Family Story from Ruth Schaerf (Sharvit) Sternbach

Family Tree (decendants of Jehuda Zeev Ziegler)

A pdf (Acrobat version) of the Family Story

An  album of Czernowitz family photos
Volume2 of the above

The Collected Artwork of Ruti Sharvit
The artwork of Czernowitz artist Isiu Schaerf - Vol. I (lino-cuts)
The artwork of Isiu Schaerf - Vol. II (paintings)

Page 1

The ancestors from my family came from Russia and Poland to Czernowitz.

After pogroms in Russia, (1838?) Hersch Zvi Jankl and his brother, arrive to Czernowitz.

Hersch Zvi Jankl married and Chaje Reisel in Czernowitz (b.1845)?

When Chaje Reisel met Jehuda Zeev Ziegler, a widower with children, she was 16 years old. She have given birth 11 children, all lived 80-90 years, except those, which were murdered in the Holocaust in a young age. One of her children was my grandfather, Isak Ziegler (19 October 1878 in Czernowitz   – 22 July 1960 in Rischon le Zion-Israel).

My grandfather Isac Ziegler was tailor for clergy vestments. He met my grandmother, Cilly Henia b.Wolf (Bernstein) born in Czernowitz, (1 August 1877 – 1974 Rischon le Zion) and at 1905 they married. She was dressmaker and brought her sewing machine Pffaff as dowry, which still is exposed in my living room in Haifa, as an antic exhibit.  

My grandmother had 5 children, 4 boys and one girl (one died when he was 1 year old); the girl was my mother Lina Ziegler (4 October 1909 Czernowitz – 6 April 1999 Haifa). They lived in the Ziegler family house with some of the brothers and sisters from my grandfather, on the Franzengasse in Czernowitz.

Chaje Reisel
My grandfather Isac Ziegler was a smart man, an autodidact, a very diligent man, and in the evenings, when he finished the work he liked to learn Torah, Geography and natural sciences. When the World War I began, Czernowitz was under Austrian regime and my grandfather Isac Ziegler had to recruit at the Kaiser Franz Josef army. Because he had a nice handwriting, he was incorporated in the chancellery, where it was needed to write nicely the documents. At the home, my grandmother Cilly Henia, had to maintain the house and to feed 4 small children, to heat the apartment. They suffered from hunger and cold in the icy winter in Czernowitz, so my grandmother decided to saw the vestments for the priests, the grandfather’s clientele. My mother had not shoes, only clothe slipper, for the northern winter it wasn’t enough, so her brothers carry her, sometimes, on his back to the school.

When the war ended, my grandfather Isac Ziegler returns home, the workshop run. During the war, the most part of my grandfather’s family traveled to Wien and nobody helped my grandmother, fact that she never forgot and excuses it.

Isac Ziegler

My grandfather Isac Ziegler had 10 sisters and brothers and each one of them had 6 and even 8 children. A part of them lived in the same house or in the vicinity. Shabbat, when he return home from the   Synagogue, he gathered the nephews, a lot of girls and boys and took them to the Habsburgshoehe, a big forest in the vicinity of Czernowitz. There, he explained them about trees, flowers, animals, about mounts and rivers in far countries and told them Bible Histories. Myself, the most Bible stories I learned from my grandfather.
The family manages a Jewish life, my grandmother Cilly Henia (born Bernstein Wolf) was religious, she keeps kosher habitualness and my grand father want to the Synagogue every Friday and Saturday. The whole families went to the Synagogue to all the Jewish holidays. All the family members were in friendship relation and the whole family met often, to different occasions, especially, musically gifted, to celebrate Baba Reisel's birthday.

Cilly Henia Wolf

In Baba Reisel's birthday’s night, baba Reisel Chaje Reisel (born Jankl) Ziegler (b. 1845?) prepared in her apartment, in the Steingasse, a long table, full with food and goodies. The Ziegler family, musical gifted; sang and play musical instruments. So, at midnight, they came to baba Riesel's apartment, it was not light at any window inside, and they began to sing and make her a serenade. Then, baba lighted the rooms, opened the window and the whole family went up the stairs and the celebration began. All the street neighbors waited for the baba’s birthday serenade.

My father, Jacob Schärf (5 October 1907 in Czernowitz - 14 August 1988 in Rischon le Zion), met my mother, Lina Ziegler, (4 October 1909 – 6 March 1999 Rischon le Zion). They married in Czernowitz, at the 3 July 1937. My father was a jeweler. His father, Kalman Schärf was born in Wiznitz, near Czernowitz, (1896 -1961 Paris). He was a very talented men shirt tailor.

Kalman Schärf

He was able to begin and finish in day 2 shirts, a rarity in those times. He made wonderful paper scission, whiteout to sketch or design the motif previously. When I cam to visit him, he took out a big handkerchief from the pants pocket and, around his fingers, he shaped a rabbit, with big ears and a moving snout. He met Tilda (Tilzia) Mathilde Rostholder, (born in Colomeea, Poland - 1958 France).                                                    

Tilda Rostholder

When the I World War erupted, Czernowitz pass under Romanian domination. Than began the II World War, the Germans, the Russian, the Romanians, the Ukrainian, and the regimes changed and changed the city domination. Czernowitz changed regimes more than many places in the world.  I was born as a Russian citizen, at the 11 June 1941 in my parents' apartment on the Universitätsstrasse 9, during the period when Czernowitz belongs to Russia.  Today Czernowitz belongs to Ukraine.

Lina Ziegler and Iacob Schärf

My husband Arie Sternbach-Sharvit was born in Lvov, 5 October 1937, so his father Isac Israel Sternbach (1895 Lvov- 1941 Lvov). His mother Sofia, born Dym, Sternbach, born, (9 December 1907 in Crosno – 17 May 1997 Haifa), today those places belong to Ukraine.

Arie Sternbach Sharvit

In 1941, when my husband Arie was 4 years old, the Germans gathered in a forest near Lvov all the Jewish intellectuals and shot them down. Between those Jewish people was murdered also his father,   Isac Israel Sternbach.

Sofia Sternbach, my mother in law, had to remaining Lvov, under German occupation, with her sick mother and her 4 year old son, Arie. Arie didn't want to remain in the apartment, he wanted to go out, to play, he said to his mother: I didn’t do anything bad to Mrs. Hitler, why can't I go out, to play with the children in the yard? So she had to send her son, Arie, to a Polish Christian family      Sofia Dym in a village, Kamionka, near to Zakopane, far from Lvov. Knowledge about the little child she received from one of the polish family member, when she wants with the train to visit him in Kamionka. After two years, when Sofia's mother (Chana Torcziner), died, she joined Arie in the village.                                                            

Sophia Dym

My husband Arie connects until today with the Christian Polish family which saved them the life, and the family was accepted as Hassidei Umot Haolam. They live in Crosno- Poland.

From the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive, came to my husband Arie to interview him about his surviving during the World War 2.                    

During the World War II, a part of the Czernowitz Jews were deported to Transnistria, over the Bug, Mogilev, etc, than under Ukrainian occupation, where they died from hunger, diseases or shouted by the German and Ukrainian.  Because my grandfather Isac Ziegler was tailor for clergy vestments for priesthood, the Bishop edited  a letter where he declared that his personal tailor is a "necessary"  person, he have to remain living in Czernowitz, with his family, and no to be deported in Transnistria.

Ruth Schärf
Sternbach Sharvit

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