married, moved to Leningrad, and visited Israel in 1994.

I quote from a couple of paragraphs in the diary   -   in my somewhat free translations from the Hebrew.
(You need to know that the FPO were the Fareinigte Partizaner Organizatsie (Fareinigte=United), that among its leaders were Yitzhak Wittenberg and Abba Kovner, and that the Nazi-appointed Chief of the Vilna Ghetto Police was Jacob Gens).

“An amazing report has come to my ears: An underground organization is at work in the ghetto that plans to fight the conquerors. This is the FPO – a special partisan organization. The members made a mine with their own hands and laid it on the railway line that leads to the ghetto. Hooray!
But it is forbidden to say anything about them. My mother even says that I must not write anything about this in my diary, but how can I ignore news like this?”

Gens became worried that the FPO were smuggling arms into the ghetto and he arranged for the arrest of some of the leaders. The FPO heard of the arrest of Wittenberg and, led by Kovner, they attacked the Lithuanian guards, freed Wittenberg and spirited him into hiding.

“I have just returned from work to sad news. Wittenberg is again in the hands of the Germans…. The FPO had fought back several attempts by the Lithuanian guards to approach the house in which Wittenberg was hiding. So Gens changed his tactics and sent the FPO an ultimatum that the Gestapo had made: either send us Wittenberg or the whole ghetto will be destroyed. A short time later, Gens’s messenger returned with the FPO’s answer:   they were not convinced that by the handing over of Wittenberg, the ghetto will be saved. If there is already talk about the ghetto’s destruction, then this will take place whether or not Wittenberg is handed over. Wittenberg will remain with the FPO and continue the fight.
In short, Wittenberg will not be returned to the Gestapo.
But there was no mercy. Gens sent another message.
Suddenly Wittenberg announced that he would go of his own free will. He did not want to be the cause of the death of 20,000 people. Calmly, he took leave of his comrades, asking them to continue the fight and he went to Gens. At the other end of the ghetto stood the closed car of the Gestapo. Armed guards pushed him into the car which started off at once.

I don’t know how long we in the ghetto will still survive but I must give thanks to Wittenberg that he saved me today. Not just me, but also my mother, Miriam and the children, and thousands of other mothers and children.

Apparently Wittenberg must have taken with him some poison. It could not have been otherwise, since if he had been forced to tell of the whereabouts of his comrades they would have come looking for them.”

This and many other scenes in the diary are some of the few historical reports that have come down directly from survivors of the Vilna Ghetto.

My sources for this chapter are from

1) the unpublished book “Memories of Meier”, no editor named, no publication date.
2) an article by Dov Levin:  “Le-Or Yomana shel Masha Rolnik - Ani Hayevet le-Saper” (Hebrew); The Diary of Masha Rolnik - I Must Tell, Gesher 50, 1967, pps. 100- 106
3) The Jews of Lithuania  Masha Greenbaum, Gefen Books, Jerusalem, 1995

Footnote:1: Isaac ben Jacob Alfasi ha-Cohen (1013 - 1103) (Hebrew: ? ???? ?????) - also known as the Alfasi or by his Hebrew acronym Rif (Rabbi Isaac al-Fasi),[1] was a Talmudist and posek (decisor in matters of halakha - Jewish law). He is best known for his work of halakha, the legal code Sefer Ha-halachot, considered the first fundamental work in halakhic literature. He was born near Fes in Morocco, and spent the majority of his career there, and is therefore known as "Alfasi" ("of Fes" in Arabic).

 

Our American Cousins : some firsts and some thirds   Sunday, June 06, 2010

Continuing my obsession with the Rolniks/Rolnicks/Rollnicks, I thought it might be fun to follow up the two young girls from Upyna, who we last saw passing through Ellis Island, Ette in 1900 at age 16 and Leie at age 15 in 1902. According to the ship’s manifest, they were on their way to their brother, Mikhela. Ette was supposed to find him at 83 Milton Ave, Chicago with $5 in her pocket, while Leie was to find him at 380 Mexico St Chicago, carrying only $2.50.

I hope they did find him, because I can find no trace of a Michael or Mikhle Rolnik or Rolnick or Rollnick in any USA record. There is no one who is even somewhat appropriate. The only Michael Rolnick did, indeed, live in Chicago but he was far too old to be a son of any of the Upyna Rolniks. Born in 1863, he could not have been fathered by Berl (born 1852) or by Meer (born 1851), and he wasn’t a son of Wolf (our progenitor). Also, Google Maps cannot find a Milton Ave currently in Chicago, although a single reference on the web finds an Italian genealogist asking another about his ancestor who got himself to 67 Milton Ave. Mexico St is not only gone, but gone without a trace.

But do not worry, I have found a store of information about both of these young women, information that unlocked the secret of who was their father.

The USA genealogical database is wonderful and free. Find it at http://search.labs.familysearch.org/recordsearch/. But like all these databases it is far from complete, and has typically American problems of being often state-based rather than federal. No matter, it is clever at finding alternative spellings so entering Ette Rolnik gives Etta Rolnick without a problem and yields quite a number of citations. Following them through (and one can check that this is the same Ette/Etta Rolnik/Rolnick  - I will stop this alternative spellings in all cases at this point – by checking on her date of birth). So Etta marries Samuel Gardner and they have five children, Nathan, Mary, Ida, Anna, and Bernard until, in 1919, poor Samuel loses control of his horse (he was a teamster), is thrown off, and dies from the trauma. The 1920 census lists her as the head of the household, with these five little ones. Bernard, the youngest, was born in 1914.
They seemed to have lived a somewhat itinerant life, these Gardners. Nathan is listed as being born in 1907 in Maryland, Ida in 1905 in Virginia, while Samuel was not at home for the 1910 census, Etta being the Head of the Household.
Lena married Meyer Gardner (I could not find out if Meyer and Samuel were brothers...it seems possible, even likely), and in the 1910 census, they were already living in Etta’s house. Meyer, from Kovno, was an expressman. They moved out on their own and, by the 1920 census, have three children Jennet, Isa and Bernard, again the youngest, born in 1916. Another Bernard? What can this mean?
But there is another Rolnick, Hannah, who we find marrying a Philip Fisher, with their Bernard, also then the youngest, arriving in 1919, this being her ninth child, eight living. On her Ruth’s 1910 birth certificate she is listed as coming from Tavic, Russia. There is no Tavic, Russia, but as we know there is a Tavric/Taurag. Philip, probably from Poland, immigrated in 1890, Hannah most likely in 1892. This would explain why I couldn’t find them in the Ellis Island records. They had got to the USA before the records commenced.  Philip was a tailor’s presser.                                  

Take a look at the map “Three Rolnick sisters each with a Bernard, 1914-19”. The three of them are living a few hundred meters apart at this period. Epidemiologists might call this “clustering” and start to worry, but we also might begin to think that this is not just a coincidence.
You will remember that I had identified Ette’s and Leie’s father as Meer Rolnik, since I had noted that he lived in the little town of Upyna, from where the two girls came. But I had missed the fact that his brother, Berl, perhaps the youngest of the four Upyna Rolniks (Just to remind you: the other two are, of course, our South African Rollnick’s Wolf and Naomi Silverton’s Johanna). These Bernards, then, will have been named after Berl. We conclude that he must have died just before 1914, and the three mothers named their latest male child after him. None of them have a child named Meyer, so Meer Rolnik is most unlikely to have been their father.
Is that enough evidence?  If not, I have another. Of the (only) eight birth certificates that I find for Rolniks in all of the Jewish Genealogy’s Lithuanian Database, our lucky hit is the following (“Where is the birth certificate”, you might ask):

Name

Father, Grandfather


Mother, Grandfather


Mother Maiden Surname

Date of Birth
DD/MM/YY


Hebrew Date

Town


Ujezd


Guberniya

Comments

Place Recorded


Year


Record #

Microfilm / Item


Image


Archive / Fond

ROLNIK, Leye Chyena

Ber, Yosef 


Mina, Yakov 


BERENSHTEYN 

26/10/1880


4 Kislev 

Kovno/ [Kaunas] 


Kaunas 


Kaunas 

Father: own dweller. Family from Telsiai

Kaunas 


1880 


F242 

2290297 / 4 


431 


LVIA/1226/1/1863 

We have here a Leye Chyena Rolnik, daughter of Mina, and on the paternal side, of Berl, son of Yosel, and born in 1880. The Berl is our Berl from Upyna, son of Yosel, just as Wulf and Johanna and Meer Rolniks are children of Yosel. Leye Chyena, drops one name and her second becomes Anglicised to Hannah. The birth year is almost exactly right for our Hannah Rolnick/Fisher, listed in three birth certificates as being born 1878, 1879, and 1879 and in the census records as 1879 and 1880. I think it is clear that Hannah, Etta, and Lena are sisters, daughters of Berl and hence first cousins of our Lily Stein/Rollnick and hence also of all Lily’s siblings, who are one of your parents, grandparents or great-grandparents, as appropriate. First cousins also of the Silvertons/Silbersteins. And as well, note that the names Hannah, Ette and Lena run in our Wolf Rolnik tree: Johannas, Ethels, and Lilys.
And I think we can picture the back and forth between the sisters, neighbours, in Ward 9 of Chicago in the 10’s and 20’s of the last century. They had re-created the shtetl of back home in Upyna. Actually, Hannah is a half-sister, perhaps, of Etta and certainly of Lena, since Berl Rolnik married a second time (see the Appendix).

