Celebrating Lives through Everlasting Memories

Ester (Anyuci): 17 January 1899 - 17 July 1993 & Fred (Fritzi, Grandpa): 17 July 1900 - 7 November 1979

At Neil's wedding, Anyuci danced with her favorite son-in-law, and Nagypapa danced with his favorite mother-in-law.

I remember visiting Anyuci and Grandpa in CA in the mid sixties. I remember riding in Grandpa's car, a big car, and I remember a big smile on his face. By the time I was old enough to remember much else, Grandpa was sick and didn't interact much any more. However, stories about him from my parents and from Anyuci draw me to his memory. He was fun-loving and liked to joke. He was a boxer and an engineer. He could fix just about anything. He liked dogs. OK, we don't share everything. [Steve]

One of my favorite stories about my Anyuka, Anyuci to her grandchildren, is that she was very quick in making decisions. When we were traveling in our car and got lost, my dad would get out the map and try to figure out where we were. My Mom, on the other hand, would look for the closest store, go in, and get directions. [Iby]

Anyuci went to visit relatives in Paraguay including Otto bacsi. Before she left, I asked her buy whatever else she liked, but not to bring back any material (expecting me to make clothes). When she returned, I was unpacking her suitcase, and I found material. I confronted her, frustrated, saying I had asked her not to do that. As I left the room in a huff, everyone burst out laughing. (Neil and Karen were visiting at the time.) She had stuck her tongue out at me. I did not sew up any of the fabrics, but when I went to Hungary shortly afterwords, my cousin Magda's sister-in-law, Gyurka's sister made up one of the dresses. I still have the dress, and I wear it on a very hot Summer days. And, I still have some of the material; it's beautiful and hand-made. [Iby]

My father taught me about the importance of things, or their lack of importance, in relationship to the importance of life. When it became clear to my father that it was time to get out of Belgium, he gathered the family and left immediately. Other relatives, whom he was unable to convince to leave their things behind and flee, never made it. [Iby]

Anyuci and Grandpa moved to Poughkeepsie and lived with us from about 1968. Grandpa moved to a nursing home, but Anyuci lived with us from that point on. Usually smiling and always proud, she moved to CA in 1983, a cornerstone of the Heller household. [Steve]

Herta Biss (Auntie Herta): 31 May 1914 - 2004 & Leo Pollak (Uncle Leo): 1908-1997, married 30 November 1946

Auntie Herta and Uncle Leo, who had a great mutual love, referred each other with the same endearing term, schatzi. [Iby] Schatz is German for treasure. [George]

Auntie Herta and Uncle Leo established a summer home in Lake Hopatkong, NJ, where we visited regularly in the summer. They winterized it and moved there year round. All the Heller kids and even some grand-kids have fond memories playing on the enormous boulders in the yard and in the lake off the dock. For some time Tante Mina was there as well. [Steve]

We would climb the mountain every time we visited, and looked out at the magnificent view. When we went back with the kids, we climbed the mountain, and I realized it was just a little rock. The view was still spectacular. Uncle Leo would grill the best hamburgers ever. When I was older I got the secret recipe from Auntie Herta: onion soup mix and tomato sauce. That's how I make them to this day. [Leslie]

Leo told me that every day he got up and thought about how wonderful it was to be there, with Herta, at the lake. At eighty years old he started each day with push-ups and sit-ups. Herta always remembered everyone's birthdays, and she was very proud of the family. I recall a delicious spread she made called liptaur. Mmm. [Steve] I have the recipe! [Kathy]

Aunti Herta's Liptauer Kaese
courtesy Kathy
quarter cup of butter
half pound cream cheese
anchovy paste
1 tsp capers
1 tsp mustard
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp chopped onions
1 tsp chopped chives
salt and pepper
cold light beer
Mix everything to the consistency of a paste with the cold light beer, adding the beer it a bit at a time.

