“Moisha Naftula Breuer 1923- October 2017
My great grandfather is the only one in his family who survived the war.
When he returned to his hometown of Sederheli, everything was lost. The house he grew up in, bustling with siblings and grandchildren, with help and guests, gone. The dormitory behind the house, where the family hosted yeshiva students who had come to learn with the local Rav, stolen.
My grandmother loved him. A handsome man from the most respected family in town, everyone said that their marriage couldn’t have happened before the war. Her father had been a simple teacher.
They started their family in Sederheli, but quickly realized the town no longer welcomed them. They emigrated to the United States, on a long boat ride, my grandmother pregnant with her second child. Three of her siblings had survived, and they met up in America.
Zeidy took a job in a furniture store with his friend, Mr. Wosner. One of them upholstered while the other did the repairs. Salaries were low, so my grandparents shared an apartment with another couple. They decided to go out on their own, and they opened Essex Furniture on the East Side. They made an agreement: each business partner would take home as much as he needed. This trust held on for over forty years.
Zeidi was from the original ten founders of New Square, a chassidish neighborhood in Upstate New York. Every day, he’d wake up at five, recite the entire tehillim, and then board the six o’clock bus to his business in Manhattan.
His daily routine was fixed, and his obligations and responsibilities were sacred. He was not unaffected by the war. Zeidy never visited doctors after the war, and his fear of dentists stemmed from watching people’s gold teeth wrenched out of their mouths without anything to numb their pain. He was a quiet man, a doer more than a speaker, but his forehead would light up with pride, watching his grandchildren grow, succeed and rebirth.
When Zeidy Breuer passed away four months ago, he had over 700 direct descendants —children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren — at his funeral.
I am one of them.” – Chany Rosengarten