How did the migrations and displacements of Fruma and Elia ancestors lead them to be in Uzlyany on October 8, 1941? The realistic answer is that we may know some of the recent past but beyond that we will never know the families earlier history. That doesn’t mean we haven’t been asking ourselves that question for decades. So we are doing what people have done for ages, we are trying to put together a picture of their and our family history.
The process we are taking is to gather the information we understand best, and that is the physical and oral evidence we have available to us now. The word of mouth stories we can capture in family trees, tales handed down by elders, letters written, birth certificates, other documentation and photos and videos.
Beyond those resources, we hope to rationalize a longer term view of what might have been a part of our family history. The following are some of the factors we consider.
The first piece of information I have is of my own DNA. I requested a DNA analysis be made for me by the National Geographic‘s “The Genographic Project”. I requested a kit that contained a swab to rub on my inner cheek and the sample was returned to them for analysis. I received the following Map from the project that represents the results of their analysis, Haplogroup J2.
This suggests that one possible ancestral path of migration may place my family near the Black Sea. DNA studies are very sophisticated and I do not pretend to understand the details or reliability of the results. I do understand that there are many who question the utility of DNA analysis, in general, to determine family history. I do find it interesting that the study of my DNA does imply the family may have followed a M172 path that nears a general region of my grandparent’s home. We also have to remember my DNA code is a composite of my father David, and my Mother Fannie Greenberg Fox who was born in Poland. Since both of my parents were born relatively close to one another I suspect that the DNA paths may in general be similar.
The second piece of information is that my Mother, Father and I all have Blue Eyes. As a child I had white blond hair. There are published studies of Professor Hans Eiberg of the University of Copenhagen that suggest all Human beings with Blue eyes resulted from the mutation of one individual that occurred in the area near the North-West section of the Black Sea, about 6000 to 10,000 years ago. That is another bit of information that may place members of our family in the same general region near Uzlyany.
The third piece of information that may have some relationship to our family’s history is the history of the Khazarian people, who were a distinct political entity in the Black Sea area, between 650 and 1016. The Khazarian royalty married Jews and converted to Judaism. The reigning Khazarian established Judaism as their national religion. It was reported that they were Blue eyed, redheaded with fair complexions. Eventually they were dispersed by Mongols and Rus’ians into neighboring regions.
The fourth piece of information that may relate to how our family came to Uzlyany was as a result of the Pale of Settlement. Empress Catherine II (Catherine the Great) in 1791 forced all the Jews, throughout Russia, into restricted areas of Belarus and the Ukraine. The Russians continued the restrictions to varying degrees through 1917. This clearly must have confined the Fuks migrations during this period.
The continual dislocations of the Jews over the millennia have created an infinite number of paths that the Jews could have traveled to be at any one specific location at any specific time. One of those paths placed Elia and Fruma in Uzlyany on October 8 1941. Their story tells of the unbridled cruelty one human being can show to one another. Most important, their story carries with it the rich heritage of the survival of a people and they should be remembered for whom they were and how they lived their lives, the past they embodied and the future they leave with us.