They are my great-grandfather’s siblings … photos taken in either the late 19th or early 20th centuries. According to my grandfather’s cousin Fruma Ber, my great-grandfather Yitzhak Isaac Toltz was born in the town of Vidzy, now in Belarus, but formerly a shtetl (village) in Lithuania. According to another cousin, he was born in the larger city of Kaunas. Unlike the other parts of my family tree on my father’s side (some tracing back as far as 18th century Poland), information on the Toltz side only begins with Yitzhak and his siblings. There are no records of the surname Toltz in Vidzy in Sefer Vidz, the Yizkor Bukh(Memorial Book) of the town, published in Israel in 1998. There are, however, people with the surname Shtolz who lived in the area. Here are the pictures. The first set is of my great-grandfather’s brother Smuel (Shmuel) Toltz:
The last picture above (a close-up picture of Smuel) does not resemble the other pictures. All the names were labelled on the back of the photographs, and it seems that the last picture above is actually of Smuel’s brother Sholom Toltz. Below is a picture of the two brothers in uniform, and also a picture of Sholom and his wife, taken in Paris in 1933. Perhaps they both survived the war? Sholom looks distinctly like my great-grandfather Yitzhak.
The next picture is of Shlomo Toltz, who migrated to Czechoslovakia sometime after my great-grandfather left for England. These are an unusual set of pictures – mostly family shots, in a distinctly rural environment.
The last pictures are of Yitzhak’s sister Sorrel, along with a picture of an unknown baby, a possible picture of Slomo (here written as Shleima) in his army uniform, and another unknown adult family member.