Date   
Searching for Switzerland 1938 information about Bernhard SIGAL #france

Selma Sheridan
 

Please help me to find information about my father's stay in Switzerland in
summer 1938. Bernhard SIGAL was a medical student at University of Vienna.
On 11 July 1938, the day before he was to be sent to Dachau, he fled from
Vienna to German- speaking St. Gallen in neutral Switzerland, although he
knew no one there. (He could not convince his parents to leave, and they
perished in 1941.)

Here is what my father told me about his stay in Switzerland. He crawled
over a bridge near the border, bullets flying overhead. He stayed in the
"bridal suite" of a hotel in St. Gallen on the first night, as all other
rooms were occupied, and the hotel owner took pity on him. He was
penniless, and received some money >from "the Rothschilds". After about 2
weeks somewhere in Switzerland, he received a letter >from his parents,
saying the SA had come to arrest him the day after he fled; he did not say
if he wrote back to them. He crossed >from Switzerland into France, and
reached the home of his cousins in Lens, Nord Pas-de-Calais.

This is how I have searched so far, in 2002: Schweizerisches Bundesarchiv,
Bern - they had only his name, and that he arrived and left in 1938, so he
must have reported twice to an official organization. Staatsarchiv, St.
Gallen - no documents. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich - no
information. I have not read Henry Spira's 2010 book, "Daily Events at the
Jurassic frontier 1939-1945", since it seems to exclude 1938.

Questions: How and where would Jewish refugees seek financial aid >from the
Rothchilds in Switzerland? Does the Swiss Rothschild family have contact
information, or historical records? Or was it the Montefiore family, or
another charitable organization? Were there transit camps for refugees?
How could my father receive mail >from his parents, since they did not know
his address? Were there organizations which helped refugees to exchange
mail? What is the likeliest place where my father could have crossed the
border illegally >from Switzerland into France?

Is it worth contacting the 3 Swiss organizations above for updates? Are
there other organizations which have kept records about Jewish refugees to
Switzerland in 1938? Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Many thanks in advance,

Selma Sigal Sheridan
Oswego NY

French SIG #France Searching for Switzerland 1938 information about Bernhard SIGAL #france

Selma Sheridan
 

Please help me to find information about my father's stay in Switzerland in
summer 1938. Bernhard SIGAL was a medical student at University of Vienna.
On 11 July 1938, the day before he was to be sent to Dachau, he fled from
Vienna to German- speaking St. Gallen in neutral Switzerland, although he
knew no one there. (He could not convince his parents to leave, and they
perished in 1941.)

Here is what my father told me about his stay in Switzerland. He crawled
over a bridge near the border, bullets flying overhead. He stayed in the
"bridal suite" of a hotel in St. Gallen on the first night, as all other
rooms were occupied, and the hotel owner took pity on him. He was
penniless, and received some money >from "the Rothschilds". After about 2
weeks somewhere in Switzerland, he received a letter >from his parents,
saying the SA had come to arrest him the day after he fled; he did not say
if he wrote back to them. He crossed >from Switzerland into France, and
reached the home of his cousins in Lens, Nord Pas-de-Calais.

This is how I have searched so far, in 2002: Schweizerisches Bundesarchiv,
Bern - they had only his name, and that he arrived and left in 1938, so he
must have reported twice to an official organization. Staatsarchiv, St.
Gallen - no documents. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich - no
information. I have not read Henry Spira's 2010 book, "Daily Events at the
Jurassic frontier 1939-1945", since it seems to exclude 1938.

Questions: How and where would Jewish refugees seek financial aid >from the
Rothchilds in Switzerland? Does the Swiss Rothschild family have contact
information, or historical records? Or was it the Montefiore family, or
another charitable organization? Were there transit camps for refugees?
How could my father receive mail >from his parents, since they did not know
his address? Were there organizations which helped refugees to exchange
mail? What is the likeliest place where my father could have crossed the
border illegally >from Switzerland into France?

Is it worth contacting the 3 Swiss organizations above for updates? Are
there other organizations which have kept records about Jewish refugees to
Switzerland in 1938? Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Many thanks in advance,

Selma Sigal Sheridan
Oswego NY

France to be First County in EU to Introduce Facial Recognition Software for Government Services #france

Jan Meisels Allen
 

Facial recognition technology, especially when used by government =
agencies
is controversial. France has announced it will be the first European =
Union
country to introduce facial recognition software for government =
services.=A0
Once implemented it will give users access to approximately 500 =
government
websites.=A0 France says the program will not keep tabs on its =
residents, as
it won=92t be integrating the facial recognition biometric into =
citizens=92
identity databases.

How it works

A new government app, Alicem, =A0is based on facial recognition =
software. One
takes a video of their face on their smart phone and uploads the video =
to a
government server. This server has the information collected >from the
person=92s data >from their biometric passports or electronic residence
permit.=A0 This is in Beta testing now but expected to go live by later =
this
year.

Not All Agree Its Legal

Some believe this is a violation of the General Data Protection =
Regulation
which bans facial recognition systems with some exceptions=97such as =
when the
person gives consent for use of the software. Frances=92 data regulator, =
CNIL
says the GDPR makes free choice mandatory is very concerned over this
program.

