New book: "A Dictionary of German-Jewish Surnames" #general
Gary Mokotoff (Optonline) <garymokotoff@...>
Avotaynu's latest major work is "A Dictionary of German-Jewish Surnames" by
Lars Menk. It is the largest book we have yet to publish: 832 pages--a work
nearly ten years in the making. My archived files on the book show Menk
first approached Avotaynu in August 1997 with the dictionary, and he has
been improving on it ever since.
The dictionary identifies more than 20,000 German-Jewish surnames >from the
pre-World War I Germany. >from Baden-Wuerttemburg in the south to
Schleswig-Holstein in the north. >from Westfalen in the west to East Prussia
in the east. In addition to providing the etymology and variants of each
name, it identifies where in the Germany the name appeared.
Readers of the book will clearly recognize that the author patterned his
book after the dictionaries of surnames produced by Alexander Beider. But
scholarship grows by improving on your predecessors. Beider shows the
districts where a surname appears; Menk shows the actual towns--and time
I had Dr. Beider preview the book. His comments to me were that "the results
of (Menk's) efforts are excellent. The quality of (the) book is much better
than any other book written on Jewish names in Central and Western Europe.
It is done in exactly the same manner I would have compiled it myself."
The bibliography in the book testifies to the fact that Menk used more than
300 sources of information. As recently as six months ago he told us to
"hold the presses" because he found yet another source of names.
The book will go to the printer this coming week; therefore, it will be in
print in May. Sample pages >from the book, its complete Table of Contents,
and other information can be found at