Re: Index of Holocaust testimonies #holocaust

Linda Higgins

There are Pages Of Testimony at  I found one for my great-aunt.

Linda Higgins
Spring, TX

Kovno 7th Fort massacre and murder of R. Elchonon Wasserman, 80th Anniversary June 21-22 #lithuania #announcements #holocaust


June 21-22 is going to be the 80th Yahrzeit of the big massacre at Kovno's 7th Fort massacre (3-6,000 Jews murdered there altogether) on the night of July 6-7 1941 (11-12 Tammuz 5741). This was actually the starting point of the Holocaust. Lithuania is presently allowing in Israelis with "green passports" dated in the last 180 days, I am planning please G-d to lead a group to commemorate the massacres, and to bring attention to the fact that my namesake Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman hy"d and thousands of others killed, have no grave, the area is not marked or cordoned off, there are no signs, and the whole site is completely not respectful for the thousands of Jewish souls resting there. I expect we will visit many other holy sites, including the gravesite of the Vilna Gaon and the giant Shnipishok cemetery in Vilna that the authorities plan to turn into a Convention Center. I am looking for more information on those murdered there, especially the Rabbis, as well as any other help with these ongoing sad chapters. For further information on the trip, one may email me or call and leave a message 02-571-1771. Rabbi Elchonon Baron.

JGSCT Virtual Program, TOMORROW, June 6, 2021, 1:30pm Eastern, Deborah Munk Long, Finding Holocaust Relatives #holocaust #education #events


Please join JGSCT, tomorrow, Sunday June 6, 2021, at 1:30 pm for a program presented by Deborah Munk Long on OUT OF THE WHIRLWIND: RESOURCES FOR HOLOCAUST RESEARCH about Finding Your Family Lost in the Holocaust.

Deborah H. Long, Ed.D., is a Chicago native who lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She is the founder and first president of Triangle JGS , and serves as a director.

She teaches real estate law, and speaks to audiences of licensed professionals who are required to attend continuing education programs, but she’d rather be working on her family tree
Deborah is the award-winning author of many articles and educational programs as well as 18 books, including two books on her family history.

The daughter of two Holocaust survivors, she has been reconstructing her fragmented family tree since she was 10 years old.
Deborah will share her incredible journey searching for her Polish and Hungarian family members. Featured on NPR’s program “The Story,” she will discuss and demonstrate the online resources that led her to a miraculous discovery and that may help you re-connect with your past.

To register, click here or cut/paste the following link into your browser:
Gail K Reynolds, Publicity Chair, Jewish Genealogical Society of Connecticut

Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience #announcements #usa

Jan Meisels Allen


The Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience is located in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Museum is devoted to the Jews of the South- those who came to the south through Charleston, Savannah, Mobile, New Orleans and Houston.  Those who moved inland, peddling their wares from farm to farm through the Appalachian Piedmont and the Mississippi Delta.  The Museum is now open.


The Museum website says, “The Southern Jewish experience is 19th century immigrant peddlers traveling unpaved roads, carrying hard-boiled eggs with them as they struggle to keep kosher in the land of pork. It’s small-town merchants keeping their stores open on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, because that’s the day everyone comes to town to shop. The Southern Jewish experience is driving your child from Natchez to Baton Rouge every Sunday for religious school because there is no religious school in Natchez. It’s taking Jewish athletes from across the country competing in the Birmingham Maccabi Games to visit the Civil Rights Museum, cheering for the local high school football team, even though Friday Night Lights has a very different meaning, and debating whether to have a bluegrass band or a klezmer band at your wedding.”


Although representing less than 1% of southern states’ population, and only 2.1% of America’s Jewish population, Southern Jews have made a substantial mark on the communities where they lived and the nation as a whole. Southern cities and towns have had Jewish mayors, sheriffs, council members and civic leaders, in highly disproportionate numbers.


The Museum has more than 4,000 artifacts in its collection, including Judaica, household items, business records, photographs, letters, and other ephemera. We even have Fred Galanty’s prosthetic leg and a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe found hidden in the attic of a Mississippi Delta homeowner.  While being selective it continues to grow its collection through donations of items.


