Somer /Sommer/ Flame

My grandfather was Yohanan Sommer.He operated a small lumber yard untill the war.
My grandmother was Sarah (Shuldenfrei) Sommer. She was killed by the Germans in Dembitsa itself.Probably around the Ghetto.

Yohanan Sommer
They had five kids: Rooja the oldest,was married to Aaron Adler, he survived the war she did not. Simcha,the second son worked at his brother's dental office. Shmuel,the third son,studied Dentistry in Berlin and returned to Dembitz as a Dentist.He and his wife did not survive the war.

Shmuel Sommer
The fourth child,Chaya,emigrated to Palestine in 1934 and my father,the youngest,folowed her in 1936. Chaya lives in Kefar Pines,Israel. This is the story.
I went to Dembitz and found the family house it is still standing!

Thanks again for your help.

Yohanan Zomer.

Mon, 14 Jul 1997

My father was born In Debica about 1892, since he never in his life had a birthday my mom took it to be he was 12 years older than her and she was born 1904 in Dallas Texas of Romanian Parents.
My dad came to Usa in 1909 via and uncle already in New York and then over the years brought over other brothers and sisters who settled in New York area and he then came to Dallas 19l7.
He never talked of his life except that his parents died young.

The brothers and sisters are all dead now and the is a huge family in New York of them the some were left in Debica and one brother died in Mexico in early 1930s as he could not get in Usa and no one knows where he was buried.
We wanted to go to Debica on our second trip to Poland- my husband was born in Lodz and lost his family and spent almost 5 years in camps. but our taxi driver had his tires slashed in 1987 and it took a whole day to replace them. we never got there.

I am sure the parents of my dad are buried in a cemetery there which I believe is destroyed. We will not go back to Poland tho each time we took one of our 4 married daughters on the two trips we made.


Dear Sir,

I just typed in the story of my dad from Debica. I forgot to write his name. His name was Marcus Somer.
Some went by the name of Sommer which was the moms maiden name, others went by the name of Flamm or Flam which was the dads name. For example the brothers in New York were Isadaor or Izzy Flam, and Jake or Jack Flam while one brother who came over from Debica later was Mendel Somer while a cousin from the mothers side settled in Haifa in 34 and is Jacoob Sommer. My dad went by the name of Marcus Somer while a sister Esther before she married went by the name of Esther Somer. One brother who could not get into Usa and settled in Mexico City and died there young about 1930 went by the name of Feivel Somer or Flam, no one knows where he is buried .

A Rabbi from Brooklyn had visited Debica and I write him in Brooklyn and he called us but we were in Israel from Fe. to May and he called us at home again and told us the graves were all gone or not in good shape in Debica to locate any names there.
My dads parents died in 1909 in Debica.

My own dad when in Nyc before he came to dallas said he went to the big Library in Manhattan and wanted to study to be a dentist. He came in 1917 to Dallas after 8 years or so in N:y. He at first became a peddler selling blankets, sheets radios in his little truck and later with his brother.

He was one of the last of the old timer Zionests If you talked to him sooner or later he got money from you for Israel.
He in his old age was active in Zoa and made all the dinners from UJA to Israel Bonds and missed nothing and after a stroke and was in the Hosptial he had mom still read the stock market for him. He loved Israel but was never a traveller.

Now my name is Shirley Laufer and Husband is Leo. Of course my maiden name was Somer, but as I said in the letter,some of the brothers went by the name of Somer and some Flam and Flamm andSommer. In Haifa lives Jacob Sommer. He is from my dads moms side, to which you can see some of dads brothers and sisters went by Somer and some Flam.
This cousin in Haifa is a first cousin which made his dad and my dads mom brother and sister. He came to Israel from Debica in 1934 and went back in 38 to get his family out and no luck. He is near 90 now. We used to go there but they live on Mt. Carmel and too many steps to come back up. They have two married sons who have kids and one unmarried dau.
The 6 brothers and sisters of dad who settled in Usa settled around Bayside, Little Neck, GreatNeck Middle Village, and Brooklyn and the Bronx, Only my dad who came before all left - to Dallas in 19l7 from NYC after coming there 1909.
Dad had one brother who left to Vienna in maybe in the 20s, either he went back to Debica and lost in Holocaust. The legend is one brother also came to Usa, on the photo taken in NYc with my dad in a studio photo and he went back to Debica and was killed. Another brother we are still puzzled as I mentioned Evidently he was the last to leave there doors of Usa closed and litke Other Jews settled in Mexico city and died in early 30s.

