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 got 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 (b. Dalkovice 8.2.1856,
d. 17.3.1933, buried in Trhovy
Stepanov), daughter of Philip Feuerstein
and Marie Spletak- Feuerstein. Lived in Zdislavice
u Vlasimi #6.
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
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)
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
(b. Zdislavice 15.9.1883, d. 12.5.1942 in Ravensbruck
(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
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
in Israel, 1962
(b. South London 1947).
Living in Kent, UK. Peter Porges (b. South London
1945). Married Daphne (b?) Living in Hertfordshire,
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
Brenda M. Polan (b. Benesov, Czechoslovakia 22.02.1946).
Living in London, UK. Brenda is a fashion expert
and teaches Journalism at the University of the
Dr. (Ph.D.) Anthony J. Polan (b. Cheshire, UK,
29.05.1947). Married Suzanne (b. ?). Living in
Worcester, UK. Anthony teaches Politics at Worcester
Daniel Polan (b.?)
(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).
Hana Porges &
on a ship to Palestine
Arie (Reich) Kfir (b. Tel Aviv 1941). Living in
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
Zohar Silber (b. kibbutz Merom Golan 1977) married
Oded Bendori, living in Rosh Ha’ayin,
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
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
Har-Zvi family in kibbutz Ayelet Hashahar,
From left to right: Ilana, Yosepha,
Rachel (formerly Ruzena Porgesova),
Reuven, Grandma Miriam Porges, Dror
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
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)
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
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
of 227 Porges deported to Terezin Transports
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.
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
of 227 Porges deported to Terezin Transports
Renata Borska (b. 21.8.1957) married and divorced
Mr. Lanc (b. ?), living in Prague, CR.
Kristina Lancova (b. 1985)
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.
Jiri Porges (b. 14.05.1926, d. in
Auschwitz ). Ruzena Porges (b. 25.03.1929, d.
(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.
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)
from Trhovy Stepanov old cemetery
STEPANOV: US Commission No. CZCE000264
Alternate name: Stepanow and Markt-Stiepanau
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.
-- 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
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.
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.
of Hynek Porges in Trhovy Stepanov old cemetery
Cards to Terezin
A notre from Yosepha Shahak
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
card of Bohumil Porges to Terezin
Transport card of Otto (Ota) Porges to
Transport card of Eliska (Elsa) Porges
Transport card of Jiri Porges to Terezin
Transport card of Ruzena Porges to Terezin
Transport card of Rudolf Porges to
Transport card of Alena Porges to Terezin
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
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.
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
“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
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, “
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
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
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 u. 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.
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,
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
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):
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.
• 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
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