E mails from people who have visited my home pages with the research of the history of the Jews from Debica Poland.

(last updating -Jenuary 23, 2001)

I have a painting in my possesion and would like to know more about the artist.
The name is David Moolenstein and the piece is inscribed "Krakow 1883". The name sounds Jewish. Probably an artist that lived in Poland during that time.
Please let me know of any info on this artist, if you can, and the adress of the Old Synagoga in Krakow or the E-mail adress of a contact person involved with this museum. PLEASE!

December 10, 2000

I was very pleased to see what a wonderful job you have done with the Dembica Memorial web site.
I particularly found the access provided to the Dembica Yizkor book very helpful, as it includes in the listing of Holocaust victims who were members of my extended family tree -- Lishe Family (also spelled Lescha) and Reiner Family, all descendants of the Chasidic Rebbe, Zvi Elimelech Spira, of Dynov.

David J. Waxman

Newton Massachusetts
E mail
November 25, 2000

Greetings to you Mr. Preker.
I have visited Warsaw a few times but have difficulty in locating the boundaries of the Getto.
My late parents told me much about the heroic uprising. Is it possible to find the area of the getto on the map of present day Warsaw?
Any hint or help will be appreciated. We still repeat the motto "never again" that has carried us through some difficult times just after the war. Blessing upon you. with respect and thankfulness for your work on internet, Lev

-- Dr Leon Mashchak
Semitics, Biblical Studies

November 17, 2000


My name is Josh Joel.
For a project in my Jewish History class, I have chosen to write about the shtetl of Debica and the affect of the Holocaust on it.
I found your website and was wondering if you can send me any information via email on the history of the Jews of Debica or send me websites or people to email about this.
I live in Atlanta, GA. I am writing about Debica because I found some information on your website and from that info. it looked very interesting.
Thank you so much,

July 10, 2000

Dear Mr. Preker:
I got a chance to dance around your web site and click on everything. It was really wonderful. You have done a really great job.
I can't wait to show the site to my Dad who is still alive.Since he was born in the US in 1911, he has no more idea what Dembitz was like than I do. I have always wondered about the world that my grandparents came from and in particular their town.
Judith Daar, Berkeley, CA USA

Looking under Poland - shteitl - the Roland S..Lauder foundation - the Jewish Historical Institute in Poland, I SAW DEBICA - DEMBICA, I could not believe it.
I went through all your site. I am telling everybody about it.
Great effort. Intelligent work. Compasionate-loving approach.
It made "me" feel proud. You should be proud.
My search may not be finished during my lifetime, but WE WILL NEVER FORGET THE VICTIMS.
Their souls are alive in our souls.

Good Luck.
PETRA STEIN (married name COHAN)
La Jolla, Ca

May 15,2000
I saw your Debica (Dembitsa) Page on the web (I was doing a Hotbot search on "Debica, Poland"), and I hoped that you might be able to help me. On your site you indicated that you travelled to Debica in 1996 in order to search for your ancestors' records and to get a feel for the place. I plan on doing the same thing.
My Grandmother was born a little south of Debica, and my records are either easier or harder than yours to find in that (and I hope you don't hold this against me) my Grandmother was born in a Roman Catholic church in a village that I think was called "Brziziny" (but I am having trouble LOCATING "Brziziny").
Let me explain, below:
My Grandmother, Aleksandra Swiech, was born in the Debica area in 1893. I have a copy of her baptism certificate, and I have been in the process of planning a visit to her place-of-birth for this summer.* Unfortunately, I'm not exactly sure where "her place-of-birth" is.
Her baptism certificate indicates that she was baptised in a church called "S Nicolai Ep." in the "Brzeziny" parish, of Wielopole deanery, and Tarnow diocese (as things stood then, at least, it was the Tarnow diocese). The "Districtus" listed at the top of the baptism certificate is "Debica" (in Krakow province).
I CAN'T EVEN FIND THIS "BRZEZINY" ON THE BEST OF MAPS OF POLAND. I can find Debica (obviously), and Wielopole (only on the best of maps); but no "Brzeziny" (at least not in this part of Poland).
Is there a web site I might have overlooked (that might help me find, at least, "S Nicolai Ep.", if it still exists). Do you have any other suggestions for where I should be looking? I've been told that her "Brzeziny" is southeast of Debica and south-southwest of "Ropczyce". [In your ancestral search, have you found an "expert" on the Debica area, who has some knowledge of gentile records (and who might be able to help me)?]
Also, when I go to the Debica area this summer, I will be travelling with a Jewish friend named Dave Shotland.*** I mention this because I see the name "Schotland" on your list of surnames on your site. Dave is unsure where his Shotland surname came from (Stuttgart, Germany, he's said; but he admits that that was a "transitional" home). We might try to look into the Debica Schotlands when we are there, too.
Finally, I'll also be trying to track down a distant cousin who lived in Debica eleven years ago.**** She has probably gotten married (which is why I can't find her). How big (how many people) is Debica today? [Indeed, if YOU want me to look for records or other things that you left unsearched for (or unfound) when you were in Debica (or you want me to take photos of something), please let me know and I'll try to take care of it when I'm there this summer.]

