I am Mindy Ballen-Prosperi, the daughter of Samuel and Rosalind Bigeleisen (later changed to Ballen).
My father, Samuel Bigeleisen (can also be spelled as Bigelajzen) was born either in Gombin Poland or in Ozorkow, Poland (where they originally came from) in either June 1921 or in 1924 (he may have changed the year to meet requirements to come to the United States). As my father did not wish to talk about his very difficult past, most of the following information is derived from bits and pieces of documents and there is room for correction or interpretation. We know that my grandfather was a “felctzer” (perhaps a physician’s assistant) named Yitzhok Bigeleisen. My grandmother was Mindel Parazecewska. Both my grandparents were originally from Ozorkow, Poland… just a few miles from Gombin. My father’s family grew up at 13 Polczka Street in Gombin, Poland. The other children in my father’s family (we hope that this is correct) are:
- Hela, born 1925; married to Lipa Blawat
- Esther born 1923
- Devorah born 1921
- Chana born 1927
- Abraham Yosef born 1930
- Samuel born 1924 (1921)
- Sara born 1922
Most of my father’s extended family left Gombin and went to Alexandruv-Lutsly when the war broke out. They later went to Warsaw. in hopes of a better situation. Unfortunately, this was not to be. We believe all who went to Warsaw died there or were sent to Treblinka where they died. As far as we know, my father is the only member of his immediate family to have survived the Holocaust.
In 1949, my father came to the United States and in 1952 he married my mother, Rosalind Katz, an American from Brooklyn, NY. They had two children: my brother, Elliot Ballen of Cranford, NJ and myself. Both Samuel and Rosalind are now deceased.
I do have several pictures of my father and his family. When I brought pictures of my father and myself to Gombin in 1998, he was definitely recognized.
Attached is a picture of my father as a young boy (on bicycle) and his family. Also, here is a picture of my Dad after the war, and his sister and her husband (Hela and Lipa Blawat). It is my hope that someone will see and perhaps recognize this picture. It could happen!