Where is the town Trogsky located? #belarus #lithuania

C Guarino

I have been looking for the town Trogsky, most likely located in Lithuania or Belarus near Vilna.  My husband's great-grandparents David Noakh KOVARSKY, son of Eliash, and Khana RABINOVICH, daughter of Movsha, were married in 1881 in Vilnius.  The indexed Vilnius record gives David Noakh's town as Sventzian (Svencionys) and Khana's town as Trogsky.  I have been unable to locate Trogsky on any map.  Other possible spellings of Trogsky could be Trotsky, Trokiski, or Trakiszki as found in searches at JewishGen.  There are also family connections in the Lida and Grodno Governorates.  Thank you for any help in finding this town.
Carmen Guarino

Has anyone given a gravestone to a family member that didnt have one due to "suicide"? #usa

Sharon Ann Dror

This is an unusual question...

There is a family member who is buried outside of the Jewish cemetery - away from his family due to being an alcoholic per his death certificate. Some of his relatives claimed it was suicide or overdose. He does not have any marker on his spot. The cemetery does have his exact location and his name & info on records. He was only 27 years old when he died in New York City in 1987.

Would it be acceptable for a family member to decide to give him a gravestone? Any specific Orthodox rules that they need to follow? His parents, divorced, and remarried are buried elsewhere. No one in the family wants to talk about him except one cousin. 

We all know that mental health awareness is so different today than what it was 35 years ago. 

May Aaron rest in peace...

Your input would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
Sharon Ann Dror

How to handle wrong name on gravestone despite his birth and death certificate name? #usa

Sharon Ann Dror

This is probably unusual.

There is a Hirsch Manischewitz who is buried at Mount Nebo in Miami, FL. His birth AND death certificate says HIRSCH MANISCHEWITZ.

His mother was married 4 times. Her first husband is Hirsch's father. Remarried to a Goldman and they had one son (he passed) and third husband was a Farr. They have one daughter who is still living. I will call her J. Then remarried fourth time to a Landis. I have the whole Farr family tree. I dont want to use the full names since J. is still living and doesnt want anything to do with the Farr family. 

Hirsch died when he was 11 years old in 1955 of leukemia. They put his name as HIRSCH FARR with step father Farr's Hebrew name on his gravestone. He knew his step father for less than a few years. 

I contacted Mount Nebo to inquire in getting a new footstone for Hirsch with his biological father's last name Manischewitz and his father's Hebrew name. They said I have to contact J. Farr as she is the sole living member - next of kin. I contacted her and offered to take care of Hirsch's footstone. She never met him as she was born 4 years later after Hirsch passed. She has no connections with her father since she was a little girl and has no interest at all. At first, she said she wouldnt care if I wanted to change the footstone then the cemetery needed her to confirm that she is giving me authorization. She doesnt want anything to do with the cemetery. and doesnt want to contact them. So I am stuck in not being able to do anything...

Hirsch has 3 living half sisters through his father's side. They dont know anything about the Farr's. Hirsch is buried with the whole Farr family plot... including his mother's 4th husband with no marker. Would they have any legal right to make this request? Are they also considered the next of kin? Some cemeteries are flexible with documentation evidence and paying for it while other cemetery rely on next of kin. I gave them Hirsch birth and death certificate. They dont care. They said they need J to call and say its okay...

Appreciate your input.

Sharon Ann Dror

Re: Stamps on Postcard sent from Gross-Rosen camp #holocaust

Peter Lobbenberg

I must apologise for my inaccurate reply yesterday. 
Firstly, the image of your mother's postcard did not show up on my screen: I find it only now, by clicking the little green box that appears below your signature and the line beginning "WEINSTOCK, HERZHAFT (and more)".   
Secondly, the German Wikipedia entry to which I gave a link should be disregarded: it refers to a different Schömberg. in SW Germany south of Stuttgart.  It's confusing that there were two different camps with the same name!
Thirdly, on looking into this further, there is a question mark about the accuracy of the English Wikipedia entry, although it takes its source from  I don't speak Polish and have used Google Translate, but that website claims that there was a branch of the Groß Rosen camp at "Chełmsk Śląski" i.e. Schömberg.  No such branch, or subcamp or satellite camp, is mentioned in Megargee's monumental work The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933-1945, Volume I: Early Camps, Youth Camps, and Concentration Camps and Subcamps under the SS-Business Administration Main Office,  although it devotes no less than 113 pages (pp 699-812)  to the Groß Rosen subcamp system.  (I accessed it via, login required: it can also be downloaded via, but you need to fill in a questionnare first.) 

