Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New York Times Blog Article on Nazi Photo Album

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

GeneaNet website has a link go to: http://tinyurl.com/449h6vq
original url:
http://genealogyblog.geneanet.org/index.php/post/2011/06/Mysteries-of-a-Nazi-Photo-Album.html
to a recent --June 21st New York Times Lens (Photography) Blog article on the mysteries of a Nazi Photo Album--photography by Franz Kreiger who obviously had access to Nazi Leaders as well as victims. There are many photographs posted and some may be well known- at least one is in Steven Spielberg's Jewish Film Archive in Yad Vashem. Some photographs include towns/cities included in a convoy to the eastern front of WWII--
For the story and accessing the photographs go to:
http://tinyurl.com/42ggzoh
original url:
http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/21/mysteries-of-a-nazi-photo-album/
Follow-up to the story and more photos of cities including the destruction
of Minsk and nazis are able to be seen at:
http://tinyurl.com/3sx74k3
original url:
http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/22/world-war-ii-mystery-solved-in-a-few-hours/

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Director-at-Large
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

Iasi, Romania - Seventy Years Later

From the Jewish Press by Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran


...Iasi was not the first, nor the last, of the pogroms visited upon Jewish communities throughout Europe during those horrible years. But Iasi was the community where my father was chief rabbi. Iasi was his community and the community that, after three days of terror during which he was shot in the leg, called on him for leadership as never before.

The Jews had been in Iasi for over four hundred years in June of 1941. Established in the sixteenth century, the community was highly developed religiously and culturally, as comfortable with its chassidism and its Zionism as it was with its Yiddish theater.

Between 1930 and 1940, the Jewish population grew from approximately 30,000 to over 50,000. On the one hand, it was a perfect, inviting Jewish community. On the other, Iasi was anything but inviting. It was known for its virulent anti-Semitism. Romanian fascists and anti-Semitic students had visited pogroms on the Jewish community in 1899 and 1923.

The Romanian government never honored its obligation of the 1919 Versailles Conference to grant Jews citizenship. Jews were never safe there. But for all the pain and hardship the community had endured, nothing prepared it for what was to come on June 28, 1941. It was then, as the Axis prepared for war against the Soviets, that the horror began.

There had been rumors circulating for days, weeks, and months. False rumors promulgated by the authorities, lies that sought to deflect blame from the authorities and place it on the Jews for the difficulties of the war. Outlandish lies so preposterous as to be unimaginable. Lies that accused Jews of helping the Soviets in their bombardment of the city. Lies accepted and embraced in the non-Jewish community.

Like the electricity in a perfectly blue sky when a thunderstorm approaches, there was no doubt what was coming. Non-Jews protected themselves from the inevitable violence by displaying signs on their homes reading, "Here live Christians, NOT Jydani!"

It was coming. It seemed that all Iasi held its breath, awaiting its arrival. And arrive it did. With a vengeance.

The facts:

A rocket was launched to signal the start. The rocket's flare had not faded before death and destruction was visited upon everyJewish district in the city. The attacks had been timed to coincide with the movement of Romanian and German troops toward the Russian front.

"The Jews are firing on the Romanian Army!"

The troops, who had been moving silently forward, suddenly started firing at the houses from which they believed they were being attacked. Panic broke out.

A "thorough" investigation was ordered into the shooting of the troops. Though not a single soldier was found to have been killed or wounded, Jews were randomly arrested throughout the night and taken to a number of collection centers - most of them to police headquarters.

   Jews were dragged from their homes, from their beds, from their families, and brought to the courtyard of police headquarters. By dawn on that Sabbath morning, more than two thousand Jews had been rounded up. By noon, the number was six thousand.

June 29, 1941. Duminica Aceia. That Sunday. The bloodiest day in the history of the Jews of Romania.

With the mass of Jews corralled into the courtyard of police headquarters, soldiers opened fire, killing several hundred even as other soldiers beat individual Jews to death.

Did the wails of the defenseless victims elicit the slightest bit of mercy in the hearts of the soldiers? No. Their hearts were closed to the cries of the innocents.


Not just the soldiers. The community had exploded in an outburst of hatred and evil. Even as the massacre was taking place at police headquarters, a pogrom raged like a wildfire throughout the city, striking terror in every Jewish home.

Some 12,000 Jews were arrested and shot outside police headquarters. Some 4,300 more were stuffed into closed cargo vans and cattle cars. Some 2,650 died of thirst or suffocation. It could be argued that those who perished were the lucky ones. The survivors suffered excessive physical and mental trauma that would torment them throughout their lives.

So began the Romanian chapter of Hitler's Final Solution.

