When Alven Ghertner met Ben Gertner

Alven Ghertner

Alven Ghertner

Alven Ghertner (1914-2012), my uncle, and Jean Fleisman Ghertner (1915-2005) were at a Miami hotel when and announcement was made “paging Mr. Ghertner (or perhaps Mr. Gertner)’. When Alven went to answer, there was another respondent, a Gertner (different spelling), either Benjamin or Abraham (who were brothers).

Jean Fleisman

Jean Fleisman

Fate had brought them together and it turns out they were second cousins. Benjamin (1915-2013) made his home in Columbus, Ohio.

Frank's note

Frank’s note

Benjamin Gertner was an optometrist in Columbus. Benjamin had information that explained the relationship between these 2nd cousins. Alven also attended a Bar Mitzvah in Columbus of one of the Gertner ‘children’ during the 50s. Benjamin had three brothers: Louis, Abraham and Irving. I’ve transcribed and scanned two of his letters ….

1) The following quote is from a letter Ben wrote to Alven 20 August 1972. I think Benjamin Gertner’s grandfather was Mordecai Ghertner and Alven’s Ghertner’s grandfather was Avraham Ghertner. Ben’s letters are the only written documentation of this relationship.

Bob Gertner (Mordecai) is my 1st cousin. his father and my father were brothers. our grandfather and your grandfather were brothers.

2) Eight days later on 28 August 1972, Benjamin penned another letter but this one was from Jerusalem and he told Alven that the Ghertner’s who came to the USA did quite well. And he gave further evidence of their cousin relationship.

All the Gertner’s originally spelled it Ghertner .. without the “h” in Roumanian, Michael says it’s pronounced

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