1898                       Golde Weiser is born to Osias David Weiser and Frieda Weiser, née Körner, in Leipzig, Germany

1900                       Izak Fränkel (Birnbaum) is born to Nathalie Bornstein and Henoch Fränkel in Zgierz, Poland

1905                       Henoch Fränkel dies

1906                       Nathalie Fränkel, a widow, meets David Hirsch Birnbaum who hails from Piotrkow Trybunalski, Poland

1907-1912            Jacob, Moritz and Helene (Lena) are born to Nathalie and David Hirsch Birnbaum

1924                       Marriage of Izak Birnbaum and Golde Weiser in Leipzig, Germany

1926                       Birth of Heinrich Birnbaum, nowadays Henry, in Leipzig, Germany

1929                       Death of Osias David Weiser in Leipzig

1930                       Birth of Sylvia Birnbaum in Leipzig, Germany

1935                       Salomo (Schleume) Weiser with wife Lotte and son Manfred David move to Paris, France

1938                       Izak Birnbaum and family emigrate to Belgium

Benno and Josef Weiser with their families move to Paris, France

1939                       Lena and Alfred Dresdner cross the border illegally from Germany into Belgium

1940                       Nazi Germany invades Belgium May 10 at dawn

On May 15, the Birnbaum family leaves Brussels.

The Weisers leave Paris for LePoulighen in Brittany

After the collapse of France, the Birnbaum family returns to Brussels

Lena and Alfred make it on their own to Southern France where they are interned as foreigners by the French

1941                       The Birnbaums live under Nazi Occupation in Brussels

The Josef Weiser family arrives in New York

The Benno Weiser and Schleume Weiser families live in Nice

Death of Frieda Weiser in Paris

1942                       Deportations to Nazi extermination camps start in Belgium

One by one the Birnbaums go into hiding

Beginning May, Nathalie Sarah Birnbaum is deported from Chemnitz, Germany to Chodel and then Belzyce (Belzic, near Lublin) Poland, to be murdered in the Camp of Belzic

On September 11, both Lena and Alfred Dresdner are deported on Convoi #31 from Drancy, France to Auschwitz, Poland. That convoy made one stop at the Camp of Kosel where most of the men were taken off.

In December, the bank returns to Izak Birnbaum an amount close to 500 Belgian Francs sent originally to Sarah Birnbaum, Chodel, Poland with the mention: Beneficiary settled elsewhere

1943                       The bank again returns an amount close to 500 Belgian Francs to Izak Birnbaum, sent originally to Nathalie Sarah Birnbaum in Chodel with the mention: Beneficiary gone

Henry Birnbaum goes into hiding, first in Hachy (Province of Luxembourg) followed by a long stay in Momignies, (Province of Hainaut)

Izak and Golde go into hiding in Tilff (suburb of Liège)

Sylvia moves to her third and last hiding place in Cul-des-Sarts (Province of Namur), Belgium

1944                       Golde is employed as assistant cook at the Jewish Home for the Aged, an institution tolerated by the Nazis who know that old people will die soon anyhow

Out of cash to pay for a hiding place, Izak Birnbaum returns to his apartment in St. Josse. He is employed by the controversial Association des Juifs de Belgique (AJB). September: Liberation by the U.S. Army of all of Belgium

The Birnbaum family is happily reunited in their furnished apartment in St. Josse-ten-Noode

Sylvia goes back to school

Henry becomes an apprentice as a furrier

Izak finds a Belgian partner to start a successful wholesale fur business

Golde wrestles with a lack of money, lack of clothing, lack of food to feed her family

May 8, 1945       End of war in Europe

Family Members

Sylvia’s father: Isaac Bernie Birnbaum

Sylvia’s mother: Golde Weiser

Isaac Bernie Birnbaum’s father: Henoch Fraenkel

Isaac Bernie Birnbaum’s mother: Nathalie Bornstein

Golde Weiser’s father: Osias David Weiser

Golde Weiser’s mother: Frieda Koerner

Next: Prologue