My memories of the house in Hopatcong center around two places: the kitchen and the lake. There was always a whirlwind of swimming, boating, laughing, and eating (always at Herta's warm but firm insistance). I often wondered how Herta had so much energy, how she managed to always be awake before anybody else, whether life was ever calm (as a child, I didn't realize that maybe the house was quieter when it wasn't full of family and friends!).

One morning, I also woke up early, and sat in a chair in front of the fantastic window looking over the lake, to watch the sunrise. Herta was in the kitchen making breakfast. The lake was placid, gorgeous; the silence broken only by the occasional singing bird. As I sat, watching, I felt something move behind me. Herta had tip-toed into the room and was looking over my shoulder out the window. Startled, I turned around; she said "beautiful, isn't it?" and smiled. Then she headed back to the kitchen. [Daniel]

Herta taught me this rhyme. [Kathy]
  German   English
Wissen Sie dass Ungarisch sehr schwer ist?
Oi oi oi oi oi wie ist das schwer.
Wenn man nicht beim Honved Militaer ist,
Lernt man es sein Leben nimmermehr!
Do you know that Hungarian is very hard?
Oh boy it's hard!
If you are not serving with the Honved (regiment),
You'll never manage to learn it!

We visited Auntie Herta at Lake Hopatcong with Becca and Shari a couple of times; this visit must have been around 1998. Here we are sitting at one of the most peaceful places on earth, the bench at the end of the dock. [Steve]

Young Herta holding baby Hedy.

Kathy writes: In this brilliant 1937 photo of my grandfather and Leo on Leo's motorbike, with their skis strapped on to the side, the boys are off on an expedition! Leo and my grandfather were great mates before the war (both were handbag makers) well before he got together with Herta!

Boris & Imre

Boris and Imre were Vera neni's perents; Imre was the brother of Grandma, Sari neni, and Manci neni. The family photo shows Sari neni and Manci neni in the back, and Rosa, Imre bacsi, and Grandma in the front. The front and back of a postcard is shown with a photo of Imre's cheder (school).

One of the secrets to my grandmother's challah was to put water on it as it baked. That's how the crust got so hard. She loved America. I always say I've never known anyone that loved America as much as she did. I've heard the gun nuts talk about how much they love this country and their guns ... . I've heard the rhetoric from politicians, etc. She loved this country at a very, very deep level. She was a very emotional person. She also suffered from lupus, and was prescribed steroids, to combat this (bad combination). [Jim]

Imre Goldschmied - A Martyr of the Holocaust - A Memory of Nagypapa
Imre was my uncle, my mother’s younger brother. My grandparents had eleven children, but I knew only four of them. My mother was the second child, and the other three were among the younger ones. They all survived World War I and the Spanish flu epidemic that decimated Europe around 1920.

Imre was not very much older than I was. He was a journeyman electrician, well skilled at his trade. He used to maintain the motors on the printing presses in our print shop, and when I was old enough, I helped him with some of the odd jobs.

My grandmother lived with her unmarried children, Sari, Manci and Imre, about a ten minute walk from where we lived. Sari left for America around 1929.

I remember when Imre took me skiing one Sunday into the Buda hills. We took the streetcar to Buda and then carried our skis on our shoulders up the hill. There were no ski lift those days. When you ended up at the bottom of the hill, you walked up with your skis on your shoulder.

Imre married a very attractive girl, Boris who had a very friendly personality. A great sales lady, she worked at the Corvin department store. When they got married, they took an apartment about ten blocks away from us where I would visit them occasionally. When their daughter Vera was born, she was the most beautiful and good baby I ever knew. She was friendly and had a great smile, the pride and joy of her parents.

As life became more difficult for Jews in Hungary toward the end of the 1930s, they decided to make buttons for dress makers as a source of additional income. Boris called on the customers during the day and in the evening, and when Imre got home, he would make the buttons. When Imre was taken into the Hungarian labor service, this all changed. At some point Imre’s slave labor unit was taken to the Russian front, and he never returned. He is listed on the Yad VaShem website among the martyrs.

