Seligman Swartzman Gillis Sandman Joffe Yachad Lederman Fleishman

Sonia GERBERAge: 61 years19151977

Given names
שײנע דברה גרבר
Sheina Devorah
Married name
Birth May 16, 1915 (Sivan 3, 5675)
Kovno, Russia (Lithuania) - קובנה, רוסיה-ליטא

Death March 26, 1977 (Nissan 7, 5737) (Age 61 years)
New York, New York State, USA - ניו יורק, ארה"ב

Book: ... And the Air Stood Still: Remembrances The album "... And the air stood still, Remembrances, Sonia Konichowski שײנע דברה May 16, 1915 - March 26, 1977 and Martin Konichowski משה ישראל December 25, 1913 - February 24, 1995" designed and edited by Linda Rubinstein;… Commissioned by their daughters, this book tells the life stories of Holocaust survivors Sonia and Martin Konichowski through an introduction, an interview, drawings, letters, and photographs. The materials were family photos and other paper documentation from Lithuania (some of it extraordinary like the pass Sonya’s father used to leave the Kovno ghetto each day); the transcription of an interview with 83-year-old Martin, in which he recalled his experiences as an armed resistance fighter (he escaped the ghetto and lived in the woods with a band of 100 partisans); compositions that Sonya wrote while studying English at Brooklyn College and some of her art work; and photos of their daughters and their families. I created a book that takes you from the pre-ghetto lives of Sonya and Martin; to their walk across the Alps to Milan, Italy; to birthday pool parties in suburban New Jersey.
YIVO News 2001 Kovno Room Dedicated December 3, 2000 was a milestone day at YIVO: the Kovno Room, and the original work “… And the Air Stood Still” created especially for that room, were dedicated. The dedication was made possible through the generous contributions of Cindy and David Stone and the Smart Family Foundation; and Rosina Abramson and Jeffrey Glen. The lives of Sonia Gerber and Martin Konichowski, the late parents of Leadership Forum Co-Chair Cindy Stone and YIVO Board member Rosina Abramson, are chronicled and celebrated in “… And the Air Stood Still.” Each guest received a copy of “Reflections of Sonia and Martin Konichowski,” which featured an interview with Martin and original writings by Sonia Gerber Konichowski. Plaques in honor and memory of the Kovno Jews were sponsored by Ellen, Lewis and Barbara Chesler; George, Lonni, Roni and Michael Epstein; Helen, Chaya and Steven Krieger and families; Rhona Liptzin, Jerrold Wank and families; Esther, Jonathan and Arnon Mishkin and families; Adina Cimet and Michael Singer; and Hela, Steven and Edward Telzak and families. The Stone children, Ben and Sam, together affixed the mezuzah to the Kovno Room doorpost. Cindy Stone thanked Linda Rubinstein and Melanie Marcus Greenberg for helping to design and edit the special book. Rosina Abramson urged everyone to understand the lost Jewish culture and to keep Yiddishkayt alive, goals seconded by Dr. Adina Cimet, Director of YIVO's EPYC Program, a child of a Kovno mother, who is raising her children to speak Yiddish. As Cindy and Rosina wrote in their essay, “Remembrances”: Though a tragic history and rich heritage bound us to our neighbors without need of words, many, including our father, did speak of the war years. On this subject our mother remained silent, though her voice rang out as a leader in the community… why…are we compelled to pay tribute to our parents? We honor our parents as well for the lives they lived before (the war) and created after…. Separately and together (our parents) fell down and got up, over and over, drawing on reserves of character and faith. As sisters, we stand in awe of the lives our parents wove for us…Rejecting fear, they inspired us to travel the more adventurous path, to stretch our abilities while reinforcing traditions at home and recreating Jewish communal life. Our understanding of these accomplishments only deepens over time. We are the daughters of Martin and Sonia Konichowski. The sisters reaffirmed, “We and our generation are the legacy of the Kovno Jews. We are honoring our parents’ lives and the Kovno promise to tell what happened. Now, we pass the story from our hands into yours.” Everyone who has sponsored a plaque in the Kovno Room has accepted the responsibility of remembering — and honoring — those who came before. They are helping YIVO keep the memory alive, teaching about the Jewish life and culture that once thrived there. Through the Kovno Room, and the commitment of those who are part of its commemoration, links are forged from the past, to the present and into the future.