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


Hi Michael,

Thanks for your kind message.

Dad wasn't killed when he was captured because he as successful in hiding his German roots from the Nazis.  During the 5.75 years he was in England pre-war, he was able to learn the language well and to lose completely his German accent.  During my lifetime, he always spoke with an educated and cultured Oxbridge accent.

When Dad emigrated to Canada in 1952 (after 5 years spent spying against the Soviets for MI6 in Germany), he held himself out as British and Anglican.  Mom was French-Canadian Catholic, so their two sons were raised in that faith.  Interestingly, my older brother met and married an American Jew in the early 80s (after Dad had died), and he later converted to his wife's faith (not knowing about Dad's true ethnicity).  Today, my late brother's two adult kids (and his grandson) all live in Israel.

None of us has ever considered changing the family name back to Hein.  Too late for me in my 60s.


Marc Stevens

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

Daniel Bargman

There was an ephimeral attempt of Jewish agricultural colonization in Uruguay but this description suits to the many colonies of the Jewish Colonization Association founded by Baron Moses Hirsch in the 1890's in Entre Rios province, Argentina.
Daniel Bargman- Buenos Aires, Argentina

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

Lee Jaffe

There was a fairly extensive discussion about Woodbine, with sources cited, on this list in early August. (I haven't figured out how link back to a thread, but if you search Woodbine in the list of topics it will pop up easily.). 

I believe I read that the colonies in New Jersey were established specifically to get Jews already settled in the US out of the cities. This contrasts with the settlement projects in Argentina and elsewhere, which recruited settlers directly from the Pale.  My grandfather lived on a farm in Rosenhayn, which he described as part of Baron de Hirsch's Vineland settlement, with his parents and siblings. They are listed in the 1900 census, in Deerfield NJ, as owning the property.  They were in Philadelphia just before moving to Rosenhayn and tried farming near Memphis a few years before that. 

I recently heard from a cousin whose father was born there in 1899, that our family bought the property outright without depending on support from the de Hirsch organization.  Perhaps there were alternative financing schemes on offer.

Lee David Jaffe



Surnames / Towns:  Jaffe / Suchowola, Poland ; Stein (Sztejnsapir) / Bialystok and Rajgrod, Poland ; Joroff (Jaroff, Zarov) / Chernigov, Ukraine ; Schwartz (Schwarzman?, Schwarzstein?) / ? ;  Koshkin / Snovsk, Ukraine ; Rappoport / ? ; Braun / Wizajny, Suwalki, Poland,  Ludwinowski / Wizajny, Suwalki, Poland


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

Marjorie Geiser

Does anyone else have problems playing this video? When I click it, it just goes blank. I don't usually have problems like this. I'm in the US, too.

Margie Geiser
Arizona, USA


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

Jeff Marx



Your question of how settlers were selected for the Woodbine colony is one that pertains to other Jewish agricultural colonies that were set up, as well, during this time across the US by the Hebrew Emigrant Aid Society (HEAS), the Montefiore Agricultural Aid Society, and the Hebrew Union Agricultural Society. It appears that only a few groups were formed in Europe and came over together in cohorts (usually as part of the Am Olam movement). (The best book to check out on the whole phenomenon, if you haven’t already, is Uri Hirscher, Jewish Agricultural Utopias in America).  

In a recent article I published in Kansas History (Spring, 2020), I explored the formation of the Touro and Lesser colonies in 1886. By working backwards and exploring census, boat manifests, and vital records for the known colonists, I determined that most did not know one another in New York and, most certainly, did not know one another in Eastern Europe (originating in Ukraine, Russia, Austria and Hungary) before the formation of the colony. How they were recruited, selected, or volunteered, once they arrived in New York, is a mystery.

(One researcher I recently talked with, suggested to look in the Yiddish press to see if any of the sponsoring groups advertised for colonists. The Jewish Daily Forward, however, didn’t start until 1897, after the date that Woodbine and many other of these colonies began).


Jeff Marx

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


I don't wish to denigrate the actions of the Ritchie Boys but as with many United States forces they were not the only ones involved in WW2.

