The Wodák Family

 

The Wodák Family became connected to The Aufrichtig Family following the marriage of Irma Wodák  to my grandfather Karl Aufrichtig on 2 February 1905. National archive records held in Prague indicate that Irma, like her husband's family, had a long Moravian history.

Thanks to the efforts of my brother, Charlie, we successfully traced our Wodák line back to our great-great-grandparents Isak Wodák and Johanna [Anna] Schuler, each of whom are believed to have been born in Brumovice - Isak in 1830, and Johanna four years earlier in 1826. They had eight children, the eldest of which, Maier [Marcus/Marek] Wodák, born 26 July 1851 in Brumovice, was one of two whose lines extend to the present day. Isak and Johanna's other children were Eva Wodáková (1853), Mojzis [Moshe/Moses] Wodák (1855), Hermann Wodák (1856), Simon Wodák [1] (1857), Abraham [Adolf] Wodák (1859), Karolina Wodáková (1861) and Marie Wodáková (1864), for all of whom, with the exception of Simon, the head of the other surviving line, we have so far been unable to establish descendants.

According to the book Die Juden in Böhmen und Mähren [English version: The Jews of Bohemia and Moravia], edited by Wilma Abeles Iggers, Isak Wodák was the very first Jewish shopkeeper to settle in Brumovice, doing so after 1848. The book also states that he had moved to the town from Dambořice and taken up residence in the cottage below the local church. Although there is no further reference to the Wodák family, who maintained a presence there until 1942, Wilma Iggers' highlight of this significant major event in its history,  cannot be underestimated. It suggests there are official documents confirming this, and the book, therefore, is an invaluable addition to Wodák family archives.

 

At this point, it is also worth noting that Jewish settlement in Dambořice is documented from the 16th century and that the town had a Jewish school, religious community and Jewish Cemetery, which now has a preservation order. Markus, Abraham and Moses Wodák are all recorded in Dambořice files.

     

As mentioned above, my family links to Wodák stem from my grandmother Irma's marriage to Karl Aufrichtig. Her standing in a family tree genealogically devoted to Wodák is as significant as that of Karl within the Aufrichtigs. She does therefore appear in both sections of this website, listed as Irma Wodák on her Aufrichtig webpage and Irma Wodáková in this section.

 

When my brother first presented me with the results of his research into our Wodák heritage, from which we created a database of family members and subsequently the web pages, the list of kinfolk was as complete as available information would permit. At no time during our research had we considered a Czech emphasis since, to the best of our knowledge, the Holocaust had effectively ended the family's presence in our homeland.

 

For almost 10 years, the  Wodák Family section of the website remained untouched, save for the addition of a few dates here and there kindly provided by visitors to the pages. On 29 April 2011 this was to dramatically change when I received an email from Ladislav Bartoš, husband of Vlasta Macháčková, whom he advised was the grand-daughter of Irma's younger sister, Selma  Wodáková. Thanks to Ladislav and his son, Zdeněk Bartoš, Selma's line of descendancy is as complete as that of Irma. I have been guided by Ladislav in the presentation of the Wodák Family pages since, depending from which source one obtains material, spellings of names and places vary considerably.

 

Irna Wodáková

My brother and I had always regarded our grandmother as being the youngest of three children of Maier [Marcus/Marek] Wodák and his wife Adelheid [Adele/Adela] Huber. As a result of Ladislav's major con-tribution, I learned that Irma was, in fact, the third of six children, that these younger   siblings  accounted for many of the unidentified Wodáks contained in our database, and that  one branch had survived and remained  in  the Czech  Republic. I also discovered that, like many already in my database, some of the "new" family members appear with as many as three variations of name. This site will endeavour to provide details of all variations of names and places. Similarly, the Czech Repblic will also be referred to as Moravia, Czechoslovakia and Protektorat Böhmen und Mähren, according to the timeframe.  To simply thank Ladislav and Zdeněk for their assistance would be to grossly understate their contribution; to merely outline the family details with an Anglicised presentation would do them a disservice - hence the decision to emphasise the Czech element. This includes the deliberate applying of diacritics (accent marks) to names of persons born in that country.