I.C. Butnaru, in The Silent Holocaust, records that during a cabinet session on July 8, 1941, Antonescu proclaimed that his government's policy regarding the Jews did not trouble him: "It makes no difference to me that 'we'll go down in history as barbarian.' The Roman Empire performed a series of acts of barbarism according to our present standards, and nevertheless it was the most magnificent political establishment. There has not existed a more favorable moment in our history. If it is needed, shoot all of them with machine guns."

The savagery was so brutal that even Hans Frank, the German governor general of Poland, seemed to view the Iasi massacre with some distaste. "Has anyone ever seen a massacre of Jews in the streets of a German town? We use the art of surgery, not of butchery!"


Click here for the entire article.

(USA) Georgia State Archives to Reduce Days Open to Two Per Week

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

Many states and countries are experiencing severe budget cuts which impact the state libraries and archives. The latest, is the Georgia State Archives to close additional days and effective July 1, 2011 will only be open two days a week for public research: Fridays and Saturdays 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. To read the announcement go to: http://www.sos.georgia.gov/archives/

hank you to Dick Eastman and the Eastman Online Genealogy Newsletter for alerting us to this.

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Director-at-Large
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

New Deputy Archivist of the US Appointed

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

US Archivist David Ferriero has appointed Debra Steidel Wall as the Deputy Archivist of the US, effective July 3, 2011.

At the time of writing this posting a press release was not yet posted to the National Archives website http://www.archives.gov/

Ms. Wall brings to her assignment nearly 20 years of experience at the National Archives. She has served as the agency's Chief of Staff since 2008. She previously served as Senior Special Assistant to the Archivist from 2005-2007, and before that as Director of the Lifecycle Coordination Staff, where she led staff responsible for developing policies, processes, systems and standards relating to the life cycle of records. She was the initial manager of the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) database and other information technology projects, was Deputy Director of the Information Resources Policy and Projects Division, and worked as an archivist in the Motion Picture, Sound, and Video unit. Debra joined NARA in 1991 as an archivist trainee and holds an undergraduate degree in history and government from Georgetown University, and a graduate degree in film from the American University.

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Director-at-Large
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Washington Post Article on Argentinean Gauchos Tradition Fading

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen
For those researching their Argentina ancestors with roots in Eastern Europe and the Baron De Hirsh colony in Argentina you may find this article on the gaucho tradition fading of interest. http://tinyurl.com/3eq4t4h
full url:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/jewish-gaucho-tradition-fades-in-argentina/2011/06/20/AGUSBoiH_story_1.html


Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Director-at-large
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

JewishGen Basics: JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR)

This is the second article in the JewishGen Basics series. See last month's article on the JewishGen Family Finder (JGFF) here.
Although perhaps a bit depressing to discuss, the topic of burial records and gravestones are frequently very important when doing research into Jewish genealogy. Indeed, while finding gravestones of your relatives can be important for any genealogist, they are even more important for Jewish genealogists due to the information frequently present on Jewish gravestones. Jewish gravestones can sometimes provide the missing link one needs to connect different families together, in particular because the name as written in Hebrew on graves is usually written in patrilineal fashion – NAME son/daughter of FATHER's NAME. As such, finding the grave of someone you are researching can take you back one more generation. When trying to identify what happened to all the siblings of an ancestor, for example, the father's name on the grave can help you confirm whether the gravestone you found is of a sibling or just someone with the same name.

In some cases, the gravestone will also have information on the person's town of birth, the person's profession, and whether a man was a Cohen or Levi. Sometimes this information is not even portrayed in the text on the gravestones, but in symbolic art, such as the hands of the Cohen held as is done during the Birkat Cohanim prayer. For more information on some of the symbols used on gravestones, see my article on Jewish Gravestone Symbols.

One thing to keep in mind when looking at gravestones is to realize that not everything you find written on a gravestone is necessarily, well, written in stone. For example, my great-great-grandfather's gravestone wrote that he was from Reisha (Rzeszow) and indeed he did live there for many years, but if you took it to mean that he was born in Reisha, you'd be searching fruitlessly for a long time. In other cases the dates on a gravestone, in particular any listed birth dates, can frequently be wrong. Even the date of death can be wrong (don't forget that gravestones were generally erected a year after the death).

JewishGen hosts a very important database for those trying to find Jewish graves, called the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (or JOWBR for short). The JOWBR database contains more than 1.5 Million records of graves worldwide. You can view a list of all the cemeteries that make up the database.

