Lee Gryll honors her paternal grandfather Osias Joshua Notowicz, who was born in
a region of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that is now Kolbuszowa, Poland. Born on October
6, 1890, he lived in a typical Eastern European shtetl and worked as a money exchanger.
He served in the Judenrat (Jewish council) in Kolbuszowa, but was eventually executed
in Auschwitz in 1941. His widow later received a telegram indicating that he was
killed in an attempt to escape. The consequences of his death were devastating to
his wife and children; his son Max Notowicz was left without a family at age 14 and
was “forced to make his way through the world himself,” according to Gryll. Max was
also a Holocaust survivor, and managed to escape from the Pustkow slave labor camp
near Krakow before being transported to the death camp at Belzec. Notowicz’s story
has been chronicled by the Tennessee Holocaust Commission.