Volume 8, Number18 | September 23, 2007
Remarkably Detailed Maps of Interwar Poland
From 1919–1939 the Polish Military Geographical Institute mapped all of Poland. Their efforts now have been placed on the Internet. The 1:300,000 maps are of sufficient detail that they even show the location of buildings. Interwar Poland extended north of Vilna (Vilnius), south of Stanislawow (Ivano-Frankivsk), west of Poznan and east of Pinsk. Introductory information about the project can be found at http://www.mapywig.org/viewpage.php?page_id=8. The index of maps can be found at
http://igrek.amzp.pl/mapindex.php?cat=WIG300. Note that when you link to this page there is a pull-down menu displaying the words “Mapa Operacyjna Polski 1:300000.” Open up this menu and it will display other map series they have online for Poland including pre-World War I maps created in Germany.
There are also some 1:100,000 maps of principal cities and a list of 1:25,000 maps, but none of the latter seems to be online. This website mentions sister sites at http://mapy.eksploracja.pl which have very detailed maps of northern Poland (Pommerania and Gdansk, and http://mapy.amzp.pl/maps.shtml which has pre-World War I German maps of today’s western Poland, 1:25000.
For those who want instant gratification, this last site has a search engine that will locate which maps at any of the three sites include a specific town. It is located at http://igrek.amzp.pl/search.php
UK Emigration Lists 1890–1939 Now Online
The British firm, FindMyPast.com, has now expanded its index of people emigrating from the UK to include the years 1890–1939. Plans call for including all passenger lists up to 1960.
It is a fee-for-service site. At no charge, the site displays the passenger's name, sex, year of departure, departure port, destination port and country. A transcript of the entry for a specific passenger costs five units. To get a copy of the actual page from the passenger list costs 30 units. You can purchase a minimum of 60 units for £6.95 (about $14). There are discounts for larger purchases.
A transcript adds to the basic information the exact date of departure, age, marital status, occupation, names of other persons traveling with passenger, name of ship and other information about the ship. The actual page from the manifest yields no additional information, but certainly is of value to provide details for all persons on the page and is also of interest for historical purposes. It also might disclose errors in the transcription.
FindMyPast.com has a number of other databases, such as 1841-1891 census data, military records, and vital records index books.
British Library Posts Their Jewish Collections for Eastern European Countries
The British Library has on the Internet their holdings for Slavonic and Eastern European countries. Virtually every country list has a subset showing their Jewish holdings for the country. They include Belarus, Czech. Republic, Hungary, Poland. Romania and Moldova, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine. Go to http://www.bl.uk/collections/easteuropean/slavonicindex.html and scroll down to the list of “Jewish Studies.”
You may not have access to the British Library but, considering that it is one of the largest libraries in the world, it will make you aware of material that might be available in your country,
Portions of New York Times Back Issues Now Available Free of Charge
For some time, the New York Times has had all back issues of the newspaper available on the Internet, fully searchable, as a fee-based service. They now are offering free of charge all articles from 1851–1922 and from 1987 to the present. The announcement indicated that selected articles in the 1923–1986 time period would be free, but I have found none. All required subscribing to their archives access service.
The editions from 1922 and earlier are no longer protected by copyright. Later ones are under copyright protection and their lack of availability may have to do with a law suit the Times lost a few years ago. The U.S. Supreme Court declared that for those articles written by free lance writers, the Times only owned the copyright to the printed version and any electronic or digitized versions were still the property of the author.
The full article about the free service can be found at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/18/business/media/18times.html?_r=
1&hp=&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&adxnnlx=1190334843-4Amrfrm1fdaVrPfzXdv0eA. To search the old issues, go to the newspaper’s home page at http://www.nytimes.com, and the search engine is near the top of the page.
Auschwitz Photos Depict Life of Nazi Officers at Camp
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has acquired remarkable pictures of Auschwitz—perhaps one of a kind. They are photographs of the Nazi officers who ran Auschwitz in their leisure moments. Some photos include the notorious Dr. Joseph Mengele. The photographs were in the possession of a former United States Army intelligence officer who found them more than 60 years ago in Germany. There are a total of 116 pictures, a number of which are on the Internet in a presentation.
For more information, read the New York Times article at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/19/arts/design/19photo.html?_r=1&ref=arts&ore. Click the small picture in the article that says “Audio Slide Show” to see a presentation by the Museum of a number of the pictures.
New Book: Until the 'Final Solution' The Jews in Belgrade 1521–1942
Avotaynu has published yet another Jewish history book. It is Until the 'Final Solution' The Jews in Belgrade 1521–1942 by Jennie Lebel. The book is already in print in Serbian and Hebrew; we have published the English-language version.
This book is the result of 20 years of painstaking research by the author. Its contents are based on documentation—supported by more than 800 footnotes—from the 16th century to the community’s tragic end in 1942. The history of the Jewish community under Ottoman rule, Serbia, Yugoslavia and finally the German occupation and the “Final Solution” is told in great detail—always based on documentary evidence. It was the quality of this research that motivated Avotaynu to publish the book.
The book also contains specific sections dealing with aspects of the Jewish life: rabbis, synagogues, cemeteries and funeral ceremonies, educational institutions, Jewish life in general, and a complete list of all Jewish institutions. There is an extensive bibliography and an index of names.
Belgrade was the first major European city to become “Judenrein”—free of Jews. It started in December 1941, before the Wannsee Conference where the Final Solution was formally adopted, and, by May 1942, there were no Jews left in Serbia.
The book costs $39.00 plus shipping. Additional information including the Table of Contents can be found at http://www.avotaynu.com/books/Belgrade.htm. The Hebrew version of the book was published by Hakibbutz Hameuchad Publishing House. I could not find a website for the company. If you are in Israel, check with a local bookstore.
Steve Morse on Roots Television
Steve Morse, creator of the One Step website, was interviewed in August at the annual conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies. If you have never met Steve, you will have a chance to hear him on Roots Television discuss his background and how the One Step site got its start. He was interviewed by Dick Eastman, creator of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter found at http://rootstelevision.com. To find the interview use the search engine in the upper right corner, and use the word “Morse.”
A Different Way to Display a Family History
We all struggle when deciding the best way to create a family history website. An unusual solution, developed by Elliott Malkin, can be found at http://www.dziga.com/victor.
An Interesting Given Name
There is a branch of the Mokotow family that has a peculiar history. For four generations, no man has known his paternal grandfather, and each man is named after his grandfather. My cousin’s religious name is Dov ben Tuvia ben Dov ben Tuvia ben Dov ben Tuvia.
is published biweekly
by Avotaynu, Inc.
Copyright 2007, Avotaynu, Inc. All rights reserved
To be added or removed from this mailing list, go to the Internet site http://www.avotaynu.com/nuwhatsnew.htm. To change your e-mail address, go to the same site and remove the old address and add the new address.
Back issues of Nu? What's New? are available at http://www.avotaynu.com/nu.htm
To subscribe to AVOTAYNU, The International Review of Jewish Genealogy, go to http://www.avotaynu.com/journal.htm
To order books from our catalog, go to http://www.avotaynu.com/catalog.htm
To contact us by postal mail, write: Avotaynu, Inc.; 155 N. Washington Ave.; Bergenfield, NJ 07621