Re: Records From Secret Vatican Archive Offer New Clues to Response to Holocaust #holocaust

er raisuli

Jan Meisels Allen, excellent overview of recently released documents on the roles of the Pope and his closest confidants with respect to the German regime during WWII. 

For anyone interested in this topic, this book is a must read: 

Cornwell, John. Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII, 1999

Cornwell had access to Pacelli’s records, held in Vatican archives, as the Vatican Secretary of State and later as Pope, decades before the records were made available to the public earlier this year. 

Particularly relevant are Chapter 8, Hitler and Pacelli, on Pacelli’s direction of the German Catholic Center Party to vote to give dictatorial power to Hitler in 1933, as well as Chapter 17, The Jews of Rome, on the roundup and deportation to Auschwitz of more than 1000 Jews.

The book also addresses the fiction created in Pius XII’s Vatican newspaper during the war that he made humanitarian efforts “behind the scenes” to mitigate the devastation of the Shoah. This myth has been perpetuated since, and, in the film “Holy Silence,” was repeated by Norbert Hoffman, representing the Vatican Commission on Jewish Relations. Through decades of research there has been no evidence presented to support it. 

Joe Tarshish 

Viewmate request: Russian/Hebrew translation of birth record #lithuania #translation

Michele Lock

I have a 1891 Russian/Hebrew birth record for my great aunt Miriam Leybman (Leapman) of Dotnuva, Lithuania, on Viewmate:

I'd like two things:
1. I'd like to see in Roman letters the maiden name of the mother Rochel Frieda, both from the Russian and the Hebrew. The reason being, that the way my great grandmother Rochel Frieda pronounced her maiden name here in the US is rather different than the way the name has been indexed in Roman letters from various records.
2. There are several lines of writing beneath the actual birth record, and I'd like a translation of them, either from the Hebrew or the Russian.

Michele Lock
Alexandria, VA

Leybman/Leapman/Lippman from Dotnuva, Lithuania
Olitsky from Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman, Zeligman from Czestochowa, Poland
Levin/Levko/Levy from Minsk Guburnia, Belarus
Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock from Gruzd/Zagare/Joniskis, Lithuania

Bessarabia Research Division update for August 2020. #bessarabia #ukraine

Yefim Kogan

Dear researchers,

 Here is an update for the Bessarabia Research Division projects for the month of August 2020. 

See also at What's New at Bessarabia website.

Bessarabian Databases. Updates:

  • Revision Lists.  A New set of records started and we plan to upload itto JewishGen in December of 2020. A number of Revision List sets are going to be completed for towns of Kishinev, Khotin, Kishinev, Beltsy, Skulyany, Akkerman, etc, see the progress.
If you are interested in help us with this project, please email me at yefimk@....
Genealogical Conferences. Addition
  • 40th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, Virtual, 10-13 August, 2020.
    Please go to the Bessarabia group website / Conferences / 40th conference site and
    read our presentations (Bessarabia connections).

    One session was Bessarabia group meeting, talking about what we did this year, since summer of 2019 and our plans for next years.

    In the Second session we explore Jewish Kishinev... As always you could ask questions, posting for everybody at our JewishGen Discussion group with hashtag #bessarabia or you can also email Yefim Kogan or Inna Vayner.

Please let us know if you have any questions, ideas of how to make our Bessarabia Research group and Bessarabia website better. 

Inna Vayner, Yefim Kogan

Bessarabia Research Leaders and Coordinators

Re: Pearl Sherman Patterson, NJ #general

Sherri Bobish


On Ancestry I see a William T. & Pearl SHERMAN living in Bloomfield in 1957 & 1959.

Bloomfield is about 9 miles south of Paterson.

Hawthorne is about 3 miles NNE of Paterson.


Sherri Bobish

ViewMate translation request - Polish #poland #translation

Jeremy Lichtman

I've posted a birth record from 1821 in Belzyce on ViewMate (link below).

I can read all of the names and ages.