Concerns range >from proper lighting, use of makeup and position of the
person in relationship to the camera compared with the photograph used =
to
against it=97especially if the photograph is an older one.

Martin Drago, a legal expert at La Quadrature du Net, a group that =
defends
digital rights and civil liberties and which is suing the government at
France's highest court of appeals, Conseil d=92Etat.=A0 That decision is
expected in a few months. Bloomberg News reported that a hacker was able =
to
break into the government app in just over one hour.

There is legislation in the French Parliament to create a framework for
wide-ranging tests of facial recognition technology.
To read more see:
https://www.dw.com/en/france-embraces-facial-recognition-tech/a-51106489
and
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-03/french-liberte-tested-=
by-
nationwide-facial-recognition-id-plan


Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

French SIG #France France to be First County in EU to Introduce Facial Recognition Software for Government Services #france

Jan Meisels Allen
 

Facial recognition technology, especially when used by government =
agencies
is controversial. France has announced it will be the first European =
Union
country to introduce facial recognition software for government =
services.=A0
Once implemented it will give users access to approximately 500 =
government
websites.=A0 France says the program will not keep tabs on its =
residents, as
it won=92t be integrating the facial recognition biometric into =
citizens=92
identity databases.

How it works

A new government app, Alicem, =A0is based on facial recognition =
software. One
takes a video of their face on their smart phone and uploads the video =
to a
government server. This server has the information collected >from the
person=92s data >from their biometric passports or electronic residence
permit.=A0 This is in Beta testing now but expected to go live by later =
this
year.

Not All Agree Its Legal

Some believe this is a violation of the General Data Protection =
Regulation
which bans facial recognition systems with some exceptions=97such as =
when the
person gives consent for use of the software. Frances=92 data regulator, =
CNIL
says the GDPR makes free choice mandatory is very concerned over this
program.

Concerns range >from proper lighting, use of makeup and position of the
person in relationship to the camera compared with the photograph used =
to
against it=97especially if the photograph is an older one.

Martin Drago, a legal expert at La Quadrature du Net, a group that =
defends
digital rights and civil liberties and which is suing the government at
France's highest court of appeals, Conseil d=92Etat.=A0 That decision is
expected in a few months. Bloomberg News reported that a hacker was able =
to
break into the government app in just over one hour.

There is legislation in the French Parliament to create a framework for
wide-ranging tests of facial recognition technology.
To read more see:
https://www.dw.com/en/france-embraces-facial-recognition-tech/a-51106489
and
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-03/french-liberte-tested-=
by-
nationwide-facial-recognition-id-plan


Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

MILLER family from Lowicz, Poland

Avraham Y. Kahana
 

I am looking for the following family Miller family from Lowicz:
 
Israel Miller married to Chana nee Faust(?)
Children:
Rivka Miriam (1860)
Avraham Yonah (Abram Janas) (1864)
Suea Szprinca (1865)
 
Specifically, I am interested in the descendants of Rivka Miriam, who married to Shmuel Wolf Sczuciner, from my family.
 
If this relates to you, please reply back.
Thank you in advance,
Avraham Yehoshua Kahana
Israel

The APOTHEKER-LANDAU Connection in Nowy Sacz A Breakthrough #poland

Abuwasta Abuwasta
 

Dear Siggers,

I am glad to update you that after a long journey of more that six years we
manged to solve one of our family's mysteries.

Along the way I committed several unnecessary mistakes and omissions but
with the help and the professionalism of the SIGs members I was guided
in the right avenue. The only fact we knew was that my wife's great
grandfather Isac Saul APOTHEKER was born in 1831 in Nowy Sacz and
married a certain Lea LANDAU around 1850. There are no BMDs
for this early period and of course LANDAU is a huge tribe. It was
only after an unknown descendant of the APOTHEKER family provided
me with a reference >from a Rabbinical literature indicating that
Isac Saul married with the grand daughter of Rabbi Baruch SEGA"L
LANDA who was the Av Beth Din of Nowy Sacz and environs. Another
experienced Sigger with a sharp eye found out in Geni an entry for
Rabbi Baruch Ha Levi LANDAU and his son Judah Leib Ha Levi LANDAU.
Comparison of the given names of the children confirms the pattern
of lineage in both families. Other Siggers provided useful
suggestions and further reference to Rabbinical literature and
discussion groups in Yiddish.

Thank you all!!!

Annette and Jacob Rosen

Jerusalem

JRI Poland #Poland The APOTHEKER-LANDAU Connection in Nowy Sacz A Breakthrough #poland

Abuwasta Abuwasta
 

Dear Siggers,

I am glad to update you that after a long journey of more that six years we
manged to solve one of our family's mysteries.

