Sylvia Indyg

Sylvia Indyg, 91, Holocaust Survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, Businesswoman and Old World Chef, passed away September 26, 2017 after a long illness. Sylvia was born in Grojec, Poland and at very young age, worked with her father, Hershel Bekier and mother, Cyna Bekier in their bakery and bar businesses in the Grojec City Square. When she was 13 years of age, the Nazi Army invaded Poland and occupied her home town along with the rest of Poland. At the age of 16, she was sent along with her parents and younger brother David to the Warsaw Ghetto with the rest of her town's 6,000 member Jewish population for eventual extermination. At its height, the Warsaw Ghetto imprisoned approximately 400,000 Jews confined into a 1.3 square mile area, all of whom were awaiting transport to the Treblinka death camp. The Warsaw Ghetto was a fortress from which almost no prisoners ever escaped. There she became reacquainted with her future husband, Morris Indyg whom she had met earlier when her aunt married Morris' older brother. At the Ghetto train station (the Warsaw Ghetto "Umschlagplatz"), while awaiting transport to certain death, Sylvia recognized a German officer whose home she had been ordered by the Nazis to clean days before and told Morris that she knew the German. Morris quickly befriended the Officer and together, both Sylvia and Morris avoided the boxcar transport, but were unable to additionally secure the release of her father, mother and younger brother from the train. Sylvia was separated from her family that day; the rest of her family was taken by train to Treblinka. She never saw or heard from any of them ever again. When the Warsaw Ghetto had been liquidated down to 40,000 Jews, the same German Officer helped both Sylvia and Morris escape the Ghetto. Sylvia and Morris then fled south to the farm of the Polish Catholic Gujik family who at the risk of their own lives and the lives of their children, hid them (along with Morris' brother Meyer Indyg, sister Pauline Muller and brother-in-law Alexander Muller) in the loft of their barn and sustained the five people in hiding with food and shelter for over 26 months until the liberation of Poland by the Russian Army. Thanks to the Gujik family and despite living in the extremely cold Polish winters without heat, all five survived the war and eventually resettled in America. After the war, Sylvia and Morris moved briefly to Germany where their son Hershel was born. As a result of a Special Executive Immigration Order of then President Harry S. Truman, Sylvia and Morris emigrated from Europe. They celebrated Hershel's first birthday on the ship to Ellis Island and settled in Kansas City, Missouri along with many other Holocaust survivors. They purchased the "M&M Bakery and Delicatessen" where their customers delighted in eating Sylvia's salads and deli sandwiches. Recognizing that most of Kansas City's Holocaust survivors had never had a funeral for their lost loved ones, Sylvia helped Morris organize the New American's Club of the Jewish Community Center of Kansas City, Missouri and in 1963 helped build the "Memorial to the Six Million Martyrs," one of the first monuments in America ever dedicated to the lost Jewish populations of Europe. The Monument was dedicated by President Harry S. Truman. Sylvia lit the first of six eternal lamps on the Monument with each lamp representing the loss of a million Jewish men, women and children. Her parents and brother's names are inscribed on the Monument which remains at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City to the present day. She and Morris then moved to Long Island, NY and purchased and operated the "Eden Roc" Bakery in Oceanside, NY. Later they moved to Vineland, NJ and with the help of friends and their children, purchased their first of what eventually became four hotels in the Atlantic City area. Again, Sylvia made her guests feel welcome and the business flourished, eventually selling a large portion of the business in 2008. Sylvia brought many of the Old World recipes to America and delighted in making Sabbath and other meals for her family and friends who delighted in sharing them. She was deeply loved and will be sorely missed. Sylvia was predeceased by her loving husband of 65 years, Morris Indyg and her son Hershel Indyg. She is survived by Hershel's children, Matthew Indyg and Marielle Indyg; her son Charles Indyg and his family, Barbarajean Reuben and Shayna Indyg; and her daughter, Rachel Ludwig and her family, David Ludwig, Joshua Ludwig, Jacob Ludwig and Seena Ludwig. A funeral service will be held Thursday at 2pm from Rone Funeral Service. Friends will be received after 1pm. Interment will follow in the Holocaust Survivors Section of Alliance Cemetery, Norma. ARRANGEMENTS are under the supervision of Rone Funeral Service, 1110 East Chestnut Avenue, Vineland, NJ 08360. Donations in memory of Sylvia may be made to: Beth Israel Congregation, 1015 East Park Avenue, Vineland, NJ where Sylvia was a previous member of its Sisterhood or The Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansa City, 5801 W. 115th Street, Overland Park, KS 66211. To send online condolences please visit our website at www.RONEFUNERALSERVICE.com