There seems to be a rather extended description of the father (Shmerl Majerowicz), though.

I'd be interested in a rough description of what is said, after his age, on row 4, 5 and 6 (up to his wife's name), and particularly if there's any indication of him coming from a different town (I can see Belzyce mentioned but don't understand enough Polish to make out the rest of what seems like a much longer description than usual).

Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.

Thank you very much,

Jeremy Lichtman

Entry and Exit from 'Palestine'. #israel

Michael Scott

I am trying to trace the the route of Claire Dyment (Born 1918). She left Leipzig in the 1930's for 'Palestine', according to the records of the Leipzig Synagogue. .  
The next time I can trace her on any records , she was in London early in 1939.  Would there be any records showing her entry into Palestine, where she stayed, worked etc.  and then her exit from there and her entry into the UK ?
Thank you
Michael Scott

Re: Were there markings on Jewish headstones in the United Kingdom that identify who the stonecutters were? #unitedkingdom

Our Jewish Family History Research

Hi all:
Thanks to everyone who replied to my post. I apologize for my possible error in assuming that adding the hashtag"#unitedkingdom" would automatically identify the location that my post refers to. I wish to pose my question again noting that the location is #united kingdom specifically. I must comment though that the topic has brought forth fascinating details that relate to other parts of our Jewish world! Perhaps the moderators would please assign an appropriate hashtag to cover these and future posts on this topic.

Many thanks to all.

Stay safe and well.


Jacqueline GRUSZECKI
from Dorohoi,București,Herța & Panciu

Seeking Dr. Orban LASZLONE, Budapest, Re Jozsef NUERENBERGER and Etel FRIEDMAN NUERENBERGER #slovakia #hungary #holocaust

Hilary Osofsky

I am seeking Dr. Orban LASZLONE, of Budapest, who submitted testimony to Yad Vashem for my NUERENBERGER cousins, Jozsef (Yosef) NUERENBERGER and his wife, nee Etel FRIEDMAN / FRIDMAN,  in 1988 (Item ID's 1743571 and 1699738).

According to Dr. LASZLONE's testimony, Jozsef was born in  Rozsahegy (Ruzomberok), Liptov, Slovakia, in 1880. He was actually born to Hannah HOLLANDER and Salamon / Samuel NUERENBERGER in Felso-Ruszbach on 30 Oct 1883.

Etel was born to Irma Schwarz / Shvarz and Herman Friedman on 14 July 1885 in Mezocsat, Borsod, Hungary.

The couple last resided in  Budapest, or perhaps Veroce, Hungary, before being deported to Auschwitz, where they were murdered.

I would greatly appreciate it if anyone who knows how to contact Dr. Laszlone (or his family) would either convey my email to him or otherwise contact me privately as to how I might initiate contact.

Hilary Stein Osofsky
Orinda, CA

NUERENBERGER / NURNBERGER / NIRNBERGER Gibely > Zalesie, Zilina, Krizova Ves, Haghi, Vysne Ruzbachy, Hafka, Podolinec, Stara Lubovna, Spisska Stara Ves, Slovakia

Help with translating family postcards #translation


I would love some assistance translating these family postcards into English. I suspect they are in German or Yiddish  but am not sure. If I should be posting them one at a time, please let me know. Thank you!

Cindy Compert

ViewMate Translation Request - Hebrew/Yiddish #translation


In the same batch of letters as the ones I posted a request for translation from Russian was one letter with Russian on one side (translated by others) and Hebrew or Yiddish on the other. I've posted the Hebrew/Yiddish side on ViewMate for translation:

Gary Ehrlich
Rockville, MD

ViewMate Translation Request - Russian #translation


I've posted a couple of letters that were sent to my mother's maternal grandmother from relatives in Russia that I would like to have translated. ViewMate links:


Gary Ehrlich
Rockville, MD
SCVIRSCI, Zhivotov, Ukraine

Decrypting Two Comments on Galician Birth Records - ViewMate Request #galicia #translation

Yaron Wolfsthal

Dear Group,
The links below point to two Polish comments (from the "Uwaga" Column) of separate birth records  Galicia 1898 and 1900).