Along the way I committed several unnecessary mistakes and omissions but
with the help and the professionalism of the SIGs members I was guided
in the right avenue. The only fact we knew was that my wife's great
grandfather Isac Saul APOTHEKER was born in 1831 in Nowy Sacz and
married a certain Lea LANDAU around 1850. There are no BMDs
for this early period and of course LANDAU is a huge tribe. It was
only after an unknown descendant of the APOTHEKER family provided
me with a reference >from a Rabbinical literature indicating that
Isac Saul married with the grand daughter of Rabbi Baruch SEGA"L
LANDA who was the Av Beth Din of Nowy Sacz and environs. Another
experienced Sigger with a sharp eye found out in Geni an entry for
Rabbi Baruch Ha Levi LANDAU and his son Judah Leib Ha Levi LANDAU.
Comparison of the given names of the children confirms the pattern
of lineage in both families. Other Siggers provided useful
suggestions and further reference to Rabbinical literature and
discussion groups in Yiddish.

Thank you all!!!

Annette and Jacob Rosen

Jerusalem

JOWBR & Memorial Plaques Databases Year-End Update Reminder

Nolan Altman
 

The review process for the semi-annual update for JewishGen’s JOWBR (https://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Cemetery/) and Memorial Plaques (https://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Memorial/) databases has begun.  The year-end update will include submissions received by November 30th and should go live in December.

 

The following update will include all submissions received by May 31, 2020 and will be uploaded in June, prior to the summer IAJGS Conference in San Diego.

 

If you have any complete cemeteries or cemetery sections to submit, please contact me directly at NAltman@...

 

Nolan

 

 

Looking for descendants of one Tzipora Rosner that lived at Kiriat Amal, Borochov street, Israel - on 1955

Avraham Y. Kahana
 

Hi, if any of the israeli genners can easily trace descendants of one Tzipora Rosner that lived at Kiriat Amal, Borochov street, on 1955
please reply back.

Thank you in advance,
Avraham Yehoshua Kahana
Israel

Family names and town #ukraine

Sheila Fuchs <sweetredhed@...>
 

Dear Geners,
I am hoping to learn of my mother's family which came >from a town called by them as Krivozer or may have been Krivoye Ozero. The family name I am most interested in is Mackler or Mekler. Also, >from the same town, the other names re Bachman and Ferdman. If anyone has any knowledge or is searching these names, especially Mackler, I'd appreciate hearing >from them.

Sheila Fuchs

Ukraine SIG #Ukraine Family names and town #ukraine

Sheila Fuchs <sweetredhed@...>
 

Dear Geners,
I am hoping to learn of my mother's family which came >from a town called by them as Krivozer or may have been Krivoye Ozero. The family name I am most interested in is Mackler or Mekler. Also, >from the same town, the other names re Bachman and Ferdman. If anyone has any knowledge or is searching these names, especially Mackler, I'd appreciate hearing >from them.

Sheila Fuchs

Re: DAVID GOLDBERG PETITION ... WRONG FAMILY

Joan
 

This could be my great grandfather.  Was he married at the time to a Lena weingard?

Re: An Article About The Old Cemetery in Brody

thefamilykeeper@...
 

Where did you see reference to this article? I am interested in knowing more about my Weintraub and Rohr family from Brody. 

Thank you,
Lynda Schnier

My trip to Prague in October #austria-czech

E. Randol Schoenberg
 

As those of you who are members of the Czech Jewish Genealogy group on
Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/353398325120768/) and the
Jewish Genealogy Portal
(https://www.facebook.com/groups/JewishGenealogyPortal/) already know, I
had a terrifically productive trip to Prague and Vienna last month,
staying for a week with my cousin Michaela Navratilova, followed by a
few days in Vienna.

I have been asked to write a summary, but I am finding it very
difficult because there was so much that I discovered. I did write a
short summary, which has been published in the Jewish Journal,
https://jewishjournal.com/culture/lifestyle/first_person/306729/how-i-found-my-jewish-ancestors-in-prague/,
and may also appear on the JewishGen blog. I placed a version of it also on my
own blog, with hyperlinks that may make it more useful for those interested in
the details. See http://schoenblog.com/?p=3D1859

I can add a few more nuts and bolts, for those who may want to retrace
my steps and take advantage of some of the resources I found.

I started off on Monday October 21 with Julius Mueller,
jmuller@..., the expert Czech genealogist who has also been our
speaker many times at the IAJGS conference. In the morning, we visited
two archives that are located back to back of each other in Prague: The
Prague City Archives and Czech National Archives (Narodni Archiv) in the
4th district. Then in the afternoon we went to the Czech National
Archives in the 6th district. You can find both addresses of the
National Archives at http://old.nacr.cz/english/office_hours.aspx. For
the Prague City Archives (Archiv hlavniho mesta Prahy) see
http://www.ahmp.cz/eng/index.html?mid=3D11&wstyle=3D0&page=3D%27%27.

The City Archives in Prague 4 had several items of interest to me,
including: individual files >from the early 1700s related to contracts
for my ancestors Mannes and Benet Nachod (these I discovered simply by
searching on their website), books of testaments (Liber testamentorum
judeorum -- these have been microfilmed), records books of Jewish
matters (liber judeorum albus -- some of these are already
scanned and on the website), records of marriage permissions >from the
1730s (I photographed these), tables of births and deaths >from
1788-1846. My contacts there were the archivists Zora Damova,
Zora.Damova@..., Jan Schwaller, Jan.Schwaller@..., and Jan
Cihak, badatelna@.... The City Archives also has 200 hundred (!)
boxes of Jewish records that are not accessible because they have not
been catalogued. We need to work on helping them make those available.

