Gary Mokotoff, EditorVolume 13, Number 22 | May 27, 2012
Every government puts value on preserving its history. That is why we have national archives. Genealogy preserves history; the history of a family. It cannot be done without access to records, just as historians cannot preserve a nation's history without access to records. It is a greater good than the right to privacy. It is a greater good than the risk of identity theft.
Past issues of Nu? What's New? are archived at http://www.avotaynu.com/nu.htm
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Yad Vashem Creates “Transports to Extinction: Shoah Deportation Database”
Yad Vashem has created a new database called “Transports to Extinction: Shoah Deportation Database” which maps the deportations of Jews to concentration and extermination camps and killing sites in Europe. Yad Vashem notes that while in the past, historians have seen the deportations simply as a necessary logistical step on the way to the “Final Solution,” the research undertaken in the “Transports to Extinction” project indicates that the deportations were not simply an intermediary stage between transit camps and ghettos and finally extermination camps, but had an overall plan, unique in its design, its implementation and its historical significance.
Thus far, the project has mapped some 400 transports from Vienna to various destinations, among them, Minsk, Riga, Theresienstadt and Auschwitz, and from Berlin, Cologne, Breslau, and several Czech cities, including Prague, Brno and Plzen to Terezin. Using all the resources available, Yad Vashem researchers have reconstructed the transport's route, including information on the persons involved in organizing the transport, the socio-economic characteristics of the Jewish deportees, and recollection of survivors to build a complete picture of these transports. The findings are available, in English, German and Hebrew at http://db.yadvashem.org/deportation/page.html?language=en.
In association with the project, Yad Vashem has announced an agreement with the National Society of French Railways (SNCF) to increase research into the scope of deportations of Jews from France during the Holocaust. The SNCF's contribution will support research into the French section of the “Transports to Extinction: Shoah Deportation Database.” This portion of the database will be available in French.
SNCF's contribution will assist researchers in more fully documenting the some 80 transports of Jews from France. Approximately 76,000 French Jews were murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau. The research will build on the work done by Serge and Beate Klarsfeld. Their book, Memorial of the Deportation of Jews from France, identifies the Jews by name on the 80 transports from France. A detailed analysis of records of the SNCF during the Holocaust, of which Yad Vashem has received a copy, will be conducted in order to explore the processes involved. Survivors' testimonies, private documents and photographs will shed light on the deportees’ experience. The research will also map transports within France, from small towns and villages to Drancy.
1940 Census for 14 States Now Searchable at FamilySearch
The 1940 census for 14 states are now searchable at http://tinyurl.com/LDS-1940-Census. They are Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, New Hampshire, Nevada, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming. FamilySearch states the total project is about 45% complete.
Other FamilySearch projects. While much focus is on the 1940 census, additional indexes have been added to the Brazil Immigration cards 1900–1965 project. Also additional indexes have been added to the Canada, Ontario—Marriages, 1869–1927 project.
Follow-up on German Address Books Online
The January 8, 2012, edition of Nu? What’s New? noted a large number of German address books online at http://wiki-de.genealogy.net. It appears a superior site by the same group is located at http://www.adressbuecher.net. If nothing else, the latter site is in English; the former is in German. Because many of the books are pre-World War I, the area covered is the German Empire including towns that today are in Poland. Example: Breslau which today is Wroclaw, Poland. The site contains more than 3 million entries from 373 address books for 6,872 towns and cities.
Belarus SIG Plans Newsletter
The Belarus Special Interest Group of JewishGen plans to publish a quarterly newsletter in PDF format. The first edition should appear about June 18. If you have any family history, links, questions or stories from Belarus that you would like to share, send it to email@example.com. If you wish to receive the newsletter, subscribe to the Belarus Discussion Group from the link at http://www.jewishgen.org/Belarus/.
Finding Living People in the U.S.
This week I was able to help a New Zealand woman locate a Holocaust survivor family living in the United States. The project came at an appropriate time, because I would not have been able to find the family but for the 1940 census. I also would not have been able to find the family but for the online Social Security Death Index to which the U.S. Congress wants to ban public access. Finally, the announcement of back issues of AVOTAYNU available on the Internet reminded me that in the Spring 2010 issue of AVOTAYNU, I wrote a three-page article titled “Locating Living Americans: Selected Resources.” It is available as part of the back-issue collection.
Shame On You, Salt Lake Tribune
The Salt Lake Tribune ran an editorial opinion article last Wednesday that was downright racist. The gist of the article was that Jews should vote for Romney because he is Mormon and Mormons love the Jews. They should not vote for Obama because Obama is black and blacks hate the Jews. The article was written by 26-year-old Stephen Richer, described by the Tribune as a “SLC Jewish advocate” and a director at a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.
I sent a Letter to the Editor to the Tribune which they never ran. It said:
"I have never read a more un-American editorial piece than Stephen Richer’s “Romney, Obama and the Jews.” The gist of the editorial is that Jews should vote for Romney because he is Mormon and the Mormons love the Jews, and should not vote for Obama because he is black and the blacks hate the Jews. Its conclusion is that one should vote for a candidate based on his religious affiliation and/or skin color. This Jew plans to vote for Romney or Obama based on which person can do the most for America using the political philosophy that comes closest to mine."
You can read the Richer article at http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/54109609-82/jewish-jews-anti-mormon.html.csp.
A columnist with the Jewish Telegraph Agency picked up on the article and wrote a column that essentially agreed with my viewpoint. It is at http://blogs.jta.org/politics/article/2012/05/24/3096361/jews-blacks-and-mormons
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