More than any other ancestral hometown, Rybky, Slovakia has always had the strongest pull on my heart. Maybe that’s because it was the first ancestral hometown that I learned about when I was young, or maybe because it seemed to be a place that others were committed to remembering — or perhaps both. My grandfather [...]
Yesterday, I found my great-great-great-grandparents’ grave in a plum orchard in Slovakia.
the house I talk a lot about people but not much about the places in which they lived unless it is somehow incidental to the particular story at hand. Doing this, however, ignores some of the subtle context of the lives under discussion — maybe their home has no overt role to play in the [...]
In 1935, my great-grandmother Helene went on a trip to the Austrian countryside with her sisters Hermine and Rosa, her brothers-in-law Julius and Bernhard and a box camera that took these photographs and others. I’m not sure if her husband, my great-grandfather, the often philandering Emil, went on this trip too – he’s not in [...]