The National Archives in Prague 4 is mainly concerned with post-1850
records. When I visited I asked if they had anything concerning my
gg-grandfather Josef Nachod and filled out a short form with his
details. Later that same day I received an email >from archivist Jakub
Tlsuty, Jakub.Tlusty@..., stating that they had found some
documents. I returned the next day and they gave me a large police
file, which I certainly was not expecting. I described some of
the contents in my blog post (I won't ruin it for you).
Apparently many people had large police files in those days and it was
not uncommon. So that's definitely something worth pursuing if
you had family in Prague in the 19th century.

I had visited the National Archives in Prague 6 many years ago, and it
was nice to return there and to see Lenka Matusikova,
Lenka.Matusikova@..., who also has been our featured speaker at
several IAJGS conferences. By accident, I also happened to meet there
Prof. Ivana Ebelova, who has been responsible for publishing the Czech
Jewish census books >from 1793 (and Prague 1792 and 1794). She told me
that she is working on making some of the other, older census materials
available (such as Prague 1729). I hope they will be on their website
next year. http://pvh.ff.cuni.cz/soupisy.htm

Julius had asked them to pull out two boxes of genealogical files,
obviously prepared by our pre-cursors. Lots of them seemed to be
related to the famous Edler von Popper estate foundation, that
benefitted the descendants of his sisters. The files contained
genealogical goldmines for those families, certified copies of old birth
certificates, for example, and lots of charts. Julius also brought out
the old 1729 census book, an enormous tome, the 1794 Prague census, and
the original Familianten books. Lenka found for me an 1849 death report
for my gg-grandfather. There was also a stack of handwritten death
records with information similar to what you'd find in the old
record books. We also came across another 1734 Prague marriage
permission report, of the same type that I saw earlier at the City
Archives, so the collection must have been split up at some point, or
else there were duplicate reports sent to different offices. The
funniest part of the report is that they had a requirement that the
groom be 18 and the bride 15 years old. Instead of saying the actual
ages, they just reported that each was over the minimum ages, 18 and 15.
There were also marriage permission reports for other regions in
Bohemia, so not just Prague. One of the Familianten books for my family
mentioned a foundation that was set up on the death of my
ggg-grandfather Gabriel Nachod in 1849. Amazingly, Lenka's
colleague Dr. Helena Klimova, helena.klimova@..., was able to find
the file for me so I could scan it. Most of the records I saw were in
German, but some were written in Hebrew, which was too difficult for me
to read. Some had both German and Hebrew.

I brought a portable table scanner with me that I could use with my
laptop to help scan lots of pages. This was good for regular sized
pages, but often the pages were too large and I used my iPhone, which
also worked very well. There was no problems with scanning, much easier
than in the old days when you had to order copies >from the archive.

On Tuesday, October 22 and Thursday October 24 I visited the Archives of
the Jewish Museum of Prague. Archivist Tomas Krakora,
tomas.krakora@..., showed me lots of interesting items
related to my particular family research. I was able to see the old
Berichtenbuch with records of various activities of the Jewish Community
of Prague. I scanned the indexes of the first two books. Tomas also
was able to find for me the Fassion pages that record my family's
re-entry to Prague in 1748 after the expulsion, as well as a 1760
marriage. The earlier forms >from right after the expulsion have been
transcribed and published in a book, but I had not been aware that the
forms were used for several decades more. They could be a great
resource if we can get access to them. Tomas also advised me to go back
to the National Archives in Prague 6 to look for the marriage
permission. I did that the next day. I waded through seven boxes >from
1759-1760 over two hours before returning to the first box, where I then
quickly found the note I was looking for. The first time through I
didn't understand the records well enough to find it. But after
two hours of practice, it was much easier to navigate.

The Jewish Museum archives has a good index of its holdings, but
unfortunately it is not available online. I had used an old chart >from
Judaica Bohemaie to ask for some materials related to towns outside of
Prague that were of interest. Tomas found for me an old 1727 report to
Prinz Liechtenstein for Ungarisch Ostroh that lists all of the Jews in
the town at that time. Also for Ostroh the museum has a book listing
larger donations of funds to the Jewish community, and I found a few
pages relevant to my family. Similarly in Prossnitz there was a
foundation created for the benefit of the community by my ancestors and
the museum had the records available for me to see and copy.