Imre was a quiet, introverted, thoughtful man with a heart of gold. Caring and helpful, he was a real mensch. He tried very hard to survive the difficult times and was very diligent at his endeavors. I had great respect for him.

Grandma (Gizella, Maju) 13 May 1888 - 15 September 1979 & Grandpa (Kálmán): 6 April 1882 - 1944

The family photo was taken before nagypapa was born and includes Grandma in the back, Pista bácsi in the front, and Kálmán and Kató neni in the middle.

My father (Kálmán) owned a printing business where I trained and became a journeyman printer. Both my parents felt very strongly about the value of an education. My father explained that knowledge was the one thing that noone could take away from you. [Nagypapa]

Grandma moved in soon after the US Heller home was established, and she was a constant positive influence. In Cambridge, she became MIT Prof. Norbert Weiner's housekeeper. She loved to paint and had unimaginable patience with the kids.

Grandma always kept M&Ms and coffee candies in her dresser drawer that she gave to the kids. [Leslie]

When I was about eight, I had a chore of moving items from upstairs to the basement. It must have required fifteen or twenty trips, and every time I passed through the kitchen, as I entered, I said "Hi Grandma!" and as I exited a few second later I said, "Bye Grandma!" (Grandma was often sitting in the kitchen preparing something.) I thought the rapid fire greeting was great fun, but after about the tenth hello/goodbye, Grandma had had enough of my monkey business. [Steve]

Here is grandma's grave marker.

These memorial stones mark Kálmán's grave.

Kálmán died in 1944 during the Nazi occupation of Budapest. Unlike most Jews who died in the Holocaust, Kálmán had a funeral and was buried in the cemetary. Nagypapa's brother István (Pista bácsi) and sister Kató (Kató neni), martyrs of the Holocaust, had no graves, so Nagypapa's mother arranged for a memorial marker to be inset in Kálmán's tombstone. This image is a composite of the text of the memorial inscriptions, Kálmán's on the top, and Pista bácsi's and Kató neni's on the bottom.

Kálmán's memorial inscription, itt alussza örök álmát is beautifully poetic in Hungarian, but doesn't translate naturally into English. Literally it means, "Here, sleeping his eternal dream," but it may be better understood as, "This is the eternal resting place of Kalman Heller." Steve's and Neil's middle names were given in Kálmán's memory.

Pista bácsi's and Kató neni's memorial inscription, mártírhalált halt gyermekei above and emlékére below mean "His children who died a martyr's death" and "in their memory." In the middle are their names and birth and death dates, 1915-1943 for Pista bácsi and 1917-1944 for Kató neni. Steve was named in Pista bácsi's memory, and Karen was named in Kató neni's memory.

Grandma (Mary) 15 November 1911 & Three-Pop John 18 August 1909

Uncle Harry called his father Pop. Debbie and Russell called him Pop-Pop John. Rebecca, Shari and Ilana called him Three-Pop John. Alexa, Doug, and Jack have taken to calling Burt Pop-Pop. This endearing traditon is being passed from one generation to the next. [Debbie]

Early John Cohen family photo.

Marcia Carol Blum Gottfried (1936-2018) was Neil's mother in law. Neil wrote this beautiful rememberance.
Debbie remembers her mom fondly. Larry remembers his mom fondly.
When asked how tall she was, my mother always said she was 5 feet and a 1/4 inch. I'm pretty sure she was more like 4 feet something, but that was her story and she was sticking with it. Although she was small, she was mighty.

When reflecting on the woman who raised me, I have come to understand how much I was shaped by her. Like it or not, we are very much the product of our parents. And today I truly appreciate how much of this petite, passionate, outspoken, woman is part of me.

Some of my youngest memories involve my mother fiercely protecting and caring for me. During one of my many childhood asthma attacks, she once directed her mama-bear fierceness at the emergency room staff for helping a drug overdose victim. Even in my breathless state, I somehow understood that my mother was a woman not to be messed with if you got in the way of the wellbeing of her child.