But maybe the epidemiologists are correct…what we have is simply an epidemic of Bernards. Look at the map “Rolnicks in Ward 9, Chicago, 1915 to 1920”. This covers much of the same area of Chicago as we looked at before. There are Lena and her Bernard and Hannah and her Bernard. But now consider Dora Lasinsky (nee Rolnick). She had her Bernard in 1920. And close by, Hyman Rolnick, as Rolnick as Rolnick could be. His Bernard appears in 1919. His brother William, lives just up the road, but did not suffer from a Bernard, probably immune. Yet these are not our Rolnicks, nor our Bernards. William and Hyman are from Minsk, Dora from the Ukraine. One has to establish a clear connection with Lithuania before one can relate people to our Rolniks. Indeed, if one looks closely at the records, Dora’s Bernard was a Benjamin crossed out, so probably not named after a Berl.

By the way, Chana and I became very familiar with that section of Chicago, since the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC) has its campus there and I spent more than a few summers doing research there with my colleague Igor Roninson, and my student Todd Druley.
We remember a big synagogue in the area which had been converted into a Greek Orthodox church.

So those three women are the first cousins of the Wynberg Rollnicks and the Pakosch Silbersteins. Had any of you heard about our American cousins? I don’t recall any such mention. And is there a fourth? Michael? I wonder what happened to him?

But the story continues:
Looking through the Ellis Island records for Rollnicks, I was excited to find three young boys from Skaudville, arriving in the USA in 1911. You will all remember that Skaudville is very close to Upyna, some 10 km to the South-East. Indeed, it is the bigger town. So these young Rollnicks are definitely our Rollnicks. But did they travel on their own? I could see no other Rollnicks, nor anyone from the same part of the world, close to them on the ship’s manifest. I decided to do the search the hard way. From the Ellis Island records, if you know the ship’s name (here the Barbarossa) you can download the boat’s entire complement of over 1110 passengers and go through this, a page of 25 by page, until one hits another passenger from Skaudville or Upyna or even a Rolnick. Which is what I found: Shmuel and Blume Rolnick (not Rollnick as their sons’ had been inscribed) from Skaudville. Just for fun, I reproduce the ship’s manifest for the children, so that you can see what the manifests look like (attached JPEG files).
On the parents’ manifest, it records that their fare had been paid by Schmuel’s friend, Shmul Markov.   Lo and behold, in Jewish Gen one finds:


MARKOV, Shmuel

Leyba 


3 family members 


Box Taxpayers 

27 


August 


1900 

Skaudvile 


Raseiniai 


Kaunas 

KRA/I-49/1a/430 


25 


50 

All of the five Rolniks were going to Chicago, to Sam Rolnick at 1424 Johnson Ave.

I had already been looking at Sam Rolnick before I found these Skaudville folk, Sam, also a presser, was listed as from Kovno, thus one of our Lithuanian Rolnicks, as was his wife Bessie (she listed herself more precisely as from Kovno Province). He and Bessie had immigrated in 1900, probably just before Ellis Island began to function. Sam was somewhat problematic for me. In the 1910 census, he is indeed listed as Sam, but in the 1920 census as Abraham. (I think that, since his brother the real Samuel had arrived, he went back to his proper name). There was little real confusion, since in 1910 “Sam”’s wife is Bessie and he has four children, while in 1920 his wife is still Bessie and he has four of the same children, Nathan being added, and I have Nathan (later Norman) ‘s birth certificate of 1913. So who are these Rolnicks? Also Berl’s children, or maybe Meer’s? No family has a Bernard, but then all their children were born before the earliest of Berl’s grandsons. Both families have, however, a Yudel and that clears up their origin. In Skaudville, in our Rolnik records are two Rolniks, Berl and Yudel:


ROLNIK, Berel

Iosel 


well-to-do; 1 in family; from Upyna 


Box Taxpayers 

25 


May 


1885 

Skaudvile 


Raseiniai 


Kaunas 

KRA/I-49/1/14655 


87 


166 

ROLNIK, Iudel

Movsha 


54 

absent; out of town 


Rabbi Electors 

28 


June 


1893 

Skaudvile 


Raseiniai 


Kaunas 

KRA/I-49/1/17953 


17 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Berl is there, son of Yosel, but also Yudel, son of Movsha, 54 in 1893, and remembered by Shmuel’s son born in 1894 and Abraham’s Julius in 1907. And the great-grandfather, Moshe, provides the name of the middle one of Abraham Rolnick’s sons. I think it safe to say that these second set of Chicago Rolnicks are from the line of Leib begat Yosel begat Movsha begat Yudel, who begat both Schmuel and Abraham Rolnick. If so, then Judel and Berl Rolnik, both living in Skaudville in 1892 are second cousins.

Skaudville had 1012 Jewish inhabitants in 1900. Second cousins are as close as our Daniel and Kerren are to Ruth King’s five, in spite of their living fairly far apart across Pennsylvania. It is most unlikely that Yudel and Berl did not meet and discuss together their childrens’ worrying plans to go off to the Goldene Medina. After all, both Sam/Abraham and his Bessie, and also Etta, had immigrated in 1900. There must have been much excitement in the town at that time.

 Why I think that they knew of each other and each other’s plans is that Lena and Meyer Gardner, soon after they married, were in 1911 living close to Abraham and to Schmuel Rolnik in ward 19 of Chicago (see the map “Rolnicks in ward 19, 1911-1920”). The house where Etta, Lena and her Meyer were living in 1910 was in the area but a little further off (map “Etta, Lena and Meyer Gardner 1910 census”). You will note that Scholem and Moshe and Asser and Julius and Jackie and Norman all carry the Rolnick name further, so if you do meet some Rolnicks in America, you can ask them if their great great greats came from Skaudville and, if so, you can welcome a long lost relation. It will be harder to try your luck with Gardners or Fishers.

The grandchildren of Yudel, sixth generation, are third cousins of our Wynberg parental Rollnicks, so maybe it’s not surprising that we hadn’t heard much of them in family lore.

I am very happy, therefore, to see that another branch of the House of Leyba Rolnik escaped the holocaust. We have seen that our Wynberg Rolnicks did, as did Naomi’s German, then English and now Australian Silbersteins. We can now add the Berl Rolnik descendants and, as a further story will show, at least one of their brother Meer’s children, Congo Joe (although another fate befell him). This comprises a large part of the first Aizyk’s descendants. Yudel Rolnik’s descendants are at least part of the first Itsik’s line, saved from the Holocaust. The Israeli Rolnikim derive from the youngest son of Leyba, Gersh, but their survival was only very partial.

There is another large Rolnick family, headed by David Rolnick, born in Lithuania in 1880, married to Hilda and father of Blanche, Jack, Ida, Morris and Evelyn (born 1902 through 1912). They seemed to have been better off than the other Rolnicks. By 1907, when Morris was born, they were living in the rather fancy North Shore Drive area and David had a metals business. If the name Blanche is a cognate of Belle, then, together with Jack and Morris, David’s children share three names with Abraham’s and Scholem’s. Perhaps they also are grandchildren of Yudel of Skaudville. But the evidence is not strong.

And to end this story, we can probably add to the “Gersh Rolniks” another small group in America, for I have found an additional two Rolnicks, indubitably from Lithuania. These are a Harry C. Rolnick, arriving with his mother Mina and his elder sister Rose, Harry being 11 months old, in 1892, and, by the time his daughter Helen Marie is born in 1925, being then a physician in a smarter part of Chicago (1210 N. Clark St). His name is derived from Hershel, Girsh, so we can probably place him as a grandson of Girsh, born in 1813. Apart from his marriage to Elsie Trace in 1920 and his voyage back from Copenhagen in 1917, I know nothing more about him. Nor much more about Morris Rolnick, born in Lithuania in 1895, and by the 1920 census living with his wife Rose and his children Dorothy and Henry (i.e. Hirsch, Girsh) in Alleghany Pennsylvania. Girsh had a son Yosel, died in 1895, who may have been their progenitor:


ROLNIK, Josel

Girsh 


- - 


- -

Vilkija 


7/8/1895 
29 Av 


55 


lung desease 

Vilkija 


Kaunas 


Kaunas 

Vilkija 


1895 


DM8 

2291673 
 
452 
LVIA1226/1/1971 

These Girsh assignments are very tenuous, but at this stage it seems all that we can do.

