Family Rabstein- Hirzkovitsch

The family was committed to the Jewish community.

Family Rabstein- Hirzkovitsch
Gezin Rabstein

Israel Rabstein (°21/09/1897 in Presnysz, Poland) married Anna Hirzkovitsch (°28/04/1895, Antwerp). Together they got a daughter: Rachel (°10/04/1924, Antwerp). Israel moved from Poland to Belgium in 1907. He worked as a diamond trader for “Léon Asséo Diamants” in Antwerp. As part of his job he was allowed to travel to Spain from 1914 to 1923 as a representative of the Antwerp diamond sector. On 26 August 1938 Israel and his daughter obtain Belgian nationality. At that time they live in Lage Leemstraat in Antwerp.

When Germany invades and occupies Belgium in May 1940, Israel is called up to serve in the Belgian army. However, because of his poor health it was decided that he should serve in peacetime. However, because of the occupation, this never happened. The German occupation authorities enacted all kinds of anti-Jewish laws, including the introduction of the Register of Jews and later the Jewish Association. In December 1940, the Rabstein family registered in the Register of Jews. In March 1942, the family was registered with the Jewish Association of Antwerp; they had to describe their house in the Lage Leemstraat. This revealed that their house consisted of four rooms and a kitchen. Later that year Israel and Anna became administrators of the Jewish Orphanage in Antwerp. Following her parents’ example, Rachel also devoted herself to Jewish society, becoming a governess in the Jewish Orphanage and an auxiliary member of the Jewish Association.

On the night of 3 to 4 September 1943 Israel, Anna and Rachel were rounded up during the razzia for Jews with Belgian nationality. Israel was hit in the shoulder by a bullet during the raid. The family was arrested and transferred to the SS-Sammellager Mecheln. From there they were deported with transport XXIIB to Auschwitz-Birkenau on 20 September. None of the family survived the war.

Kaatje Langens