Re: Visits to concentration camps #holocaust

Renate Rosenau

There are many individual ways of facing concentration camps and the fates of the millions of victims. This is mine.

I am living in Alzey/Rheinhessen -  a town with a long Jewish History and the district mental hospital -  and I am engaged with (regional) research of the Jewish History and of Nazi “Euthanasia”.


I was 4,  living in the mostly catholic Rhineland, when my family was liberated from die Nazi terror. As a “privilegierte Mischehe” (privileged mixed marriage) of my parents and the help of resistant locals we had survived in Germany  and I remember our family evenings after 1945 well, when the family gathered round a table and the letters coming in were read loud once or twice and discussed. I remember the terms …”Edith (Julius/Rolf usw) ist umgekommen” (perished)  or: Fredy (Herbert, Werner usw.) hat überlebt” (survived).  These terms got into my child vocabulary as a standard for the fate of relatives and friends.


I visited Auschwitz on a study tour with my teacher colleagues in 1974. At that time my family thought that our relatives had perished there. In Auschwitz first I thought I was strong enough to face the place and find traces of my aunts, uncles, cousins, but after I had seen heaps of hair, glasses, shoes – some might have been from my relatives -  I got something like a breakdown. My teacher colleagues were very understanding and helpful. Only two years later, when the first “Gedenkbuch”(Memorial book of the Persecution of Jews under the NS Tyranny in Germany 1933-45) was published by the Bundesarchiv, we learnt where my relatives had perished, many not in Auschwitz, and a process of research started in the family. After this experience and history studies  I was strong enough to face such places, I have visited many in- and outside Germany since, and later, after 1994, to research Nazi “euthanasia” of thousands  of mentally ill patients as well as local Jewish history. For both victim groups I am in small working groups and on the board of a working group for Nazi history on state level in Rhine-Palatinate.


My personal way to mentally work on this part of criminal German history is to find out the biographies and publish the fate of the mentally ill victims as well as the Jewish victims of my family and of the Alzey region, recall their names and fates, several hundred by now. With the data bases I built up of for both groups (with over 7.000 names) I am able to answer descendants’ questions, now mostly of the second following generation, contribute to conferences or publications and work with students. I feel I do this in first place for my family – especially my father, the last director of the Israelitische Heil- und Pflegeanstalt in Bendorf-Sayn 1940-1942, where I was born,  and for the families of the victims.  With the Jewish surviving relatives I got contacts in many countries, and  meanwhile friends.

But to face and understand the criminal German history is a never ending challenge, looking back in history as well as to actual developments.

Renate Rosenau

Alzey/Rheinhessen, Germany

Ships & Passenger Lists Lisbon to Havana early 1940s Mermelstein- Torten #general

Helen Kon

I am seeking the ship names & passenger lists that successfully ferried Jewish refugees from Lisbon to Havana. As part of their escape from Vienna to ultimately NY, my mom (a young child) & her parents sailed from Lisbon to Havana in the timeframe of late 1940 - 1943, I think. I am trying to find out the name of the ship that took them. I have tried the Steven Morse site & the JDC
without success. My maternal grandparents were Saul & Eva Mermelstein Torten. They were in Cuba for 2 years before their turn came on the quota to enter the US.
I would appreciate direction to finding the names of the ships & passengers from Lisbon to Havana in that timeframe. 
Thank you.
Helen Kon
New York City, NY

Genealogy Jamboree is Virtual #events #usa

Michelle Sandler

The link for the Virtual Genealogy Jamboree is

Michelle Sandler
President OCJGS
Westminster, California

Prize Drawing at the Genealogy Jamboree #usa

Michelle Sandler

The Orange County California Jewish Genealogy Society has a booth at
the Genealogy Jamboree. We are giving away two prizes on the 12th of
June around noon. One prize will be a free copy of Getting Started in
Jewish Genealogy by Gary Mokotoff 2020 edition. The other prize will
be a 1/2 hour of Jewish Genealogy mentoring. It is free to visit the
exhibit hall and all you have to do is register and find our booth and
click on the drawing and fill out the form.

Michelle Sandler
President OCJGS
Westminster, California

Can two brothers--alive at the same time--be named Abram and Abraham? #names


I am researching two men, whose descendants all claim were brothers.  Only problem is they have the names Abraham and Abram. 