In the years that followed, my mother was always my greatest protector and champion. When introducing me to people, she would always proudly pronounce "this is my daughter. She is a lawyer." She once told me that she wished she had been born into my generation, as women in my generation had opportunities not available to her. While I may not have fully understood or appreciated the significance of this comment at the time, having taken for granted the opportunities open to me and other women of my generation, I always admired her for the bold choices she made in her younger years.

My mother grew up with the clear message that women did not need to go to college for any other reason than to meet a husband. This did not deter her. After graduating from high school, without the support or encouragement of her parents, she left home and enrolled in U.C. Berkeley. While she ultimately did not graduate (after meeting my father), she was always proud of her time at Cal and her courage to pursue her dreams. She went on to have her own very successful career as a bookkeeper, but I think she still had dreams of doing even more. I believe this influenced her unwavering support and encouragement of my dreams and aspirations. She made it clear that I could do anything I wanted to do, and I never doubted she would be there to back me up 100%.

My mother was a strong, loving, generous, determined woman who knew what she wanted and knew how to get it. She did not take no for an answer. You did not want to be on her bad side. She loved shopping at Lucy, Crystal Cruises, jewelry, spoiling her grandchildren, and most of all, my father, with whom she shared a life for more than 60 years. Their marriage was truly the model for a committed relationship. Even when things were challenging, and they faced some genuine trials, especially in recent years, their love and devotion for each other remained unshaken. I credit this model of commitment in large part to my own successful marriage.

My mother was also very generous when it came to her family. She loved gift giving. She was truly offended when I once suggested she may want to limit the absurdly excessive number of Hanukkah gifts for the grandchildren. Nina still remembers with a smile the time grandma told her she could pick out as many books as she wanted at her favorite children's book store. My mother was also the only person I know that spent serious time picking out the perfect greeting card.

My mother truly loved her grandchildren. They were a source of joy and pride for her. They could make her light up like no one else, especially in the last months of her life.

My mother could be irreverent. She had no filter. She had the gift for exaggeration. She called it as she saw it. But she also was my mama bear and I will miss her deeply.

I was searching for song lyrics that would capture my mom's spirit and found it with "A Place in The Sun" from the great poet Stevie Wonder.

Like a long lonely stream
I keep runnin' towards a dream
Movin' on, movin' on
Like a branch on a tree
I keep reachin' to be free
Movin' on, movin' on
'Cause there's a place in the sun
Where there's hope for ev'ry one
Where my poor restless heart's gotta run
There's a place in the sun
And before my life is done
Got to find me a place in the sun

My mom loved the sun. Anyone who knew her would tell you that. She liked bright colors, laughter, flowers, exotic places and the bright sun. There's no question that my Mom's favorite season was summer. My mom was in her happy place on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean or if that was not possible, then sitting by the pool. Maybe because she grew up in foggy San Francisco, she always loved the sun and brightness of life. When my parents finally moved out of San Francisco it was to be in a brighter place, my mom wanted (and got) a house with lots of windows and lots of light. Looking at pictures of her throughout the many stages of her life, she was always wearing bright and happy colors. No black in her wardrobe! Whenever we had family or friends together she was the sunshine in the room, telling stories of her traveling adventures. Even near the end of her life when she was at Silverado, she loved to sit outside in the sun.

Everyone loved my mom's bright personality, her smile and laugh. Of course she had many hardships and disappointments in her life like we all do but she was always optimistic and upbeat and looked for the best in people. I never really thought about it until now, but I don't think I ever heard my mom make a cynical or sarcastic comment (though she heard me make many I'm sure). She was also supportive of everyone's dreams, mine, my Dads, Debbie's, as well as those of the Grandchildren. She encouraged my dad to take a chance and start his own tax business; it changed his life, thanks to her support. She was very supportive of me, emotionally and financially, when I went to Culinary School to seek out a new career. She also embraced Naomi's dream to be an actress.