If you are interesting in donating see:


The 13 states that the Museum covers are: AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA


To read more see:


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


Re: Visits to concentration camps #holocaust

Jessica Skippon

I was born in Brooklyn in 1941 and only learned about the Holocaust from Life magazine, I think it was the New Year's edition for 1950. Most of my grandmother's European family were killed. She lived with us but the murders were never discussed in my hearing. In my opinion, the Holocaust only became widely discussed with the showing of Schindler's List (1993). A bit like child abuse - it was there but not acknowledged.

Auschwitz was still very quiet when I made my first visit in 1989. I think there was two people at work in the archives but I was the only visitor. I was given access to a card index and handled the original document - Dr Mengele's report on a Schanzer relative. I asked for a copy and was advised that it had to be sent away for copying. It took six months to arrive to me in London. When I returned a year later, the archives were closed.

I've been back several times. My grandmother's family's village is only about 20 miles away. But I stopped visiting when the site became overwhelmed with visitors, around 1999. It was especially disturbing to see secondary school students who couldn't cope with the information, laughing and joking. They never should have been there, it would have been kinder to them and to other visitors.

Jessica Skippon
London, England
Researching SCHANZER, BORGER, BIRN, JACHZEL, all Galicia

Re: Finding Marriage Record from Ukraine and Finding Their Parents Given Names #ukraine #general

Peter Cohen

On Fri, Jun 4, 2021 at 09:26 AM, Madeleine Isenberg wrote:
Betzalel also shows up as Tsalko.

Peter Cohen

Re: Index of Holocaust testimonies #holocaust


While not strictly Shoah testimonies, the University of Lund, in Sweden, has interviews from about 45,000 concentration camp survivors who were taken to Swedish hospitals for medical care after they were liberated. Many of the testimonies have been translated and are available as pdfs. Here is a link to the Witnessing Genocide page on the University website: There is an alphabetical list of the interviewed survivors. There are also photographs, transport lists and much more. 
Cynthia Piech
Chicago IL

Dominican Republic question #latinamerica

Molly Staub


Sorry, I cannot locate the query that was recently sent asking about relatives settling in the Dominican Republic (I have poor vision), but I have an answer:


During my years as a journalist writing a syndicated Jewish travel column, I visited Sosua, Dominican Republic several times, the last time in 1992. My stories about the community appeared in many national Jewish newspapers. Unfortunately, that was so long ago they no longer appear on Google. I’m enclosing a copy from my early files from my JGS of Palm Beach County newsletter; that will perhaps answer some of your questions.  [You might want to add it as an attachment]



Scattered Seeds    <> Only the Dominican Republic welcomed Jewish refugees after the 1938 Evian conference. About 600 German and Austrian Jews arrived in 1940, promising to do agricultural work. Today only 12 families remain in the Dominican Republic town of Sosua. Molly Arost Staub relates her personal visit and a related exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. <> 

A HIDDEN SOURCE OF RELATIVES IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC By Molly Arost Staub (Member) Of all the places Jews might have looked for their genealogical links, the Dominican Republic probably doesn’t head the list. Yet it was here that 600 Jewish refugees were transported from Germany and Austria in 1940, saved from Hitler’s dreaded decree. The story is currently being told in an exhibit at New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage. However, this reporter visited the community they established on the Dominican Republic’s northern coast on several occasions, and interviewed two of the original immigrants. Genealogists might find certain surnames here or in the larger city of Santo Domingo, where many of them relocated and produced families; a visit is certainly fascinating.

But how did they get there? In the late 1930s, as some became aware of the Nazi threat to Jews, Chaim Weitzmann said the world "was divided into two camps....One, of the countries expel[1]ling the Jews and the other, of the countries which refused to admit them." Immigration laws prevented acceptance of those trying to escape. But one country stood out. When U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt convened an international conference in Evian, France in 1938, more than 30 countries participated. The only one offering refuge to Jews was the Dominican Republic, governed by dictator Rafael Trujillo. He invited 100,000 Jews. In 1940, according to those in Sosua who related the story to me, HIAS transported 600 Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria, who were guaranteed full religious and other freedoms, with equal opportunities and rights. The only condition – the group must work in agriculture, even though most had been educated urban dwellers.