New York City
Home: 212-535-2604
Office: 212-455-4733


My name is Jesse Nasta, and I am also researching my Jewish ancestors from Debica. I enjoyed your website-thank you for preserving the history of our ancestors. This is some basic information I have about the Debican side of my family-if you are interested in family stories or more specific information, please let me know. Do you see any connection between our families? I would be happy to hear from you:

Dear Mr. Preker,
To my great surprise, I came across your wonderful web site about Debica, Poland.
My grandfather and grandmother immigrated to the U.S. from Debica along with my father and two other relatives in the early 1900's. I really never knew my grandfather since he died when I was four years old. My father never would talk about the "Old Country" because he really didn't know too much about it.
Now, I'm going to Poland in June. My wife and I are touring through Krakow. While there, I've hired a driver to take me to Debica. I want to see my father's birthplace.
Could you give me any information as to whom I can contact in Debica who could offer information of this type?
I know I'm asking much of you. My family at that time were Catholics and left the country before the terrible Second World War. Is there still a Catholic Church in Debica? Would the city government have records? Who can I talk to in Debica? I will have a person with me who can speak Polish.
Thank you so much for the time you've spent reading this e-mail. Again, let me express my admiration of you for your very important web site and your desire to trace families who may have lived through that terrible time in history.


Ralph Pasek

I am a swiss / turkish girl and I am 16 years old.I live in turkey.
I am really very much interested in everything about poland and the history of this beautiful country carrying millions of immortal,generous souls in its heart... I am really in love with POLAND..THE ADORABLE COUNTRY...
As soon as I visit and get info about anything,i will certainly mail you...
I really really enjoyed visiting your web site and thanks a lot...!!!I learned more and more...
Sema Pehlivan

April 27, 2000
By the way, I was interested to look through the Dembitzer Society's dinner in 1950, and, sure enough, found my father (Sidney Shield) and grandfather (Morris Shield)!

Joel Shield USA

March 7 ,2000
I have visited your site and I am Impressed. You have a very sophisticated site. KOL HAKAVOD.
I am searching for the names Kratz and Indig please let me know if you have any information regarding these names.

Nachi keren- Israel

January 18,2000

My grandfather Ludwik Magryta ( later Louis Magretta) was not Jewish. He was a Roman Catholic and left Dembica Galica, Poland in 1893. I have been told that when he arrived in Buffalo, NY. the Jewish community helped him because he had helped some Jews leave Poland because of the dangers they suffered from Prussian soldiers. My elderly uncle said grandpa had some very close Jewish friends all his life.
I have always been curious about this. My grandfather married Regina Marszalak also of Dembica. I spelled it this way because that is how it is spelled on Grandpa's naturalization papers.
My Uncles also said that we had relatives who were catholic priests and nuns and that they were killed by the Nazis army. An old priest told me that Magryta was a Hungarian Jewish name. Is there any truth to this?????
Thank you for reading this and if you wish to include any of his information on your website I would appreciate it.
Fran Lake King,
Attica, NY.

Dear Mr. Preker,
the old pictures of Debica are really wonderful! Seems it was an industrial town. Nachmann Czecher, father of Josef, was born there in 1802. Josef became brother-in-law of my gf Dr. Albert Nussbaum. Thank you so much!

Andreas Inhofner,

Thanks again for providing awsome photos. I have imagined some of my family members standing in those photos. They were all slaughtered in the war. You have done a great job!!!

Regards from the US
Sincerely, Nadine Wagner

December 16, 1999
great web site. It is tragic what happened. Many of us Gypsies died there too, along with Jews. Good pictures.

Vina Marie
E mail

hello israel.....

just revisited your site and its really wonderful.
good luck with finding more of your family and friends..
phyllis kramer

Oct 1, 1999
Dear Mr. Preker,
I just wanted to send you this breif note to congratulate you on a well done web-site. As a researcher and writer on the Shoah, and as the son of a survivor from Rymanov (my late father was incarcerated at Pustkow and worked in Debica for the Nazi Firma Kirchhoff), I found your site an excellent source of information and a moving tribute to our martyrs from Galicia.

I would also note that my father and I collaborated on a book that may be of interest to you and your readers. It is entitled History of the Holocaust: A Handbook and Dictionary and was published in the United States by Westview Press (Boulder, Colorodo) in 1994. The book contains considerable material on Nazi concentration camps, ghettos, and resistance movements.

Again, best wishes on your site!

Dr. Abraham J. Edelheit, PhD
Kingsborough Community College/CUNY

Sep 28, 1999
Dear Israel,
Thank you for the work you've done on the town of Debica.
my grandparents, on my fathers side of my family said that they were from tarnow-not too far from debica. they left for new york around 1910. a good thing ! their names were hodes(mine) and faust. even though we technically aren't jewish, I raise my son Barry with the traditions, and teach him about the shoah. I don't know if he can grasp the enormity of what we refer to as the holocaust at nine years old( i don't know if i can at 46 !).
Anyway, thank you again and may G_D richly bless you.

Sep 13, 1999

Dear Mr. Preker,
My name is Valerie Alter and I am student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the United States.
I am currently taking a research seminar course on the Warsaw ghetto. For my term paper, I am planning on looking at the concept of the shtetl and the way that some American Jews in particular are relocating to Warsaw in an attempt to revitalize the Jewish community there. This is very interesting to me because my grandparents were survivors.