Much earlier a British group of German-Jews did the same. Called the X-troop and attached to the Commandos in 1942 they were picked out of the Kindertransport refugees and fought in all the majot battles well before the Americans.
Their story has just been told by Leah Garrett in a book published in May this year and called "X-Troop: the Secret Jewish Commandos of World War II"..

I have no financial interest in the book but it's a great read.
Alan Cohen

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

Rose Feldman

My uncle was from Rushany Belarus (also) but he and his wife and child went to the Argentine through the Baron Hirsch's program while his parents and siblings came on aliyah to Eretz Israel in 1911.  There are records at the Central Archives of the History of the Jewish People at the National Library in Jerusalem.


Rose Feldman
Winner of 2017 IAJGS Award for Volunteer of the Year
Israel Genealogy Research Association
Help us index more records at
Keep up to date on archives, databases and genealogy in general and Jewish and Israeli roots in particular with


Rose Feldman
Israel Genealogy Research Association
Winner of 2017 IAJGS Award for Volunteer of the Year

Zhetlers in the forest - articles and new book. #belarus #holocaust #poland


Articles about Zhetlers (Jews from Zhetel, Zdzięciol, Poland. today Dyatolovo, Belarus) who hid in the forest during the Holocaust
was published in New York Times and in The Wall Street Journal.
The articles are about a just published new book: "The Forgotten Jews of the Forest" by Rebecca Frankel.
It tells the story of Jewish families and children who escaped the Zhetlel massacre and hid in the Lipiczany forest,
some survived and some murdered, without joining any fighting Partisan groups.
The book is about the Rabinowitz family, and mentions Zhetler Hertz Kaminsky , the grandfather of my wife, Leah Kaminsky,
who rescued his family and a few more families from Zhetel,
and saved orphan children that were found in the forest.
His wife Ida (Lubetkin) and daughter Chienka Kaminsky were killed in the forest but all the other Kaminskys survived
and ended up here in Melbourne Australia.
His son Zelick Kaminsky who hid with the family in the forest passed away in Melbourne last month, 95 years old.
See WS Journal:
Melbourne, Australia

Researching (main surnames):

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

Bernard Aronson

There was a similar group of escaped Jews in the British Army that has been written about by Leah Garrett titled. "X Troop: The Secret Jewish Commandos of World War II."

Bernie Aronson

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

Stanley Diamond

As part of our mission to index/extract all the Jewish vital and other records of Poland, JRI-Poland has
created hundreds of thousands of record entries for Lodz, Wisznice, Ostrowiec and Warsaw. Many for Lodz,
Ostrowiec and Warsaw go well into the 20th century.
The convenient way to learn what may be available offline is to contact the Town Leader.   You can do  that by using 
the web form on the Town Explorer pages which you can reach through this link:


Jewish Records Indexing - Poland, an independent non-profit U.S. tax-exempt organization.
JRI-Poland data is searchable on the JRI-Poland database and is also displayed on the JewishGen
All-Poland database as a service to researchers.
Stanley Diamond, M.S.M.   (Montreal, 514-484-0100)
Executive Director, Jewish Records Indexing - Poland, Inc.
Birth records for early 20th century in Poland #poland #records
From: allan.herman@...
Date: Mon, 06 Sep 2021 11:55:34 EDT
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

Re: Moscow vital records or revision list #records #russia

Ted Gostin

On Sun, Sep 5, 2021 at 04:32 PM, Harlan Weller wrote:
I have been told that various members of my ggm's family were born or lived in Moscow during the period 1870-1894.  Does anyone have ideas for locating official records that could document residences/births/deaths/marriages.?

