American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Index of AJDC Prague Office Emigration Case Files #holocaust #announcements

Jan Meisels Allen




The American Jewish Joint Distribution Archives (AJDC) has an index of the AJDC Prague Office Emigration Case Files available. This is the first time the names of those who received emigration assistance from the JDC in Czechoslovakia following the Holocaust. It comprises the first 191 boxes of the records of the AJDC Prague Office 1945-1950. The index to these files will now become a significant resource for genealogists and family researchers.


The JDC received a set of digital files of this collection from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), with the agreement of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes in Prague, where the collection is housed. The records had been confiscated by the Czechoslovakian secret police when JDC was forced to cease its Czech operations in January 1950.


After receiving the digital files, the JDC Archives assigned one of its Names Indexing Project volunteers to begin to create a spreadsheet that would list the client name, additional family members traveling with the client, and the box and folder number of the file.


The result is an index of nearly 11,000 entries. With the inclusion of the names of accompanying family, the total number of names indexed approaches 22,000. Although most of the émigrés were Czech Jews, the files also include many individuals who held Polish, Hungarian, or Romanian citizenship who traveled to Czechoslovakia as the first step in their efforts to leave Europe.  In addition to those who went to Palestine/Israel or the United States, JDC worked to obtain visas to countries throughout North and South America and especially Australia, working closely with the Australian Jewish Welfare Society to locate family members, arrange sponsorships, and ensure that the immigrants would find community when they arrived.


To search the AJDC Prague Office Emigration case files index go to:


To read more about these files see:


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


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