One of the brother's names was Abraham, born est 1858.  Abraham's wife, Leba, appears as a widow on the 1911 England census.  We don't know when or if he died in England or Poland, or along the way to England.  We don't know when Leba and her young adult/teen children arrived in England.  Abraham's children were born in the late 1888 through 1894 in Poland, so he was alive at least until their births.

Another of the brother's names is reported as "Abram Moishe," born 1875.  Abram Moishe's English registration records show that name, but he was called/known by the Anglicized name, "Morris."  The earliest record of Abram (his England registration document) is dated 1912, with the name "Abram Moishe."

Is it possible for two brothers who lived at the same time to have been named "Abraham" and "Abram"?  Could Abram have added or chosen the name "Abram" after his older brother, Abraham, died? 

Might Abram Moishe have added the name Abram as a guise in order to be able to travel to England (in his deceased brother's stead, possibly posing as the older brother, and/or to accompany and/or travel to Leba, his 'wife')?

Thank you in advance for any help or insights.

Carolynn Duffy

Re: Visits to concentration camps #holocaust


Oddly enough, the 1965-1971 American television show "Hogan's Heroes," created by Jews (Bernard Fein & Albert S. Ruddy), appears to have been one of the first efforts to bring the Holocaust out of the shadows.  The cast included Jews who escaped Europe (Werner Klemperer [Klink], John Banner [Schultz], Howard Caine [Hochstetter], Leon Askin [Burkhalter]) and a camp survivor (Robert Clary [Frenchie]).  They thought humor and showing the Nazis as bumblers (rather than heartless, cold-hearted murderers) would provide an indirect and subversive avenue to vent against the Nazis and start speaking about the unspeakable horrors.

Werner Klemperer, who played Colonel Klink, reportedly accepted the part only on condition that Klink was portrayed as an unsuccessful fool.  His obituary explains his role:
Werner Klemperer, actor whose role as Col Wilhelm Klink in Hogan's Heroes dominated his eclectic career in television, film and theater, dies at age 80; photo (M)

Robert Clary ("Frenchie") was the sole survivor of his family of two parents and 11 siblings.

Carolynn Duffy

Re: The Tulsa Race Massacre and Oklahoma's Jews #usa


The first major religious pogrom in the US (not counting wars against Native Americans) may have been the "Bloody Monday" massacre in Louisville, KY, 6 August 1855.  Nativist Protestants attacked German and Irish Catholic immigrants.  Estimates on the number killed range from at least 22 to higher.  

One of many such pogrom-like incidents not commonly taught in school.


Marc M. Cohen, Los Gatos, California, USA

BARAK/CANTORCZY: Khotin, Bessarabia; Strorozhinets, Bukovina, Ukraine
CHOMITZ/HAMETZ: Ionina (Janina), Greece; Ignatovka, Ukraine; Kiev Gubernia, Ukraine
COHEN: Dinovitsi (Dunayevtsy) Ukraine; Roman/Tirgu Frumos, Romania
KORNITZKY: Kiev Gubernia, Stepnitz/Stepantsy, Ukraine
RÎBNER: Storozhinetz, Costesti (Costyntsi), Drachinets, Cabesti, Bukovina, Ukraine
ROSENBERG: Tirgu Frumos, Roman, Romania; ISRAEL
WEININGER: Cabesti, Costesti, Drachinets, Czernowitz, Bukovina, Ukraine

Przemysl Identification Project completed: launch of the results #galicia

Gesher Galicia SIG

The Przemysl Identification Project, which has been discussed before
in this forum, has reached its conclusion and the results are launched
this week. The aim of this collaborative project between Gesher
Galicia and the Przemysl State Archive was to identify the source town
of a large number of files held in that archive, most of which were
index books of Jewish vital records. Except for five of the books,
from three separate towns, all the files turned out to be from places
in the former Galicia. Books from 71 towns altogether were identified.

The last of 582 identifications was checked and verified at the end of
April in a project that had gone on for 18 months, much of it during
the Covid pandemic. Around 50 people - all Gesher Galicia members and
close associates - whose help was greatly appreciated, had contributed
to the project in some way.

The results of the project have been launched on the Gesher Galicia
website and are available for all, at: .
The table lists all the files with their identified towns, the type of
record and the year range. There are also other comments about a file
and whether it contains new information that is not already available
- in, for instance, an existing original register of births, deaths or

However, if you are a Gesher Galicia member, and if you log in to the
website first and then go to the above link, you will also be able to
view the page images of each of these 582 identified files. These
scans are viewable only for members.

