I appreciate where you are coming from. I am
cautious of approaching anything near slander or libel so here is what I am
comfortable commenting on...
First, a little of my background: I am
Moshe's cousin and Leiba was my great uncle. I knew Leiba throughout my
life. I am a trained attorney now working in corporate finance on
Wall Street. About a decade ago, Leiba began preparing for his eventual
demise. He asked me to become his personal representative and
In my opinion, Leiba was a hard-working man
who struggled, like most holocaust survivors, to make sense of what he lived
through. He spent years after the war taking sworn testimony and filing
affidavits from survivors and townspeople, particularly in the areas of
Lithuania and Latvia. He wanted to make sure that there would be a
historical record kept while peoples memories were fresh. He wanted to
make sure that history got its facts straight... That was the kind of man
that he was... He made sure that he self-funded over 2,000 pages of these
affidavits and his works that are filed in both English and Yiddish in the
Library of Congress and the New York Public Library. I believe that
he also has excerpts filed Yad Vashem in Israel and YIVO (Yiddish
When he got to the states, he became a civil
engineer for the city of New York while living in Queens. While working
and living in NY he had a son who's legal name is Moshe. He was
approximately 45 years old when he had his first and only son. I
would imagine that this was not the typical American household to grow up
Moshe tried hard to be Americanized. So early
on, while in junior high school and high school he began to also be known as
Moshe/Marshall is a very intelligent person.
However, Moshe/Rabbi Moshe/Marshall had very strong disagreements with his
father over religion. His father was not into Talmudic learning where
he would go point to point with his son. Basically, once Moshe/Marshall
molded his thinking, studies, philosophies, etc. towards
Messianic viewpoints father and son had more than a
little trouble connecting. I am not sure of the details as to how
this drift impacted Moshe's life but I do not think that Leiba was accepting of
the message, lifestyle or other actions of his son. That is why Leiba
asked me to become his personal representative and executor. I am not sure
which one felt they were more religious but I can tell you that the two had the
same stubbornness and desires to be interpreted as "right" while the other was
"wrong". This was particularly disturbing to watch with someone who
survived the holocaust.
With time, Moshe became more religious in his
pursuits. At that point he was basically disassociated from more of the
mainstream population and certainly from my family. I cannot tell you that
what he says, does or advocates is right, wrong or otherwise. I just don't
believe that religion is something that you have to impose upon others.
Its personal. So I choose not to engage him.
Second, I think it is very unfortunate that there
are people in this world who take advantage of others, particularly through
religion. Religion to me is a deeply personal spiritual journey that every
person and group must undertake. Hopefully the effort raises common
standards of decency, kindness, altruism, respect and consideration for all
people. Those that use religion to swindle, delude or otherwise hurt
others are criminals. Nothing less. They should be
Third, if this Trimm guy is as bad as you say, then
I support your effort to stop him from causing harm to others using religion as
a means for taking advantage. I will want to do my own investigation into
whether my cousin is aware of this person's background. Hopefully, there
is nothing nefarious going on between the two.
As to some of your other questions in your previous
I was at Leiba's funeral. Out of pure respect
in creating a final peace between father and son, I allowed Moshe to preside
over the funeral proceedings for his father. It was a respectful loving
service. Brian Samtur did preside as Cantor.
I make no statements about the legitimacy or
righteousness of these people. I merely can confirm the facts that I
witnessed at Leiba's funeral.
As to Leiba's wits in the last year or so before he
died... He was old. Up until about two years ago, Leiba was not only
sound but he was wholly independent. In the last year before he died,
his mind and health deteriorated badly. I made sure that he was well
provided for to the end.
Kathryn, I believe that what you are saying is true
and that you are acting out of concern. I will check out what I can from
this end and let you know what I find out. I hope that my cousin is
neither walking blindly into a malignant association nor acting as an agent of
any malignancy. Should I find out more I will correspond
I will send word to my cousin immediately to be
wary of this Trimm character.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, June 11, 2004 12:48
Subject: Re: For Catheryn Kern
Mitch, I am sorry if my questions or the
situation was upsetting to you. I know that he is a relative and having a
stranger ask questions of integrity can be upsetting. I did not intend to
upset you in any way. I have been honest in my motives and in my information.
My questions have been only for the sake of protecting others. I have
another question that I forgot to ask, if it is permissable. Moshe/Marshall
wrote in an article about his father. In it he stated that he was in a south
Florida nursing home, having lost his wits. This was written in 2002. Did
Leiba lose his "wits" at that time, or at any time? I read an article of an
interview just 2 years prior and he seemed very much in possession of his
faculties, but with the elderly, alot can change in a very short period of
Thank you, Kathryn
Mitch and Sharon wrote:
Dear Ms. Kern-
I have just received a telephone call from my
associate Mickey Klevansky. Mickey indicated that you had spoken at
some length regarding understanding better the integrity of my cousin
Marshall Koniuchowsky, aka, Moshe Koniuchowsky.
Marshall's dad was Leiba Koniuchowsky.
Leiba was my great uncle. I was recently asked to serve as executor of
the estate and personal representative for Leiba in his later
As I am not sure of the nature and context
of your inquiry regarding either Marshall or Leiba but would be happy
to be of assistance to you in seeking to better understand each
Please feel free to correspond with some
greater details so that I can be of more help.