My grandmother was from Nyepolimtze (I apologize for my incorrect spelling) and my grandfather was from Radom. I grew up listening to them both tell me they would never go back so naturally I am fascinated by people who are the children of survivors or simply religious Jews who have chosen to move back. I was wondering if you had any information on the biblical sources of this movement or any other biblical sources or just suggestions or opinions in general.
I would really appreciate any insight you could give me. Your webpage and the links you provided have already been helpful.
Thank you and shanah tovah,
Valerie Alter

July 29, 1999

July 10, 1999
My parents also came from the Debica -Tarnow area.
However you must have already been contacted by my cousin, Philip Birn who also has a web page with all of our lost relatives on it.
My name is Nadine Wagner (maiden name). Just wanted to let you know that I read your page and found it very interesting.
I have always wanted to take a trip to Poland to find our if there were any survivors at all.


Congratulations on the election of the new Prime Minister. Mr. Barak seems to better understand that the Holy Land needs peace.
And in Poland Mr. Switon and all the illegal crosses (but one - the so-called 'papal one') have been removed from Auschwitz at long last.
All the Best,
Ireneusz Socha

Sun, 28 Mar 1999


I visited your website on Debica and was very impressed.
My father was born in Zabludow Poland in 1913. Zabludow is about 25 kilometers South East of Bialystok. I have just recently created a memorial webpage for Zabludow.
If you wish here is a link: Zabludow Memorial.

Tilford Bartman

Thu, 18 Mar 1999

Dear Mr. Preker,

Greetings! I first came across your useful site already last December while trying to map out pages on Polish shtetls.
The Polish Jewry has been one of my main interests for fifteen years now. Although I am supposedly not of Jewish blood myself I have been trying to give justice to the people.
I personally knew the last Dembitzer (as you call Jewish inhabitants of Debica), living the whole of his life (including the WW2 period) in the city, that is Mr. Izrael Goldberg of Strazacka Street, who died in 1993. He miraculously escaped from the Nazi death camp at Pustkow near Debica, and then spent the next years of the war in hiding in nearby villages and forests. Izrael Goldberg worked his entire life as a meat selectioner (a specialist who deals with examination and classification of meat of e.g. wild boar, deer, etc.).
His professional expertise and devotion were valued and awarded throughout the meanders of the Polish postwar history. I first met him while he had already been retired (I do not need to add that even then his manager asked him to assist whenever he could).
Mr. Goldberg tried to explain me the conditions and circumstances of his living under Nazis. As he was all alone in Debica, never got married nor really made friends with Poles he lived or worked with, I was kind of his spiritual support for some time. We listened to klezmer music and discussed religious life of Polish Jews as he remembered it. He told me he had a brother in the U.S., but despite visiting him two times he chose to make his days where he was born. Mr. Goldberg was among the very few who fought for changing the miserable status the Debica Jewish cemetery was in in the Eighties. Regrettably, he did not live to the moment of almost three years ago when the Nissenbaum Foundation helped to renew and resanctify the place.
As a resident of the nearby block of flats I was also involved in the change myself. Back in the Eighties I even led a music/theater group named Kirkut-Koncept (The Jewish Cemetery As A Concept) with whom I played and sang what seemed a variation on Jewish folk and avantgarde motifs. We played all around Poland and managed to release several cassettes in the underground distribution then. Since 1984 I have collected cantorial and klezmer music, too. In the Nineties, the overall climate for Polish-Jewish contacts improved significantly. More and more books, TV and press features appeared on the history of the Polish Jews.
Two years ago the city council of Debica sponsored the edition of the city's monography, including a highly interesting and vast chapter on Dembitzers of the prewar period. Kazimierz, the Cracow's Jewish district, hosts the annual Jewish Culture Festival. The latter event centered on developing an atmosphere of friendliness and mutual understanding between Poles and Jews is worth recommending for everyone aged 6 to 100. Below is a listing of links every descendant of Polish Jews might find interesting:


Thank you for your invaluable input in the reconstruction of our common history for our future, because I believe everything that there was someday will be one way or another. I am open for any inquiries on the history and the present of Debica.

Best wishes for you and your family,

Ireneusz Socha


P.S.: I was extremely excited to have known that there is The Book of Dembitz. Unfortunately, I cannot find it. And even if I could, I would not read it, I am afraid, for it is in Hebrew and Yiddish. But still I am eager to learn the languages just to read the book and to compare it to what the monography claims. And perhaps The Book of Dembitz is available in English? Please let me know.