She remade herself as well. Even though she never had any formal training, she taught herself to be a bookkeeper. She became a bookkeeper at an Egg distribution company. You couldn't pick a better place to have a rebirth than an egg company. Her bookkeeping skills would come in handy later in life when her and my Dad started their own business together "Gottfried Associates!" She had found a way for my dad to have his dream and for her to be part of it.

My parents had their "Golden Years" as they got older with lots of traveling to sunny places around the globe. When my mom found out she was diabetic, she decided to change her whole lifestyle. She started eating healthy and started walking a lot. My parents enjoyed daily walks to downtown San Carlos to hang out with their new group of friends at a coffee house. My dad wasn't crazy about long walks but somehow my mom convinced him to do it every day. She was the love of my dad's life, his daily dose of sunshine. He would walk the earth (or San Carlos) for her. Although the cruelness of Alzheimer's slowly started to dim the sun in her a life, there remained a spark to the very end. An infectious smile and bright eyes that showed you the love she had for you.

Got to find me
a place in the sun
Like an old dusty road
I get weary from the load
Movin' on, movin' on
Like this tired troubled earth
I've been rollin' since my birth
Movin' on, movin' on
'Cause there's a place in the sun
Where there's hope for ev'ry one

Eulogy for Evelyn Siegel z’l
Written by George Heller, 10 June 2007

I asked Leslie to read these words of farewell to my big sister Evelyn, who went to her eternal home Thursday. Evelyn was not really my big sister. She “adopted“ me. It was a rare act of kindness, one that tied us together for the years I have known her.

When Evelyn found out that I did have a big brother and a big sister as I was growing up in Hungary and how they perished in the Holocaust, how my sister was brutally murdered in the Ghetto in Budapest, she said to me: “Let me adopt you as my little brother. I can’t replace your sister, but since we are already family related through Leslie and Evan, we can strengthen our family tie. We can talk and become an even closer knit family”

From that day forward, whenever we visited her, whenever we talked on the phone, we were big sister, and little brother. This relationship continued now for some years.

Evelyn was a private person, a person of great wisdom and great determination. And to me, a person of caring and kindness.

Remembering the teachings or Rabbi Zusya of Pirke Avot, the Sayings of the Fathers. Evelyn did not try to emulate anyone. She was a person true to herself and to her life philosophy, who taught me much about life. And in her own way she truly was my “big sister.’

She may no longer be with us in person. Her teaching and wisdom remain with us, and continues to enrich and enhance our lives.

May her memory be for a blessing.

István (1915-1943) and Kató (1917-1944) were Nagypapa's older siblings. They were martyred in the Holocaust. They are memorialized with a stone at their father's grave.

Pista bácsi and Kató neni.
Nagypapa, Kató,
& Grandma
Kató Kató & High School Friends

Karl Biss: 1884-1972 & Hermine Huger (Tante Minna): 1887-1980

A young Karl Biss (Grandpa's uncle), c1902

A young Hermine Huger, c1905

Karl Biss, World War I

Postcard from Abbazia to Adolf Biss dated 4th July 1911 showing Karl Biss (far right) and stepbrother Norbert Weiss (third from the right).

Hermine Biss in centre with her elder daughter Lisa (right) and younger daughter Herta (left) circa 1919/1920. I am dating it like that for 2 reasons: the girls' birth years suggest it (1909 and 1914) and also I get the feeling it is a post-war photo, and I know that the children were all sent by the Red Cross to Scandinavian countries after the war for 6 months to be fattened up a bit... . [Kathy]

Karl and Hermine (possibly a wedding photo), c1906

Mina & Karl's Golden (fiftieth) Anniversary, 1956

Leneman, Leah (1944-1999)

Leah was Nagymama's second cousin, Karl's granddaughter.

The late LEAH LENEMAN was a research fellow in the Department of Economic and Social History, University of Edinburgh, William Robertson Building, 50 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9JY, United Kingdom. Her books include Living in Atholl 1685–1785 – a social history of the estates (Edinburgh University Press, 1986), Guid Cause: the women’s suffrage movement in Scotland (Aberdeen University Press, 1992; new edition Mercat Press, 1995), Into the Foreground: a century of Scottish women in photographs (National Museums of Scotland/Alan Sutton, 1993), In the Service of Life: the story of Elsie Inglis and the Scottish Women’s Hospitals (Mercat Press, 1994) and Alienated Affections: the Scottish experience of divorce and separation 1684–1830 (Edinburgh University Press, 1998). She has also written numerous articles.