If you are not already a member, and want like to view the scans from
the project - as well as obtaining the other benefits of membership,
such as receipt of our quarterly journal, the "Galitzianer" and access
to the Gesher Galicia FamilyFinder -then you are very welcome to join.
This can be done in a straightforward way at: .

There have already been several articles dealing with aspects of the
Przemysl Identification Project in earlier issues of the
"Galitzianer," and another one, presenting the final results of the
project and describing some of the methods used by the identifiers,
will appear in the June 2021 issue, due out next week.

Please do not reply to this email. For more information, and all other
queries relating to Gesher Galicia, please contact:

Tony Kahane
Research Coordinator, Gesher Galicia
Join Gesher Galicia:
All Galicia Database:

Send all inquiries to info@...

Re: Index of Holocaust testimonies #holocaust

Lewis, Megan

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has a total of 80,778 oral histories.  These include ones we have done, ones we have received from other organizations (including the USC Shoah Foundation) and ones we have received from individuals.  Over 18,300 are available online through our Collections Search catalog,  Limit your search to Personal stories -> Interviews in Audio or Video.  Many of these have full transcripts, time-coded notes or basic summaries that include names and places which are searched as part of a keyword search.

We also catalog websites that have oral history collections in the Collections Search catalog.

Megan Lewis, reference librarian
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Re: Ancient Ashkenazic DNA Admixture #announcements #israel #dna

Richard Cooper

Daniel, I may well be wrong! I was thinking in terms of the founders of Ashkenazi Jewry, who date around that time or a little later
On reflection, it may have been more like 100CE, shortly after the sack of Jerusalem by the Romans,
Ric Cooper
Midhurst, UK

Re: Heimatschein & Meldenzettle Vienna - Mermelstein/Friedler #austria-czech

Helen Kon

The Joseph in District 13, that Steven refers to, is Hirsch's son. He was affiliated with an Orthodox Zionist group. Hirsch appears in the 1937 edition (possibly the year of his death).
I'm surprised by the districts because I  thought that Orthodox Jews lived in the 2nd district, this nicknamed "Matzah Island".
Thank you all for your help. 
-- Helen
Helen Kon
New York City, NY

Return address on postcard #romania

Marilyn Levinson

On July 8th, 1939, my great aunt Sheindel wrote a letter to my grandfather Joseph Wallach.  Would anyone be able to read the return address?  I can tell it is from Cernauti Romania, but I cannot read the names and the street name. I have attached a copy of the front of the postcard.  Thank you for your help.
Marilyn Levinson
Spring Lake NC 28390

Possible marriage in London #records #unitedkingdom

Richard Gilbert


With regards to evidence of one’s Halachic Jewish status, one would in normal circumstances produce one’s parents’ Ketubah, but this was as the previous replies suggest not always available.

It was for this reason that the Marriage Authorisation has a space for certificate. This was these pace where the Chief Rabbi’s Office recorded what information or documentation it took as evidence of someone’s Jewish status. On occasions this was based on oral evidence from other members of the family.

Kind regards,

Richard Gilbert

Re: The Tulsa Race Massacre and Oklahoma's Jews #usa

Peter Cohen

The firsthand description of pogroms set forth in the Cowen report is eerily similar to the description of the Tulsa riots that survivors have recently been giving on TV.  Who says we don't have pogroms in the US?
Peter Cohen

Kindertransport and beyond 1939-46 #holocaust


Dear Friends
Looking to fill in information on the following on my late father ..either background or family
members that were there
Kurt Ehrmann dob 7.11.1922
Boarded in Berlin kindertransport dec 38-age 16
Arrived at harwich and sent to dovercourt dec 39
huyton internment camp England spring 40 (collar the lot enemy aliens-not really)
hmt dunera hellship
Hay-Tartua internment camp
Unit 8-Australian army (Dunera boys)
Believe fought in New Guinea (wounded)-most did not that were in this Unit
Discharged spring 45-Lived on Church street in Richmond, 5 hours south of Hay for 10 mo before.....
Leaving-Matson steamer Spring 1946 to San Francisco

Paul Ehrmann
Son of Kurt Ehrmann
248 563 0386

Re: The name Yom Tov #lithuania #poland

Ira Leviton

The name Yom Tov can stand on its own -  it doesn't have to be combined with Jacob or any other name.  I had a relative named Shlomo Yom Tov who, according to another  relative was was named after Yom Tov Lipman Heller because he was a relative, but I have not been able to confirm that connection.


