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A few words about the Glotzer family

Latest update: July 7, 2014


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Note: The Polish spelling of the surname Glotzer is Glocer. Therefore, during the Polish period of 1920-1939 the members of the "clan" spelled their name Glocer. However, in order to avoid confusions I am consistently using the spelling Glotzer on this site, as the name is spelled by the large American branch of the "clan".

Once upon a time there were two, three or perhaps four (we are not sure) Glotzer brothers: Dovid (David) (#276), Sholem (Shalom) (#1), Binyomin (Benjamin) (#294) and - possibly - Avraham-Leybl (#293). We don't know anything about their origin, except that they may have come from Pinsk or Lahishin (in Belorussian Лагішын, in Polish Łohiszyn, a small settlement some 25 km north of Pinsk). In fact, we are not even entirely sure about the existence of Dovid (#276). As for Avraham-Leybl (#293), according to some sources he was one of the brothers; according to other sources he was one of Sholem's (#1) many sons. These facts have yet to be established.

What we do know however, is that Sholem Glotzer (#1) (~1824-1930) and his younger brother Binyomin Glotzer (#294) settled in the agricultural village of Ivaniki (in Yiddish Ivanik (איוואניק), in Polish Iwaniki), seven kilometers north of Pinsk, in Western Belarus, at that time a part of the Russian Empire, in 1921-1939 a part of the Republic of Poland, and now part of the Republic of Belarus. Sholem Glotzer (#1) was my maternal great-grandfather.

According to the Yizkor (Memorial) book in Yiddish A Toyznt Yor Pinsk [A Thousand Years of Pinsk], the settlement Ivanik was established 1855 by two rich Jewish philantropists from Pinsk as their contribution to "productivization" of Jews. Thus Ivanik became one of the few totally Jewish agricultural settlements in the Russian Empire, and, later, also one of the very few totally Jewish agricultural settlements in independent Poland 1918-1939.

In 1938, i.e. during the Polish period, Ivanik (in Polish Iwaniki) was officialy incorporated into the neighboring non-Jewish village of Posienicze (in Belorussian Pasianitzi (Пасяніцы)) just to the east of Ivanik, but until the German invasion on the Soviet Union 1941, the two villages existed de facto separatly. During the WWII almost all inhabitants of the Jewish village who did not emigrate earlier, as did most of Sholem Glotzer's (#1) children including all his sons in his second marriage to Chaye-Golde Yoffe(?) (#2) who emigrated to the U.S. in the beginning of 20th century, were murdered. The emptied buildings were taken over by the villagers' Belarusian neighbors, both from the village and from Pinsk, and the Jewish village ceased to exist. After the war, Western Belarus including Pinsk and the former Jewish village of Ivanik came under Soviet control.

The Glotzer brothers along with their wives, children and in-laws were not the only inhabitants of Ivanik. They had also other Jewish neighbors, such as among others the Gorbats, Goldmans, P(o)tashkin, Posenitzki (in Polish Posienicki, later changed into Posen), Nimtzovitch (in Polish Nimcowicz) and Dolgopyaty families. However, the Glotzers are believed to be the largest family in Ivanik.

My maternal great-grandfather Sholem Glotzer (#1) was married three times, and as far as we know, he had all together sixteen children: three with his first wife Yochevet (#222, maiden name unknown), and thirteen with his second wife Chaye-Golde Yoffe(?) (#2, maiden name not entirely sure). Sholem's (#1) youngest daughter in his second marriage to Chaye-Golde Yoffe(?) (#2), Perl Glotzer (#5), was my maternal grandmother.

As mentioned above, most of Sholem Glotzer's (#1) children emigrated to the U.S. in the beginning of 20th century, which created a large American branch of the Glotzer "tribe" that exists today. On some of its members our information is very limited. E.g. all we know about Velvl (#12, later Willie) that he was a barber shop owner in Baltimore, MD, and about Mitchell (#13, original Yiddish name unknown) that he was in Far Rockaway, NY, and that he changed his surname into Glasser. We don't have any information about Ayzik (#123, although we are not entirely sure that he indeed was one of Sholem's sons), Avrom (#7) and Leybl (#6), but Avrom and Leybl could have been one person: Avraham-Leybl (#293).