Betrayals and Ethics #latvia

K.& L. Bertelsen <klb@...>

Dear Litvaksig and Latviasig members

This will probably be my last posting, but I feel you should all be warned
that what happened to me could easily also happen to you.

My name and that of my husband have been used without our consent and
without our prior knowledge by a third party in letters which have been
sent to a number of families in Paris, and, perhaps elsewhere as well, in
which I was described as this person's researcher and in which she quoted
details of my immediate family (not hers) and requested recipients to
forward details of their families to her.

Despite my protests about this, this person then proceeded to contact my
recently rediscovered cousins, who live in the same continent and in the
same city as her, pretending to be a relative, and obtained >from them
information, names and addresses of other cousins, etc.

I had previously pleaded with her to allow me and my cousin to rebuild
contact with our cousins (second cousins of my late Mama Nana), with whom
contact had been lost perhaps 70 years earlier. She ignored my requests
and continued to follow up whatever information and contacts she was given
and refused to stop her deceitful activities and also flatly refused to
pass on this information to me or my cousin and allow us to rebuild a
relationship with our elderly, frail and seriously ill relatives on several

When I again protested, this person promptly hijacked the group which I had
founded about 18 months earlier, and to which I had devoted my energies,
and forced me off the group, subjected me to threatening phone calls (from
overseas) and email messages and absolutely refused to leave our family
follow-ups to my cousin and I. Also it seems that her contact with our
cousins has now been completely contaminated by whatever she said to them
behind our backs.

These cousins are definitely our second cousins, not some distant
possibility of a cousinship, which seems to have been used and is continued
to be used by her and her protectors as a justification for her outrageous
betrayal and interference in our family's privacy.

It seems that this is acceptable behaviour in Jewish and other genealogical
circles. Well I do not find this remotely acceptable. I have heard of
other instances of this happening to people - it is not an isolated
instance. And you could be the next victim.

I honestly believe this subject needs to be aired and discussed. With the
advent of highly sophisticated technology anyone can steal your family's
history and reputation and you may not even know it until it is too late.

I have tried over several months to air this within the confines of the
group which I founded, but have been quite brutally forced to leave; noone
wants to know. I have tried to raise this in other circles as well and will
continue to do so until some ethical guidelines are promulgated and somehow
enforced, even if by asking subscribers to acknowledge these in writing
before being granted access to what are in fact other people's privacy and

I honestly do not believe that Jewish genealogy was meant to be like this.
And if it continues to be wide open to charlatans and exploiters, it will
not survive long as reputable and ethical researchers find other means of
pursuing their research.

When I started this about three years ago, all I wanted to do is record all
the hundreds of names of our family who perished in the Shoah and along the
way I have been able to reestablish contact with many cousins with whom
there has been no contact for 60 and more years. Also I have found other
cousins, who didn't even know our family in Australia existed. But much of
this work has now been defiled and contaminated by this woman's obsessive
and egotistical and criminal behaviour.

Be warned - you could be next.

I have just read Professor Jerry Esterson's warning on Latviasig about
Kindred Konnections and piracy. I urge you all to think about this deeply,
in the general and in the particular.

Lorraine Bertelsen
Boho downunder
please remove lu >from my email address

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