I did take some time to go through the various Jewish Museum exhibits,
the Altneuschul and the old cemetery. I always see something new. This
time I noticed portraits of officers of the Prague chewra kadisha in
1772 that I want to follow up on. On Thursday Daniel Polakovic went
with me to the old cemetery and we looked for specific graves that I had
asked to find. He found them quickly and without any problem. Daniel
has been working for years on a comprehensive index of the old cemetery
and said that he hopes to have it available to us in about two more
years. It was exhilarating to be able to stand next to a grave >from
1585 for one of my ancestors and to find a cluster of family graves >from
the 18th century. Using a side flash, Daniel took photos that he sent
me so I could also read the inscriptions. Later that day I stopped by
and said hello to Alexandr Putik, the editor of Judaica Bohemiae and
author of many important scholarly articles on Czech Jewry. He always
helps steer me to the right sources, and later was able to send me some
important records in one of the Liber judeorum albus that I didn't
find on my own. Daniel Polakovic also followed up to tell me that my
family had also donated torah curtains that were part of the museum
collection. I had always hoped that I would find one of those, but
never really believed it was possible. And now it is.

On Thursday evening, we had a big genealogy party at a restaurant near
the Jewish Museum archives. About thirty friends showed up. Most of us
had never met in person before. Although I had been really tired in the
evenings all week, that night I had no problems staying up late and
talking about our favorite topic -- genealogy!

On Friday, Fred Chvatal, f7fred@..., who also has spoken several
times at our IAJGS conference, picked me up and drove me west to the
small village of Hresihlavy. Apparently the cemetery there is known for
its red sandstone tombstones, and they were indeed remarkable.
Unfortunately the cemetery was a bit too recent, so we drove to the
nearby cemetery at Teresov that has some older stones and tried to find
some related to my Zeimer family. We found at least one of them. Fred
took me back to Prague and I visited my cousin Petr Wilheim, who
volunteers at the New Jewish Cemetery in Prague. We walked around and
for the first time I saw some of the enormous graves along the back
wall. So that was also a new experience.

I finished up my stay in Prague with a trip about one hour south with my
cousin Michaela to her weekend house in a small village near the Moldau.
Her daughter Karolina went with me to a nearby Jewish cemetery in
Celina, where we again found some red stones, and lots of mushrooms
growing nearby. The cemetery, as is so often the case in this area, was
up on a hillside, so not prime land, and perhaps that has helped it
survive so long nearly untouched. We were able to find it using a
simple map app on our phones, which were remarkably accurate.

I went to Vienna for the last couple of days and did some research at
the Wiener Stadt und Landesarchiv in the Gasometer. Funny, I ran into
my friend Daniel Horowitz of MyHeritage there, who was also doing some
research before heading home to Israel. In the Vienna archive I was
able to find some duplicate records on microfilm, and when one old
microfilm wasn't there, they brought out the original book for
me to scan. The big discovery was a cardfile made by Leon Ruzicka for
many of the old Viennese Jewish families as well as for the 1782 Prague
Jewish tax lists in the Hofkammerarchiv. I scanned all of the Prague
ones the next day.

Ok, I hope that is at least a good enough summary to satisfy people for
a while. I am still sifting through all of the things I scanned. It
was a great trip and I hope it won't be too long before I can
return for more.

Oh, and if you follow me on Facebook, you know the food was good too!

Randy Schoenberg
Los Angeles, CA

Austria-Czech SIG #Austria-Czech My trip to Prague in October #austria-czech

E. Randol Schoenberg
 

As those of you who are members of the Czech Jewish Genealogy group on
Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/353398325120768/) and the
Jewish Genealogy Portal
(https://www.facebook.com/groups/JewishGenealogyPortal/) already know, I
had a terrifically productive trip to Prague and Vienna last month,
staying for a week with my cousin Michaela Navratilova, followed by a
few days in Vienna.

I have been asked to write a summary, but I am finding it very
difficult because there was so much that I discovered. I did write a
short summary, which has been published in the Jewish Journal,
https://jewishjournal.com/culture/lifestyle/first_person/306729/how-i-found-my-jewish-ancestors-in-prague/,
and may also appear on the JewishGen blog. I placed a version of it also on my
own blog, with hyperlinks that may make it more useful for those interested in
the details. See http://schoenblog.com/?p=3D1859

I can add a few more nuts and bolts, for those who may want to retrace
my steps and take advantage of some of the resources I found.

I started off on Monday October 21 with Julius Mueller,
jmuller@..., the expert Czech genealogist who has also been our
speaker many times at the IAJGS conference. In the morning, we visited
two archives that are located back to back of each other in Prague: The
Prague City Archives and Czech National Archives (Narodni Archiv) in the
4th district. Then in the afternoon we went to the Czech National
Archives in the 6th district. You can find both addresses of the
National Archives at http://old.nacr.cz/english/office_hours.aspx. For
the Prague City Archives (Archiv hlavniho mesta Prahy) see
http://www.ahmp.cz/eng/index.html?mid=3D11&wstyle=3D0&page=3D%27%27.

The City Archives in Prague 4 had several items of interest to me,
including: individual files >from the early 1700s related to contracts
for my ancestors Mannes and Benet Nachod (these I discovered simply by
searching on their website), books of testaments (Liber testamentorum
judeorum -- these have been microfilmed), records books of Jewish
matters (liber judeorum albus -- some of these are already
scanned and on the website), records of marriage permissions >from the
1730s (I photographed these), tables of births and deaths >from
1788-1846. My contacts there were the archivists Zora Damova,
Zora.Damova@..., Jan Schwaller, Jan.Schwaller@..., and Jan
Cihak, badatelna@.... The City Archives also has 200 hundred (!)
boxes of Jewish records that are not accessible because they have not
been catalogued. We need to work on helping them make those available.

