Gladys and David Blank's Genealogy
Search People
Last Name:
First Name:
 
Home | What's New | Photos | Documents | Military
Documents
| Holocaust
Documents
| Histories | Headstones | Holocaust
Victims
| Places | Help English Help
 עזרה Hebrew Help
| Advanced Search
Cornelia (Nellie) Grossman

Cornelia (Nellie) Grossman

Female 1906 - 1999  (92 years)

Personal Information    |    Media    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All

  • Name Cornelia (Nellie) Grossman 
    Born 2 Nov 1906  Budapest, Hungary Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Biography Cornelia (Nellie) Balan

    My mother was born in Budapest in 1906, an only child. Her parents were Leo Grossman and Theresa Nagel.

    Little is known to me about her childhood. I know there were friends and cousins to play with. As a child they moved several times, and when I went to Budapest in the 90s I brought her back photos of the buildings she had lived in, which pleased her very much.

    In 1918 the Allies dismantled the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Hungary was created. There followed political turmoil, with party succeeding party in governing. One of them was the Communist Party. When they fell out of favor, popular sentiment in Hungary lumped the Jews together with the Communists.

    To escape the disfavor of the populace, Leo had himself and the family baptized in 1918. They then moved to Bratislava in the newly created Czech Republic, were Leo thought he would have better business opportunities. (He had served in the Empire’s army in WWI).

    In 1920, shortly after this move, my mother says that Leo came home and stated that he was very ill, dying very shortly (almost immediately) thereafter. They found numerous medications in the briefcase he carried, but I know of no cause of death.

    At 16 my mother became a debutante, and there are beautiful pictures of her during this time period.

    My father, then Alexander “Sandor” Braun (name changed to Balan in 1946), began to court my mother at around this time. As far as I know it was a very proper courtship for the time, but my mother was not ready. Instead, she fell into a relationship with her first cousin, Imre Eisler from Vienna, and married him in her early twenties.

    I believe that the marriage was not a success. Imre, like Leo, had difficulty in establishing himself in business. They traveled over much of Western Europe, but he could not find anything appropriate. The marriage did not last long, and left my mother fending for herself.

    She spent some time working in England, and then moved to Germany, only to witness the rise of the Nazis. In the very early 30s she returned to Bratislava, renewed her relationship with Sandor, and they married in 1933.

    I was born in 1934. My father hired a German woman to be my nanny and a Slovak peasant girl to nurse me. With foresight, we applied for immigration to the United States, through the embassy in Prague.

    On a trip to Prague, my mother caught a cold which developed into a complicated case of pneumonia. She was bed ridden for two years. Our application to come to the US came and went. We do not know if this is the real reason, but the doctor who finally cured her was a homeopath.

    After Hitler occupied Bohemia and Moravia in 1938, and later Slovakia in 1944, the family went into hiding. In early 1945 the family separated, and my mother spent the rest of the war in a tuberculosis sanatorium, incognito, in Eastern Slovakia.

    Nellie and Sandor and I were reunited in a small village just a few days after the Red Army passed. My mother was the first to be liberated, as she was the furthest East. Her parents had been killed in Auschwitz in October 1944, they had not been in hiding. (Theresa had remarried after the death of Leo, to an attorney by the name of Kornel Pollak, whom I recall as my real grandfather, as I never knew Leo).

    After the war my mother worked as a hat maker. My father’s business had been taken away by the Nazis, and he now worked for UNRRA. This provided for some travel, and helped in renewing the efforts to come to America. The family arrived in New York in April 1948.

    My mother, who was apparently very skilled with her hands, immediately got a position with a concession at Saks Fifth Avenue, making ladies under garments. We first lived in a rental apartment in the suburbs, and in 1958 my parents bought their first home. It was a two family house, and the idea was that there would be rooms to rent. In the event my father predeceased my mother, she would live from the income produced by the house.

    And that is indeed what happened, after my father died in 1967. My mother frequently referred to the years she spent with my father in that house as the happiest years of her life.