I have still two more stories to tell. One is the fuller story of Congo Joe Rollnick and the second is a newly-dscovered story about Masha Rolnik, the Anne Frank of Vilna. At least one of these should appear in our next edition, unless new surprises turn up.

 

Appendix : Berl Rolnik’s second marriage
An 1884 marriage of Berl Rolnik, son of Josel from Tavrak (Targovsk is presumably Tavrag...the record is elsewhere corrupt):


Babtai 
Kaunas 
Kaunas 

30/5/1884 
18 Sivan 

RAGOLNIK / ROLNIK, Ber?


, Leya

Yosel 
  
Targovsk 


Orel 
  

32 


22 

 

Movsha Eliyash BURSHTEIN 


Benyamin SHAKHNOVICH 


David BERIYA 

Babtai 


1884 


marriage 


2288940 / 6 
 
LVIA/1226

Don’t worry about Babtai. It is not far away and Berl’s brother Meer, son of Yosel, celebrated his son Itsyk Leiba’s brit there in 1885.
Targovsk is Taurage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Rolniks come to Lithuania.

This is the story of Wolf Rolnik, the founder of the Rolniks of South Africa, born in Upina, Lithuania, to Yosel and Feige Rolnik, sometime in the 1840’s or 50’s.

I found a wonderful list in JewGen: the household headed by Leyba and Gute Rolnik as it was on the 25th of April 1834. A copy of this list is appended to the present document.
This is the first entry for any Rolnik if one searches the Jewish Genealogy website for Rolnik in Lithuania.
It would seem that Leyba and Gute came to Lithuania from somewhere else and settled in Telshe (Telsiai), in the district of Telsiai in the province of Kovno (Kaunas). I have used this household list to follow up these household members in all the later Lithuania lists and have made a fairly complete listing of them in the succeeding database lists.
This enables us to sort out the Stein-Rollnick (and other Rollnick) genealogies and to give a firm earliest date for the Tree. This is 1760, the birth date for Leyba Rolnik. His wife Gute is listed as born in 1765. And we get one further step back, in that Leyba’s father’s name is listed as Movsha (Moishe), a name that occurs frequently in the subsequent lists. And we find another son of Movsha, Eliash, listed as “pauper, decrepit” in the 1849 list. Leyba himself is recorded in that 1849 list as “died”. By then, he would have been 89.

Living in that house in Telshe were four sons of Leyba and Gute: Josel, Aizyk, Itsyk (which we take to be Israel) and Girsh, each with his wife (names listed except for Girsh’s which I got from a later document) and children and children’s wives in some cases, and also two grand-daughters! (If there were daughters, they may have left the house already). There were 30 people in all listed in the household, including a nephew and niece of Leyba’s, the nephew being listed as son of Mark.

Note that the Josel/Yosel in the list had a son named Vulf, but this is not our Yosel/Wolf Rolnik pair since this Vulf was born in 1816, while our Wolf Rollnick died in 1927, and was not known to be a super-centenarian. And also this Yosel is not our Yosel (our Wolf’s father) since this Yosel was born in 1791 and our Wolf in around1847, possible but really too late for Yosel to be his father.

On the other hand, Aizyk had a son also called Yosel, born in 1817 (just right to be our Wolf’s father). This Yosel is listed as being married (already, aged 17) to Leia (aged 15, poor thing). Our Wolf was born to Yosel and Feige, living then in Upyna, so we must assume that Leia died early, and Feige was a second marriage, very common at the time. Our Lily was perhaps named after the deceased Leia, but also maybe after Leyba. We have another Lily in the Tree, Lily Rifkin-Kaminer.

We know that Wolf’s father Yosel was listed as still living Upyna in 1878 (owner of 0.35 hectares). But the Leyba household was living in Telshe in 1834. There are no Rolniks listed in the district Raseiniai (which includes Taurage and Upyna) before the 1878 Revision list, although (as a “control”), I found many Gurvitches (Wolf will later marry a Gurvich)  living in that district already in 1817. I assume that Yosel Rolnik moved from Telshe to Upyna sometime between 1834 and 1878. Note: in the 1878 list, Yosel is cited as being Leyba’s son. But we know this to be incorrect and that he was Leyba’s grandson. There was no other Leyba/Leib Rolnik listed in Lithuania at the time and the confusion son/grandson is common.

A cousin to Yosel, Itsyk’s son or Baruch, born in 1827, is listed in 1849 as “missing, unable to pay”. Another Berel, listed as Yosel’s son, ie, our Wolf’s brother is also listed in 1877 and 1878 as living in Upyna (well-to-do, owning 0.08 hectares!), and still found in Upyna in 1885, and later, in 1892, in Skaudvile, a few kilometers away (now poor). I have the birth certificate (appended) of his daughter, probably (Leye Chyena, born 26/10/1880). Our Wolf first appears in 1892, already living in nearby Taurage and listed as well-to-do.

It seems that with some solidity we can write that Wolf was the son of Yosel and Feige, Yosel the son of Aizyk and Minde, and Yosel the son of Leyba and Gute, with Leyba being the son of Movsha.
There the trail in Lithuania ends.

 

The Rolniks in the Holocaust and Afterwards

The holocaust came down upon the Lithuanian Jews with devastating suddenness and ferocity. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holocaust_in_Lithuania The German Army entered Lithuania on 22 June 1941. In the next few months, the terrible massacres wiped out nearly all the Jews of the country. The Wikipedia URL states that “Out of approximately 208,000 to 210,000 Jews, an estimated 195,000–196,000 were exterminated before the end of World War II (wider estimates are sometimes published); most between June and December 1941.”

How many of the Rolniks and their descendants that we have been discussing managed to escape? I have prepared a Table appended to this document that lists all the Rolniks we have been studying, generation by generation, counting from the first recorded ancestor, Movsha. It was the sixth generation that was most exposed to the Holocaust, with only a few of the fifth who were still living in 1941. There are some 60 names on the list, a figure that excludes all those who were already in South Africa, the USA, or England at the time the Nazis invaded. I color in yellow all those (some 30 persons) who were “at risk” of being wiped out, taking a birth age of 1865 (to be 76 in 1942) as close to the oldest person who could have been present when the Nazis arrived. I color in pink those three who died a recorded natural death before 1942. I color in red those six (and two children, not listed) who appear in the Yad V’Shem records of Holocaust victims. I color in blue those five for whom we have good evidence that they escaped from Lithuania, as in the following list:


ROLNIK, M 

 


  

Found in Lithuania 

 


Kaunas Kaunas 


Kaunas 

Lithuanian Holocaust Survivers Lists 


1946 

 


ROLNIK, Boris 


 


  

Found in Russia 

 


Plunge Telsiai 


Kaunas 

Lithuanian Holocaust Survivers Lists 


1943 

 


ROLNIK, Miriam 


 


  

Found in Russia 

 


Plunge Telsiai 


Kaunas 

Lithuanian Holocaust Survivers Lists 


1943 

 


ROLNIK, Rivka with Children 


 


  

Found in Russia 

 


Plunge Telsiai 


Kaunas 

Lithuanian Holocaust Survivers Lists 


1943 

 


ROLNIK, Shloma 


 


  

Found in Russia 

 


Plunge Telsiai 


Kaunas 

Lithuanian Holocaust Survivers Lists 


1943 

 


 

Three of these are Berl Rolnik (son of Itsik Abel and Tova Rolnik) and his wife Rivkah and their son Shloma. Miriam was a niece, who might have escaped with them. Berl and Rivka survived into their 80’s to be buried close together (plots 2837 and 2840 in the Vilna Jewish Cemetery) while Shloma is in Israel, married with two children. After the war, Miriam presented testimonies at Yad V’Shem under the name Miriam Lisauskene. M Rolnik on the list above is probably Moishe, the son of Itsik Abel, brother to Berl, and father to Arkady, both buried in Vilna Jewish Cemetery.

