Gesher Galicia SIG #Galicia Gesher Galicia Program at the 2014 IAJGS Conference in Salt Lake City #galicia

Pamela Weisberger

Calling all Galitzianers!

The program schedule for the 2014 IAJGS International Conference on
Jewish Genealogy is now online. Gesher Galicia's SIG day of activities is
Monday, July 28, and we are sponsoring several programs and activities.
There are also many Galician-themed talks taking place during the week.
Attending a conference can advance your research in myriad ways,
including the ability to network with other researchers and make
surprising connections that can only be done in person, so consider
attending! The conference website is:

Here are some of the Galician-themed highlights:

Sunday, July 27

1:30P - 5:00P: The Share Fair
Visit the Gesher Galicia table, staffed by GG board members, to get
one-on-one answers to your questions and see examples of our maps
and records.


Monday, July 28 - The Gesher Galicia SIG Day

Reminder: Our luncheon will take place >from 12N - 1:30P. This requires
a ticket purchase! You can do this during the registration process, or
add on later.

"Galician Gurus: Ask the Galician Experts" Luncheon

After a short update on the current state of research in Galician Ukraine
and Poland, we'll open the floor to your questions. Providing the answers
will be: Ruth Ellen Gruber (author and head of Jewish Heritage Europe),
Alexander Denysenko and Tomasz Jankowski (Lviv-based researchers
and travel guides), Alex Feller (Rohatyn Project Leader), and Andrew
Zalewski (author & historian). Find the answers to anything and
everything Galician in this interactive luncheon.

Monday Program Schedule:

7:30AM - 8:45AM
"The War That Spelled The End To Galicia" - Alexander Zalewski

There is never a right time to go to war and this was also true in 1914.
The summer months brought the failure of diplomacy across Europe. In
August, the inevitable happened and the newspaper headlines in Galicia
screamed, "Austria in War with Russia." Jewish lives in Lwow,
Stanislawow, Bohorodczany and other towns of eastern Galicia are the
backdrop to the stories about the war and the touching acts of humanity.
The talk focuses on the military campaigns, Russian offensives and
Austrian counter-offensives, intertwined with the tales of the ordinary
people. Jewish lives are caught in the monumental changes around. The
war stubbornly does not want to end; the familiar order of Galicia
unravels, with uncertainty about what will happen next. This talk about
the Great War (1914-1918) in Galicia is based on Alexander Zalewski's
research for "Galician Trails." It is illustrated with maps and the newly
discovered archival pictures.

9:00AM - 10:15AM
"JRI-Poland Records >from Galicia and Congress Poland -- and Searching
for Digital Images" - Judy Baston & Michael Tobias

This presentation >from Jewish Records Indexing - Poland will deal with
Jewish records and research for two major areas of Poland, which covers
the majority of the JRI-Poland online database. It will provide information
about Congress Poland narrative records and Galician columnar records.
This session offers an in-depth examination of vital records along with a
strategic framework to help researchers in acquiring records to further
their research. Close examination of sample birth, marriage, and death
records will reveal the information contained in the records, identify the
records having the most genealogical value, and discover surprises
found in many of these records. With actual images of thousands of
Polish Jewish records now available online and linked >from JRI-Poland
search results, the presentation will also focus on how a search of the
JRI-Poland online database can connect a researcher with digital images.

10:30AM - 11:45AM
"Galician & Polish Genealogical Records: A Survey of Unique and Unusual
Archival Holdings" - Pamela Weisberger

Most research in Eastern Europe begins with vital records - but then
what? Expand your genealogical quest to 18th - 20th century landowner,
business, school, draft, voter, magnate and taxpayer records, which are
held in Polish, Ukrainian, Austrian, U.S. and Israeli archives. Gesher
Galicia's Galician Archival Records Project also includes passport
applications (with photos!), 20th century census records, cadastral maps
and first-person accounts of the damage Jews suffered to their property
during WWI. This tutorial will offer examples and analysis of these
extraordinary records and explain how to locate them for your towns
and villages.

12N - 1:30PM
Gesher Galicia Luncheon - get your tickets now!

