Finding the Farbers: Best Genealogical Gift, Ever

Finding the Farbers: Best Genealogical Gift, Ever

I left you in New York so long ago, virtually speaking, that springtime finally arrived in the city. As I mentioned, at the end of that trip I at long last I met Jill Leibman Kornmehl, who has contributed to this blog in more ways that I can detail.

At that meeting (the proof is in the picture next to this post’s title; Jill is on the right), she gave me copies of manuscripts from Vienna that detail the confiscation of property from the Kornmehl family, especially the butcher shops of Siegmund, for whom this blog is named.

But the best gift–and a total surprise–came from Jill after I returned to Tucson in the form of a PowerPoint slide show.

The Missing Links

Whoa! How Did This Come Together?

Jill explained:

It took me almost a year to gather it all together. Blima [Lorber] was a huge contributor–as an investigative journalist, she has resources not available to most. However, Brazilians take long vacations winter and summer and the research stopped and started all year. As for Isaac Lalo in the Dominican Republic, he asked older synagogue congregants for information, searched for the matadora (slaughterhouse) and actually walked through the entire Jewish Cemetery in Santo Domingo looking for Ernest Farber. It wasn’t until recently we discovered Ernest had immigrated to Brazil.

After seeing the completed piece, Blima wrote to Jill, “It is amazing to put all those pieces together. Thank you for mentioning my name. I feel so happy when I can help people know more about their roots and history.”

What It Meant to Me

As Jill notes, more than two and a half years ago, I set out to learn the history of my grandmother and her seven brothers and sisters, pictured with their spouses on the header of this blog (you can read much of the as-yet not updated story here). I also pursued other related topics and, intermittently, gave up the family search, for a variety of complicated reasons.  But Jill never let me give up entirely. First, she connected me with Frankie Blei, an Australian Jill met in a genealogical group on Facebook, who helped me find the descendants of one of the three butcher brothers, Martin Kornmehl (see The Return of Martin Kornmehl, Detention of Jews in World War II: Et Tu, Australia? and Family Trek, the Next Generation: Herbert Bratspies).

And, unbeknownst to me, Jill never stopped doing her own research, tracking down the member of the Kornmehl family about whom the least was known–or so I thought–that of Resi Kornmehl Farber.

I was blown away as I took this family journey to France, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, found a partner in the cafe and pastry shop, more butchers… How cool is it that I have a cousin named Maria de la Concepcion Menendez?

So a huge THANK YOU, Jill. And yes, I will do my part in pulling the rest of the family story together now that I have this last large piece of the puzzle, I promise.

17 Responses to Finding the Farbers: Best Genealogical Gift, Ever

  1. Blima Lorber says:

    Being part of the search to complete the huge puzzle of your family was an honor to me.

  2. Anna Redsand says:

    I have been repeatedly impressed by all the people you have managed to bring to your pages. Such wonderful stories. Thank you.

  3. Jill Kornmehl says:

    Thank you for the kind words and thoughts. It was heartwarming to have my contribution highlighted so nicely in the blog. It has been a wonderful genealogy journey that is now approaching completion.

    • Edie Jarolim says:

      You know better than anyone that genealogy journeys are never complete, Jill, but this one has definitely found a wonderful resting point. It was my pleasure to be able to highlight it here.

  4. rob kornmehl says:

    Dear relatives,
    I’m impressed Jill by the research done and the results! hillel koren knows the best about the Vienna connections of his father and uncle, coming from Vienna and related of course.
    Now that Brazil is in the picture. I start to wonder how dr. PERETZ KORNMEHL , the doctor settled in Israel from Brazil, where he was during the war is connected to these Brazilian Kornmehls. All of us origin from TARNOW/POLAND of course.
    End of May we have a small Kornmehl reunion in Israel, with my sister IRITH, my cousin Jim Kornmehl from Sydney Australia and Daniel Kornmehl, the son of the a.m. Dr. Peretz Kornmehl from the Beer Sheba Hospital.Daniel is running the famous KORNMEHL-FARM in the Negev desert, producing perfect goat cheese !!
    please comment to my e-mail, regards, Rob Kornmehl

    • Edie Jarolim says:

      I wish I could join you all in the reunion! Maybe next year in Jerusalem as we say…

      I’m glad this site can be a virtual gathering place for the Kornmehl relatives and their stories in the meantime.

      All the best,

  5. Hillel Koren says:

    Dear Edie,
    Thanks so much for all your wonderful and detailed work. Through your work and of course Jill’s I felt stimulated to find out so many things about the Kornmehl family roots that made me feel enriched and proud of our roots more than ever before. The document showing correspondence between my father (as a medical student and President of the Jewish Medical Student org) with Freud is just one example of what your work means to me. Also, when my wife asks me now about our connection with e.g. Rob, or Jim or whoever in the Kornmehl family I feel a bit more competent/knowlegable in answering those kind of questions. Of course, we are all anxiously waiting for Len’s next and revised Tarnow Connection book. Again, my sincere thanks to you and Jill for pursuing this fantastic project (with a lot of persistence)which is so meaningful to all of us,to our children and their children.
    Good luck, Edie, with your trip to Vienna. I think you have all the key addresses and meaningful locations. I have no relatives living in Vienna I am aware of. I assume you are aware of the fact that Austrians in general (still) are antisemitic, but I am sure they will show their best and friendliest side.
    Enjoy your journey and I can’t wait to read your blog filled with stories from your trip.
    Bon Voyage,
    Hillel Koren (Kornmehl)

    • Edie Jarolim says:

      It was my pleasure, Hillel. I am aware of the continuing antisemitism, sadly–and plan to discuss it. But maybe if I can get the project of restoring the butcher shop accomplished, we can all celebrate the return of the Kornmehls to Vienna — and even have a family reunion there.

  6. Laura says:

    What a wonderful Slideshare! (It was cool to see the header of this site used in it.) So sad to think of all these people having to leave their homeland and start life anew in countries where they didn’t even know the language, but very nice to see life go on….
    Laura recently posted..Find Your Passion with These 8 Thought-Provoking QuestionsMy Profile

  7. Frankie Blei says:

    Hello everyone. I love being involved, in however small a way, in my own searches for “lost” family and other families, whether I know them or not. So I was soooo happy to be able to contribute to the search for the Kornmehls and others. You are all doing a most amazing job here.

    • Edie Jarolim says:

      Thank you, Frankie. I was so grateful for your help! It’s not easy to get relatives to respond to inquiries and you did what I never managed in two years: Get a family member to communicate with me, thus allowing me to track down an entire Australian family branch. It’s also been wonderful to get to know you, virtually, as a fellow pet lover.

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