Selma Wodáková

The same principle has been applied to place names although, because of the long period of Hapsburg rule and occupation, cross-referencing is provided to the German variations of some. A large part of this application affects the listing of female family members since, in Czech culture, their surnames end with the letters "ová", whereby the name Wodák becomes Wodáková. Occasionally, should the family name end with a vowel, this feminine rule necessitates it be modified to accommodate it. Within the Wodák family we have such an instance, whereby the individual family name Bouda has been adjusted to Boudová for its female members.

Maier Wodák and Adelheid Huber's first child was Hynek Wodák [1] who was born 1 May 1876 in Brumovice. He has variously been listed on some documentation as Ignác Wodák, or the German equivalent of Ignatz. These variations would appear to have been caused by a false assumption that the Czech name Hynek was the equivalent of the German appellation Ignatz. The names Ignatz and Ignác, are in fact the German and Czech equivalents of Ignatius, and Hynek more accurately corresponds to the German Heinrich and the English Henry.  Hynek married Rosalie [Růžena] Munková (1876) with whom he had five children, all of them sons: Marek [Marcus] Wodák] (1910), Simon Wodák [2] (1911), Gustav Wodák (1912)(*), Rudolf Wodák (1914) and Adolf Wodák (1919). Their family unit was to be a tragic one, with all seven members being deported from Brno to Terezín [Theresienstadt] on Transport Ah on 4 April 1942, and then from Terezín to the Rejowiec ghetto near Lublin in Poland, never to be seen again. If any of them managed to survive the extreme conditions of labour camps like Osowo and Sawin with their frequent mass executions, or the typhus that raged in the insanitary, overcrowded Rejowiec ghetto, they would almost certainly have been murdered at the Sobibor death camp. (*) Appears on some documentation as Augustin Wodák

 

 Hynek Wodák, second from left, and Rosalie [Ruzena] Munk, 5th from left, pictured outside the Brumovice store bearing Hynek's name.

                            On the signboard can be seen the Czech version Vodák of the name Wodak. In al probability this wast is probably due to Czech Revival

                            which, among other things, sought to remove Germanism from the Czech language in both written and in spoken form.

 

Rosalie and  Hynek Wodák seated in front of their sons Marek [Marcus] Wodák, Gustav Wodák, Adolf Wodák, Rudof Wodák and Simon Wodák [2]

 

The second of Maier and Adelheid's children, all of whom were born in Brumovice, was Gisela Wodáková, who made her début on 26 July 1851. Although we knew Irma had a sister of that name, neither Charlie nor I knew anything about her. It was only by an extraordinary million-to-one set of circumstances that we learned anything at all. In 2002, my late Aunt Freda, widow of my father's brother Friedrich Aufrichtig [Frederick Austin], was 95 years of age and suffering senility as the result of a degenerative disorder. During a visit to the care home in which she was residing, Freda asked my brother if his mother was keeping well. My brother replied, advising that she had passed away seven years earlier, to which Freda protested that was impossible since she had spoken with her the day before. She insisted that they had spoken about Charlie's cousin, who owned a shop in Hessel Street which at one time had been renowned as an East London Jewish market. Charlie prompted her for the name of the cousin, to which she replied Charap. The name was unfamiliar. Charlie, however, questioned Freda and established that she had lapsed back in time and mistaken him for our father, Robert, and that she had been talking about her mother-in-law, Irma. who had lived with she and Fred, in London, in 1940. However, just as suddenly as she had brought this long-concealed memory to the surface, so it immediately vanished, never to resurface.

 

Research into the name Charap and Hessel Street revealed that a Mrs Martha Charap owned a drapery shop at number 7. It also provided an Internet link with the name Wodák and I created a web page built around Marta Charap, whom I assumed to be the family member. A short while later, I received an email from a quite excited Freda Charap, who had come across the web page and could not believe she had surviving relatives on her father’s side. She confirmed that her grandmother Gisela had married Moses [Max/Moshe] Charap, and that her father Rudolf Charap (b1904) was the second of their three children, the eldest of whom was Grete Charap (1899) who had married František [Franz] Inger.
 