The JOWBR database includes many graves that no longer exist. Many Jewish cemeteries were destroyed in Europe by the Germans (and their allies) during WWII, and ten of thousands of graves were destroyed by the Jordanians on the Mt. of Olives between 1948 and 1967, yet when records of these graves that were destroyed exist on paper somewhere, JOWBR tries to integrate these historical records as well.

For example, in the case of the Mt. of Olives, a book was published in 1913 which contained information on over 8,000 graves on the Mt. of Olives, many of which were destroyed subsequently by the Jordanians. That book was turned into a database by the Israel Genealogical Society (IGS) and those graves with names were later integrated into JOWBR as well, so even if you were not aware of the IGS database, you would still find the results in JOWBR.

One important thing to know about the JOWBR is that it does not accept individual grave submissions, but rather only accepts whole cemeteries or cemetery sections. If, for example, a local Jewish genealogical society wants to submit information on local Jewish cemeteries to the database, they need to create a list of all the graves in each cemetery they want to submit. There is no way to submit individual gravestone information. In this way, the database is very different from general gravestone database sites like FindAGrave.com (see my article on FindAGrave.com here) and BillionGraves.com which revolve around individual gravestone records. This is done to ensure the quality of submissions and ensure that no duplicate submissions are made.

So how does it work?

Start by going to the JOWBR page, which should look something like this:

JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR)
From this page, you can search by surname, given name, given name of the father or mother, town name, etc. but keep in mind that not all records will have all the fields filled in (in fact most will not) so if you search with too many fields, you will not get any results. If a surname search doesn't work, try searching by first name and town. You don't need to be logged in to JewishGen to search the JOWBR, but when you get a list of results (broken down by which regions they are in) you will not be able to see the actual results with the names of those found without being logged into JewishGen.

Searching the database will return a list of regions where results were found (similar to other JewishGen searches), with the number of results shown for each region. In the US a region would be a state, while in Europe it might just be a metro area. Each regional set of results has a button to the right that you can click on which will return the actual results with names, dates, etc. As mentioned, to see the actual results you will need to be logged into JewishGen. If you are not logged in, you will be given the opportunity to log in and then be shown the results.

What information you find depends obviously on the quality of the information submitted. In many cases the gravestones are worn, partially buried, or damaged, and cannot be fully read. You may only have a first name, or only a last name, etc.

Other Related Sites

I want to add that while 1.5 million graves is a lot, JOWBR is not the only database out there with Jewish graves. Indeed there are many other smaller efforts that exist for specific regions, or even single cemeteries.

One of the largest of these alternate sites is JewishData.com which has over 500,000 records across the United States and some other countries like Canada, Germany and Israel. Records in the US come from CA, CT, IL, NJ, NY, OR, PA, VT and WI. Although JewishData.com is a commercial site, searches are free. If you find a match, then you can buy a 3 month subscription so you can access the records, or find a library or musuem that has access to the site (such as the Center for Jewish History in NY City).

In England, the web site CemeteryScribes.com and its sister site SynagogueScribes.com have burial records which are searchable.

In Israel, the Mt. of Olives has its own project to restore the cemetery and create an online index to all the graves. On www.mountofolives.co.il there is a searchable database which is usable in English, Hebrew and Russian. Note that this database is not nearly complete yet, and it has strange technical requirements – basically Internet Explorer on Windows with other add-ons. Hopefully they will make the database more accessible in the future. Some cemeteries, or more usually the Hevre Kadisha (burial societies) that service them, offer online searchable databases of graves. One good example of this is the Chevre Kadisha for Tel Aviv which covers six cemeteries in the Tel Aviv area. The site is available in Hebrew, English, French and Russian, although if you have trouble guessing the English spelling of a name (since the names are all originally in Hebrew) you can try using Stephen Morse's English to Hebrew Transliteration tool to output the Hebrew and then copy and paste it into the Chevre Kadisha site. For more information on Israeli cemetery records, see the Israel Genealogical Society's page on Burials in the State of Israel.

Throughout the United States there are smaller databases available, and they pop up all the time so even if you've tried to search in the past, you should take a new look. One good resource for finding online cemetary databases in the US is the DeathIndexes.com web site. Using Google you can search the site (which has no built-in search) for Jewish records by searching Google for:

site:http://www.deathindexes.com/ Jewish

This will search for the word Jewish on all the pages of the site. If you're looking for a cemetery in a specific state, then add the name of the state to the search. I wrote about using this site, and a cemetery database I found on it from South Carolina in an article on my blog called People lie, and so do documents, where I use the records in the cemetery database to help confirm the correct date that someone died (since two separate obituaries listed different dates).

Just last week an article was published in the New Haven Independent newspaper on efforts to maintain Jewish cemeteries in New Haven, CT and to create a searchable database online.

