Mermelstien/Klein family of Szerednye,Hungary #hungary #usa

Shelby Nelson

I am trying to make contact with the family of Yetta Mermelstien Klein(1863-1931) and her sister Ginessa Mermelstien Klein who came from Szerdyne, Hungary and settled in Yonkers, New York. Yetta married Samuel Klein and Ginessa married Adolf Klein. Adolf's name was originally something like Kuhn but was changed at some point,supposedly because he was short and klein means small. There was a third sister whose name I do not know.Yetta owned a fruit and vegetable business in Yonkers. There were cousins in New York City also named Mermelstien who owned a limousine company but I have no further information about them.
Shelby Nelson
membership number793855

Re: Baron de HIrsch Fund and the Woodbine, NJ Agricultural Colony #records #usa

Marilyne Rose

This has nothing to do with New York, but I was on a group to Argentina and Uruguay some years ago.
When in Uruguay we stayed for a few days in the area that had been built by poor Jewish people who
had been brought to Uruguay to help populate empty areas of the country.  The person who arranged and originally financed this venture
 was Baron de Hirsch.  My group stayed in a Hotel but were warmly welcomed by the Jewish people
who had left Europe for what they hoped would be a better life.  It was an extremely interesting experience
to see what Jewish people could achieve.  They built schools, houses, synagogues and a complete 
Jewish community in what had been literally the middle of nowhere.
I believe the area was called Entre Dos Rios.

Re: ADDITION: 60-Minutes The Ritchie Boys #announcements #germany #usa


Indeed a great story, and the Ritchie Boys deserve full credit for their contribution to winning the war.

But there were other German Jews who joined up in 1939, under stolen identities, and saw combat as early as April, 1941.

My father, for example, was a 20-year-old German Jew (born Georg Franz Hein, in Hanover), whose widowed mother had sent him to safety in London in 1934.  On September 3, 1939, Dad stole the identity of a London High school mate who had died (Peter Stevens) and enlisted in the Royal Air Force.  He was trained as a bomber pilot, and joined a front-line squadron in early April, 1941.  He actually bombed his hometown, and was shot down and captured by the Nazis on September 8, 1941, after having flown 22 combat missions.

During his 3 years and 8 months as a POW, RAF Squadron Leader Peter Stevens (my father) was completely without any Geneva Convention protection, and made at least 9 documented escape attempts,  At Stalag Luft 3 (home of The Great Escape), Dad was Head of Contacts (i.e. scrounging) for the "X" escape organization in the East Compound.  On Dad's first escape, he jumped out of a moving prison train in a hail of Nazi bullets, and made his way to his mother's home (trying to get food, money and civilian clothing), only to learn upon his arrival that she had committed suicide some two years earlier.  Dad got outside the wire on 3 separate occasions, but never made it back to England until the end of the war.  As a POW, he lost 40-45 pounds.  After the war, when his story was told confidentially within the RAF, he was one of only 69 members of the Royal Air Force to be awarded Britain's Military Cross for gallantry in the face of the enemy.

Dad died in 1979 (age 60), without telling anyone his story, or even that he was born Jewish.  It took me 18 years of research to piece together his unbelievable story, which is told in 'Escape, Evasion and Revenge'.  Today, he is mentioned in more than 20 books about World War 2 escapers.

Marc Stevens

Re: Searching for Abraham Kowenski in Mir #belarus #records

Janet Furba

Hi, ask the Grodno State archive in Belarus.,_Belarus
Janet Furba, Germany.

Re: Baron de HIrsch Fund and the Woodbine, NJ Agricultural Colony #records #usa

Barbara Ellman

The records of the Baron de Hirsch Fund which covers Woodbine are located at the Center for Jewish History in NY.

Additionally, you might contact the Sam Azeez Museum of Woodbine Heritage
Barbara Ellman
Secaucus NJ USA
ELLMAN, COIRA, MAIDMAN - Minkovtsy, Ukraine
KAGLE, FASS - Ulanow, Poland

Re: Searching for Abraham Kowenski in Mir #belarus #records

Janet Furba

ask the Grodno Regional State Archive.
Janet Furba, Germany


Re: Searching for Abraham Kowenski in Mir #belarus #records

Janet Furba

ask the Grodno Regional State Archive.
Janet Furba, Germany


Spain is Turning Down Jews Who Apply For Citizenship #sephardic

Jan Meisels Allen


In June, 2015, Spain’s law granting citizenship to Sephardic Jews passed.  The law promised Spanish citizenship to  descendants of those Jews expelled due to the Spanish Inquisition.  This was based on a government decision in 2012, that described offering citizenship to Sephardic Jews as compensation for their ancestors’ expulsion from Spain in the 15th and 16th centuries by the Spanish royal house and church during the Spanish Inquisition. According to Spain’s Justice Ministry, over 2,200 applications were turned down in the last quarter, while only three were turned down the year before.


