Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Kahane Family Trees

Weinberg family connection to Kahane- Heller and Eger

Courtesy of Morton Jessup Rose
These charts relate to the Kahane ancestors

Ancestors of Rabbi Yom Tov Lipman Heller
From the Prophet Samuel to Heller and Eger 
Horowitz family dating to Shem Tov Halevi of Spain 

Abbreviated Chart of Rabbinic Families

Monday, November 3, 2014

Iger Ancestor Family Trees

Chart of ancestors of Rabbi Akiba Eger- in three panels courtesy of
Benjamin Schreiber
Chart of Rabbi Akiba Eger Ancestors left panel

Center panel

Right Panel

Chart of ancestors and children of Rabbi Akiba Eger in two pages
Second part of chart

Chart showing connection from Shmuel Eger to author-courtesy of Alisa Sharon

Nisan Eger to Author' s Children-courtesy of Toni Platus

Correspondence with Arthur Eger, father of Robert Eger, CEO of Disney, nephew of founder of modern comic industry

Family names are similar to those of author's maternal grandmother's siblings, but not direct connection was found
Second page

Arthur Eger Chart

An unusual Eger connection:
Relationship of Karl Marx to author via Rabbi Akiba Eger from Geni.com

Monday, September 1, 2014

Reflections on the 75th Anniversary of the Start of World War II and the Invasion of Poland

Reflections on the 75th Anniversary of the Start of World War II and the Invasion of Poland
Book Giveaway Contest   Click on the link and enter for a chance to win a copy through Goodreads!

        75 years have gone by since Germany's armies crossed the Polish border, Sept. 1, 1939, the official start of World War II. My father, who had been imprisoned and released from a Nazi prison in Brno, Czechoslovakia, soon found himself on a one-way cattle car ride to the German-Soviet demarcation line.

       This essay, taken from the book, Courage of the Spirit, recounts the events of the first months of World War II as seen from the perspective of a Jewish refugee fleeing the Nazis.

First Stop, Lwów
Lwów, with its western European influence, has been dubbed the “Little Paris of the Ukraine.” It has a long history as a major center of culture in then Poland and now Ukraine. It could also have been called the Little Paris of Poland, or of Austro-Hungarian Galicia and Lodomeria, as well, as it was passed to different rulers repeatedly. It has been renamed many times since its founding in the thirteenth century by King Daniel of Halych (Galicia) in honor of his son, Lew. Lwów is the City of Lions; hence, the many lions that appear on city seals and motifs in Lwów literature. Under the Austrians, it became Lemberg and took on a decidedly German flavor. Lemberg remained a popular name, as my father referred to it by that name decades later. With the independence of Poland after WWI, it became Lwów, then, under the Soviets, Lvov, and now, under the Ukrainians, Lviv.

The varied names reflect the particular tensions among the resident populations over the years, a mix of ethnic German, Polish, and Ukrainian. In the midst of these groups dwelt a large Jewish population, some 140,000, almost 30 percent of the total population. Of this large number, only two or three hundred would survive the Holocaust.

As I recounted in previous chapters, my uncle Munio had managed to buy his way out of Czechoslovakia by train to the nearest destination heading east in which he felt safe—the city of Lwów. Shortly thereafter, when the Germans invaded Poland, my father was expelled, as were numerous other non-Czech Jews, to the new ceasefire lines facing the Soviets, who now sat on the eastern half of Poland.

The first days of the German invasion were carried out with the lightning-strike swiftness that would come to mark the style of future German warfare—the blitzkrieg.

On September 1, 1939, the Germans dumped the bodies of dead concentration camp prisoners dressed in German army uniforms at the Gleiwitz radio station on the Polish border and declared that they had been viciously attacked by the Polish army. With this pretext, the Nazis rushed in with tanks and dive-bombers against an overwhelmed Polish military of infantry and cavalry. The Poles put up a stiff resistance and counted on their allies, the British and the French, who had assured the Poles that they would not tolerate the demolition of a free nation as they had tolerated the devouring of Czechoslovakia. However, the German blitz was as its name implies, and Poland’s allies could not mount a counteroffensive in time. By September 6, Krakow had fallen, and by the sixteenth, Warsaw was fully surrounded.

On the seventeenth, the ultimate betrayal took place—the Soviet forces invaded Poland from the east, so that Poland was now caught in a vise. Three days later, German and Russian forces met at Brest-Litovsk, and by September 21, the Soviets had taken Lwów.

A mere twenty-eight days after the outbreak of hostilities, what was left of the Polish government fled to exile in France. Poland, as a country, ceased to exit.

