Stamford, Conn.–Harry Weinroth, a Connecticut jeweler who opened his watch repair shop after emigrating from Germany in 1949, died Monday. He was 91.
Born in Sosnowiec, Poland, Weinroth was the second of six children of Leizor (Wajnrot) Weinroth and Sala Rachia Wilczyk.
Shortly after the Nazi occupation of Poland, Weinroth, then 13, volunteered to take his father’s place in a Nazi work camp.
This was the start of a six-year stretch in which Weinroth passed through 18 different Nazi concentration and death camps. With him through his entire ordeal was his lifelong friend Dave Fischel, whom he frequently credited with helping him survive.
Both of his parents and his four younger siblings were killed by the Nazis when all the Jews in his hometown were systematically murdered; only he and his older sister, Sofi, survived.
He was liberated from the Dachau concentration camp by the U.S. Army in April 1945 along with the man who would become his brother-in-law, Jack Glucksman.
Weinroth spent the next four years at a displaced person’s camp outside of Munich. There, he learned how to become a watchmaker and met his future wife, Luba Kerschenblat.
In 1949, he left Germany for the United States with Sofi, who by then had married Jack and had a son, Morris. The family settled in Stamford, Connecticut and within weeks, Weinroth opened Harry’s Watch Repair. The store is still open as Bedford Jewelers and is run by Weinroth’s children, Larry and Ruth.
In 1951, he was reunited with Luba and the pair married in New York City the following year.
Despite the extreme hardships of his youth, Weinroth was known as someone who loved to interact with people, whether his family, customers or waiters, and was always quick with a joke or self-deprecating quip.
He loved children, would tell anyone who would listen that he had the best wife in the world, and was a hard worker dedicating to providing for his family.
Weinroth is survived by his wife of 65 years, Luba; two sons, Larry of Stamford and Seth of Southborough, Massachusetts; one daughter, Ruth Adatto of Stamford; and four grandchildren, Derek, Marc, Jake and Nicole Weinroth.
He was preceded in death by his sisters, Sofi and Frieda, and his brothers, Srulek, Alek and Josel.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 100 Raoul Wallenburg Place SW, Washington, D.C., 20024-2126.