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Maya and Giora Amir collection

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2017.256.1

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    Contains documents, correspondence, and photographs related to the Wachs and Liebesmann families. Salomea Lusia Liebesmann Wachs, donor’s mother, b. 1909 had three brothers: Benjamin and Mendel, engineers who survived in France and Abraham, physician, who was saved by a German officer and his wife in Stanislawow.; Lusia Wachs and her husband Artur Wachs, b. 1901, an engineer, lived in Stryj and worked for Polish Railways; Giora Jerzyk was born on July 10, 1937. Dr. Włodzimierz Łużecki, Artur’s boss arranged for him baptismal certificate for the name: Hieronim Kozdrowicz. False ID’s were issued for the whole family including Feiga Liebesman, Lusia’s mother. Jerzyk, his mother and grandmother moved to Chelm and Artur lived in Sanok. In 1945 Wachs family helped Dr. Łużecki leave USSR for Poland. Photographs; depicting Greifinger family, Wachs family and Liebesmann family in Poland, France, and Israel; Maya Greifinger Amir was born in 1936 in Krakow; her mother, Roza Hiltch Greifinger was murdered in Sobibor in August 1942; Maya and her father Leib Leon managed to survive in hiding in Boryslaw. Both Maya and Giora immigrated to Israel in 1957.
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Giora and Maya Amir In memory of Roza Hiltch Greifinger and other members of the family
    Collection Creator
    Giora Amir
    Maya Amir
    Giora Amir was born on July 10, 1937 in Lvov, Poland as Jerzy Wachs, son of Artur Daniel Wachs (b. October 10, 1901 in Żółkiew) and Salomea Lusia Liebesmann Wachs (b. 1909 in Skole). Salomea had three brothers: Benjamin and Mendel, engineers who survived in France and Abraham, physician, who was saved by a German officer and his wife in Stanislawow Artur Wachs graduated from the Lvov Polytechnic as a mechanical engineer. He worked as chief engineer at Polish Railways (PKP) in Stryj. After the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the four hundred employees of the Railway Depot searched among themselves and found one, whose personal data fit the family of Artur Wachs. This way Artur Daniel Wachs became Hieronim Kozdrowicz; Salomea Liebesmann Wachs became Maria Kozdrowicz and their son became Jerzy Kozdrowicz. Frederika Fanny Tennenbaum Wachs, Artur’s mother became Kornelia Kuźmakowska, due to the enormous help of Dr. Włodzimierz Łużecki, a lawyer and a well-known Ukrainian leader. The family split: Lusia, her mother and her son settled in Chełm near Lublin, where Lusia or Maria Kozdrowicz worked in a German military co-op. Artur Hieronim Kozdrowicz went to Czortków, where he worked as a bookkeeper.

    In July 1944 the Soviet Army liberated the area and in July 1945 the whole Wachs Kozdrowicz family including Fanny Wachs and Dr. Włodzimierz Łużecki, moved to Gliwice, Silesia in western Poland. Jerzy Kozdrowicz graduated from high school and started his engineering studies at the Silesia Polytechnic (previously the Polytechnic Institute of Lvov transferred to Gliwice after the war).

    In 1957 both families immigrated to Israel. Jerzy and Julia (Maya) married in 1959. Jerzy graduated from the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa and began his 14-year long military service in the Israeli Navy. Maya graduated from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem with a degree in biology. Jerzy changed his name to Giora Amir as required at the time by the Israeli Army. He attended Naval Architecture studies at the Technion and later the family was sent to the UK to supervise work for the Israeli Navy. In 1961 their son Alon Amir was born and in 1969 daughter Varda (named after Roza, Maya’s mother) was born.
    Maya Amir was born in Krakow, Poland on May 9, 1935 as Larisa Maja Greifinger, daughter of Leib Leon Greifinger (b. September 22, 1906 in Sambor, Poland) and Róża Hilcz (b. 1907 in Sambor). The young couple settled in Oświęcim, near Krakow, where Leon, who was a mechanical engineer, found employment. Maya’s mother, Róża, graduated from Wolna Wszechnica Polska (WWP) (Open University) in Warsaw, specializing in Child Psychology.
    After the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, the Greifinger family returned to Sambor, which was under the Soviet administration.

    In June 1941 Germany invaded the Soviet Union and immediately started anti-Jewish repressions. The first Aktion took place on August 4, 1942. About 4,000 Jews were deported to the Bełżec death camp and Maya’s mother was among them. A few days before the Aktion, Maya was taken to her paternal aunt, Giza Greifinger Zoszak and her husband, Adam Zoszak, a lawyer in Borysław. The hiding place where Róża Greifinger stayed could not include her husband. Leon hid in the nearby forest, which saved him. After the Aktion Leon Greifinger joined his daughter, sister and brother-in-law in the nearby Borysław. His brother-in-law arranged false papers for him, which enabled Leon to work as night watchman at the local oil wells. Leon’s false identity was Józef Tańczyn. Some of the oil wells belonged to Leon’s and Giza’s sister Ewa and her husband Wilf, who were murdered with their families.

    In 1945 the Zoszak’s adopted Maja and her new name became Julia Zoszak. After liberation the Zoszak family moved to Gliwice in Western Poland. Maya attended high school where she met her future husband. In 1954 Maya started studying at Medical School, but it was interrupted in 1957 when Giza and Maya immigrated to Israel.
    Leon Greifinger Tańczyn settled in Katowice, where he met Marysia Geller, whom he knew before the war in Oświęcim. They married and had a son Joel. Marysia survived Peterswaldau forced labor camp.

    Physical Details

    Letters. Photographs.
    3 folders

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.

    Administrative Notes

    Donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2017 by Giora and Maya Amir.
    Funding Note
    The acquisition of this collection was made possible by the Crown Family.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 14:29:55
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