 

We cannot assume that all those of the 30 at risk who were not identified as having survived were wiped out in the massacres (All death certificates for death by natural causes are certainly not yet available). But many of those that have “disappeared” were surely murdered.
There is a gruesome list of person found in the Vilna Ghetto in May 1942. http://www.jewishgen.org/litvak/HTML/vilniusghetto.htm. “In 1996, the Vilna Gaon Museum in Vilnius, Lithuania published a remarkable book in two parts - "Vilnius Ghetto: Lists of Prisoners”  Volumes I and 2. The first volume contains data of a census which took place in Lithuania in 1942, May 27- 29 and concerns Vilnius Ghetto prisoners, which numbers of 15507 people. This means that the majority of Jews who were killed in the mass murders "Akzionen" of 1941 are absent... They are published according to their address in the Ghetto. Birth data, name and Family name, occupation (which mostly did not correspond to the real one) and address in the Ghetto: a historical article and unique photos are also given.”
The Rolniks on that list are:


ROLNIK, Masa 

1927 

Rudninku 6 – 36

Vilna Gaon State Museum of Lithuania 


Vilnius Ghetto: Lists of Prisoners Volume 1 


204 

Vilnius 


Vilnius 


Vilnius 

May 


1942 

ROLNIK, Raja 


1933 

Rudninku 6 – 36

Vilna Gaon State Museum of Lithuania 


Vilnius Ghetto: Lists of Prisoners Volume 1 


204 

Vilnius 


Vilnius 


Vilnius 

May 


1942 

ROLNIK, Ruwin 


1935 

Rudninku 6 – 36

Vilna Gaon State Museum of Lithuania 


Vilnius Ghetto: Lists of Prisoners Volume 1 


204 

Vilnius 


Vilnius 


Vilnius 

May 


1942 

ROLNIK, Taiba 


1897 

Rudninku 6 - 36

Vilna Gaon State Museum of Lithuania 


Vilnius Ghetto: Lists of Prisoners Volume 1 


204 

Vilnius 


Vilnius 


Vilnius 

May 


1942 

I have not identified 15-year old Masa (Moshe?) Rolnik. The two young children, Raya and Ruwin, appear in the Yad V’Shem list of martyrs (appended). They were the children of Herschel (Girsh, son of Itsik Abel) and Taiba Rolnik from Plunge and, according to the testimonies, were aged 6 and 8 when they were killed. Their mother, Taiba/Taube, also appears in the list. They had been collected into the Vilna Ghetto, to work for the Germans. Also in the Yad V’Shem list (appended) is Michael Rolnik, another son of Itsik Abel, born in 1908 in Plunge, and so brother of Berl and Moise who both escaped. Michael was living in Paris when he was apprehended in 1941 and died in Suresnes, France. Itsik Abel Rolnik, by 1941 already over 75, himself appears on the list (appended) and a daughter Pesse (appended). A son Meier survived and came to Israel.


Those who left Lithuania before the war

 

Those who left Lithuania well before the war include also a few who went to the USA.
The Ellis Island list of those entering the USA between 1892 and 1924 http://www.ellisisland.org/search/index.asp contains the names of 146 Rolniks, coming from all parts. The six names that looked like they were from Lithuania are listed below. (They were very young, aged 12, 15, 16, 17, 18 and only one older at 44).


8

Rolnik, Judel

Wilna, Russia

12

1896

1908

78

Rolnik, Leie

Wilna

15

1887

1902

 

79

Rolnik, Leie

Wilna, Russia

18

1890

1908

 

30

Rolnik, Dwosche

Wilna, Russia

44

1864

1908

7

Rolnik, Ette

Upina

16

1884

1900

21 Rolnik,Chane                                               Mazerk, Russia                               17              1893                      1914

On this list, Ette Rolnik arrived on Ellis Island from Upina in 1900 at age 16.

First Name:

Ette

Last Name:

Rolnik

Ethnicity:

Russian

Last Place of Residence:

Upina

Date of Arrival:

Jul 27, 1900

Age at Arrival:  16y    Gender:  F    Marital Status:  S  

Ship of Travel:

Patricia

Port of Departure:

Hamburg

Manifest Line Number:

0012

According to the ship’s manifest, attached to this document, she was accompanied by the Brody/Braude family from Kelme, and her fare had been paid by her brother, Mikhael. They went on to Chicago.
Leie Rolnik (see the list below) had arrived in the USA in 1902, aged 15. The ship’s manifest reads Vilna, but this looks like Upina had been over-written. She was also going to Chicago and her fare paid by her brother Mikhael.

Leie and Ette, discussed above, and their brother Mikhael were probably the children of Meer Rolnik (son of Yosel and hence our Wolf Rolnik’s brother), who was the only Rolnik that was then living in Upina. Dwosche Rolnik was the mother of Yudel and another Leie who all arrived together in 1908. Dwosche could be D’vora. This family could be from the Rozhanka Rolniks (A Yudel Rolnik, born in 1841, is the head of that group).

The vast majority of Rolniks on the Ellis Island list came from towns in Belarus such as Minsk. This is in spite of the fact that, in the Jewish Genealogy database, the total number of entries for “Rolnik” in Belarus at 123 was less than the 131 that we have for Lithuania. We all know this: the South African Jews (like the Rolniks we are following) came from Lithuania.

What then was the fate of the Rolniks? Considering only male Rolniks (since females take their husband’s name and are very difficult to trace further…I have tried), it is Ekel, Itsik Leiba, Girsh, Ruben (and maybe Abel Bentsel and Zelik of the fifth generation) who cannot be found. All of Wolf’s children got to South Africa in time. The sons of Wolf, namely Roman, Robert and Abraham, were of the Sixth Generation. Mikhael Rolnik, also sixth generation, got to Chicago. Also surviving, by fleeing into Siberia, were Berl, Moishe, and Meier of that generation. So, in all seven males of the “most at risk” generations survived and five or seven were lost. The Holocaust survivors and the victims for whom we have evidence all come from the descendants of fourth generation Movsha Rolnik, son of Girsh. Those who left Lithuania before the turn of the 19th century are the descendants of fourth generation Yosel Rolnik, son of Aiyzak, and hence Movsha’s cousin. We have no recent record of what happened to the other branches of the Rolnik tree.

So “our” Rolniks survived perhaps a good deal better than the average for Lithuanian Jews. We ourselves were fortunate in that Wolf Rolnik had emigrated well before World War II. If one looks at that Table of the Rolniks, one will notice that there is a substantial decline in the rate of growth of the population well before the end of the 19th Century, in that the population size had almost plateaued by the fourth generation. However, only half a dozen entries in the Jewish Gen data base, other than those relating to the Holocaust or afterwards, refer to data entered after 1900. Indeed, the last entries are in 1914, with Chana (nee Mendel) Rolnik  and with Zelik Rolnik (both of whom may have been lost in the Holocaust). Records have been lost in fires and wars. Many records that survived have not yet been translated and added to the databases. In addition, the Jewish Gen site states: “Because of Lithuania's 100 year privacy law, private researchers are not allowed to view the post-1905 birth and marriage records (a 50-year privacy law applies to death records).  Thru special arrangements with the Lithuanian archives, the post-1905 vital records are being translated and will become a part of the database.”  Thus we have no record of the births of some of the later sixth generation children and few of the seventh who remained in Lithuania..

It is not that the family size became smaller so early on. Those who went abroad like Wolf Rolnik and his sister Johanna Silberstein produced good sized families, as did Itsik Abel Rolnik who remained until caught up in the Holocaust.
My father, the mathematician, told me once of a deep mathematical theory that describes the disappearance of uncommon names in a population. It is based on the fact that a named line will end if it has produced only daughters. A rare name is therefore simply overwhelmed by intermarriage with the common names. We note names like Yuzelit, Katsin, Gimelshtein, Zaks, Levi, Silberstein, Iasovski appearing in the tree. Rolniks were rare in Lithuania so part of the reason for the fall in numbers may come from this natural wasting. Another part of the fall will have been due to emigration. The Nazis finished off the rest.


APPENDICES:
Table of the Generations. Color-coded as in the text above.


First

Second

Third

Fourth

Fifth

 

Sixth

 

seventh

 

eighth

 

ninth

 

?

-1760-

1791-1813

1808-1880

1826-1865

 

1874-1917

1899-1937

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Josel (1791)

Movsha(1808)

Eliash(1826)

Abel Bentsel(1850+)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yudel(1839)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avram(?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ekel(1840)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vulf(1816)

Rute(1854,Yuzelit)

Tsodek Yuzelit(1874)

SaulBer Yuz(1909)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raikhel

 

Itsko Gimelshtein(1874)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1850, Gimmelshtein)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cirle Iasovksi(1859-1929)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aizyk(1798)

Josel(1817)

Wolf(?)

 

Rollnicks in Wynberg

  me and  siblings

my children

my grandchildren

 

 

 

 

Berl(1852)

 

Leye Chyena (1880)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ekel(1886)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Johanna(1840)

Silbersteins in Germany, England and Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meer(1851)

Itsik Leiba(1885)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

maybe Mikhael(to USA)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

also Ette(1884)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

also Leie(1887)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leyba

Itsik(1798)

Boruch(1827)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1760)

 

Kalman(1836)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leib (1857)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mera (1863, to Katsin)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Movsha(?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moisei (1894-1953)

Arkadij(1932-89)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Movsha(1832)

Itsik Abel (1865)

Chaim Ber (1895-6)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Girsh(1898)

Ruvin, Raja died in the Holocaust

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

m. Taube Kagan

Miriam survived

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ber Chaim(1901-1985)

Shlomo(?-?)

Einat and Yehudit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ber's wife Rivka

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Girsh(1813)

Mikhael(?)

 

 

Ruben(1903)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rive Rute(1837)

 

Michael(1908)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(to Zaks, 1860)

 

Meier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Josel(1840)

 

 

Pesse(1917)

two small children

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eliash(?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zelik ?(1874)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Girsh?

