"Jewish Families in Galicia" - Conversions/KAMMERMAN #galicia


Pamela Weisberger <pweisberger@...>
 

Regarding Mark Jacobson's analaysis of the Kammerman records in “Judische
Familien In Galizien” (Jewish Families in Galicia) and his wondering:

"...why all these people are on this list, since they were all living (and
dying) as Jews up to at least 1901 and are listed in Jewish records for
Drohobycz, and Manfred Daum's listing of them has no reference to any
Christian records as a source for conversion information.>>

He makes special mention of MOSES KAMMERMAN, his wife, KIDEL, married in
1870, living in House Number 22 in Ugartsberg (Wypucki), Galicia and their
children:

1. unknown female b. 1871
2. Chaje, 1875-1914, married to Rachmil FLACHS with children:
3. Amalie, 1878-1910 m. Isaak Sobel in 1900 (5 children), Sobel remarried
Rahel Hafer
4. Regina b. 1880 m. Leiser Goldstein
5. Rebecka b. 1882 m. Maier Pollak in 1900

....as they are listed in this document. No reference is made as to their
having converted >from Judaism, and he is perplexed by their appearance. I
think I have a solution to his mystery. If one checks the Daum's index,
there is another entry for the name KAMMERMAN:

JOHANN SANTRUCKET, Reformed Church (Protestant) born in 1870:

Place/Occupation: In 1895 leased a restaurant in Manater Letnianski/Galicia.
In 1896 and 1897 he was a teacher in Ugartsberg (Wypucki) in house Number
23.

Illigitmate Connection to: Female (name unknown) KAMMERMAN, born in 1871 in
Ugartsberg (Wypucki)

Comments: Later, Johann Santrucek ran off with the daughter of Moses
Kammerman and they never came back.

Sources: >from the book of Galician Mennonites in charge of record keeping
at that time. >from the town of Josefsberg (today Korosnica) : Parish
Register of Christenings-Evangelical Reformed Church, Ugartsberg: Parish
Register-Evangelical Reformed Church, and personal recollections by
Mathilde Daum (nee Jacobi) and Phillip Daum.

This unidentified (no given name) daughter of Moses Kammerman, is the same
one listed in the Kammerman Family entry cited by Mark. One can clearly
draw the conclusion that Johann Santrucek employed as a teacher in House
Number 22 became acquainted with Ms. Kammerman, living next door (across the
road?) in House Number 23 (both in their early 20s), that this acquaintance
lead to a relationship, and the two ran off together, hence the notation of
an "illigitemate relationship."

This is not an unfamiliar set of events, and we hear so many stories of
children in similar circumstance becoming "dead" to their families, that
this might have been the case of this daughter.

Therefore, we need to bear in mind that not Jewish person who is named in
this file represents someone who converted >from Judaism. In the case of the
Family Kammerman, they are apparently descendants of someone who is
referred to in a church record, through anecdotal information, or both.
There are Christians today who discover that they have Jewish roots, so
their family trees, if accurate, will show records of entire Jewish
families. I believe this is the case with the listing for the family of
Moses Kammerman and his five children.

In fact, Mr. Daum has created a family tree for the entire Jewish family of
Kammermans, as a result of several church record notations dealing with the
oldest Kammerman daughter who ran away with a non-Jewish man. He lists the
husbands of all of Moses Kammerman's daughters, many of his grandchildren,
and even the second wife of one these husbands. No doubt, he is connected
to this family.

This is a cautionary lesson in not jumping to conclusions until we have all
the evidence. What would we think if we mailed one of our family trees to a
non-Jew who was connected to us? Would they be shocked and dismayed to
discover that they were connected to Jewish relatives? Would they accuse us
of trying to make them Jews? As distasteful as it may be to some people,
accuracy should trump concerns every time. To equate this list to the
Mormon's baptisms of Jews does Mr. Daum a disservice.

When Mark asks:

<<The presence of so many KAMMERMANs on this list of converts gives the
mistaken impression that they were a significant part of converted Jews in
Galicia.>>

Again I must emphasize that this is not "a list of converts," not should it
be portrayed as such. The title is "Jewish Families in Galicia"---not
"Converted Jewish Families." If I gave that impression in my first posting,
I'd like to correct that now. What this file DOES represent is either
appearances of Jewish names in church records, in personal recollections, or
both. Some definitely ARE conversions, but others are simply family trees
of Jews who remained Jews, but were connected, in some way, to Christians,
either through conversion or marriage.

Based on the detailed notations in this file, I am convinced that Manfred
Daum has thoroughly documented his findings. It is up to us to decipher
them and--because this is written in German--get complete and accurate
translations of ALL the notes, before figuring out why certain Jewish
families (those who did not actually convert) make appearances on this list.
For people who have come upon dead ends in their research, these records
might provide the answers.

Also keep in mind...Daum did not go through every parish register in
Galicia. This file reminds us that looking through church records, many of
which have been microfilmed by the Mormons, while a longshot, might provide
some unexpected information.

Pamela Weisberger
Research Coordinator, Gesher Galicia
Santa Monica, CA
pweisberger@hotmail.com

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