New project: East German Gatermann films #germany

Roger Lustig

Dear All,

It's been too long since this group undertook a new project, and I, as
your research coordinator, apologize for that. Here is the first of
several projects that you're invited to take part in. is a spreadsheet listing the contents
of the East German Gatermann films. These films display Jewish vital
records and similar documents. The originals are lost, so in most cases
these films are all we have left.

They cover Jewish communities >from the territory of the former German
Democratic Republic (except for Berlin). Over 100 localities are
represented, >from Annaberg to Zerbst. Many of these communities were
very small; others, such as Dresden, had a Jewish population that peaked
above 5,000.

About 60% of these records are available to anyone via
Just go to the catalog and enter the film number. When you get to the
page that describes your records of interest, scroll down and then click
on the camera icon to view the records directly.

The ones that are not available for home viewing are shaded grey in the
spreadsheet. Their availability depends on the age and type of the
youngest records on them. If they are not freely available under German
privacy laws, you have to look at the microfilms the old-fashioned way.
Alas, one protected record takes the whole reel of film out of distribution.

Please email me at this address if you're interested in indexing one or
more localities. Some of the contents of these files are very easy to
read; others, nearly impossible. Since each case is different, we'll
have to develop a strategy for dealing with each one.

Those of you who don't read German (or old German handwriting) can be of
great assistance too. As with the Hessen Gatermann project, participants
can contribute by setting up the entry framework: item numbers, page
numbers, etc.

Thanks in advance to all of you!

Roger Lustig, Princeton, NJ USA research coordinator, GerSIG

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