Malieh and Solomon in their prime, probably around 1950.
Solomon was a high-ranking officer who served in the navy, stationed in the far east. He would later veto communication with the American relatives, fearful this would hurt his prospects and those of his family.
The five daughters of Solomon and Perel, c. 1906
Front row left to right: Malkeh, Perel, Malieh (on lap); Solomon. Back row: Esther, Goldeh, Elkeh. Date of the photo is a guess, based on Malieh appearing to be four years old. She was born in 1902. It is tempting to think the photo was taken to send to David, who had emigrated to America in June, 1906.
Malieh and Solomon, 1927
Inscription: "May 29, 1927. To the family Perelroisen [i.e. Elkeh's family] from Solomon and Manya [diminutive of Malieh] Rosenberg. Malieh is on the left and Solomon is on the right. The top and bottom individuals are unknown.
Malieh and Solomon, c. 1930
Date was guessed by Amnon.
David Rosenberg as young man
Image provided by Fima. David or Danya was the son of Solomon Rosenberg and Malieh Maidenberg.
Family in wartime, 1942
In front row, left to right: Solomon Rosenberg, in uniform; Malieh; Elkeh; Melech Perelroisen. Back row: Lidia, daughter of Solomon and Malieh; Fanya, daughter of Melech and Elkeh; and Danya [David], son of Solomon and Malieh.We don't know where this was taken. Perhaps in a place to where the two families had evacuated after the German invasion and push to the east.
Solomon Rosenberg in 1944
He looks to be in fine fighting form.
Malieh and Elkeh c. 1952
Left to right: Elkeh, Luda; Malieh; Fanya
Solomon, Malieh and family, 1957
Malieh is 55 in this photo. Standing are her two children, Danya and Lidia. The baby is Victor. Taken in Odessa.
Solomon Rosenberg in full uniform
Solomon was a high-ranking officer who served in the navy---as the insignias on his collar indicate. He was stationed in the far east. He would later veto communication with the American relatives, fearful this would hurt his prospects and those of his family.
David Rosenberg, 1967
Inscribed on the back: "To dear Joseph, Wishing you health and well being. Jan 17, 1967. Town Lisnaya"
Three lines in Odessa, 1977
Front row: Amnon, Shura, Solomon Rosenberg, husband of Malieh. Back row: Fanya and Dora. The family was gathered to celebrate Malieh and Solomon's 50th wedding anniversary.
A family gathering in Odessa, 1977
Descendants of three of the four surviving family lines in Russia get together in Odessa. The family was gathered to celebrate Malieh and Solomon's 50th wedding anniversary. The lines represented are: Elkeh, Joseph, and Malieh. Goldeh's line no longer existed. The line of Malkeh was not there. David and Esther were in America. In the photo, bottom row left to right: Fanya; David (Danya), son of Malieh; Malieh; Solomon Rosenberg, husband of Malieh, holding Yulia, daughter of Luda, granddaughter of Fanya; and Lidia Brenner, daughter of Malieh and Solomon. Standing in the back row, left to right: Shura, Amnon's wife; Herman Khused, husband of Luda, father of Yulia; Dora; Amnon; Luda; and Kostya Brenner, husband of Lidia.
Three descendant line gathering, 1977, Odessa
Left to right standing: Rita, Frida, Lidia, Luda, Danya, Kostya. Sitting: Natalie, Solomon, Yulia, Manya. The three lines are Malkeh (Frida is her daughter), Elkeh (Luda is her granddaughter) and Malieh (Danya and Lidia are her children). Natalie was married to Victor Brenner. The family was gathered to celebrate Malieh and Solomon's 50th wedding anniversary.
Victor, Natalya and Stanley, c. 1978
A happy time shortly after the birth of their son.
Malieh and Solomon, 1979
Inscription: "It's me your Aunt Manya [diminutive of Malieh] and husband Solomon, August 18, 1979" This is evidently a staged photo.
Lidia and Kostya, 1979
Inscription from Malieh: "This is my daughter Lidia and my son-in-law Kostya [Konstantin] August 18, 1979"
David and Rita, 1969
Inscription written by Solomon: "This is my son David and my daughter-in-law Rita." I wonder if they are the proud owners of what looks like the Soviet version of a Corvair.
Malieh and Solomon, Odessa,1980
Inscription: Odessa, July 6, 1980. To our dear nephew Milton and family from Aunt Manya [diminutive of Malieh] and Uncle Solomon.
Tombstone of Malieh, 1996
She is buried in Odessa. Note the striking photograph.
Danya (David), 1958
Like his father, David was a military man. He would later be brought to Israel by his son Evgeny, and died there in 2013.
Malieh, Evgeny and Rita, 1966
Malieh with her grandson and daughter-in-law, the wife of David. The location of this photo is Latvia, probably where Danya was stationed. Evgeny now lives in Israel.
Rita, Evgeny and Danya
Probably 1966.
Tombstone of David (Danya)
He is buried in Moshav Hadid, near Shoham, Israel. He died in 2013.
Evgeny and Galina, 2013
Natalie and her family. Ireland, 2014.
Edward Sharaga, Natalie, Arielle, Rianne, Dean in buggy.
Dana Rozenberg with parents on her first day of mobilization in the Israel Defense Forces
She is flanked by father Evgeny and mother Galina. April, 2015.
Evgeny and a few of his girls, Shoham, Israel, 2013.
Evgeny holding Arielle, Dana, Natalie and Galina.
The youngest descendants of Malieh in 2015
Rianne, Dean and Arielle Sharaga. They are the great-great grandchildren of Malieh. Photo taken in Ireland.
Malieh, Solomon and Frieda
The wedding of Yevgeny and Galina, May 13, 1978
Left to right: Grandmother Malieh, Yevgeny, Galina, Grandfather Solomon. The wedding took place in Kaliningrad, where Solomon, a career military man, was stationed.
The tombstone of Solomon Rosenberg, Odessa
it reads: Solomon Efremovich Rosenberg Dear father, grandfather, great grandfather We remember, we love, we grieve From your daughter and son's families And from your wife Tatiana Tatiana was Solomon's second wife. He outlived Malieh by 14 years.
Mike and Yevgeny, Shoham, Israel, 2015
The second cousins met for the first time. A colleague of Yevgeny's helped translate. Yevgeny and Galina came to Israel in 1990.