While I haven't had any direct experience with this archive, I did a search for Moscow archives, and found that the Central State Archives for the City of Moscow seems to have metrical books and revision lists for Moscow city, including Jewish records.  A summary of their holdings can be found at:

Using Google Translate, the summary seems to suggest that such genealogical records can be found there in the department of records before 1917.  Quotes from this summary information include:

"In the funds of the Moscow Spiritual Consistory, spiritual boards, theological educational institutions, churches, cathedrals, monasteries of Moscow and the Moscow province - Belopesotsky, Theotokos-Rozhdestvensky,Bogoyavlensky, Borisoglebsky, Vyshosvyatsky Edinoverchesky, Vysotsky, Donskoy, Zachatyevsky, Ivanovo, Kazan, Golovinsky, Luzhetsky, Nikitsky, Nikolo-Perervinsky, Nikolsky Edinoverchesky, Novoalekseevsky, Novospassky, Pokrovsky, Simonov, Sorrowful, Spaso-Andronikov, Sretensky, Strastny, as well as the Moscow Evangelical Lutheran Consistory, the Lutheran, Catholic churches, Moscow synagogues and mosques..."

The department stores a significant set of genealogical documents of privileged and unprivileged estates: metric books and confessional lists of churches in Moscow and moscow province, revision tales of persons of the taxable class, noble genealogical books, family lists of merchants and burghers, clearing sheets containing information about the composition of the parish clergy of the capital region."

There is some further evidence that some of the church metrical books were to be placed online (a PDF link listing a 2020 schedule of various church books to be put online), but I haven't found the portion of the website that contains those, if they were, in fact, posted online.  The PDF didn't seem to include any Jewish records.  

In any case, this seems to be the proper archive for Moscow city records.  Correspondence with them may provide more information, although it may be necessary to hire someone there to do the research, since many archives do not do research for patrons.

Ted Gostin
Sherman Oaks, California

Re: 🍎🍯 Shana Tova from JewishGen!🍎🍯 #JewishGenUpdates

Yvonne Airey

Thank you Jewish Gen! And may I wish you the same- and every success in the year ahead.
THANK YOU for all your erudite work you do to link us with our past, no matter how traumatic it may be.
Yvonne Airey.

On Mon, Sep 6, 2021 at 1:39 PM Avraham Groll <agroll@...> wrote:
Dear Friends,
We thank you for being part of the JewishGen family, and for your involvement with our important work. As we approach Rosh Hashana, we wish you a Shana Tova, a happy, healthy and sweet new year, and extend our best wishes for a wonderful year ahead!
The JewishGen Team

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



The story of your father is, indeed, noteworthy and remarkable. I'm glad he survived, but did you ever wonder why he wasn't killed when captured?

My parents left Vienna for UK in 1939.  Unfortunately, I only know bits and pieces of their journeys (they weren't able to travel together).  However, they did make to the US in February, 1940.  My brother and I were born several years later.

And lastly, had you considered assuming your family's original name, Hein?

La'shana Tova,

Michael Diamant

Chernigov Document Translation Project adds family lists from Oster 1888 #ukraine #translation

Beth Galleto

Dear fellow researchers,

Tax censuses (family lists) from communities in the Oster uezd (district) in 1888 have now been translated and transcribed as part of the Chernigov Gubernia Document Translation Project.

The Oster lists include 496 numbered families and 2247 individuals. Among these families there are 388 surnames. I have extracted these surnames and attached the list to this email. The original pages can be seen online on the FamilySearch website in FHL film 1222347, item 13. 

Previously as part of this project we have translated tax censuses from six uezds in 1882 and from five uezds in 1888. The original books can be seen in FHL films 1222346 and 1222347.

This work is possible because of generous donations from so many who are interested in records from the former Chernigov gubernia. Those who donate $100 or more to the Chernigov Gubernia Document Translation Project on the JewishGen website are eligible to view the completed spreadsheets before they are uploaded to the website. Please contact me with proof of your donation if you want to see any of the completed spreadsheets. All donations of any size are appreciated and will continue to advance the project. You can donate through the following link:

The information from most of the previously translated spreadsheets has been uploaded to the JewishGen website. They can be searched by entering your surname in the JewishGen Unified Search. When the results page appears, click on those listed for the heading "Ukraine Revision Lists". (The tax censuses or family lists are not actually revision lists, but they are similar enough to be categorized under this heading.)

Next to be translated will be tax censuses/family lists from the Sosnitsa uezd in 1888. These will complete the second film and begin the third film of the six that make up the Chernigov Gubernia Document Translation Project.

Best wishes,

Beth Galleto,
Project Leader


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


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