Remembering the Holocaust

The photo above is Shlomo Thal, born in 1904 in Valdemarpils, Latvia. This photo is particularly powerful for me as it looks so much like my own grandfather, born the same year. Shlomo and my grandfather were second cousins. Shlomo was killed in Riga, Latvia, in 1941. He was 37. On this Yom HaShoah, I’dContinue reading “Remembering the Holocaust”

Leaving Courland

Among my collection of interviews is this story, told by Paula Thal Aminoff in 1974, of her brother Jacob and his efforts to leave Courland (now Latvia) before being drafted into the Russian Army. Ted: You know about Abraham Blumberg.. well, I’ll tell you. His father, Abraham’s father [Jacob Blumberg] was fairly well‑to‑do, he wasContinue reading “Leaving Courland”

The Thals of Sassmacken

From a 1981 interview between Rabbi Lennard Thal and my great-grandfather’s sister, Paula Thal Aminoff, I have this quote: “Sassmacken. There was full of Jews. And there were a bunch of Thals there – not related, another family, very fine people, but not related to us. Ours was a big family and they were aContinue reading “The Thals of Sassmacken”