The National Archives in Prague 4 is mainly concerned with post-1850
records. When I visited I asked if they had anything concerning my
gg-grandfather Josef Nachod and filled out a short form with his
details. Later that same day I received an email >from archivist Jakub
Tlsuty, Jakub.Tlusty@..., stating that they had found some
documents. I returned the next day and they gave me a large police
file, which I certainly was not expecting. I described some of
the contents in my blog post (I won't ruin it for you).
Apparently many people had large police files in those days and it was
not uncommon. So that's definitely something worth pursuing if
you had family in Prague in the 19th century.

I had visited the National Archives in Prague 6 many years ago, and it
was nice to return there and to see Lenka Matusikova,
Lenka.Matusikova@..., who also has been our featured speaker at
several IAJGS conferences. By accident, I also happened to meet there
Prof. Ivana Ebelova, who has been responsible for publishing the Czech
Jewish census books >from 1793 (and Prague 1792 and 1794). She told me
that she is working on making some of the other, older census materials
available (such as Prague 1729). I hope they will be on their website
next year. http://pvh.ff.cuni.cz/soupisy.htm

Julius had asked them to pull out two boxes of genealogical files,
obviously prepared by our pre-cursors. Lots of them seemed to be
related to the famous Edler von Popper estate foundation, that
benefitted the descendants of his sisters. The files contained
genealogical goldmines for those families, certified copies of old birth
certificates, for example, and lots of charts. Julius also brought out
the old 1729 census book, an enormous tome, the 1794 Prague census, and
the original Familianten books. Lenka found for me an 1849 death report
for my gg-grandfather. There was also a stack of handwritten death
records with information similar to what you'd find in the old
record books. We also came across another 1734 Prague marriage
permission report, of the same type that I saw earlier at the City
Archives, so the collection must have been split up at some point, or
else there were duplicate reports sent to different offices. The
funniest part of the report is that they had a requirement that the
groom be 18 and the bride 15 years old. Instead of saying the actual
ages, they just reported that each was over the minimum ages, 18 and 15.
There were also marriage permission reports for other regions in
Bohemia, so not just Prague. One of the Familianten books for my family
mentioned a foundation that was set up on the death of my
ggg-grandfather Gabriel Nachod in 1849. Amazingly, Lenka's
colleague Dr. Helena Klimova, helena.klimova@..., was able to find
the file for me so I could scan it. Most of the records I saw were in
German, but some were written in Hebrew, which was too difficult for me
to read. Some had both German and Hebrew.

I brought a portable table scanner with me that I could use with my
laptop to help scan lots of pages. This was good for regular sized
pages, but often the pages were too large and I used my iPhone, which
also worked very well. There was no problems with scanning, much easier
than in the old days when you had to order copies >from the archive.

On Tuesday, October 22 and Thursday October 24 I visited the Archives of
the Jewish Museum of Prague. Archivist Tomas Krakora,
tomas.krakora@..., showed me lots of interesting items
related to my particular family research. I was able to see the old
Berichtenbuch with records of various activities of the Jewish Community
of Prague. I scanned the indexes of the first two books. Tomas also
was able to find for me the Fassion pages that record my family's
re-entry to Prague in 1748 after the expulsion, as well as a 1760
marriage. The earlier forms >from right after the expulsion have been
transcribed and published in a book, but I had not been aware that the
forms were used for several decades more. They could be a great
resource if we can get access to them. Tomas also advised me to go back
to the National Archives in Prague 6 to look for the marriage
permission. I did that the next day. I waded through seven boxes >from
1759-1760 over two hours before returning to the first box, where I then
quickly found the note I was looking for. The first time through I
didn't understand the records well enough to find it. But after
two hours of practice, it was much easier to navigate.

The Jewish Museum archives has a good index of its holdings, but
unfortunately it is not available online. I had used an old chart >from
Judaica Bohemaie to ask for some materials related to towns outside of
Prague that were of interest. Tomas found for me an old 1727 report to
Prinz Liechtenstein for Ungarisch Ostroh that lists all of the Jews in
the town at that time. Also for Ostroh the museum has a book listing
larger donations of funds to the Jewish community, and I found a few
pages relevant to my family. Similarly in Prossnitz there was a
foundation created for the benefit of the community by my ancestors and
the museum had the records available for me to see and copy.