Sometimes Jewish cemetery information can take less usual forms, such as the blog Lomza Virtual Jewish Cemeteries which contains photos and information from two cemeteries in Lomza, Poland. Another blog called Kevarim.com has information on the grave sites of famous rabbis. The Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon has a PDF file of burials are available on their web site.

Last but not least, the IAJGS International Jewish Cemetery Project is a web site that collects information on every Jewish burial place worldwide (but not the actual burials). You won't find names of people buried in the locations, but if you want information on specific cemeteries, or want to find out what cemeteries exist or did exist in a particular town, this is a great web site.

Contributing to JOWBR

If you are involved in collecting information on Jewish graves, such as digitizing the burial records for a local cemetery, you should consider contributing the information to the JOWBR database to insure others searching for their family members will be able to find the information on their relatives. For information on submitting data to the JOWBR database, see their Submitting Data to JOWBR page.

If you search through the list of cemeteries and find that a local Jewish cemetery (or cemetery section) near you is not listed, consider organizing a project to photograph and create an index to all the graves and contributing them to JOWBR. I recommend doing this under the auspices of your local Jewish genealogical society.

Philip Trauring is the author of Blood and Frogs: Jewish Genealogy and More, a site where you can find out about general genealogy techniques and how to apply them to your Jewish genealogy. Philip can also be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/bloodandfrogs and on Facebook at facebook.com/jewishgenealogy.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

More than 25,000 Canadian Jewish Records Online

More than 25,000 database records of the Canadian Jewish community dating back to the 18th century are now available online in a readily searched format.


Click here to read more from The Canadian Jewish News.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Jews of Arizona

Posted by Ann Rabinowitz
 
Happily, Irish genealogist David Lentin, sent me a very unique document “New Frontiers:  Jewish Pioneers in the Arizona Territory" which represents a curriculum packet in Arizona Jewish History which was developed by the Arizona Jewish Historical Society.  

What makes it so special is that despite the educational questions for the students, it is replete with fascinating photographs of Arizona Jews.  The reason that David sent me this document is that part of his family is pictured in it (see photo above) of the wedding of Lillie Solomon and Max Lantin in 1904.  Lantin, who was born December 22, 1876, in Prussia, had arrived in America around 1886, and then had come west from New Haven, CT.

Many different aspects of Jewish Arizona are discussed as follows and they are accompanied by photographs taken from the document.  From 1854, when there was a minuscule population, through the growth years after gold was discovered in 1862, to now, when Arizona has grown to encompass 106,100 Jewish residents, the state has had a remarkable history of a Jewish presence in the following areas.

MiningThere were quite a number of mines which had Jewish ownership including the Longfellow  Mine, a copper mine and smelter in Clifton, AZ.  It was owned by Henry Lesinsky, whose merchantile empire included stores in such places as Las Cruces, Silver City and Solomonville.
 

BankingAn early bank in Arizona was the Gila Valley Bank and one can see that the Solomon family was involved in its operation which was located in Solomonville, AZ.  A link to the memories of Isador Elkan (I.E.) Solomon can be found by clicking here.


Merchants and the CityOne of the early merchants in Arizona was the Goldwater family whose store is seen below and whose most famous member was the politician Senator Barry Goldwater, who was a 1964 Presidential candidate:

SchoolSchools developed slowly in the Arizona territory and then became more organized when it became a state.  Seen below is a certificate of graduation of a Jewish student, Leon S. Jacobs, June 1, 1900.
Family and Social LifeMany social institutions developed within the Jewish community, but as ever the life cycle events of the community kept them together.  Such an event was the 1912 Goldberg-Metzler wedding.

This gives a brief overview of what is available in this document.  Further, there is a tremendous amount of books, articles and web sites devoted to information on the Jews of Arizona with which to enhance your knowledge.  For those wanting more detailed information, a few other links are provided below:
In addition, much more is available on the Jews of Arizona including data on the crypto-Jews which one can find easily enough by “Googling” that topic on the Internet.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

NYPD Celebrates 100 Years Of Jewish Chaplaincy

From the Jewish Press by Elliot Resnick
"It's important not to forget where we come from, and who paved the way for where we are today," said Detective Paul Daniel of the New York Police Department.
About two years ago, Daniel was walking through the police burial grounds in the Cypress Hills Cemetery in Queens, and noticed the gravestone of Rabbi Abraham Blum, the NYPD's first Jewish chaplain. "I thought to myself," Daniel recalled, "wouldn't it be nice to honor a family member of each of the two previous Jewish chaplains?"
Finding a descendant of Rabbi Blum proved harder than expected - it took Daniel close to a year to track down a grandson. But last week, Daniel's efforts paid off when 250 people gathered at 1 Police Plaza in Manhattan to mark a century of Jewish chaplaincy in the NYPD and to celebrate and honor the department's three Jewish chaplains: Rabbi Blum (1911-1922), Reverend Isidore Frank (1922-1966) and Rabbi Dr. Alvin Kass (1966-present).
Click here to read the entire article.

