Request for suggestions as to where I can get documentary proof of my Jewish ancestry? #austria-czech


The factory in Brno was co-founded by my great-grandfather Paul Neumark. My grandfather was Austrian, and recent changes in Austrian law mean that I can potentially claim citizenship on the basis of my grandfather being the "persecuted ancestor" (my great-uncle committed suicide on the day of the National Socialist invasion ) and my father remembers the Gestapo arriving at the house to arrest his father on the same day. However, I have been told by the Austrian government researchers that this is only a "hint" of my Jewish background and that ideally documentation should be provided.  So far, I have not been able to provide this - any suggestions would be welcome.

James (Jim) Newmark   Lutterworth Leicestershire UK

Andreas Schwab

In order to help you further, we would need more details: full name, date and place of birth of your father and grandfather, where they lived and at what times. 
What steps did you take util now to get documents? Do you have your grandfather's birth certificate? 
Andreas Schwab, Montreal, Canada

Johann Hammer


In order to regain citizenship, various proofs must be provided, such as proof of origin and proof of main residence in the territory of present-day Austria before the expulsion.
I have already carried out several projects for regaining citizenship. You are welcome to send me the available data. I will be happy to analyze this data and recommend the next steps.

Johann Hammer


Father - Robert Walter Newmark  dob 29 August 1923 and born in Brno, Czechoslovakia - lived at 144 Hlinkach until shortly after 15 March 1939 when he, his brother (my uncle Paul), and their mother (my grandmother) left for the UK

Grandfather - Otto Neumark dob 19 December 1888 and also born in Brno. He went to London where he qualified as a barrister, but was called back to Czechoslovakia at the onset of the World War 1 to help with the family textile factory. He then qualified (again) in law in Vienna and gave up his British nationality for Austrian in 1927 to enable him to practice. Several months of increasingly frantic attempts with high level intervention to regain his British nationality finally succeeded (confirmed by correspondence retained at The National Archives, which also indicated their view, confirmed by the German authorities, that he was Austrian), with the British nationality papers arriving at the house (144 Hlinkach) on the day of the invasion (15 March 1939). Although the Gestapo arrived to arrest him that day, they turned back on sight of the papers (this last from my father's memories only, I don't know how to confirm this). The National Archives also record "detention" (?does this mean internment as a foreign national?) in Vienna after 1939 and perhaps into 1941, before he was sent to Zurich. However, I don't know where, and if this indeed could be counted as "main residence".  But if not, why not?!
I don't have his birth certificate, only his marriage (15 November 1922) and death certificates (25 February 1947).

I have actually taken no steps to date to obtain further documents. This is because on application six months ago the Austrian government advised that all necessary research would be undertaken by them and about 40 researchers were employed specifically for this task. However, I think that their caseload is very high and my strong circumstantial evidence, but lack of documents, may well make my case more difficult than many. 

Jim Newmark
Lutterworth, Leicestershire