1:45PM - 3:00PM
The Annual Gesher Galicia SIG Meeting

Updates on the Galician Archival Records Project, the All Galicia
Database, "The Galitzianer," and new website features, plus reports on
restoration efforts overseas in Lviv, Bolechow and Rohatyn. A special
segment will focus on marriage laws in Galicia and how they changed
over time, affecting the Jewish attitude towards civil -- versus religious
-- marriage. The repercussions of these laws resulted in a dearth of
metrical records for Galician marriages, children being assigned their
mothers' maiden names and being labeled as "illegitimate," along with a
surprising number of "delayed" marriage records for Galitizianers (in
middle age, with a number of children) showing up in Vienna registries.

4:45PM - 6:00PM
"Legal and Practical Aspects of Archival Research in Galicia"
with Tomasz Jankowski

Researchers of Galician ancestors interested in accessing original
documents are forced to face bureaucracy and very often are confused
by unpredictable behavior of Polish and Ukrainian officials. The main aim
of the presentation is to shed light on formal requirements and
procedures in approaching the archives and Civil Registration Offices in
Galicia. Tomasz Jankowski will discuss Polish and Ukrainian laws
regulating work in reading rooms, privacy laws, and laws on civil
registration. The second part of his presentation, based on his own
experiences in Galician archives, will be dedicated to practical aspects of
research: how the law is interpreted, how to approach the officials
effectively, what local differences and peculiarities might be expected
during on-site genealogical research. The presentation will leave the
participants armed with legal arguments and practical skills, useful for
their further research.

4:45PM - 6:00PM
"Bolechow Jewish Heritage Society BOF Meeting


Tuesday, July 29

7:30AM - 8:45AM
"Early 20th Century Visa Files of Lwow-based Foreign Consulates,
Police Passport Files" - Alexander Denysenko

Alexander Denysenko will describe Lviv's and other Galician towns'
police "passport" files and the personal files of the foreign consulates
that were granting transit visas to those leaving Austria and Poland in
the early 20th century. He'll also discuss migratory processes in Galicia
and Bukovina before, during and after World War I and the effects of that
war on the region (resettlement caused by warfare, devastated towns,
lost archives).

1:45PM - 3:00PM
"Galician Jewish Refugees 1915-1919 and Their Gravestones in Western
Bohemia" - Vaclav Chvatal

This study concerns Jewish refugees >from Galicia and Bukovina, who fled
from Baligrod, Lesko, Ustrzyki Dolne and many other towns that were on
the Russian front during World War I, to other parts of Austria-Hungary.
Vaclav Chvatal's research started in the Jewish cemeteries of Western
Bohemia, where the style, shape, and decoration of refugees'
gravestones, and their mostly Hebrew epitaphs, distinguish them >from
the gravestones of local Jews. The second part of the presentation
shows the state of their Galician hometowns at the beginning of 21st

1:45PM - 3:00PM
"A Voice >from Galicia: Reflections of Determination and Change"
- Lynne Schwartz

Lynne Schwartz will present a video based on a 1973 cassette tape
interview conducted with her grandfather Matthew Bush, who was born
in 1892 in Kolomyya, Austria. He recounts his childhood memories of
Kolomyya and speaks about his capture and his experiences in a
prisoner of war camp in Rochefort, France -- recalling the horror of
World War I and its effect on him and other prisoners. He also describes
his memories of release >from the camp and his arrival at Ellis Island.
The video incorporates old photos of pre-war Kolomyya, photos taken
during the war that have been in the family for 100 years, and photos of
Matthew Bush in the prison camp. Also part of the video are rare World
War I movie clips and original 1914 recordings of war songs.

