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The Djament family (see the family tree)
was headed by Itzhak Djament, born in 1883 in Chmielnik, a town east of
Krakow towards the city of Lwow, where 80 per cent of the population
were Hassidic Jews. His parents were Moses Leiba and Pesla. Itzhak’s
brothers and sisters ran small shops in country villages selling largely
to the local population. In 1906, at the age of 23, a
marriage was arranged by the local matchmaker and Itzhak married Chave
Lind, (whose Polish name was Ewa). She was born in 1885 in Tarnow, a
city 65 km east of Krakow, with a Jewish population of 25,000, the daughter of Simon and Chaya Sandhaus (see the Sandhaus family tree) however went by the name of Lind since, in the eyes of
the law, Simon and Chaya were not legally married (marriages conducted
by a rabbi were not considered legal). Simon Sandhaus ran a pub in
Tarnow and it is thought that Itzhak worked as an accountant for a local brewery.
first child, Roman, (Romek in Polish) was born in 1907 and the second,
Josef in 1909. Israel (also known as Julek) was born in 1911. A year
later Itzhak with his young family moved to Krakow where he worked as a
salesman in a shop owned by the Wechsler family selling His Master’s
Voice gramophones. In all they had five sons. In 1913 Chave gave birth
to identical twins, Samuel and Jakub.
They all lived in a
one-room apartment, No. 7, on the third floor of 45 Starowislna, a large
building on a broad avenue not far from the Jewish quarter of
Kazimierz. In 1917 Itzhak came home to announce that the government had
ordered all families with young children to evacuate the city because
of fear that Russia, in the wake of their Communist revolution and in
the midst of the First World War, would invade Krakow. The Djaments
packed all their belongings and reported to the train station where the
seven of them, as well as their daily housekeeper, boarded a train that
took them to Eichwald, a small town in Sudeten in what is now the Czech
Republic. Their time there was very pleasant, with plentiful milk and
fresh bread and butter, fresh air and peace and quiet, just like an
extended holiday in the country. Roman and Jozef were old enough to
attend school, so they enrolled at the local primary school and became
fluent in German.
several months they returned to Krakow to discover someone else had
moved into their one-room apartment, and for the two years that followed
they were forced to share it. Then No. 9, a three-bedroom apartment
across the hall, became available, and after handing over a substantial
amount in key money, the family moved in and lived in relative luxury
until the outbreak of the Second World War. Itzhak went into the timber
business and the family became fairly prosperous. At the end of the
First World War, there was a building boom in Krakow and Itzhak would
travel to the countryside to contract with local lumberjacks for trees
to be delivered to a mill for cutting, and then he would sell them to
timber yards. Unfortunately, during one of his trips he contracted
rheumatic fever from which he survived, however it weakened his heart.
1918, Krakow was not in Poland but was part of the Austro-Hungarian
Empire, which was known for its tolerance towards Jews. Indeed, the Jews
of Krakow were often quite wealthy and, more importantly, integrated
into the city’s society. The Djament boys attended school at J. Dietel
Primary School, and later high school or gymnasium where their
classmates were an equal mixture of Jews and Christians.
their origins, Chave and Itzhak were not very observant, attending
synagogue only on the high holidays. Nonetheless, each of the five boys
had a bar mitzvah. The family were also not very strict about Jewish
dietary laws, although they did not eat pork — but even that went by the
wayside when Itzhak came down with rheumatic fever and the doctor
advised him to eat as much meat as possible to regain his strength. At
the time, the cheapest meat available was ham.
Itzhak succumbed in 1932, at the age of 49, to a fatal heart attack weakened by his rheumatic fever.
| | l to r Jakub, Chave, Romek, Israel, Jozek, Itzhak and Samuel
(Photo taken circa 1918)
(Photo taken in 2006)
Your webmaster in front of 45 Starowislna St, the Djament residence in Kazimierz. The family occupied the top floor.
|Aug 2016 ||Created a new menu item under "Stories" to the "Finland by Kayak" adventure by Janek and Stefan.|
Uploaded an updated Djament family tree for the passing of Kathy and the birth of Amelie, a daughter to Alexi and Grant.
| Vlad discovers over 60 cables on Wikileaks relating to Janek's troubles with the Indian tax authorities. A summary, created by Adam and edited by Eve, appears in a new page "The Westinghouse Cables" in the Stories section.|
| || Dec 2013|| Added some Janek memorabilia located by Eve. Also added a copy of Wanda's driver's licence from her days in India.|
| || Nov 2013|| Updated the Djament family tree for the marriages of Alexi Kaplun, Eric Lawrence, Nathalie Lawrence and arrival of Nathan, son to Alexi with other minor corrections.|