  Grete Charap and František Inger

All of Gisela and Moses's children were born in Jezierne, Poland, as was Otto Charap (date unknown), about whom neither Freda nor I had been aware until receiving the information from Ladislav Bartoš. From Ladislav we learned that Gisela had met Moses, a Polish carpenter from Jeziernie, in Vienna. After their marriage, they lived in the Austrian capital for a short period, before settling in Tarnopol, Poland, now part of present day Ukraine.

 

Towards the end of the First World War, impoverished and starving, the couple and their four children returned to Brumovice, where they lived with Maier and Adelheid and their younger daughter, Selma, and grand-daughter, Amalie. Eventually, Gisela and her family again resettled in Vienna.

 

According to Ladislav's finely detailed account, Gisela and Moses' eldest daughter Grete Charapová married wheelwright František Inger on 10 October 1922. He was from Uherské Hradiště, about 50 miles from Brno, and it is thought they met in Vienna. Following their marriage they lived in Moravia, firstly in Mutěnice, where they managed a pub and became establishing members of the communist party. They had no children. Before 1938 they moved to Týnec having bought a large house there. When the Germans annexed Sudeten, the couple housed two communist families, Machovský and Pastyřík, who were each fleeing from Břeclav.

 

Due to Grete's husband not being a Jew and her records being lost from the register of the Jewish community in Hodonín (as a result of her frequent moves), she successfully "avoided" the first series of transports (1941-1943). It was not until the beginning of 1944, when she was identified as being Jewish - she was apparently denounced - that her ID card was stamped with a "J" for Jude (Jew) and she was forced to wear the yellow Star of David on her clothes.

  Rudolf Charap and Grete Charap

 

Soon after there was an order to transport to Terezín, but she was hidden in Týnec by a Mrs Hacker, who put her in a little cellar under the house where her own husband, an anti-fascist army deserter, was also in hiding. Grete's stay was complicated by illness and a need to be secretly hospitalised in Uherské Hradiště. However, as the threat of her being discovered was too high, she had to return back to the Hacker's shelter in Týnec.

 

At the time, husband František was picked up by the local police patrol, but friends of his succeeded in making the police officers drunk, enabling him to escape. He was originally hiding in a relative's house in Vésky, and subsequently, until the end of the war, at different places in Brumovice.  With her continued stay in the Hacker house proving too risky, Grete moved in October 1944, and went into hiding in the Týnec home of František Polách, remaining there until the end of the war. After the war Grete and František sold their Týnec home and moved to Břeclav, where they again ran a pub and subsequently retired. Following František's death c1972, Grete moved to a studio flat in Břeclav. She died on 8 March 1977 and her ashes were scattered in the same area as those of her husband in the Central Cemetery in Brno.

 

Rudolf Charap, who had escaped the Holocaust and emigrated to England in 1939 lived in Sidney Square, east London, just a few hundred yards from where his cousins Friedrich, Martha and Robert Aufrichtig had settled. There is a record of entry into the country for his wife Marta Charap [née Loffler] at www.movinghere.org.uk and the Exemption of Internment status that she was accorded, but no mention of Rudolf.
 

Following his statutory period of residence, Rudolf set up a business at 6 Hessel Street, London E1, only one block away from the Aufrichtig-owned Robert's Restaurant in Umberston Street. The local area street directory first credited 6 Hessel Street to the Charaps in its 1943 edition, describing owner R Charap, as a Job Buyer. The business, however, had been set up in 1941, the year of birth of his only child, Freda Charap. To earn a living Rudolf would buy damaged cloth from bombed factories, etc, cut out the burnt parts and sell the remants. Prior to his occupation, there had been no entry in either 1941 or '42 for No.6 in this road, consisting primarily of Jewish meat, fish and grocery retailers. [See also Rudolf Charap in England]

 

Marta and Freda left England for Australia in 1949, staying in Sydney for 18 months. They returned in 1950, remaining a few months before going to Argentina for what was intended to be a three-month visit. Their stay became permanent, Marta remaining there until her death in August 1993. Daughter Freda still lives in Buenos Aires and is the mother of three daughters and grandmother of five children.

