Personal Introduction from David Glynn

I was born in London in 1950.  I studied Mathematics at Cambridge, and am an Engineering Consultant specialising in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).  We simulate fluid flows on the computer - if you are interested you can find out more on  My brother Michael is a consultant physician and gastroenterologist at one of the London teaching hospitals, and has 3 girls aged between 4 and 12.

My mother Erica is the Czernowitzer in my immediate family.  She was born there as Erika Grunberg in 1923.  Her father, Rafael Grunberg, she never knew - beyond the fact that he came from Radautz, we know nothing about the Grunbergs at all.  My mother lived with her brother Leander, mother Amalia, grandfather Schulem Landau and uncle "Nola" Landau, in a succession of very small flats in the Reissgasse, the Siebenburgerstrasse and the Kathedralgasse.  Nola had trained as a doctor in Prague - one room in the flat was his surgery, and doubled as a (multiple) bedroom at night.  Before WW1 the Landaus had lived in Eisenau in the Southern Bukowina, where they ran the local shop - of Schulem's parents and family we know nothing.  Erica's grandmother Chana died on a visit to Breslau when Erica was only 2 - she was born a Peretz.  Our wider family in Czernowitz were the Peretz's (they were originally from Itzkany).

Erica went first to the Meislerschule, then won a stiff competitive examination to the Oltea Doamna (the best state Gymnasium for girls). This was initially near the Meislerschule in the Landhausgasse, then moved in 1937 to the Siebenburgerstrasse.  I suspect that during the war, this building became the Yiddish school that Mimi and Arthur attended.  (Any information as to what happened to the Oltea Doamna would be welcome!)

My grandmother Amalia had two sisters, both extremely close - Gusta who married Lazar Schaechter, and Netka, whose first husband was Adolf Fleischer (his brother owned the Kapitol cinema in the Herrengasse), her second was Max Gelband who ran a prosperous shoe shop in the Hauptstrasse.  These two aunts each had a daughter - Gusta's daughter was Franceska (Franzi), Netka's was Anny.  The family was always extremely close, and Erica, Franzi and Anny have been like sisters all their lives.

My mother's family was extremely poor, and how they managed to leave Czernowitz is an interesting story. My aunt Franzi was a great beauty. At the age of 16 she was at a dance in the Cafe de l'Europe in the Herrengasse, and was introduced to a very wealthy Polish businessman who happened to be visiting Czernowitz.  He was smitten, and within months they were married - after an exotic honeymoon in Egypt, she went to live in Warsaw.  In 1937 tragedy struck - her husband died, leaving her a wealthy widow at the age of 21.  She now had the means for the family to emigrate, and her uncle Nola had the vision to make it happen.  First he sent Erica to school in Switzerland in 1937 -  then in 1938 he, Erica, Franzi, together with Erica's mother and brother Leander came to London.

My mother studied chemistry at Kings College, London - the university was evacuated to Bristol, where the bombing proved to be worse than in London!  She took a PhD and became an industrial chemist, and later a university lecturer in science education.  She met my father at a party to celebrate the end of the war, and they spent 56 happy years together.  Leander, who had studied pharmacy at Bucharest and natural science at Prague (and had spent a year at the La Tei pharmacy at Dreifaltigkeitsgasse 37a in Czernowitz), went on to study oil engineering at Birmingham, and eventually became head of the Fluids Section at the National Engineering Laboratory in Scotland.

Not all the family escaped Czernowitz in time.  Extraordinarily, Franzi's parents Gusta and her husband went back to Czernowitz from England just before war broke out.  My other great aunt Netka stayed with her husband Max.  They all had a chequered time during the war, but managed to survive and to avoid being deported.  Anny had a very difficult time and made her way to Palestine, she now has a large and happy family in Israel.

I have said more about the family than about myself, but I feel that it is our Czernowitz connections that are likely to be of the greatest interest.

We often visited my mother's exceptionally close and German-speaking family, and to me Czernowitz has always been a familiar concept, but I knew absolutely nothing about it.  And I could find out nothing about it, since no books in England seemed to make any reference to the Bukowina at all.  It was only with the advent of the internet that Czernowitz began to take a concrete shape in my mind, and I have been amazed by the flood of information to be found there.  I am looking forward to the reunion, my first visit to Czernowitz, as an opportunity to understand more of the context from which the family came.