The problem with researching my father's history is you never know where it will take you.
There are two newsletters for people researching family history in Czernowitz: the one associated with the website http://czernowitz.ehpes.com/ which concerns jewish family history and the one about the Bukowina from email@example.com which tends to be a bit more gentile. Of course they share information.
Recently someone on the Bukowina site was trying to find Romanian business directories online. I wrote a note saying where the Czernowicz directories were sitting online: http://czernowitz.blogspot.com. Directories exist for 1896, 1909, 1914 and now 1936 (the last before World War II). 1927 will follow in a year.
A further reply in the Bukowina newsletter produced a website that searched a whole load of online telephone or business directories for Poland up to the World War II, but also some from Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania etc. here: http://genealogyindexer.org/directories
As usual I typed in Julius Suknowicz with not much hope. To my shock, out popped three references to Suknowicz Jul. all at Łęczyńska 30, Lublin for 1928, 1929 and 1930.
After some downloads and further searching, it seemed that this Suknowicz had a food shop there. Now apart from the fact that we had been told he was in Brussels already in 1928, we had never heard of any mention of Lublin as a family connection.
But more checking on his registrations in Brussels revealed nothing earlier than 1931. So in theory it could be him. But why a food shop, when he was known to be a mechanic or metallurgist?
At that stage, I read Wikipedia on Lublin in the period. It seemed that
In the inter war years, the city continued to develop, its population grew, and important industrial enterprises were established, including the first aviation factory in Poland, the Plage i Laśkiewicz works, later nationalized as the LWS factory.
And from here:
Despite of unsuccessful beginning, the factory gained experience, and there were no major problems with future aircraft series. In 1924, the Polish government ordered a licence production of French light bombers Potez XV, and in 1925-1926, there were built 100 of them in Plage & Laśkiewicz. In 1928-1931 the works produced 150 of more modern Potez 25. In 1929-1930 the works produced 11 passenger planes Fokker F-VIIb/3m on Fokker licence, and 20 of own Fokker F-VIIb/3m bomber modification.
Why this interest in planes? One of the few facts about his wartime experience that we know directlu from him is that during the war, he worked (on forced labour) on German military airports in France, repairing planes.
So it's possible that he got his plane repair experience building planes in Lublin.
But is this history or invention?
It's interesting that Łęczyńska 30 still exists as an address, though I hardly expect it to be the same building.