Sun, 28 Feb 1999

My name is Margaret Wachter-Obyrn. I have felt so alone in trying to trace my Jewish roots until now. This was such a taboo thing with my grandmother who is no longer alive. She NEVER wanted to talk about her past. She came to Chicago as a small child around 1913 or so. We don't know for sure. Although she always claimed to be Austrian, she understood Polish very well. She raised my mother Catholic, since she married my grandfather Alexander Piedfort who was Catholic. She converted later in life, out of respect of her parents, Isreal and Mary Wadler who died in the 20's and 40's.My grandmother Molly Wadler Piedfort was one of 5 children. Would there be any birth records in Debica of this? I doubt it...I don't even know if she is actually from Debica, but after reading your web page, I am almost certin. I work in The Chicago Public Schools as an assistant in a heavily Polish populated area of Chicago. I feel so close to the people there, and shop in their little markets. I just have a sense of being one of them. It has been hard for me in tracing this family's past, since there is nobody alive with any information. Thanks so much for putting such a wonderful web page together...It really warmed my heart and brought a tear to my eye...Do you know of any tour groups that make trips to Debica, and surrounding areas? I would love to find a group that does this kind of thing. I know like 10 words in Polish that wouldn't get me very far . ...
Also, I am finding there were Wadler's living in Wadowice also near Krakow that imigrated to New York in the early 1900's. I have called Pizer funeral chapel in Chicago, they were the only Jewish funeral chapel in the 1920's and have no record of his death, I also also contacted all of the Jewish cemitaries in Forest Park, Illinois the only area that Jews were allowed to be burried in at that time. Forest Park is right outside of Chicago, and Jews were not allowed to be burried in Chicago at one time. Forest Park has huge sections of different Jewish cemitaries. I think you were burried accoring to what temple you belonged to ??? My mother seems to think so. Anyway when you go through this area, you can't imagine how anyone could find the right grave. There are literly grave upon grave all cramed into this area....I will still continue my search, thanks again for putting together such a wonderful web page..

With much appreciation,
Mrs. Margaret OByrn
1144 Amber Dr.
Lemont, Illinois 60439

23 Dec 1998

Dear Mr. Preker,
with much interest and pain I have visited your homepage. I am shattered to see how you keep the memory of the victims alive, they still are present and will never be forgotten. My grandfather was commander of the SS Military Training Area in Debica from Aug. 18, 1941 to March 31, 1942. His name was Hanns Feil. He most probably has been one of the murderers of the families you mourn. I cannot tear his gens out of my body, but I can force them to join me in mourning his victims.
I will not forget. And I will never let it happen again!


Wolfgang W.
Vienna, Austria

Mon, 17 Aug 1998
Dear Israel !

Mazal tov on your excellent work about Debica. The web pages and links are excellent.
My family in Debica (and in the nearby town of Radomyshyl Wielki, and also in Krakow, Gorlice, Tarnozbreg/Dzikov, Novy Sacz) : Horowitz (rabbis) and Pitzele.

Ben Weinstock
Brooklyn, NY

Sun, 9 Aug 1998

A friend gave me this web site knowing I was doing research on my grandparents and father,Yankel and Matilda Mintz,and my father,Avrum Beryl Mintz,born l899 in Austria-Hungary.In doing my research,I found a ship listing that his home town was Dembresso,Austria,and another paper in Polish and Ger- man that apparently my grandfather needed to leave the country.He left in 1901.
Is it possible that this is the same town you visited and did research on? Would appreciate hearing from you and possibly you can give me advice on future research.

Lester Mintz


Thu, 30 Jul 1998

Dear Mr. Preker,

You might be pleased to know that the former synagogue (turned houseware store) will soon become a musuem honoring Jewish history.
I was quite surprised by this information (as Debica ranks rather low on the museum circuit). The local residents I spoke with felt it was time for this tribute.
I was only in Debica 1 day. (I got sidetracked in Bosnia) I did visit the Kazimirez district of Krakow again. The Jewish history musuem has some new improvements/remodeling and the famous Ariel cafe has become quite popular with its evening entertainment of Jewish food and music.

Best regards,
Bernadette Heintz

25 July 1998

Dear Israel Preker,
My name is Wojciech Wolak wwj@friko5.onet.pl and more you can see about me or my family on my web homepage : http://friko5.onet.pl/ta/wwj/index.html.

I've watching your site. I do appreciated what have you done for Debica as the Jewish Man. Most of it is really true. I have check it with my old friends. The school which you call as jewish was built by Poles and it was first Polish Primary School. I was attended to one.
You probably don't now but the next building to Gestapo possesion was the place were was 11 Jewish peoples hidden by one Pole who was killed by the Russian bomb.
There is lots of stories about war times I have heard from my Godfather who was witness that times.
Now I live in Pustkow - place where near by was situated former camp for all nations. Here was killed over 15000 peoples (not only Jewish). Pity you haven't seen it.

More news : Boznica (Synagoga) - old Jewish Church - will be change from store to museum. It's already made decision by mayor of Debica.
With best regards,

Date: 7/22/98

Dear Israel,

I visited Dembitz Yiskor Book page and your family page today for the first time looking for further information on my maternal great grandparents families: BIRNBAUM, GOLDBERG, LEINKRAM, all of whom came from the Krakow area.
While looking through the Yiskor book, I noticed a large listing under the surname SHNEPS. My wife's paternal family is SCHNEPS from somewhere in Poland.
Although I have listed that spelling in the JFF and also the SCHNEPS maternal family name FISH (the name forced upon members of the SCHNEPS family who immigrated from Argentina to Israel), noone has ever contacted me concerning those names nor have I ever found links to any other spellings of this name.
My wife's grandparents came to the US long before the war. She knows that many of the extended family died in the Holocaust but whether those listed are relatives or not she doesn't know.
If you hear of anyone seeking this family, please have them contact me. I will naturally write to any researcher listing this spelling variation in JFF myself.
Her maternal family was Kreindler, but again she doesn't know from where in Poland they came.
I noticed that you are also connected to BIRNBAUM but the name listed was not familiar to me. My maternal great grandparents are both buried here.
We have tracked back one generation in Krakow, but my research there has been limited. The LEINKRAM family married into my great grandmother's GOLDBERG family in several generations.
I noticed that the town you live in is also the home of a correspondent of mine in both the GOLDBERG & BIRNBAUM families. Do you know: Alex Kerner ?
Best regards,

