Three generations of women embarked on a journey to see where
Bronia Cimmerman Bronkesh lived before America, the town of Sam Bronkesh’s youth, and to pay tribute to Bronia’s father and grandparents who are buried in a mass grave. 88-year old Bronia traveled with her daughter and granddaughter to Poland and Ukraine. In Warsaw, they met guide Tomash Kuberczyk. First they went to Ryki, Sam’s home town. A few kilometers away they visited Deblin and Stawy, the sites of Nazi labor camps, and where Sam and his brothers were imprisoned before fleeing to the woods where they spent years as Partisans. In Warsaw they saw the massive Jewish ghetto, a Jewish cultural festival and the apartment building where Bronia had stayed for a year while studying after high school. They then flew to Ukraine to see places of importance in Bronia’s life. Guide Alex Dunai took the group to L’viv, Rivne, Sarny and Kiev. In Rivne, he found the Jewish boarding school where Bronia spent a semester of high school. Sarny, where Bronia was born and lived until 1941, was especially poignant as they visited the site where 14,000 Jews were murdered over two days including many relatives and friends. The physical journey concluded in Kiev where Bronia had studied in medical school until the end of WWII and the start of her journey to America.
This website documents not only the trip taken by Bronia, her daughter Sheryl, and granddaughter Emily in 2009, but is also a repository of family photos and documents uncovered through subsequent genealogical research.
In Loving Memory Z”L
Sam Bronkesh 1914-1998
Bronia Bronkesh 1922-2015
Timeline of Bronia's life 1921-1947
Photos of the trip: Poland
Photos of the trip: Ukraine
Documents found in Ryki about the Bronkesh family
Bronia's memories of her life before America
Stories of Survival: Sam and Bronia Bronkesh