JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen JGSGP (Philadelphia) December 2018 Meeting #general

Marilyn Golden <mazergoldenjgsgp@...>

Date: Sunday, December 16, 2018
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel
8339 Old York Road
Elkins Park, PA 19027
Speaker: Jeffrey Cymbler
Program: Topic: Passports for Life: The Bernese Group Rescue of
Polish Jews in WWII

Jeff earned his BA >from Yeshiva University and a JD degree >from Boston
University School of Law. A child of Holocaust survivors, he has been
an avid genealogist since 1983. Jeff was co-chair of the 11th Annual
Conference on Jewish Genealogy and Program Chairman of the 19th Annual
Conference on Jewish Genealogy. He was on the Editorial Boards of both
Jewish Roots in Ukraine and Moldova: Pages >from the Past and Archival
Inventories and Jewish Roots in Poland: Pages >from the Past and
Archival Inventories and authored chapter one of the latter book,
entitled, "Introduction to Polish-Jewish Genealogical Research."

Passports for Life is a presentation dedicated to the Polish
Envoy in Bern, Aleksander Lados, his subordinates, and members of the
Jewish community in Switzerland who in the war-time period acted hand
in hand in saving hundreds of European Jews. The members of the so
called "Bernese Group" embarked on an illicit operation aim=
ed at
massive forging of passports of Latin American countries and smuggling
them to the ghettos in Poland, Holland, France and other places in the
German-occupied Europe. A noticeable, yet differential, number of
bearers of the passports managed to survive the war. Some of survivors
are still alive today.
The presentation will depict the origins of the covert operation,
its protagonists, division of work among the members (half of them
were Polish Jews), modus operandi of the group and consequences of
their activity. A significant number of widely unknown documents and
photographs will accompany the presentation, including forged
passports, Nazi era postal communications >from Polish ghettos to
Switzerland, a database which is being developed of the passports,
diplomatic correspondence and ledgers of the names and personal data
of Jews for whom passports were procured.

Marilyn Golden

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