Welcome to "Martha's Photo Collection"

This collection is dedicated to my mother, Martha Katz Posalski (1916 - 2001).

Mothers, food, love, and career, the four major guilt groups. --Cathy Guisewite
(To see each group of photos, click on the appropriate branch of this family tree.)
The collection of photographs within are part of my Mother's legacy. Some of the photos date prior to 1900 and were taken well before my mother was born. In their own way, they frame and describe her life's journey.

This site represents an attempt on my part to pay, albeit posthumously, gratitude, and to memorialize my mother. In many ways, I am the man I have become because she was my mother, and I am proud to have known her. We didn't always get along, but no one holds her in greater respect and love than I.

Born Martha Katz in Frankfurt, Germany, into a religious family, she became committed to her

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The Michelle Posalski Gallery The Steven Posalski Gallery The Fred Katz Gallery Martha Posalski Gallery The Marc Posalski Gallery The Posalski family in America The Francis Posalski Gallery The Beatrice Riley Gallery The Braun Family Gallery The David Leon Posalski Gallery The Posalski family in Europe The Katz Family Gallery The Leo Katz Gallery The Frieda & Gustav Katz Gallery Jewish heritage from an early age, attending services every Shabbat morning with her family.

When Hitler came to power, she was forced to wear a yellow star like all German Jews during that period. Her father was forced to leave, and he fled to France. Martha followed somewhat later, hoping to find him.

In France she found work as a housekeeper for a rabbi. When her mother was able to escape from Germany, Martha met her in Strasbourg in 1941, the same time that Germany invaded France. She was placed in a detention camp where she remained for a year. Luckily, Martha was able to escape only one week before the camp became a concentration camp. She
later met her future husband David Posalski, and the two joined the resistance. One of her assignments was to blow up a bridge, something for which she had little taste. Thereafter she was only given the task of smuggling people to safety. Martha and David were forced to flee France carrying their infant Beatrice, their first child, they traversed the Apennines into Spain. After reaching Barcelona, the Joint Distribution Committee cared for them until the end of World War II.

The couple left for America with Beatrice, and by this time, Francis and Marc, arriving in America on September 14, 1948. They settled in Paramount, California and had two more children, Michelle and Steven. The family moved to Lakewood, California in 1962.

After David's death in 1966, Martha went back to school, became an American citizen and studied at the Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles. She became a teacher at Temple Israel in Long Beach, remaining there for over 40 years. Many hundreds of students of all ages remember her with much fondness and love.

As a kid I joked that my name was Steve, but I was known as Martha Posalskiís son. As I grew older, I made the same joke, but it was with pride. But I know now that Mom was what she was fated, by talent, personality and upbringing, to be: a Judaic scholar and teacher of the first degree. I not only do not begrudge her that, I honor and take pride in her for that. And I love her for that.

My Mother taught me better than I realized. Later, when I became a classroom teacher, I realized the model I followed was the one I saw in her classroom...it was her gift to take a simple ceremony and turn it into a cherished memory.

The almost 1,300 photos here and in the Unidentified Photos collection represent four generations on both Martha's and David's sides of the family. Unfortunately, I never saw all of these photos until after Mom had passed away, and so many of the subjects of the photos are unknown to me. If you are interested in helping me identify them, you can look in Unidentified Photos. I'd appreciate any help identifying these people.

If you would like any of these photos, and you are using Internet explorer, you can simply right-click on the picture and select "Save Picture as..." to save it to your computer.
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