Family of Natan Porges


Natan Porges (b. Miretice, Czechoslovakia (then Austro-Hungary) ca. 1790, d. ?)
        married Terezie Neuman (b. Teplejsovice, Czechoslovakia yr?, d. ?). Lived in Miretice #22. Owned a winery.

Adam Porges (b. Miretice #22, 23.10.1825), married Marie Seidler (b. Miretice, 4.10.1814, d. Ca 1877),
        the daughter of Simon Seidler, a butcher from Miretice #20, and his wife Ludmila Bloch-Seidler (from Tatounovice).
        They were married in the synagogue of Chmelna (Ledec, Czechoslovakia) on 22.3.1850.
        Adam was 25 yr old then, while Marie, of a rather wealthy family, was 36 yr old.
        They lived in Miretice # 29. Adam was a merchant. He remarried at the age of 53 (1878).

Hynek Jonathan Porges (b. Miretice #29, 12.1.1851, d. 21.2.1900, buried in Trhovy Stepanov cemetery)
married Josefa Feuerstein Lived in Zdislavice u Vlasimi #6.
Josefa Feuerstein (b. Dalkovice 8.2.1856, d. 17.3.1933, buried in Trhovy Stepanov), daughter of Philip Feuerstein and Marie Spletak- Feuerstein.
Josefa Porgesova
was a courageous lady. She was a widow for many years. Raised five children all by herself. The legend says she had fought and scared two burglars away, using a kitchen knife.

Ruzena Porgesova (b. Zdislavice #6 1881, d. 1928), the elder daughter,
married Alfred Taussig (b. Leipzig 15.8.1877, d. Ca 1937, before the marriage of Marie Taussigova).
They lived in Benesov u Prahy.
Alfred established the ATAS textile business, later shared with Josef Porges.
He loved eating and drinking, and died of over-doing that. Both buried in Benesov.

Josef Taussig (b. Benesov 20.8.1904, d. 8.9.1942 in Maly Trostinec ),
          married Zdena (b. Dobris, Czechoslovakia 2.1.1913, d. 8.9.1942 in Maly Trostinec).
          Transport Bd from Prague to Terezin (04.09.1942), and Bk from Terezin to Maly Trostinec (08.09.1942).                         (Information from Terezin archive data base)
          List of 227 Porges deported to Terezin
          Transports to/from Terezin

Anna Taussigova (b. Benesov 1.1.1906, d. 1.9.1942 in Raasika ),
         married Rudolf Weisl (b. 8.4.1893, d. 1.9.1942 in Raasika).

Ruth Weislova (b. 7.9.1930, d. 1.9.1942 in Raasika)
Raasika : Transport V from Prague to Terezin on 30.1.1942,
    and Be from Terezin to Raasika on 01.09.1942.
    List of 227 Porges deported to Terezin
    Transports to/from Terezin

Marie Taussigova (b. Benesov 3.4.1910, d. 7.1.1975), married Mr. Havelka,
who is remembered as “a gentile on a motorcycle”, about 2 years before SWW.
He had hid Marie in a village during the war, but divorced her and married their maid soon after Helena was born.

Helena Havelkova (b 6.11.1944) married Mr. Martinek.
Living in Sazava nad Sazabou, Czech Republic.

Stanislava Martinkova (b. 26.1.1963)
married Mr. Handly, living in England.

Otakar (Ota) Taussig (b. Benesov 25.02.1918, survived Terezin and Auschwitz
        (Transport Dn from Lipa to Terezin on 14.09.1943, and El from Terezin to Auschwitz on 29.09.1944)
        but died of Typhoid two days after liberation).
        He was a chemist (M.A.). Studied in Prague University until SWW.
        List of 227 Porges deported to Terezin
        Transports to/from Terezin

Josef Porges
(b. Zdislavice 15.9.1883, d. 12.5.1942 in Ravensbruck camp, Germany
(see his transport card to Terezin)

married Marie Lustig (b. Tabor, Czechoslovakia 1891, daughter of Leopold Lustig and Helena Fantl-Lustig; d. Israel Ca 1989).
They lived in Benesov u Prahy, owned a textile business (together with Alfred Taussig), and divorced Ca 1937.
Josef Porges was arrested by the Nazis as a hostage prisoner on 1.9.1939 in his home in Benesov, in front of 17 yr old Ruzena.
His prisoner number was 35319.
Held in Buchenwald Block 10 for two and a half years, then transported to Ravensbruck on 13.3.1942.
After his death in Ravensbruck (12.5.1942), the Nazis sent “his” ashes and clothes to his brother Rudolf (from Roudnice), who buried the remains in the grave of their mother Josefa Porges in Trhovy Stepanov cemetery.


