Przemysl to Paris: The fate of Perla, Salomon, Muni, Chaya, and Florine
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That these photos still exist, and their story can be told, is due in large part to Silvia Espinosa Schrock. Sometime around 1989 Silvia found a box filled with photos in a garbage can in front of a brownstone in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. The photos were old, and she found the faces to be intriguing, but at the time she was a busy art student, so she packed them away, soon forgetting what she had. Forward to 2020. Now an art professor, married, with a young daughter, living in Florida and in a COVID lock-down, she gets the box out of storage and digs in. With her keen artistic eye, she has a unique talent for recognizing faces and proceeds to group them into family units. One photo had an odd name scribbled on the back. On a whim, she googles: Joachim Getter. The first hit is my Jewish Przemysl Blog.

Muni was the husband of my grandfather Emil's sister Chaya Silberman. Chaya was murdered in the Shoah and previously known to us from a single picture taken when she was perhaps 12 years old. My parents were quite close to Muni and their daughter, cousin Florine. Eventually, the box came to me and with the help of Silvia, the US Holocaust Museum, JRI Poland, and Muni's great niece Ester Rinkoff in London, we pieced together family trees and most, but not all, of the stories the photos told.

In the box were a series of rare photos taken inside the French-run transit camp where rounded-up Jews were detained prior to being shipped to the death camps. To honor the lives and deaths of all the people in this most remarkable collection of artifacts-named and unnamed- I donated the entire collection to the US Holocaust Museum.(photos below)

David Semmel
August 2021

The Story

Salomon Abend (b April 25, 1902) and Perla Rosiner (b March 17, 1903) were school days sweethearts in post-WWI Przemysl, Poland.

In the mid-1920s they immigrated to France separately, eventually living together at 30 Rue Chateau de Eau in Paris.

Suzy Snyder of USHMM shared the record that showed Perla's parents

I found a database of French Jewish deportees. There was only one Salomon from Przemysl deported from Camp Rolande yielding Saloman's last name.

JRI Poland data helped construct their family trees

Salomon and Perla in Przemysl

In 1926 Chaya Silberman (b June 6, 1906, (my great aunt), married Joachim Muni Getter (b April 6, 1906) in Przemysl, then relocated to Thonon-les-Bains, France where daughter (Blima) Florine was born in 1927 before settling at 2 Passage du Charolais in Paris.

Though close in age and from the same town, it is not known if Salomon and Perla were friends with or even knew of Chaya and Muni in pre-war Paris.

During the summer of 1942 with the Nazis occupying Paris, Florine was sent into hiding. See her story.

A short time later her parents Chaya and Muni, and Muni's brother Aron Getter and wife Esther (Turteltaub) were arrested and sent to the French-run transit camp at Drancy.

Salomon was arrested and interned at the Beaune-La-Roland camp. He was able to send photos and cards that ended up reaching Perla, now going by Paulette, from the internment camp. We do not know if Paulette went into hiding or stayed with relatives in England during the war. On June 28, 1942 Salomon was transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau on convoy 5 and presumably murdered.

On July 18, 1942 Chaya, Muni, and Esther were arrested and sent to the Drancy internment camp. On July 24 they were loaded into boxcars headed for the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp as part of convoy 10. It is presumed that the women were murdered on arrival. Aron was deported on convoy 22 in August 1942 and presumed murdered.

At some point, Muni was transferred to the Ebensee sub-camp of the Mauthausen labor camp near Linz, Austria. He was liberated on May 6,1945 by the American army and was repatriated to Paris on May 25.

It took Muni several months to find Florine, now 19, in Paris. Chaya's brother Emil Silberman (my grandfather) arranged for US immigration and a plane ticket to New York for his niece in 1946. Muni followed a few month later.

Below: Florine, Dorothy Silberman (my mother), and Fanie Metzger Silberman (my grandmother)

In 1949 Muni sailed to France and in 1950, sailed back to New York with Paulette, now his wife. It is not known how or when they met. They settled in the Bronx; Muni passed away in 1973 and Paulette in 1989.

Florine married Martin Sporn, a Shoah survivor from Vienna; they settled in NYC. They did not have children and she passed away in 2004.

Quite the final surprise from Silvia's box of photos: Florine, Muni, and Paulette were all at my parents' wedding in 1953.

Chaya Silberman Getter June 6, 1906 - Jan 6, 1944

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