Provenance

A book, a photo, a label…

Thank you Google!

By googling a family members name I managed to come across a book with a partial history of some of my extended family.

I immediately ordered the book from Amazon but posting to Australia would mean a wait of a few weeks. So I rang the Holocaust museum here to see if they had it. They did!

I read as much as I could and then patiently waited for the books arrival.

It came a few days ago.

I wont go into the history here but will tell you an interesting “find” that occurred.

Susi, the author had an aunt Jenny who married a cousin of ours, Pinchos Fluss.

Jenny died in the Holocaust, that much I knew. The book was able to fill in some gaps for me about their life prior to WW2. Pinchos survived with some of his children. When asking my mother about them, she asked me if I recalled meeting Pinchos in England when I was very young, but I did not.

I was reading about where the family lived. I did not know the name of the area in Berlin.

About 10 minutes laterĀ I happened to be speaking to my cousin Robby Klein about arranging a meeting with his Uncle Bernard Goldman, a cousin of mine too. I decided to look at all the photos I scanned whilst interviewing Bernard about 6 months ago.

Robby’s grandfather Ami, Bernard’s brother, is present on the left of this photo in the families former fur shop in Dessau.

I always scan the back of the photos for the genealogical information - if there is any.

This is what is on the back of this photo:

Now it did peak my curiosity about the surname and first initial here. Since some of Goldman family and mine came from the same shtetl of Pysznica and part of my paternal family’s name is Fluss, I thought, now this is way too much of a coincidence.

Why a coincidence?

Because, in the book I was just reading a few moments before, Pinchos Fluss and his wife Jenny, lived in Charlottenburg.

The book didnt give the exact address.

So how was I going to determine if this was the same P. Fluss and why was his name and address labelled on this photo from Dessau?

At the same time that I was in the Museum voraciously looking for information in Susi’s book, I decided to photograph some vital information in this book.

It is a book made up of many volumes which lists the name, birth, maiden name, if necessary, former address’ of German Jews killed in The Holocaust.

Even though I knew what happened to Jenny, also know as Sheindel, somewhat fortuitously, I decided to photograph her entry in this book and the entries of her children that were murdered with her.

Reading in Susi’s book about Jenny’s place in Charlottenburg, then looking at the back of the photo whilst cropping the photos ready for Bernard to identify some people, then realising I had actually photographed Jenny is this book, I immediately went to my archive of photo’s.

and there it was, right before my eyes.

Same people, same family, same address.

How uncanny.

I google a family name

I find a book in England about some members of the family

I happened to speak to Robby to arrange a time to meet with Bernard who is the owner of the photo

I read the book and within a few minutes get distracted because I feel I must crop the scanned photos from Bernard - ready for a meeting with him

And then I find the label of the Fluss family living in Charlottenburg on the back of a photo of Robby’s grandfather which was taken in Dessau

I photograph the details of the demise of some of this family in another book weeks earlier

Then voila!

Merge all of these bits of information together to prove this link.

The mystery still remains…

Why is Pinchos Fluss’ label on the back of this photo?

My family, the Fluss’s and some of Robby and Bernard’s family come from the small Shtetl of Pysznica in Poland. I won’t go into how we are related. But did those Shtetl connections, once the families moved to Germany, remain? Maybe we will find out when Robby and I meet up with Bernard in a week or so.

I always find it fascinating that I can be sitting here in Sydney, get a book from London that tells the history of family from Poland and Germany then look in a book from Germany that is here in Sydney, get a photo originally from Dessau that has a label from Charlottenburg, scan it in Sydney and blend the Provenance of the photo together.

Now you know why I call this blog Provenance!