All 4 children of Josef & Marie Porges (L to R) Rudolf, Hana, Karel & Ruzena, Benesov ca 1932 The formerly Marie and Josef Porges residence on Nakarlovie street, Benesov (see two-floors yellow house on the left). The family moved from this house to a larger one soon after the birth of Ruzena. The arches on the right are the remains from a medieval monastery.

Dr. (M.D., family and orthopedics physician) Karel (Nathan) Porges (b. Benesov 23.02.1914, d. England Ca 1980) married Dorothy Billington? (b. ?, d. ?). Lived in Czechoslovakia until SWW (MD studies almost completed in Prague University). Escaped in 1939 to Palestine, and immediately joined the Czech army in England. Finished his MD studies and lived in South London.

Karel Porges visiting his sisters
(Hana to his right and Ruzena-Rachel to his left)
in Israel, 1962

Diana Porges (b. South London 1947).
        Living in Kent, UK.
Peter Porges (b. South London 1945). Married Daphne (b?)
        Living in Hertfordshire, UK.

son (b?)
Katherine (b?)

Rudolf (Jacob) Porges-Polan (b. Benesov 25.12.1915, d. London, England 1994) married Mabel Baskeyfield (b. England 27.6.1921, d.12.6.1993).
Rudla Escaped from Czechoslovakia to Palestine at the end of 1939, joined the British RAF, and later joined the Czech army in England. Lived in England (except for one year, 1945-6, in Czechoslovakia).

Rudolf and Mabel
visiting Israel in 1968.

Ruven and Ran Har-Zvi, Rudolf and Mabel Polan

Brenda M. Polan (b. Benesov, Czechoslovakia 22.02.1946). Living in London, UK.
      Brenda is a fashion expert and teaches Journalism in London

Dr. (Ph.D.) Anthony J. Polan (b. Cheshire, UK, 29.05.1947).
        Married Suzanne (b. ?). Living in Worcester, UK.
        Anthony teaches Politics at Worcester University

Daniel Polan (b.?)

Hana Porgesova (b. Benesov 02.07.1918, d. Israel 1989)
married Abraham (Adolf) Reich (b. Stanislau, Galizien, Austro-Hungary 5.1.1908, d. Tel Aviv, 5.5.1978).
Hanna and Abraham married in the family house in Benesov on 12.3.1939 and immediately after escaped to Palestine.
Lived in Tel Aviv (1939-1979) and Ramat Hasharon (1979-1989).

The newly wed Hana Porges & Avraham Reich
on a ship to Palestine 1939

Arie (Reich) Kfir (b. Tel Aviv 1941). Living in Hong Kong

Ada Reich (b. Tel Aviv.8.4.1944),
        married Dr. (Ph.D., Agricultural Sciences) Avner Silber
        (b. kibbutz Ein Harod 18.3.1945). Living in Ramat Hasharon

Zohar Silber (b. kibbutz Merom Golan 1977)
        married Oded Bendori, living in Rosh Ha’ayin, Israel

Uri Silber (b. kibbutz Merom Golan 1979), living in Petah Tikva, Israel.

Ruth Reich (b. Tel Aviv 3.6.1951) married Ze’ev Avneon.
        Divorced. Living in Ramat Hasharon, Israel.

Guy Avneon (b. Ramat Hasharon 11.05.1974)
        married (4.6.2004) Tal Shimko, living in Tel Aviv, Israel

Michal Avneon (b 27.12.1976),
        married (16.09.2003) Shay Kativ, living in Kiryat Ono, Israel

Yoav Avneon (b. 22.08.1980) living in Tel Aviv, Israel

Ruzena (Rachel) Porgesova (b. Benesov 19.12.1922). Immigrated to Palestine-Israel, arriving in kibbutz Beit Hashitta on 23.10.1939. Married (1942) Reuben Hirshberg (later changed family name to Har-Zvi, (b. Jerusalem 04.1915, d. Be’er Sheva, Israel 16.02.1983). Lived in kibbutz Beit-Hashitta (1939-1951), kibbutz Ayelet Hashahar (1951-1964), Be’er Sheva (1964-1988), Rehovot (1988-2000) and Ramat Gan (2000-todate).

Rachel Porges & Reuven Hirshberg (later changed to Har-Zvi)
on their wedding day in Jerusalem (1942)
The Har-Zvi family in kibbutz Ayelet Hashahar, Ca 1962.

