Re: Why was I told my mother's family were German Jews when they weren't? #austria-czech

Kenneth Ryesky


Understand that much of what was considered to be "Germany" in times of not so distant past was territory in (to use the Nazideutsch terminology) Zwischeneuropa, that is, the portion of Europe between heartland Germany and Russia.  Boundaries consistently were changing in real time, depending upon who was victorious in which battle.  For a period of time, there was no such thing as a political entity called Poland, and much of what is now recognized as Poland was politically part of the German states of Prussia (
Preußen) or Austria (Österreich).


Though the languages of official documents were subjected to the political vicissitudes of the moment, the languages spoken "on the ground" often persisted.  Accordingly, German was the spoken language in many locales, including those in parts of what is now Bulgaria, Romania, and even the Ukraine.


Many city names come in different languages.  Example:  The city in Romania now known as Rădăuți has been officially referred to as Radautz (German), Radóc (Hungarian) Radowce (Polish),  Радівці [Radivtsi] (Ukrainian), ראַדעװיץ[Radevits] (Yiddish), and Radoviçe (Turkish).  As a practical matter for genealogy research, the JewishGen search engine has a town database which gives the variants during the relevant time periods.


{More recently, my mother had a first cousin who spent most of his 20-year US Army career enlistment in Germany, where he raised his four sons, each of whom served in the military.  The daughter of one of those sons (she is my 2C1R) had been under the impression that her family origin was German Jewish, though they were solidly from the FSU.}.

Ken Ryesky,  Petach Tikva, Israel     kenneth.ryesky@... 

GERTZIG, BRODSKY; Yelizavetgrad, Ukraine
IZRAELSON, ARSHENOV; Yevpatoriya, Ukraine (Crimea)

Join to automatically receive all group messages.