 

The youngest of  Moses and Gisela's children was Eduard Charap who was born in 1915. He was in his early twenties when marrying Spanish-born Pilar Uribe-Echeverria with whom he had a daughter, Mercedes, in 1939. The following year Eduard was deported to the Le Vernet camp in France where he died. Pilar was in her eighties when she died in 1999.

 

Otto Charap Grete Charap František [Franz] Inger Rudolf Charap Eduard Charap Pilar_Uribe-Echeverria

 

My grandmother Irma was born 27 May 1880. She had made the move from Brumovice to Vienna where she met and subsequently married my grandfather Karl Aufrichtig, who had himself only recently arrived in the Austrian capital. The son of Jakob H Aufrichtig and Betti Husserl, Karl was born on 24 May 1878 in Boskovice, Moravia, about 100 miles from her home town. Their first child, my uncle Fred was born exactly nine months later in September 1904, followed by Martha in 1906 and my father, Robert, in 1909. By all accounts their early years were happy ones and fondly looked back upon by all three, who described both Irma and Karl as loving, gentle folk. It was entirely due to my father's persuasiveness that permits were obtained for his entire immediately family to flee Austria. Irma and Karl arrived in England in June 1938, just weeks before the outbreak of war.

 

Fred married Freda (b1907) in Vienna in February 1934, prior to which he and partner Wilhelmina Josefina Podolozky [Potolzky] had become the parents of Fritz Potolzy who was born in August 1932. Fred and Freda did not have any children. He was among  the 25,000 Jewish men arrested by the Gestapo on the night of November 9/10 during the infamous Kristallnacht, and spent the next two months in Dachau. Thanks to my father, who had successfully pleaded for his family to be granted asylum in Britain, Fritz, Freda and the rest of the immediate family made good their escape to England in 1939. Fred was the first family member to change his name, and adopted that of Austin, which he knew to be a "fine British car"!

 

Fritz Potolzky was brought up by his mother and knew most of his Aufrichtig family, regularly seeing grandfather Karl and having his hair cut by him. He was 22 when he married Margareta Kerzl, 19 months his senior, who had been born on 23 March 1930. They had two sons, Friedrich [Fritzi] Clemens Potolzky (1955) and Thomas Potolzky (1962). Fritzi is known to have married Sylvia Panuska, whose birth had taken place in 1961.

Irma and Karl pictured on their wedding day on 2 February 1904

 

Friedrich Aufrichtig, Martha Aufrichtig and Robert Aufrichtig cir 1920.

 

My father's sister, Martha Aufrichtig was wed to Viktor Leibel in Vienna on 13 September 1936. The marriage was short-lived and the couple separated soon after Martha arrived in England with her parents.

 

My father married my mother, Henrietta ["Jetti"] Edelstein in Vienna on 17 September 1934.  They had two sons, my elder brother Charles [Charlie] Oscar Aufrichtig in November 1940, and me, in January 1944. My parents parted and, following their divorce, my father married Lisbet [Lisl] Müller, with whom he had a daughter, Eve Aufrichtig, born in Stuttgart. My mother, who had already successfully applied for British naturalisation,  changed our family name to Roberts. Until her retirement, she was the hands-on owner of Roberts Restaurant. In later years, the family would jokingly refer to her family dinners as being like Roberts Restaurant. She passed away, aged 87, on 8 July 1995.

Charlie never married. I did, in April 1968, to Patricia Lockwood, the mother of our three children, Lesley, Paul and Philip. In recent years our family line has been extended by the arrival of our grandchildren Robert, Alfie and Amy.

My father eventually settled in New York where he successfully obtained his US citizenship and, like his elder brother, changed his family name to Austin. He survived my mother by exactly one year and died on 17 July 1996.  Lisbet, whom we lovingly knew as Lisl, was 89 when she passed away on 27 December 2005.