I first learned of the town's development from the late Elsa Beller, then 89, in 1990, during my second visit to Sosua. Beller, her husband Walter, and daughter, were among those who emigrated from Vienna. The Jewish families established CILCA, a meat and cheese cooperative company that belonged to the Jewish community. One factory produced dairy products, the other processed meats such as salami and sausage. The project also brought employment to many unemployed Dominicans.

Felix Koch, owner of the Koch Guest House and one of the original settlers whom I met when I returned in 1992, said his father had been a university professor. Koch, who was 22 when they arrived, recalled that the community cleared the jungle using oxcarts, built 10 barracks with tin roofs, and brought in running water and electricity. "Some of us – including myself – had been in concentration camps," Koch said. "We were so thankful to Trujillo for saving us, and then we saw this beautiful land with 80- degree temperatures and bananas growing! We were so happy."

They settled in Sosua's neighborhoods of El Batey and Charamicos. They became a charming tourist region reminiscent of European spots with low-rise buildings, narrow streets and numerous outdoor cafes. And a beautiful beach – one of the country's finest. The community created the Christofer Colon School, which maintained a fine academic reputation, and a hospital, pharmacy, bakery and other enterprises.

Gradually, however, after the war, some returned to Europe. Others moved to U.S. cities, and some intermarried; most men had Dominican wives, Koch said. Today only about 12 Jewish families remain. (Several Sosua congregants also attend services at Santo Domingo's Centro Israelita de la Republica Dominicana.)

Why did the cruel dictator make this move? Speculations range from his desire to improve his worldwide image, to his plan to infuse his population with the mental faculties he associated with Jews. Nevertheless, Trujillo saved the lives of 600 Jews and their descendants. Their 1941-synagogue is a cream-colored clapboard building with baby blue-painted trim, a corrugated tin roof and a Jewish star on its gate. Services are held in the pine-paneled sanctuary seating 70 once a month (call 809-571-1386 to learn of the date).

In 1990, when celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of their arrival, the community opened a museum next to the synagogue, exhibiting photographs of the original moshav-like settlement. Next to the museum stands the dairy cooperative, Compania Industrial Leche. When I spoke to Koch, he said some of the Jews owned hotels, while some still owned dairy farms and had shares in the dairy cooperative. Street names include David Stern and Dr. Rosen.

For information, contact the Dominican Republic Tourism Offices: 305-444-4592 in Miami. Sosua Synagogue is at Calle Dr. Alejo Martinez and Calle Dr. Rosen, El Batey (15 minutes from Puerto Plata hotels).

Ed. note: Molly Arost Staub has been a member of the JGS Palm Beach County for several years. She is a professional travel writer and has been kind enough to provide us with articles in the past.



Molly Arost Staub

M. A. in Journalism

E-mail staubmolly@...


Boca Raton, FL




Re: JRI-Poland search results now link to online images on the new Polish State Archives website - A huge challenge met. #records #poland

tony hausner

Very glad to hear.   Do we go to JRI-Poland to do the searches or 

I tried both without success.  

Tony Hausner, thausner@... 

POMARLEANU - Dorohoi & Botosani #romania

Rony Golan

Dear all,

I am doing research on the POMARLEANU family from Dorohoi and possibly Botosani.
There are two researchers on the JGFF researching this family, to whom I already sent messages (and not have been favoured by a reply).
If you have any information on this family, I will appreciate it if you contact me privately.

Thank you,

Rony Golan
Ramat HaSharon, Israel

                        EISDORFER, Hungary
                        SLOMOVITS, Sighet, Romania

looking for [d]escendants of German Refugees in Dominican Republic #latinamerica

Judith Berlowitz

I am in contact with descendants of a family that stayed for a time in Sosúa, DR. Surnames: ARZT, HAHN, PHILIPPSBORN.  
Judith Berlowitz, San Francisco

Re: Latvia SIG Donation #latvia

Arlene Beare

Nice to hear from you Joyaa.
We are grateful to Barry for the work he did for LatviaSIG and for sending us the money donated over many years. It will be put to good use.

