German SIG #Germany Locality research [Egelsbach and elsewhere] #germany


A recent posting regarding the Jews of Egelsbach, a small town in Hesse, has
brought out both the possibilities for and obstacles to doing research in
smaller towns in the Nazi Period, specifically the use of the 1939 census.

The inquirer had located 10 names of persons related to Egelsbach. The 1939
census showed no Jews resident in that town. However, by looking under
place of birth, rather than residence, I was able to locate 40 persons born
in Egelsbach, mostly Jews and this list was sent to the inquirer.

In Egelsbach, as was the case for most smaller towns, Jews found it
advantageous to move to larger cities, in the case of Egelsbach, primarily
Frankfurt. The problem for researchers seeking to reconstruct the Jewish
population of such smaller towns is that the census is organized by place of
residence and filmed copies cannot be searched by place of birth.

There is, however, a digitized version of the census, to my knowledge only
available at the Bundesarchiv itself and at the USHMM, which can be searched
by any field, e.g. place of birth, maiden name or even street address. Until
and if this resource is put on the web, researchers will have to go to these two
sources for such highly interesting research.

Peter Lande Washington DC <pdlande@...>