Safirsztajn and Gold families' photograph
Black and white image of the Safirsztajn and Gold families taken on the occasion of a family wedding in the United States and a portrait of Rojza Gold Safirsztajn, Rose’s maternal grandmother. Pictured in photograph: last row, left to right: Ajzyk Safirsztajn, unknown, [first name unknown] Gold, unknown, [first name unknown] Gold. middle row, left to right: unknown, [first name unknown] Safirsztajn, wife of Wolf Safirsztajn, Wolf Safirsztajn, [first name unknown] Najmark, [first name unknown] Najmark, [first name unknown] Najmark, Chana Safirsztajn Ickowicz [Rose’s mother], Adek Eizel Safirsztajn (from Łódź), Cesia Safirsztajn, Abel Ickowicz [Rose’s father], Szaja Ickowicz [Rose’s paternal grandfather], Bronia Ickowicz [Rose’s sister], Tonia Safirsztajn, [first name unknown] Safirsztajn, “Mima”, [first name unknown] Gold [Rose’s cousin], [first name unknown] Gold [Rose’s cousin], Regina Safirsztajn [Rose’s cousin]. seated in first row, left to right: unknown, Icie Safirsztajn, Golda Safirsztajn, Karola Safirsztajn Najmark, Jakub Najmark, Josef Najmark [Rose’s maternal grandfather], Rozia Ickowicz [Rose]. They were all gathered on the occasion of the marriage of Mordechai Safirsztajn (Rose’s maternal uncle) which was taking place in the United States. Regina Safirsztajn was the daughter of Josef Safirsztajn and Roza Gold Safirsztajn. She was born in Bedzin where her father ran a restaurant and bar in the front of their home. Regina had six older siblings: Chana Gitla (later Ickowicz), Mordechai (who immigrated to the United States), Isaak, Ezel (who moved to Lodz after his marriage), Tonia and Cesia. She also had one younger brother, David. The children attended Polish schools, but spoke Yiddish at home with their parents. Regina's mother Roza died long before the start of the war, and her father Josef died of a heart attack shortly after the creation of the ghetto. He had lived with his children at the time and they gave him a proper burial in the ghetto. While in the ghetto, Regina married Josef Szaintal, however she continued to be known by her maiden name as he died soon thereafter. In August 1943, Regina was deported to Auschwitz along with her sister, sisters-in-law, and their children. The family was separated upon arrival, and Regina's sisters lost track of her. Chana Gittla's son Marek, Tonia, and her two small children were killed immediately upon arrival, as was Isaak's wife and child. David's wife, Jadzia, was chosen for labor despite the fact that she had a young child, and she stayed with Chana Gitla and her daughters. Regina was selected to work in the Weichsel-Union-Metalwerke (Union munitions plant) and became involved in the Auschwitz underground. Together with Ala Gertner, and Esterka Wajcblum, she smuggled out gunpowder hidden in the seams of her clothing. They passed whatever they could steal to Roza Robota, who, in turn, gave it to members of the Sonderkommando. On October 7, 1944 members of the Sonderkommando used the gunpowder to blow up crematorium IV in Birkenau. During the exhaustive investigation that followed the short-lived uprising, Ala, Roza, Ester and Regina were directly implicated in the theft of the explosives. All four were arrested and tortured, and on January 5, 1945, they were publicly hanged in Auschwitz-Birkenau. With the exception of one niece, Roza Ickowicz, and her brother in America, none of Regina's immediate family survived the Holocaust. Rose Rechnic (1926-2006) was born Róża Ickowicz on January 15, 1926 in Będzin, Poland. Her father, Abel Ickowicz, was an accountant and her mother, Chana Safirsztajn Ickowicz, took care of the children. Abel and Chana Ickowicz had three children: Bronia Ickowicz (b. 9/22/1923); Róża Ickowicz (b. 1/15/1926), and Marek Ickowicz (b. 1931). The family lived on 13 Piułsudskiego Street in Będzin. On September 6, 1939, two days after entering the city, the Germans maltreated and harassed the Będzin Jews. On that day the Germans shot Abel Ickowicz in the main synagogue in Będzin. On September 9, 1939 the Germans set fire to the synagogue. Chana Ickowicz, and her three children were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in August 1943. Bronia and Marek Ickowicz perished upon arrival. Róża Ickowicz and her mother Chana were selected for labor. Chana Ickowicz died in February 1944 of disease and exhaustion. In December 1944 Róża Ickowicz was transferred to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. In April 15, 1945 the British Army liberated the camp and Róża, who was 18 years old, moved into the Bergen-Belsen DP camp. On August 5, 1945 Róża Ickowicz married a fellow survivor from Będzin, Simon Lajb Rechnic, a violinist. They immigrated to the US in the fall of 1945 and settled in Florida. Rose Rechnic died on April 18, 2006.
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Auschwitz-Birkenau, ofwel Auschwitz II, gelegen in het op drie kilometer van Auschwitz gelegen Birkenau (Pools: Brzezinka) was het grootste van de drie subkampen van Auschwitz. Auschwitz II was een vernietigingskamp. In de herfst van 1941 begonnen Russische krijgsgevangenen met de bouw van het kamp, vanaf de zomer van 1942 werd het kamp, met vier gaskamers, steeds belangrijker in de grootschalige vernietiging van Joden en Sinti en Roma.
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- Naoorlogse periode