The Shuman family tree… and a story worth investigating

Aunt Joan has provided a family tree describing the siblings of Bessie (Shuman/Schumann) Novom (1890-1971), who was the wife of Joe Novom, and who married Izzy Novom after Joe’s death.  You can see Aunt Joan’s Shuman family tree here.

According to Aunt Joan, “Grandma Bessie had at least 3 brothers and one sister. The sister died in a concentration camp. One of her sons, Scholom survived. He escaped the concentration camp with Lucy, a Spanish communist to Caracus and had two children, Carmen and Pepito.”  We can assume that Bessie’s sister is the Genia/Gita Shuman on Aunt Joan’s tree, and that Genia/Gita’s son Scholom is identifiable with Szalon on the tree.

Assuming Bessie’s family lived near the Novomeskys in Panevezhys, Lithuania, the family would have been subject to the Nazis’ harshest treatment.  Lithuania was the site of a vicious Jewish genocide.  Over a three-year period beginning in 1941, the Nazis killed at least 90% of the 250,000  Jews in Lithuania.  The entire Jewish population of Panevezhys was reportedly killed during the war.  Panevezhys Jews were not typically sent to concentration camps, but instead were executed locally.

The circumstances of Genia/Gita’s death, and her son Scholom/Szalon’s possible escape, may never be known.  A search for holocaust victims in the USHMM database with the last name Wejc (Genia/Gita’s married name) reveals five names, but none on Aunt Joan’s tree. Similarly, USHMM searches for Shumans and Schumans and Schumanns reveal dozens of names, but no clear matches.


One thought on “The Shuman family tree… and a story worth investigating

  1. I am named after Bessie’s sister Gita( my father Dave’s aunt). My Hebrew name is Zlata Gita. Zlata- after my mother’s
    ( Frances) mother, Zina Sidelsky.


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