PS: I am researching the following families:
Baum Germany:Bosen
Eisenkramer & Lefevre Germany:Rhineland Palatine
East Prussia
Basist Lith: Vilna or Vilnius
Belarus:Lida District
Ukraine Kremenchug
Cohen & Sheinhouse Belarus:Radoshkovichi
Birnbaum & Goldberg Poland: Krakow
Leinkram Poland: Krakow
Leinkram Ireland:Dublin
Leinkram England:ALL
Name: Stephen A. Cohen
E-mail: Fax: (516) 826-5056 (24 hrs)

Mon, 08 Jun 1998

Dear Mr. Preker,
I am very touched and impressed by your website! My maternal grandparents came from Debica and I visited there for the first time last summer on a tour of southeastern Poland. Since visiting I have become interested in Polish-Jewish history - especially the intermeshing of these two cultures throughout a very long history. I have just finished reading Eva Hoffman's book - Stetl - which helped me to better understand the relationship between them.

I am returning to Poland this summer for a longer stay and will try to visit some of the places in Debica that I am now familiar with through your photos. I think that only by looking back with open eyes that we can learn from the tragedies that occurred in this town and many others like it in Poland. I am glad to see an effort being made by many people like you to tell the story. Keep up the excellent work!

Donna Kolojeskie

Sat, 2 May 1998

Thank you.
I really appreciate the fact that you are doing this. I have a strong desire to find other members of my family. The fact that both my mother's and father's immediate families got out of Europe in the teens and 20's was wonderful. Unfortunately, many of our other relatives, distant cousins, etc. were not so fortunate and I was told, as a child, that none of our European relatives survived the Nazis.

Caren Epstein


Wed, 20 May 1998

Mr preker,
I cant help you with your surname search but was wondering if maybe you may be able to answer a question for me.
My grandmother was from about the same area of poland only supposedly froma town called lancut where there is a large population of jews .
Her maiden name was suppose to be fryn' and am having no luck finding it anywhere. what iwas wondering is if you may be able to tell me if this is a jewish name. I do know that her fathe rs name was suppose to be andrew fryn and that her 1/2 sister married a man named walter lis this name also sounds jewish to me but cannot find it either ..any help in this matter would be appreciated.


Fri, 13 Mar 1998

Shalom, Israel!
My name is Yana Lantsberg, I'm 16, and live in Bakersfield, CA, but am originally from Ukraine. This year I decided to learn more about Jewish history in Eastern Europe and about Zionism. I'm wondering if you can help me find people who are or know someone who migrated to Palestine before the formation of the State of Israel from Eastern Europe.
Thank you for your beautiful website. I also have many ancestors who were killed in shtetles during WWII.

Yana Lantsberg,
6201 Landfair Dr.
Bakersfield, CA 93309 USA

Sat, 07 Mar 1998

Hi Israel,

Thank You for your wonderful home page. I will be going through it very carefully, since I have almost no information on Debica.

Bruce W. Goldstein
Glen Rock, New Jersey; U.S.A.

Sat, 17 Jan 1998

Dear Isreal:

I wanted to tell you that you did a very nice job on your home page and it was a beautiful Mitzvot.
Also, if you have come across the name Jablonski, Jablonsky, Yablonski or Yablonsky...please let me know. I have found those variations of Jablonski on the Avotaynu Soundex Search. I know that my Grandmom was called by Yablonski, Yablonsky, & Yablonska (her first name was Sussanna. Bocci Sussanna Yablonski/y and my Grandpop (I think his name was Frank) came to America somewhere around 1910-1913 with their 7 children. My other Grandmom's name was Eleanor Jablonski. If you have seen my Grandmom's and/or my Grandpop's name and know what town they came from and when, I would appreciate it if you would e-mail and let me know. Thank you very much.

Janice Jablonski

Thu, 15 Jan 1998

Dear Mr. Preker

Before I moved to Canada, I used to live, go to school, and work in Debica. I feel shame and guilt that the town that I call my home continues the desecration and profanation of its historical and sacred places. One of your guests stated that "some things never change"; I am deeply disappointed that he has a point and I hope he will not be right for long. I hope the enlightenment will come to the people who shop at the Synagogue, people who live and walk by the cemetery, and the entire community of Debica will realize the great atrocity that it continues to carry on. I thank you very much for your great contribution to that enlightenment.

Tamara Walus

10 Jan 1998


I very much enjoyed your site. I am seeking information on my maternal grandparents both of whom emmigrated to Chicago, Illinois o/a 1904 from Nieciecza which is just NW of Zabno. This is straight West of Debica. I very much enjoyed your site and appreciate your efforts!

Thank you.
Larry Stencel
Palmdale, California, USA

Mon, 5 Jan 1998

I was looking for information about Jewish in net and that is where I discovered ;your homepage. Sorry, I guess I'm not able to help you to find your roots because I'm a pure Chinese, further more not from Debica. I'm interested to know more about Jewish because I admire their brain and ability of surviving in tough world. Perhaps you may help me find a URL which contains all about Jewish. Good luck to you!


