Archive for the ‘Recollections of Julius Bier’ Category

Recollections of Julius Bier. Part 3.

Thursday, April 6th, 2017


Why did you want to go to Vienna?

Because I was thinking right away to go to Hamburg, to go to America.

Weren’t you going home?

No, I didn’t want to go home.

Why not?

Because, you know if a young man comes home from the Army, they want to give you right away shothunen [Yiddish – “matchmaker”] and they want you to get married and I didn’t want that.

So you didn’t see anybody at all? You didn’t see your family?



Recollections of Julius Bier. Part 2.

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017


Well, let me just straighten one thing out. Everyone was supposed to go in the Army then? Every boy was supposed to serve a certain amount of time in the army?

Three years.

Three years in the army. How old were you supposed to be when you were going to be taken?

Twenty. But you could enlist at 16, 17 or 18.

If they thought that you were running away, then they would try to catch you before?


I see.

So the gendarmes in Europe had noticed as soon as I came home that they should lock me up.

How did they find out?


Recollections of Julius Bier. Part 1.

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017


This is story published a few years ago on the old version of our website. Together with Mary Bier Wilson we decided that it is important for the interview with her grandfather to be published here for even more people to have chance to read it. A few years ago Mary, her late husband John and one of our guides Zen had chance to visit “Sukoluff” Austria, which is actually Sokołów Małopolski and Trzeboś, and step the same ground he once was stepping every day before leaving for his long journey.

We hope that it can also inspire some of your to interview your parents and grandparents  as long as they are still among us. You can always wait with your research, but you shouldn’t wait with talking with your ancestors about their life…



The interview, which follows, was taped on a reel-to-reel tape by an older first cousin of mine who had lived with our grandfather for a number of years after our grandmother died in 1937.  The interview was conducted in about 1956 when Grandpa was 86 and I did not know this tape existed until about 10 years ago, which was about 10 years after I began doing my family’s research.

Thankfully, my cousin had the foresight to do this interview long before most of us had been encouraged to do so by the genesis in the popularity of genealogy research that I think is due to the advent of the home computer and wonderful software programs that are easy for almost anyone to manage.

My cousin finally was able to make a cassette of the tape and, happily, shared it with me and I then transcribed it and gave it to ALL our cousins.  I knew none of the information it contained other than Grandpa saying he was born in “Sukoluff” Austria.  I knew Grandpa but did not have the opportunity to see him often nor was I interested in that “stuff” at the time.

Let me just say, it answered a great many questions but it also posed many new ones whose answers I am still seeking.

Mary Bier Wilson

Julius as a young man