Related to the Faces of Dynów paintings, I researched my family tree, ancestors and descendants over a three-year period, and still continue. Remembrances, stories and interviews from family members, as well as other source material: articles, letters, author excerpts, passenger manifests and references from the Dynów Yizkor book (memorial book of the town of Dynów) inform the Broken Tree painting.
As a result of my research, I was able to access first hand accounts about my family from my ‘informants’: relatives that I met in this unearthing of my heritage. I was able to trace back the Neger, Spinrad and Tolpen branches of my family going back six generations.
I used online sources and visited national and international archives in my quest for family members: those who emigrated from Poland to the U.S., Israel and South America before WWII, survivors of the Holocaust, and those who did not survive. I found 346 relatives belonging to the three branches. Of these, fifty-three members of my family were in Europe on September 1, 1939, the day Hitler launched an invasion of Poland which started the Second World War. Forty of these people perished in the Holocaust, and thirteen survived.