Eve married Steven Yavers in 1978. The couple had two children; Alana Rachel Yavers (1980) and her brother Jared Andrew Yavers (1983). In May 2011 Alana became the wife of Alexander Krug.

Irma Wodák Karl Aufrichtig Friedrich Aufrichtig Freda Kohn [Kirchner] Martha Aufrichtig

 

Viktor Leibel Robert Aufrichtig Henrietta "Jetti" Edelstein Lisbet Müller Fritz Potolsky

 

Charles Aufrichtig Ronald Aufrichtig Patricia Lockwood Eve Aufrichtig Steven Yavers

Maier and Adelheid's fourth child was Salomon Wodák, who arrived on 20 August 1883. The head of a small and tragic family unit, Salomon married Gisela Steiner, who had been born in Krumvěr, Moravia on 16 February 1886. The couple settled in Lovcice, Moravia, where they had three children; Karel [Karl] Wodák (1912), Žofie [Sophia] Wodák (1914) and Robert Wodák (1916). Gisella was only 54 when she died in November 1940, exactly one year before Salomon and Robert were deported on Transport F from Brno to Minsk on 16 November 1941. Žofie, who had married Mendel Buchbinder [Manny Binder] (b1912), was sent to Auschwitz with the couple's daughter, Eva Buchbinder (b1939), in 1944. Mendel survived the Holocaust, and in 1945 married Gizi ~~~. The couple settled in New York where they had two children.

Salomon Wodák Gisela Steiner Karel [Karl] Wodák Žofie [Sophia] Wodák Mendel Buchbinder Robert Wodák

Maier and Adelheid's fifth child was Selma Wodáková, born on 16 October 1885. Selma and Tomáš KubŤŤík (b1879) had a daughter, Amalie Wodáková on 23 December 1903. Tomáš was a weaver who came from from Vysočina, a hilly region in the centre of the country, and who regularly travelled to Brumovice to visit his sister. Selma's family disapproval of Tomáš, an Evangelist, but despite this, when she became pregnant with Amalie, gave her shelter and their support. Following the death of both parents, she traded with poultry and other farm products which she bought in neighbouring villages - Tomáš's' sister let her have her own region as she had the same livelihood - and sold them at the market in Hodonín. After Amalie's marriage to Štěpán Macháček (b1903), she lived with her daughter's new family in Brumovice. In the spring of 1942, Selma and some of  her relatives were ordered to go to Brno where, for 2-3 days, they were assembled in the school in Merhautova waiting for train Transport Ah that would take them to Terezín (Theresienstadt) on April 4. Exactly two weeks later, on April 18, she and other Brumovice relatives were deported from Terezín on Transport Ap to Rejowiec, and a life or death selection process. The fitter deportees remained in the ghetto at Rejowiec, and those considered unable to work were taken away, shot or died in the gas chambers. For the ghetto inhabitants, their reprieves were short-lived since the inhumane treatment and unsanitary conditions soon took their toll. In a message received  from Selma, she confirmed that she and other family members, including Hynek's son, Gustav, were all together at Chelm, where they were "digging trenches". Their eventual fate is not known. What is certain, though, is that of the 1,000 people on Transport Ap from Terezín to Rejowiec, only three women survived!

Amalie and butcher journeyman Štěpán Macháček survived. The couple had two daughters, Květoslava [Květa] Macháčková (b1925) and Vlasta Macháčková (1934). Life for Amalie was hard. As well as the daily fear of being rounded up and deported like many of her relatives, her elder daughter Květa, who had contracted scarlet fever at the age of six, had developed endocarditis as a result, and needed constant care.

That she and her family didn't perish may well be due to a local priest who, questioned about her origins, replied that she had been christened in 1925 and that her previous history was unknown to him. His response was probably acceptable since no further questions were raised. It was also accurate since, after falling in love with Štěpán, his Catholic family insisted she had to be christened before their marriage.