From left to right: Ilana, Yosepha, Rachel (formerly Ruzena Porgesova), Reuven, Grandma Miriam Porges, Dror and Nahshon.

Dr. (M.D., gynecologist) Dror Har-Zvi (b. kibbutz Beit Hashitta 19.09.1942)
        married Miriam (Mimi) Be’eri (b. kibbutz Mishmar Haemek 19.01.1944).
        Living in Yehud, Israel.

Micha Har-Zvi (b. 28.04.1966), married Shlomit Shulberg (b. 07.04.1971).  
        Living in Mishmar Hashiva, Israel.

Neta Har-Zvi (b. 18.01.1998)
Nir Har-Zvi (b. 02.11.2001)

Hagar Har-Zvi, lawyer ( b. 17.03.1971), married Ziv Mendelovich, lawyer
        (b. 26.05.1973). Living in Givataim, Israel.

Itai Mendelovich (b. 27.08.2003)

Efrat Har-Zvi (b. 02.11.1975), married Maor Alon (b. 06.06.1976).
        Living in Givataim, Israel.

        Nadav Har-Zvi (b. 07.06.1986).

Nahshon Har-Zvi (b. kibbutz Beit Hashitta 27.04.1944)
        married Miriam Seleshi (b. Budapest, Hungary 10.11.1945). Living in Rehovot, Israel.

Hadas Har-Zvi, lawyer (b. 10.01.1967). Living in Rehovot, Israel.

Ron Michael Har-Zvi (b. 20.01.2003)

Geffen Har-Zvi (b. 15.07.1970). Living in Hod Hasharon, Israel.
Sivan Har-Zvi (b. 17.02.1974), married Udi Greenberg. Living in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Zohar Har-Zvi Greenberg (b. 20.01.2003)

Gal Har-Zvi (b. 21.10.1982).

Ilana Har-Zvi (b. 15.09.1946) married Josef Greenstein (b. 25.01.1945).
        Living in Hod Hasharon, Israel.

Hagit Greenstein (b. 30.09.1966) married David Elisha (b. 26.08.1964).
        Living in Savion, Israel.

Gai Elisha (b. 27.05.1996)
Raz Elisha (b. 20.04.1999)

Itai Greenstein (b. 21.04.1968) married Tami Rom (b. 16.09.1968).
        Living in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Yoav Greenstein (b. 11.07.2001)
Ayelet Greenstein (b. 26.08.2004)

Rotem Greenstein (b. 27.08.1970) married Yaron Eliav.
        Both architects, living in Newe Monsun, Israel (2006).

Ella Eliav (b. 04.04.2000)
Dan Eliav (b. 05.10.2003)

Dr. (Ph.D, Plant Sciences) Yosepha Har-Zvi (b. 11.08.1949),
        married (1968) Avner Shahak, divorced 1986.
        Spouse Nadav Ravid (b. 12.06.1935). Living in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Galit Shahak (b. 13.10.1971).
Living in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Aya Shahak (b. 09.12.1973)
        married Dr. (MD, psychiatry) Yariv Doron (b. 26.02.1974).
        Living in Rehovot, Israel.

Ido Doron (b. 05.05.2002)
Mika Doron (b. 17.06.2004)

Jonathan Shahak (b. 23.06.1981).

Ran Har-Zvi (b. kibbutz Ayelet Hashahar 12.01.1962)
        married Tami Rossman (b. Jerusalem 27.02.1962). Divorced. Living in Yehud, Israel.

Gili Har-Zvi (b. 02.03.1991).
Adi Har-Zvi (b. 31.12.1992).
Noam Har-Zvi (b. 08.01.1995).
Hadar Har-Zvi (b. 14.03.1998).

Rudolf Porges (b. Zdislavice 04.11.1886, d. 11.1974), married Hermina Liskova (non-Jewish; b. Prague 08.09.1898, d. 09.05.1991). Rudolf survived Terezin . Family lived in Roudnice nad Labem # 805.
Transport AE-2 from Prague to Terezin 04.02.1945. (see his transport card to Terezin)
The story goes that when the Russians liberated Terezin, they would not let anybody out because of Typhoid epidemics. Nevertheless, on 12.05.1945 Hermina succeeded smuggling Rudolf out of the camp.
List of 227 Porges deported to Terezin
Transports to/from Terezin

Bohumil Porges (b. Roudnice nad Labem 12.10.1926, survived both Terezin and Auschwitz ), married Vlasta Kamerova (b. Roudnice 1928). Living in Roudnice, Czech Republic. (see his transport card to Terezin)
Bohumil/Mila was transported to Terezin on 06.03.1943 ( Cv 972), and to Auschwitz on 28.09.1944 (Ek-2343). Survived Gleiwitz and Blechhammer camps as well.
Mila’s story was documented in a Spielberg video interview.
List of 227 Porges deported to Terezin
Transports to/from Terezin

Eva Porges (b. Roudnice 10.4.1954) married Michal Slahorek.