New Project: Des, Hungary Yizkor Book

Project Synopsis
This project is being initiated in order to fund the translation of the 684 pages, two volume set, yizkor books. This set has the Hungarian title “Dés..., Bethlen, Magyarlápos, Retteg, Nagyilonda és környéke”, which translates to “Des..., Bethlen, Magyarlapos, Retteg, Nagyilonda and vicinity” It was published in Tel Aviv in 1970. Des, or Dej as it is known in Romanian, is part of the community that is currently part of the Transylvanian region of Romania.

Key Audiences
Jewish genealogists seeking to trace their roots in Des or the vicinity constitute the primary audience for the material. However, the material has the potential to be of broader appeal to scholars interested in the region or specializing in Jewish history and society.

Project Importance
Yizkor books are unique sources of information on once vibrant towns, primarily in central and Eastern Europe, whose Jewish populations were destroyed in the Holocaust. Written after World War II by émigrés and Holocaust survivors, yizkor books contain narratives of the history of the town, details of daily life, religious and political figures and movements, religious and secular education, and gripping stories of the major intellectual and Zionist movements of the 20th century. The necrologies and lists of residents are of tremendous genealogical value, as often the names of individuals who were taken to extermination camps or died in the forests are not recorded elsewhere.

The Jews of Des and the surrounding area reflected the rise and decline of Hungarian Jewry, as a whole. In 1944 the Jewish population accounted for almost 25% of the entire city. In 2008, there were a handful of Jews living in Dej, Romania. Currently, there is little information available to the English speaking world regarding Des or its surrounding Jewish community. With the destruction of the Jewish community in 1944, the information in this yizkor book constitutes much of its documented history. This project will result in the creation of the primary English language source of information for anyone doing research on the town and its Jewish community.

Project Description
As funds become available, all Hungarian and Hebrew pages will be translated into English. To accomplish that JewishGen will hire a professional translator. The project coordinator will select the order in which the chapters will be translated and will work closely with the translator to ensure a grammatically correct and idiomatic translation. Specific tasks the project coordinator will perform include proofreading, editing, and preparing the work for submission to the Yizkor Book Project. The resulting translation will be posted on the Yizkor Book Translations site at: http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/dej/dej.html
The estimated cost of the project is $15,000. Donations for this project be made online by clicking here

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

JewishGen is now on Twitter

You can now follow JewishGen on Twitter. Please visit www.twitter.com/JewishGen to follow us.



Monday, June 20, 2011

Ancestry.com Has New Historic Movie Studio Archives On-Line

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

Ancestry.com (a subscription site) has launched online records of the original Hollywood film studios, which profile the superstars of silent cinema at the beginning of the 20th century. Digitized in partnership with the California State Library (where the original ledgers are held), the records are now fully searchable online for the first time by name, birthplace and date of birth.
Go to: http://tinyurl.com/3snpf3t
original url:
http://corporate.ancestry.com/press/press-releases/2011/06/silent-cinema-stars-private-information-revealed-in-historic-studio-archives-now-available-online-at-ancestry.com/

Two directories to the actors, directors, producers, and technicians of the motion picture industry for the years 1919 and 1921 are contained in this database. Each directory has a biographical section with information about the listed individuals such as their name, birth date and place, a brief career bio sometimes including educational history, a physical description (for the actors) or special skills description (for production crew), and membership in clubs, unions, or other organizations. Many entries include addresses and some photographic portraits are featured. All are listed in an index at the back of each directory.
http://search.ancestry.com/search//db.aspx?dbid=2160

Copies of the original files may be obtained from:
California State Library, California History Section
900 "N" Street, Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 94237-0001
Email: cslcal@library.ca.gov
Website: California State Library, History
Section:http://www.library.ca.gov/calhist/

I have no affiliation with Ancestry.com and am noticing this collection only
for the genealogical interest of the readers.

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Director-at-Large
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

AARP Discover Your Roots Contest

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

The AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) has announced a "Discover Your Roots" sweepstakes open to those who are at least 45 years old and legal residents of the US 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The Sweepstakes began on May 24, 2011 at 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time ("ET") and ends on August 15, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The AARP and genealogists Megan Smolenyak are sponsoring the contest with great prizes including five hours of private consultation with Megan, signed copies of Megan's books : "Who Do You Think You Are and Trace Your Roots with DNA, a one year subscription to Ancestry.com and at $1,000 gift card!

