Latvian versus Lithuanian versus Prussian/German #latvia


Knud and Lorraine Bertelsen <klb@...>
 

Re the discussion about Jewish people who lived in Courland and/or
Latvia, and the main influences on their way of life.

It has been pointed out that many Jewish people in Latvia/Courland had
strong links with Jews in Lithuania - i.e. presumably Kovno or Vilna
Gubernyas - depending on dates - border movements - governing power,
etc.

However, the Jews of Courland may have also had strong links with Jews
from former East Prussia.
In my own family's case - my maternal GGM was born in Vilna (several
generations of her maternal and paternal family (SHTEINGAUER/LAPIDUS)
from Podbrodze/Vilna).
One of her paternal LAPIDUS uncles moved to Libau in the 1880s.
However my GGM's first husband (my maternal GGF) and his family, going
back several
generations lived in Libau and before that Goldingen/Kuldiga (ARONIS)
and
possibly Aizpute (P'LEM/PALM) also. My maternal Grandmother was born in
Libau.

Documents I have received >from the Riga Archives for my ARONIS/PALM
family of Goldingen/Kuldgia/Libau, are mainly in German/Hebrew, rather
than Cyrillic (ca. 1830s-1860s). Later ones are in Cyrillic/Hebrew or a
combination of German, Cyrillic and Hebrew. The 1834 Family List was
signed by my GGGGF, David Behr ARONIS b.ca.1800. The signature is very
clear - in German - I can read it - it is the same as if it were written
in English.

Although I know there was almost a schizophrenic influence/governance
of/by East Prussia, Russia and Poland, at various times, I wonder how
strong
was the link with the former East Prussia and western German provinces?
Many of the names of my Libau ARONIS and associated families seem to be
Germanised (Yiddishised?) Latvianised? - ARONIS, PALM/P'LEM (Hebrew?),
WULFSON, REISLER/RÖSLER, LINDEMAN, MENDELSON, JAMAIKER etc.

Lorraine Bertelsen

p.s. It is heartening to see the news today that Latvia will be
extraditing >from Australia, and
finally charging, Konrads Kalejs, who has hidden >from justice for all
these years and lived in the lap of luxury in Canada, USA and
Australia.


Claire Petersky
 

Courland was definitely German rather than Slavic.
FWIW, one of my relatives (and he's related to others on this list) says
that there's an old family story that his family line came >from Holland --
that they emigrated to Courland sometime around 1700. This would probably
then link (further and further back) to Spain and the Sephardim, not to
Germany and Central Europe.

I have no evidence for this, but so far, there's been some kernel of truth
to all the old family stories I've heard before, even if they aren't
wholly accurate.

Any reason for a family to leave Holland and come to Courland?


=====
Claire Petersky (cpetersky@yahoo.com)


Martha Lev-Zion <martha@...>
 

Lorraine Bertelsen asked:

Although I know there was almost a schizophrenic influence/governance
of/by East Prussia, Russia and Poland, at various times, I wonder how
strong
was the link with the former East Prussia and western German provinces?
Courland was definitely German rather than Slavic. It was settled as a
German "province" by German Crusaders and the culture was always German.
Proof of that would be that until WWI, all official notices were published
in both German and Russian, not because of the law, but because of
necessity. I know that all my ancestors >from Courland considered
themselves German, and German was their mother tongue. They went to German
language schools in all the areas in which they lived in Courland. I think
that this applies perhaps only to longtime legal Jewish Courlanders,
although it may apply to others as well.

Martha Lev-Zion

PS. I hope that Lorraine's letter means that her email is back up and running!


Maria Krane
 

Hi Claire,
Sometimes they went because the father was a rabbi or teacher, and they
often traveled. There may have been a wedding and the rest of the family
stayed. I've seen plenty of incidences where the Sepahrdim traveled to
Eastern Europe and became part of the general Jewish population. Hope this
helps.
Regards,
Maria Krane