Tzadikim (Righteous) Unreich Parents
ONE’S PARENTS PLAY a key role in their upbringing, teaching and influencing a child’s perspective on the world. Zalman’s parents played a significant role in his views and served as inspiration for his actions later in life. Though he was not able to save them from their untimely murder at the hand of the Nazis, their death inspired his desire to save others. Perhaps in an attempt to create some meaning from their death, Zalman dedicated himself to trying to rescue as many Jews as he could. Note: This blog story contains multiple letters reflecting the Unreich siblings unsuccessful attempts save their parents from the impending horror of World War II.
Zalman’s mother was Rachel (Regina) Unreich, born Rachel Grünhut. She was born in Bratislava, Slovakia in 1879. Zalman’s father was Sulim (Shalom) Jonas, was born in 1874 and both died in Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944. They last lived at Kapucínska Street No. 9 in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Sulim was originally from Brody, Poland, today in the Ukraine. Sulim’s father, David Yitzhak, immigrated to Bratislava with his family when Sulim was a young boy. The Unreich family immigrated from Brody, through Hungary to Vienna and then settling back into Bratislava permanently around 1895. Before they left, into the 19th century, Brody was considered one of the largest and most thriving Jewish communities in Europe and a central hub of trade in the Galicia region. Regina at the age of 21 and Sulim age 26 met soon after settling in today’s Slovakia and married in 1900. Zalman was one of eight children, though his mother was said to have had 16 pregnancies. Zalman’s mother, Rachel, had 8 children, one daughter and seven boys. All the boys survived by leaving Bratislava, Czechoslovakia at various point before or during the Second World War. There are the numerous stories or details we’ve learned about each of their incredible lives.
Sulim and Regina are descendants of prominent Rabbis and academicians. The Unreich heritage includes her grandfather Rabbi Zalman Bonyhád (died 1857), known for publishing the book or Sefer Minḥah Tehorah and Rabbi Mordechai Tusk (died 1816), rav"d of Pressburg, who worked with the Chatam Sofer and was mentions in his book or Sefer HaZikaron and signed with him on bylaws and halachic rulings. Sulim’s heritage also includes connections to a well-known Rabbi Koppel Unreich, who participated in the debate about the "The Controversy Surrounding Machine-made Matzot: Halakhic, Social, and Economic Repercussions”.
For more information about the Unreich children please click on their profile images below.