To enter the sweepstakes go to : http://tinyurl.com/3h422s6
Full url:
http://aarp.promo.eprize.com/sweepstakes07/?cmp=RDRCT-GENESWP_APR27_011

The official rules are located at:
http://aarp.promo.eprize.com/sweepstakes07/rules.html

You will have to register on the AARP website- its free and takes only moments.

I have no business affiliation with AARP nor Megan. I am a member of the AARP. I am posting this only for informational purposes.

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Director-at-Large
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

Secret Russian Archive Revealed on Eve of 70th Anniversasry of Operation Barbarossa

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

A secret Russian archive has revealed how thousands of Soviet citizens collaborated with Nazi invaders during WW II. The documents were retrieved from the files of the KGB and shows how many viewed the Germans as "Christian liberators"-and their own masters as godless Communists. When the Third Reich opened up 470 churches in North western Russia and reinstated priests driven from their pulpits by Stalin,the clergy in turn cooperated closely with SS death squads betraying Jews, Communist officials
and partisan resistance groups.

The archive, assembled by Professor Boris Kovalyov of the University of Novgorod, undermines the one-dimensional nationalist view of Soviet history.

The Nazis marched into Russia on July 22, 1941, the campaign was called Operation Barbarossa--which has known as the biggest military campaign in history.

The article does not mention as to when or if the documents will be available to the public.The article appears in the UK Daily Mail

Thank you to Genealogy News-weekly edition from Genealogy Today for posting the link and alerting us to the article .

To read more: http://tinyurl.com/6bsvfu5
original url:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2003413/Soviets-supported-Christian-crusader-Nazis-World-War-II.html#ixzz1Pjya7IeI


Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Director-at-Large
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

Letter shows first-known desire by Hitler to remove Jews

The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center unveiled on Tuesday a signed letter by Adolf Hitler that contains what is believed to be his earliest transcribed calls for the removal of Jews from Germany.

Purchased from a private dealer for $150,000 and presented at a press conference in New York City, the founder of the Jewish human rights organization Rabbi Marvin Hier said that the letter is "one of the most important documents in the entire history of the Third Reich."
Please click here to read the entire article.

1935 Maccabiah Sports Highlight

Posted by Ann Rabinowitz
Second Maccabiah Games, 1935
(courtesy Wikipedia)
Sometimes, you can find quite interesting tidbits about Jewish sporting events which helps enhance your genealogical research. One such example is an article I found in the April 11, 1935 issue of The Jerusalem Post which was located on the Jewish Historical Newspapers site.

It featured a story about the Second Maccabiah Games which were held in Tel Aviv, April 2-10, 1935. The games attracted approximately 1,250 participants from 28 countries from around the world in what turned out to be the last Maccabiah Games prior to the beginning of World War II.

The topic of the story was the football (soccer) match pitting Germany vs Lithuania held on April 10, 1935. Much excitement was generated as the Lithuanian team was accused of foul play. They were exonerated as it was said they were merely suffering from "nervousness". The end result was that Germany beat the Lithuanians 2-1.

The interesting part of the article was the naming of the team players, although none of them were identified by first names. Here are the names given:

Germany
Pal, Schwartz, Cohen, Weisz, Hersh, Sezinsky, Rafe, Falik, Grinfeld, Sattler, Grinbaum. Both Grinfeld and Grinbaum earned one goal apiece.

Lithuania
Jolk, Esersky, Miselsky, Helaban, Simens, Yob, Schloshberg, Rosenstein, Baron, Wulfowitz, Bernstein. Wulfowitz earned one goal.


Another footballer in the 1935 Games who was not mentioned in the article was Samuel Zauber (1901-1986). He was an outstanding goalkeeper on the Romanian team representing his local club, Maccabi Bucuresti. He had played in the first FIFA World Cup in Uruguay in 1930 and the Balkan Cup in 1931.

The Maccabiah games afforded a number of participants the opportunity to stay in Israel as illegal emigrants despite the restrictive British regulations on aliyah. In fact, the entire Bulgarian Delegation of 350 people including their wind orchestra which performed at the opening and the final ceremonies of the Games remained in Israel afterwards. Numerous other athletes remained in Israel, particularly in the Haifa area. Click here for more information.

In addition, you can find more detailed information on the 1935 Maccabiah Games by clicking here.

