Re: The Berthold Rosenthal Collection and communities in the Pfalz #germany


Eva Lawrence
 

 I believe that  some of the records that Berthold Rosenthal saw still exist in the Pfalz and they are probably in the same dusty boxes in which he would have found them  The documents haven't been lost, what has been lost is the the ability to read faded hand writing, to pick out the relevant  records.and to extract the  data, not to mention a willingness to grant access.... 
Jewish vital records pre-1808, would be mainly in Hebrew, and no post-war German archivist knows enough to deal with any that survived.  The  patronymic system has muddied interpretation of the French or German records, too,  now that the people with enough local knowledge to sort things out have passed away..  . 
 
Rosenthal had  excellent language skills including Hebrew,  and the leisure to ask questions and to concentrate on his research...  There were others of his type,  but I  don't know any who left a comparable body of work about  the Pfalz. I have a considerable collection of notes made by my father, also a Pfalz researcher.   My father didn't read Hebrew. .and..I suspect that most of Rosenthal's  information from before 1808 would have depended on synagogue records, .like my father's mohel list from Reichsbischofsheim, received in  1937.. It covers the years 5478 to 5955, (early 1700s)  and Dr Jesselson had helpfully transcribed the Hebrew names.
Some of my father's information must have come by word of mouth   He habitually kept letters, but keeping an image of every archival record was not an option before the digital age.. In Rosenthal's case, perhaps supporting correspondence was discarded after the files had been edited to send to Leo Baek?  .       
 
Eva Lawrence
St Albans, UK

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Eva Lawrence
St Albans, UK.

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