I did take some time to go through the various Jewish Museum exhibits,
the Altneuschul and the old cemetery. I always see something new. This
time I noticed portraits of officers of the Prague chewra kadisha in
1772 that I want to follow up on. On Thursday Daniel Polakovic went
with me to the old cemetery and we looked for specific graves that I had
asked to find. He found them quickly and without any problem. Daniel
has been working for years on a comprehensive index of the old cemetery
and said that he hopes to have it available to us in about two more
years. It was exhilarating to be able to stand next to a grave >from
1585 for one of my ancestors and to find a cluster of family graves >from
the 18th century. Using a side flash, Daniel took photos that he sent
me so I could also read the inscriptions. Later that day I stopped by
and said hello to Alexandr Putik, the editor of Judaica Bohemiae and
author of many important scholarly articles on Czech Jewry. He always
helps steer me to the right sources, and later was able to send me some
important records in one of the Liber judeorum albus that I didn't
find on my own. Daniel Polakovic also followed up to tell me that my
family had also donated torah curtains that were part of the museum
collection. I had always hoped that I would find one of those, but
never really believed it was possible. And now it is.

On Thursday evening, we had a big genealogy party at a restaurant near
the Jewish Museum archives. About thirty friends showed up. Most of us
had never met in person before. Although I had been really tired in the
evenings all week, that night I had no problems staying up late and
talking about our favorite topic -- genealogy!

On Friday, Fred Chvatal, f7fred@..., who also has spoken several
times at our IAJGS conference, picked me up and drove me west to the
small village of Hresihlavy. Apparently the cemetery there is known for
its red sandstone tombstones, and they were indeed remarkable.
Unfortunately the cemetery was a bit too recent, so we drove to the
nearby cemetery at Teresov that has some older stones and tried to find
some related to my Zeimer family. We found at least one of them. Fred
took me back to Prague and I visited my cousin Petr Wilheim, who
volunteers at the New Jewish Cemetery in Prague. We walked around and
for the first time I saw some of the enormous graves along the back
wall. So that was also a new experience.

I finished up my stay in Prague with a trip about one hour south with my
cousin Michaela to her weekend house in a small village near the Moldau.
Her daughter Karolina went with me to a nearby Jewish cemetery in
Celina, where we again found some red stones, and lots of mushrooms
growing nearby. The cemetery, as is so often the case in this area, was
up on a hillside, so not prime land, and perhaps that has helped it
survive so long nearly untouched. We were able to find it using a
simple map app on our phones, which were remarkably accurate.

I went to Vienna for the last couple of days and did some research at
the Wiener Stadt und Landesarchiv in the Gasometer. Funny, I ran into
my friend Daniel Horowitz of MyHeritage there, who was also doing some
research before heading home to Israel. In the Vienna archive I was
able to find some duplicate records on microfilm, and when one old
microfilm wasn't there, they brought out the original book for
me to scan. The big discovery was a cardfile made by Leon Ruzicka for
many of the old Viennese Jewish families as well as for the 1782 Prague
Jewish tax lists in the Hofkammerarchiv. I scanned all of the Prague
ones the next day.

Ok, I hope that is at least a good enough summary to satisfy people for
a while. I am still sifting through all of the things I scanned. It
was a great trip and I hope it won't be too long before I can
return for more.

Oh, and if you follow me on Facebook, you know the food was good too!

Randy Schoenberg
Los Angeles, CA

Germany Easing of Restoration of German Citizenship for Descendants of Nazi Persecution #germany

Jan Meisels Allen
 

The German Federal Ministry of the Interior eased the rules regarding restoration of citizenship for descendants of victims of National Socialist persecution. Under certain circumstances some individuals may more easily acquire German citizenship.  The edict was dated August 30, 2019.

 

Those who stand to benefit include:

 

  • children born in wedlock before April 1, 1953, to German mothers whose citizenship had been revoked and foreign fathers;
  • children born out of wedlock before July 1, 1993, to German fathers whose citizenship had been revoked and foreign mothers, provided the paternity of those children was recognized and determined under German law prior to their reaching the age of 23; and
  • children whose German parent had acquired foreign citizenship and lost their German citizenship amid National Socialist persecution, including children whose mothers emigrated as a result of persecution and lost their German citizenship prior to April 1, 1953, through marriage to a foreign man;

 

            and, in most cases, their descendants.

 

The edict may be read at:

https://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/pressemitteilungen/DE/2019/08/wiedergutmachung-ns-verbrechen.html

It is in German. However, if you use Chrome as your browser it will translate it, or use a translation service such as

https://translate.google.com/

 

You may also read a release from the German Missions in the United States which explains the existing law and information on obtaining German citizenship. It also has a link for the application for naturalization. See:

https://www.germany.info/us-en/service/03-Citizenship/restoration-of-german-citizenship/925120

This is available in both English and German which you can chose at the upper right of the page.


An article about this may be read at:

https://www.dw.com/en/descendants-of-nazi-era-jews-fight-for-german-citizenship/a-50211163

 

Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

 

France to be First County in EU to Introduce Facial Recognition Software for Government Services #france

Jan Meisels Allen
 

 

 

Facial recognition technology, especially when used by government agencies is controversial. France has announced it will be the first European Union country to introduce facial recognition software for government services.  Once implemented it will give users access to approximately 500 government websites.  France says the program will not keep tabs on its residents, as it won’t be integrating the facial recognition biometric into citizens’ identity databases.

 

How it works

 

A new government app, Alicem,  is based on facial recognition software. One takes a video of their face on their smart phone and uploads the video to a government server. This server has the information collected from the person’s data from their biometric passports or electronic residence permit.  This is in Beta testing now but expected to go live by later this year.