Latvia and Estonia RD formerly LatviaSIG has been actively indexing and translating documents. We have added  2 new databases  to Jewishgen Latvia Database. We added Passport Issuance Books and Passports handed in to Riga Police 1919-1940. They are indexed by Towns where born or Place of origin. and  as we index a new Town it is added to the database. There are a number waiting in the wings and we hope they will be dded before the Conference in August.
There is a Passport database that has been on the site for many years but that was a 1900 Passport Register database of Jews who were Resident in Riga at that time.
The new passport databases are particularly valuable as the dates of birth go back into the 19thC The earliest I have found so far is 1846, The Places born or originated from likewise are varied and there are from people from Lithuania, Russia or  Poland.

Estonia has been neglected and we hope to add data and information on Estonia .

Christine Usdin translated a large number of Vital records for Riga but sadly died before her task was completed.  All her work is in the Jewishgen Latvia database and I stress that there is no need to search for it anywhere else. 40.000 records  remain to be translated and that is the task  we are busy with. We have already employed 3 translators to help with the Russian translations.

We are busy redesigning the website and hope it will offer a valuable addition to Latvian Researchers .

We are also updating the Introductions to Databases written many years ago as new information has to be added.

Arlene Beare
Co-~Director Latvian and Estonia Research Division

Re: looking for sescendants of German Refugees in Dominican Republic #germany #holocaust #latinamerica


I recently read 2 mysteries by the writer  A.J. Sidransky who lives in Washington Heights, NYC.  The first book "Forgiving Maximo Rothman"  goes into the story of refugees in the DR and is a central theme of this mystery. You might want to contact Mr. Sidransky through his website as he has done quite a bit of research and may know the families of refugees.

If any one is interesting the in subject I recommend the book for a different view of New York City.

Jessica Schein

Re: Rabbi Abraham ABRAMOWITZ-Jerusalem-Chicago early 20th cent. #usa #rabbinic

Bob Silverstein

Shabbat shalom,

Check the research database on Jewish Genealogy Society of Illinois.
Bob Silverstein
Elk Grove Village, IL

Researching Kaplan (Krynki, Poland) Tzipershteyn (Logishin, Pinsk, Belarus), Friedson/Fridzon (Motol, Cuba, Massachusetts), Israel and Goodman (Mishnitz, Warsaw, Manchester).

Re: Latvia SIG Donation #latvia

Joyaa Antares

Hi Barry,
Please can you say a few more words about the new Research Group and it's current short and long term goals (if known).
Thanks, Joyaa ANTARES
Gold Coast Queensland, Australia

Re: Looking for Bernard Freed and Anna nee Siporin's two children Laurie and Barry #usa


Hi Sharon, 

Bernard Freed married Mary Kotek in Illinois in 1954

Ma(r)y  Freed died in February 2000. A transcription of her obituary attached. 

Giannis Daropoulos 


Re: Mystery man in London, 1905: Isidor Lasker #unitedkingdom #general


Thank you all!

  • Diane - now I understand, thanks - a useful approach as I research further.
  • Jeremy - thanks for the JC tip, I've taken a look and see more can be done here.
  • Off-list, Eva - thanks so much for doing those searches. Intriguing possibilities, but as you'll see below, I think they're probably unconnected.
  • Off-list, Sherri - thanks, I did consider the 'cad using a false name' as a last resort, intriguing too but very hard to research.
  • Off-list, Amit - thanks, even though my problem was Isidor not Eva.
  • Others I may have forgotten en route - thank you too!
  • Sheryl - wonderful! I'm sure at least some of those are him, and those SA websites in general are a great way to look for more info. Specifically, they mention that ship...
I've now managed to piece together more of the puzzle, thanks to a hitherto unidentified letter combined with the information above. It seems Isidor and Eva went to Cape Town (the ship Kenilworth Castle, departing 16 Dec 1905 has a "Mr J Lasker"), then Port Elizabeth (staying at "the Royal", presumably a hotel), where "his business collapsed". The marriage didn't go well - by September 1906 she was complaining that "Jimmie" was treating her like a dog - gambling, drinking, threatening to kill her, frustrating her attempts to get "a situation" (a job?) by telling people they weren't married, and so on. So she fled to "a decent berth" (job?), "15 pounds a month with board and lodging" at the Queen's Hotel, Umtali (Rhodesia) - they even paid her "expensive" fare for the week-long train journey there. And although she did leave "Jimmie" a letter offering to return if he treated her better, she didn't tell him where she was going, out of fear he would make himself such a nuisance that she would have to give up her "situation" (again, does this mean some sort of hotel work? secretary? dancer? who knows...). She also says she has used her maiden name when "taking a situation" as "it is the normal thing here".

