In Search Of My War Hero
In Poland, my mother always talked about her uncle who lived in America.
He was her father’s youngest brother. Ludwig Talasiewicz was born to Gershon and Shoshana. He left Poland on his own when he was a young boy and arrived in New York on January 14, 1914 on the steamship ‘St Louis’ from London. Under the name of Louis Tolosewitz, he joined the American army and fought what I know must be World War II where he received a head wound.
I never knew any of the details and all I know is that after being injured on the battle field my uncle spent the rest of his life in a Veteran’s Hospital in Northport, Long Island. In his will, he requested that his possessions would go to any persons with the name Talasiewicz. As a child, I had always been intrigued by my mother’s tales about my uncle. And I always hoped that one day I would meet him.
He was the first one in our family to immigrate to America and he was a war hero. Aunt Paula was able to locate him and over the years, she kept us informed about his well-being. My wish of meeting him almost came true, but he died only a few years before we came to New York. All connections to Ludwig Talasiewicz vanished with Pola’s and with my mother’s death.
It was only in my classes at the City College of New York at the Department of Jewish Studies, did my family history start to make sense. When Professor Wiesel introduced us to his experiences in Auschwitz-Birkenau and Buchenwald concentration camps, I started to understand my parents. Reading his book, The Accident made me realize that although my parents were survivors, that in losing their entire families, they could not escape their past. I was already in my twenties before I was able to understand the importance of the stories my mother passed on to me throughout my childhood. When I told Wiesel about my mother, he said, “Your mother must write her story. Future generations must know and you must help her do it.” He encouraged me to start translating her memoir and not be afraid of the journey ahead. I have now published my mother’s story in MEMORY IS MY HOME.
Recently I wrote to the director of the Veteran’s Hospital on Long Island to try to get information about my Hero and Great Uncle, Louis Tolosewitz, but I never got the courtesy of a reply.
- Suzanna Eibuszyc, author of Memory Is My Home available on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Memory-Our-Home-Rememb…/…/3838207327…