Ira Leviton, New York, N.Y.

(and great-nephew of Shlomo Yom Tov Lewitan)

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

David Sperling

Hello this is Sara Wolf, I can be reached in Israel via saraw@.... My mom Edith Schmitz-Bank and my aunt Helga Schmitz -Luden and their parents, my grandparents, Adolf Schmitz and Else Fernich Schmitz, arrived on the Santa Pinto to the DR. My mom was born in Santo Domingo, my aunt was 8 years older. My Great uncle Louis Fernich and his wife Paula were also saved via the DR.
I have a friend whose mother was also there.

Happy to be in touch and put you in touch with my mom and aunt now 79 and 87 years old.

Re: Visits to concentration camps #holocaust

Eva Lawrence

There was a report with haunting pictures from concentration camps on
the front page of the Observer very soon after they were uncovered, it
must have been 1945. As 12-year-old, living in England, I refused to
believe them, but i still remember them clearly. Nobody mentioned the
family members who had been left behind, and the adults' wry relief
when news of those who had survived came through (ach, den gibts' auch
noch!) was a catchphrase for the younger generation. I can only be
grateful for the real effort our parents made to shelter us children
from the horror.
I might feel differently if someone very close to me died in a KZ As it
is, I've not tried to visit Auschwitz nor do I feel that doing so would
make me a better or a wiser person, let alone a happier one.
Eva Lawrence
St Albans, UK.
Eva Lawrence
St Albans, UK.

ViewMate translation request - Russian #translation

Paul A. Auerbach

I'm requesting a translation of the Przasnysz marriage record of Chana Laia Lew and Aryia Mgla.  It's written in Russian Cyrillic script.  The marriage record no. is 26. It's on ViewMate at the following address:

I'd appreciate a full translation, but am most interested in the date and place of the marriage and the names of the bride's and groom's parents.

Please respond using the ViewMate form.

Thanks very much.

Paul Auerbach
Sharon, Massachusetts, USA


ARONSON /ARENSON (Podolia (Gubernia), Ukraine), ATTELL/ETTEL (Krakow, Poland),  (AUERBACH / AVERBUKH / KHAZEN-AVERBUKH (Chisinau, Moldova), BARR (Kreslavka, Latvia),  
BECK (Krakow, Poland), BENJAMIN (Ostrolenka, Poland), BLODEK/WLODEK (Krakow, Poland), CALKE / SELKA (Ostrolenka, Poland), CHAKIM / KHAKIM (Maisiagala / Musninkai/ Vilnius, Lithuania), 
DAVIDSON (Traby, Belarus), DREYEK (Krakow, Poland), HALTZMAN/HOLZMAN (Chisinau, Moldova), HURWITZ / HURVICH (Musninkai, Lithuania), ITCHOFF (Lechowitz, Belarus), 
KAPLAN (Dzyarzhynsk / Minsk, Belarus), KUKLA (Rezekne, Latvia), LAZAROWITZ / LEISEROVICI (Iasi, Romania), LEVINE /LEVIN / LEWIN (Traby, Belarus), MESCHER/MEZAK (Odessa, Ukraine), 
MINKIN (Rezekne / Kaunata, Latvia), NEEDLE / NUDELL (Odessa, Ukraine & Lechowitz, Belarus), NESIS / NESSIS (Zinkiv, Ukraine), PELICAN / PELIKAN (London, England & Tarnow / Krakow, Poland), 
PINCUS/PIKUS (Dzyarzhynsk / Minsk, Belarus), ROSENLICHT (Krakow, Poland), SHAFFMAN (Lechowitz, Belarus), TAFFET (Krakow, Poland), WEINER/VENER (Vilnius, Lithuania)

Re: The name Yom Tov #lithuania #poland


"Chanayah Yom Tov Lipa Teitelbaum (22 May 1836 – 15 February 1904)[1] was the Grand Rebbe of Siget, and the author of Kedushath Yom Tov, a Hasidic commentary on the Torah he wrote in 1895". My mom's uncle was named Chananyah Yom Tov Lipa after him.

Alex Goldinger

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