Suwalki-Lomza Landsmen Journal #poland

Stanley Diamond

There have been a number of posts recently about the Suwalk-

Lomza journal “Landsmen”, some of which said the data in this

journal had come from groups such as JRI-Poland or LitvakSIG.

This is not the case, and I would like to share some history as

to how it relates to JRI-Poland.


In 1994, in a phone call to Marlene Silverman (editor of Landsmen),

I proposed the idea of a coordinated volunteer "indexing project" and,

at her request, submitted a detailed plan. In a subsequent letter, I

talked about multiple people collaborating on indexing the records 

for their towns. 


In the end, Marlene considered my proposal a dream for which it would

be impossible to find sufficient volunteers to make it a reality and for

which she had no time to be involved. (Later, some of us concluded 

that she may have feared that sharing data electronically might diminish

the importance of her Landsmen journal.)


  (At this point, it is important for me to mention that I will always be deeply 

  indebted to Marlene.  The very first edition of the Landsmen journal 

  (1990) had a Family Finder posting by Michael Richman (Maryland) 

  who was looking for others sharing his roots in Ostrów Mazowiecka.

  When the journal was brought to my attention two years later, I quickly

  telephoned Michael. He mentioned the "notes" he had made on 250 

  families [including mine] using the LDS microfilms.). 


My December 1994 letter to Marlene was copied to fourteen others with

roots in Lomza Gubernia and in the spring of 1995, Michael Tobias and

Steve Zedeck turned my embryo of an idea into an email searchable

index that preceded our website on the Internet as we know it today.

All of us with roots in Poland owe Michael and Steve a huge debt of

gratitude for their initiative.  


In the early years, JRI-Poland reached out to Marlene to share Landsman

data but, she did not agree to do so. Then in 1997, after signing an

agreement with the Polish State Archives to formalize our relationship,

we were able to hire an archivist in Poland to create professional indices

(including father's name) to all the records for towns in both the Lomza 

and Suwalki archives.  Many of these indices have now been extended 

into extracts and the work continues. In addition, JRI-Poland has created

data from Books of Residents, Army Draft files, Notarial files, missing

and fallen soldiers in WWI, etc.  


Just as JRI-Poland gave a home to the valuable material in the excellent

Kielce-Radom SIG Journal 

following publication of its last edition in 2004, we stand ready to welcome

the Suwalki-Lomza Landsmen Journal and to bring its contents to the

widest audience.  

Stanley Diamond, M.S.M.  (Montreal, 514-484-0100)
Co-founder and Executive Director, Jewish Records Indexing - Poland, Inc.

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