ביקור של ירמי גולדשטיין בסמרקנד, אוזבקיסטן
Hi! I hope all is well there. Im not sure if my parents alerted you that I traveled to Samarkand, Uzbekistan in order to search for the grave of my great grandfather, Baruch Shporer, father to Pearl Shporer Goldstein, Mother to Bernard Goldstein. Baruch died of Typhoid in Samarkand in 1942. I was successful in finding his grave and those of a few others from Tomashov-Lubelski. There were also rows and rows of unmarked graves in that section, which merely had a brick on top and not a name.
Are you in contact with any Tomoshovers who (or whose families) fled to Uzbekistan during the war?
The cemetary there is small, mostly dedicated to uzbek jews, but had a section with graves for EU jews who fled during the war and subsequently died. On a map: connected to the famous Shah-i-Zinda Cemetary on the east-northeast side. (see photos for an annotated satellite map.)
I have attached some photos of the cemetery and graves. Is there a useful website to place these on for search purposes of decendents?
If anyone is interested in this please have them contact me, I am happy to discuss with them my trip, experiences, etc. The cemetery keepers do not speak English. They speak only Tajik Farsi, Arabic, and Russian, but if you have google translate to Russian and basic skills in Arabic as for Iskandar, he knows the section for Poland jews and helped me to find Baruch's grave.
For anyone who asks, or for a good anecdote, I will tell you that throughout the city I met wonderful people, all from Samarkand, and many there from before the war. Russians, Persians, Tajiks, Afghans, etc, all remembered welcoming the Jewish refugees into their city. Each and in-turn, I told them my story; "my grandmother grew up here, as a Jewish refugee" I would say. I told them how great-grandfather is buried in the cemetery near Shah-I-Zinda. Each and every one responded in the same way. "That means that you are from Samarkand too." They emphasized how proud they were of the Jewish refugees for being strong and were glad to welcome them. Not one person, including and especially the Muslim people I told this story to, showed anything other than love for me or those like my grandmother who were refugees in their city.
Staying in the Jewish quarter I had an opportunity to go to the shul and meet with the Rabbi, who lives a secure, easy comfortable life, with Muslim and christian friends, and a vibrant interfaith community. he was a child in the city during the war. He showed me photos of the rabbi from that time, etc. I have attached photos of that shul aswell. merely a few jewish families remain in Samarkand, and other than the shul and the mikvah, there is little traditional Jewish culture remaining.
Let me know if you want to talk more about this. thanks!
this is the link to photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/99y2xk2u26jpyx4/AABiP6KLrS2zFNcdLDBdBJUWa?dl=0
Jeremy S Goldstein, J.D.
Intern | Sustainable Development Strategies Group
Research Assistant | Professor Ved Nanda
O: 720.383.4653 C: 917.825.8039