21 June 1942

Warsaw Ghetto, Poland

"Only news from you revives my soul… I beg you to write to me… and may the Lord reward you for everything you are doing for me."

Genia's Last Postcard

Genia (Eugenia) née Aufang wrote these words in the last postcard that she sent from the Warsaw ghetto to her brother Isaac (Izak) and her sister-in-law Esther in Lisbon. 

In the early 1930s, Isaac and his wife Esther née Harf emigrated from Warsaw to Paris with their daughter Lea, and Isaac opened a travel agency.  In 1939, Isaac and Esther had a son, Emile, and the same year the family left for Spain.  In 1941, they moved to Portugal, and eventually immigrated to Canada in 1944.

Throughout their stay in Spain and Portugal, Isaac and Esther received postcards from their siblings in Warsaw.  The family members asked for help and thanked Isaac and Esther for the life-saving food parcels that they sent them. The last postcards were sent from the ghetto in July 1942. The Great Deportation from the Warsaw ghetto, in the course of which some 260,000 Jews were deported to the Treblinka death camp and murdered, began on 22 July 1942.

Genia was married, but her husband's name is unknown.  An earlier postcard reveals that she was in the ghetto without her husband from December 1941, and she expresses her hope that they will be reunited.  In her penultimate postcard, Genia writes to her brother:

"Each one of the letters that you send gives me so much hope and encouragement.  I read them every day, because they bring dreams and yearning into my life, making day-to-day survival easier."

After the war, Esther and Isaac discovered that all their relatives in Poland had been murdered in the Holocaust. In 1956 David Harf (Esther Aufgang's brother) submitted Pages of Testimony in memory of his father Moshe, his sister Sarah and his brother Simon. In 2015, Emile Aufgang submitted Pages of Testimony in memory of his uncle and aunts: Hersz, Genia, Sala, Pola, Lonia and Justyna from his father's side and other relatives. The same year, Emile donated the original postcards sent to his parents from the Warsaw ghetto to Yad Vashem as part of the ongoing project "Gathering the Fragments".  He also donated prewar photographs of family members, not all of whom have been identified.  Genia, the writer of this postcard, could be one of the unidentified relatives in the photographs.

Genia's postcard survived, but as of today, we do not know what she looked like.

Warsaw, 21 June 1942

Our Dears!
Thank God we are all well, and I hope to hear the same from you. My dear, I cannot tell you how grateful we are, and I can't thank you enough for your help, thanks to which I am surviving and am managing to hold on.  As much as I am able to share, Avraham [presumably Avraham Pazgord, husband of her sister Pola] is also benefitting from the parcels you send.  I really enjoy receiving your greetings in parcel form but I yearn for your beloved handwriting, as I read your letters several times a day and I beg you to please write and tell me how things are. Estusia and Izak, write to me both of you and let Lolenka [Lea] add a few words, as only news from you revives my soul and gives me much hope.  I beg you to write to me, as it means a lot to me, and may the Lord reward you for everything you are doing for me.
Be well, I embrace you warmly, farewell,
Yours, Genia
Reverse side:
G. Aufgang
17 Gesia St. Apartment 58

To: Mr. I. Aufgang
Alves Correia 197-1
Bekierman guesthouse

Last postcard that Genia née Aufgang sent from the Warsaw ghetto to her brother Isaac (Izak) Aufgang
  View the postcard