Nancy Sprowell Geise

Writer • Author • Speaker

Can You Help Joe Find a Photo of His Family?

At the age of 21, Joe was taken by force from his home by the Nazis. He never again saw his widowed mother and his four siblings, including his identical twin. They were all believed to have been killed at the Treblinka Nazi death camp. In addition to losing everyone he knew and loved, Joe lost his home, his country and every possession he had. He does not have even one photo of his beloved family. He yearns to see the face of his mother again. One of my great hopes and dreams in publishing Joe's story is that someone out there will recognize Joe's family names and will realize they have a photo of his family from Radom, Poland. Finding such a photo would be the greatest gift anyone could give this lovely and kind ninety-four-year-old.

Joe came from a large family that had lived for generations in the Radom area. I am convinced that somewhere out there a photo of Joe’s family exists. On the Timeline below, you will find the names and birthdates of some of his family. If you have any information about such a photo, please contact me!

Joe's grandparents on his father's side of the family: Chaim Rubinsztejn and Chaja Fyrman.

Joe's grandparents on his mother's side of the family: Mendel Kierszenblat and Ruchla Wajcman (Their family may have lived at some point in Tomaszow, Poland.)

Joe's parents: Ruwin Rubinsztejn and Reska Kierszenblat were married in Radom, Poland, February 24, 1910. Reska went by “Rachel.”Their first born son, Solomon Rubinsztein died sometime before 1920 at approximately the age of 12.

Joe’s brother: Dawid Anszel Rubinsztein went by the name “Anszel” was born in Radom, Poland May 30, 1919.

Joe's identical twin brother: Chaim Rubinsztejn.

Joe's name at birth: “Icek Jakub Rubinsztejn.” Joe's birth certificate shows that he was born September 16, 1920. But growing up, Joe and his brother believed their birthdays to be October 15, 1922.

Note: During the war Joe’s name was spelled “Juzek Rubinsztein.” After the war his name was changed to “Jozef ‘Joe’ Rubinstein,” and later, once in America, it became Joseph “Joe” Rubinstein.

Joe’s brother, Abram “Abe” Rubinsztejn was born in Radom, August 26, 1923.

Joe’s sister, Laja Rubinsztejn born in Radom, March 15, 1926.

Joe’s father, Ruwin Rubinsztejn passed away approximately December 1926 (although the exact year of his death is unknown).

Joe's mother Reska “Rachael” Kierszenblat and siblings Dawid Anszel Rubinsztein, Chaim Rubinsztejn, Abram Rubinsztejn, and Laja Rubinsztejn were all believed to have been murdered at the Treblinka Death Camp in August 1942.

Extended Family: Joe's father Ruwin had a sister named Geitel. She married Bernard Ackerman who, at one point, resided in Stuttgart, Germany.

Joe's mother, Reska Kierszenblat “Rachel” had two brothers who moved to the United States many years before the war. One passed away before the end of the war and the other, Elliot Kierszenblat, lived in New York City and married a woman named Norma. They had three sons, one named Solomon “Sol” who befriended Joe after the war.

Joe recalls his mother sending photos of their family to New York prior to the war, but after the war, the family in New York did not know anything about such photos. It is uncertain whether they ever arrived.

Copyright Nancy Sprowell Geise © 2015. All Rights Reserved.