I believe those comments are in lieu of death records, but I cannot figure out the specifics of the Polish handwritten text.

I'd appreciated help in translating these two comments.    Thank you!

Yaron Wolfsthal

Thank you!

Viewmate Translation Request - Russian #russia #poland #translation

Greg Tuckman

Hello everyone,
I've posted 5 vital records in Russian for which I need translations. They are on ViewMate at the following addresses ...

1.  Death record of Wolf WAJSBLECH:

2.  Death record of Sura Erla WAJSBLECH nee KOHN / KOCHANE:

3.  Death record of Lejbus WAJSBLECH:

4.  Death record of Nesza WAJSBLECH nee KUPERSZMIDT:

5.  Death record of Masza WAJSBLECH:
Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.
Thank you very much.
Greg Tuckman
Phoenix, Arizona USA

Re: Other names for Yitzchak? #names


I had a great uncle whose Hebrew name was Itzaak but his Anglicized  name was Charles.  I have come across others, particularly from Galicia

Jerome Hoffman

Re: Searching Hamburg lists for family groups #records

Alan Reische

Phil, I did locate manifests for NYC arrivals but unfortunately, there is scant information for the date my grandfather provided in the citizenship application and nothing corresponds to the date of birth information I have.

Alan Reische.

Re: Searching Hamburg lists for family groups #records

Alan Reische

Thanks Sally. The 2 citizenship petitions I located say simply ‘Austria’, which of course is useless. I do have the putative date of arrival, but going through the manifests for that date, there are only a few names, nothing relevant. (I need to expand the scope of arrival search, but that could take forever.)

Bremen records of course have been destroyed. I was hoping to find something in Hamburg, which has more detailed point of origin data; I assumed 8-10 days for direct passage, and working backwards from the June 15, 1879 arrival date, am examining the Hamburg departures for the period May 28, 1879-June 10, 1879.

As I said to someone else, my ancestors would have been candidates for CIA spooks, if the CIA existed then, that’s how good they were at covering their traces. 

Alan Reische
Manchester NH

Town of Tschatorisk? and BURKO-GOLDSHMIDT family of Kaunas #ukraine #lithuania

Susan Goldsmith

Does anyone recognize what town Tschatorisk is?  On Town Finder, only the fuzziest search gives the suggestion of Staryi Chortoryisk, Ukraine.  The other search parameters give nothing. 
I am looking for information about Gershon BURKO b. 1900 in Tschatorisk,  taken from Kovno Ghetto to Dachau, and his wife Rosa GOLDSHMIDT, b.1898, daughter of Rabbi Yaakov and  Zlate GOLDSHMIDT. 
Thank you,
Susan Goldsmith
SF Bay Area, CA, USA

Susan Goldsmith
San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA
Researching GOLDSHMIDT, F(P)ILVINSKY, SHLIOMOVICH, GITTES (GADIE,GADYE, GIDUSH, GITES) Seta, Jonava, Kaunas, Adustiskes, Zemaiciu Naumiestes, Keidainiai, Ukmerge, Vandziogala, Lithuania
HOROWITZ, DRASNIN (DRASNE) Dauhinava, Belarus; TOBIAS (TOUBES, TOBES, TAUBES) Novyy Swerzhen and Stowbtsy, Belarus; ROZANSKY, BILINSKY, MIRANSKY Iasevichi, Belarus
DAVIS, HAFFNER Botosani, Romania
WAXMAN (WAKSMAN), KOENIGSBERG Sandomierz, Ostrowiec Poland

Re: Searching Hamburg lists for family groups #records

Sally Bruckheimer

"Did any of your ancestors become US citizens? That paperwork will list where they came from, previous names used, and the ship they arrived on and the date they arrived."