More significantly perhaps, Megarhee states "The  Gross-Rosen subcamp system began to develop in October 1943. In 1942, a  Gross-Rosen subcamp had been established at the  SS-Ersatzbataillon in  Breslau-Lissa. In 1943, another 4 subcamps  were established in Hirschberg, Treskau, Dyhernfurth, and Fünfteichen."  Having now had the opportunity to examine your mother's postcard more closely, I'm satisfied that the postmark is dated 24.3.1943 (24 March 1943) which pre-dates the development of the Groß Rosen subcamp system.  I don't claim to be an expert but it looks to me like, despite its geographical proximity, Schömberg was not part of the Groß Rosen network.

Moreover, nearby Landeshut did not open as a subcamp of Groß Rosen until 16 July 1944 (see Megharee page 758), well over a year after your mother wrote.  

And on looking at the postmarks more closely, the explanation becomes a little clearer.  The larger handstamp (circle with a large Z in the middle) is not an official postmark, but a private handstamp of the camp.  The inscription in the top half is partly obscured, but reads "Johannes Figge, Schömberg [...]" while the bottom inscription - and here's the clue - reads "Z. A. Lager".  "Z.A." is short for Zwangsarbeit - that is to say, Schömberg was a forced labour camp, as distinct from a concentration camp.

Sure enough, here's a description: 

Google Translate:

Forced labor camp for Jews
Poland, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, District of Kamienna Góra, Gmina Lubawka
Opening: March 1941
Closing: May 1944
Prisoners: Belgians, Czechs, Yugoslavs, Poles, Russians and Jews
Gender: Women
Deployment of the prisoners at: Figge company; Kramsta-Methner and Prahne
Type of work: flax retting*; spinning, weaving
(* I wasn't familiar with the term 'flax retting', but there's a Wikipedia entry for it - PL)

There is still a small cemetery on the road to Liebau where 77 prisoners from six nationalities rest in a mass grave.
The Russian military entered the city on May 10, 1945.

Lastly: Not that I would ever expect you to want to sell this postcard, but I'm guessing that the unusual handstamp could make it quite a valuable specialised item to philatelists and postal history collectors!

Hope this helps, and I'm sorry again for my garbled posting yesterday.

Peter Lobbenberg

Apologies also to Claudia Witte-Kirschbaum, your post appeared as I was originally typing this.

reconciling documents with different maiden names for my maternal gg grandmother #names #romania

Aline Petzold

Hello All:
 I have a quandary regarding my maternal great great grandmother( Gitla Vigderovici)'s maiden name.  I have a death certificate stating that she was the daughter of "Burat & Hana Grimberg".  I also have her listed on the marriage certificate of her daughter Rifka, giving her father's name as "Avram Grimberg".  Both these documents list her husband's as Hersh Vigderovici and the place where she lived as "Stefanesti Targ", which I know to be accurate.  I have tried , without success to verify which of these names is the true one- or could it be that her father's name was Burat- Avram?  Any suggestions?
Thank you.
Aline Petzold St. Paul MN USA

Sephardic Genealogy #sephardic

David Mendoza

Unfortunately I have some health issues and often cannot answer messages as quickly as I would wish. Thank you for your understanding. Best wishes, David


David Mendoza

Sephardic Genealogy



Email: david@...




Re: Pre-Holocaust Family and Individuals' Photographs #holocaust #photographs


Yes, as Peter says, but explained in a way that we Brit library-users are familiar with, the collection seems to be like a reference library cp. a lending library], accessible to those who physically visit the Fritz Bauer Institut, which is located on the university campus. A relative [based in Frankfurt]  has kindly given me this link to enable people to search for publications:

 and most of their homepage is available in English.

Michael A Hutchinson
Gloucestershire, UK

Re: Stamps on Postcard sent from Gross-Rosen camp #holocaust

C.W. Kirschbaum

I read the stamp on the right as "Schömberg Schlesien" and the date as 24.3.43,
as others pointed out, that is today's Chełmsko Śląskie in Poland.
The stamp on the left with the big "Z" at the center (dictatorial regimes seem to like that letter) reads "Johannes Figge, Schömberg" and "Z.A.Lager".
The Z.A. Lager = Zwangsarbeitslager in German means forced labor camp.
The German Federal Archives' indexing system, confirms the existence of a business with the name Johannes Figge in Schömberg between 1936 and 1944.
The business operated a facility for the extraction of plant fibres from flax (Flachsröste).