The preceeding is from Women's History Review, Volume 9, Number 3, 2000 at the end of an article entitled: A Personal History: The Late Leah Lenaman written by Leah herself.

Leah lived in Scotland with Graham, her partner of many years.

Leah authored many cookery books. Here's a 1985 Interview with Leah Leneman in Vegan Views.

These books by Leah:

Grandpa's brother Otto with his first wife Erni, 1927.

Dr. Otto Biss

Grandpa's brother Otto with his second wife Gudelia and their older daughter Anna Maria in Asuncion, Paraguay.

Otto, Anna Maria, Helga, Gudiala, and Liesele in Asuncion.

Eulogy by George G. Heller
Long Beach, California, February 25, 2007

I met Paul des Jardins twenty years ago, when his son Steve married our daughter Karen. And yet, for the past 50 years we moved in the same computer circles, followed the same paths in talking about the future of computers, and how they would change our world. And thanks, in no small part to Paul's courage and perseverance, computers have changed our lives for the better.

Paul had the courage to dream, to try new approaches, to champion new ideas, to pursue new paths. He had unprecedented skills in computer programming, in getting programs and systems work, and improve, and succeed.

When we finally met, I realized what a giant he was in our profession. He played an important role in SHARE, the organization of large IBM computer users. I worked for IBM. And twenty years ago, we became one family.

I also admired Paul for the love he had for his wife Lois, and for his family. He was kind, thoughtful and generous. And he cared greatly about his community. He actively participated in his community's affairs and did much to make it a better place.

Paul was the kind of person who transformed the world around him, for the better. He may no longer be with us in person, but we feel his presence every day as we live in a world that he helped change and improve. To me, Paul's life was rich in promises, that he helped come true, visions he fulfilled, lives he enriched.

And our lives continue to be enriched by his son Steve, who is now our son, too. Steve abundantly reflects Paul's values, wisdom and insights. He is a wonderful son, a loving husband to his wife Karen, and a great father to their daughter, Erika. Thank you, Paul, for raising a son we can continue to share and love.

Paul lives on in the family he raised and the successes he shared. But most of all, I remember him as a caring, decent, loving human being, a role model I will always admire, respect and try to emulate. May his memory continue to be for a blessing for us all.

Sari neni (Charlotte) - 24 December 1900 - 10 February 1985 & Manci neni (Margaret): 19 November 1906 - 10 Sept 1989

Photo: Manci neni, Sari neni, and Grandma, taken when Sari neni returned to visit Hungary after WWII in the late 1940s.

Sari neni and Manci neni were Grandma's sisters in NYC. Sari neni had no kids of her own, and David and the Heller kids were her grandchildren. When he first came to the states, Nagypapa lived with her and her husband George. Much later, we all visited Sari neni and Manci neni regularly as kids. Manci neni was the quieter sister, a very proud grandmother.

Manci neni, when asked how she was doing, would respond first "Thank you," and after that she'd say how she was. So, rather than, "Fine, thank you," she's say, "Thank you, fine." Perhaps this is a typical Hungarian linguistic pattern, or perhaps this practice derives from elsewhere, but I found the order of her response to be enlightened. Thank YOU before I tell you about ME. I have tried to adopt this practice, and I often think of Manci neni as a result. [Steve]

During WW II, Vera and I were housed in an orphanage in Budapest, Hungary. Nazis emptied the orphanage, and marched the kids toward the Danube to be shot. Were were so tired we could hardly walk. As we passed the ghetto, there was an indoor market, and we all stopped at an office building for the kids to rest. My mother (Manci neni) heard there were kids in the ghetto, and she found Vera and me. My mother was able to take us home, saving our lives. I remember that she fed us soup made of burned flour; I still remember the smell of the soup. I'll have to try making some of that soup. [Judy neni]

When Manci neni got married, her mother, Rosa, moved in with them. She stayed with them all the way, including the time they moved to the Ghetto in Budapest in 1944. I am told one evening she went out to look for Manci and never returned. [Nagypapa]

Sari neni sent this postcard of herself.