    But the house became too difficult for her to manage as she grew older, and the neighborhood was deteriorating as well. In 1991, at the age of 85, my mother joined us in a building in New York City, where we had purchased a nice one bedroom apartment for her.

    She had a bout with breast cancer, and then was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. She chose not to be treated for the latter. As she grew older, she seemed to lose interest in many things, including her friends and relatives. She was alone much of the time. There was a caretaker.

    As so often happens, I blame myself for not providing her with greater company during this time. However, she had a great relationship with my life partner, Ann, and I think that in the end she might have been closer to her than to me.

    One day in July 1999 she fell out of bed, we were not at home, and was taken to a nearby hospital. Even though she had “do not resuscitate” orders posted everywhere, the hospital did just that. When we arrived at the hospital later that day, we had the intubation removed.

    She was conscious the next morning, but did not speak or open her eyes. She did respond to my whispering in her ear. I asked her whether she wanted to have anything done for her. She emphatically shook her head “no” to all my questions. I remember asking one question which required a “yes”, just to make sure she was not simply saying “no” to everything, and she responded appropriately.

    We consequently had all life support removed, and my mother, Nellie, died peacefully within hours. That is definitely what she wanted.

    She was a good mother to me, had gone through some tough times, illnesses, the war, and she was a marvelous wife to my father.


    by John Balan, 16 February 2009 
    Hebrew Birth 14 Che 5667 
    Residence 1906-1919  Budapest, Hungary Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Residence 1919-1948  Bratislava, Slovakia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Immigration 23 Apr 1948  New York, NY, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Residence 1948-1999  New York, NY, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Hebrew Death 7 Ab 5759 
    Social Security Number 106-24-6845- 
    Died 20 Jul 1999  New York, NY, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I8261  Blank Family
    Last Modified 12 Aug 2009 

    Father Leo Grossman,   b. 1875, Budapest, Hungary Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Aug 1920, Bratislava, Slovakia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 45 years) 
    Mother Therese (Terka) Nagel,   b. 21 Dec 1881, Hlohovec, Slovakia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Oct 1944, Auschwitz CC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years) 
    Family ID F5859  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Imre Eisler,   b. 1904, Vienna, Austria Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes - date unknown, Vienna, Austria Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F5884  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Shandor Alexander Balan,   b. 29 Sep 1894, Bratislava, Slovakia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Apr 1967, Queens, NY, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years) 
    Married 29 Sep 1933  Bratislava, Slovakia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Jan John Balan,   b. 29 Nov 1934, Bratislava, Slovakia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 Jan 2013, New York, NY, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years)
    Family ID F5862  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 2 Nov 1906 - Budapest, Hungary Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1906-1919 - Budapest, Hungary Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 29 Sep 1933 - Bratislava, Slovakia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1919-1948 - Bratislava, Slovakia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsImmigration - 23 Apr 1948 - New York, NY, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1948-1999 - New York, NY, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 20 Jul 1999 - New York, NY, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Nelly Balan
    Nelly Balan
    Nelly Balan 1951
    Nelly Balan 1951
    Nelly Grossman as debutante
    Nelly Grossman as debutante
    Nagel Michael (Miklos) and Cornelia Braun (at the time, later Balan)
    Nagel Michael (Miklos) and Cornelia Braun (at the time, later Balan)

    Documents
    Cornelia Balan naturalization
    Cornelia Balan naturalization

    Histories
    Marriage to APU,to after the War 1933-1945
    Marriage to APU,to after the War 1933-1945
    Cornelia Grossman till 1931
    Cornelia Grossman till 1931

    Holocaust Records
    False Identity Card Used by Cornelia Braun
    False Identity Card Used by Cornelia Braun

  • Sources 
    1. [S171] New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 , Ancestry, SS Veendam from Rotterdam.


Help
עזרה
© This Site Copyright David Blank 2008-2018
This site powered by The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding ©, v. 12.0.2, written by Darrin Lythgoe 2001-2018.

Send me eMail