The forced labor camp in Schömberg was a "Zwangsarbeitslager für Juden", a slave labor camp for Jews with murderous living and conditions that put it closer to being a death camp than a forced labor camp.
source: German Federal Archives,
You can run the German text through deepl. com or any AI translator.  You'll find a lot of (unsettling) information in there.

The second Wikipeadia entry another respondent mentioned does refer to a different place, the "KZ Schömberg" in Southwestern Germany.
KZs and Zwangsarbeitslager all over the place between 1933 and 1945, wherever you choose to look.
Claudia Witte-Kirschbaum
KIRSCHBAUM (Parysow, Rozan, Lodz, Nizhniy Novgorod); BORNSTEIN (Parysow, Rozan, Lodz); DUMTSCHIN (Mogilev, Nizhniy Novgorod)
LANDAU (Brzesko); FRISCH, EINHORN (Bochnia), STRUMPFNER (Krakow)

Re: Marsha Shapiro Elected to the Gesher Galicia Board of Directors #poland #announcements #galicia

Joyce Eastman

Congratulations to Marsha Shapiro on her well-deserved election to the Gesher Galicia Board of Directors!  All the best to you in your endeavors on behalf of Gesher Galicia!

Joyce Eastman, Gesher Galicia Member
Orange City, FL

Chernigov Guberniya Records, 1839-1842 #ukraine

Lara Diamond

I received a file of over 1000 pages relating to the Jews of Chernigov
Guberniya from 1839-1842, including some family lists and more. I know
some of what it covers, but I could use help understanding more of
what this contains to prioritize what to get indexed. Here's what I
have and how you can see it:

Polin Museum History of the Jews of Poland #poland

Emily Rosenberg

I would like to give away my unused book/catalog that I bought in the Museum in 2016.  No charge at all for the book but I would like the recipient to pay postage.  It weighs just under 5 pounds. When you look at it on the Museum's website be sure to find the version that is 432 pages , not the 128 page version.  This is the Big One.   The website describes it thus:

POLIN. 1000 Year History of Polish Jews – catalogue for the core exhibition

Editors: Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Antony Polonsky

Pages: 432

Publisher:  POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

This lavish volume accompanies POLIN Museum’s Core Exhibition. Essays by leading scholars elaborate on the history of Polish Jews presented in the Core Exhibition, a story of 1000 years.

Each essay is richly illustrated with the documents, images, and objects shown in the exhibition, some of them never reproduced before. Featured are beautiful color photographs of each gallery – the journey of Ibrahim Ibn Yakub, the spectacular Kraków model, the unique painted ceiling of the Gwoździec wooden synagogue, the panoramic train station, the multimedia interwar street, and many others.
Emily Rosenberg
Oakland, California

KESNER in Amsterdam, London, Chicago
STODEL in Amsterdam, London, USA
KAWIN in Suwalki and Poland
RUBINSKY in Suwalki and Poland

Marsha Shapiro Elected to the Gesher Galicia Board of Directors #poland #announcements #galicia

Steven Turner

It is our pleasure to announce the election of Marsha Shapiro to the Board of Directors of Gesher Galicia.
Marsha Shapiro was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY to Holocaust surviving parents. Her Galician born mother lived under a false identity and was the only survivor in her family. Her father survived the concentration camps Auschwitz & Mauthausen. They emigrated separately to the US in 1947 and met in Brooklyn.
Marsha is a longtime member of Gesher Galicia and has been researching her family’s roots for many years. She was an attendee along with her sister at our Symposium in Warsaw in 2018.She serves as a volunteer with the Subcarpathia SIG, transcribing and indexing vital records.
In her hometown of Lido Beach, NY she is active in p
philanthropic causes. Marsha is a longtime volunteer with the Long Beach Polar Bears raising funds for the Make a Wish Foundation and the Long Beach Christmas Angels which aids families with financial hardships in the Long Beach area.
She is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology with a Bachelor’s Degree in Textile and Apparel Marketing. She enjoyed an extensive career at Levi Strauss & Company.
We look forward to Marsha's deeper involvement in the organizational activities of Gesher Galicia.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
Steven S. Turner
President, Gesher Galicia

National Library Israel Finds Rare 18t Century Text Detailing Portuguese Inquisition #sephardic #announcements #israel

Jan Meisels Allen




A page from the manuscript describing autos-da-fé trials in Lisbon

from 1540-1669, during the Portuguese Inquisition.

