I have gone through the Kollel Galicia lists for several towns,
translated several years of lists for the town of Rawa Ruska and
worked on, and so know the families but have not yet completed,
several of the Belz lists.
The quarterly records for theThis is and is not true. I have found some to be very clear and others
to be very challenging, depending on who was doing the recording at
the time. In Rawa & Belz the person recording stayed the same for
several years so there would be a few years that were easy to
translate and then a few that were real challenging.
The spelling is in Yiddish(Hebrew characters).And so if you can read Yiddish, you can get an accurate reading of
folks names as opposed to some of the challenges I have found in
translating Yizkor book necrology lists that spell Yiddish names in
Hebrew as if they were Hebrew, and so they are without the vowels.
Thus, for example, I found masses of errors in Yad Vashem's Belz list
where it must be that there were Hebrew speakers translating Yiddish
names as if they were Hebrew and not Yiddish.
What i have found >from my research and comparison of several years offrom my experience those lists do reflect the composition of familieswho lived in Galicia on the eve of the Holocaust since almost each
data and over time is that in Rawa Ruska, the people on the Kollel
lists are mostly males and widows, probably heads of households and
most certainly chassidish or children of chassids, who in the 1920's/
30's might have broken away but as times got tough i.e. 1938 - 39,
possibly in following the belief that "charity saves >from death,"
donated money to poor Jews studying in the Kollel's of Jerusalem as
well as to other charities. I believe >from the cross-tabulating I have
done between these and other lists >from that time as well as vital
records, that the folks on this list were mostly over-40 and often,
quite old. I do not know if this is true for other shtetlach or for a
major town like Krakow.
I discovered the names of both my grandfathersI had a similar very bittersweet experience. My Chassidish
grandmother, Gitel ROSENFELD A"H donated only one time, somewhere
around May 1929. Clearly for that one moment in history, this woman
who was left widowed with 6 children at the age of 32 was able to
spare a teeny, tiny amount of money (can't remember exactly how much
as I am on the road for another week w/o data). I can imagine her joy
and then a short while later, months or a year, she went back to the
grinding poverty that became her lot in life till her murder at the
hands of the nazis.
I just mentioned to the kind people at the Kolel that my late fatherThey have been very kind and helpful to me even though I am a woman
and they are in Mea Shearim, with a very, very frum (religious)
synagogue/study hall next door to their office. I dressed
appropriately (elbows, knees & head covered) and have made annual
donations to them to help them with their endeavors. If you go there,
be respectful and charitable.
I too, like Jacob ROSEN, think that this is a very important resource
in the micro-genealogical sense of identifying family but even more
so, as part of efforts on the macro-genealogical level of identifying
here-to-fore unnamed Holocaust victims and rebuilding destroyed
I am about 60% through with writing about this research. It has been
astonishingly time consuming though very, very rewarding on all
levels. My hope in sharing this work is that there will be someone out
there who already is, or would consider, doing work similar to mine so
that we can get an even larger sense of what was true across more of
Galicia. I will put a posting up when I finish and figure out who will
be publishing it.
Karen Rosenfeld Roekard
aka Gitel Chaye Eta Rosenfeld Rokart
ROSENFELD, TOPFER/TEPPER, SPRITZER, KURZER, KOCH, HAUSER
(Rawa Ruska, Wulka Mazowieki, Magierow, Niemerow, Ulicka Zarabone)
ROKART, ROKACH (Belz, Sokal, Brody)
GOLDWURM (Bialy Kamen, Berezhany)
GOLD, GOLDBERG, BIEGEL, BERGREEN (Dzikow, Tarnbrzeg, Ropcyctz)