German SIG #Germany Re: Reports about IAJGS Jerusalem conference #germany


Arline and Sidney Sachs
 

MODERATOR NOTES:

1. If you attended the Conference last month an can tell us about any
*** facts *** that you learned in a conference session or at a repository
in Israel please share such information with us. (German - related only, please.)

2. If you have comments about what **you** believe to be strong or weak points
of the** GerSig** luncheon and or conference events please send these to our list.
I will pass such comments on to Werner Frank who usually plans the GerSig events
at the annual conferences.

3. You should send your comments about ** general ** conference management
to the IAJGS. The committe that's planning the 2005 Conference in Las Vegas
may appreciate your ideas.

4. Long Range Planning - The 2006 Conference will be in New York. I hope to have
an active role in planning that one. If you have any suggestions specific to
the 2006 New York event please let me know. John Paul Lowens, GerSig MOD 1

<sachs@nova.org> (Sid and Arlene Sachs) write:
You asked for more comments on the conference.

I agree with Donald Stein that Otra was a little off on their
registration, particularly if one wanted to go to the Gersig luncheon. I
got in line at 11:30. Fortunately we had not done whatever they had
suggested, to speed registration, as that line moved even slower. It was
12:10 when I finally got our packets, and I ran down for the luncheon
which officially started at 12:30. Obviously some people came in rather
late to the luncheon. Poor Esther Ramon had to talk (trying to talk over
the clinking silverware) while everyone was eating a rather very dry
chicken. I felt the luncheon was a low point, but I don't think it was
the Israeli's society's fault. The desert arrived after quite a few
people had left.

I have to disagree with his summary of the Central Archives. I was on the
very first shuttle bus >from the hotel to go there at 8 a.m. Monday. I had
a list of what I wanted and even some of the file numbers ready. I was
able to give that to them and they were able to start getting my files
while I did more research for others I wanted to see. My husband and I
were the only people there for a while. In the afternoon again it was
empty. I guess because people went to the Yad V'Shem talks. I was at the
archives until about 3. I was there again Tuesday afternoon, and again
Wednesday morning, and returned again the following Monday morning for
some more research. Instead of paying for a xerox copy of each document I
paid the same thing (1/2 a shekel) for each picture I took.

I found more than I would have though possible. Although I didn't get too
many new names going backwards, (maybe 5 or 6) I did get many proofs for
dates that I already had. I took about 150 pictures, finding information
on 7 of my great-grandparents families and ancestors. Only one of those
files were anything I had seen before. (Their Eberstadt records are also
found at the LDS family history library.) They had many volunteers there,
to help. One elderly gentleman, a German survivor, was there whenever I
was (during the conference) and a great help to me when I couldn't make
out a name. I tried not to monopolize him, as many of the researchers
could read no German at all and really needed his help a lot more than I did.

I would have been thrilled to find 5 or 6 documents total. I have been
attending conferences for over 10 years, and only one time found any
really new information, in a book at a library in Toronto the first time
they had a conference. I came back on a 'high' that you can't imagine!

I still have not been able to get it all entered into my PAF program. I
am afraid I might have mis-read a few of the documents, now that I have
had the time to study them more carefully.

For my husband I found the Fechenbach records only in a 3x5 photo of a
microfilm version. I found these totally impossible to read, although
others were working on those with a magnifying glass. I hope that some
time in the future the Archives will see fit to allow people to take
digital pictures that could be computer inhanced.

The late afternoon, dinner, tour and program at Yad V'Shem were superb. I
am glad that my husband and I were able to get to that. That was very
moving. As I wanted to concentrate on the material I could only get at
the Archives, I spent all my time there. Hopefully one day soon we will
have internet access to the Yad V'Shem material.

As an example of what I found.. Because of my gr.gr.grandfather's diaries
(see <http://BernhardCahn.com> if you don't know what I am talking about)
I knew exactly when my gr.gr.grandmother got married, including the
Rabbi's comments, who attended the wedding, etc. Since she did not get
married where she lived before or after the wedding, I never bothered
getting a certificate. However in the town, Bischofsheim, where she lived
with her husband, I found a registration of their marriage, indicating
that they had just gotten married in Dornheim and would now be living as
man and wife in Bischofsheim.

I was also particularly intrigued by lecture by Isak Gath - the very last
lecture on Friday. He spoke of the problem of using family lore (a story
written by Bernhard Cahn and printed in Der Israelit in 1867) as fact.
He was able to show that this article which has been quoted as a source by
many expert German researchers (Lowevstein, The Jewish Encyclopedia of
1908, etc.) for over 100 years had many errors. He was able to find
source documents >from the early 1700s to prove his point.

Having most of the German lectures scheduled together on Thursday morning
helped in that it freed one to use the research facilities on the days
other than the particular countries one was searching.

Arline Sachs Springfield, VA

searching western Germany, Baer in Kronberg; Wallerstein in Bischofsheim;
Rosenthal in Niederweidbach Marburg and Frankfurt AM; Astheimer in
Astheim, Wiesbaden, and Frankfurt; Simon in Eberstadt; Kahn in Alsace,
Hirsch Frankel b. 1668 in Vienna, d. 1740.

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