Falk Family History

The known, reliable history of the FALK family of Breslau begins only in the earliest years of the 19th century, though a few facts stemming from the 18th century are known. The first family member to bear the name “Falk” as a surname was R. Jacob Jehuda Loebel FALK, rabbi in Dyhernfurth (1806-1814) and rabbi and dajan in Breslau (1814-1838). According to family lore, Rabbi FALK was born in Lissa, Posen in the 1760s. His father was R. Jehoshua Falk. From his time in Dyhernfurth, he was known as the “Dyhernfurther Rav”. The FALK Stammbaum Project In 1937, the Breslau genealogist Paul DOBRIN completed the Stammbaum der Familie Falk which he had prepared under a commission from members of the FALK family. According to the late Prof. Ze’ev W. FALK, it was the KROCH branch of the family, descendants of the Dyhernfurther Rav’s daughter Bertha KROCH, geb. FALK, who instigated this genealogical work and published it for the family. Their motivation is said to have been their desire to maintain contact with family members in order to distribute copies of the works of Bertha’s husband Jacob Loebel KROCH. Given the timing of this genealogy project, it may also have been motivated by a hope of keeping the family connected through the turmoil and dispersion caused by Nazi persecution. In Breslau, my father’s family had a copy of the FALK Stammbaum, but it did not leave Germany with my father or his older sister. However, in about 1970, our family again came into possession of a copy. The origin has been forgotten; it either came from the library of our great uncle Siegfried FALK (1885-1969) who had died in Wellington, New Zealand a bit earlier; or, it came through our aunt Eva WULKAN, geb. FALK (1911-2005) of Chicago who would have received it from her second cousin Max LEVY (1893-ca.1960s) of Frankfurt am Main. In any case, it arrived in our home in Raleigh, North Carolina and into the possession of my brother Don. I was about 8 years old. The Stammbaum always interested me, and I would follow the seemingly awkward organizational structure to trace my own line from the Dyhernfurther Rav to his son Emanuel, to his son Hermann, and to my father Hans. I also explored other family lines noting occasional points of interest: for example, the poor child of the Dyhernfurther Rav who had the name “Falk FALK”; the curious family line from the Dyhernfurther Rav’s son Meyer FALK, to his son Wilhelm FALK, to his son Meyer FALK, to his son Wilhelm FALK; and the appearance of three RAWICZ families in different parts of the family tree. When I knew a bit more about other parts of my family history, I was also curious about whether the FOERDERs and the BACH in the FALK Stammbaum came from the same families as my other relatives with those names. And, there was the interesting fact that my great grandfather had had an earlier marriage which was to his niece (though, for many years, I mistakenly thought she was his first cousin once removed). Later, when I had learned about the Holocaust, I found the pages of the FALK Stammbaum to be a sad compilation of families lost soon after this family tree had been completed. Even when I came to understand that German Jewish families had a much higher emigration, and survival, rate than most others in Europe, the fact that all these distant cousins were unknown, left me thinking that most had probably been murdered in the Shoah. In the late 1980s, the first two relatives from outside the family of Emanuel FALK’s second marriage surfaced. The first was Dr. Sven TREITEL of Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was a very welcome contact, but it did not lead to too much information beyond his immediate family. Then, I met Prof. Ze’ev W. FALK of Jerusalem, Israel on a visit to New York. I brought the FALK Stammbaum with me, and I was amazed when he flipped through the pages and said, this family is in Bnei Beraq, this one is in Jerusalem, that one is in England, etc. Suddenly, the FALK Stammbaum was not just a memorial to lost family, but, in large part, a roadmap to finding the dispersed family. Still, it took several years of pestering Ze’ev – and his eventual semi-retirement – before he was able to provide me with a long list of family addresses. That was in the summer of 1996. Finally, I could start to contact family members. I prepared a standard letter to introduce myself and to ask for information about 60 years of family developments. At the same time, I started to use a CD-rom disk of names and addresses all across the U.S. to find some people with relatively distinctive names. The letter writing was a great success, and often led to addresses for more cousins. Around this time, the internet also became a great resource for finding information and people. The letter writing soon transformed into e-mail writing. Trips to New York, Washington, Chicago, Europe and Israel allowed me to meet a growing circle of cousins. Over the next eight years, I managed to find hundreds of FALK family members from 10 of the 11 branches of the family. There are still a few parts of the family that I have yet to make contact with, but for most, I have leads. At this point (February 2006), only the Tobias FALK branch of the family remains “missing”, but I remain optimistic that I will find members of the BORINSKI family, or learn their fate during or after the Shoah. The new website at www.familymemory.org is one of the ways in which I will be sharing the updated FALK Stammbaum. I also hope to publish a new print-version of the FALK Stammbaum, about 70 years after the original. I am looking for leads to find the BORINSKI family and the other cousins who have resisted my attempts to find them. If anyone can help me find the following people or their descendants, please contact me: ∑ Max BORINSKI, born 1923, probably in Breslau. ∑ Susanne (Shoshana) FLEISCHMANN, born 1932 ∑ Eva (Chava) FLEISCHMANN, born 1935 ∑ Rosanne GINSBURG, geb. KATZ, born ca. 1922 ∑ Gertrud BAREINSCHEK, born 1907, probably in Berlin ∑ Siegmund BAREINSCHEK, born 1908, probably in Berlin ∑ Amalie BAREINSCHEK, born 1911, probably in Berlin ∑ Martin BAREINSCHEK, born 1913, probably in Berlin ∑ Horst SACHS, born 1914 ∑ _______________

Stephen Falk (ben Hans Ludwig (Emanuel) ben Hermann (Zwi Hirsch) ben Emanuel (Zecharja Mendel)) lives in Wayne, Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia with his wife Liz. He is an intellectual property attorney in Philadelphia. Now, 42, he has been an avid genealogist for over 30 years. Please contact the author with questions, additions and corrections: Stephen T. Falk sfalk81162@aol.com 140 West Wayne Avenue Wayne, PA 19087-4019 USA 28 February 2006

The FALK Family of Breslau © 2006 Stephen T. Falk A Family History – Facts and Theories VI. The FALK Stammbaum Project by Stephen T. Falk, Wayne, PA, USA
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