Klepfisz

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Klepfisz is one of those surnames that are linked to several rabbinical, banking and industrial families, particularly during the XIX and XX centuries in Warsaw; it is also the surname of a family of rabbinical scholars, bund leaders, war heroes and even relatives of the Gomulka family from which the leader of the early years of communist Poland emerged.

"There is a striking point that runs through Jewish history as a whole. Western civilization was born in the Middle East, and the Jews were at its crossroads. In the heyday of Rome, the Jews were close to the Empire's center. When power shifted eastward, the Jewish center was in Babylon; when it skipped to Spain, there again were the Jews. When in the Middle Ages the center of civilization moved into Central Europe, the Jews were waiting for it in Germany and Poland. The rise of the United States to the leading world power found Judaism focused there. And now, today, when the pendulum seems to be swinging back toward the Old World and the East rises to renewed importance, there again are the Jews in Israel..." - Prof. Huston Smith[248].

Indeed, Klepfisz is a surname linked to the Skowronek family: one of my 3rd great grandmothers was Khana Klepfisz[1.287]. She was married to Mosze Gödel Blat[1.34]. One of their sons, Yaakov Mosze Blat[1.339] married Khana Cynawicz[1.340] and in turn, one of their sons was Hersz Josek Blat (see Hersz Josek Blat) who was the father of my maternal grandmother (see Blat.)

On its edition of December 1937 (Year 1, vol 6) the journal Glos Gminy reports the marriage between Yitzkhak Meir Gomulka and Menia Klepfisz. Wladislaw Gomulka, evidently from the same family, was a member of the "Komunistyczna Partia Polski" and went on to become the first "Secretary of the Polish United Workers' Party." The Gomulka family is also linked to Schoenberg.

Once he became ruler of Poland, after 1945, Wladislaw Gomulka crushed all opposition and the most remains of the pre-1939 republic of Poland, he rigged the 1947 elections and established communism in its Stalinist flavour. Later he was overthrown and arrested for "reactionary deviations" and eventually rehabilitated by the regime. He died in 1982. Seven years later Poland ceased to be a communist country (See Gomulka).

I still have not found yet to which branch of the Klepfisz family Menia did belong, or what was the familiar link between Yitzkhak Meir and Wladislaw Gomulka, but evidently they were all linked: Suffice to say that Michal Klepfisz, who was an engineer and leader of the communist Bund in Poland, died in combat in 1943, receiving a posthumous "Virtuti Militari" cross. At least one branch of the Klepfisz family, which was one of rabbinical scholars and thus not very enthusiastic about socialism, actually turned to the side of communism, which was common during the early years of the XX century due to the fact that within the Russian empire that until 1915 held Poland under its rule, persecuted Jews. As it can be expected, those who at any time are persecuted by any power usually turn to the other side.

The Klepfisz family was one of important rabbinical leaders; it is natural that within such a context, natural leaders such as Michal would emerge and Communism promised overthrowing the Russian monarchy and then capitalism at large. So, the actual victims of pogroms and persecutions naturally would take part in communist organizations and plot against the establishment, and those that were accustomed to lead, held any sort of prestige position or were naturally-gifted leaders would take the helm. I do not agree – and never did – with communism, but the reasons why many millions of people turned to that side are perfectly understandable, whether they were Jews, Christians, Muslims and so on.

Communism proved to be a bloody farce of a fantasy that went badly overboard, but the fact that there were many Jews concentrated in the territory of the Russian empire and for the most part they loathed the Russian monarchs is the reason why Jews are portrayed in conspiracy theories as the creators of communism; since Jews are very competitive in any endeavour, it is perfectly explainable that as "easily" as they can produce a banker, they can produce a communist leader. Then, followers of conspiracy theories sometimes forget that communism was enthusiastically applied in something like seventy countries, including China, Vietnam, and North Korea. These have so much in common with Jews as a potato is related to a pair of shoes and thus, the fact that there were Jews within that movement doesn't mean anything special. But rationality is not precisely a characteristic of conspiracy theories, anyway.

