Isadore Ciesla

"Always study the Torah. Always treat people with respect, keep Judaism alive."

Name at birth
Israel Ciesla
Date of birth
Where were you born?
Where did you grow up?
Kielce, Poland
Name of father, occupation
Yitzchak Yehuda, Talmud Torah teacher
Maiden name of mother, occupation
Reizel Trusch Ciesla, Homemaker
Immediate family (names, birth order)
Parents and Srulka (Yisroel), Tzippa, Chana Malka, Esther, Shloima, Cemach Boruch
How many in entire extended family?
Large extended family, about 100
Who survived the Holocaust?
Israel, Sam, and a nephew, Leizer (Leo) Lajewski Lewis
Israel’s father died before the war.  
Israel was married before the war to Reizel Amstovsky.  Israel and his wife had four children, Yitzchak Yehuda (named after his late father), Leah, Ruchel, and Fischel.  His wife and children were sent to Treblinka in 1942, the children were 8, 7, 6, and 4 ½ respectively.  His mother Reizel who was sickly was shot in her bed because she couldn’t get out.  The Germans made them drag her outside.  The Amstovksys and the Cieslas all lived together in one large house.

Israel was not in the home, able to hide from the Germans.  Israel was later captured, taken to Buchenwald, liberated from there.
After the war, Israel married Henia Perlman in Kielce 1945.  The infamous Kielce pogrom began two houses down from where they lived.  His wife Henia was not feeling well, was pregnant, and was on a train returning from Warsaw following a doctor’s visit.  The train was coming into Kielce.  Henia and her cousin, Sally Copperman Lox, were afraid to get off the train; they heard that there was a Pogrom taking place in Kielce.  Sally convinced the conductor to give them tickets to go farther than Kielce.

After the Pogram, they escaped from Kielce to a Displaced Persons (DP) Camp in Eggenfelden, Germany.  Rosa was born in 1947 in Pfarrkirchen as they heard rumors that Jewish babies were not being born alive in Eggenfelden.  Their middle daughter, Rochel Leah was born in 1948.  The family was looking to get out of Europe, the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) found a sponsor for them in Detroit.  They arrived by ship to New York and then went to Detroit in 1950.  

Name of Ghetto(s)
Name of Concentration / Labor Camp(s)
When did you come to the United States?
Where did you settle?
Detroit, MI
Occupation after the war
Assembler at Ford, then tailor
When and where were you married?
Kielce, Poland in 1945
Henia Perlman, Seamstress, Homemaker
Rosa, teacher; Rochel Leah, speech therapist; Miriam, musician and radio producer/announcer
Five and nineteen Great Grandchildern
What do you think helped you to survive?
His friend, Moshe Braunfeld helped him to survive. He made him eat, took care of him in the camps.
What message would you like to leave for future generations?
Always study the Torah. Always treat people with respect, keep Judaism alive.
Biography given by daughters, Miriam Ciesla and Rosa Chessler
Interview date:

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