Jakub Slahorek (b. 1983)

Alena Porges (b. Roudnice nad Labem 19.12.1931 ) married Jiri Borski (b.3.10.1929). Living in Roudnice, CR.
Alena and Bohumil/Mila, together with children of other mixed families, were gathered by the Nazis in Kledno for registration. in 1943.
Unlike Mila, Alena was not taken to Terezin, although there is a record of her in the Terezin data base.(see her transport card to Terezin).
She was hidden in a village towards the end of the war by her mother Hermina.
List of 227 Porges deported to Terezin
Transports to/from Terezin

Renata Borska (b. 21.8.1957) married and divorced Mr. Lanc (b. ?), living in Prague, CR.

Kristina Lancova (b. 1985) married Radek Lanc (b. 1988)

Dana Borska (b. 11.3.1965) married Zdenek Hes (b. ?), living in Roudnice, CR.

Martin Hes (b. 1990)

Eva Porges (b. Roudnice 04.1933, d. 1934). The tombstone of baby Eva has been stolen.

Otto (Ota) Porges (b. Zdislavice 24.02.1894, d. in Auschwitz ), married Elsa (Eliska)Weissova (b. Louny, Czechoslovakia 04.06.1903, d. in Auschwitz).
The whole family (Ota, Eilska, Jiri and Ruzena) was transported from Tabor to Terezin (transport Bz 12.11.1942) (see their transport cards to Terezin), then to Auschwitz (transport Cr, 23.1.1943). No one survived.
List of 227 Porges deported to Terezin
Transports to/from Terezin

Jiri Porges (b. 14.05.1926, d. in Auschwitz ).
Ruzena Porges (b. 25.03.1929, d. in Auschwitz).

  Bohumil Porges (b. Zdislavice Ca 1888, d. 1918, buried in Trhovy Stepanov),
  the youngest of the five children of Hynek and Josefa Porges.
  Died as a poor student in Prague before WWII.

Diana Porges
Diana Porges

I've been running my own businesses for a long time and never regretted being self-employed.
Through the Enterprise Agency I can pass on the benefit of my years of experience and, quite frankly, I get a kick out of helping others achieve their potential.


Source : (Who's who at the Enterprise Agency of North Kent)

Diana Porges, Director



General photos from Trhovy Stepanov old cemetery

TRHOVY STEPANOV: US Commission No. CZCE000264
Alternate name: Stepanow and Markt-Stiepanau in German.
Trhovy Stepanov is located in Bohemia, Benesov at 49º13 15º02, 25 km ESE of Benesov and 56 km SE of Prague.
Cemetery: 1 km SouthW. Present town population is 1,000-5,000 with probably no Jews.
-- Town: Obecni urad, 257 63 Trhovy Stepanov.
-- Regional: Jewish congregation: ZNO Praha (Ms. Jana Wolfova) Maislova 18, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/2318664 and Okresni Urad-Referat Kultury, 256 01 Benesov u Prahy and PhDr Jiri Tywoniak (District Conservator of Monuments), Zapova 601/22, 256 01 Benesov u Prahy; tel. 0301/23618.
-- Interested: Okresni Muzeum, Benesov, Male namesti 74, 256 01 Benesov u Prahy and Statni Zidovske Muzeum, Jachymova 3, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/2310634 and Jan Svoboda, regional historian, Lidicka 732, 258 01 Vlasim.
Earliest known Jewish community was recorded in early 18th century (Chevra Kadisha allegedly founded in the 15th century). 1930 Jewish population was 6 Jews. Jews moved to big towns in second half of 19th century. Independent Jewish congregation disbanded in 1925. The Jewish cemetery originated probably in first third of 18th century (allegedly in 1434) with last known Conservative Jewish burial before 1943. Vlasim (until approximately 1890), 8 km away, used this landmarked cemetery.
The isolated suburban rural (agricultural) hillside has no sign, but has Star of David on gate or wall. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all via a continuous masonry wall and non-locking gate. The pre- and post-WWII size of cemetery is 0.1741 ha. 100-500 stones date from 1711-20th century. The granite, limestone and sandstone flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration, double tombstones or multi-stone monuments have Hebrew, German and Czech inscriptions. The cemetery contains no known mass graves but has a pre-burial house's roofed gate only. Prague Jewish community owns the Jewish cemetery. Adjacent properties are agricultural. Occasionally, private visitors and local residents stop. Vandalism occurred during World War II, occasionally 1945-1991. Jewish individuals abroad and Jewish groups abroad did restoration in late 1980s. Global renovation was financed from Austria. Moderate threat: uncontrolled access, weather erosion and vandalism.
Ladislav Mertl, Mgr. of Geography, Kubanske namesti 1322/17, Praha 10-Vrsovice; tel. 02/743213 and Jiri Fiedler, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/553340 completed survey on May 23, 1992. Documentation: H. Gold, Die Juden… Boehmens (1934), J. Herman, Jewish Cemeteries in Bohemia & Moravia (1980), Zpravodaj Stepanovska-IX. (1991), Vestnik ZNO-No. 8 (1975), notes of Statni Zidovske Muzeum Praha, letters of Jan Svoboda (see 12) 1989, census 1724, 1930, 1991. Other documentation was inaccessible. No site visits or interviews occurred.

