Bella Neger was my grandmother. She was born in Dynów, the daughter of Avraham Neger and Taube Neger (née Spinrad). Bella was the eldest of Taube and Avraham’s eight children. She grew up on Łazienna Street. Taube died of Cholera, which she contracted during a pogrom in 1914. During this time, the Cossacks pillaged the town killing many Jews. Bella returned to town without her mother. In her grief, she spent every night at her grandmother Chaya’s apartment, which was across the street from her father’s house.
Bella came to the United States when she was 17 years old. Her sorrow over her mother’s death prompted her to seek a new life for herself. She arrived by boat into the U.S. and went to Buffalo, NY to stay with relatives. Bella later came to New York where she worked in a hat factory on the Lower East Side. Eventually she met her husband Joseph Tolpen. They moved to the Bronx and raised their family there. In later years, Bella ran the concession at the New Yorker Theater on the Upper West Side. She was known as the Candy Lady of the New Yorker Theater, which was run by my father Dan Talbot.