Selma Wodáková Tomáš Kubík Amalie Wodáková Štěpán Macháček Květoslava Macháčková Vlasta Macháčková

After the war, when cousin Grete gave up her share of Hynek Wodák's estate, Amalie inherited his house. When Vlasta married Ladislav Bartoš in 1960, widowed Amalie, whose husband had died in 1957, moved from Brumovice to live with her and the family in Brno until she died in September 1995, aged 91. Vlasta and Ladislav had two children, Zdeněk Bartoš and younger daughter, Dana Bartošová. Both Zdeněk, married to Jaroslava Smehliková, and Dana, wife of Václav Kolář, have two children.

The sixth and youngest of Maier Wodák and Adelheid Huber's children was Leopold Wodák, who was born on either 16 January 1891 or 16 June 1891. The confusion appears to stem from handwritten birth entries in which only the "J" and "N" and year can be confirmed. A sad irony is probably the fact that the most likely month is June, since 16/6/1891 is what is listed as his date of birth on Nazi documentation relating to his deportation from Uherský Brod to Terezín on Transport Co on 27 January 1943, and then from Terezín to Auschwitz [Osvětim] on 29 January 1943. He was married to Rudolfina Kolbová, born 26 September 1889 in Rohatec, Moravia with whom he had two sons, Robert Wodák [2] and Maximilian [Max] Wodák [2], each of them sharing the same town of birth as their mother, suggesting that is where Leopold met her and chose to remain. Rudolfina was on the same transports as Leopold, and perished with him at Auschwitz. No further information has yet been established for either of their sons.

Ladislav Bartoš Zdeněk Bartoš Dana Bartošová Robert Wodák [2] Maximilian [Max]Wodák [2]

 

All the above persons were descended from Isak Wodák's eldest son, Maier [Marcus/Marek] Wodák. His fifth child, Simon Wodák was responsible for the other family line that extends to the present day. Born on 27 September 1857, he married Emilie ~~~, with whom he had seven children.

 

The first of these was Johanna [Anna] Wodáková born on  29 April 1885. She is known to have married a Vilém Vodák (1888) whose name suggests he may already have had connections to the family. They had no children and were both deported to Terezín on 4 April 1942 on the same transport as Johanna's uncle Hynek and his family, Selma and so many others, and then similarly on Transport Ap on 18 April 1942 to Rejowiec.

 

Second-born was Berta Wodáková on 7 March 1888 about whom we know very little. She was followed by Hynek Wodák [2] on 17 April 1889, for whom we have a similar lack of information.

 

The fourth of Simon and Emilie's children was Josef Wodák who was born on 8 November 1891. He was married to Kamila Steigrová and the pair became yet more tragic Wodák April 1942 statistics. So, too, were fifth-born Maximilian [Max] Wodák [1], born  20 April 1895 and his wife Terezie ~~~ (b1905).

 

Simon's sixth child, Kateřina Wodáková, born 9 July 1898, survived the Holocaust. She married Theodor Stodulka who was born 18 December 1889 in Novy Jicin, Moravia. The couple were living in Prerov, Czechoslovakia when their daughter Kamila Stodulková arrived on 2 August 1917. Simon's branch of the Wodák line was extended when she and husband Otakar Bouda became the parents of Jaroslav Bouda (c1946) and Marcela Boudová (c1960). Jaroslav and his wife ~~~Peterková have two daughters, Eva Boudová, (1976) and Alena Boudová (1982) who were each born in Olomouc, Czechoslovakia. Marcela married Józef Švec, with whom she, too, had two daughters, Jitka Švecová (1975) and Eliska  Švecová (1977). Jitka is the mother of Matyas born in Slovakia in 1997 and Patricia in Slovakia in 2000. Eliska has a son Dominick, born in Slovakia in 2002.

 

The seventh and youngest of Simon and Emilie's children was Ervin Wodák who was born on 19 March 1901. Ervin and his wife Hilda ~~~ were two more victims on Transport Ap to Rejowiec on 18 April 1942 which decimated the Wodák family.

 

 

Josef Wodák Kateřina Wodák Theodore Stodulka Kamila Stodulková Ervin Wodák

 

 

Wodák Alphabetical Names Index

Wodak Gallery

Brumovice Census Records

Deported Wodáks

Rudolf Charap in England

Eduard Charap

Charaps from Jezierne