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August 29, 2014  RSS feed

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Journalist to tell Genealogical Society about search for his roots in Poland

Kim Eisler visits Radomysl, Poland, Kim Eisler visits Radomysl, Poland, When journalist Kim Eisler went in search of his roots, his journey carried him to his grandparents’ hometown, Radomysl, Poland, and also to Auschwitz.

Eisler’s dad was born in the United States, but his dad’s parents and older sister and brother were born in Radomysl. Eisler’s dad identified some family mysteries that a trip to Poland might shed light on, but he died without ever getting there.

Eisler said he vowed to try to find the answers his father was seeking and in 2013 he traveled to Poland, visiting Radomysl, Krakow and Auschwitz. “I got there myself and discovered some grisly things, but at least I made it,” Eisler said.

Eisler will share his story with the Jewish Genealogical Society of Tampa Bay on Sunday, Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. The group will meet at Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services, 14041 Icot Blvd., Clearwater.

For years, Eisler was curious as to why his grandfather came to America in 1907, leaving behind his wife and two young children for seven years before bringing them here to join him. As an experienced investigative newspaper reporter who once worked for the Tampa Tribune, Eisler prided himself on knowing how to find answers to puzzling questions like this, so in a pre-Google world, he set out on a journey of discovery of his family’s history. His findings answered questions about relatives he knew, and they led to the discovery of many relatives he didn’t know he had.

The more answers he found, the more he realized that he had to travel to his ancestral home to complete his reconnection with his past. His dream of going to Radomysl was fulfilled with a journey that also took him to Krakow and to Auschwitz.

Despite the horrors of the Holocaust that were exemplified there, and amid his emotions, he also found reasons for hope that he will share with the Genealogical Society.

Apre-session social with refreshments and library access begins at 1:30 p.m. and Eisler will speak at 2 p.m.

Eisler now lives in Washington, D.C., and is author of Masters of the Game: Inside the World’s Most Powerful Law Firm.

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