Sun, 4 Jan 1998

Dear Israel
I am emotionally impressed with your web site.
It has taken a lot of work and energy to put it together.
It makes my heart glad to hear from you.
Although I have no relatives there and have not ever been to Israel, my heritage is linked to that country. Where I live I am the minority because there are not a lot of Jewish people in the area where I live.
In the town where I was born and grew up, there were about 100 Jewish families, so it would be quite different to be in a place where I am part of the majority and the Hebrew letter "chai" and the Star of David around my neck would not be a mystery!!!!!!!

I am preparing to send a letter to relatives here in the United States to get family information from them. Most of the information I am seeking at the beginning of my journey for information is located in the records of New York City. Since everything costs money these days, I must wait to apply for some records, since I unfortunately am without a job right now.
I am 53 years old . I was born in Durham, North Carolina and attended Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts. I have lived in North Texas since 1966.
You are so generous to offer to take the pictures of signs with names of my family members.
My Mother was the president of the local Hadassah (in the city in North Carolina where I was born and raised) for many many years and she and my Dad raised a lot of money for Israel. There are many trees planted in Israel in honor of my folks and other family members. I do not know exactly where the trees are or what names may be there, but here are a few names of deceased family members where a tree may have been planted in their memory.
Frank Clemenko (my grandfather)
Guisse Clemenko (my grandmother)
Hyman David Wolff (my grandfather)
Fannie Nathan Wolff (my grandmother)
Clara Clemenko Wolff (my mother)
Amanda Rose Gershon (my niece)

Best regards.
Glenda Irving, Texas USA

22 Dec 1997

I am a 29 year old actor/director in los angeles, ca, u.s.a. I will soon be directing a play entitled "a shayna maidel" perhaps you've even heard of it.
the fictional family in the play is from chernov, poland, and is seperated after the nazi occupation. I am trying to do a little research before starting to give the actors some background.
I've been browsing, and I came across your page.
thanks so much for placing it.

most sincerely,
Kevin p. Kern
( kevinleigh@compuserve.com )

Fri, 7 Nov 1997

my name is Cindy Baranowski Janiga.
I recently found out my grandmother was from Debica. Her name was Cunegunda Kot. She was Baptized in either St. Michael's or St. Nicholas Church.
What I don't understand is her parents were non-catholic and she was baptized in a catholic church ( I think).
Anything>you can tell me would be greatly appreciated.
Cindy6258@aol.com >

Date: 6 Nov 1997

Like everyone else who has visited your site I am very impressed by it's scope, depth and feeling. It is obviously something you have put much effort and care into.

I have been doing some genealogical research, and some of my ancestors came from the Tarnow/Galicia/Debica area during the late 1800's. The family names were: Dintenfass, Rosenfeld and Springer. Please add these to your list of names, and include my contact information:

Howard Fink
how@kodak.com (I live in Massachsetts, U.S.)
Thank you very much!

Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997


I wrote you last February, about my search for a criminal named Babik who, during the war, saved the life of a boy named Goldner in the village of Grabiny just across the Wistoka River from Debica. I am working on a book about Goldner's experiences.

I have just returned from a visit to that area, and had the good fortune to find and interview four of Babik's children who today live just two blocks from where they grew up (they do not know their father was a bandit ). I also met and talked with three of the few surviving partisan heroes from that area.
It was an incredible experience.

But it was so sad to see the synagogue in Debica now turned into a department store, with anti-semitic graffiti on one of the outside walls insulting a visiting soccer team by calling them "Jews." And the Jewish cemetary which lies behind a metal fence separating it from apartment buildings -- well, words cannot describe our feelings at seeing beer cans lined up along the upright spikes of the fence for nearly a block.
Debica today is a modern, reasonably attractive city. But some things will never change.

Larry Stillman

Date: Mon, 13 Oct 1997

Dear Mr. Preker

I am writing to you from your homepage. I think you are doing a great service in remembering another Jewish town destroyed by the Nazis.

If you have "any" other information relating to Jews-Judaism, please tell us about it.

Thank you,

Mr. Gershon Frankel

Date: Wed, 15 Oct 1997

Dear Israel,
I just spent the evening looking at your website and all of the pages. You have done a wonderful job and deserve a lot of praise for this effort.

My grandfather came from Tarnow and left Poland in 1913, he arrived in New York in 1914 after the war had started. He was the oldest and was left behind when his parent came here in 1900.

I admire your devotion to creating a memorial to the lost Jews of Debica.

Best regards,

steve morgan
wilmington, north carolina

Date: Thu, 10 Jul 1997

Shalom, Israel!

I want to thank you so very much for creating a web page on Debica.
I was so happy to see the photos and the information on your trip. It is a wonderful web site and I hope you continue it for a long time.

A large part of my interest has to do with my wife's ancestors.
My wife, Janet, is Jewish and her grandmother on her father's side emigrated from Debica. The name of my wife's grandmother was Leah Recht (she changed it to Lillian when she came to the United States).

My e-mail address is: brucescott@juno.com
My regular mailing address is: Bruce Scott
6050 Yukon Ave. N.
New Hope, MN 55428

Thank you so much for your help and interest.
God bless you! Shalom!
Bruce Scott


Dear Mr. Preker,
Your web site is so touching. You have provided a benefit for all those searching for genealogical information, as well as providing a poignant web site.