Sari neni used to smoke cigarettes. One day she left a cigarette behind after a visit, and mom found it. She called Neil and me into the kitchen and said that we were going to smoke it. It was terrible! I never smoked again. [Leslie]

When I was little, Sari neni used to hold me up to the picture window in our living room in Poughkeepsie. We'd look into the back yard at the apple tree and she would sing to me, "Don't sit under the apple tree, with anyone else but me ... ." Sari neni also sang me a Hungarian children's rhyme, Jön a kapitány. [Leslie]
  Hungarian   English
Jön a kapitány
Sárga paripán
Aki nem lép egyszerre
Nem kap rétest estére
Pedig a rétes nagyon jó
Jó gyereknek az való.
(Rosz gyereknek nem való.)
Here comes the Captain (Man in charge)
On a yellow stallion.
Whosoever does not keep in step
Gets no strudel in the evening.
Though the strudel is very good
Fit for a good child.
(Not fit for a bad (ill behaved) child.)

Shari was named in Sari neni's memory. While it will be a joy in the Heller family should Shari ever have any children, I can't imagine the scene should one of her sisters have a child, at which point Shari could legitimately be addressed as Shari neni. [Steve - still can't read this without kvelling in anticipation]

Manci neni and two cousins at the beach.

Samuel Biss (Great great grandfather and closest common ancestor of Kathy and Steve) and [I think -Kathy] Mrs. Biss no 2.

Sigmund Biss (Grandpa's uncle), World War I

Sigmund Biss and Norbert Weiss, World War 1

Sigmund Biss married Henrietta Weiss (Yetta) and they lived in Vienna.

Uncle Ben and Aunt Es were two of Three-Pop John's six siblings: Helen, Lou, (John), Rhoda Esther, Isaac, Ben, and Lil. Uncle Selwin married Aunt Es.

Uncle Julius: 27 Oct 28 - 25 Dec 1986

Julius "Julek" Zylberger married my father's cousin Judy, and Judy neni and Uncle Julius had a son David, the same general age as my siblings and me. These three relatives were an extension of our family, and I have many fond memories growing up visiting with them. They lived in New York City, and we lived in Poughkeepsie. [Steve]

My fondest memory of Uncle Julius was at the seder table singing "Let My People Go!" Go down, Moses: way down to Egypt land. Tell-O Phar-oh Oh: Let my people go! [Steve]

Uncle Julius was soft spoken and always happy. I second the "Let My People Go!" memory. [Leslie]

Uncle Julius was a Holocaust survivor, and he wrote several letters about his experience.

More Biss Relatives

Grandpa Biss' family was from Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Austria.

Nathan & Nettie Biss, Pezinok, Czechoslovakia: Grandpa's parents.

Grandpa's father and uncles: Kathy McAleer obtained this photo from Erich's widow Adrie.

Standing are Norbert (Weiss), Karl, and Siggi (Sigmund)

Sitting on the right seems to be Joseph Nathan, Grandpa's father.

Uncle Siggi, having married his stepsister and Norbert Weiss's sister Tante Yetti (Henrietta), is the father of Chicago cousins Hans, Ernst and Lisa.

Poldi (& Klara) Biss: Poldi was Grandpa's brother and Marti's grandfather (not father).

Elza and Aladar Adler: Elza was Grandpa's sister.

The Chicago Bisses: Hans and Ernst were Grandpa's cousins.

More Goldschmied Relatives

[Stories as retold by Adele, as communicated to her by Tia Vilma and other relatives.]

Jose Goldschmied's parents: Lotti & Salomon, married in Vas in 1896, and Salomon's memorial stone in Beled.