The Soviets claimed that they had rushed in to protect their Ukrainian brethren in Poland. That was but a thin pretext, as they had carved up Poland with the Germans shortly before the outbreak of fighting, in the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. Poland’s clock was set back a century and a half to the time when Poland had first been carved up by the Prussians, Austrians, and Russians.
It has become clear, in the perspective of history, that Russian imperialism drove the Soviets, despite their claim to have shucked off that mentality in their quest to attain a communist state. They never made peace with the concept of a Poland that had gained its freedom in the aftermath of World War I; they still smarted from the brief war with Poland after that independence. They rounded up some of the cream of Polish military and political leaders and summarily executed them in the Katyn forest in the spring of 1940 to guarantee that none would remain to contest their hegemony.

In the first days of the cessation of fighting, the line of demarcation was fluid and ill defined. As I mentioned in the previous chapter, my father was rounded up and put on a train with other Polish Jews from Brno, and all of them were sent to what amounted to a no-man’s land. The original plan, concocted by Eichmann, was to establish a Jewish reservation.

In the confusion following the opening days of the war, however, my father, like many other refugees, was able to get away from the German captors on the one side and from the Soviet liberators on the other and make his way to the nearest major city, Lwów, where his brother awaited him.

There was another benefit for the brothers in heading to Lwów: family. They had both been born in Dolina, some forty miles to the south, so they were familiar with the region; my uncle, after all, had been traveling frequently to the region on business. Even more directly, they had second cousins, Irene and Karol Gottdenker, through a common great grandfather.

As I wrote in an earlier chapter, my father’s grandfather, Moses Zarwanitzer, through his first wife, was great-grandfather to Irene. Her father, Norbert (Nachman) Gottdenker, was in Dolina as well, and had worked in the lumber business for his and my father’s cousin, Judah Zarwanitzer. Later, when my father was a young man of thirty living in Vienna, Norbert Gottdenker and his wife Helena had come to visit with their young children Irene and Karol, who were ten and nine at the time. By 1939, when my father and uncle showed up in Lwów as refugees, they were aged thirty-eight and forty-one, hardly of romantic interest to the young and vivacious seventeen-year-old Irene. (Seven years later, they would meet again under different circumstances.) At some point, they must have told their relatives what had transpired in Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia and to be prepared in case the Germans turned on their Soviet allies—a likely possibility, if the Germans’ decisions in the recent past were any indication.

The Soviet occupiers needed to come to grips with governing not only their newly liberated Poles and Ukrainians but also with handling the needs of so many refugees that had now come into Lwów. Well over 100,000 Jews had made their way there along with countless others fleeing the German occupiers in western Poland. This presaged the beginning of the largest waves of mass migrations in any time in history, numbering in the tens of millions, in Europe and Asia, throughout the following decade.

 Beyond the logistics of feeding and housing so many was a political concern: many of these refugees were politically active socialists, Zionists, and communists—true believers whose ideals of communism did not match the reality of the Stalinist system. All of these posed a potential threat to a paranoid regime. (It is interesting to note that in 1940, the leading communist opponent of Stalin, Leon Trotsky, was murdered in distant Mexico, and Menachem Begin, a Zionist leader, was arrested as an agent of “British Imperialism.”) The last thing that the regime could tolerate was an infestation of problematic political refugees on the border with their temporary German allies. Hence, the Soviet police rounded up refugees for transportation to the far eastern regions of the Union such as Siberia or Central Asia. My father and uncle were caught in the roundup and herded to the train station to be boarded on cattle cars for destinations east.
Nothing was well organized at this time, and the numerous refugees included families with children that needed to be fed. An officer in charge let a few leave to buy some food, relying on them to return faithfully to their children. My father and his brother sensed an opportunity and volunteered to fetch water. The official in charge of this impromptu encampment sent a soldier to follow them to make sure they returned. The two intentionally kept going off route, first to the right, then to the left, getting lost intentionally, until the guard became frustrated with them and shouted, “How stupid are you?” My uncle Munio pleaded with him. “You have been posted here before; surely, you know the way better than we do. Why don’t you lead, and we’ll follow you.” The guard, weary of herding them, marched ahead of the two brothers. As they approached the next wall, Willi and Munio jumped over the railing without the guard paying notice, and they made it into the city. They had left behind whatever meager possessions they had managed to save at the camp; these would better serve some other refugees.

