Just One - An album of the real people portrayed in my novel

Here are photos and other documents of the real people portrayed in my book. The main section of photos corresponds to the major thread of the book, covering pre-war Poland, post-war in Germany, and building a new life in America. Following those photos are a few pre-war photos of my father's family, and then some contemporary photos.

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Estera and her family - 1933
My grandmother Estera and her family. Garbatka, Poland, 1933.
     Please click on the photo for details.
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Mendel in Polish army uniform
My mother's older brother, Mendel, while in the Polish army, c.1939.
     Mendel was trasported to Auschwitz in 1942. As described in Just One, my mother had indirect contact with her brother when she arrived at Auschwitz in August 1944. He perished sometime after that.
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Gittel & Shmuel's wedding
My parents' wedding photograph. Barma (Germany) displaced person's camp, Oct. 7, 1945.
     My mother, Gittel, was transported to Auschwitz in August 1944 and was force-marched from Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen in January 1945. She was liberated April 15, 1945. My father, Shmuel, was liberated from the Sanposten forced labor camp, also in April 1945. They met at Barma.
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The two couples
Sesha, her husband Mendel, my mother Gittel (pregnant with me), and my father Shmuel. Near Stuttgart, 1946.
     Sesha was a girlhood friend of my mother's in their small Polish village of Garbatka. The two went through Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, and liberation together, and both met and married their husbands soon after.
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Gittel & Shmuel with infant Esther My parents, Gittel & Shmuel, holding me at seven weeks of age. Stuttgart, Germany. Dec. 16, 1946.
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Gittel's passport/id photo My mother's U.S.-issued passport/id photo with seal, obtained in Germany, Aug. 1946.
     My parents and I departed from Bremen on the Ernie Pyle, Mar. 10, 1947. When the ship broke down at sea, we were towed back to England for repairs and did not arrive in New York until Apr. 1.
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Esther on Gittel's shoulders - 1949
On the shoulders of my mother, Gittel. Vacationing at Vitsling's Farm, Flemington, NJ, 1949.
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Family - c.1956
My father, brother Heshi, mother, and me. New Jersey, 1956.
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Skating 1960 Ice skating with my father, Shmuel. New Jersey, 1960.
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Meyer & Moishe - c.1961
Meyer, my grandmother Estera's first husband, immigrated to Jerusalum c.1909. As described in Just One, when Estera refused to join him there with their children, she accepted his offer of a divorce. They each subsequently remarried. Moishe -- Meyer and Estera's son -- remained in Poland and helped raise my mother, his young half-sister. He eventually joined his father in 1933, and thus escaped the Holocaust.
    Meyer (seated) and Moishe, at the wedding of Moishe's daughter. Jerusalem, c.1961.

Moishe with his wife, two daughters, and son Joseph. Jerusalem, Nov. 1946. 
     Joseph was killed fighting in the Sinai war in 1956, at age nineteen.

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Shmuel's father, uncle, and grandmother
My father's paternal grandmother (Gella), his father (Herschel), and Herschel's twin brother (Wolf). c.1915.
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Shmuel and his sister Rachel
My father, Shmuel, and his sister Rachel. Kielce, Poland, c.1926.
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Paternal grandparents
My paternal grandparents, Czyna and Herschel.  Keilce, Poland, c.1934.
     My father had two younger sisters. His parents and both sisters perished at Treblinka, Autumn 1942.
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Gittel & Shmuel - 50th wedding anniversary
My parents, Gittel and Shmuel, on their 50th wedding anniversary, 1995. 
     Gittel is pointing to their wedding photo, taken Oct. 7, 1945. (See above for that photo.)
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Challah - 1 Challah -2
Challah -3
My mother, Gittel, making six-braid challah, as she learned it from her mother, Estera. New Jersey, 1998.
     My mother died in Florida, Sept. 4, 2003.
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Me, my husband, and grandson Benjamin - Dec. 2002
Me and my husband, Lee, with grandson Benjamin at three weeks of age. England, Dec. 2002.
     What a blessing it has been to have my grandchild and my book about my grandmother each making their first appearance at the same time!

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© 2003 Esther Gerstenfeld Erman