Orenbuch-Aspich family. Collection

Bijkomende meta info

This collection contains four photos of the Orenbuch family, depicting Benjamin Orenbuch and his wife Rywka Laja Aspich, their daughters Tauba alias Thérèse Orenbuch (married Paciorkowski), Fajga alias Fanny Orenbuch (married Ajzenberg) and Roza Orenbuch, and their granddaughter Josiane Ajzenberg (married Traum).
Content Date
Orenbuch-Aspich family
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Digitally stored at Kazerne Dossin
Josiane Ajzenberg-Traum, Private collection, USA
Digital copy available as collection KD_00133 at Kazerne Dossin
Level of description
Extent and medium
4 digitised images (4 photos)
Related units of description
The pictures of Benjamin Orenbuch and Rywka Laja Aspich, which are part of this collection, were also added to the Give them a Face portrait collection (KD_00017) ; Several testimonies by Fajga alias Fanny Orenbuch on her family history can be found on the website of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Administrative and biographical
Benjamin Orenbuch was born in Zarnow, Poland, in 1882. He became a travelling merchant and married Rywka Laja Aspich, who was born in Novy Korczyn, Poland, in 1886. Together they would have three daughters, all born in Lodz, Poland: Tauba alias Thérèse (born on 7 May 1912), Fajga alias Fanny (born on 3 December 1916) and Roza (born on 13 March 1921). The Orenbuch-Aspich family was orthodox. In 1925 Benjamin migrated to Belgium. His wife and daughters followed him in June 1926. They settled in the Brussels region and Fanny earned a degree in art and design. She became a seamstress, creating clothing for the royal family. Benjamin was very involved in the local synagogue and took part in religious activities.
Around 1930 oldest daughter Thérèse Orenbuch married Mojsze Paciorkowski (born on 26 November 1902 in Poland). The couple had three children who were all born in Brussels: Charles (born on 8 April 1931), Jacques (born on 16 May 1932) and René (born on 10 November 1933). The Paciorkowski-Orenbuch family settled at Place Communale 27 in Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Brussels. On 18 May 1938 second daughter Fanny Orenbuch married tailor and violinist Icek alias Jacques Ajzenberg (born on 23 January 1904 in Radom, Poland). She gave birth to their daughter, Josiane, in Ixelles, Brussels, on 21 March 1939. The Ajzenberg-Orenbuch family settled at Rue de l’Emulation 30 in Anderlecht, Brussels.
When Nazi-Germany invaded Belgium in May 1940 only Benjamin, Rywka and youngest daughter Roza were still living at the Orenbuch-Aspich family home at Rue Ropsy Chaudron 19 in Anderlecht. Benjamin Orenbuch was arrested at home during the first and only large anti-Jewish raid organised in Brussels, in the night of 3 on 4 September 1942. He was deported from the Dossin barracks to Auschwitz-Birkenau via Transport IX on 12 September 1942 and murdered.
Around the time of Benjamin’s arrest his wife Rywka and youngest daughter Roza moved in with second daughter Fanny at Rue de l’Emulation 30 in Anderlecht. Fanny’s husband Icek Ajzenberg had been able to reach England via Dunkirk in May 1940, while Fanny remained in Brussels with daughter Josiane. Fanny tried to make some money by renting out rooms to boarders. Meanwhile she joined the resistance, hiding refugees and resistance fighters in her attic and distributing pamphlets. After Josiane was taken in and hidden by a resistance network, Fanny joined her mother Rywka in hiding.
Fanny and Rywka changed hiding places multiple times, before they were denounced and arrested in Brussels on 19 April 1944. After being questioned by the Sicherheitspolizei-Sicherheitsdienst at Avenue Louise they were transferred to the Dossin barracks in Mechelen from where they were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau on 19 May 1944 via Transport XXV. Rywka Aspich was sent to the gas chamber upon arrival, while Fanny was selected as a forced labourer. The number 5144 was tattooed on her arm. Fanny survived eight months in Auschwitz and death marches to Gross-Rosen and Ravensbrück in early 1945. She was liberated in Leipzig on 23 April 1945 by the Soviet army and repatriated to Belgium on 30 June 1945. Her husband Icek also returned to Belgium after the war. Together with his wife and daughter he migrated to the United States in 1949.
Oldest Orenbuch daughter Thérèse together with her husband and children survived the war, hiding in the basement of a church in Brussels. Youngest daughter Roza Orenbuch also survived the war in hiding.
Josiane Ajzenberg-Traum, granddaughter of Benjamin Orenbuch and Rywka Laja Aspich, kindly donated copies of several family photos to Kazerne Dossin in 2013.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Josiane Ajzenberg-Traum, 2013
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