The first find of the weekend, at the National Library in Warsaw: my great grandfather Hil Majer Piwko’s death notice in Nasz Przegląd, one of the main Polish-language Jewish newspapers in interwar Poland.


Chil Majer Piwko’s death notice in Nasz Przegląd, June 16, 1929.

The text reads:

B. P. [Blessed in memory] Chil Majer Piwko died in Włocławek after brief but heavy suffering on the 12th of June 1929 (4 Siwon), at the age of 75, and was buried the same day.

To everyone who helped him on his final road, lamenting our husband and father, and especially the Funeral Brotherhood with its honorable president at its head. Wishing to express “God bless,” left in deep sadness,

Wife, sons, daughters, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

The size and placement of the notice indicates my great grandfather held a position of relative prominence in the Jewish community. Also, appearing in Nasz Przegląd as opposed to any of the Yiddish or Hebrew language newspapers indicates that he identified as a Pole as well as a Jew. He was assimilated into the broader society, even though he maintained conservative modes of dress and religious practices.

I’m also struck by the mention of great grandchildren in the death notice. That’s also me, even though I wouldn’t be born for another 35 years