Popel Family
Click on Photos to Enlarge


Outdoor portrait of Itsik Popel. 1938


Outdoor portrait of Itsik (Itsinke) and Raya (Raykele) Popel
with fallen leaves. 1935 kov-p-#14:Portrait of the Popel family on the
bank of a river: Yitskhok ( Should be Aron) and Rivke with their two
sons Ezra (right) and Itsik (left). 1935.

Many years ago David Tomback gave 9 pictures of the Popel family of
Kovno to Yivo. He must have not known that one family member in the
pictures survived the holocaust. I am posting here the original email
that I received after posting the pictures on my site; My father,
Popel Aron, son of Ezra from Kowno, had his first
family :wife Rivka and sons Ezra, Itsik, Noah ( born in 1939-40). On
June, 22 1941 my father was not in Kowno and has not had time to
return before the arrival of the Nazies to the city. His family has
been killed during the first action in the Kovno ghetto in November,
Father was a soldier at war and in 1946 he married the second time to
Lea (Leya) Bick,
daughter of Dovid from Kriukai (near Jonishky). In 1946 I was born
and in 1948 my sister Riva. In 1991 my family came to Israel from
Kovno. My
daddy has died on 10.10.1983 .He had no any photo of the first family.
Due to you I could see them (kovno-portraits-# 12,13,14
www.eilatgordinlevitan.com) .Believe me when I have seen
them I cried in front of the screen. It is one of the strongest
in my life. I do not have words which can express my gratitude.
Besides in the list of emigrants in the USA from Kowno I have found
Josef. In Kowno there was only one family Popel, therefore it,
probably, the
brother of my grandfather Ezra.
The name of father is incorrectly written to photos kov-p-# 14. His
Aron (Aharon), instead of Yitskhok. Father of my cousins was familiar
the daddy before war and has recognized them in the photo.
I very much ask to be informed where these photos came from. Very
much I hope, that someone from the family of Rivka (nee Tombak) has
survived and I want to find them.
Once again thanks with all my heart. My e-mail:popel@bezeqint.net
Daniel Popel
I wrote to Yivo and Daniel received an email;
Mr. Popel,
Your letter was forwarded to me by Eilat Gordin Levitan and I will try
to provide you with the most information that I have. Unfortunately I
do not have much. I am including with this email the 9 photos in our
collection that feature members of the Popel family. They are
available along with the majority of our pre-War Eastern European
photos on our online catalog - http://yivo1000towns.cjh.org. These
photos were donated many years ago to the YIVO Institute by David and
Leah Tomback. Unfortunately, I have no other information about the
donors. Before the 1970's, YIVO kept very little in the way of donor
information except for in the case of large collections. I can tell
you that there is a stamp on the back of each photograph that reads:
David Tomback.
101-57 108th Street.
Richmond Hill 19.
Long Island, NY.
This is an old stamp, and I have no information as to whether or not
this person still lives there.
I hope that this information is useful, I wish that I could offer
Jesse Cohen
Assistant Photo and Film Archivist
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
15 West 16th Street
New York, NY 10011
Daniel forwarded to me the email he received from Yivo.
I check on Ancestry.com and found out that David died in 1963 and
Leah died in 1990.
I checked Jewishgen family finders for Tomback- I was happy to see;
Searching for Surname TOMBACK - Number of hits: 8 ( 4 Researchers )
all looking for Tombacks fro Kovno or Jonava and one looking for
Tomback from both places ( made me sure that they all must be related)
I wrote them and on the same day received two answers;
....My mother's family were the Tomback's. At first I didn't remember
any David Tomback from Richmond Hills, but now I do. I remember he
was married to Leah, who I have met (she is now deceased, as is most
of my mother's family). And they did live in Richmond Hills. I think
we was my mother's uncle which would have made him my great-uncle. I
so wish my mother were still around to ask her. I don't remember if
they had any children, but I don't think so. I do know that my
mother's parents came from Lithuania. My mother's maiden name was
Kroshinsky, but her mother's name was Zelda Tomback Kroshinsky....

I received an email from Dr. Richard Tomback and I am pasting some of
it here;
"Thank you for your E mail.
David Tomback was my second cousin. He passed away many years ago. His
Leah Tomback, has also died. I believe that she passed away at least 15
years ago.....


Aron Popel returned to Kovno after the war and found out that his
wife and children (see previous pictures) perished. In 1946 he married
Leah, standing next to her husband; Aharon, daughter; Riva (named
after Aron first wife) and Daniel (Kovno, 1964)


Leah Popel with her daughter, Riva and Rivas' son; Solomon (Kovno,




Aron Popel, Kovno 1980
(Aron, son of Ezra Popel and ? neeTomback was born in Kovno in 1901
he died in 1983)


my daughter An_°, her husband Oleg, My grandaughter Ana and grandson
Tal (Israel, 2004). Daniel Popel


Daniel Popel with wife Rina and grandson; (Israel, 2004)


