The Museum of Family History

HOME          SITE MAP          ABOUT THE MUSEUM          FEEDBACK          OPPORTUNITIES          LINKS


 Postcards from Home 


Jankiel and Raizel Hurwitz

Jankiel Horowitz and his Landsmen
cir 1922-5

The photograph, pictured above, is of Jankiel (seated, far left)
and his fellow Czyzewans, and was either taken in Czyzewo,
or more likely in New York.


The Hurwitz Women
cir 1933-6

Jankiel's mother (wearing scarf), his five sisters,
all of whom perished in the Shoah,
one of his aunts and one of her daughters.

"In Memory of the Destruction of Czyzewo"


by Raizel Horowitz, mother of Grace H. Ittleman


Listen, people, hear, take note
of the village, Czyzewo, our beautiful town

where Jewish people dwelled, peaceful, remote
where the splendor of Torah was worn like a crown

Near a station lay our town
where there you once could board a train
this all existed, I saw it myself
now it is all gone: you'd search for it in vain

There the Jews lived
for generations they came
such a happy fulfilled life
though not a penny to their name

Where almost everyone's income
derived from a little store
a piece of bread, it was enough
we never needed more

Where in each little house
you'd find a table, a crib, a few beds
children, growing like flowers
blessings rained down on their heads

Growing up, families expanding
years fly by, time seemed so short
betrothals, only from the best
a learned son in law to support

So, this is the way life continued
day by day, and night by night
that is, until the hateful Hitler
shattered our world with his evil might

Chasing his flag of vicious power
he gave our cherished ones no rest
until the unthinkable happened
cutting short the lives of our best

Destruction of everything we valued
all vanished not even a trace
generations of Jews, lives so holy
Now gone, nothing left in its place

Never did Hitler consider
the idea that "One May Not"
six million burned in fire
the work of this evil despot

A shudder of horror shakes me
as my broken heart bemoans
cities full of precious Jewish people
reduced to a pile of bones

My soul, eternally shattered
beaten down and broken apart
forever I know I will suffer
this grief that tears at my heart

Parents: Rose (Raizel) Guralnek, born in Bialystok, and Sam Horowitz (Jankiel Hurwitz), born in Czyzewo, Poland

Children: Grace, Miriam and Richard (born in the U.S. in 1936)

From daughter Grace Ittleman:

"My mother told us how she and my father met. My father, one of six children, had five sisters. He had gotten a job as sort of a traveling salesman. He sold grain. He would buy wheat from the local peasants and have it milled. Remember that his mother and father had a bakery and did the baking. He used to buy the wheat, and then he would travel to places like Warsaw and Bialystok and sell it. My mother worked in a place where they would sell bread, rolls, cheese and eggs for people who wanted something to eat for breakfast. Next door to the store where my mother used to work was a bed-and-breakfast. My father happened to be staying overnight at the bed-and-breakfast. The woman who owned the bed-and-breakfast came running into my mother's store and said, "I'm in a hurry. I have a guest here and I need bread, and I need cheese, and I need butter and eggs."  My mother said, "What's your hurry?" And the woman from the bed-and-breakfast said, "Well, there's this nice young man staying here." My mother said, "Really? Can I meet him?" And that's how they met. I think they got married in Czyzewo in 1922. My father's name was Sam--it was Yankel Shlomo. In the old country his name was spelled Hurwitz. My mother's name was Rose or Raizel. I even have a copy of their tenoyim, which is an official and legal contract, like the marriage ketubah, except that it was signed by couples when they got engaged."

page 1 2



Copyright 2005-7 Museum of  Family History

All rights reserved.  Image Use Policy