The Rein-Edelstein-Linder Family


The following are family members who survived the Holocaust  by either hiding or escaping from Nazi-occupied Europe.




Adele Linder survived the war, although it is not known whether she remained in hiding throughout or had spent time in a concentration camp. After the war she was among the Jewish refugees at the Displaced Persons Camp in Deggendorf awaiting permission to go to Palestine. Adele's sister Channa [Dina/Donja] Linder  and brother-in-law Eliezer Swarts sponsored her through the Jewish Agency to enter Palestine (application dated 26 Oct 1945) 





Adi Gefner. whose parents Anne [Chane] Edelstein and Jakob Gefner were both murdered in the Holocaust, and her husband, Oskar Sitzmann, were among the "lucky" 2,000 Jewish refugees who fled Europe in the hope of beginning a new life in Palestine. After three months drifting at sea on board theAtlantic - the last transport to leave Nazi Germany during the war -  they were denied entry into Palestine by the British Navy, who organised their deportation to Mauritius. They were interned on the Indian Ocean island for the remainder of the war. After the war, Adi and Ossi returned to Vienna where, in February 1946, their son, Robert Sitzmann, was heralded as the first Jewish child to be born in the Austrian capital following the end of hostilities.

In 2002,Writer-Director Michel Daëron co-produced the documentary film Atlantic Drift, recounting the story of the refugees both then and now.





Bernard Spiegel was in France from 1938. It is not known how he managed to survive. After the war, Benjamin made Paris his permanent home. He died in the French capital in December 1979.





Carla  Spiegel is believed to have remained in Vienna during the war and survived because she was in a mixed marriage. Her son Ottmar Gaunersdorfer would have survived for the same reason.
Carla Spiel and her brother Bernard Spiel were the children of Fanny [Feige] Rein, murdered at Maly Trostinec in June 1942, and Salomon Spiegel, killed at Buchenwald in December 1939. 





Edith Harlam moved to Fance after the war in 1946 and married Bernard Spiegel two years later in 1948. Although it has not been established in which country she had been living throughout the war, it is possible she spent some time in Berlin, as it was from that city both her parents were deported to Auschwitz in October 1944. Edith was widowed in 1979. 





Heinrich [Henry] Kowler fled from Vienna to the South of France with his wife Lea Rein and their son Maximilian Kowler. They remained in hiding together with Lea's nephew Max Edelstein who was eventually captured and deported to Auschwitz in August 1942..   Heinrich [Henry] Kowler survived the war and settled in the United States. He died in New York in July 1982.





Jenny Rohatin, wife Leo Edelstein, fled with him to Belgium where they were hidden throughout the war. It is believed that his protectors included a family named Goosens. During her peiod in hiding, Jenny Rohatin gave birth to daughter Renée Rose Edelstein in April 1944. Jenny tragically died the following year, just one month after the end of the war. 





Lea Rein fled from Vienna to the South of France with her husband Heinrich [Henry] Kowler and their son Maximilian Kowler. They remained in hiding together with her nephew Max Edelstein.   Lea, Heinrich and Maximilian all survived the war. All eventually emigrated to the United States where Heinrich died in New York in July 1982, Lea also in New York in February 1990 and Maximilian in Tucson, Arizona in July 2005. Max Edelstein was captured by the Nazis in August 1942 and murdered in Auschwitz on 14 October 1942.





Leo Edelstein fled from Vienna, Austria to Belgium where he was hidden throughout the war. It is believed that his protectors included a family named Goosens.

Further inquiries are currently being conducted to trace the Goosens Family.

After the war, Leo moved to Germany, re-married and settled in Frankfurt. He died 22 September 1969 aged 59.





Maximilian [Max] Kowler, son of Lea [Sosche] Rein and Heinrich [Henry] Kowler, fled from Vienna to France with his parents amd cousin Max Edelstein. He and his father joined the French army before the Germans invaded. Following the invasion he went into hiding in Lyons, France, and eventually escaped to Switzerland with his family, where he spent the last two years of World War II. Following the war, Maximilian worked with the Jewish Agency, enabling and outfitting displaced Jews' clandestine transports to Palestine. He emigrated with his parents and his family to the United States in 1952, settling in the New York City area until 1972, in Lenox, Massachusetts, until 1999, and the remainder of his life in Tucson, Arizona.





Oskar Gefner, son of Anna [Chane] Edelstein and Jakob Gefner, was hidden in Belgium throughout the war. It is believed that his protectors included a family named Goosens. After the war Oskar moved to Germany where he settled in Stuttgart, the home town of his wife Inge Ihle. The couple's son, Gary Gefner, was also born in Stuttgart.





Oskar Sitzmann and his wife, Adi Gefner, were among thousands of  refugees who had gathered in Vienna and Bratislava, seeking passage out of Europe, They and almost 2,000 others crammed on board the Atlantic, the last transport to leave Nazi Germany during the war. They spent three months drifting across across the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, seeking to enter Palestine, but were prevented from doing so by the British Navy which, instead of helping them, organised their deportation to Mauritius. They spent the rest of the war in an internment camp on the Indian Ocean island. Ossi and Adi returned to Vienna after the war, where he established himself as a successful dental practitioner.





Renée Rose Edelstein, daughter of Leo Edelstein and Jenny Rohatin, was hidden in Belgium from her birth in April 1944 until the end of the war. She is believed to have been born at the convent at La Hulpe (Malaise).  Further inquiries are being conducted to confirm the convent in which Renée was born - possibly La Hulpe (Malaise): Institut Sacré  Coeur de Marie - and a family named Goosens, who are believed to have been protectors of Leo, Jenny and Renée. Renée and her husband live in Frankfurt, Germany.



Holocaust Victims

Kolomyja Ghetto

Adele Linder at Deggendorf