Re: Seeking descendants of Samuel Kivivitz and Goldie Bass #belarus


You may wish to contact Jewish Tour ( a reliable, established firm based in Minsk which offers an economical in-depth genealogical service as well as heritage tours. They have a genealogy staff fluent in many languages. They are also well connected with most of the current Jewish communities across Belarus and Limud. Another avenue to pursue is to deal directly with the Belarus National Historical Archive ( which also offers reliable research services.

When dealing with a private researcher (whether a firm, organisation or individual ) for a genealogical search in the Belarus archives you should bear in mind that you must authorise the researcher with an Apostille issued by the appropriate authority in your country. Without the Apostille the researcher cannot legally conduct your research. If you deal directly with the Archive an Apostille is not necessary.

For the sake of clarity I have no association with either Jewish Tour or, obviously, the National Historical Archive of Belarus although I do know individuals who have availed themselves of services offered by both.

I hope this helps.


Re: travel from Besarabia to Hamburg in 1905 #bessarabia

Jorge Sexer

Ricardo: Besarabia being in the Russian empire, the first problem they probably had was to leave it. If they had a passport, that would be easy, but it was difficult and expensive to get a passport. People usually passed the border to Austria-Hungary by night, maybe bribing the guards, often with the help of some "migration agent".   Once in Austria-Hungary (in their case that would be the provinces of Bucovina or Galicia), the train to Vienna and then to Leipzig (where there was a "registration station"), then Berlin (where there were sanitary controls) and finally Hamburg.

Re: Jewish "juniors" in Hungary mid-1800's #hungary #slovakia

Judith Shamian

I discovered this week that there were Hungarian Jews that were descendants from the Spanish Inquisition I wonder if that can be a source of the practice you describe.

Judith Grunfeld Shamian

Re: Arlette BRANCHAFT #france

David Choukroun

Dear Ronnie

I have received the death act for Arlette Brandchaft.  I will scan it for you tomorrow

We learn the names of the parents, and the husband




Viewmate translation Russian to English for surname Pilvinsky #translation #lithuania #russia



Please translate the Russian to English. I believe this is the marriage record of Ovsey Pilvinsky to Asna Farber in September 1897. Can you please confirm the parent's names of both the bride and the groom?  Thank you very much!

Best, Brad Johns

Requesting help with a Yiddish translation of a postcard #yiddish #translation


ViewMate translation request - Yiddish translation of a postcard

Hello all,

I request a translation of the Yiddish text on a postcard. It is on ViewMate at the following address

I don't know anything about the sender of this postcard. I hope to learn form the text on the postcard some new information.

Please respond using the online ViewMate form.

Thank you very much,

Yonat Klein
Syracuse NY

Jewish "juniors" in Hungary mid-1800's #hungary #slovakia

Hilary Osofsky

I'm wondering how to account for religiously observant Jews conferring the name of a living father upon a newborn son in Hungary in the mid-1800's.
In that regard, I was surprised to learn that both my Stein g-g-grandfather from Vychodna or Budapest, as well as my Reicher g-g-grandfather from Benedekfalu, had a son bearing his name c. 1846 and 1860, respectively. There is no doubt that each of them was still alive at the time.
I have reason to believe that both of those g-g-grandfathers were observant Jews. Of course, the Ashkenazi naming tradition is only that - a tradition, not a religious mandate.
Does anyone know whether there was some social or cultural trend that accounted for Jewish "juniors" during those years?

Hilary Stein Osofsky
Orinda, California

Re: Translation help in Hebrew #translation

Glenda Rubin

Just FYI - the document is in Yiddish, not Hebrew.

Glenda Rubin
SF Bay Area

On Sun, Aug 23, 2020 at 6:15 PM Abe Hirsch <abehirsch2010@...> wrote:

I've posted a vital record in Hebrew for which I need a translation. It is on ViewMate at the following address ...
Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.
Thank you very much.
Abe Hirsch

Glenda Rubin
San Francisco Bay Area
Researching: STRYZEWSKI, STRAUSS, JANOFSKY, JANOFF, OBODOV, WERNICK, GREENBERG, KROCHAK. Shtetls: Lipovets, Ilintsy, Pliskov, Starokonstantinov, Krasilov

ViewMate translation request REINOWITZ family - Polish #translation

Jocelyn Keene

I've posted a two vital records from JRI Poland, in Polish (I think) for which I need a translation. They are on ViewMate at the following addresses ...
My apologies.  There seem to be two entries per page and I couldn't even tell which one was the right one.  The first one document contains the death record of David Rajnowitz in 1893 somewhere in Suwalki, Lithuania and the 2nd is for the birth of Abram Rajnowitz in 1901 also somewhere in Suwalki.  I'd love to know any names that might appear on the entries (spouse, parents, siblings, children), the age of David on his death and the name of the town(s).  
Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.
Thank you very much.
Jocelyn Keene

Help with Russian Translation of records on ViewMate #translation

Arlene Glass

I have posted vital records in Russian from Lomza Poland that need translation. There are four birth records and one Marriage record all from the Lampart family. I have posted the links below..

