Nu? What's New?
The E-zine of Jewish Genealogy
Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 7, Number 23 | January 1, 2007

Special Edition

Hamburg Emigration Lists Online at
With no fanfare, has placed the Hamburg Emigration Lists on their site at Only the years 1890–1913 have been indexed to date. However, all of the images for 1850–1934 are available. If you do not find your ancestor in a search by name, try browsing the images by year.

You can start your search from the Home Page ( if you know the correct spelling of the person's name. Just click the box for "Exact Matches only" and one of the results will be "Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850–1934 (in German)." If you are not successful, go to the Hamburg page at and do not use the Exact Search option, that is, do not check off the Exact Search box. Because the search is limited to the Hamburg lists only, the non-Exact search is limited to variants of the last name only. For example, I knew my grandmother Frusha Taratotsky came through Hamburg. I was able to locate the record by using a wildcard search of her last name: Tarat*. She is in the index as Frusche Taratazki. Note that a search for Frusha Tarat* got no results because even though Exact Match was not checked off, the search engine required an exact spelling of the given name.

Morse Adds Portal to Hamburg Lists
Stephen P. Morse has added a portal to the Hamburg Emigration database. It is the next to last item in the "Other Ports" section of the website. One advantage of the Morse portal is that most dropdown lists (gender, marital status and relation) are in German at the Ancestry site whereas they are in English at the Morse site (

Yad Vashem Adds Major Record Groups to Shoah Victims' Database
Yad Vashem has added two major groups to their Shoah Victims' Database: Extraordinary Commission and yizkor books names.

More than 150,000 names from the documents of the Extraordinary Commission to Investigate Nazi Crimes Committed on Soviet Territory have been added to the database. In the winter of 1942–43, as the Soviet Army was recapturing its land from the Nazi invaders, the Supreme Soviet, the ruling body of the USSR, established an Extraordinary State Commission whose function was to gather data on atrocities committed in every community that had been occupied by the Germans. Each town was required to document in detail the events that transpired. Because the directive came from Moscow and the bureaucratic mechanism was in place to watch over the project, no fewer than 1,400 communities complied with the directive. Many reports include not only the events and dates, but also the names of the individuals murdered or deported. These are the names that have been added to the Yad Vashem database. When an entry is found in the Yad Vashem database, the actual page from the Extraordinary Commission report is shown.

More than 116,000 names have been gleaned from the Yad Vashem yizkor book collection. After World War II, the remnant of European Jewry published yizkor books—memorial books—to document and remember the towns and townspeople destroyed in the Holocaust. To date, more than one thousand such works have been published. They include articles written by survivors and often provide a great deal of information about specific individuals from the town. Most include a necrology--a list of victims from the town. In the Yad Vashem database the entry usually includes the name of the town from which the name was extracted.

You can link to the Shoah Victims' Names Database from the Yad Vashem Home Page at Click on the picture of the little girl.

Nu? What's New is published biweekly by Avotaynu, Inc.
Copyright 2007, Avotaynu, Inc. All rights reserved

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