Source : http://www.jewishgen.org/cemetery/e-europe/czech-t.html

The tombstone of Josefa Porges (left stone) and her youngest son Bohumil (Mila) Porges (right stone).
The plaque on the stone of Josefa Porges, added by her granddaughter Rachel Har-Zvi, memorizes her son Josef Porges, who died in 1942 in Ravensbruck.
The plaque on Bohumil’s tombstone, added by Alena Borska,
memorizes Otto and Elsa Porges and their children Jiri and Ruzena, all died in 1943 in Auschwitz.

The tombstone of Hynek Porges in Trhovy Stepanov old cemetery

Transport Cards to Terezin

A notre from Yosepha Shahak (2006) :
Regarding the Terezin cards, my mother tells me that her father, Josef Porges, has never been to Terezin.
He was taken, together with 40 other people from Benesov to a prison in Prague, and from there to Buchenwald via Dachau.
Indeed, his card looks different than all others, who were transported to Terezin.
Well. Except for Alena Porgesova, whose card also looks different than the rest.
She was registered by the Germans, but never taken to Terezin.
Maybe because she was a young girl of mixed origin (mother non-Jewish).

Transport card of Josef Porges to Terezin


Transport card of Bohumil Porges to Terezin


Transport card of Otto (Ota) Porges to Terezin


Transport card of Eliska (Elsa) Porges to Terezin


Transport card of Jiri Porges to Terezin


Transport card of Ruzena Porges to Terezin


Transport card of Rudolf Porges to Terezin


Transport card of Alena Porges to Terezin




Czech nick names:

Bohumil = Mila
Jiri = Yirka
Josef = Pepo, Pepik
Rudolf = Rudla
Hana = Hanka
Marie = Manicka
Zdena = Zdenka
Elsa = Eliska
Ota, Otakar (in Czech) = Otto (in German)


The story of the ATAS textile company, Benesov u Prahy.

Here is the story behind the ATAS business, as told by Rachel Har-Zvi :

ATAS was established by Alfred Taussig.
The company’s name stands for Alfred Taussig a Spol (meaning Alfred Taussig and Co.).
It included a textile factory and a rather large store.
When Alfred decided to expand the business, he had sent Josef Porges, his brother-in-law, to Tabor to find a wealthy bride.
Josef fell for the younger daughter of Leopold and Helena Lustig, but they insisted on giving him the elder one, Marie Lustigova, to wed. Josef and Marie got married in Prague.
The dowry was invested in ATAS, with Marie becoming a formal partner.
The photo taken ca 1933 (see below), shows all employees at that time.
The four owners/partners are sitting in the center-front row : Josef Porges (2nd from the right), Marie Porgesova (3rd), Alfred Taussig (4th), Josef Taussig (5th, the elder son of Alfred and Ruzena Taussig).
Some time later, Marie caught Josef (Pepik) Taussig stealing money from the business and broke the partnership.
Alfred cashed his share, bought a villa on Zizkova Street, Benesov, and a Men’s Clothing store in Stepanka Street, Prague, for his son Josef.
ATAS remained in the hands of Marie and Josef Porges.
After their divorce (ca 1938) Josef called his second son Rudolf Porges, who was working and training at that time together with his sister Hana in a textile business in Tanvalde, to become his business partner in Benesov.
Karel, the elder son, studied medicine at the university of Prague at that time.
When the Nazis took over Czechoslovakia, they arrested Josef Porges (on 1.9.1939) together with 40 other leading figures from Benesov (mostly non-Jewish), to prevent potential resistance, and sent them to concentration camps in Germany.
They had nominated a pro-Nazi guy named Mr. Augustin to manage the business.
Josef Porges died two and a half years later (12.5.1942) in Ravensbruek camp.
Josef Taussig and his wife Zdenka were transported to Terezin (4.9.1942), and further on to Maly Trostinetc, Poland (8.9.1942), where they were killed.
Marie Porgesova remarried Mr. Polak (who was the best friend of her husband Josef), immigrated with him to Palestine, and later divorced him as well.
She died in Israel in 1979.
Rudla Porges escaped in 1939 from Czechoslovakia to Palestine and immediately joined the RAF and later the Czech legion in England.
At the end of the war, when the Russians came into Benesov, Mr. Augustin escaped with three truck loads of goods.
Rudolf Porges married Mabel in England, and then returned to Benesov to resume ownership of the business.
A year and a half later he decided to sell the business and go back to England.
He sold some of the family assets to Mr. Lavacek, but when the transaction was only half paid, the communists took over, and confiscated ATAS.
Poor Mr. Lavacek committed suicide.
Rudla and Mabel Porges-Polan returned to England on 1946, and lived there ever after.
Years later, when the communists lost power, the store was sold by the state to private hands. (see Photo below).