(Courtesy of the National Library of Israel)



Cover of Book: Estes Autos de Fe Hypocrita, Sem Caridade Practicados:

He Obra Do Alto Clero, So Para Fazer Desgracados

A memory of all the acts of faith that were made in Lisbon (translation by DeepL translation)


An 18th-century document detailing the activities of the Portuguese Inquisition, which punished people for upholding Jewish traditions and committing other transgressions, has been found by the National Library of Israel and made available online, the library announced. It is a 60-page document written in Portuguese which mainly recounts public hearings and executions taking place between 1540 and 1669, most of them in Lisbon called autos-da-fé, which were carried out by the Catholic Church. The manuscript was found in the library’s archives.


The inquisition began in 1536, as a response to a surge of forcibly converted Jews crossing into the country from neighboring Spain, where they were fleeing similar atrocities. The hearings and executions carried on for more than two centuries and were considered acts of penance for the accused.


To read the article see:


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


Tuteur Family History - 5th edition #germany


I’m very pleased to announce the publication of the 5th edition of the Tuteur Family History, chronicling the genealogy of the Tuteurs from Neuleiningen, Winnweiler, Kaiserslautern and surrounding towns and villages in the Palatinate. The volume is now nearly 800 pages, includes historical information and documents, and includes pictures of many Tuteur cousins. If interested, please email me privately at mjtuteur at, and I will send you the link. 

Michael Tuteur • 617-342-4016

Moderator note: as requested, please respond privately

Theo David Sperber #unitedkingdom

Hannah Sperber

Looking for Descendants of Theo David Sperber born 1925 in Karlsruhe, Germany.
went to UK on Kindertransport in 1939
with mother, Johanna Sperber née Heineman.
lived in Rugby and in Lincolnshire UK.
became British citizen in 1947.
He served in British military.
please reply to:

Hannah Sperber, Denver, CO USA

Łódź Court records 1946-1950 #lodz

Amiel Warm

Does anybody know why applications for the court's dead declaration
(going through legal expenses ) were submitted ?

Thank you,

Amiel Warm

Re: Stamps on Postcard sent from Gross-Rosen camp #holocaust

Peter Lobbenberg

Schömberg [note the umlaut]!, now Chełmsko Śląskie, is a village 17km south of Landeshut (now Kamienna Góra).   Wikipedia confirms that "during World War II the Germans established and operated a branch of the Gross-Rosen concentration camp in the town".

German Wikipedia has a more detailed entry - although if you don't speak German, you'll need to use Google Translate. 

If you'd like to post a copy of your document, perhaps with an enlargement of the stamp and any postmarks, members - including me! - could perhaps check for any dating clues.

Peter Lobbenberg, London

Re: Immigration Through Winnipeg Under Maiden Name #canada

Marion Werle

First of all, Winnipeg is not a port (check a map). You didn't specify the type of immigration record you found, but it was not uncommon to purchase passage to the U.S. via Canada, which included both ship and rail transportation. If she arrived at a Canadian port (again, check the record you found), there may be a notation somewhere that mentions a railroad. There also might be a U.S. border crossing record as well, possibly through Detroit. Border Crossings may be found on FamilySearch or Ancestry.

If her ship record mentioned her final destination as Chicago, "sneaking" across the border is not likely (she would have traveled by car), as trains from Canada to the U.S. would have had to go through a more formal border crossing prosses. She could have gone back home for a visit (unlikely in the middle of WW I) or it's always possible that it is a case of mistaken identity and the immigration record of the person going to Chicago is somebody different, with the same maiden name.

Good luck!

Marion Werle

Re: Pre-Holocaust Family and Individuals' Photographs #holocaust #photographs

P. S. Wyant

Dominique, I think a better way to put it would be that one can only access the database from an internal Fritz Bauer Institut system. I intend to do that later this year when I next go to Frankfurt a/M.


Peter Wyant

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.


questions regarding Russian laws #russia

Judith Singer

Although I have read through various summaries of Russian laws imposed on the Jews, I cannot seem to find the exact answer to two questions. I hope someone can help.

1. The 1804 Statute Concerning the Organization of the Jews indicates that Jews were already subject to a doubled tax rate (in addition to special taxes relating to Jewish schools, kosher food, etc.). When and by whom was this obligation imposed? 

2. When was the prohibition against settlement in the 50-verst western boundary first imposed? When initially imposed, did it apply only to new settlement or also to existing residents? 

Thank you - 
Judith Singer
researching CHARNEY and variations in Lithuania

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