An interesting article for those who wish to enhance their knowledge of the environment in which sport was played in pre-State Israel was "Sport and Politics in Palestine, 1918-48: Football as a Mirror Reflecting the Relations between Jews and Britons" by Haggai Harif and Yair Galily.  

Friday, June 17, 2011

Zeizmariai, Lithuania Internal Passport Records

Posted by Howard  Margol
The Zeizmariai Internal Passport Records,  1919-1940 - a total of 1,311 records in all - have just been received and are  available to contributors. To contribute the qualifying amount - $50.00 -  please click here.
Scroll down to Project Description and Needs,and choose Lithuanian Internal Passports. You can use your credit card as the site is secure.
If  you do contribute, please notify me so I can send you the records.
 

Howard  Margol
Founder - Coordinator - Internal Passport Project

Thursday, June 16, 2011

In the News: JewishGen Helps Reunite Family After 90 Years

According to the Jewish Chronicle, it was a search on JewishGen in 2004 that led to the family reunion.


Click here to read the entire article.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Zborow Births

Guest post by Michael Moritz 

Last year, I looked through the LDS microfilm for Zborow births, 1840-1864 and wrote down all entries for the surname Roth.
First, I'll mention my family.  Anna Stricker was born in Zborow in 1896, the daughter of Chaim Israel Stricker and Feige Roth. Feige was the daughter of Wolf and Keile Roth. Wolf and Keile had at least Isaac, Sucher and Feige Roth as children.
 Now I'll share all the entries:
Surname ROTH on LDS Microfilm: Zborow births, 1840-1864
YEAR MONTH DAY CHILD FATHER MOTHER 
1840 July Eljakim Abraham Aron Chana Chawe 
1840 October SaraAbrahamMalka Leja
1843 July Moses IserKesselJette
1843 September 18LazerSacherDebore Witte
1844 November 15ChaimAbrahamMalki Leja
1845 February 22BasseMosesFeige
1846 January 3Mendel WolfSzajaLane
1846 January 6SalomonSacherDebora Witte
1847 November 3NachmanSacherDebora Wittie
1849 February 9MarjemMosesFeige
1849 July13LejaAbrahamEttie
1849 December 10Sara Riwka/RoseSanwelChaja
1851February 15Malka SaraKesselJitte
1852 April 23MendelSemwelChaja
1852 October 9LeibOscarMalka
1853 September 17FischelKesselJutte
1854 January 19SalomonAbrahamEtie
1854 March 14SruelSusskindRebeka
1854 December 12MichlPinchasChapie
1855 September 28Freunde?WolfHene
1857 September 8Zizsel LeibSimcheTaube
1858 December 22AbrahamSacherDebora Wittie
1859 November 21EsterBerlBasie
1861 January 25SchulemBerlBassie
1861 March 15Isaac LeibEljukimRifke
1862 April 24HirschIsrael JacobSirke
1863 August 14Hirsch Salomon?Jan Rebeka
1864 January 25KasielJosephRysie

I hope this is helpful.

Michael Moritz

Jews of Crete

Though Crete's current Jewish community is extremely small, the island's Jewry dates back to the Roman era. 

Click here to read the entire article from the Jewish Exponent.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Remnant of the Past: Suriname

Posted by Ann Rabinowitz

SURINAME
(Courtesy Geology.com)

Once upon a time, long long ago, there was a tropical paradise located on the Atlantic Ocean in South America inbetween what is now Guyana and French Guiana.  It is called Suriname and it was a colonial possession of the Dutch.  What makes it of interest to Jewish genealogists is that it had a substantial Jewish population that was quite prominent with a significant agricultural presence in sugar, cacao, and cotton production.  They were known for their self-ruled village of Jodensavanne and for the many Jewish institutions such as several synagogues, cemeteries, and schools that they nurtured.

 
NEVE SHALOM SYNAGOGUE, PARIMARIBO, SURINAME(Courtesy of http://www.suriname-jewish-community.com/)

When reading about the Jewish presence in the country, I saw mention of a burial of a Jewish child, David Rodrigues Monsanto, who had been killed in a slave rebellion.  This pricked my interest as I knew that Monsanto was a name not only known in Suriname, but it belonged also to the well-known Monsanto family of New Orleans.  In fact, another David Monsanto, was considered the first Jew to settle in New Orleans, Louisiana.  His family made a significant contribution to the City as well as the Jewish community.

