Kirsten Gradel <kmgradel@...>
To throw in my two bit of advice as far as indexing Cyrillic records for a
It is a huge help to have indexed the Polish years in a town first. If you
know the names in a town you can make very qualified "guesses" - even with
the very smoothly flowing handwritings which I find the hardest to read. A
kalligrafic quality is often seen and is a pleasure to both see and read.
And yes, many of the Cyrillic resemble the Latin letters but for me that
was one of the main obstacles, it took ages to get used to.
Russians of today can often not read these old records. The first Cyrillic
record I ever saw was a copy of uncle Chaim's B record >from Plock. My son
had two Russian born collegues who offered to translate, the mother was a
former lecturer in Russian litterature in USSR. They had problems and
laughed because, as they said, there was no name for the boy.
Later, when I had taught myself enough to at least extract >from these
records, I checked above B record again - and his name Chaim was exactly
where it was supposed to be. Maybe their problem was not knowing Jewish
names but that many Russians of today cannot read these old, pre 1922
records is a story I heard often.
I have wondered whether the problem is the same as I meet with younger
both Danes and English people: They maintain not to be able to read a
sloping handwriting, even in their native Danish or English, ridiculous
but no way to convince them. Do younger Russians learn an "upright" (do
not know the English word) handwriting so they likewise simply block
mentally when they see the sloping hands in the old records?
Zamosc Archives Project Coordinator
Jewish Records Indexing - Poland