Malieh Maidenberg and Solomon Rosenberg

Malieh was the youngest of the seven children of Solomon and Perel. She was also a correspondent with her American relatives. She was born in 1902, and was just four when her brother David emigrated to America. She was 24 when her sister Esther left for Canada.

Malieh, whose diminutive is Manya, did not know English. Her letters were written in Russian and sent to Sylvia Rosen Greenberg (daughter of Esther), who had them translated.

Her first letter, sent to Milt Maidenberg, son of David, came in 1979:

It is your aunt from the Soviet Union who is writing to you, sister of your father, Malieh, daughter of Solomon Maidenberg.

Out of our large family there remains only I, the youngest. I do not know whether my sister Esther, who is also in America, is alive [she died in 1976]. By chance I learned of your address and decided to write to you, although we have never seen each other.

Our late brother Joseph once told me that your father, who is my brother David, told you before he died that he has a brother and two sisters in the Soviet Union, Joseph, Elkeh and Malieh. He told you this so that you would be aware that you have family and you would forget them. Now there is neither Elkeh nor Joseph. I am alone.

My husband and children and I live in Odessa and I would very much like to receive a letter from you to know how you live there. I am interested in your families, your children and all the rest.

Malieh also wrote of David:

My brother, your father, helped our parents very much. He never forgot them. I recall that at my wedding he sent my parents $500. There are few people like that in the world.

The event would be remembered as “a wonderful wedding, a very rich wedding, all of Dzygivka came to this wedding.”

Malieh’s husband was Solomon Rosenberg, whose brother David would marry Frida Balaban, the daughter of Malieh’s eldest sister Malkeh. Because Malkeh was born almost 20 years before Malieh, the age differential between Malieh and Frida was just 10 years.

Malieh’s letters were full of longing and remembrance and emotion.

She wrote Sylvia in 1979:

While reading the letter I cried very much. While reading the letter I remembered everybody and my sister Esther and my brother-in-law, your mother and father and my brother David. Out of our large friendly family there is nobody except me alive. Many years have passed and all that remains is like a dream.

Solomon Rosenberg was a military man. At the beginning of World War II he was a private. He distinguished himself in battle, including the defense of Moscow and the capture of Konigsberg. He was raised to officer rank, and retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1960. When Malieh began writing, he was highly wary of association with his American relatives, perhaps because his son David (Danya) was a lifetime military officer.

In 1980 Malieh wrote:

There were good reasons why we did not write to you for such a long time. We are happy now that correspondence has been established between us.

You could not even imagine how much we want to see you all; what a joy would that be. It seems to me that even one year would not be enough to talk about everything. Come, we shall receive you with open arms. You will learn a lot. I shall tell you much about all your relatives.

We look forward with great anticipation to your letters. We corresponded so often previously, but now, we do not know why, the correspondence stopped. Please let us know if you got the photo we have sent you. Your letters make us happy. We hope to meet some day. Please do not forget us.

Amnon would later relate to Milt that it was Malieh and Solomon who vehemently objected to a planned visit to Joseph.

I doubt, dear Milton, whether Aunt Manya informed you of the fact that when her brother Joseph was alive and she found out about your intention of coming to visit with us, all of them rose in categorical objection against it. They were terribly frightened that your visit would damage them.

It was precisely this fact, their requests, that drove us in a corner and put your uncle in such a desperate awkward situation that he had to suspend temporarily your visit. Several years later he died without having seen you. It was also because of them that after my father’s death I didn’t write to you. At his funeral and many times after they would say to me: “If you are not our deadly enemy, you’ll do your best to prevent our American relatives of coming on a visit to the USSR.”