Bluime?(1880-1929)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(to Gulak)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

or Meer's ?

?Mikhael (?to USA)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

?Ette(1884, to USA 1900)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

?Leie(1887 to USA 1902)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

3

4

12

12

 

19

 

5

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

VICTIMS (extracted from the Yad V’Shem database. Note that there can be problems in the transliteration of names and place names, and there are even minor contradictions between testimonies referring to the same individual):

Icik-Abel Rolnik was born in Plunge in 1880. He was married to Hana. Prior to WWII he lived in Plunge, Lithuania. During the war he was in Plunge, Lithuania. Icik perished in 1941 in Kaushany, Romania at the age of 61. This information is based on a Page of Testimony   submitted by his grandson.

(The next name actually refers to the same person):
Aba Rolnik was born in Vieksniai in 1895 to Moshe and Sara. He was a merchant and married to Khana nee Levi. Prior to WWII he lived in Plunge, Lithuania. During the war he was in Plunge, Lithuania. Aba perished in Plunge, Lithuania. This information is based on a Page of Testimony   submitted by his son.

 

(Those dates of birth cannot be correct. Itsik Abel and Khane Levi were married in 1894, Itysk was 29 at the time)

Plunge 
Telsiai 
Kaunas 


25/11/1894 
9 Kislev 

ROLNIK, Itsyk


LEVI, Khane

Movsha 
  
Vieksniai 


Mendel 
  
Plunge 

29 


23 

 

Assistant of Rav 


Z. BARIT 


L. SHAFER 

Plunge 


1894 


Marriage 


30 

2287039 / 3 
 
LVIA1226/1/2034 

And a child was born in 1895 (who dies a few months later):


ROLNIK, Khaim Ber

Itsyk Abel, Movsha 


Khane 


23/10/1895


17 Heshvan 

Plunge 


Telsiai 


Plunge 

Family from Vieksniai

Plunge 


1895 


M57 

2287039 / 1 


 


LVIA/1226/1/2032 


Michel Rolinkas was born in Palanga/Plunge in 1907 to Aba and Khana. He was a lawyer and single. Prior to WWII he lived in Paris, France. During the war he was in Paris, France. Michel perished in 1941 in Paris, France. This information is based on a Page of Testimony  submitted by his brother. 

Pesia Rolnik was born in Plunge in 1917 to Itzik and Khana. She was a housewife and married. Prior to WWII she lived in Riga, Latvia. During the war she was in Riga, Latvia. Pesia perished in the Shoah. This information is based on a Page of Testimony   submitted by her cousin. Miriam Liskauskene (Rolnik).

Tauba Rolnik (wife of Girsh/Hirshel, son of Icik and Khane) was born in Tryskiai in Lithuania in 1898 to Aron and Beila Kagan. She was married to Hirshel. Prior to WWII she lived in Plunge, Lithuania. During the war she was in Vilon, Lithuania. Tauba perished in 1943 in Vilon, Lithuania. This information is based on a Page of Testimony   submitted by her daughter, Miriam Lausenkas (nee Rolnik).

Ruvim Rolnik was born in Klaipeda in 1935 to Hirshel and Taibe nee Kagan. He was a child. Prior to WWII he lived in Plunge, Lithuania. During the war he was in Wilno, Poland. Ruvim perished in 1943 in Wilno, Poland at the age of 8. This information is based on a Page of Testimony found in the Pages of Testimony.

Raia Rolnik was born in Plunge in 1933 to Girsh and Taiba. She was a pupil and a child. Prior to WWII she lived in Wilno, Poland. During the war she was in Wilno, Poland. Raia perished in 1943 in Wilno, Poland. This information is based on a Page of Testimony   submitted by her sister Miriam.


An example of one of those who escaped well before the War
Ette Rolnik gets to America:


and goes to her brother Mikhael at 83 Milton Ave Chicago:

 

Wolf Rolnik’s In-Laws  .. The Gurviches of Tavrag

(The background references for this present document are to be found in “The Rolniks of Lithuania” on our web site as rolniks-in-lithuania:
https://sites.google.com/site/atlasrollnickmorgensternstein/rolniks-in-lithuania)

There is only one entry for Wolf Rolnik in the JewGen data base for all of Lithuania, and that appears in the less-useful (since it gives no birth year) “Tax and Voters” list:


ROLNIK, Wolf

 


well-to-do; 4 people in family 


Box Taxpayers 

 



1892 

Taurage 


Raseiniai 


Kaunas 

KRA/I-49/1/17526 


208 


116 

This is our Wolf Rolnik, well-to-do in Tavrag, but where do we go from here?

We have the following in an email from Jeff Cohen, Wolf’s great-grandson:
“To summarise what I found on Woolf and Johanna’s death notices (my spellings are taken from those notices):
 Woolf Rollnick, died 26 July 1927, born in Russia, father Joseph, mother Feige, married Johanna Rollnick born Hurwitz. Married in Tauroggen, Russia.
Johanna Rollnick, born Hurwitz, born in Russia, Union National, daughter of Reuben and Sheine Hurwitz, died 16 August 1939 in Church Rd, Muizenberg, aged “about 90”.
 So we know that Wolf married a Johanna Hurwitz, and she was “daughter of Reuben and Sheine Hurwitz”.

Entering the JewGen Lithuanian site with Hurwitz of Raseiniai (the province in which Tavrag/Tauroggen/Taurage http://www.shtetlinks.jewishgen.org/Tavrig/Tavrig.html is situated), one gets in The All Lithuania Revision List Database the Hurwitz/Gurvich Founding Document:


 

http://data.jewishgen.org/wconnect/wc.dll?jg~jgsearch~model2~[newrl]newrlg


Taurage
Raseiniai
Kaunas

GURVICH

Ruvel

Vigder

Head of Household

38 


30 

 


Petit Bourgeois

25
May
1858

399


61


90

Revision List
LVIA

GURVICH

Sheyna

 

Wife

36 


 


Petit Bourgeois

GURVICH

Fruma

Ruvel

Daughter

19 


 


Petit Bourgeois

GURVICH

Etka

Ruvel

Daughter

17 


 


Petit Bourgeois

GURVICH

Freyda

Ruvel

Daughter

13 


 


Petit Bourgeois

GURVICH

Chaya

Ruvel

Daughter


 


Petit Bourgeois

GURVICH

Gena

Ruvel

Daughter


 


Petit Bourgeois

GURVICH

Mordkhel

Abram

Cousin

32 


24 

 


Petit Bourgeois

GURVICH

Mera

 

Cousin's Wife

25 


 


Mordkhel's wife

One accepts that the Russian “G” substitutes for the English “H”, so that Gurvich becomes Hurwitz.
This is another of those wonderful documents, here at 25 May 1858, that gives a whole household, just as one would wish it. So we see Ruvel /Reuben aged 38 (so born 1820) and his wife Sheyna/Sheine aged 36 (born 1822) with their five graceful (but dowry-needing) daughters, aged 5 through 19. Ruvel had been living in Tavrag at least 8 years.
But which is our Johanna - Chaya or Gena? We note that Gena would go to Hena or Chana Hannah or even Johanna or Jane in an English environment. We note the death certificate above which lists our grandmother as Johanna, aged “about 90”, in 1939. Chaya Gurvich would have been 89 in 1939, Gena 86. Both seem appropriate. We have also a document (in the Atlas-Rolnik-Morgenstern-Stein web site) written down by Lily Kaminer/Rifkin following a conversation with Lily Stein (nee Rollnick/Rolnik) where she gives her mother’s name as Johanna. And a photograph of “bobe in +/_1935” to be found on our web site on which Lily Stein has written “Chana Stein (Rolnick)”. The case seems closed. Wolf must have married Gena. But, there are three arguments that point to Chaya:
First, we have a photograph of the plaque on the wall of the Wynberg, South Africa shul (of which Wolf Rolnik was a co-founder), also to be found on our web site, which when scrutinized carefully shows Wolf’s wife to be Chaja, that is, Chaya. The “n” of Chana can be ruled out. Second, Wolf (Wilfred) Stein is married to Chana Morgenstern, yet this Wolf’s mother, that sharp and humorous Lily Rollnick, never mentioned the coincidence that her parents were also Wolf and Chana. (I personally consider this to be the strongest evidence against identifying Wolf’s wife as the Chana/Gena of the Hurwitzes). Finally, we have letters from Elise of the Josephson family of the USA (closely related to the Rolniks) who assert that they are descendants of Hannah Horwitz, who married Joseph Millner, or of Dvora (who must be our listed Etke) who Joseph had married firstly. (This is a complicated side story which needs a separate treatment one day). That probably rules out Chana as Wolf’s wife. We can say that Wolf married Chaya Gurvich, or less likely, Chana Gurvich, and went to live in his wife’s town (having moved from Upina, where he was born and his father was still living in 1878). One finds this pattern repeatedly in these stories...the husband goes to live in his wife’s village or town (Indeed, Wolf’s father, Josel, went from Telsiai where he was born to Upina where his wife Feiga lived, and then Wolf, born in Upina, went to his wife’s home in Tavrag).