Like many other blanket statements, this one is correct only sometimes. My family came early, and naturalization papers say So and So gives up his allegiance to the King of Fill_in_the_Blank. Nothing more.

I found a cousin's naturalization papers in 1906, and I was thrilled. First, I held the actual papers in my hands, and secondly because Jankiel, a Russian, was born in Marseilles (in the 1860s). His parents must have fled the rebellion / cholera / famine - and they went back. Mind you, you didn't automatically become French because you were born there; Americans think everywhere is like the US.

The ship's passenger lists also say next to nothing. In 1853, per the Baden Emigration Lists, my ggrandfather, David, left. In 1853, Mr. Bruckheimer arrived in NYC. But David had 3 brothers who could have come in 1853, earlier or later. No way to tell.

Sally Bruckheimer
Princeton, NJ

Re: Were there markings on headstones that identify who the stonecutters were? #unitedkingdom

Friedman, H George

I have photos of the headstone for my great-grandfather's first wife, Tillie Peiser, in Gates of Prayer Canal Street Cemetery in New Orleans, LA which show a mark for the stonecutter. The stone is signed “Reynolds” at the lower right. James Reynolds and his family were prominent in the building arts in 19th century New Orleans. He was an active stonecutter from 1866 to 1880, with a shop on Poydras Street. His signature on a Jewish tombstone is considered unusual.

George Friedman
Champaign, IL, USA

Records From Secret Vatican Archive Offer New Clues to Response to Holocaust #holocaust

Jan Meisels Allen



Now that the secret Vatican Archives are open, the world is able to see what the Vatican did during World War ll regarding silence about what the Nazis did to the Jews.  Vatican officials have always insisted Pope Pius XII did everything possible to save Jewish lives during World War II.  Pope Pius XII thought that he should not take sides in the war," says Brown University professor David Kertzer, "and that therefore he should not be criticizing either side of the war, including the Nazis."


Kertzer published his early findings in an article in The Atlantic ( The newly unearthed documents — some imbued with anti-Semitic language — are shedding light on the pontiff's behavior during the Nazis' massacre of Jews. They also reveal the pope's role in preventing orphans of Holocaust victims from being reunited with their relatives.


NPR reports that Kertzer found two documents that reveal an intense debate was under way in the Vatican in 1943, when the Nazi occupiers of Rome rounded up more than 1,000 Jews and detained them in a military college 800 yards from St. Peter's Square before packing them off to the Auschwitz concentration camp. As the German ambassador to the Vatican reported to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, the roundup occurred under the pope's "very windows." Only 16 of the deportees survived.


A letter written by the Pope’s emissary to the Fascist Italy regime urged the pope to make a private, oral protest to the German ambassador. He suggested Pius tell the ambassador that there is no reason to use violence against Italian Jews because the racial laws instituted five years earlier by Benito Mussolini's dictatorial regime were "sufficient to contain the tiny Jewish minority within its proper limits."


Pope Pius asked advice from his Jewish affairs expert, Monsignor Angelo Dell'Acqua. However, a second document Kertzer found is , "is Dell'Acqua's thoroughly anti-Semitic document explaining why he thought the pope should not, in fact, speak out."  Dell'Acqua later became cardinal vicar of Rome.


Kertzer's findings also cover the case of two Jewish orphans secretly baptized in France after their parents were deported to Auschwitz: The Finaly Brothers—Robert and Gérald . Nuns, monks and a mother superior were put in jail for kidnapping when they defied court rulings to hand over the boys to their surviving relatives.  The Vatican issued instructions telling them to resist the law.


In 1945, the Finaly brothers were two of the estimated 1,200 French Jewish orphans in France alone in non-Jewish families or institutions. Across Europe, Kertzer believes, there were thousands more — secretly baptized and never reunited with their Jewish relatives.  Following his discoveries in the archives, Kertzer contacted Robert Finaly, who described to him what it was like when he and Gérald were being shuffled around in hiding in various convents.

To read more see:


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


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