The marriage between Khana Klepfisz and Mosze Gödel Blat is not the only one that links the Klepfisz family to the Skowronek bankers:

Yitzkhak Meir Klepfisz[1.341] married Tauba Danzigerkron[1.342], while Tauba's brother Israel[1.343] was married to Liba Ratza Blat[1.344].

Yitzkhak Abraham Klepfisz[1.345] married Khana Gitla Goldman[1.346], who was, in turn, a daughter of Golda Skowronek[1.338].

And there are many other indirect links:

Yitzkhak Klepfisz[1.347] married Fryme Weinberg[1.348], from Warsaw; the Weinbergs from Warsaw are related to the Natanson, Gans and Schiff families from Warsaw, to which Skowronek, Schoenberg and Blat are related surnames.

Another case of indirect linking is that of the 1894 marriage between Abraham Majer Klepfisz and Estera Sura Fraenkel in Pultusk, near Warsaw, while Tauba Schoenberg[1.289] was married to Lejb Fraenkel[1.290].

Klepfisz is also a surname related to the Alter - Rotenberg family; Rotenberg is a surname linked directly at least three times to the Schoenberg family, including the marriage of Ita Rotenberg[1.349] with Judko Schoenberg[1.350], the marriage of Yehuda Aaron Schoenberg[1.351] with Rojza Bajla Rotenberg[1.352], and the case of Yekhel Michal Schoenberg[1.286] married Hena Rotenberg[1.17], who were also my 3rd great grandparents and parents of Dinah Schoenberg, married to Szlama Skowronek (see The Skowronek Bank Robbery) who was the father of my great grandmother Hena Skowronek (See Hena Skowronek).

There are indeed more indirect links and quite probably, direct ones families in the Warsaw area: Aurbach, Kaminer, Englard and Wojdeslawski are other surnames that appear commonly related to Klepfisz as well as Skowronek, Schoenberg, Blat and Braun. Some information may be lost, but it is a matter of time until more is found.

These are the family names to which Klepfisz is linked directly by marriage in Poland according to the records[1][228] that I am aware of:

A: Ajzenbaum, Ajzensprung, Alter - Rotenberg, Altszyler, Auerbach.

B: Badzzdrow, Bauman, Bederka, Berke, Berman, Bibelkind, Birnbaum, Blat, Bomgaker, Brudzewski.

C: Cerkas, Chencinski, Czerkewitz.

D: Daches, Danzigerkron, Dobraszklanka, Dubinski, Dudelczak.

E: Engel, Esterson.

F: Fajn, Finkelstein, Fraenkel.

G: Garbarski, Gliksman, Goldberg, Goldknop, Goldman, Goldstein, Goldsztaub, Gomulka, Grossman, Grynblat, Grünstein, Gutler, Gutman.

H: Herc.

R: Imoiler, Inselstein.

J: Jakubowicz, Joskowicz, Judkowski, Juniber, Jowiler.

K: Karafiol, Kempinski, Kernwaisser, Klopoter, Knopikier, Koch, Kopper, Koperwas, Koral, Kurz, Kurztag.

L: Lajner, Landau, Leszczynski, Lewin, Lux.

M: Maliniak, Mikliszanski, Miler.

N: Neumann, Nudel.

O: Offenbach, Okraglik, Orlowski, Orzel.

P: Perczykow, Przerowski, Pszenna.

R: Raszyner, Rauch, Rechtman, Ruda.

S: Salam, Siebenberg, Szafbut, Szejman, Szotland, Sztrowajs, Szwajg.

T: Turkus.

W: Wajsbort, Wasserzug, Weinberg, Wojdeslawski, Wolman.

Z: Zalbe, Zambrowski, Zilberberg, Zymelman, Zyser.

From stories of old members of the family that I have heard at one time or another, all people named Klepfisz are in theory related to one another since there was originally a single Klepfisz family in Poland. This has yet to be verified beyond doubt but despite the lack of hard evidence for all direct links, by looking at the indirect relationships it is possible to make an inference in the sense that this is probably the case.


Eng. Michal Klepfisz
Eng. Michal Klepfisz.[224].




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