As always, one can take the story back another generation or so. Note two things in the Founding Document above. First, we note that Ruvel’s father is listed as Vigder. This is, of course, Avigdor in Hebrew, but will be Victor in English. There is a Victor in our tree, Janey Cohen’s son, and in the parallel (see below) Rifkin tree as Victor Rifkin. Searching for Avigdor Gurvich in all of Lithuania one finds:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vilijampole
Kaunas
Kaunas

WOLFOVICH?

Avigder

Wolf?

 

 


65 

missing 


1834 

 



1834

92


191


Revision list
KRA/I-61/1/308

 Avigder, probably son of Wolf was born in 1769. He was 51 when Reuben/Ruvel was born. But is this our Vigder? His town Vilijampole, also known as Slobodka, is not far from, is indeed a suburb of, Kovno/Kauvnas, some distance from Tavrag. http://www.shtetlinks.jewishgen.org/kovno/kovno.html.
This entry is the only possible hit for Avigdor in the whole of the Kovno gubernia.

We can get a little more from the Founding Document. Living in the same household as Ruvel is his cousin Mordkhel/Mordecai, son of Abram. “Cousin” means that they share a grandfather. Now, Mordkhel’s father is Abram. Also in Taurage, we have the Abram Gurvich household as:

Taurage
Raseiniai
Kaunas

GURVICH

Abram

Wolf

Head of Household

 


52 

Died 


1855 

Craftsmen Guild Member

25
May
1858

415


106


97

Revision List
LVIA

GURVICH

Lipmann

Abram

Son

34 


26 

 


Craftsmen Guild Member

GURVICH

Mendel

Abram

Son

25 


17 

 


Craftsmen Guild Member

GURVICH

Ester

 

Wife

59 


 


Craftsmen Guild Member

GURVICH

Gesa

Abram

Daughter

12 


 


Craftsmen Guild Member

GURVICH

Beyla

Lipman

Grandchild


 


Craftsmen Guild Member

GURVICH

Feyga

 

Daughter-in-Law

32 


 


Lipman's wife

GURVICH

Leah

 

Daughter-in-Law

23 


 


Mendel's wife

So Abram’s father, Mordkhtel’s grandfather, was Wolf
. I think we can assume that Abram and Vigder were brothers, sons of Wolf who was probably not yet Gurvich. (Remember, surnames came in only after the Tsar’s decree in 1805). That Ruvel’s father was Vidger and that his grandfather was Wolf is pretty certain, but whether the Avigder, son of Wolf, found in Vilijampole can be identified with this Wolf is not so sure. It is probable that Mordkhel Gurvich, married to Mera, came to live with his cousin Ruvel since his father Abram had died in 1855, before the 1858 survey, and the late Abram’s household was by then run by Mordkhel’s older brother, Lipman Gurvich.

Back to the house of Ruvel Gurvich. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find the antecedents of Sheyna. Her name comes down as the Shinies and Sheenas to be found in the Rollnick tree. There is much known about her daughters. Elise Josephson, briefly mentioned above, has a wonderful, hand-written tree drawn up by her late sister and her father who are descended from the Joseph Millner who married first Dvora (Etke) Gurvich “the mother of Lena and Gertie” according to a letter from Elise Josephson, and then, after Dvora died, her sister Hannah (Gena), the mother of “Reuben David and Sara Dora (later Wolpe)” according to another letter.  In the hand-written tree, all the Gurvich girls appear but that tree follows only the line from Dvora and Hannah. Nevertheless, the names that do appear on the tree are Wolpes, Silbermans, Bennuns, and Millners, all of which Lily Rollnick/Stein used to refer to as her cousins. This is compelling evidence, if we still needed it, that these Gurvich sisters include Wolf Rolnik’s wife. I do not have the tree at hand, but will amend this present document, if necessary, when I regain it.
I managed to locate the children of Hannah Millner (nee Gurvich), finding both Sarah Dora Wolpe and Reuben David Millner buried in Johannesburg (Appendix).

One riddle that took a long time to solve is this: My mother Lily often said that her sister Fanny and Fanny’s husband Victor Rifkin were first cousins, and we have this statement on the list of Rollnicks that she gave to Lily Kaminer. But how were they related?
First cousins are the children of their parent’s siblings. Did the cousinship derive from the Rolnik side or from the Gurvich side? We can rule out the Rolniks. Wolf Rolnik had three siblings. One was Johanna who became Silberstein and with all her family went to Germany. She could not have been the mother of Victor Rifkin. But Wolf’s other siblings would have had Rolniks for sons, yet here we have Victor Rifkin. He must derive from the Gurviches. This makes sense because Victor would be the cognate of his great-grandfather Vigder. But which Gurvich girl was his mother? It was not Dvora/Ete, or Chana or Chaya. These are already accounted for. So she must have been either Freide or Frume Gurvich.
The mystery was solved when my cousin (once removed) Frank Myers told me:
“Firstly my grandfather Victor Rifkin left Lithuania for Cape Town in 1894 -5 and married I'm told ,his first cousin Fanny Rolnik two years later and settled down in Wynberg where he started a business at the top of Mortermer Road selling second hand goods.    My mother Ethel was the first of seven children " three boys and four girls. and was born  in Cape Town in 1899.
   She married my father Harry Myers  nee, Myerowitz ,born in Belfast to the second wife of rabbi Myerowitz born in Lithuania.
  My sister , Freda,Celia Myers was the first grandchild born on Feb.21st. 1925
   I. Frank ,Samuel Myers being the second grand child was born on the 11th. of Nov. 1928. My Hebrew name on my passport is Efriam.
  I never asked but I think that my grand mother,Fanny Rifkin passed away before I was born and therefore I was named after her.”

 Thus his sister, who we always knew as Bridget, was in reality Freda Celia.
I interpreted this information as:
“The Freda is very very good. That is after one of the Hurwitz sisters, older sisters of MY grandmother Chaya Hurwitz.
The first grandchild to be born would in all probability have been called after a recently-deceased grandmother, failing that : great grand mother. The dates are also useful.
So the mother of your grandfather was Freda Hurwitz?
That would make Victor and Fanny easy cousins.
Fanny's mother definitely was Chaya (or just maybe Chana) Hurwitz.
So she and Victor were the children of sisters
hence cousins.”

An interesting point is that it seems that all the Gurvich sisters came to South Africa. I have not tried to find out whether they came together or in family batches. But they all came. Most of  the Ruvel/Sheyna Gurvich line stayed in South Africa for two generations, except for Dvora Millner’s descendants who went on to the USA. Joseph Millner felt at the time that his children would not get a good enough education in South Africa. The education seems in hindsight to have been good enough to produce, in later generations, two Nobel laureates in Aaron Klug and Sydney Brenner and a whole string of highly productive professionals and academics.
On the other hand, I don’t think that Wolf had any Rolnik cousins in South Africa. There is only the legendary “Congo Joe” Rolnik, alleged to be a relation, but I have not been able to link him to the House of Movsha Rolnik. That might need a search for his death certificate in England. Only two Rolnik names (Robert and his wife Florence) appear in the South African Jewish Burial list, confirming that few Rolniks came to South Africa.

The Gurvich sisters seem, then, to have been a cohesive group. Just as well, since staying too long in Lithuania would have been disastrous.


Appendices:
This is definitely Hannah and Josel Millner’s daughter, born in 1889, described in Elise Josephson’s letter to me of 26 June 2005, and Lily’s friend:


WOLPE, Sara Dora

 


 


28-Aug-1970 

 


81 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

Chevra Kadisha, Johannesburg 

Johannesburg / South Africa

 

 

 

Harold’s mother!