This bought them more time. They continued to improve their mastery of chemistry, particularly in the field of chemical engineering, as this would be their only means of support in a regime that had no room for businessmen, attorneys, Zionists, and students of political science, and certainly no room for rabbis. Lwów was still too full of refugees, so the Soviets initiated massive deportations in June of 1940. They once again caught the two brothers in their dragnet. The brothers had hoped to go to Stanislawow (now Ivano-Frankivsk), as it was the regional capital for their hometown of Dolina. They were sent off to Tarnopol instead. This was, unknown to them, a boon, as it was much nearer to the Soviet border and a future route of escape. They had another year during which they could better understand the strategies for survival under the Soviet system. When the Germans advanced in the summer of 1941, they headed post-haste to a place the German forces would never reach: Stalingrad.

Friday, August 1, 2014

My interview with Phil Blazer on Main Street

Click on this link to go to my interview with Phil Blazer of Main Street on JLTV.TV
My interview is now online

Move the slide at the bottom of the viewing screen to 29:30 seconds to my interview. Enjoy!

Follow this link for an excerpt from the interview
 :This is an excerpt posted on You Tube

Monday, July 14, 2014

July 11 Lecture at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

Monday, June 16, 2014

AdvocacyHealsU: Courage of the Spirit

  • AdvocacyHealsU: Courage of the Spirit

    Jun 15, 2014 | 51 min
    As we celebrate Father's Day, we honor the true courage of a father whose struggles were timeless and whose spirit was breathtaking! In Courage of the Spirit, Rabbi Norbert Weinberg honors his father, Rabbi Dr. William Weinberg, who was imprisoned by the Nazis, escaped to the Soviet Union, and survived to become the first Chief Rabbi of the German State of Hesse. Along with his brother, their survival through the Holocaust was creative, courageous and a moment-to-moment struggle to stay alive! We can learn volumes about survival from Courage of the Spirit. A fascinating interview, detailing much of the books rich history! Joni live M-F at 2:00 p.m. ET on www.W4CS.com. www.JoniAldrich.com

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

New Reactions to the Book

“Courage Of The Spirit is a stirring journey of survival, a chronicle of a son’s fealty to his father and a remarkable refection on Modern Jewish History.”
- Rabbi David Wolpe, Sinai Temple, Los Angeles
New Book Journal Review  Rabbi Dr. William Weinberg survives Nazi and communist tyranny to become the first State Rabbi of the community of Holocaust survivors in the German State of Hesse in “Courage of the Spirit” by Norbert Weinberg.
  "  Congratulation on getting the first volume of your trilogy published! It´s great that the book is finally available for researchers. I will definitely recommend the book for the Jewish Museum´s library, other institutions and some Czech historians/researchers who are interested, especially in the aftermath of the Shoah and the postwar time."
Mgr. Monika Hanková
Archiv Židovského muzea v Praze / The Archives of the Jewish Museum in Prague
Židovské muzeum v Praze / The Jewish Museum in Prague

 "Saul Austerlitz, author of 'Sitcom: A History in 24 Episodes from I Love 

Lucy to Community."  

"In Rabbi Norbert Weinberg’s reckoning of his father’s tumultuous, tragic past, history is no arid enterprise, no bloodless recording of facts and figures.  Interspersing personal reminiscence with detailed historical rendering, Courage of the Spirit brings the horrific twentieth century to life through the story of Rabbi Wilhelm Weinberg, and his journey through Nazi camps and Soviet terror."

The author will speak on lessons from "Courage of the Spirit" in a guest appearance on ADVOCACY HEALS U with show hosts Joni Aldrich (www.jonialdrich.com) and Chris Jerry ( http://lnkd.in/bkfx7ZV) on Tuesday, June 10th, 2:00-2:50 p.m. EST www.W4WN.com (Women 4 Women Network) and www.W4CS.com(Cancer Support Network). No downloads or Apps needed to listen. (If you miss it, catch the rebroadcast on the Sat. after the show at 3:00 p.m. EST on both networks.)

Courage of the Spirit now featured in the June 2014 edition of Library Journal
IBPA member titles featured in the June 2014 edition of Library Journal magazine. Page 4 of 5.

 Courage of the Spirit was recently featured on “Advocacy Heals You”, with Joni Aldrich on W4CS.com, the Cancer Support Network, as themes from the book offered moral and spiritual courage in life’s struggles; the interview can be heard at: http://www.iheart.com/talk/show/Joni-Aldrich-SOS-Supporter-of/?episode_id=26932481
New Book Journal Review  Rabbi Dr. William Weinberg survives Nazi and communist tyranny to become the first State Rabbi of the community of Holocaust survivors in the German State of Hesse in “Courage of the Spirit” by Norbert Weinberg.