Jane P. McNally, Ph.D.
Boston, Massachusetts

Date: Sat, 10 May 1997


Przed II wojna swiatowa w Debicy mieszkalo ok. 2600 Zydow co stanowilo ok. 26% ludnosci.. W miescie byly dwie synagogi i cmentarz. Poczatkiem 1942 roku Niemcy zorganizowali getto a w lipcu przystapili do jego likwidacji. 1500 osob wywieziono do Belzca, 500 chorych starych i dzieci zostalo straconych na Lysej Gorze w Debicy. Jest tam zbiorowa mogila. Reszte osob zdolnych do pracy przewieziono do obozu w Pustkowie i do Rzeszowa. W efekcie dzialan zlikwidowano wlasciwie cala spolecznosc zydowska w Debicy. Po wojnie w miescie pozostalo zaledwie 9 Zydow. Niemcy nagrobki z cmentarza zydowskiego uzywali do utwardzania drog.

Boznica o ktorej wspominasz jest faktycznie obecnie sklepem. Znam wielu mlodych ludzi ktorzy nie zgadzaja sie na ten stan rzeczy i chcieliby utworzyc tam muzeum z duza ekspozycja poswiecona debickim Zydom oraz sale koncertowa. Niestety nie ma na to pieniedzy. Dziwne jest takze to, ze ze strony potomkow debicich Zydow nie ma zadnej reakcji na ten stan. Wladze miejskie sadze bylyby sklonne do rozmow i wylozenia czesci pieniedzy ale na pewno nie wszystkich, gdyz obecnie prowadzone sa wmiescie duze inwestycje w infrastrukture komunalna.


Artur Barwacz
moj adres e mail:Artur_Barwacz@tc.tel.debica.pl

Date: Tue, 06 May 1997
Dear Israel,
I just visited your website and I was surprised on the beauty and the great design of your pages, their intelligent distribution and user friendliness. I have to congratulate you and wish you the best.
Go on with your quest, its the goal of all of us, to joint together whatever was left of our families and feel the warmth of our roots.

Thank you for this beautiful moment that I experienced.


Bernard Weitz
Born in Tarnow in 1941

Date: Wed, 12 Mar 1997
From: Dr Lennie Marx sent1@wi.net
Organization: The Hebrew Apostolic Institute

I am interested in knowing if there is a source in Krakow that would tell me if there are any Jews with the name Mroczkowski there now?
(can somebody from Krakow can help Dr Marx?)

Subject: Debica
Date: Sat, 8 Feb 1997
From: Jadypiper@aol.com

Dear Mr. Preker:
I enjoy your homepage tremendously.
I was born and brought up in Debica though now I live in the United States (near Chicago).
I asked my father if he is familiar with your surname, but unfortunately he's not. I'm sorry we cannot help you.
I just wanted you to know that periodically I check your homepage and review the pictures. They feel like home.
Thank you.

Date: Tue, 04 Feb 97
From :Jan Kozera jkozera@wios.tarnow.pl

Hello Israel,
My name is Jan Kozera. I am 48 years old.
I living in Tarnow 20 km west of Debica.
Your information about your trip to Poland and Debica was very interesting.
My friends live in Debica.If this interested you I can write for you more information.
Jan Kozera

Tue, 4 Feb 97
From:Daniel Beller DBeller@msn.com

Shalom Israel Preker,
I came across your website when I was looking for information about my father's village, Krzywcza (pronounced Cheshovitz) which is not shown on my map but lies between Debica and Przemysl (which is due east of Debica, perhaps 80 km).
Perhaps you encountered them as a youth? My father's name was Aron Beller, son of Simon Beller (Chaim Shimon) My grandfather was originally from Grodgisko.
The late Dr. Aron Beller, my father's cousin, lived in Jerusalem and was the Dean of Hadassah Medical School. After World War I my father's family moved to various places in Europe and settled finally in Vienna, but I believe the family members continued to visit familly members in Krywcza from time to time, until the second war.
Keep up your efforts to maintain links to the past, and do not hesitate to e-mail me (DBeller@msn.com) on these or related subjects.

Shalom uvracha!

Date: Mon, 13 Jan 1997

I enjoyed reading your work.
My grandparents are from Krakow and I visited there in 1987.
I stumbled onto your website while reading about Poland.
I am interested in Polish history, but there is not very many good things about it.
I know alot about the holocaust. Keep up the good work.
I wish you well in the coming new year.
Tom Callsen

Subject: Greetings from Debica
Date: 19 December 1996
Organization:D.T. C. Debica S.A.

Hello there,

I came upon the message you sent to the press office at the Debica Tire Company.
I'm an American who is living here in town and working as an English teacher at the tire company. I speak some Polish.
Do you know that there is a local newspaper? I was thinking that they might be interested in doing a story about your homepage and your search. Maybe some older town residents would have some information not contained in what's left of official records.

Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

Yours truly,

Michelle Austin

Subject: Israel Preker Home Page
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996
From: Maralyn Steeg

Happy New Year,Israel,

I have just visited your home page and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the photographs of your recent trip.
As part of my own genealogy research (I've only been at it for two years), I've been reading a lot more Eastern European history and trying to learn more about shtetl life so that I can better visualize the early lives of my grandparents and great grandparents before their emigration to the United States.