And here is her brother, born 1882, exactly as named in Elise’s letter:

MILLNER, Reuben David

 


 


29-Sep-1943 

 


61 


 

No Image Available

Plot

Spouse

Father


Mother

Comments

Cemetery Name


City / Country

 

 

 


 

Chevra Kadisha, Johannesburg 

Johannesburg / South Africa

 

 

 

 

 
Rolnik Family;
Ellis Island;
Rolnik,... Krasne 1903 32
2 Rolnik,Abraham Iwanctz 1906 37
3 Rolnik,Abrahm Pojost, Russia 1909 5
4 Rolnik,Abram Minsk, Russia 1912 22
5 Rolnik,Abram Radiskewitz 1906 16
6 Rolnik,Abram NowySwiczzen, Poland 1923 0
7 Rolnik,Agnieszka Pisarowce, Austria 1911 25
8 Rolnik,Albina Budapest, Hungary 1906 34
9 Rolnik,Alexander Pleczew, Russia 1910 19
10 Rolnik,Alter David Makow, Russia 1908 21
11 Rolnik,Aniela Pasarovce, Poland 1921 19
12 Rolnik,Aron Wysoko-Litewsk, Poland 1921 17
13 Rolnik,Aron Minsk, Russia 1910 11
14 Rolnik,Beile Luscha, Minsk 1908 35
15 Rolnik,Braine Pojost, Russia 1909 30
16 Rolnik,Chaim Brody, Poland 1920 21
17 Rolnik,Chaim ...insk 1913 11
18 Rolnik,Chaim Radiskowitz 1900 32
19 Rolnik,Chaime 1895 16
20 Rolnik,Chane Minsk, Russia 1906 25
21 Rolnik,Chane Mazerk, Russia 1914 17
22 Rolnik,Chawe Pojost, Russia 1909 6
23 Rolnik,Cherva Mazier, Russia 1912 16
24 Rolnik,Cheslaw Chorlham, England 1909 21
25 Rolnik,Cippe Minska 1905 15
26 Rolnik,Dawid Brauok, Russia 1909 20
27 Rolnik,Doba Jwenetz, Russia 1910 40
28 Rolnik,Dobe Minsk, Russia 1910 9
29 Rolnik,Dwojne Juwitz, Russia 1910 18
30 Rolnik,Dwosche Wilna, Russia 1908 44
31 Rolnik,Edla 1895 19
32 Rolnik,Eidel Kojdniow 1903 16
33 Rolnik,Elise 1895 7
34 Rolnik,Elje Minsk, Russia 1907 16
35 Rolnik,Ester Twenetz, Minsk 1909 24
36 Rolnik,Ester Rochel Kordonow 1900 18
37 Rolnik,Ette Upina 1900 16
38 Rolnik,Feige Minsk, Russia 1910 34
39 Rolnik,Feige Luscha, Minsk 1908 11
40 Rolnik,Feigl ...insk 1913 42
41 Rolnik,Fischer Uman 1900 22
42 Rolnik,Frade 1895 9
43 Rolnik,Franz Budapest, Hungary 1906 2
44 Rolnik,Gersch Rakow, Russia 1910 22
45 Rolnik,Gerszon Iwiniec, Poland 1921 14
46 Rolnik,Gische Minska 1905 46
47 Rolnik,Helena Wloclawek, Poland 1921 16
48 Rolnik,Herschel Mir, Russia 1907 3
49 Rolnik,Herszek Bransk, Poland 1921 16
50 Rolnik,Hirsch Laiser 1892 0 51 Rolnik,Hottel Minsk 1904 28
52 Rolnik,Itzik Livenez, Russia 1908 16
53 Rolnik,Itzke Minsk, Russia 1907 0
54 Rolnik,Itzke Minsk, Russia 1906 0 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
55 Rolnik,Jankel Brestlit 1912 18 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
56 Rolnik,Jankel Jwenetz, Russia 1910 10 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
57 Rolnik,Jankel Minsk 1907 40 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
58 Rolnik,Jankel ...insk 1913 14 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
59 Rolnik,Jedrzej N...bezany 1904 27 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
60 Rolnik,Jendrzej Niebeszczany, Galicia 1909 33 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
61 Rolnik,Jewel J...enek 1900 16 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
62 Rolnik,Jona 1895 17 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
63 Rolnik,Josefa Potakoola, Austria 1909 2 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
64 Rolnik,Josey C. Minska 1905 8 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
65 Rolnik,Jude Pinok, Russia 1911 38 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
66 Rolnik,Judel Bransk, Poland 1921 17 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
67 Rolnik,Judel Wilna, Russia 1908 11 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
68 Rolnik,Kalman Rakom, Russia 1912 34 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
69 Rolnik,Karol Alsolofenicsa, Hungary 1912 29 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
70 Rolnik,Karol Szepes Varalia, Hungary 1910 29 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
71 Rolnik,Katarzyna Potakoola, Austria 1909 26 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
72 Rolnik,Kekeander Zagorz 1901 25 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
73 Rolnik,Kuszel NowySwiczzen, Poland 1923 28 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
74 Rolnik,L. D. 1893 25 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
75 Rolnik,Leib Grodno 1905 22 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
76 Rolnik,Leibe Jwenetz, Russia 1910 11 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
77 Rolnik,Leie Wilna, Russia 1908 18 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
78 Rolnik,Leie Wilna 1902 15 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
79 Rolnik,Leiser Pinsk, Russia 1911 21 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
80 Rolnik,Leiser Horoclok, Russia 1907 16 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
81 Rolnik,Liba Wysoko-Litewsk, Poland 1921 11 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
82 Rolnik,Liche Minsk, Russia 1907 22 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
83 Rolnik,Liebe Minsk, Russia 1906 22 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
84 Rolnik,Luczia Szep...ja, Hungary 1913 28 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
85 Rolnik,Ludislaus Zagorz, Galicy 1906 32 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
86 Rolnik,M... Kaitenow 1902 18 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
87 Rolnik,Malya Padevkesz, Austria 1912 34 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
88 Rolnik,Mardche Pinsk, Russia 1913 7 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
89 Rolnik,Marjanna Wysoko-Litewsk, Poland 1921 9 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
90 Rolnik,Mary Minsk, Russia 1910 17 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
91 Rolnik,Matka Nieswicz, Poland 1921 37 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
92 Rolnik,Max Brooklyn, N.Y. 1923 33 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
93 Rolnik,Michal Pinsk, Russia 1913 33 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
94 Rolnik,Michal Niebicszg..., Austria 1909 40 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
95 Rolnik,Michat Dabrowkapolske, Galicia 1906 38 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
96 Rolnik,Michle Luscha, Minsk 1908 3 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
97 Rolnik,Mina Laiser 1892 24 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
98 Rolnik,Minasche Jwenetz, Russia 1910 5 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
99 Rolnik,Minna Berlin 1892 60 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
100 Rolnik,Moische Kamensk, Russia 1911 32 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image 101 Rolnik,Mordche Mazier, Russia 1912 17 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
102 Rolnik,Mordko Wysoko-Litewsk, Poland 1921 27 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
103 Rolnik,Mote Leib 1905 17 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
104 Rolnik,Musza Iwiniec, Poland 1921 39 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
105 Rolnik,Nathan 91 Cook St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 1922 40 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
106 Rolnik,Neihame Rokaw, Russia 1910 18 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
107 Rolnik,Osser Luminec, Poland 1920 23 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
108 Rolnik,Pawel Mebieszczany, Austria 1909 18 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
109 Rolnik,Pawes Micbieszerany, Austria 1909 18 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
110 Rolnik,Perl 1895 12 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
111 Rolnik,Perla NowySwiczzen, Poland 1923 28 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
112 Rolnik,Pinchos Minsk, Russia 1910 7 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
113 Rolnik,Rebeca Liege, Belgium 1905 22 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
114 Rolnik,Rochel Mir, Russia 1907 25 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
115 Rolnik,Rochla Wysoko-Litewsk, Poland 1921 75 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
116 Rolnik,Rosa Laiser 1892 3 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
117 Rolnik,Rose Minsk, Russia 1914 17 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
118 Rolnik,Rose S. Brooklyn, N.Y. 1923 27 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
119 Rolnik,Rubin Nieswicz, Poland 1921 9 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
120 Rolnik,Ruchel Minsk, Russia 1906 0 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
121 Rolnik,Runia Minsk 1907 36 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
122 Rolnik,Ryfka NowySwiczzen, Poland 1923 1 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
123 Rolnik,Ryta Zwienicc, Poland 1922 14 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
124 Rolnik,Rywka Nieswicz, Poland 1921 12 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
125 Rolnik,Samuel Liege, Belgium 1905 23 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
126 Rolnik,Sarach Pinsk, Russia 1911 25 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
127 Rolnik,Saul Karclitz, Russia 1908 19 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
128 Rolnik,Schachne 1895 15 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
129 Rolnik,Schashne 1895 16 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
130 Rolnik,Schloime Minsk, Russia 1910 5 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
131 Rolnik,Schloime Luscha, Minsk 1908 8 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
132 Rolnik,Schmuil Minsk, Russia 1910 3 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
133 Rolnik,Schmul Horodok 1906 18 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
134 Rolnik,Scholem Luscha, Minsk 1908 6 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
135 Rolnik,Sorach Minsk 1906 25 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
136 Rolnik,Sore Pinsk, Russia 1912 18 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
137 Rolnik,Sore Minsk, Russia 1906 3 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
138 Rolnik,Sura Lubar, Russia 1922 26 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
139 Rolnik,Syma Bransk, Poland 1921 46 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
140 Rolnik,Tauba Iwiniec, Poland 1921 11 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
141 Rolnik,Tiebe Minska 1905 17 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
142 Rolnik,Tofia Dabrowka, Austria 1914 18 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
143 Rolnik,Tomasz Rablow, Russia 1914 20 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
144 Rolnik,Viesche 1895 5 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
145 Rolnik,Wichne 1895 40 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image
146 Rolnik,Zippe Luscha, Minsk 1908 9 Passenger Record Text Manifest Scanned Manifest Ship Image http://www.russiansamovars.com/immigrants.htm Yerachmiel Rolnik, his wife Yentl and all of their children, except their son Motek,were murdered by the Nazi’s when their town, Ivenitz was liquidated. Thousands were forced into to a mass grave and shot on September 19, 1941. Motek Rolnik, son of Doris’s brother Yerachmiel, was a survivor of this slaughter. Motek, the sole survivor of his immediate family, crawled out from under the bodies of his parents and five siblings, and escaped to the forest where he joined the Partisans – Jewish and Russian armed fighters. He was 14 years old. He eventually made his way to Israel. for pictures go to
http://www.russiansamovars.com/immigrants.htm

