Marking the New Year

From Our Collections

New Year's card with a portrait of Efraim and Chana Aleksander and their baby daughter

New Year's card with a portrait of Efraim and Chana Aleksander and their baby daughter
Abraham Aleksander, Efraim's brother, during a Polish Army officers' course, 1922
Efraim Aleksander and his little daughter. Radomsko, Poland, 1930s

Brothers Abraham (b. 1901) and Efraim (b. 1904) Aleksander were born in the town of Wolbórz in central Poland.  Abraham enlisted in the Polish Army, reaching the rank of officer.  Several of their siblings left Poland in the 1930s for Eretz Israel (Mandatory Palestine) and South America.

Abraham married Mirjam-Mania Mlinarski, and they lived in the village of Sulejów, near Piotrków Trybunalski, together with Mirjam's parents.  In 1930, their son Yehiel was born.  They had a daughter too, who died in infancy.  Abraham made a living dyeing lambswool at a workshop he set up near the village river.  Efraim married Chana Orbisman, and they lived in Radomsko.  Efraim was a driver.  Their daughter (name unknown) was born in 1933. Her portrait appears on the New Year's card that Efraim and Chana sent out the year she was born.

In September 1939, Piotrków Trybunalski and the surrounding areas were bombarded, destroying the Aleksander family home in Sulejów. Abraham and Mirjam fled with Yehiel to Łódź, where they were reunited with other family members.  Mirjam died of starvation in the Łódź ghetto in March 1941.  Abraham was shot to death outside the ghetto in November, and eleven-year-old Yehiel was left alone.  In the summer of 1944, Yehiel was deported to Auschwitz, and survived the war after enduring several camps.  He immigrated to Eretz Israel (Mandatory Palestine) in 1946.

Efraim, Chana and their daughter stayed in Radomsko, and were murdered.  The circumstances of their deaths are unknown.