Of the 150,000 total applications that have been submitted since 2015, 33,485 people have been granted citizenship to date. Only about 6,000 have been accepted in the past quarter. Applicants from Venezuela, Colombia and Mexico have been severely affected.


The shift is driven by a fear of fraud and is the product of what some experts say are retroactively implemented bureaucratic standards for applications, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.


To be eligible for a Spanish passport, applicants have to put forward evidence of medieval Sephardi ancestry through heritage certificates and family trees. They also have to demonstrate special links to Spain and Spanish language skills through tests.


A change in interpretation of the law occurred last October. Previously, government notaries were the first intermediary for applicants, sending applications along to government officials or directing applicants to gather more materials. Since October, government officials have stepped in, rejecting applications previously approved by the notaries and not providing applicants a chance to submit further documentation before issuing a rejection letter.


The Spanish “Law of Return,” as it is sometimes called, has also closed its new application window entirely for the near future. It will need parliamentary approval to be reopened.


Additionally, Spain’s Ministry of Justice had previously approved many applications with Sephardic heritage certificates from organizations such as the Union Sefaradi Mundial and the Jewish Federation of New Mexico. Today, the ministry is only accepting certificates issued by the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain, which ceased issuing them on July 31 so that they could get through a backlog of applications.


The ministry said there is no difference in the way the law is being interpreted, but rather, they are cracking down on suspected fraud perpetrated by some applicants.


Portugal passed a similar bill in 2015, granting citizenship to Sephardic descendants. Data from last year shows that 23,000 people have obtained a Portuguese passport through the law.  The Portuguese law is more restrictive because it requires applicants to prove ties with a specifically Portuguese Sephardic community. The smaller Jewish communities of Lisbon and Porto are the only organizations that can approve applications, which must show ties to one of them.


To read more see:


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


Re: Baron de HIrsch Fund and the Woodbine, NJ Agricultural Colony #records #usa

Elizabeth Handler

My mother-in-law grew up in Woodbine - one grandfather (Max Levitt) and a great-grandfather (Simche Segal, by 1895) were early residents there. The story that came down in my mother-in-law's family is that Baron de Hirsch went around to the Jewish immigrants in New York City and encouraged them to come to Woodbine to work, that there were plenty of jobs. (My guess it that it was likely a representative of the Fund, as the Baron died in Hungary in 1896, at age 64.)  The 1900 census reported that they both rented their homes.

Have you been in touch with the Sam Azeez Museum of Woodbine Heritage?

Elizabeth Handler
Needham, MA
Researching: HANDLER, HOLLANDER, HONENVALD (Hungary); YANCU/IANCU/YANCOWITZ, MOSCOWITZ (Romania); LEVITES, LEWITES (Husiatyn, Galicia), SEGAL (Zhytomyr, Ukraine)

Re: 60-Minutes The Ritchie Boys #announcements #germany #usa

Myrna Waters

Excellent program.  An incredibly brave, dedicated, intelligent group of men.  Glad they are being given some recognition.

Myrna (Slatnick) Waters

Researching:  SLEPACK (or similar)Belarus/Bialystok area; SLATNICK/SLOTNIK (or similar) Minsk/Puchovichi area of Russia from 1905/1914 to NY & Newark,NJ and Canada;  KURZMANN Jaslo, Poland and Drohobych, Ukraine area (both formerly in what was the Galician area of Austria prior to WWI), KURTZMAN in NY/Bronx and NJ/Newark from 1905/1910, SADOWSKY (or similar) from Belarus area of Russia/Bialystok 19th century to Newark,NJ 1905 or after.

ADDITION: 60-Minutes The Ritchie Boys #announcements #germany #usa

Jan Meisels Allen

I understand from a reader from Birmingham, England that he was able to access the 60 Minutes episode. Therefore, others outside of North America, at least in Europe,  may also take advantage of viewing the session.





60 Minutes ran a rerun of their episode first shown last May 9th about The Ritchie Boys—a group of German-Jews who came to the United States when Hitler came to power in Germany in the 1930s. It tells the story of how they fought, interpreted, spied and helped win World War ll.