Mimi Har-Zvi and Rachel Har-Zvi in front of the formerly ATAS store
located at the intersection of Nakrolovie and Minoritska streets, adjacent to Masarik circle, Benesov.
At the time the photo was taken (Ca 1993) the store was already transferred from the Communists to private hands.

A letter from Alois Kraus, a Jewish leading figure and wine merchant from Dolni Kralovice, to Otto Porges, dated May 30, 1939.
Here is a free translation by Rachel Har-Zvi and Yosepha Shahak :

“Mr. Otto Porges, Merchant, Zdislavice,
I am providing you the requested data.
Adam Porges, Merchant from Miretice # 22, was born on October 23, 1825 as the son of Natan Porges, a wine producer from Miretice, and his wife Terezie of Neuman family, Teplejsovice.
The wife of Adam Porges was Marie, daughter of Simon Seidler, a butcher from Miretice # 20 and his wife Ludmila of Bloch family from Tatounovice.
Marie was born on October 4, 1814.
The wedding was performed in Chmelna synagogue on March 22, 1850.
The marriage permit # 2776 was issued on March 3 1850 in Ledec.
Hynek Porges, the first-born son of Adam Porges, was born on January 12, 1851 in Miretice #29.
If you need further information, I will gladly provide it.
May I add that according to the registration books Adam Porges, a widower, remarried at the age of 53.
Greetings to your wife and family. Sincerely, “
The birth certificate of Ruzena Porgesova, the daughter of Josef and Marie Porges, as provided by Rabbi Rudolf Blan of Benesov, on 28.3.1939, upon Ruzena’s request, 13 days after the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia.

Ruzena, then 16.5 years old, realized that she could not live there any longer, and decided to go to Palestine. Father Josef was arrested five months later.
Her boyfriend Zdenek Zika (non-Jewish, a communist resistance member) was arrested as well.
Both died in concentration camps.
Years later, Hanna Blanova, the daughter of Rabbi Blan, told Ruzena (Rachel Har-Zvi) that this document, like all other documents provided by the Rabbi, was actually signed by her mother, the Rabbi’s (formerly non-Jewish) wife, since the Rabbi’s hand-writing was unreadable.
It should be mentioned that Hanka Blanova, together with her sisters Miriam and Lea were sent to Terezin.
All three survived.
Years later Hanka, together with a group of non-Jews from Benesov, initiated the preservation of the Jewish cemetery in Benesov, and established a most dignified memorial museum at the entrance to the cemetery.
Correspondence between Ruzena Porges (sent from Tel Aviv 25.5.1941) and Otto Porges (Zdislavice u Vlasimi) during WW-2 via the Red Cross. Front side shown on the left; reply on the back side of the Red Cross form, on the right. Otto, Elsa and their two children later died in Auschwitz

A Red Cross reply to the inquiry letter of
Ruzena Porges as of 16.12.1940, dated 29.3.1941,
informing her that her father (mistakenly referred to as her husband)
is held in Buchenwald concentration camp.
Correspondence between Hana Porges-Reich (Tel Aviv) and Josef Porges in Buchenwald concentration camp via the Red Cross.
Hana’s letter on the front side of the RC form shown below, left; the hand-written reply on the back side of the form, on the right.

The last letter from Hana Reich (mailed 27.1.1943) to Josef Porges, returned with a note (circled within the letter)
indicating that he died in Ravensbruek on 12.5.1942.

