Shaya Schloss is Sam Goldberg’s first cousin. Their mothers were sisters – Faiga and Miriam Mishler. The Mishler sisters grew up in Jasienitz, Poland, 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) from Bagatele, Sam’s place of birth.
Faiga married Zelig Goldberg and moved to Bagatele. Miriam married Yankev (Jacob) Schloss and made their home in Jasienitz. The Schloss family ran a general store out of their home. Shaya was the third of four Schloss children born to Yankev and Miriam.
From time to time, the Goldberg family visited the Schloss family, especially around Chanukah. They would travel by horse and buggy. And sometimes the children would visit the other’s family during summer holiday. Shaya remembers visiting the Goldbergs during his summer vacations.
This picture was taken in 1934 when Sam was visiting the Schloss family. Shaya recalls that this was taken just before his family was forced to move from Jasienitz because of the antisemitism that made their life impossible. The Poles were boycotting their store. Sam had come from Bagatele to help them move. Shown in the picture are (left to right): back row: Yitzkak Schloss, Poja Schloss, Sam Goldberg; second row: Shaina Rochel Mishler (Miriam and Faiga’s mother), Miriam Mishler Schloss, Yankev Schloss; Bottom row: Shaya Schloss and Clara Schloss. They called their grandmother Sheina Lechel, because she ran after them with a spoon. Lechel is Yiddish for spoon. Sheina Rochel died one week before Hitler invaded Poland. She lived with the Schloss family in Ostrow. She went out to feed the chickens, came back inside and told her daughter she wasn’t feeling well. She went to bed and had a heart attack, dying a few hours later. She was buried in the Jewish cemetery in Ostrow. Of the others in the picture, only Sam and Shaya survived the Holocaust.
I had the pleasure last Sunday of spending the afternoon with Shaya and his two sons, Jack and Bruce, in Monsey, New York. We had much to discuss about the old days and about their families today. Here is a picture of the four of us. From left to right: Bruce Schloss, me, Shaya Schloss, Jack Schloss.
After the war, Shaya and his wife Faiga, made their way to Föhrenwald where they found Sam, Esther and baby Fay. In the DP camp, there were professional photographers who took photos. Shaya shared some of the photos from that time. They are amazing. Here are a few:
Sam, Esther and Fay.
Sam and Shaya.
Top 2 – Fay; Bottom – Esther, Sam and Fay.
My blog posts have been sparse because I am working hard on the book. I will let you all know as I progress towards publication. It was a special treat to spend time with Shaya, Bruce and Jack. I am grateful for the time we spent together.