Someday I hope to travel to my family towns - Zmigrod (Rzeszow) Poland and Krivoye Ozero, Balta Gorodnitsa/Horodnitsa and Ovruch in Ukraine) but, in the meantime, seeing photographs of "the old country" is the next best thing. I shall visit your album again. Thank you for sharing your pictures.

Marlayn Steeg
White Plains, NY USA

Subject: Thanks for the great Pics !!!!!
Date: Sat, 5 Oct 1996

Dear Israel.

The pictures that you took in Debica and then posting them to the web site were great. I downloaded some of them and sent them along to some of my relations who also eminate from Debeca.
It sounds like you had a great time. I am curious, just what did you really think of Poland and of Debica itself. Did it leave with a very sad feeling?
Did you feel any connection at all or was like being in some kind of distant dream.
Hope you had a good shabbos, and sorry things in "Ha Aretz" are in such termoil.

Hope to hear from you soon

All my best
Jack Schraeter

Lake Medical Associates
12 Elm Street
Gorham, Maine 04038 USA

"If Wishes Were Horses, Then Dreamers Would Ride!" 

Subject: Family searches
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 1996

Dear Sir:

Maybe you can help me. I am searching for my ancestors from Poland,The Enders from Kielce, Singers from Ostrowicz, as well as the Feitelsons from Riga (?) and the Savlovs who are possibly from Minsk.
If you have come across any information about these surnames or towns, I would be greatly obliged to you if you would pass it on. I am also looking for a good, *inexpensive*, easy to use pedigree/tree genertaor. Have you any suggestions?

Hilary Doda

Subject: keep up good avodah!
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 1996

shalom to you.

wanted to drop a note to tell you that I like your home page (although I do not have any additional information for you).
Jewishgen is fantastic; I gave a monetary contribution immediately. each day, I look forward to reading the information about jewish genealogy in linking to jews throughout the world.
what program did you use to put your page together? did you get the photos on the page with a scanner? or a digital camera?
best of luck, l'hatslechah,
Jim Borman,
indianapolis, INdiana, usa

Date:Wed, 20 Nov 1996

From:Rod and Linda McAdams

Been sooooooo busy haven't been on the net in many months. Thanks for your E-mail about your home page and trip to Debica and thanks so much for adding "SOKOL" to your list of families doing research in Debica. You did a great job on your pages...good work!
I enjoyed them very much. Keep in touch. Take Care.

Linda SOKOL McAdams
Overland Park, KS

Subject: Records in Rszezow (I forgot how to spell it)
Date: Sun, 24 Nov 1996
From: Esther Tschirhart

I think we've been in touch before, but I forget what happened! There's so much to do with genealogy. I was looking over the report of your trip to Debica and Tarnow again, and was especially interested that you'd heard the records in Rszezow (I know that's spelled wrong) were closed in August. I know that all the births of my father and siblings were registed in Rszezow. Do you know an address so I could write there to request information?
I might be able to have something translated in to Polish, since you say so few people speak English there. My family's last name is ALLWEISS.

Thanks for any help.
Esther Allweiss Tschirhart

Can somebody help to Ester?

Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1996
My name is Matlok Mieczyslaw.I wos born in Debica in Poland in 1957.
My perents live in Debica.If this interested you I can write for you more information bicouse I have contact with my family and my friends from Debica.
Good bye


Subject: Genealogy
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996
From: John Smolarek

I came across your home page. What attracted me was the topic of genealogical research in Poland. Then I noticed the low number of "hits". What you need to do is to find, on the internet, those home pages with some Jewish Genealogical research content. Contact them; agree to link to each other. Everyone benefits.

Good luck.
John Smolarek

Subject: Some remarks
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996
From: mirek.wegrzyn - Stockholm
My name is Miroslaw Wegrzyn. I am 32-years old Pole born in Debica, but living now in Sweden.
Your information about your trip to Poland and Debica was very interesting to read and see. Unfortunately I can't help you in your search of your relatives.
I was born 1964 and I have no memory about the horrible war. The problem is the people which could help you are very old now or they don't live anymore.
I feel a sort of guilty that not everything was done in order to help Jewish during the Second World War in Poland. Some Polish people colaborated with Germans, but on the other hand some of them tried to save Jewish families. I hope you found your visit to Debica interesting and it was not your last trip to Poland.

Happpy New Year.
Best regards:

Subject: Your Wonderful DEBICA HOME PAGE
Date: Thu, 26 Dec 1996
Shalom, Israel

Congratulations on a beautiful , easy to use home page. It is so esthetically pleasing , with the large printing and great colors. But, most of all , the emotion that leaps out is very touching. It is a moving memorial to your family.
We are neighbors in Galicia--my father's family was from Rzeszow. In June 1995, I travelled with the Rzeszow Landsmanshaft (from Tel Aviv) to a dedication of a memorial in the woods of Glogow.
I live in San Francisco, and myfather's parents & grandparents were in San Francisco in 1860, unusually early for emigration from Galicia.

Do you know about the Galicia SIG (special interest group)? People with roots in Galicia join ($27 for Israel per year). We list the families & towns we are researching. I just looked up Debica in our Galicia Finder, and there are about 11 people researching there, and some looking for some names you list (not Preker). Maybe you have joined recently & have this info.

Kind regards,

Marian Rubin
San Francisco

Many thanks for all the people who have written to me.

Israel Preker
Please visit DEBICA - THE SHTETL home page

I . Preker Home Page