R.B Porges 4 September 1945
c/o ATAS Firm
Benesov u Prahy
Dear Hanko and family,
Forgive me for not have replied to your letter for so long, but I received it in England shortly prior my departure, and here I had so much to do, that I could not get around to it.
I am beginning now to get hold of things.
I arrived here from England 14 days ago, and did not rest ever since.
Mabel is still in England.
I will try to get some time off for bringing her with me at last.
The information about the death of our father is unfortunately true.
Yesterday I met Dr. Kaufmann from Horice (the brother of Arthur Kaufmann from Benesov).
He was with father until his last moments.
You might know by now that he was occupied as a builder.
He belonged to the same working group [in Buchenwald – R. H-Z] as Dr. Kaufman.
Both were transported to Ravensbruek.
There father did not work anymore.
He had ulcer. Thanks to Dr. Sila, who was both a prisoner and a physician, father stayed the whole time in the recovery block.
Until one evening he started vomiting blood.
He fell asleep and died peacefully by the morning.
This was essentially a rescue for him.
Unlike former rumors, on September 1st [1939 – R. H-Z] 180 Jews from the Protectorate were arrested as hostages.
Only 7 returned. From the Benesov Jews, only Franta Orenstein came back.
Others to have come back are Oliverius, Mares, Soudny and a few more.
Less fortunate were those sent to the concentration camps later.
Whole families went straight from here to the gas chambers.
Surprisingly, mixed [semi-Jewish] families survived.
Mania Havelkova survived reasonably well.
Except for her, all the Taussigs are gone.
Irma and Mrs. Gerstman are also gone.
“Zuzan” Zika [the boyfriend of Ruzena] lost his life in a concentration camp.
Ruzena will probably be interested to know that the fascist Podhajsky [the anti-Semitic teacher of Ruzena who informed the Nazis on many people – R.H-Z] is now arrested and will probably remain in prison.
I have spent a few days with Ota [Gerstman] in Tanvalde.
Simek family retured, and Simek is acting as the national manager of the factory, now called “Tanvalde Textile Industries”.
Lizl has asked about you a lot.
She will write to you soon, and you need to reply promptly.
They are living in a villa.
You would have laughed a lot in Tanvalde, or rather wept.
Your desk is still standing in its place, but there is no one to write on it.
The Germans were kicked out, to the last one of them.
Erika and Linhartova are working in the cantina kitchen, where Ditrich is doing the cooking for the whole factory.
Their situation is better than all others, especially the men, who are working in work camps, and being treated as they had treated the Jews.
They were deported out of their apartments, and you would not have recognized Tanvalde, which is now totally Czech.
Larger towns like Jablonec and Liberec are also becoming Czech, so it is hard to recognize them.
Naturally, there is an extreme shortage in managers.
Simek is doing essentially everything by himself, and would have liked to have me and Gerstman work with him.
However, I cannot do it for the time being, as I need to rearrange our matters here in Benesov.
The store and the Orlik house will be returned to you.
Right now it is being managed by Matousek who was nominated by the authorities, and is doing a good job.
In addition to the store and house #148, there is a private cash account, so that the whole inheritance is worth about 1,500.000 K.
I have asked Dr. Kloudy to handle the inheritance matters (following the advice of Dr. Fink), and I need now a power of attorney from you and from Ruzena for him to start processing it in the law court.
The issue of the stones that you are keeping for dad is still open.
I suggest that you sell it and split the income into 4 parts.