ROLNIK, M Found in Lithuania Kaunas Kaunas Kaunas Lithuanian Holocaust Survivers Lists 1946
ROLNIK, Boris Found in Russia Plunge Telsiai Kaunas Lithuanian Holocaust Survivers Lists 1943
ROLNIK, Miriam Found in Russia Plunge Telsiai Kaunas Lithuanian Holocaust Survivers Lists 1943
ROLNIK, Rivka with Children Found in Russia Plunge Telsiai Kaunas Lithuanian Holocaust Survivers Lists 1943 ROLNIK, Shloma Found in Russia Plunge Telsiai Kaunas Lithuanian Holocaust Survivers Lists 1943

Born FatherAge CommentsType of Record DayMonthYear TownUyezdGuberniya Archive/Fond/Inventory/FileRecord #Page #
RALNIK, Ber well-to-do; has house Box Taxpayers 1877 Upyna Raseiniai Kaunas KRA/I-49/1/12938 10 554 RALNIK, Mikhel well-to-do; has a house; 1 person in family Jewish Community List 1885 Siluva Raseiniai Kaunas KRA/I-49/1/14655 64 197 ROLNIK, Movsha Girsh 54 Rabbi Electors 29 December 1886 Vieksniai Siauliai Kaunas KRA/I-49/1/14816 68 6 ROLNIK, Movsha 68 Municipal Electors 12 November 1900 Vieksniai Siauliai Kaunas KRA/I-49/1/27494 4 3 ROLNIK, Movsha well-to-do; 4 in family Box Taxpayers 23 September 1904 Vieksniai Siauliai Kaunas KRA/I-49/1/23518 203 46 ROLNIK, Iosel poor Box Taxpayers 1877 Upyna Raseiniai Kaunas KRA/I-49/1/12938 157 557 ROLNIK, Berel Iosel well-to-do; 1 in family; from Upyna Box Taxpayers 25 May 1885 Skaudvile Raseiniai Kaunas KRA/I-49/1/14655 87 166 ROLNIK, Ekel Movsha 52 Rabbi Electors 13 December 1892 Nemaksciai Raseiniai Kaunas KRA/I-49/1/16616 68 38 ROLNIK, Wolf well-to-do; 4 people in family Box Taxpayers 1892 Taurage Raseiniai Kaunas KRA/I-49/1/17526 208 116 ROLNIK, Girsh poor; 3 people in family Box Taxpayers 1892 Taurage Raseiniai Kaunas KRA/I-49/1/17526 316 117
NameBorn FatherAge CommentsType of Record DayMonthYear TownUyezdGuberniya Archive/Fond/Inventory/FileRecord #Page #
ROLNIK, Nakhman 4 people in family Box Taxpayers 1892 Zemaiciu Naumiestis Raseiniai Kaunas KRA/I-49/1/17527 206 38 ROLNIK, Iudel Movsha 54 absent; out of town Rabbi Electors 28 June 1893 Skaudvile Raseiniai Kaunas KRA/I-49/1/17953 17 4 ROLNIK, Ekel Ber 26 Municipal Electors 12 September 1912 Upyna Raseiniai Kaunas KRA/I-49/1/30193 29 ROLNIK, Zelik Girsha 39 380 rubles, 'conductor'? Postal Savings Bank Records 15 July 1913 Taurage Raseiniai Kaunas KRA/I-152/1/7 3106 107 ROLNIK, Movsha 4 in family; poor Box Taxpayers 20 December 1896 Vieksniai Siauliai Kaunas KRA/I-49/1a/389 207 72



Rozhanka
Lida
Vilnius
ROLNIK Yudel Shakhna Head of Household
35
Absent 1856

21
May
1858
6356170 Revision List
LVIA/515/25/89 ROLNIK Dina Meer Wife
38

ROLNIK, Masa 1927 Rudninku 6 - 36 Vilna Gaon State Museum of Lithuania Vilnius Ghetto: Lists of Prisoners Volume 1 204 Vilnius Vilnius Vilnius May 1942
ROLNIK, Raja 1933 Rudninku 6 - 36 Vilna Gaon State Museum of Lithuania Vilnius Ghetto: Lists of Prisoners Volume 1 204 Vilnius Vilnius Vilnius May 1942
ROLNIK, Ruwin 1935 Rudninku 6 - 36 Vilna Gaon State Museum of Lithuania Vilnius Ghetto: Lists of Prisoners Volume 1 204 Vilnius Vilnius Vilnius May 1942
ROLNIK, Taiba 1897 Rudninku 6 - 36 Vilna Gaon State Museum of Lithuania Vilnius Ghetto: Lists of Prisoners Volume 1 204 Vilnius Vilnius Vilnius May 1942
Surname Given Name Comments Town Source Year
ROLNIK Aba
Plunge, Lith. Hamelitz #44 1899
ROLNIK hena
Vieksniai, Lith. Hamelitz #156 1898
Surname Given Name Comments Town Source Year
RALNIK Yosef
Kaunas, Lith. Hamaggid #17 1872
RALNIK Yitzchok
Telsiai, Lith. Hamaggid #11 1872 Rolnik Publishers
The new interactive site for learning Hebrew. Including illustrated dictionaries. More than 200 art screens with sound, animation and original design
http://www.rolnik.com/
JOSEPH ROLNIK (1879-1955) Poets Home from Praying The First Cigarette
Name: Rolnik, Yosef
Name (Yiddish): ???????, ????
Also known as: Rolnick, Joseph -- ???????, ????
Born: 1879 (Zhukhovitz, White Russia)
Died: 1955 (New York)

Songs written or composed Title: A Gebet (Weiner) -- ?? ????? (??????)
Author: Rolnik, Yosef -- ???????, ????
Composer: Weiner, Lazar -- ??????, ???????
Genre: Literary Origin
Multiple recordings:
On album: S-038(a) (The Two Worlds Of Seymour Schwartzman)
Composer Weiner, Lazar -- ??????, ???????
Vocal Schwartzman, Khazn Seymour
First line: Reboynu shel olam, du got fun mayn foter,
First line:?????? ?? ????, ?? ???? ???? ???? ???????,
On album: S-063(a) (American Jewish Art Songs Paulina Stark, Soprano)
Artist Stark, Paulina, soprano
Artist Shank, Nadine, piano
First line: Reboynu shel olam, du got fun mayn foter, mayn hartsike...
First line:?????? ?? ????, ?? ???? ???? ???? ???????, ???? ???????? ????? ??? ??
Track comment: Text, Translation and Transliteration with Album
On album: W-005(a) (Lazar Weiner songs Musical Settings of Yiddish Poetry)
Artist Sauler, Bianca, soprano -- ???????, ????????
Piano Weiner, Lazar -- ??????, ???????
First line: Reboynu shel olam, du got fun mayn foter,
First line:?????? ?? ????, ?? ???? ???? ???? ???????,
On album: G-043(b) (Shirim L'Shlomo Cantor Solomon Gisser)
Piano Baras, Jack -- ???????, ?????
First line: Reboynu shel olam, du got fun mayn foter,
First line:?????? ?? ????, ?? ???? ???? ???? ???????,
Title: Zun In Mayrev -- ??? ??? ?????
Author: Rolnik, Yosef -- ???????, ????
Composer: Heifetz, Vladimir -- ????, ?????????
Genre: Literary Origin/
Subject: Sun/West/Song
Origin: CD H-039(a)
Transliteration: CD H-039(a)
Translation: Alb T-012(a)/CD /H-039(a)

Deborah Rolnik Raichman Houston-based artist Deborah Rolnik Raichman is a Brazilian architect dedicated to Jewish art. Studying Jewish sources, she realized the richness of imagery in the Hebrew alphabet. In 1990, she began exploring their mystical meaning in watercolor, and illuminating Hebrew texts such as Ketubos (Jewish marriage contracts). Her original watercolors and custom iluminations can be found in private collections in the US, Latin America and Israel. For more information on her portfolio, contact the artist at: raichman@aol. Guy Rolnik is editor-in-chief of TheMarker.com, an
Israeli Web site that focuses on high tech and business news