Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Grandfather Might have Benefited from the Generosity of Mike Nichols' Grandmother

Periodically, I look for descendants of people that my grandfather wrote about in his diaries. I *think* I found Glasnik's grandson, in Israel -- his grandfather was Glasnik and was from Vishigrod and in the Russo-Japanese War, but he didn't much about him. I sent him portions of the book in which his grandfather appeared, but haven't heard back from him.

Mike Nichols' Untold Family History

Then, looking for Divanovsky (which probably is a pseudonym), the Jewish department store magnate in Irkutsk, Siberia, circa 1906-1907, I came across an excerpt from Faces of American by Henry Louis Gates, who wrote about Mike Nichols' search for information on his grandparents, who were from Irkutsk. What was most interesting to me was learning that Nicols' grandmother, Anna Distler Peschowsky, was a benefactress of the Irkutsk Charitable Society for the Assistance of Poor Jews. I didn't know the real name of what my grandfather referred to as "the Jewish Community Guest House" in Irkutsk where my grandfather stayed when he got to Irkutsk,hoping to find the apocryphal forgerer who might create the false papers that would allow my grandfather and Pyvka to return to Warsaw by train more-or-less unmolested, but it seems that was the place. I sent the information to Mr. Nichols care of his agent, who may or may not have passed it on.

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