Birth record of Leja Lampart #102

Birth record of Manes Lampart # 103

Birth record of Juszk Gerszk Lampart # 73

marriage of Szaja Lampart and Tema Gricz #2

Please respond with the form provided on the ViewMate image page.

Thank you so very much.
Arlene Glass
Atlanta Georgia

Re: Hebrew Translation Requests: Two News Articles #translation


Thanks, unfortunately, my links are going to the wrong documents.  So you have translated a document that isn't mine.  If there's a way for you to figure out who posted the item you translated, you can then send them the info.    Sorry about the extra work.  I've reported the issue to Support and am trying to get my links fixed.

Re: Hebrew Translation Requests: Two News Articles #translation


Ignore this post.  The links are not working properly.  Will repost when they go to the right documents.

Yiddish translation #translation

Abe Hirsch

I've posted a vital record in Yiddish for which I need a translation. It is on ViewMate at the following address ...
Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.
Thank you very much.

Abe Hirsch

Translation help in Hebrew #translation

Abe Hirsch

I've posted a vital record in Hebrew for which I need a translation. It is on ViewMate at the following address ...
Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.
Thank you very much.
Abe Hirsch

Re: surname Morpurgo #names

Jules Levin

My wife, an Italian citizen, used to take me to visit the Jewish old age
home in Trieste every summer, when we stayed at her apt in Udine. One of
the residents of the home was the writer Alma Morpurgo
( The name Morpurgo may be
from the German town of Marburg.  The extended family is very
wide-spread.  Of course, since Levi was Italian, it seems reasonable
that his Morpurgo was related to Alma.

As it happens, there may be a connection with English letters. As it
happens Alma, born in 1901, took English lessons in Trieste from an
expat named Joyce--he was the brother of James Joyce. James Joyce was
also in Trieste at that time, and no doubt was familiar with its Jewish
community.  Anyway, I guess I am only 2 or 3 degrees separation from
James Joyce..

Jules Levin

On 8/23/2020 8:12 AM, Roberta Sheps via wrote:
I have been reading Primo Levi's collection of stories The Periodic Table
and looked up some biography on him. He married a woman named Lucia
Morpurgo and I wonder if her family had any connection with the English
childrens' writer Michael Morpurgo. Does anyone know?

Roberta Sheps
Colchester, England

Re: U.S. Appeals Court Rules Spanish Museum May Keep Nazi Looted Art #announcements #holocaust

