Category: family history


The last bottle

When my parents moved from New Jersey to Florida, after many decades living in their modest NJ split-level, I spent a weekend at the old house helping with junk, boxes of giveaways, sorting tools, rare and otherwise old books, and many cases of wine that were being stored in the...


Life partners

My mom, the indefatigable Lois Filreis, 91 y.o. & plucky as ever, made the trip on her own from Florida to spend Thanksgiving with us here in Philadelphia. Thanksgiving Day marked five years exactly since my dad, Sam Filreis, died—yes, with us all here that day in my house. Thanksgiving...


Prewar photo of doomed Filreis family members

Members of the Filreis family (all of them doomed to die later in the ghetto or to be gassed at Treblinka) gathered in a Warsaw graveyard, near family members’ plots, during my grandfather Ben’s brief visit back to Poland (in part to persuade family members to emigrate to Brooklyn—he did...