My great uncleThis is my great uncle, Yitzchak Srodogora, around 1948. He was married to my grandfather's sister Doba. Yitzchak and Doba had one daughter, whose name was Beila Basia. Yitzchak, I learned in 2004, survived the Holocaust because he had been conscripted to the Polish Army. He was captured by Russians and spent the war in a gulag. My great aunt and my cousin were sent to the Warsaw ghetto in 1940. In 1943, they were deported to Treblinka and murdered. Beila was 19 or 20, and Doba was 45 or 46. Yitzchak moved to Israel after the war. He remarried, but his relatives in Israel told me that he never got over the loss of his first wife and their daughter. "He was a very sad man," his great niece told me. She did not know much else. Whenever he talked about his life before the Holocaust, she covered her ears and refused to listen. She did not want to hear of such tragedies. Great Uncle Yitzchak died in 1983. He was in his 80s.

My grandfather, father, and bubbeThe man on the left is my grandfather, Motel Rajsman, around 1948. He is with his son and wife in a Displaced Persons camp in Austria. My grandfather survived the Holocaust when he fled Warsaw after the Germans invaded in 1939. He was arrested by the Russians and performed forced labor in a gulag until 1942. He then worked on a collective farm, and in 1944, went to Magnitgorsk, where he met my bubbe at a factory they both worked at. They married in September 1945, and my dad was born in May 1946.

My grandfather moved with his family to the US in 1950. He never talked about the family members killed in the Holocaust. He smiled a lot, and told jokes instead. My grandfather died in 1995, the day after his 84th birthday.