“Frydzia” “Fryda” “Freja” “Fruma” Wohl Steckel, wife of Benjamin Steckel, mother of Jancia and Wilhelm Steckel, was my grandmother’s sister.
Fruma died in the Holocaust. Her daughter Jancia also died. Only her son, Wilhelm “Will” Steckel survived the camps and ended up immigrating to the United States after a harrowing escape from the death train. He was helped up by other people in the train, squeezed through the small opening in the wall, jumped off, was shot at in the legs several times, dragged himself to a house in the Polish countryside bleeding profusely and not knowing if the people in the house would help him or turn him in.
They were in the Resistance. He was eventually able to go to Palestine and then to come to San Francisco to join his aunt, my grandmother.
I have a very clear photo of Fruma that my grandmother always looked at and cried over, and I have her original birth record from the civil registry books. Fruma was born 2 MAY 1885 in Lapshyn, Ternopil, Ukraine, a shtetl very close to Berezhany. When she was born, it was still the Austro-Hungarian Empire, later Poland, then USSR, then Ukraine. She died on 20 MARCH 1942, but my grandmother never told me exactly how or where she died.
I don’t have the death date for Jancia. My grandmother never found that out.
Any information you could gather for these family members would be incredible. Will Steckel, Fruma’s son, was born 6 DEC 1913 in Dobromil, Poland. He attended Krakow University and was working as an attorney in Poland when he went away on a business trip.
He came home and discovered there had been a Pogrom in his absence. His wife (name unknown) and four-year-old daughter had been shot to death on the doorstep of their house. Neighbors had been kind enough to drag their bodies inside and shut the door. I don’t know anything else about their lives or deaths. I want to find out.
Thank you very, very much for any help you can give me!
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