Susan Meehan <smeehan@...>
Hello, GerSig -
I've just joined the group. I'm a newbie to geneology in general, and
a novice in doing German Jewish genealogy research in particular.
First, let me thank everyone who resonded to my question about the use
of "Israel" and "Sarah" as middle names, as seen in the German Minority
Census of 1939. What a terrible story you have told! How utterly
devastating to use the most glorious names within Judaism as a marker
for humiliation and death! Each of you gave me just a little different
viewpoint >from which you explained what had happened, and that was most
interesting. I am very grateful for your prompt and most useful help.
My primary research goals are as follows:
to see if I can find enough about my grandmother's family, almost
wiped out in the Shoah, to submit a well-crafted claim to the Swiss
Dormant Banks Claims commission;
to find out more in general about my paternal grandmother's family,
which came >from Rawitsch (now Rawicz), formerly Prussia and now Poland.
The names there are:
SANDER, my greatgrandmother's maiden name, about which I know
nothing except that the family was middle class in the 1870's
(there's a great story about why I don't know - another time for
that, I think) and
POGORSELSKY, my greatgrandfather's name in many variant
spellings. He was a trader of pelts and other goods and quite
traditional as well as orthodox. I know that his family was
murdered - at least six sent >from Hamburg to Minsk, where
they were killed - and probably about 30 more.
My father rescued one cousin in Hamburt the night before
Hitler closed all the ports permanently; she was the only
survivor of them, and she and my family are all that is left
of this clan.
This research will let me know for sure if a large family of
persons (mostly >from Berlin) whose names are spelled
Pogorzelski are related to my Pogerselsky's. Of course, the
names would be pronounced almost the same. I think
there is a real chance they are related, but I'm not
sure how. Some sleuthing on my part turned up the fact that the two
spellings each have persons born in the same little town of Rawitsch.
Bound to be related, I think! Unfortunately, the 21 Pogorzelski's that
I've researched thus far were wiped out pretty much en masse, although
there is a tiny remnant in Israel. Do you know how people who left
records at Yad Vashem can be contacted?
to find out about my paternal grandfather's family,
BERGMAN, >from Riga Latvia. They were upper-middle class, non-observant,
German-speakers. While most came here in the 1880's, I understand that
my great uncle Simon rescued at least one family member during WWII.
Thanks for any help - as you know, I have been studying the 1939 german
Minority Census most carefully (an emeotional experience when one sees
one's family's signatures on what amounted to a death certificate) as
well as gedenkbuchs, Yad Vashem files, and lists >from the various
concentration/labor camps. It is sad but fascinating work. Perhaps an
article will come out of it on how one learns to maneuver through this
FYI - live in Washington, DC, which is a great help. I speak
well-accented French and Spanish, and a little Russian. Unfortunately,
I do not speak or read German - wish my father and grandmother had
taught me! I'm an avid System X Macintosh user. My fingers don't do
Windows, but they do do Reunion!
Susan Bergman Meehan Washington DC email@example.com
BTW - I had a fascinatingly unpleasant experience trying to get the
instruction page for the 1939 German Minority Census translated. Some
things don't change, I guess.