Altho all the cousins and their parents all stayed in NYc except dad who came here 19l7 no one of them knows where the brother in Mexico city is buried. As I said he went by name of Feival Somer or Flam.
Another first cousin on the moms side lives in Hollisdayberg or spelled as that in Pa. He is in his 80s and also by the name of Somer. He came to Bayside in New YOrk in 1980s. Then only in the 60s did we find another Somer, supossedly a son of my dads another brother. We met him and he is on the moms side and came to Montreal maybe in the 50s. His wife still alive and two married daughters with kids live there. Of my dad who died in 1978 age maybe 87, Marcus Somer. His brother Izzie or Israel Flamm died in Middle Village Long Island he was about 95 and died maybe early 90s or late 80s. One sisteEsther Glick died in 1962 maybe 60 in Bronx but married late in i94l and went by name of Esther Somer, One brother Jacob or Jack Flam also died in 1980s and was in his 90s and one sister Augusta Tanenbaum or Gussie died at age 90 or 91 in 1991. And my favorite Uncle Mendel Somer, the one who kept up with all the family and who would have known where Feivel isburied in Mexico as he went there in the 30s, his wife still alive. then; there was Minnie Kraus also ded in her 90s in A home but lived in BaYSIDE FOR YEARS and the story was she was married in Lodz, had a child, came to Usa as a widow and married AL Kraus and had children, the child from first marriage, his family in L>A> This is a huge family. Why some went under Sommer, Somer, Flam or Flamm I guess is typical of Jews at that time. I thought there had been originally i4 of children, but Bertha Fiedler of Great Neck whose mam was Aunt Gussiemade the family tree and accounted for only io children of the Somer and Flam - my dads mom and dad.
The story is that in Debica the dad drowned, and mom died young and thats when dad left about 1909. He came to Nyc as an Uncle Israel Flam had a store in Brooklyn. there is more family of dad in Israel also.

Dad like those from Europe never talked much of his life in Debica, he must left when he was 16 all alone to Nyc. Why he came to Dallas I dont know. MOm said he ;used to sell newspapers on a train, etc. He started peddling towels, sheets radios, etc. blankets in a truck here. When the baby brother Mendel came to Usa late in 1920s caME to Dallas and his name Mendel Somer, or Mannie Somer, he and dad were partners in the peddling in late 1920s and thirties.

My dad said that Aunt Esther went back to Debica in the 30s and that they owned a house ther. Who knows, I mentioned we had a reunion in Catskills in 1993. Not all came. My Brother a dr. here is named Joseph, and many of the first cousins have that name, my sis is EvelynBertha and the first cousins are named that. I am Shirley have no Idea my name.
My husband Leo is a holocaust survivor and is from LOdza and was taken to the camps in late 1940s and lost all his family of 6 brothers and sisters, parents including one sister in law of the lmarried brother who had 3 kids, and one brother who died age l7 of burst apendix in 1938. LEO was almost 5 years in camps, from buchenwald, Auschwitz, sacenhausen, 6 camps and farms in Poznan Poland, and last camp Ohrudrf. We have been as I mentioned all over POland in 1983 and 1987, never before that. we went with youngest dau. in 83 and oldest in 87.
We have four married girls, one lives in Jerusalem with 3 kids. The other lives there also but is in U:sa now with his job andhas 3 kids, the other two live in Manhattan each with 2 kids. We spend most of our time in Israel.
I have family in beersheva from my moms mom side. Also Leo has cousins there in Ramat gan. they came from the camps to israel in 47 and 48 and he didnt even knowthat tho oneofthe cousins saw him over fence in Auschwitz and Leo had no memory of anyone on his dads side, thoweve been coming to Israel since 1969. What brought us ther in 69 his first cousin on his moms side left Lodz to Palestine in 1937, so Leo knew of him and found himfrom germany where Leo was lookinglike others in 45 he had settled in Ramat gan and alived for years 65 Bialik in ramat gan. the cousins from the fathers side in 8l we found via ad live in Ramat gan, and herzylia, etc.

Shirley and Leo Laufer