While most of our blog posts center around joyous celebrations, we take some time to reflect on Yom Ha’Shoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, which fell on May 4-5. This day is particularly important for us here at Three Brothers Bakery since our founders all survived the Holocaust in Europe. We pause to reflect on the horrors endured during this period and remember those who were not as fortunate to emerge alive from the atrocities.

Last year, we provided some information about the experiences of Sigmund Jucker, one of the original three brothers, here on the blog. (He also spoke to the kind folks at Good Morning America.) This year, we would like to tell you a little more about the story of their sister, Janie.


Janie was a smart, attractive young woman whose strength and tenacity was on display from an early age. When the Jucker home had been taken, a Gestapo officer said they could have it back if she gave herself to him – she refused.  She had no idea what would happen if she refused, but she did so anyway – her first act of courage.

On another occasion, the Nazis took over the bakery. She was working in her family’s bakery for the Nazis (likely for no pay) and risked death when she stole bread from her own family’s bakery. She gave that bread to her next door neighbors, who had many children. After the war, she saw one of them in New York and found out the bread she gave them kept them alive.

One day, Janie hid in a room with many friends and family, as their home had been stolen by the Nazis. The officers were banging on the door. She told the others that someone had to answer the door because if they did not, they would come in and kill them all. It happened to her friend the day before, and Janie did not want it to happen to them. She was the brave soul who opened the door, and the officers took her, leaving the others behind. Janie was taken to a local prison where she awaited her fate.

The Nazis took her mother to a jail, but she was never able to see her. Their father, meanwhile, hid underneath the floorboards of a house for months since he was considered a prominent Jewish man in their town. Janie found out where he was located and went to see him as well, but the next day he was taken to Auschwitz because another person gave up his hiding place.

Unfortunately, Janie suffered the same fate of most Jews during the late 1930s and early 1940s. She wound up at the forced labor camp Klagenfurt, and fell into good favor with the head Jewish man, Bernard Wellner, ultimately marrying him. This allowed her to transfer into the office of the camp, where she was able to locate her three brothers and managed to have them all transferred to another camp, together.

Sigmund, Sol and Max were eventually freed from Klagenfurt by the Russians in 1945. After their liberation, the three of them found bicycles to get to a nearby village in order to find Janie. By the power of word of mouth, they eventually did. Janie, ever the watchful presence of the family, helped guide them all to a repatriation camp where they were able to secure passage to America after a year.

Even across the sea, Janie continued to play an integral role in shaping the destiny of the family and the bakery. While Sigmund and his brothers looked to move to Colorado upon arriving in the United States, Janie convinced them that Houston held the most opportunity for them. So, with Janie’s help identifying a sponsor, and after working for local grocery chain Henke & Pilot, they opened Three Brothers Bakery here over 65 years ago. The rest, as they say, is history.

We hope you join us in saluting the tenacity and endurance of survivors like Janie as well as in remembering the struggles so that future generations can never forget.