Certificate : Paper : Handwritten, Stamped : Ink : Beige, Purple, Grey, Black ; Ht: 8 1/4 in. x W: 5 3/8 in.
Other Title Information
May 2, 1941
1 page, single-spaced, on graph paper. Folded once vertically and once horizontally. Document is a certificate of recommendation for Tuwyas Berkowicz, written by the mayor of Os-Marsillon. It states that during his time in Os-Marsillon, Mr. Berkowicz has conducted himself irreproachably and proved his feelings of respect for France. He worked on multiple farms, and his employers were completely satisfied. Narrative: Tuwja (Tuwyas, Tuwia, Tuvia, Tobias) Bercowicz (Berkowicz) was the father of the donor, Jack (Jacques) Berkowicz. Born in Vilna, Tuwyas immigrated to Belgium in 1933 and when Belgium fell to Nazi Germany in 1940, he fled to France, hoping to reach Morocco by boat from Marseilles. The donor's mother, Chana (Chane, Annie) (Trompeter) Berkowicz, born in Mielec, Poland, was living in Vienna, Austria with her parents and two sisters. In 1938, after the German annexation of Austria, the family fled, driving to France via Belgium. Tuwyas and Chana met in Lyon, France in 1941 and married. Their daughter Dorothée was born in 1942. The family attempted to flee France by boat in Marseilles, but were stopped by Vichy police. They fled Marseilles and went south, into the Pyrenees region, living in various small vilages. Their son Jack was born in Bernac-Dessus in 1944. The family survived the war and returned to Brussels from 1945-1948, and then immigrated to Canada with the help of the American Joint Distribution Committee. They were sponsored by Tuwyas' sister Luba, who was already living in Halifax. The Berkowicz family settled in Montreal.