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Kempen, Posen

now Kepno, Poznan, Poland

My maternal grandmother's grandfather, David Honigmann, left Kempen to pursue university studies in Breslau.  He left a large family behind.  The Honigmanns were relatively affluent merchants in Kempen, as evidenced by the fact that Loebel Honigmann, David's father,  was granted Prussian citizenship in 1833, a privilege only granted the most affluent 5% or so of the Jewish population.  According to notes [source unfortunately unattributed] collected by Dr. Werner Milch in the 1930s, Loebel's father-in-law, Feivel Astrich, was trapped in Breslau during the siege by the French army in the Napoloenic Wars, having gone there on business at a particularly inopportune time.  Most of the Honigmanns left Kempen, as did most of its Jews, for more prosperous regions in the next two generations.  His brother Abraham went to New York and married there in 1840 or 1850, depending on which census one chooses to believe.  His sister Pauline, married Rosenbaum, and her family, went there in 1889.  [Letters from David's wife Anna to Else Rosenbaum Moritz, one of Pauline's daughters, have been preserved in the family].  His sister Dorel married Samuel Landau; her children ended up in Breslau and Vienna. His sister Henriette married Moschkowitz from Bielitz [now Bielsko Biala].  Some of her children stayed there, but most went to Vienna.  His sister Luise seems to have married a maternal relative from nearby Schildberg, but her two daughters went to Vienna.

Genealogical details can be found on my cousin Paul's family history site [removed, sorry]

A generation later, my maternal greatgrandfather, Baruch Spitz, left Kempen for Breslau to study medicine.  In the Jewish medical students' fraternity, he met David Honigmann's sons, who introduced him to their only sister, whom he in time married.  Baruch Spitz was an only child.  There were other Spitz families in Kempen, who may have been distant relatives.  The Spitz family was not as affluent as the Honigmanns.  Not enough records from Kempen remain to trace the fates of Baruch's cousins, and Spitz is a fairly common name.

Kepno Powiat Home page

History of the Jewish Community of Kempen

Kempen Life in the middle 1800s

Reasons for the Emigration of Jews from Posen

Old Postcards of Kempen

Postcards of the Kempen Synagogue

David Honigmann