 

Not All Agree Its Legal

 

Some believe this is a violation of the General Data Protection Regulation which bans facial recognition systems with some exceptions—such as when the person gives consent for use of the software. Frances’ data regulator, CNIL says the GDPR makes free choice mandatory is very concerned over this program.

 

Concerns range from proper lighting, use of makeup and position of the person in relationship to the camera compared with the photograph used to against it—especially if the photograph is an older one.

 

Martin Drago, a legal expert at La Quadrature du Net, a group that defends digital rights and civil liberties and which is suing the government at France's highest court of appeals, Conseil d’Etat.  That decision is expected in a few months. Bloomberg News reported that a hacker was able to break into the government app in just over one hour.

 

There is legislation in the French Parliament to create a framework for wide-ranging tests of facial recognition technology.

To read more see:

https://www.dw.com/en/france-embraces-facial-recognition-tech/a-51106489

and

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-03/french-liberte-tested-by-nationwide-facial-recognition-id-plan

 

 

Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

 

 

The APOTHEKER-LANDAU Connection in Nowy Sacz A Breakthrough #rabbinic

Abuwasta Abuwasta
 

Dear Siggers,

I am glad to update you that after a long journey of more that six
years we manged to solve one of our family's mysteries.

Along the way I committed several unnecessary mistakes and omissions
but with the help and the professionalism of the SIGs members I was
guided in the right avenue. The only fact we knew was that my wife's
great grandfather Isac Saul APOTHEKER was born in 1831 in Nowy Sacz
and married a certain Lea LANDAU around 1850. There are no BMD s for
this early period and of course LANDAU is a huge tribe. It was only
after an unknown descendant of the APOTHEKER family provided me
with a reference >from a Rabbinical literature indicating that Isac
Saul married with the grand daughter of Rabbi Baruch SEGA"L LANDA who
was the Av Beth Din of Nowy Sacz and environs. Another experienced
Sigger with a sharp eye found out in Geni an entry for Rabbi Baruch
Ha Levi LANDAU and his son Judah Leib Ha Levi LANDAU. Comparison of the
given names of the children confirms the pattern of lineage in both
families. Other Siggers provided useful suggestions and further
reference to Rabbinical literature and discussion groups in Yiddish.

Thank you all!!!

Annette and Jacob Rosen
Jerusalem

Rabbinic Genealogy SIG #Rabbinic The APOTHEKER-LANDAU Connection in Nowy Sacz A Breakthrough #rabbinic

Abuwasta Abuwasta
 

Dear Siggers,

I am glad to update you that after a long journey of more that six
years we manged to solve one of our family's mysteries.

Along the way I committed several unnecessary mistakes and omissions
but with the help and the professionalism of the SIGs members I was
guided in the right avenue. The only fact we knew was that my wife's
great grandfather Isac Saul APOTHEKER was born in 1831 in Nowy Sacz
and married a certain Lea LANDAU around 1850. There are no BMD s for
this early period and of course LANDAU is a huge tribe. It was only
after an unknown descendant of the APOTHEKER family provided me
with a reference >from a Rabbinical literature indicating that Isac
Saul married with the grand daughter of Rabbi Baruch SEGA"L LANDA who
was the Av Beth Din of Nowy Sacz and environs. Another experienced
Sigger with a sharp eye found out in Geni an entry for Rabbi Baruch
Ha Levi LANDAU and his son Judah Leib Ha Levi LANDAU. Comparison of the
given names of the children confirms the pattern of lineage in both
families. Other Siggers provided useful suggestions and further
reference to Rabbinical literature and discussion groups in Yiddish.

Thank you all!!!

Annette and Jacob Rosen
Jerusalem

Statistics on Conversos #sephardic

Ralph Baer
 

Although, I have been a member of JewishGen almost since the start (I am
member 1283), I only just joined this list. I do have other known Sephardic
ancestors besides for the line which I discuss here.

In August, I received an email >from someone who is a mitochondrial DNA
match. Mitochondrial DNA is passed >from mother to child. Both male and
female children inherit it, but males do not pass it further. Thus this
match indicates that we are related on our purely maternal lines.

The person whom I match is >from Mallorca, Spain. Although he knew that both
his father and mother were descended on their male lines >from people who
converted >from Judaism due to the Inquisition, he did not know about his
purely maternal line which is why he took the test. The fact that he matches
a great number of central and eastern European Jews proves that this line is
also Jewish.

In my case, I can trace my maternal line only pack to a woman named Lina or
Lia ( = Leah) who was born in 1753 in the town of Birstein in the
present-day Main-Kinzig-Kreis in Hessen, Germany. That is only about halfway
back to the Inquisition.

What else I noticed is that almost all of my many mitochondrial matches are
obviously primarily Ashkenazi. There are only a couple of other who appear
to have ancestors >from Spain. What I am curious about is if anyone has any
statistics, even if quite approximate, as to what percentage of Jews
converted at the time of the Inquisition as opposed to leaving Spain?


Ralph N. Baer Washington, DC RalphNBaer@...