Lingering on this topic on the Internet, I found that a remarkable book had been published in 2009 which detailed the tombstones in the Suriname cemeteries which was called “Remnant Stones The Jewish Cemeteries of Suriname Epitaphs” by Aviva Ben-Ur and Rachel Frankel (Hebrew Union College Press, ISBN-13: 9780878202249).  The book, which is the second volume of what was to be a two volume series, covers the burials in three of the Sephardic cemeteries and one Ashkenazic cemetery which approximate 1,700 tombstones etched in a variety of languages such as Aramaic, Dutch, French, Hebrew, Portuguese, and Spanish.
 
 

THE JUNGLE CEMETERIES OF SURINAME
(Courtesy of http://www.suriname-jewish-community.com/our-cemeteries.html)

In addition to the book,a listing of the tombstones can be found in a searchable database on the FamilySearch site, which is the online portal for the Mormon Family History Center.

Not only that, on the FamilySearch site, apart from the Suriname names, one can find a listing of thirty-eight burials for various members of the Monsanto family who had lived in locales throughout the Caribbean, the Netherlands, Suriname, Spain, and other places as well.

Whilst the FamilySearch database didn’t list the burial of the child David Rodrigues Monsanto, it has the burial of a possible relative by the name of David Monsanto.  The adult David Monsanto had been born in 1764 and died on May 27, 1797, and was buried in the old Sephardic Cemetery in Paramaribo, Suriname.

Another genealogically-related online database is GeneaNet where one can look up family names such as Monsanto and Rodrigues Monsanto and other such Dutch and/or Sephardic families.

A unique aspect of life in Suriname was the establishment of a mulatto Jewish congregation in the colony along with their burials in a Jewish cemetery.  This is mentioned quite a number of times in various historical resources and most appropriately in Chapter 7, Jewish Deathways, Pages 243-245, of “Death in the New World:  Cross-Cultural Encounters, 1792-1899” by Erik R. Seeman. This resource mentions the establishment of the Darhe Jesarim brotherhood in 1759 which was a mulatto community group.  One of the things it did was to tend to the burials within the Jewish mulatto community for over thirty years before controversy with the Sephardic Jewish community ended its privileges.

Further information on this topic can be found in the book “Jews in Another Environment: Surinam in the Second Half of the Eighteenth Century” by Robert Cohen.  Among other things, this book details the intricacies of customs and interaction between the mulattos and the Portuguese Sephardic Jews.

A detailed narrative of life in Suriname during the years 1772-1777, is a book written by John Gabriel Stedman entitled The Narrative of a Five Years Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam. It was during those five years that Stedman lived in Suriname and experienced both the culture and the natural surroundings.  It gives a fascinating view of the life of that time particularly the status of the slaves and the economy.

 
John Gabriel Stedman(Courtesy of Wikipedia)

A further resource is an article by Ineke Phaf-Rhenberger entitled “The Portuguese Jewish Nation, an Enlightenment Essay on the Colony of Suriname,” on Pages 491-504, which appeared in the book “A History of Literature in the Caribbean:  English- and Dutch-Speaking Countries” by Albert James Arnold.  It provides a fascinating look at the life of Jews during the 18th Century and before and incorporates the views that non-Jews and blacks had of them.

Whilst many resources can be found on Google Books or directly online, a new aspect of doing genealogical research which I was able to test with my research on the Jewish community of Suriname is the ability to obtain free books through one’s e-reader.  In my case, I checked out the Barnes and Nobles site for my own e-reader, a Nook, and I was able to immediately get the following out-of-print books for free: 
  • Contributions to the History of the Jews in Surinam by Richard Gottheil which was published in 1901. 
  • An early Jewish colony in western Guiana, 1658-1666:  and its relation to the Jews in Surinam, Cayenne and Tobago by Samuel Oppenheim which was published in 1907. 
  • A narrative of a voyage to Surinam:  of a residence there during 1805, 1806, and 1807, and the author’s return to Europe by the way of North America by Albert Sack which was published in 1810.
What all this amounts to is that a researcher can now easily delve into the history of the Suriname Jewish community where many resources abound on the Internet.  It is a story of a once thriving self-governing community of mostly Sephardic origin which was unburdened with having any restrictions for many years.  This was quite unusual in a time when Jews were required to give up many freedoms or were withheld from obtaining many by the countries they lived in.  Additionally, these resources provide a glimpse into a world where despite these freedoms there were still anti-Semitic attempts to discredit and disparage the Jewish community which, in the end, along with a number of other reasons caused their disbursal to more favorable climes.

For those wishing to learn more about the present-day community, please visit
http://www.suriname-jewish-community.com or visit the Jodensavanne Foundation site which provides an historical context to the work being done to preserve the community: http://www.jodensavanne.sr.org/smartcms/default.asp?contentID=1. Another site is sponsored by Kulanu <http://www.kulanu.org/suriname/suriname.php>.