Bielsk Podlaski

The Kac Family

Three generations of a Polish-Jewish family walk down a street in Bielsk Podlaski.
From left to right are Genia Kac Storch, Helena Storch and Tzivia Kac.

Genia (‘Genendl’) Kac, a Yiddish teacher, was born in Bielsk-Podlaski in 1906. Prior to WWII she moved to Kalisz, Poland, where she married Heniek Storch and had a daughter named Helena. They later moved to Brest-Litovsk. When the Soviets arrived Heniek was arrested for being a Bund leader. Genia and Helena were exiled to Siberia and managed to take their photo albums with them, which survived there out of harm’s way.

Helena retained the photos, many of which were taken in Bielsk Podlaski before World War II, and later wrote about the life of her parents including their life in Bielsk. Her son Harry Jacobs has provided Excerpts From a Short Story of The Life Of My Parents, by Helena Jacobs, which includes several photos, for publication here on JewishGen.

Helena donated many of her photos to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). They can be seen here. Additional details about the Kac and Storch family can be read in the About This Photograph section here

The photos in Excerpts From a Short Story and on the USHMM provide a unique view of pre-war life in Bielsk Podlaski.

Thanks to Harry for sharing his family history and bringing these unique photographs to our attention.

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Updated May 7, 2022

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