3:15PM - 4:30PM
"Stanislawow: Interwar records at the United States Holocaust Memorial
Museum" - Megan Lewis

Jews constituted 25% of the population on Stanislawow, Poland (now
Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine) between the world wars. The United States
Holocaust Memorial Museum holds thousands of pages about everyday
Jewish life in interwar Stanislawow, the surrounding county and East
Galicia in general. Although some records predate World War I, most of
the records concern the 1920s and 1930s. For Stanislawow, the Museum
holds passport applications (currently being indexed by Gesher Galicia),
records of Zionist organizations such as Keren Hayesod, school records,
birth and death records, emigration case files, probate files, personnel
records of the Jewish community, Jewish Masonic lodge records and
much more. The presentation will explore these records, highlight the
genealogical treasures that can be found, and discuss some of the
challenges in using these collections. While the presentation will focus
on Stanislawow proper, other towns included in these collections include
Kolomyya, Zabolotov, Bolekhov, Tlumach, and Snyatin.

3:15PM - 4:30PM
"Suchostaw Region Research Group Meeting" - Susana Leistner Bloch

4:45PM - 6:00PM
"Kolbuszowa Region Research Group Meeting" - Susana Leistner Bloch


Wednesday, July 30

9:00AM - 10:15AM
"Beyond a Doubt: What We Know vs. What We Can Prove" - Israel Pickholtz

What do you do when the hard proofs just aren't there, but you are as
sure as you can be what they would say if you could find them? If you
fold your hands and wait, you may never get anywhere with your
research, but if you accept your suppositions as fact, they may never
be questioned again. Not by you nor by your research heirs. This
presentation will use examples >from the east Galician single-surname
Pikholz Project to consider when what you know is beyond a reasonable
doubt and if that is indeed good enough.

10:30AM - 11:45AM
Rohatyn BOF Meeting

Updates on various Rohatyn projects involving records and restoration.


Friday, August 1

7:30AM - 8:45AM
"Austria, Poland & Ukraine: 3 Countries, 5 Archives & 12 Wonderful Days
of Discovery" - Pamela Weisberger

In April 2013, Gesher Galicia's president Pamela Weisberger and board
member John Diener traveled to Austria, Poland, and Ukraine. Over 12
days they visited archives in Vienna, Warsaw, Przemysl, Lviv and
Ternopil. In Warsaw they attended the opening of the new Museum of
the History of Polish Jews, followed by an incredible dinner with Count
Peter (Piotr) Pininski, great grandson of the magnate nobleman who
once owned the Galician town of Grzymalow where John's father and
Pamela's grandfather were born. Later they visited Grzymalow, Ukraine,
and its ruined synagogue, cheder and decimated Jewish cemetery. Learn
about the trip's preparation and highlights, the challenges of archival
research in different locales (>from white gloves to burnt documents and
moldy dust), the difficulties and rewards of venturing into "shtetland,"
and the exceptional opportunity to connect past to present through
investigative genealogical research AND travel.


Film Program:

As part of the conference film screening, we'll be showing the new
documentary "Alexander Granach: There Goes Mensch," which tells the
remarkable story of an unlikely path >from a poverty-stricken childhood
to success as a leading stage and film actor in Weimar, Germany, and
eventually, Hollywood. Born in Werbowitz, a small town in Galicia, near
Kolomea (then Austro-Hungary, now Ukraine), Granach was a
multicultural phenomena in and of himself, speaking and acting in
Yiddish, Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, and German. Granach was siezed
with passion for the theatre at the age of 14 in Lemberg/Lviv, he
struggled and wandered for years as a baker's apprentice and had to
overcome great odds to pursue his dream. After working in Berlin with
directors such as Brecht and Murnau, Granach was forced to flee
Germany in 1933. His path led him through Poland, Soviet Ukraine,
Soviet Russia, and Switzerland, and eventually to the USA, where he
began his Hollywood career in Ernst Lubitsch's classic Ninotchka,
starring Greta Garbo. He died too young in New York, at the age of 54.
It was March 1945, just as the war was drawing to a close and he was
anticipating a reunion with the Swiss actress Lotte Lieven, the love of
his life. In the film, renowned actors Juliane Kohler and Samuel Finzi
read >from Granach's letters to Lotte and >from his autobiography, ">from
the Shtetl to the Stage: The Odyssey of a Wandering Actor." The film was
shot in Ukraine, Russia, Switzerland, Germany, Israel, Austria and the
USA. Date and time to be announced soon.


We look forward to your joining us at this summer's conference!

Pamela Weisberger
President, Gesher Galicia

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