Before the family moved to Szárföld, Salomon worked in his father's tavern in Veszkény. In Szárföld he was a livestock trader and worked with his brother Matyi. I found the book that he used to keep track of his sales. My father-in-law, Jose, kept everything! We have his school records from grade school and birth certificates from his parents. Salamon died of cancer when he was 45 leaving his wife to care for seven children. They moved to Kapuvár and lived in one of Matyi's houses. Tia Vilma remembers her uncle as not being very kind to them but he did help them survive financially, just enough to get by. She remembers her aunt Fanny as being very nice to her. When we visited Szarföld with my family and Katalin (wife of Joszef Grosz who changed his name after the war to Galantai) around 1994, my father-in-law tried to describe where their house would be. We met a man on the street who remembered Fanny and spoke of how rich they were! He said that she used to give him chocolate. The house where they had lived had been torn down.

When the older sons began to work (Sandor "Alejandro" and Mihály "Miguel"), they moved to Budapest (about 1918). Tia Vilma says they were really poor, but Alejandro and Miguel did not want to take anything from the relatives. They went to Israel for a while but it wasn't good economically, so they went to Mexico where they prospered. All the family left Hungary before WWII. Tia Margit left Hungary to study medicine in Italy. She couldn't enter med school in Hungary because of the quotas for Jews. She became a pediatrician, married a doctor, had two girls, and remained in Italy until she died at 98. Tia Vilma was able to finish her studies in law in Budapest. Tia Vilma and her mother arrived in Mexico on the last ship that left Italy before the war started.

Ilonka Lichenstetner, born in 1909, the first wife of Ignac Goldschmied with children Miklos (1933), Ferenc (1934) and Marianne (1937). This photo was taken in May 1944, and they were taken to the camps on July 8, 1944.

More Kapuvar Relatives

Grandma Heller's family was from Kapuvar, Hungary. Grandma, Sari neni, and Manci neni were three of eleven siblings, including Ilonka (???? - c1918), Joska, Jeno, Imre (1904-1943 - disappeared a slave laborer in Ostrogoszk, Russia), Lajos, Sandor (1903 - 1943), and Anna.

This building is where our grandfather, Samu, had his "beer-garden" (also butcher store), where liquor and meals were served. [Judy neni & Nagypapa]

Here's a story about my grandparents (the parents of Maju (Gizella), Sari, Vera's father Imre, my mother Manci, and seven others) Rosa and Samu (SHA-moo) from before my time. At Passover (must have been before 1920), there were some Jewish soldiers that were looking for a seder in Kapuvar. The Rabbi sent them to my grandparents, as my grandfather was the butcher, owned a restaurant, and was the president of the congregation. When the door was opened for anyone who was hungry to come in and eat --- Ho lachmo anyo, fifteen soldiers walked in. More food was cooked and they were fed. Can you imagine fifteen people walking through the door to be fed? [Judy neni]

This postcard was sent to Sari neni by Grandma, Manci neni, and their mother Rosa. The translation is by Vera neni and Nagypapa.

Dear Sharikam, Isn't it wonderful to have this surprise and my postcard. I am hoping that a card will come from you, one that your mother and your youger sister Manci impatiently await. Everything is the same with us (nothing changed). Please write! (underlined) Now we are going to the swimming pool. Kiss (literally) lovingly, Gizella --- I also send you loving kisses, Manci. --- I am well, and I hope you travel well as you did in the past. Rosa



Jeno, Joska, and ?.

Judy neni's father was Bandi (Andor Molnar); this is Bandi's father Istvan Rozenstrausz. The whole name family was Hungarianized to Molnar before Bandi married Manci neni in 1937.

Matyi bacsi

"This is uncle Matyi, brother of our departed mother" (Rosa, mother of Grandma, Shari neni, Manci neni, Imre, ...).

I never met him, but he was a very well respected member of the family. [George]

More of Judy neni's pictures. (temporary link)

Heller Web Space: Images - Notes - Travel - Memories