[Second page:]
Ruzena can take her part directly.
Send Karel’s part to his account at Westminster bank, Epsom, and mine to Loyds bank, Newcastle. I do not yet how could I send your share abroad.
It is impossible for the time being, but they say it will be possible to do it later by the National bank.
I hope you will both come here soon, and then have money for expenses and shopping.
The store will, of course, become a joint ownership for the four of us.
I hope you accept that it is best that I take care of it for all of us for the time being, and when the situation stabilizes, especially the financial situation, we could sell it with mutual agreement.
We need to discuss all of it together.
I have already appealed to the law court to allow us to pay the mortgage of the Orlik house.
There is no point in paying interest when we have money available, and who knows what it will be worth later.
I have therefore attached herewith two forms, one for you and one for Ruzena for you to sign in the consulate in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.
Return it to me by registered air mail, with the signature of the consul.
Please Hanko let me know what you have arranged with the stones.
Hopefully we will not be required to declare them for the inheritance.
I received our old flat in Benesov back.
Augustin, the nasty [ATAS] store manager who was nominated by the Germans, lived in it during the war.
Unfortunately, “our known friends” [Russian officers] who lived here did not leave much of our furniture, nor of Augustin’s.
So I have asked to get the furniture of Augustin’s daughter, which are in a decent state, and am slowly reorganizing the flat.
I have also asked Faninka to become our maid, and she will start around September 15.
As far as I know Karel is still in England, but we are waiting for them any day now.
He actually wanted to stay in England, but I think it will not work out.
Last time I saw them, about two months ago, they were all fine and healthy, with Peter developing well.
I would be glad if Oto Lustig, on his way back, could bring me my personal belongings, like my clothing kept by mother, and my books and documents kept by you.
Also, send the stuff of Ota Gerstman and Karel, if you still have them.
In case he [Lustig] cannot bring it here, please see what would be best – sending it to England, or rather to here in Benesov.
My address in England is 23 Alexandra Road, May Bank, Newcastle u Lyme, Staffs., England.
It would be best if I could pay the shipping expenses here in Korunas.
We need these things badly.
It is hard to find a piece of clothing here.
Especially Ota Gerstman who has nothing to wear.
So, live well and come soon to visit us.
I know I did not write all that you want to know, but I do not know what to tell first.
Anka is here in Benesov all the time.
She is well, but furious, of course, with Karel.
She has devotedly waited for him all these six years.
The Chata is standing empty.
Russians lived there for some time.
Anka’s brother is living in Cercany, having two children.
Please Hanka, give this letter to mother and Ruzena to read.
I do not have the time to write each one separately.
I need to end.
I am in a hurry to a national committee meeting regarding the flat and furniture.
My whole hearted blessings to all of you,
Ahoy, yours
Matousek family, as well as all past and present employees are sending their regards to all of you.
P.S. [handwritten 1] ask Ruzena to sign as Har-Zvi, not Porgesova.
P.S. [handwritten 2] I will soon change my name to Petru

A two-page letter from Rudolf Porges, ATAS, Benesov, Czechoslovakia, to Hana Reich, Tel Aviv, Israel, dated September 4, 1945.
See on the right a free translation by Rachel Har-Zvi (from Czech to Hebrew) and Yosepha Shahak (from Hebrew to English):


Closing remarks by Yosepha Shahak

The construction of this Hynek Porges genealogy web site started as an anecdote, but turned into a major, yet most exciting project.
It all started while I was helping my mother to file a claim for her father’s insurance policy, issued prior WW-2.
Searching the internet for information on our Porges relatives, the first site to have popped up was www.porges.net .
I was overwhelmed by this excellent site with its vast amount of information, and immediately contacted the site manager Antoine Porges, to compliment him.
In return, Antoine suggested that I compose a genealogy tree for our Porges branch, to be added to his website.
While agreeing, I did not realize how deep and how far it will carry me.
My mother, Rachel Har-Zvi (formerly Ruzena Porgesova), who’s heart remained in Benesov throughout her lifetime anyway, gladly joined the effort.
She started digging, with a lot of enthusiasm, into her grey cells, as well as into old documents, photos and letters.
Whatever she could not remember, she would call her cousin Alena Borska in Roudnice nad Labem, or her dear childhood friend Hanka Blanova in Benesov u Prahy.
On my side, I searched the Terezin and Yad Vashem data bases, collected details from family members in Israel, and resumed long discontinued connections with our British branch of the family.
During the process, I have distributed sample stories from the accumulating data to our family e-mailing list.
Positive feedbacks from the younger generation have encouraged me to go ahead and complete this mission with as much information as possible.
Now, that the mission is accomplished, I hope that both present and future generations of the family will take interest in the saga of our family.

Technical notes:

• The Czech names in this document regretfully lack the proper signs above the letters, as I do not have these signs in my word processor, or rather do not know how to do it.
• I also apologize for possible misspellings. Czech is not an easy language to cope with, for a non-Czech speaking person like myself.
• The Lustig side of Grandmother Miriam Lustig-Porges was not detailed here. It should deserve its own genealogy tree.

I would like to thank my sister-in-law Mimi Har-Zvi, who knows about our Porges and Lustig roots more than any of us, biological family members; thanks to cousins Ada Silber and Ruthie Avneon, who provided letters and documents of beloved aunt Hanna; special thanks to Brenda and Anthony Polan who responded so warmly to my e-mails, bypassing a communication gap of 30-40 years; and above all, many thanks to mother Rachel Har-Zvi, for her sharp mind (and tongue), her tolerance to my endless questions, and her everlasting, uncompromising love to Czechoslovakia, which we learned to accept.
February, 2006