What happened next, I don't yet know. The letter was written to her father (a well-known academic) the same day he died in mysterious circumstances... (Anyone fancy making a book/film of this?!) So it may take more research, probably delving deeper into South African and Rhodesian data (both official records and newspaper reports etc.), if there are any.

The 1890 Isadore/Jennie marriage is possible... maybe they split before his UK (re)marriage in 1905, or Jennie died. But if they were "pre 1890 settlers", where did he come from before then - where is his father Aaron Lasker? And why would he be applying for naturalization in 1906? Maybe the 1906 "APPLICATION FOR LETTERS OF NATURALIZATION. ISIDOR LASKER." were an application on behalf of his new wife Eva?

The 1928 death is rather confusing - age 67 implies he was born 1861 (whereas the UK marriage certificate implies born 1867; a six year difference is not impossible, but still...). I note there's also a Jane Lasker dying at the same location in 1926 age 56, so an implied wife. Did Eva just say "I'm widowed" at her remarriage in 1918 because she assumed/pretended he was dead, whereas in fact he'd survived, remarried Jane (third wife?) and lived on? I'd need to find a marriage record for Isidor/Isadore + Jane.

So, overall I think I now have a good initial grasp of what happened, thanks to everyone here, although numerous questions remain. A simple one for now: "Isidor/Isadore" appears to be a Greek name, 'gift of Isis'. I'm guessing she called him "Jimmie" just as a random 'pet name', not because it's a common abbreviation for Isidor, right? And although I've come here because I blithely assumed he was Jewish, I've not actually seen any evidence for that fact - is it a reasonable assumption?

Ben Jones

Latvia SIG Donation #latvia

Barry Shay

Those of you who were dues-paying members of the original Latvia SIG will be happy to learn that a donation in the amount of $6,227.86 was recently made to JewishGen for exclusive use by the new Latvia Research Group. The funds had been collected by the SIG over many years beginning in 1996 and ending about ten years ago. (See for the historical reference.)

I am sure that under the leadership of Paul Cheifitz, Arlene Beare, and Marion Werle the funds will be put to good use and I look forward to seeing the results of their efforts in expanding the research capabilities of the LRG under JewishGen.

Barry Shay   

Visits to concentration camps #holocaust


It appears to me that the concentration camps from the Holocaust were not widely talked about from 1945 for the next 20 to 25 years.  I visited Auschwitz in October of 1970.  I was the only person there that day except for the admin staff and maintenance staff. A film about the camp was available to be shown in the auditorium.  They had trouble finding a copy in English and I watched it alone in the auditorium. Travel by bus and train to the site was difficult.  My  question is:  who had visited camps before 1970 as I haven't met anyone who had?
Larry Burgheimer
San Francisco, CA

Success with Jewish DNA #dna #events #announcements

Marguerite Kealey

Success with Jewish DNA

By Jarrett Ross

June 13th   1-3 pm PT

Zoom Meeting and Presentation    This presentation will explore multiple case studies by Jarrett Ross in researching his own genetic family history. Using different types of DNA tests and multiple techniques to identify significant DNA matches he was able to expand multiple branches of his tree   Learn all the presenter’s techniques used to break down the process of each case study and what methods were most successful
To register go to San Diego Jewish Genealogical Society website 
San Diego Jewish Genealogical Society - Success with Jewish DNA (
Marguerite Kealey, Publicity Chair
San Diego Jewish Genealogical Society
San Diego County, CA




4441 - 4460 of 663816