Rhonda Marko honors her maternal grandfather Yankel Stul and her maternal grandmother
Leah Stul, both from Benyakon, Poland, a small town near Vilna. Yankel owned a restaurant
before the Holocaust, and was known as a generous, good man. Leah was well-liked,
and many people in the Jewish community would come to her for advice. During the
Holocaust, Yankel and Leah were sent to the Lido ghetto, and possibly Treblinka,
where they both died. Their daughter Sonia last saw her parents when she was fifteen
years old. She survived the war and later moved to the United States, where she had
a family and spent many years working for Jewish charities.
In October 1954, at The Polo Grounds in Brooklyn, New York, Sonia Stul Marko and
her husband, Sol Marko, both became naturalized citizens of the United States in
a mass naturalization ceremony. Five thousand new citizens were sworn in by President
Eisenhower. It was the largest naturalization ever conducted at that point in time.