It may be seen  at:


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


Photo requests - Mount Carmel Cemetery in Queens #photographs #usa


Hello all
I have two picture requests that are sitting in Find a Grave for a very long time - if any of you is planning a visit to Mount Carmel Cemetery (the section is Knollwood Park) for the high holidays and wishes to take 2 pics, please let me know:
The graves are for Samuel Canter and Nettie Canter - location: 5-COMP L-698-1 & 5-COMP L-698-2
Thank you so much, Shana tova ve hag sameach to all!
Shosh Eizenshtein, Toronto

Patronymics, surnames, archaic handwriting #russia #poland

Joseph Walder

No doubt this has been asked before: Is there some sort of guidebook describing how one can try to learn anything from revision lists and other Russian Empire documents for the period before Jews in the Pale of Settlement had surnames?  In my case, I am dealing with ancestors in towns that were incorporated into the Russian Empire after the 2nd partition of Poland (1793), and surnames are not used in documents for those towns before about 1810.

Yes, I have read about the complicated process by which surnames were adopted. It's a fascinating story in a scholarly sense but I haven't found a way to apply the scholarly work to actual genealogy.

A reference to something in the way of a guidebook for interpreting archaic Russian handwriting would also be appreciated.

I'm not soliciting a professional genealogist (yet) so please do not reply offering your professional services for a fee.


Joseph Walder
Portland, Oregon, USA

Birth records for early 20th century in Poland #poland #records


Hi. Can someone please point me in the right direction locate birth records for 1910-1940 Poland, particularly in Lodz, Wisznice, Ostrowiec and Warsaw? Thanks.

Allan Herman

Trebisov, Slovakia #slovakia

Ozzy Bernstein

Hi all,

I recently uncovered a letter addressed to my great grandmother regarding a property in Trebisov, Slovakia that her parents lived in before being deported to Auschwitz. It is from someone in the Czechoslovakian government and was written in 1991 from Prague.

The street name that the property is on was then called Kapushan Street and was a school in the 90s. I can't find any Kapushan St. in Google Maps. Does anyone know what Kapushan St. is called today or know of that property? If not, which branch of the Slovakian government am I to contact for more information on the property such as archived documents and photos?

Thank you,

Ozzy Bernstein

How were Moses Lewin LEVIN of Bevis Mark London and Jacob Levin of London (both beads dealers) related through Meyer LEVIN? #general #lithuania #unitedkingdom


If they were related they may have had Joseph LEVIN (later named PERLBACH) of Gdansk as their father/grandfather.
Ron Peeters(NL)

Re: The relationship between Pashtuns and Jews #general

Metin Delevi

Dear friends,
I am actually preparing a work on the topic on Pashtuns and Judaism.
Any source would be welcome.
Thanking you in advance
Metin Delevi

Re: 60-Minutes The Ritchie Boys #announcements #germany #usa

Robert Hanna

I watched it last night.  It is a "must see."

Robert Hanna


Re: Russia labor camps #russia

Barbara Hemmendinger

Arkhangelsk is not in Siberia at all.  It lies to the far north and slightly east of Moscow.  Here is Wikipedia’s description:  “Arkhangelsk, also known in English as Archangel and Archangelsk, is a city and the administrative center of Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia. It lies on both banks of the Northern Dvina near its exit into the White Sea. The city spreads for over 40 kilometers along the banks of the river and numerous islands of its delta.“

BTW, Anne Applebaum’s book Gulag (2003) is a compendium of information about the Stalinist labor/concentration camps, but I see no mention of Dunbar in the index.  Could that word refer to Donbas, Ukraine?

Barbara Hemmendinger 
Williamsport, PA, USA

Re: Baron de HIrsch Fund and the Woodbine, NJ Agricultural Colony #records #usa


Hello Steve,
My paternal great grandparents settled in Woodbine.  The Ira Spector family came  from Zaslov in 1892-94. The Samuel Eby (Ab) came from Rushanyi n 1903.  I cannot tell you the criteria or the reasons why.  I have the correspondences  about   Ira Spector 's purchase of property. The AJHM in NYC has a lot of info on Woodbine.  In the Eby family their were a few real estate transactions within the family. There are  also records of real estate transactions at the Cape May NJ  Court House and Temple University Urban Archive  that has been provided by the Greater Philadelphia Genealogical and Archival Society. 

Walter Spector
SPECTOR- Zaslov (Izyaslov) Volhynia Gub. Ukraine-Woodbine NJ-Phila. PA;
EBY (AB)-  Rushany, Grodno Gub. Belarus-Woodbine NJ- Phila.PA;       
BECKER-  Klevan, Rovno Phila. PA Brooklyn NY:   GREENSTEIN-Boston MA:
SELTZER (ZELTZER)Rovno, Klevan, Alexandria; Poland-Brooklyn NY
PITKOWSKI Rushany, Grodno Gub. STEINBERG –Los Angeles CA  ROTHSTEIN (Rotstein)  Phila. PA;
Rudofsky Boston

7261 - 7280 of 668866