11 April 2017

Tombstone Tuesday: Emil and Rozalia Berla, Beth Moses Cemetery, Pinelawn, NY

Nearly everyone I have previously profiled in my Tombstone Tuesday posts for the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association burial plots have a demonstrable tie to the town of Lubin (aka Labun and, now, Yurovshchina, Ukraine). They were either born and/or raised there or were descended or related to someone who was. But, I do not yet understand why Emil and Rozalia Berla wound up in this landsmanshaft plot in Beth Moses Cemetery. [Update: I have had email communication with Emil and Rozalia's grandson and he reports that Rozalia's maternal uncle was Abe Krakowsky - a big macher in the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association.]


Freidel Chaye daughter of Berel
May her soul be bound in the bonds of the living
JUNE 13, 1924
DECEMBER 13, 2001

Manaim son of Yisrael
May his soul be bound in the bonds of the living
DEC. 5, 1907
APR. 22, 1980

Both Emil and Rozalia survived the Holocaust. 

Emil was born in Halmeu, Satu Mari, Romania to Israel Berla and Loti Goldstein. During the war, Emil was imprisoned at Gross Rosen, Silesia (now Rogoznica, Poland) and Flossenburg - a forced labor camp in Bavaria.[1] His first wife and young daughter died. His parents were lost in Auschwitz in 1944.[2]

Rozalia was born in Cluj, Romania to Bernard Urbinder and Berta Wersberger.[3] Her parents and brother, Sol, died in Auschwitz. Her brother, Herschel, was reported missing in action while serving in the Hungarian Army. Rozalia held out hope, but never heard from him again.[4]

In 1971, when Emil was naturalized, they lived at 1565 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY.[5] 

In 1991, when Rozalia filed Pages of Testimony with Yad Vashem, she lived at 1448 E. 96th Street, Brooklyn, NY.

In Googling their names, I found that Emil and Rozalia's grandson, an attorney, has established a scholarship in their names at Stony Brook University. The scholarship benefits a student who has shown excellence in history, especially history of the Holocaust.

Emil's and Rozalia's graves are located in the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association plot, block 24, Maccabee Road, Beth Moses Cemetery, Pinelawn, New York.   

1. "Gross Rosen Lists," entry for Emil Berla, born 5 December 1907; index, JewishGen (http://www.jewishgen.org : accessed 11 April 2017).
  "Flossenburg Prisoner Lists," entry for Emil Berla, born 5 December 1907; index, JewishGen (http://www.jewishgen.org : accessed 11 April 2017).
2. Edith Rosenbaum, Page of Testimony for Israel Berla, submitted 8 October 2010; images, Yad Vashem (http://www.yadvashem.org/ : accessed 11 April 2017).
3. "U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007," entry for Rozalia Urbinder Berla; index, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 December 2016).
4. Rosz Berla, Pages of Testimony for Bernard Urbinder, Berta Urbinder, Sol Urbinder and Herschel Urbinder, submitted 13 June 1991; images, Yad Vashem (http://www.yadvashem.org/ : accessed 11 April 2017). 
5. "New York, Index to Petitions for Naturalization Filed in New York City, 1792-1989," entry for Emil Berla, naturalization file no. 797839, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York; image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 December 2016).


  1. In one of my family's plots were buried in-laws who weren't from the same area but belonged to the benevolent/burial society because of the relationship. Perhaps that's the answer? Another might be that these were extra plots sold off later, as also happened in my family. Just possibilities.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Marian (sorry I did not see it sooner). As you can see from the update included above, the Berla's did have a relationship with another member of the landsmanshaft.


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