1930 the wedding of Pesah and Wihna ( Vera nee Kaplan) Popel in Kovno Credit; Mina Pilo from Tel-Aviv -her mother was the sister of the bride and Daniel Popel who found Mina in 2005. His father was the brother of the groom. Mina was born in 1925 in Palestine. She attended the wedding in Kovno with her mother. They arrived to late to be included in the picture. The Boy in a sailosuit on the right- Fetka Grinshpan (Greenshpan);brother-Moishe (Moses); young girl-?; the young woman-Tzila (Cila) Grinshpan (maiden name Kaplan); the man between two women-Jehoshua or Joshua Kaplan; women-?; the man-brother of the bride-name it is not known; brother of bride Yerahmiel (a name inexact);

Sitting :
groom-Pesah Popel and the bride-Vihna (Vera) Kaplan; to the right of the groom; my daddy Aron (Aharon) Popel; his wife Rivka Popel (nee Tomback) with son Ezra; to the left of the bride the man in glasses-her brother Alter Kaplan (a name inexact).




1937 Kovno; Pesah and Vihna (Vera) Popel with daughter Raya
(Raykele) and oldest son Itzhak (?)


1937 Kovno; Pesah and Vihna (Vera) Popel with daughter Raya
(Raykele) and oldest son Itzhak (?) all but Pesach perished in Kovno.





Birthday Party for Raya Popel Children at a birthday party in Kaunas, Lithuania for Raya Popel who turned 2 years old.
Photo Credit: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, courtesy USHMM.


Oct. 4, 1939
Two boys pose sitting on a staircase at the entrance to a building: (on back in Yiddish) "Ezra [right] and Itsik Popel who were killed by the Nazis in Lithuania."

Children at a birthday party in Kaunas, Lithuania for Raya Popel who
turned 2 years old. Raya Popel was the daughter of; Pesach and Vera
Popel nee Kaplan
Photo Credit: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, courtesy USHMM.

During the time in which I am engaged in drawing up a family tree, a
secret was revealed. There is that damned day of June 22,.1941 ( when
the Nazis attacked the Soviet Union). Daddy and his brother has had
time to return in Kowna.
In the house of Daddy a family Shuster rented a room. Their daughter
Gita was present during a conversation between daddy, his brother
Pesah and their wives. (Gita was later with the wives and children in
the ghetto. Gita survived and after the war was the close friend of
our family). I recently have learned details of that conversation from
Gitas' son Gity (Gita died some years ago).
That you would understand further events I should tell you something
from the history of Lithuania and USSR.
As a result of the pact Ribbentrop-Molotov, in June 1940 Stalin
occupied Lithuania and hid the truth about the attitude of nazists to
The Soviet propaganda said; the Red Army is the strongest, in case of
war with Germany they will quickly win any enemy and that each citizen
is obliged during such war to serve in the army or to help it. If the
person operated not so then he would be arrested and sent to Siberia
(in Lithuania in a period of less then a year of Soviet control,
~300,000 persons were sent to Siberia ).
At that time (June 1941), the two older sons of daddy and 2 children
of his brother Pesah were in camp for children in Palanga (near
Klaipeda), on coast Baltic sea.
Therefore as a result of conversation it has been solved, that the
Popel husbands enlisted in the Red Army, and the wives remain to wait
for children. That day nobody could event think that the strong Red
Army the next evening will already escape from Kowna.
The children came back to Kowna, but in city already there were
Germans and they with their mothers were taken to the ghetto on
10.10.1941 Rivka Popel and her children were killed in IX forte. The
Wife of Pesah with her children was burned down in the ghetto in 1944.
Now I know why my daddy was always so nervous, when I tried to speak
with him about it: He was afraid that I, shall not understand his act,
and I shall condemn it.
I would like that on your site the truth would be written.
Richard has no family tree, but he has sent a lot of new information
on family Tomback and now it is necessary to add it to our tree.
Except for that he has sent an e-mail address of Norman Tomback from
Canada, which has many new data. Tomorrow I shall write to him.
On site Yad vashem I have found the information on destruction Pesah `
s wife, written in 1997 by Mina Pilo from Tel-Aviv. I already spoke
with Mina:she is the niece of the wife of Pesah. Her parents have
arrived to Israel almost 90 years ago and she was born already here.
Approximately in 1925 she, with her mother, went to Lithuania to the
wedding of the mother's sister with Pesah. She has photos from that
wedding and I hope to see at last Pesah Popel, his wife and, can be,
my daddyPopel Vera
Vera Popel nee Kaplan was born in Kowno, Lithuania to Iezhk and
Rahya. She was married to Pesach. Prior to WWII she lived in Kowno,
Lithuania. During the war was in Kowno, Lithuania. Vera died in Kowno,
Lithuania at the age of 32. This information is based on a Page of
Testimony submitted by her niece
Popel Pesach
Pesach Popel was born in Kowno, Lithuania. He was a merchant and
married to Vera. Prior to WWII he lived in Kowno, Lithuania. During
the war was in Kowno, Lithuania. Pesach died in Kowno, Lithuania at
the age of 35 ( his family was killed in Kovno but he died later).
This information is based on a Page of Testimony submitted by his
wifes' niece

I shall inform you on the further events.
Yours faithfully
Daniel Popel