This review is by my colleague of the same name, Rabbi Norbert Weinberg, Rabbi of the Adams Street Shul and author of A Time to Tell: Stories and Recollections of a Rabbi from Kristalnacht to the Present , ''and When The Rabbi Laughs'': A Delightful Compendium Of Contemporary Rabbinic Humor,and numerous other books.

 “Courage of the Spirit” by Rabbi Norbert Weinberg is a major contribution to the literature of the Shoah by transcending the cold facts of those dark days into a personal account of the experiences of the author’s father.
            Rabbi Weinberg meticulously traces his father’s arrest by the Nazis in 1939 and brings us full circle to his being named the first State rabbi of Hesse. Throughout those terror-filled days, the rabbi retained his faith and determination to survive.
The book is a must reading to all those who want to capture and be inspired by the inner strength and resilience of the Jewish people as reflected in the life of Rabbi William Weinberg.

The story of Rabbi Dr Wilhelm Weinberg's life is so intimately linked  to the political events of the 20th century that the book feels like a  history book with a very personal touch. This personal touch makes it a riveting read.

 What strikes me is the relevance of Dr Wilhelm Weinberg's PhD thesis  in Political Science to our present period. Now, as then, democracy is  in crisis and people feel that they are no longer represented by the  politicians they elect. One can just hope that this will not lead to  the same catastrophe as then.

I was impressed by how he rooted an analysis of contemporary issues in  Talmudic lore in the chapter 'Civil Rights were undone in a Moment'.  Here he refers to the commentary on Exodus 8:12 by Rabbi Elazar ben  Azariah:  "There was one frog who croaked, and the rest came after  him". Refusing to follow the croaking frog is ever more relevant in our time of mass communication.
Shulamit Spain
Genealogist, Scotland

Monday, March 24, 2014

Book is now available for purchase!


Book is now available both print and eBook at Amazon,Google Play, Kobo, Nook and Apple  !

Visit the author's page at amazon.com/author/nweinberg 

Courage of the Spirit is now available for your iPad and iPhone. Apple's technology allows the many photos in the book to leap out of the page for easy viewing!

Courage of the Spirit tells of one man’s victory over the Nazis

Rabbi Dr. William Weinberg becomes the first State Rabbi of the community of Holocaust survivors in the German State of Hesse
Many books have been written of the spiritual heroism of the Jewish people as they rebuilt their lives after the devastation wrought by Hitler’s attempt to wipe out every last Jew, but some books stand out as unique because they are written by family members who were told those stories of heroism firsthand. Courage of the Spirit (paperback ISBN 978-0-9846685-6-4; ebook ISBN 978-0-9887048-9-3) is such a book. It portrays the spiritual struggle of one man during the first half of the twentieth century—the author’s father, Rabbi Dr. William Weinberg, who survived under Nazi and Communist tyranny to become the first State Rabbi of the community of Holocaust survivors in the German State of Hesse.
Rabbi Weinberg’s saga serves as a tour of the ideologies and principles of the contemporary world, but it also encompasses the movements that shape Judaism today: Orthodox, Reform, and Conservative, as well as political Zionism. It is a story that spans thousands of physical miles, by freight train and on foot, from the Galician Shtetl to cosmopolitan Vienna and Berlin, and to Stalingrad and central Asia and back as Rabbi Weinberg kept one step ahead of the Nazi armies. It is a story that spans the mental and emotional journey from the medieval Shtetl, the great empires, and the weak democracies and totalitarian regimes that followed, and finally, to freedom.
Along the way, we meet significant figures in Rabbi Weinberg’s life: Martin Buber and Mannes Sperber, the founders of Israel’s Marxist-Socialist party, Rabbi Leo Baeck, and Albert Einstein. We are shown a window into life in a Nazi prison and concentration camp, the day-to-day life of Jews in Nazi Berlin, and the vagaries of survival under Stalin’s totalitarian shelter.
“This book reconstructs these events from conversations with my father, from family notes, and from historical documentation,” says the author, Rabbi Norbert Weinberg.
Courage of the Spirit is the first part of a trilogy. The second part will follow the account of Irene Gottdenker, the author’s mother, who openly survived the Holocaust in the guise of a Pole of German descent and witnessed the destruction of the Jews in Lwow and Warsaw. The third part will examine the rebirth of Jewish life in the refugee camps in Austria and then in the city of Frankfurt, Germany, and the environs. 
IndieGo Publishing is an independent publishing firm that believes in supporting authors as the world’s primary source in promoting freedom of expression through the written word. Retailers may order Courage of the Spirit through Lightning Source/Ingram.