You can well understand that neither poor father nor I could tell you openly about all this.

That is why I was taken aback and perplexed of the news that just Aunt Manya Rosenberg has been writing to you. At the same time I’m extremely glad of being disburdened from the ban of the Rosenbergs and Brenners (her daughter’s and grandson’s family name) and at last will be happy to renew our contacts.

When I met Amnon in 1996, I recorded in the journal:

I ask Amnon about the time my parents planned to visit the family. They first were welcomed, but then advised not to come. What happened? Even today, Amnon finds it difficult to speak of the matter. He searches for his words carefully.

He begins by saying that Manya, the youngest of Solomon’s children, was a simple woman, who knew only her family. But her husband, Solomon Rosenberg, grew alarmed when he learned, through Manya, that Joseph had opened up correspondence with his American relatives. He was afraid for his own job, and was worried about his son, Danya, a career officer in the Red Army. Other relatives [Fanya and Dora, daughters of Elkeh] grew alarmed as well.

After the war, Melech and Elkeh returned to Chernigov, as did Manya and her children. Solomon, however remained in the army for two or three years after the end of the war, rising to the rank of Lt. Colonel. When he returned to civilian life, he moved with the family to Odessa.

In what would be her last letter, Manya says her family has moved again. She says she is often ill. This letter is from Odessa, May 20, 1981.

Beloved family:

Due to some circumstances we had to move again. Now our daughter and her family live in the same building. She is on the third floor, and we are on the first. This is very convenient as I am often ill, and my legs are bothering me. My daughter takes care of me.

We have received all your letters and the photos. We also received letters and photos from Sylvia. All of them were delightful. I wish I could last long enough to meet some of you. I am already 79 years old.

Please write more often. It gives us great joy to get your letters. Best wishes and greetings from all of our children. Greetings to all of the nephews: Meyer, Ben, Frank, and to all of their families.

We have just moved and have not really settled yet.

Dear Milton, we have already mailed you the address of Amnon, son of Joseph, in Kishinev. You probably already have it.

Our wishes of happiness, health and well being to all.

Kisses from Aunt Manya and Uncle Solomon

Manya died May 24, 1981. Frida died just a week later.

Amnon reflected:

It is an awful thing to lose two near relations so unexpectedly and in one week. Manya was the last representative of our parents’ generation. The stars of her destiny were luckier than those of her sisters. She lived always in good circumstances, in tranquility, and died without long suffering at her home, among her loving husband and children.

In 1987 Solomon remarried. His wife was Tatiana Renkel. Solomon died in 1995. I met his widow Tatiana, then 84, on my trip. She was a diminutive redhead. I recorded:

Tatiana lives in two small but clean rooms. She is proud but very poor. We learn her pension amounts to $35 a month. Because her first husband was a military officer, she pays no rent for the tiny apartment.

She offers me homemade wine. She declines to drink any, pleading that she has not had breakfast, which turns out to be a crust of bread.

Tatiana provides some interesting facts. The date of the photo of Solomon and Pearl with the five daughters was 1906. When Manya got married in 1927, David Maidenberg sent 500 rubles for the wedding, a generous gift. Elkeh and Esther fell in love with two brothers, which is not permitted under Jewish law [in fact, a custom, not a religious law], so Esther and Moishe had to emigrate.

Solomon was from Dubossary, Moldova. He worked in a sugar mill near Dzygivka. He came to a dance in the village, and there met Manya.

After service in the Red Army, Solomon’s main employment was as a bookkeeper at the “Fontane” sanitarium in Odessa. Manya never worked.

We drive Tatiana to the main Jewish cemetery in Odessa. On the way she points out where another Jewish cemetery once stood, razed by the Soviets in the 1960’s and replaced by a flat, dusty park.

We buy flowers at the cemetery. We first visit her mother’s grave, then Manya’s and Solomon’s. Tatiana speaks to the dead, telling her mother how she misses her, and bidding her dear Solomon to rest well.

The family in America and Israel

In 1989, Victor Brenner, Malieh’s grandson Victor Brenner, came to America. His mother Lidia and father Kostya arrived in 1991.

In 1990, Evgeny Rozenberg, Malieh’s other grandson, whose father was David and mother Rita, came to Israel with his wife Galina. At the time he emigrated, he did not know he had relatives in America. David and Lidia broke off communications around 1980 for reasons yet to be clarified.

Evgeny later brought his father David and mother Rita to Israel. David died in 2013. Yevgeny and Galina have two daughters: Natalie, born 1978 in Russia; and Dana, born 1996 in Israel. Natalie married Edward Sharaga and is the mother of two girls and a boy. Dana in 2015 began her military service in the IDF.

Mike visited Evgeny and Galina in 2015, in their home in Shoham. Evgeny recalled spending time with Malieh in the sixties, at the dacha she and Solomon maintained outside Odessa. Victor Brenner was often there, he remembered.