The wonders of internet and, I must say, Google. Because of the latter I got a surprising e-mail while in Brazil, from Elina Mendeleev. She said “My name is Elina and I live in Luxembourg. My mother lives in Germany. Today, in the morning, I was telling my mum about an Argentinean Jewish friend that recently moved to Luxembourg and suddenly she said: “It looks like I will never find my relatives from Argentina". And I, absolutely out of the blue, googled -”Tolpolar". Imagine our surprise when your story appeared on the screen! My grandmother's name is (Sosl) Sonja Tolpolar. She was born in Oliscani, but during the WWII they were evacuated to Beltsy, a Jewish town in Moldova. My grandmother's family was mostly from Oliscani and was harvesting tobacco. My mum still remembers my granny telling very often a tragic story of how her dear aunt and uncle were murdered by their employees. She says that their store was probably located in the house where they lived and the robbers came at night and knocked at their door, and subsequently killed and robbed them. “
It turned out that Elina is from a part of the Tolpolars we never heard before, from the brother of Meyer Tolpolar, my great-grandfather. Elina is a direct descendant from Avrum Tolpolar, brother of Meyer, both sons of Haim Topolar.
And then I get another e-mail a few days later: “Hi Cassio, I read your blog and I think we are related. My name is Ella Bernstein, I am the daughter of Leonid Bernstein. His mother Hova (Eva) Tolpolar is the daughter of Leib – the youngest brother of Meir Tolpolar from Olishkany – this makes my father a 2nd level cousin of your father Mauro. Can you confirm my findings?"
It so happens that Ella is from the part of another unknown (at least to me) Meyer’s brother: Leib Tolpolar!
In one week, many answers have just risen in front of me. We absolutely never knew anything about Meyer’s siblings and then, all of a sudden, they appear!
Ella, Elina and I are still in touch and I’m sure there will be much more to come.
And to relax a little, after the many exciting news that made the adrenaline in my blood go to higher levels, my grandma, mother of my mom, came to our house in Porto Alegre to make mamaliga. Her recipe traveled many countries and years, as it is just like her mom and grandmother used to make. Good times! I made a video of it and will post sometime. But here are a few pictures in the meantime!