Austria-Czech SIG #Austria-Czech Re: 'Lettertothestars' web site #austria-czech


Celia Male <celiamale@...>
 

Eve Browne wrote: "I am very disturbed about part of the above site. In the
Holocaust Survivors Database - where names and particulars can be inserted by
anyone who wishes to make an entry, are the current names, districts and
countries of previous Austrian citizens who fled the holocaust and currently
living in other parts of the world."

I am most surprised at Eve's message. This "Letter to the Stars" {LTTS] website
has been around for years and I, together with others, have written about it
extensively [see Austria-Czech message archives], and use it on a daily basis.

Randy Schoenberg has also included it in his section on our website entitled:
Beginner's Guide to Austrian-Jewish genealogy:
http://www.jewishgen.org/austriaczech/ausguide.htm

where you can read: "A version of the database with more personal information
about the victims is at <http://www.lettertothestars.at>"

It is very valuable as a genealogical tool as you can do reverse searches by
address. It has recently been revamped and in my opinion has become much more
user-unfriendly. Also it is mostly in German. Let me explain:

1. The database is based entirely on the Doew data: http://www.doew.at/
2. The survivors' section has been there for a very long time too.
3. It is called LTTS because on 5 May 2003, the children of Vienna wrote
letters to a chosen victim and attached the letter to a balloon which was
released together with thousands of others. Some were simple messages. Others
were detailed genealogical projects.

On the old website, researched names were easily picked up as these names were
*highlighted*. With the recent revamp, it is very hard to find them but they
are still there. Renee Steinig and I spent an hour on the phone the other night
till we found them! And now the URL I had carefully copied no longer works [see
footnote to see how I now found them, directly].

Now you only see the "White Roses adoptions" [see point 4] on the names list.
together with the adoptee.

4. On the 4 May 2006, they had the White Roses day [and I wrote about that
too], where people adopted a victim and laid a white rose at their deportation
doorstep. 25,000 people took part and 80,000 roses were laid around Vienna.
Even some very cynical people told me it was very moving.

If you look at my great-aunt Hermine SCHIFFMANN - she has a rose next to her
name, together with the name of the person who left the rose. I looked her up
on the on-line phonebook and rang last week to say thank you. She was very
happy and told me about her work with her schoolchildren on this day of
remembrance. She read the children my letter. I am sure this meant a lot to
them and Hermine then became a real person.

This is an interactive website and has had a very positive effect on the
perception of Austrian school children about the holocaust.

I have been saying/writing for years, that we have excellent websites about
Austrian Jews [including very many Galician Jews who lived in Austria] -
strangely few people, apart >from those researching Viennese families took much
notice. It is also important to revisit websites on a regular basis.

Celia Male [U.K.]

Footnote: Researched projects are found via the drop-down menu on the top line
of homepage: Das Projekt - Was Bisher Geschah - Eine Auswahl der Briefe in den
Himmel finden Sie hier: ie Dr.Joseph SABATH; Sara ANDACHT; Rachel RANZENHOFER
etc etc. Even negotiating these letters is hard! And as an added note of
caution, Renee could not find the drop-down menu! Good luck

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