Herbert Lazerow

     Stephen Katz and Adam Cherson raise excellent points about the Cassirer case.
     In this case, the parties probably stipulated that the painting was stolen. In 1939, Lilly Cassirer  transferred the painting to a Nazi art appraiser for 900 Reichsmarks, well below its actual value, which the appraiser paid to a blocked account that Lilly could never access. The painting then disappeared. 
     A transfer under duress applied by the transferee or someone related to him would not be a voluntary sale and would not transfer the title to the painting. On the other hand, whether a transfer due to financial hardship not imposed by the transferee, such as loss of income source due to the Nazi laws followed by a public auction, would be a theft, has yet to be decided.
     In this case in 1951, the painting surfaces in a reputable U.S. art gallery. It was sold to a U.S. collector by a reputable gallery. In 1952, the collector sold it though a reputable New York gallery to another U.S. collector. In 1976, Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza bought the painting through a reputable New York gallery. The painting was kept mostly in Switzerland until 1992, when the painting (along with the rest of the Baron’s collection) was loaned to the Spanish government and put on display by a foundation established by the Spanish government in a Madrid Palace.  The foundation bought the collection, including the Pissarro at issue,  in 1993 with funds provided by the Spanish government.
     The precise question in this case is whether the foundation had acquired title by acquisitive prescription. To acquire title in that way under Spanish law, a person must possess the property as though he were the owner for a set length of time. In U.S. law, we have a comparable doctrine called adverse possession. Under Spanish law, the length of possession for a good faith purchaser is shorter than the time required for others to acquire title.
     The trial judge found that the Baron, when he purchased the work in 1976, did not know that it had been stolen, and was not “wilfully blind” to the likelihood that it had been stolen. The court found that in 1976, when you bought a painting from a reputable gallery that displayed a bill of sale from another reputable gallery, there was no reason for a buyer to inquire further. Whether the court would have given the same answer had the Baron purchased at a later date, I cannot say. Thouogh the art world is famous for the secrecy of its transactions, it has become more common to pay attention to provenance since then. If the Baron had known that the work had been owned by the Nazi party, the wartime German government, or a prominent Nazi art dealer, there might have been a different answer.
    What the 9th Circuit decided (on the litigation’s third visit to the Court of Appeals) was that there was ample evidence to support the trial judge’s verdict.
    Adam is correct that if the question in the case was the legal effect of the sale in New York, New York law should apply (though some scholars might dispute that) and the Cassirers would win. But the question in this case was whether the Spanish doctrine of acquisitive prescription would apply.  If the Baron purchased in good faith, enough time had passed for him to become the owner under Spanish law. If the Baron did not purchase in good faith, the longer period for acquisitive prescription would apply, and that period had not been met.
     This is the classic case of the eternal triangle of the law. An owner is robbed of his property. The wrongdoer sells it to a good faith purchaser, and absconds with the money, leaving the owner and the purchaser to sort it out. In common law jurisdictions, the owner wins because England had a stronger attachment to the sanctity of property.  In continental European countries that follow Roman legal traditions, the good faith purchaser wins because their law favored the security of commerce over the security of ownership.  In neither jurisdiction do they follow what seems to me to be a sensible solution, which is to split the property. Each party is innocent.  Each has been wronged. Why should one win everything and the other lose everything when they actually stand on equal innocence?
    This case is a good example of waste. The claim is being made by the original owner’s grandchildren. If they win, they will need to sell the painting. Their lawyer, one of the best law firms in the country, is probably charging a contingent fee of between one-third and 40% of the fair market value of what is recovered. The Pissarro will probably fetch multi millions of dollars on the auction market.  It is doubtful that the Cassirers have a spare 3 or 4 million to pay their lawyers, much less the financial resources required to insure, secure and maintain such a valuable painting. So it will go to auction, where it is likely to be bought by a very wealthy person.  In the best of all worlds, it would disappear into a private collection for a generation, then be given to a museum. Alternatively, it might be placed in a storage locker in a freeport such as the Geneva airport and unseen for an indeterminate period of time. On the other side, the foundation is also represented by one of the best law firms in the U.S. It is difficult for an outsider to estimate what the legal fee has been, but it is not unusual to have a $1 million lawyer’s bill to litigate to the court of appeals once.  This case has been there three times, though presumably the cost of each trip is less than the preceeding trip. How much more efficient it would have been for everyone (except the lawyers) for the foundation to have offered the Cassirers a reasonable amount plus a promise that the full sad story of their ancestor would be displayed on the identifying tag, and the Cassirers to have accepted it in lieu of trying to get the full value of the painting less their legal fees.
Herbert Lazerow
Professor of Law, University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park, San Diego CA 92110
Author: Mastering Art Law (Carolina Academic Press, 2d ed. 2020)

Re: Genealogy research leads to discovery of cousins thought to have died in the Holocaust #holocaust


When I began digging into my family history about 20 years ago, all I was seeking was what happened to my maternal grandfather, who died (I believed) in New York City some time in the 1960's. By that time, (I also believed) everyone in the family had stopped talking to him. Not expecting much, and not even sure if he had died in New York City, I sent $15 to the NYC Board of Health and requested his death certificate. It arrived with pertinent information, including the location (New York!), the date of his death, and the name of a woman named Eva, listed as the "informant." Who was she? No one in my family knew. After months of searching, I tracked down Eva, a Hungarian-born second cousin who had visited New York in the '60's and cared for her uncle (my grandfather) until his death. Subsequently, I found out that afterwards, she had made aliyah to Israel. So on a Sunday morning in August, 1999, I picked up the phone to call her and thanked her for caring for my grandfather until his death. Of course she was stunned, but very happy to hear from me. "There is justice in heaven, because you remember him," she said. But most startling was when she said - "Do you know you are calling me on his Yarhtzeit? It is the anniversary of his death?" (on the Hebrew calendar.) 
Four months later, I was on a plane to Tel Aviv, where I visited Eva again and again, and listened to her stories....

Re: ASOVSKY / OSOVSKY from Slutsk #belarus


I'm researching my Schiff family from Slutsk and have come across the name Sashe Kazofsky, Sophie Rosafsky and Hade Asofsky. Zalman Schiff born circa 1852 has a death record listing Hade Asofsky as his mother. Two of Zalman's children show marriage records with either Sashe Kazofsky or Sophie Rosafsky as their mother. I only have transcriptions of these records and when the family history centers reopen I hope to be able to view at least two of the images which hopefully might shed some light. Do you have any knowlege of any of these people?  I'm really at a roadblock with my Schiff family trying to trace back further than Zalman.

Viewmate Translation Russian #translation

J. Grossman

Please help with the translation of the following records:  Thank you for helping me with my family research.


Reply only via ViewMate.

J. Grossman


Viewmate Photo Identification #photographs

Fran Stark-Hundiak

Hello Friends!

I've posted a photo for which I would like someone to identify the uniform and give me any information about the tapestry in the background. 
 It is on ViewMate at the following address ...
Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.
Thank you very much.

Fran Stark-Hundiak
Michigan USA

7241 - 7260 of 656342