Gary Mokotoff, Editor
Volume 16, Number 45 | November 22, 2015
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.
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Not that much news this week
Dovid Katz Talks of “Two Holocausts in Lithuania”
Tomasz Wisniewski, who runs the Bagnowka website, has placed on YouTube an interview with Dovid Katz about the murder of Jews in Lithuania. It is titled “Two Holocausts in Lithuania” and located at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNJCAV5Sc6s. It is worth listening to.
Katz is an American-born, Vilnius-based Yiddish scholar, author, educator, and cultural historian of Lithuanian Jewry. He has been a strong proponent of the Lithuanian government admitting that the genocide of Jews in Lithuania was perpetrated not only by the Nazis but what he calls “Lithuanian Nationalists,” hence the term “Two Holocausts.”
Katz has a website, Defending History, at http://defendinghistory.com. The site emerged from a Vilnius-based effort that began in 2008, entailing opposition to acts of the Lithuanian government and other Lithuanian groups. Such acts as “attempts to prosecute Holocaust survivors; opposition to the Prague Declaration (which declared Communism to be genocide, just as was Nazism); opposition to elitist anti-Semitism and state-sanctioned neo-Nazi marches in Vilnius; opposition to attempts to glorify the local perpetrators, collaborators, and institutions engaged in such efforts; opposition to the Double Genocide movement emanating particularly from the eastern regions of the European Union.”
European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative Has New Website
European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative has a new website at http://www.esjf-cemeteries.org. The purpose of the group is to:
• Construct protective perimeter walls or fences in Jewish cemetery sites across Europe
• Establish clear and defined boundaries for cemetery sites
• Place clear identification markers defining the sites as Jewish cemeteries
• Sign agreements with local authorities, Jewish communities or site owners for long-term protection
• Create a standardized procedure to attain best practice in engineering, budgeting and halachic criteria
The organization is funded through a grant of 1 million euros from the German government.
Hong Kong Joins “Right to be Forgotten” Advocates
Israel Joins Other Side
Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee, reports that the Hong Kong Administrative Appeals Board recently concluded that online personal information may be deleted when the information is in the public domain (Right to Be Forgotten”). As a result of this decision, individuals may start requesting their personal data be removed from websites. Additional information is at http://tinyurl.com/FTBFHongKong.
Meanwhile, Israel’s Supreme Court declined to implement the “right to be forgotten” under Israel’s privacy laws. The court suggested that the legislature (Knesset) could protect the litigant’s privacy by requiring the courts to suppress sensitive information. Additional information is at http://tinyurl.com/FTBFIsrael.
FamilySearch Adds 2.4 Million Records This Week
A list of recent additions to FamilySearch, 2.4 million indexed records and images, can be found at http://tinyurl.com/FamilySearch111615. This site provides direct links to the individual collections. They include records from Guam, church records from Poland and Russia and the U.S. states of California, Maine, Michigan and Minnesota.
Notable addition for people researching their Jewish family history is 471 thousands records from BillionGraves.com.
Note that at the website, announced collections may not be complete for the dates specified and will be added at some later date. Also note that counts shown in the announcement are the number added, not the total number available in the collection, which can be greater.
FamilySearch Adds British WWI Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) Records
FamilySearch.org has indexed some 160,000 records of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) records from 1917 to 1920. These are service records for about 7,000 women who joined WAAC. Each file contains name, date and place of birth, residence, marital status, number of children, occupation, age and date of enlistment. The collection is at https://familysearch.org/search/collection/2126214.
Library Archives Canada Digitizing WWI Service Records
Approximately one-third of the 640,000 files of Canadian soldiers who participated in World War I have been digitized by Library Archive Canada (LAC). They are being digitized in alphabetical order and LAC is now up to the surname “Fitzpatrick.” They can be found at http://tinyurl.com/LACWWIDigitization.
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