The Harmelin family, my father’s family, comes from Brody, a small town in Galicia. Before WWI Brody was the Eastern tip of the Austro-Hungarian empire; after WWI it became part of Poland; and after WWII, it was annexed by Stalin into Ukraine.
An old book about the Brody Jewish community mentions that the Harmelin family members were either merchants or rabbis (these were pretty much the only occupations Jews could have at that time).
The Scheinmann and Scheneider families, my mother’s ancestors, also came from Galicia. There were a number of rabbis in this side of the family as well. The picture to the right shows two generations of my maternal line: my grandparents in the back (Hanna and Yeshaiahu Scheinmann), and their fathers, who were both rabbis, in the front (Rabbi Moshe Scheinmann, my grandfather’s father, on the left; Rabbi Moshe Schneider, my grandmother’s father, on the right).
I have never met any of my ancestors beyond my parents, as they all perished in the holocaust.
In the Jewish tradition it is customary to commemorate deceased relatives with a ner neshama, “a soul candle.” May this blog serve as a ner neshama for the many relatives of mine that perished in Europe during the that period.
תהא נפשם צרורה בצרור החיים
Copyright © 2014 Igal Harmelin-Moria