Willie Weisberg
In the fall of 1945, Willie crossed the border into Germany and arrived in Regensburg where the Red Cross assigned him a room with a German family. After the war, he spent years searching for any sign of his family, only to find that no one had survived.
Each day he would go the Jewish Community Center where survivors and refugees gathered to share stories and to try and find out any information on their missing loved ones. Hearing details of the misery and unspeakable atrocities in the camps, a new sense of guilt plagued him. Willie wondered why he had survived yet his entire family perished. How had so many Jews succumbed at the hands of the Nazis yet he managed to survive as a Christian farmhand, a Ukrainian soldier, a Polish driver.
He faced only more questions, never the answers to what haunted him. Lonely and forlorn, Willie realized he had nothing left to live for in Europe and wanted the chance to start a new life, to leave behind his painful past. He spent the next four years living and working in Germany while waiting for sponsorship and the hope of emigrating to the United States. That chance finally came in the summer of 1949.
As the SS Holbrook approached the New York City harbor at night, Willie could not quite process the massive structures, the unfamiliar sights, sounds and smells that surrounded him. With only a few dollars in his pocket and wondering how he could possibly make a new life for himself in this strange far-away land, he thought of his father’s final blessing and knew he must fulfill the promise to carry on.
Two days later, Willie was on a train from New York to Cedar Rapids, Iowa where a local businessman had sponsored him to travel there and work in his shoe store. He was surprised and relieved to see rolling hills and farmland again. At the train station he was met by his new boss, Sam Cohen, and given a clean room in the YMCA. Despite the solitude, the language barrier and his anxiety at what might lie ahead, for the first time since he was a young boy, Willie felt hopeful.
He worked around the clock, determined to learn English and make something of himself. With the help of Sam and his new friend ‘Skinny’—the kind black man who shined shoes in the back of the store—Willie slowly learned the new language and was able to start saving small amounts of money. He had become Sam’s best salesman and after only six months in Cedar Rapids, Sam promoted Willie to manager of his shoe store in Kansas City, Missouri. After some time there, Willie made plans to go to California, so he bought his first car—a used Pontiac with a cow horn on the hood—and with his meager possessions he headed west.
While detouring south on the way to California, the car broke down in Houston, Texas. With little money to continue his journey, Willie Weisberg decided to stay put for awhile. He got a job right away selling shoes at a downtown department store called Foley’s and was doing well, but did not like his boss and felt the only way to really move forward was to have a business of his own.
It was 1952 and Willie, now going by the name Bill, was able to negotiate the purchase of a small café in downtown Houston called Kwik Snak, and he was in business. On the first of January, 1953, he legally changed his name to the very American-sounding William Jacob Morgan—William for Wolf, his birth name; Morgan for Margulies, his family name; and the middle name Jacob, a common Jewish name to quietly remind himself that he was a Jew.


Yossela Margulies
Stefan Chesnofski
Willie Weisberg
William Jacob Morgan

Born
Wolf 'Yossela' Margulies
Czerniejow, Ploand
May 18,1925

Parents
Yitzhak Marqulies d. in Holocaust
Ettel Gabirer Marqulies d. in Holocaust

Siblings
Sarah, d. in Holocaust
Solomon, d. Stanislawow Ghetto,1941
Bunya, d. in Holocaust
Byla, d. in Holocaust
Two other brothers, d. in Holocaust