About a week or two back my cousin Mr. Jeffrey R. Stern
sent you an E-mail regarding our great grandfather who we
understand was a Doctor in Jurbarkas before World War II. We
share an aunt who lives in Newington, Ct. who is the source
of this information.
Her father was named Israel Harold Arenstein (or
Arnstein). His brother was named Louis. Both came to America
from Lithuania. Israel was my grandfather,and Louis was
Jeffrey's grandfather. I do not know when Louis came over,
but it was before Israel.
I work in public administration for the Commonwealth of
Virginia, (live in Richmond) so I know word of the mouth
documentation may be true, but it is not what I think I
know, It is what I can document that matters. I have viewed
your website on Jarbarkas since last December and have
wondered if a connection between our family and it's roots
could be documented. Last week I obtained the documentation
that establishes the link.
Louis Arenstein became an American citizen in 1918. My
grandfather Israel arrived in New York City in July 1911,
But did not become a citizen until 1944. Last week I
received papers from the INS.When World War II broke out in
December 1941, Israel was still considered an alien. As an
alien Israel had to file papers informing the U.S.
Government who his overseas relatives were. The papers that
I received are not very clear but this is what they say as
he listed them.
ballew Arenstein Russian mother Yurbarkas Lithuania
Dora " " sister Known "
Morris " " Brother Yurbarkas, "
Julius " " " Yurbarkas
by Dora's name he also stated (now married?)
This declaration was dated December 30, 1941. In it he
also stated that he was born in Yurbarkas in Known,
Lithuania on 11-25-93.
This documentation indicates (does not prove) that our
family had family in Jarbarkas at the time of the Holocaust.
My aunt tells me that her parents tried to convince the
rest of the family to come to America, because Hitler had
come into power in Germany and things looked bad in that
part of the world. The family refused to leave because they
had a nice home there and did not want to give it up. My
aunt said that finally " their letters stopped coming"
She never knew what happened to them. Her parents gave up
hope and burned up the letters years later. Now Jeffrey and
I only know what she can tell us. My aunt is in her
seventies now and with the passing of time memory can become
Your Web site on Yurburg, Lithuania is a blessing to us.
I send her the section on the destruction of Yurburg so she
would know what had happened so many years ago. It was hard
on her, but I gave her a choice to know of not to know and
she chose to know.
My aunt indicates to me that her grandfather (the doctor)
who lived in Jarbarkas name was Jacob Arenstein. She also
indicates to me that he died a year or two before World War
II broke out.
We have searched Appendix Number 4 on your web site and
think that Yudel Arshtein might be Israel's brother Julius.
My aunt remembers that Julius was an electrical engineer by
trade. In your web site Yudel was listed as an electrician
by trade. Could the other brother Morris be Monik who is
listed on the web site? The web site list them as brothers.
The difference in Lithuanian and English may explain the
difference in spelling.
If our great grandfather (the Doctor) died just before
the war is it possible that no monument had been placed at
his grave site when the Germans sweep into town?
Do you have any suggestions where we can search for
additional sources of information ? Was a census conducted
in that area around 1940 ? As I understand it all Jews were
made to register once a year at their synagogue. The
government would come around and copy the synagogue's record
for their own purposes. Do you think that these records
might still exist ? Do you known if we might find addition
information at YAD VASHEM ?
Any information or hints of places to research will be
appreciated. Thank You for all your hard work in placing
this information on the web.